Friday, October 16, 2015

Scandal Season 5, Ep 3: Dog Whistle Politics. AKA: That's Coded Language Muther Effers!

Who are you working with? 

As if! 

Papa Pope is denying everything. He’s not Lazarus. He’s not B613. He’s incarcerated. What could he possibly do from the inside of a jail cell?

PP goes off on a rant. Dude, of course Lazarus One was his doing, and while he may be in jail, he is always free.  He still has power.

Jake goes to Charlie and sends him to Paris to find out what’s going on with the Lazarus thing. Charlie brings in Elise to help with the job, and um…awkward pause. “Jake? Is that what you’re calling yourself?” Somebody has some history with the beautiful Elise! 
She leaves, but he finds her at her place. He wants to come in, she says no, but he says yes. You always let me in. Elyse is an art dealer, and is the one that Jake needs to find the stolen art pieces. Somehow they had a missed connection at Grand Central Station. He waited an hour, she got there later. He didn’t wait. He left. Dude. You don’t leave. You wait. Jake thought she was dead. He grieved. SO…this is the one that got away. 

She was his WIFE!
“I really loved being married to you. We were good together.”
Reunited and it feels so good….
Charlie tells Jake he’s got game. Has a girl back home that chooses another guy and is all up in his face about it, then he hops across the Atlantic and gets with a hottie that hate his guts.
Elise has lured the man with the painting into her home, and a Jake and Charlie are in a surveillance van trying to find out who he is. Their feed goes down, and they hear shots. They run in and find the dude dead, Elyse is shot. Jake goes to help her. It ends up being a flesh wound. He regrets getting her into this, and she says she really never showed up at Grand Central Station. They’re spies. That’s what they do. He completely ignores that and says “What about now? Come back to the states with me.”  

Meanwhile, the evening news show is doing an expose/historical biography/ of the “Little Black Girl” that can be anything she wants. They have footage of her in college stating that she wanted to work in the White House. The reporter questions: “Is she a political savant, or is she willing to do anything to get what she wants?” Showing her history of men, and how her power increased with each hook-up, she just had to go for the gusto and get the most powerful one of all. 

The press is having a field day with Olivia, and he’s ripping Lizzy a new one when Abby walks in. He promptly fires her. Olivia tells him you are an idiot, and you can’t just fire Abby when you’re emotional. Olivia tells Fitz that Abby did exactly what she would have done. He jokes “Well, then you’re an idiot” which should really have opened up a few more “I know you are but what am I?” lines. 

Olivia realizes that those flashes from her windows are not lightening, but someone taking pictures of her. HuckleberryQuinn shut it down.

Mellie busts into the meeting of the women in the senate, and they promptly tell her how things in the senate really work. They tell her it’s all about cigars, and scotch, and peckers, Oh My! So since the boys are off pecking their booze and peckers, the women are uniting their uterus-es (uteri?) to have their own agenda. On the topic: impeach Fitz. Because he can’t keep it in his pants and distracted the country with his libido and yet it’s the woman that’s getting raked over the coals.

Cyrus stutters: but he’s a man!

Mellie is clearly not on board. Cyrus disagrees and tells her his may be her to use this as her ticket to the Oval Office. Mellie and Fitz are having a moment over their son. And isn't he adorable hiding behind the curtain giggling! She tells him she doesn’t want to fight anymore and keep hurting each other. She gets her things and goes. She continues to say she’ won’t do it. Cyrus won’t let it back down. He feels like he was kicked in the teeth. 

Mellie says her heart was broken, Cyrus calls BS. She never loved him – he did. He would have died for him. He was his son, loved him as his child, his soul. Just rips a whole inside that would not close. THEN throws down “ Your child is dead, you can visit his grave, bring him flowers. You know exactly where he is and what he is.” Cyrus says he can’t do that, because he can’t pick up after him, remove the obstacles, keep him safe from the vultures. Keep him away from all the bad things. Mellie finally has had enough and tells him to get out, before he has him thrown out. Dude. Bad form. You don’t go after someone’s dead child. Bad form, Cyrus. 
The senate isn’t done – they want the President investigated.Fitz meets with the gang of old white guys and throws himself at their mercy, saying he’s aware that he made a mistake and betrayed the people’s trust. He’s willing to offer he support for them, and they tell him the true cost – which comes in the form of legislative reform.  Everyone but Stanley and Fitz leave, and he says he’ll give Fitz equal pay, and Fitz’ll get the Brandon / law-and-order bill killed. Then throws in “next time you decide to go outside your marriage, choose yourself a girl who’s a little  more palatable to the base” What is that supposed to mean? Kill the Brandon bill, or they go for impeachment. Sir. 

Fitz calls her to talk to her about the Brandon bill, and she tells him there’s a porn video featuring them, she has threats of rape, and he tells her to stop reading that and turn off the computer. She’s on a rant. Would they say that if they knew she had a gun and shot someone? She’s survived being kidnapped and tortured. She’s ready to go PTSD on them with her gun. He says turn it off or I’ll go down there and turn it off for you. She says she’s fine. Then admits she’s losing it. But only a little bit. Backbone.

Quinn goes to Marcus to get him to be the face of Pope until Olivia’s spotlight dies down. IguessworkingwithPopemakesyoutalkreallyfast. She challenges Marcus: “Do you want to be a Gladiator in a suit?” His reply…No. Hell no.
That's the "Um, Hell to the NO" face right there!
  Until he changes his mind, since he needs the cash. Quinn just wants to keep the clients, and have him be the face telling the public that Olivia is waaay too busy to show her face. He’s not going to put up with the press though. He’s sick of people judging her and he reveals he’s there so that she can help a Sista out who helped him once. 

He walks out of Pope’s offices to a swarm of reporters shouting questions. Where is Olivia Pope? Tell us why she won’t defend herself as passionately as she defends her clients? She’s usually so well spoken”

He stops. Turns. "For a black woman. Usually so well spoken for a black woman, isn’t that what you meant? You’re implying that she’s a homewrecker that slept her way to the top." He fumes! Pissed that they're saying she pulled herself up from her bootstraps, when the girl went to elite private schools. He goes back in where HuckleberryQuinn tell him he can’t just go off script! That’s not what they wanted him to say! He fires back: This. Is.War. There is no script. He’s fighting his way, and not going to sit back and take it. 

Throws down: “That’ is how I gladiate.”  BAM. 

The three of them go on the offensive, appearing on every news show that will have them. Granting interviews and spinning the story they way they want.  They accuse the press of using the ‘Slutty mistress stereotype’, and not the passionate advocate. Marcus says they’re shading her. It’s dog-whistle politics. Racism. Sexism. Anti-Semitism. Misogyny. Bigotry. All in the form of a language that is so offensive, that only the one that it’s targeted at can hear it. Why? Because no one else realizes what those words are when saying them about a person of color. 

/Pause. Folks: this is what my graduate school professors study: “Critical Race Theory.” You take existing shit, and view in through the lens of women, people of color, disenfranchised, marginalized, and you get a different outcome than the rest. Shonda Rhymes – did you sit in that class with me? Are you sure you weren’t there? You nailed it. Nail. Head. /BackToTheStory

Marcus accuses the press of using Thug politics.
“Are you accusing me of using offensive language?”

And what was offensive? They called her:
Lucky. Sassy. Ambitious. Well spoken. Well mannered. Articulate. Shrill. Calculating. Overconfident. Secretive. Urban. Hot blooded. Arrogant. A siren. 

Coded Language. 

Well. Okay then. Did you get that people? This is what they say rather than saying someone was SMART.( Sassy. Ambitious. Secretive) INTELLIGENT (Well spoken. Well mannered. Articulate.). RESOURCEFUL. (Calculating. Overconfident. Secretive.)
See the difference? 

Marcus asks: So, who’s going to tell Olivia I work here?
Huck, looking hucking-nice in a suit, smiles and says: “I will. I’m damaged. She doesn’t like to yell at me.”

Fitz, back at the Oval Office, asks Abby: Do you always do what Liv would do? What would Liv do about the Brandon Bill. Abby says she has to give Gibson what he wants.
Fitz asks again: Is that would Liv would do? 

Abby tells him it’s the smart thing…He wants to know if it’s the smart thing, or the right thing? Next thing you know, the President is on the move. The television live feed shows the President on a late night outing. Where’s he going? To visit Olivia. She’s watching and is not pleased. 

She’s up and ready for him at the elevator “What the hell are you doing? What the hell are you doing?” He tells her: “The right thing. I’m taking my girlfriend on a date.”  Tells the Secret Service dude to look away because he’s going to make out with his girlfriend.
Score one for Fitz.President Grant is escorting Olivia Pope out of her apartment building and into his car. 

The press is back with their comments: Is she going to be the next first lady? Or the first lady to take down a sitting president? 

That’s all it takes to send Mellie over the edge. She’s now ready to take down Fitz. 

Gotta admit. Shonda got this one right. Not to get all “Woman Power” here, but damn. It’s never the man that get’s the rape threats, the expose in the press, and the bad reputation. The Coded Language? That’s spot on. Nail. Head.

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