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Scandal “It’s Handled” Review (3×01)

4 Oct

627In just one season, Scandal managed to transform itself into one of television’s biggest shows, delivering the twists, the juicy characters, and the ratings that have also transformed it into one of television’s best shows.

The premiere picks up right after last season’s finale, immediately throwing us into a conflict between Olivia and her dad, Eli Pope. The two are very similar in mannerisms, and it seems as if her own father is her greatest adversary. Yet, he’s also her greatest ally. He doesn’t back down, he doesn’t take BS, and he truly cares about his daughter. In a moment of brutal honesty, he remarks that she’s “twice as good, and half as far.” It’s a surprising and insightful comment on race relations, and it has a profound effect on Olivia; she’s always been brilliant, but the fact is, she’s still a black woman in a white world.

Everything is closing in around her; her clients have all fired her, Cyrus is putting together a kill file, and the press is hounding her everywhere she goes. This is an Olivia that’s been backed into a corner, trapped, much like Fitz and Mellie. She decides to call both of them into a bunker to discuss strategy. That scene is absolutely phenomenal, really showcasing these actors’ talents and bringing that tension through the roof. Everything is on the table here, and it is just cold and brutal all the way through, clearly reflecting the toll this has all taken on everyone. The negotiation over the number of times Fitz and Olivia had sex is hard to watch. It is classic Scandal.

The members of Olivia’s team recognize that she’s losing hold of who she is, so they decide to shift attention to an intern. It’s a move that reminds us, and Olivia, what this is all about: saving others’ lives. She takes this intern on as a client because that’s who she is. She’s Olivia Pope, and the white hat’s on even when it’s off.

GRADE: B+

Other thoughts:

-I didn’t talk much about Fitz in the main part of the review, so here goes. He’s a frustrating character to root for, because although his love for Olivia is genuine, he’s a guy that’s had everything his whole life. He’s used to getting his way, and he expects everything to turn out just the way he wants it to turn out. Fitz, for this reason, comes across as manipulative; take, for example, his hug with Olivia in the bunker following that secret meeting. It’s a genuine hug with underlying emotion, but you can tell he enjoys being that savior.

-Fitz and Sally’s scene is well done. I like the mutual respect there, and it’s a moment of vulnerability for the president. Yet, once again, there may be some hidden motivations there.

-Bellamy Young deserves an Emmy. Fitz vs. Mellie should be awesome to watch.

-“I am the hell AND the high water!”

-“Are we Gladiators or are we bitches?”sss

Credit to ABC and Scandal for all pictures. I own nothing.

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