Scandal “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” Review (3×03)

11 Oct


Huck and Olivia. Olivia and Eli. There’s an interesting dynamic going on here that’s based upon trust: Eli’s the person who Olivia should be able to trust; he’s a dad, and dads are supposed to care for their children. Now, I have no doubt that he cares about Olivia, but his way of caring for her is pretty much emotionally abusing her and using her career as a justification. He probably has some kind of endgame here, and he’s definitely her biggest enemy because he knows how to hurt her: hurt those around her. He’s the kind of guy that always gets what he wants. On the other side, we have Huck, someone who someone like Olivia shouldn’t need to trust. Yet, she’s able to relate with him more so than anyone else, and she needs him as much as he needs her.

Huck finding out about Liv’s father blows up this whole situation. Not only is it detrimental to Olivia, but it’s sure to leave deep and painful marks on Huck’s psyche. What else, really, is keeping him going aside from Olivia and his job? He’s lost his wife. He’s lost his son. He’s now lost Olivia. You can see the pain in his eyes in that parking garage, and it’s heartbreaking because we know what this will do to him.

That sense of loss is contrasted with the events surrounding Jeannine. In a sense, everyone wins here: Jeannine’s going to make a ton of money, Olivia gets Jake back, Fitz gets to be the hero, and Cyrus and Mellie are successful in pinning the affair on Jeannine. In a sense, everyone loses here. Olivia has to endure so much and agree to so much, all just for Jake, Fitz doesn’t get to reveal to the world his love for Olivia, and Fitz and Cyrus are set to be under Eli’s manipulative net.

Speaking of Fitz, he’s now starting to take back the power a bit. Cyrus has held off because he knows that he’s on thin ice, and Mellie isn’t really adapting to Fitz’s slight personality change. As Fitz continues to feed his delusions, he’s gaining power. Yet, we know that he could come tumbling down any second, presidential balls or not.

The episode as a whole seems quieter, but it really moves the plot forward while filling in the blanks of the past. Everyone’s losing something and gaining something, and this constant cycle doesn’t bode well for our characters in the future. Maybe that suicide bomber will blow everything up next week, and Harrison will be left standing there, not knowing what to do with himself. Maybe he’ll eventually find some farm animal somewhere to become completely devoted to.

Other thoughts:

-Joe Morton’s killing it as Eli; his interactions with Washington are thing of beauty. Even if the plot and the character shifts are a bit too fast at times, the actors make it work. Also, I’d watch a whole episode of him giving intense speeches.

-David Rosen’s flashback goatee.

-The show should get Toby Ziegler to rant and point out everyone’s flaws.

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

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