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Scandal “A Door Marked Exit” Review (3×10)

13 Dec

822x“You. Are. A. Boy. I’m a man. I have worked for every single thing I have ever received; I have fought, scraped, and bled for every inch of ground I walk on. I was the first in my family to go to college; my daughter went to boarding school with the children of kings. I made that happen! You cry yourself to sleep because daddy hurt your feelings, because Papa banged his secretary, because it hurts to have so much money, you SPOILED, ENTITLED, UUUUUUNGRATEFUL LITTLE BRAT! You have EVERYTHING handed to you on a silver platter, and you squander it! You’re given the world, and you can’t appreciate it because you haven’t had to work for ANYTHING!”

A round of applause for Joe Morton, please. I took down most of this speech because it is an absolute masterpiece of writing, and it’s extremely satisfying to see Rowan absolutely rip Fitz to shreds here. Yes, it’s so on point because Rhimes knows the character, but it’s also on point because everyone sees Fitz for who he really is. Everyone sees the boy in him, the spoiled kid who leeches off of others for personal gain, the kid using Olivia Pope as an escape from his past.

In fact, this whole Scandal world is full of people backstabbing and manipulating to get ahead; the marriages on this show are nothing more but facades, political conveniences for people who put business ahead of love. James may hate the guts out of Cyrus now, but he still recognizes the opportunity of the situation; Rowan and Maya may love their daughter, but they’ll still trade blows and essentially ruin her life; Sally and Daniel may have been married, but Daniel’s murder is eventually used to further Sally’s campaign. It’s an ugly, ugly world, and all the actors are fantastic at portraying these sad truths, the crumbling of the walls around them. In fact, the episode benefits from focusing on the characters rather than the shocking moments–I still maintain that last week’s episode was a sloppy, contrived mess–because the true tension and conflict arises not from plot, but from characters.

Of course, that’s not to say this episode doesn’t have its problems; for one, I still don’t buy Huck’s sudden reversal on Quinn; he’s gone through a lot of shit, but that’s not who he is, as much as Rhimes is trying to emphasize his violent side. The show seems to think that the torture he endured is somehow an excuse for the torture he’s dishing out; that’s as preposterous as saying that we should sympathize with Rowan’s actions because Maya tricked him. It makes sense why Quinn would turn to someone who can compliment her for who she is, but the way we get there is sloppy. Speaking of sloppiness, the way Cyrus takes care of Daniel Douglas is laughingly absurd, and the way David finds out about the VP’s act of murder is way too easy.

Still, I like that it’s Cyrus who’s cleaning things up here; this episode involves a catharsis for his character, and it’s nice to see him starting to own up even as he’s continuing to cover up. It’s always entertaining to see him and Mellie working together, and it’s no different in this episode.

All in all, it’s a generally solid midseason finale that contains some great acting and character beats, and it’s a new situation we have now: Fitz turns the tables on Rowan, setting up Jake as the head of B613, and Maya’s escaped. Olivia’s caught in the middle of a world of lies; however strong-willed she may be, sometimes she’s just a pawn in a larger plot. It’s not pretty, but it’s pure Scandal.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Paul Adelstein is always entertaining.

-The stakes just don’t feel as high this season, even if the show’s attempting to make them as high as ever. Alexander and Morton are great, but I wonder if the focus on the parents is detracting from what made this show great.

-For example, not enough Mellie in this episode.

-Harrison continues to do nothing.

-Enough of the Huck-Quinn stuff, please. I just don’t care anymore.

-So how’s Fitz able to replace Rowan? I thought B613 was untouchable.

-“Can we just, you know, skip everything?” “Lol sure.” This doctor is terrible.

-Why is this show suddenly infatuated with gratuitous violence? Last week, we got a bunch, and this week, we have close-ups of Quinn ripping out her tracker and Sally stabbing her husband. Listen, I admit I like seeing violence, but not when it’s obviously just ratings bait; it’s never needed it before.

-Nothing until February 27th. It’ll be a long wait, but I’m looking forward to those final eight episodes; in fact, 18 is a pretty good number. That should eliminate some filler.

-See you in 2014.

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

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3 Responses to “Scandal “A Door Marked Exit” Review (3×10)”

  1. ArkyFan December 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    I have really liked this show but my feelings are waning. I agree with you on so many points. Last week, I thought it was just too “convenient” at the end of the show for Liv to figure out who her mother really was. (How come they couldn’t get her out on a regular flight if they had all those falls IDs and passports – the name that Homeland Security had on their list was the name that at the END of the episode, Liv realized was her mother. Too much jumping around.) Same with this episode. Quite preposterous that Cyrus was able to get Daniel in bed without any blood around. It would have taken some time and clean up efforts and the doctor then would have realized this guy has been dead for awhile. Agree with how easy it was for Jake to become the new Command. After two months or longer of us being told that B613 was above the President and now all of a sudden it isn’t. I’m worried this show maybe struggling already.

    • ArkyFan December 13, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

      sorry, that is suppose to be “false” instead of “falls”.

    • polarbears16 December 13, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      Yeah, exactly; great points all around–I was wondering the same about Olivia’s mom in the last episode.

      Also, not just the lack of blood, but the fact that the doctor completely disregards standard procedure and acquiesces to Cyrus’s demands.

      I feel like this is a show that can’t really sustain the same quality over a large number of seasons, and fatigue is definitely starting to set in as the show starts to favor shocking moments over character work. It’s still highly entertaining, but I’m afraid ABC will drag it out longer than it needs to be; it’s one of their highest rated shows, after all.

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