Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Many Facets of Scandal: 2.14- 2.20 Episode

As I continue down my journey of Scandal, I would like to highlight the main aspects of the episodes 15-20 for this blog post. In Episode 14, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, David becomes Olivia's next client. David's journey through Scandal has been a rough one, as he embodies the saying "nice guys finish last". David just wanted to do right by the people and serve justice to offenders of the law. Now he finds himself in a position needing help from the person responsible for his judicial demise, Olivia Pope. Maybe the good doesn't always win, and the person with the highest influence does. Regardless, David may be down but he is not out, there may still be hope for what's right.

Episode 15, Boom Goes The Dynamite, continued to unravel the growing intertwined conflict. Information is being leaked, and there is a mole in the White House. Someone is after David and Olivia has good ole Huck watching his back. What's seen as interesting is that fact that even the most heavily trained killers have moments of breakdown. At the time of possible danger for David, Huck panics at the sight of rain. Everybody has some weakness no matter how strong or skilled they are. We see that reflected in Huck's scene in the car as he is reminded of the water-boarding. Olivia's team finds evidence that the head of the CIA may be the mole.
Episode 16, Top of the Hour, Quinn seems to be taking on the role of Huck's shadow as she learns the ins and outs of being a spy. They tail the Head of the CIA to find evidence that he is indeed the mole. Jake, who was ordered by the President to watch Olivia, is an interesting character. I can not tell if he is on the good side or not. Jake gives President Grant intel that the mole is the Head of the CIA.
Episode 17, Snakes in the Garden, we find out Hollis Doyle is not that crazy of a guy after all. I mean he puts on a good front, but when it comes down to his daughter's safety he folds and will do anything. Too bad she didn't feel the same. She lied about her kidnapping, got caught about lying, had to choose between money or family.  She choose money. Clearly she wasn't raised right, because if she had choose family she would have been rich anyway. Osbourne, Head of the CIA, was killed, but wait...he wasn't the mole.
Episode 18, Molly You In Danger Girl, Olivia gets put in the hospital by Jake for attempting to control her once she finds out he has been watching her. Jake's motives are unclear, he is influenced somehow with the mole, yet he does seem to have some concerns about Olivia. I am going to say he's no good.
Episode 19, Seven Fifty Two, was a great play on the psychology of a man. We learn the history of Huck and how his career took him away from his wife and son. As he stutters 752 throughout the show, we learn why being locked in a box damaged him so much. His job put him in a pit until he said he didn't have a family. 752 was the time he saw his wife and son years later but they failed to recognize him. One of my favorite Scandal plots to date.
Finally, I am current with Scandal in real time. Episode 20, A Women Scorned, shows Fitz finally let go and becoming the man he truly wants to be. Mellie tells the world Fitz is in an affair, and Fitz is enjoying Olivia Pope without a care in the world. Can't be mad at that! Be who you want to be, living someone else's life will only make you made at yourself for not having the courage to be who you are.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Love is Powerful: Episode 2.10 - 2.13

We leave off with the President being shot and the world believing it to be Huck. In this moment we can see how the longing for affection overshadows even the most logical individuals such as Huck. Huck is in custody at the pentagon because of his deceiving girlfriend set him up to take the fall. This makes you question the power love and how important that feeling can be. Huck was willing to risk being the man who shot the President in order to protect Becky. Even when David was able to get Huck out of the Pentagon's torturing chamber, he still cared for Becky. Becky's dangerous background, which was similar to Huck's background, allowed him to still care for her. Still, his loyalty resonated with his team. He set Becky up to take the fall instead of running off with her as the show led us to believe he might have done. Becky finds out about it, and kills Huck's beloved pretend family he watched over. Huck, finally done with the games, sets her up to be arrested. Even with all of the anger he felt over her wrong doings there was still a since that Huck hated he had to do that to her. It just reminds me that even when people do things that are wrong, the fact that you care about them will always be prevalent.

While the President is out, there seems to be a lot of ruckus going on in D.C. Mellie forges his signature while he is unconscious,  making it seem as though the President signed it and was awake.  As Olivia and Cyrus attempt to lie to the world that Fitz was awake, more details about the President's case develops. Hollis is the suspected person who hired Emily to kill the President, only it wasn't him. This misdirection that Scandal delivers is one of its key components in the series. We, the viewers, were so content on labeling Hollis the enemy that it became shocking to learn it wasn't him, especially after Chief Justice Verna says he has a second phone he used to communicate with Becky. By understanding that whoever it was that set it up was within the circle of people we know makes the show that much more exciting.

We go back in time for a episode to watch how the conspiracy actually happened. Olivia and President Grant's relationship has always been steamy and it becomes evident why they are so deeply connected with each other. We learn Fitz was never aware of this conspiracy to rig the votes and that Olivia was completely against the idea, but she succumbed to the plan because she didn't believe Fitz would win on his own. The strong Olivia gave in to group pressures, allowing Hollis makes the call to rig the voting machines.

As we get back to the real world, President Grant just carelessly throws around divorce. I guess when your on your death bed even the Presidential image doesn't matter. Fitz was willing to throw away everything and tell the world he loved Olivia regardless of public image. I personally think its an act of bravery to stand up for what really makes you happy even if the world disagrees on the manner in which you do it. There are many things going on in Scandal at this point that I am not mentioning, but this post is to analyze the dynamics of show's.

Lets return to where I left off in the beginning about Hollis, it makes sense that the person really behind the assassination was Chief Justice Verna. Meanwhile, Cyrus puts out a hit on his own husband James because he was going to testify that Cyrus rig the election. That was very low, even for Cyrus to do! Still he knows as power hungry as he is he cannot go through with it, telling his hit-man to stop right before he pulled the trigger. Just when it seems as if everything is over for Olivia and the conspiracy circle, James lies on the stand protecting Cyrus. Once again we can see how in even the most drastic times of peoples lives, morals are contested in honor of loved ones. Abby gets the memory card to protecting Olivia from any evidence to make a case for Defiance. In the end, Olivia breaks it off with the senator telling President Grant she will wait for him. Looks like someone found out about Defiance as a pissed off Fitz who once wanted a divorce says don't bother. Olivia threw away a good situation with the senator for what she knew was her love only to be devastated at the end. What were the driving factors behind everyone's decisions? Love is powerful.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Rising Climax: Episodes 2.5 - 2.9

        Scandal's sharp fast paced style continues to demand the viewers attention. Everything from their witty conversational skills down to the signature snapshot effects as the scenes transition to each quick snap. Throughout these four episodes the dramatic conspiracy Olivia Pope is in begins to quickly unravel itself. The misdirection of the show is brilliant as well as the relevance to politics in reality. In "All Roads Lead To Fitz", the conspiracy circle is becoming vulnerable as David begins putting together the pieces to make connections. Huck is starting to have a romantic involvement with the girl at his AA meetings. Cyrus's husband begins to resume his work as a journalist, which does not please Cyrus at all. Olivia is forcing a relationship with Senator Davis in an attempt to detach from President Grant. In the end Abby runs to David with information, little does she know, Olivia has the house bugged and plans to end their relationship.
        The next episode "Spies Like Us", distracts us from the rising conflict as it brews in the background. Instead a group of spies are gathered to find out which one was going to leak information on Huck's group B613. Olivia keeps them locked in a room until they can figure out who the mole is amongst them. Meanwhile, Cyrus's husband James bad mouths Hollis Doyle on the front page of the New York Times creating tension between the conspiracy circle. Slowly we see this inner group breaking down and not being able to trust each other. The secret coming out is inevitable and near. Harrison plants the idea into Abby's head that David is a women beater and Olivia pays his ex to claim he was. Abby eats the bait and stops messing with David. Olivia has seemed to slow David down on his hunt, but will that be enough?
"Defiance" begins to finally open up this huge conspiracy the show has been teasing us with. David meets up with James to explain his findings. David has gotten his job back and cannot continue to investigate the case, but gives it off to James to look into. It took a second, but after certain connection take place in James head he decides to head to Defiance, Ohio to see if what he thinks will upheld. It seems Olivia and the rest of the people involved in the President Grants campaign run for President agreed to use rigged voting machines to win a crucial county to get the election. James finds the memory cards that proves this and brings it back to Washington D.C. President Grant gives Senator Davis the Majority Leader Seat signaling he is finally over Olivia, maybe. Quinn figures out that Huck was the man who kidnapped her. At the point the Olivia agrees to escort Senator Davis to the President's birthday celebration. Right before President Grant gets out of his limo, Mellie says they shouldn't get out. President Grant doesn't care and they exit only to see a onslaught of sniper bullets hail at the President and his entourage.
        "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" was amazingly vivid, the slowed down motions captured the effect of confusion and disbelief. The President had been shot in the head and was unconscious, no one knew whether he would live or not. The show broadcasted a breaking news segment that covered the story as if the President had been shot in real life. The uncertainty, pain, and clutter painted this episode as the nation scrambled in confusion. I personally was I awe watching this episode, on the edge of my seat wondering if the President would pull through. Olivia remembered who she really cared for as she reminisced about President Grant. When the show is concluding, we get one more look at the shooting from the sniper's perspective. What is compelling is the fact that the show Huck cleaning up the bullet cases. The climax continues to rise.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Disloyal: Beltway Unbuckled 2.4

As the show continues down its twisting path, we see Olivia making under the radar visits to the Supreme Court Justice. It seems that Olivia is distancing herself from a lot of people lately. The President and the First Lady's relationship continues to suffer as Mellie tells President Grant to find somewhere else to sleep. President Grant will not sleep in the same bed as his wife because he is still distraught about Olivia. It becomes very clear that Mellie is getting aggravated with her husband's actions and is on the verge of doing something drastic.

A new case breaks out for Olivia to handle. A girl named Jenny has been missing and her parents came to Olivia and Associates for their services. Olivia says the best thing they can do is go public. Well that was a good idea until Harrison discovered that she was actually the girl who was making the sexual blogs about the politicians. This back fired, giving the media ammo to discredit her name. When Jenny's killer is found out to be a politician with immunity, Olivia makes it a national case to show politicians should not be above the law.

Olivia goes to President grant to ask for a favor and get the immunity for the corrupt politician overridden. President Grant was a little more stern this time telling Olivia he will do o such thing. As the protest began to die down, people wondered how much longer it would be before this issue became yesterday's news. The first disloyal action was Mellie as you called a private meeting with Olivia to stand by the families side and support. Even though the President and First Lady are in a relationship where the affair is obvious, it has become a mutual acceptance that this was the way things were. When Mellie choose to undermine the President, it was a low blow to him and also put him in a situation where he was forced to respond.

Olivia has become very distant and her teammates are becoming aware of this. Abby wants to get in so bad, but Olivia will not let her. Abby takes the next disloyal act and begins to assist David on his investigation on what he believe to be a conspiracy that is coming from the top. President Grant is so lost in his feelings for Olivia that he makes another effort to speak with her. When Olivia won't give in, President Grant finally lets her go. At this point Olivia starts to cry, which I thought was silly because she has been egging him on to let her go for the longest. In in the end, we see Olivia, Mellie, the Supreme Court Justice, and the Tycoon of the Oil Company sit in for a meeting. Is it a conspiracy, is Olivia the one being disloyal to everyone else? What's even more interesting is the President doesn't seem to know anything about this.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Personal Business: Hunting Season 2.3

This episode of Scandal starts off in dramatic fashion. As Olivia gets into her vehicle she immediately understands there is someone in the car and rattles off how the situation will play out if they attempt something illegal. The guy announces that he wants Olivia's help because of some top secret information he obtained from the NSA. Olivia wants no part of this guy until he makes it clear he knows about the calls to the West Wing, he has Olivia's full attention.

This episode was filled with personal motives that clouded the individuals mind to make objective decisions. It seems as if the President is enjoying his wife's company for the first time in a while. The First Lady really seems to enjoy the fact that they are reconnecting. So Olivia is going to take a case for a man that broke into her car? It might have been for the good of the country she challenged the NSA authority to invade citizen's privacy through web cam, but I believe she has other reasons for doing so. Olivia's motives were to save herself and her affair from being brought to public light. This case has high implications, Olivia is trying to take on the nation's security, which can be consider treason. The new client Artie claims there are men chasing him and he needs to be hidden.

Artie stole the file, this puts a lot of pressure on Olivia and company for representing him. When the file self-destructs Olivia asks him who else is aware of this. Artie says a female co-worker, but would rather not get her involved because he claims that she was his only friend. Olivia, still concerned with her personal agenda, tells the team to find this girl anyway. When Olivia meets with Senator Davis about the NSA, she gets photoed with him. It appears that Olivia has a history with Senator Davis, as they dated for several years. This picture made it's way to the President's desk. Cyrus brought it to his attention to show that Olivia was threatening to expose the Thorngate operation. It became quite evident that when President Grant seen the picture he was only concerned with his jealousy over Olivia with another man.

The female co-worker is found dead in the hotel, which looks like a staged suicide. Secret service arrives to Olivia's work and takes her against her will. President Grant is on a hunting trip because Cyrus said he needed to defuse himself, referring to him as a ticking bomb. Cyrus separates from the President to give him time alone with Olivia. He very upset as he yells at her in an authoritative voice. President Grant rarely takes upon this role when speaking with Olivia, she is caught off guard. Grant puts all his emphasis on why Olivia can be seen as a criminal and how she shouldn't be messing with national security. As the heated exchanged builded up, it climaxed with Senator Davis. President Grant exploded if she was sleeping with him and if she loved it. It became quite evident, that nothing Olivia had done made him mad except the fact she was with an ex. Personal motives continue to cloud decision making in vital situations. In the end, Artie uses Olivia and company to hack into Thorngate for him so he can sale it on the market. Huck hunts him down (hunting season) and stops the information from being leaked. If Olivia didn't allow her personal judgement to get involved she could've avoided that situation. President Grant also had Senator Davis dismissed from his position. Another personal agenda, but it seems like Senator Davis will be getting help from are favorite heroin to fight this case!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rising Secrets: The Other Women 2.2

This episode of Scandal continued to raise the bar for the show's fast paced and mystery driven style. We see in this episode many different situations that directly correlate with some of the issues that have been deeply embedded into the plot. Secrets begin to come out from many aspects of the show, just enough to spark curiosity but not enough to satisfy the urge to know whats going on. There is a good balance of crisis within the show that keeps the show versatile enough to keep viewers guessing at the unpredictable storyline.

A basic overview of the episode is Olivia is still having late night calls with President Grant, today's client is a well known pastor's wife who wants to keep scandalous way he died under wraps to protect his legacy, CIA photoshops a picture to influence war, and Quinn situation unravels a bit further.

The fact that Olivia and the President are still having late night calls clearly expresses the love between them is still there. Regardless of Olivia's scheme to get the President's Amanda Tanner scandal wiped aside by suggesting he have a baby with his wife, there are still clear signs that their relationship is far from over. The after hour calls suggest a top secret atmosphere, which presents the most compelling secret of the show...their relationship. With so much going on and the danger this relationship can bring about for public image, they continue on this rocky road. Does this show how powerful love is?

The main event for this show was the pastor's affair with another woman. A woman who was at first deemed as a prostitute turns out to be the pastor's mistress. Not only that but this woman has his child and has been around for fifteen years. The mistress demanded six million dollars from the wealthy pastor's wife or she would go public destroying his life work. Olivia was the negotiator between the two. The scenes were very compelling as the fast-paced, intense action switched between wife and mistress finishing each other's sentences. The cut ups were amazing, delivering a unique narrative from a different perspective.

As the climax was building up, the first lady came to speak in public with the pastor's wife. As she begin to break down, she asked the media and Olivia to leave. She related to what the pastor's wife was going through almost speaking on her own situation explaining she should still be there for her husband even if he was a cheater, that the mistress can never take her place and that she was his wife. This was a shot at Olivia who overheard the talk, the sense that even though Olivia was in love with the president didn't matter because she will just be a mistress at the end of the day. In the end, Olivia had a heart to heart with the mistress. This correlates because Olivia was speaking on her experiences, it was like this sub plot was another story for the bigger picture going on to make Olivia and First Lady step back and examine their own situations. After the talk, the mistress knew that money wouldn't replace the loss time and appreciation she really wanted. All she wanted was to come to the funeral. The wife refused at first, but gave in to letting her participate. There was a heartwarming feeling as the wife was made aware that she had a child with the pastor too and was just as hurt as she was. The two embraced showing people can rise above personal conflict for the good of others sometimes.

Other rising secrets to keep an eye on were Quinn's and David's situation. As far as David is concerned Olivia is behind the fact that the easy case was closed and now an autopsy was stopped on her behalf. David questions his bosses only to find out he will be relieved of his duties. Now David is really suspicious and has dedicated his time to look into Olivia. Quinn on the other hand may be our largest story as the Supreme Court Judge says Quinn has the power to shut down the whole government. As the secrets slowly come up, Scandal continues to intrigue our curiosity. Til' next time...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hidden Motives: White Hats Off 2.1

When we last left off from the cliff hanging season finale of Scandal Quinn was being handcuffed. We start a fresh new season with intentions of learning about this interesting bind. Quinn or should we just call her Lindsey now, since that is her real name, is in court being charged of killing seven innocent people with a bomb. Well, that's a little more than I expected from the naive and shadowing Quinn, oops I mean Lindsey. It seems there had been an incident before Lindsey became apart of Olivia's team. It makes sense because in the previous episode when Olivia's team was being investigated, there was only a record of the name Quinn for two years prior.

Do we see Lindsey in a different light than we see Quinn even when they are the same person? I feel as if this changes her persona, not necessarily in the idea that her behavior is different but along the lines of her being seen as someone with more importance. This whole bizarre situation is even stranger due to the fact that Olivia is so strung out on trying to help her. Lindsey doesn't even know why Olivia cares so much. This reveals a much bigger problem in the story that Olivia is facing. Hidden motive! Somewhere along the plot there will be a twist that reveals something we didn't know about Olivia.

Lindsey may be in big trouble! The case points all the fingers at her. She is accused of sending a bomb in a package to her boyfriend. He cheated on her after six months with another girl. In response to this, Lindsey threatened to kill him. It was not looking too good for Lindsey. Olivia's team showed many signs of concern and uncertainty towards Lindsey's case. In the past the team displayed signs of uncertainty before, but this was like no case before. None of them really expected to win and wondered why Olivia would try to choose this battle. David is doing all he can to make sure Lindsey pays for the crime he believes she has done, and goes as far as asking the judge for the death penalty. Lindsey, scared for her life, fired Olivia and takes a plea with a new lawyer.

When Olivia is informed of being fired she begged Lindsey to trust her. Lindsey agreed to let Olivia represent her, but it has to strike others how Olivia is so confident when everything is this bad? Once again, there are hidden factors the show alludes to. This raises the mystery of Olivia, making her an even more intriguing person than she was.

In the meantime, Olivia helps out a congressman make a sex tape work for his campaign, once again satisfying another client. Before the actual decision on Lindsey's fate is made in court, Olivia makes a conspicuous phone call telling someone they were going to lose the case. When the verdict was to be made the judge said that there was not enough evidence to prosecute her because the evidence was circumstantial. Lindsey, or Quinn, beat the case. David is angry because he knew that he had enough to win the case. He later explains how he doesn't know how she did it, but is aware Olivia was behind it. We begin to see the magnitude Olivia's power has. Her own teammates do not understand how they won. Before the show ends, there is a scene showing Olivia and Huck being responsible for changing Lindsey Identity to Quinn and protecting her. There is definitely a motive the viewer can not yet see!