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!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quinn!: Grant For The People Episode 7

The moment I have been waiting for has finally came! Throughout my coverage of the first season of Scandal I questioned Quinn's role within the series. Let's take this time to back track and see how Quinn has developed as a character. In the first episode, Quinn came off as a spunky girl who had it going on when she encountered Harrison. After Harrison explained there was no way shape or form this was a blind date and that this was an interview for Olivia Pope, we see Quinn fall into her naive role in the organization. All through the season Quinn followed the steps of Olivia, looking like an intern. She questioned a lot of the operations and was generally left in confusion. As this seemly oblivious Quinn made her journey through the episodes, I only wanted to know one thing. What was her point?

Her character was the first person to be seen when the show had started, there was no way I would believe that she would play such an insignificant role within the show. Up until this point, I was beginning to lose faith in Quinn's relevance in Scandal's enticing plot. I should have had more faith, because as the season finale arrives Quinn's mysterious role begins to be revealed.

Quinn finds Gideon with scissors in his neck, as she tries to do what she can to save him he dies. Instead of calling the police Quinn calls Olivia and the gang, that's interesting. What's more interesting is the fact that Quinn is not who we think she is and she is not allowed to be identified by the police, therefore they must erase any evidence of her tampering within the situation. Who is Quinn? Nobody seems to know what is going on but Olivia. This leads into a lot more speculation. Why was this revealed this late in the season, that tends to lead me to believe that this situation may be bigger than anything that has happened so far.

Meanwhile, Billy goes on national television to tell the world he is resigning because of his devastation of the president's affair with his so-called girlfriend Amanda Tanner. The episode then begins to cater to the problem of President Grant trying to figure out a way to get out of this mess. This only leads to President Grant accepting the fact that there might not be a way out and losing his presidency but gaining Olivia's love. Olivia, confused by obvious emotions over the President, chooses business over personal agenda and comes up with a plan to clear his name. When I finally found out why Billy went through all of this trouble to create this scandal on the President I thought it was stupid. He sacrificed his freedom and good name just to get President Grant out of office and have the Vice President take over the position. Honestly, if he was going to go through all of that and end up murdering a man I would of hoped it would've been for a stronger reason. Another disappointment came from how the scandal was solved. The First Lady would claim it was her on the sex tape and America is just suppose to believe them, I guess when the Vice President backed up their story and said Billy's accusations were false it built more credibility. Still, it seemed to simple of a solution for such a large scale problem that took all season to build up.

The real story in the season finale is Quinn. Through her mystery and randomness in the show, she left a space of confusion to the viewer wanting to know what she had to do with anything. David brings Quinn back to Olivia handcuffed. Clearly she is not an ordinary person, because David could have took her to prison but brought her back to Olivia.  In the most interesting point of it all is when Olivia asks Quinn if she should tell them who she is or should I just do it. This tells us that Quinn knew her role this whole time. That's the missing piece the viewers weren't getting and Scandal did a great job covering that up. Can't wait to start season two next week!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Four Quarters Part 4: The Trail Episode 6

As you can see, I have done this episode of Scandal a little differently this time, splitting the show into four different posts (hints: Four Quarters). Couple things here to wrap this episode up, what is the role of Quinn? She is off having sex with the reporter Gideon, completely unaware of what is going on. Why has her character been introduced to the show, I know she has a significant role and they are really taking their time to develop her character. Right now all she seems to be is an errand girl, and knowing Scandal, there will be something more to come from her. Olivia is made aware that the tape that has been sent to the President was of that intimate night when they slept together. This puts a whole new spend on their perspectives, because before it was her versus him, now they realize they are in this together. Finally, Billy stabs Gideon in the throat when he threatens to make a story of him getting Amanda pregnant. Wow, that seemed a little drastic! Things are getting very interesting, stay tuned for my analysis on the season finale!

Four Quarters Part 3: The Trail Episode 6

The story between Amanda tanner in her whole role in this scandal becomes stranger and stranger. It seems she has been around helping since Olivia first came into the picture. Billy was on the other candidate's team while the two were running for President. As scandals continue to come out, but Governor Langston agrees to let Governor Grant win. At this moment, Billy had evidence of Governor Grant sleeping with a woman (Olivia Pope). Without a identification on the woman Billy used Amanda to pin the scandal on. This was all an intricate plan to soil the Presidents candicancy by Billy. Yet, Billy still doesn't know it was really Olivia Pope on the recording. I have to question Billy's motives, since his campaign had lost two years ago, what is he getting out of all of this?

Four Quarters Part 2: The Trail Episode 6

Now what I find most interesting about this brief road down memory lane is the different light it sheds on Olivia Pope as a woman. I have had many talks regarding her role as a black women in power with my peers. many were disapointed that she had to be sleeping with the President and be considered a mistress. After this, I think it is clear to see that Olivia is far from a mistress in the eyes of the President. His relationship is just a show for the public, while meanwhile his wife and him cannot have a personal conversation. Whenever Olivia and the Governor (at the time) would be around each other you could feel the chemistry before either of them acknowledge it. Now is Olivia considered a mistress because the President has a family in the public eyes or is she the women of the President's dreams who is forced to keep their relationship covered up to prevent public scruntiny. I believe that's a question to think about that can reevaluate how we classify things.

Four Quarters: The Trail Episode 6

In unuasal fashion, Scandal starts of the show right were it left off the previous episode. The tension and mystery of why the President was at Olivia's house was undeniable. After a brief suspense filled sen between the President and Olivia Pope, we find the show finally giving us some history. I think this is a good strategy, because by this point viewers have become frantic fans and are dying to understand this unspoken chemistry between olivia and the President. We learn Olivia was always a smart coercive woman with her tactics simply by how she introduced herself to the President when he was governor. We learn that everything isn't a happy home in the Governor's life and it is very see through to the public. This displays how important public image is in knowing our politicians; even if they're nothing like they portray themselves, it satisfies the public.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Similarities: Crash and Burn Episode 5

This episode starts off with a sense of eeriness as the team gathers suggestions of Amanda's whereabouts. Of course Quinn will offer the most obvious scenario that no one buys in to. Quinn feels Amanda just left on her own, but then Huck begins to let us in on his expertise as he declares this was a kidnapping. With Amanda Tanner's whereabouts unknown, the team has a big problem on their hands due to the immense burden that this case carries. Or so we thought this was a big problem as the questioning Quinn complains to Harrison why we are not doing anything to find Amanda, a plane crash site is revealed.

This was a very different way to start the show, because another event trumped the importance of the Amanda Tanner case. It was interesting to see it lose its importance to another high profile plane crash that a senator was aboard. It leave the viewer startled to see such a drastic switch biggest the tension was so high in the previous scene, yet now everyone has seemed to carry on. Harrison explains to Quinn that even when there doesn't look like something is being done, Olivia is working on it.

It seems like the press is going to try in put the blame of the crash on the pilot. Olivia and associates aren't to satisfied with that outcome. A flustered husband of the wife interrupts a meeting to explain his wife wouldn't have crashed that plane. Very briefly, I would like to address the fact that a lot of these clients just show up unannounced barging in. I don't know how realistic that may seem, especially with a women with the status of Olivia Pope, but Olivia should invest in some security. Anyway, we find out that this women may be classified as a alcoholic in the media based on her past drinking problems. The husband stands strong in his claim that his wife has been sober for months. This seems familiar and I am not sure why.

Okay, now I remember. This scenario seems a lot like Flight, you know the movie with Denzel Washington. Denzel tries to save a plane from crashing, but ends up making a crash land that saves more people than a full on crash. Denzel is blamed for being the fault of the crash because of his alcoholism. See any similarities? Well it looks like there is a strong case that leans to his wife being the reason for the crash, and Olivia is the only person who can clear her name.

Huck does some investigating using skills from his past life and finds Amanda's kidnapper. This was what was being done when Quinn that nothing was being done. Huck only came back to interrupt a typical busy day with Amanda Tanner is dead. Now this becomes interesting. Clearly its all pointing towards the President to have hired a hit-man. The President claims he didn't do it, so was it his sidekick Cyrus? Now Scandal taps into the side of government conspiracies and the secrets that get covered up. It shows how the ones speaking to enforce the rights will go right along and use their power to go against morals another man would get life for.

Harrison continues to deliver with his business first character. When listening to the tape Harrison is almost methodical as he puts the pieces of the puzzle together. Scandal's does a great job of portraying the process of problem solving. Also, Huck is setting up his scene for a deed he believes he owes Olivia. We find Huck with a naked Charlie strapped to plastic on the floor, Huck has many tools in which he will use to interrogate Charlie on Amanda's whereabouts. Well this also seem pretty reminiscent of something else. Yes, that's it, Dexter! The ritual of setting a nude body over plastic while Dexter speaks to his victim before he enjoys his kill. This scene had Dexter written all over it, and I appreciated the format. It was intense and dark as we went along a journey of Huck's past experiences.

In the end Charlie spilled the beans on Amanda Tanner's body. It was in the river under a bridge. Olivia's team found out the plane was malfunctioning therefore clearing the pilots name. It was slightly unsatisfying never getting an answer for whose to blame, but a very small issue compared to the suspense building from Amanda' body being discovered.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Do the right thing: Enemy of the State Episode 4

Olivia devastated? Couldn't be, but the episode begins with a shaken up Olivia Pope. I guess the news about Amanda's pregnancy really took its toll on her. After her encounter with Stephen, Olivia is made aware that there is an army in her office. Olivia puts on her game face and addresses the issue. It seems the enemy of the United States, dictator Benicio Flores is in need of Olivia's services to find his kidnapped family. Olivia takes him as a client. This says two things about Olivia, she doesn't discriminate no matter how the case may look and also that she is so respected leaders from other countries look for her help.

We get breaking news when Olivia tells Amanda to quit the fairy tales and demands what she's looking to get out of this situation. Amanda goes for the throat as she says she will keep the baby and announce to the world that the President did her wrong. What I want to know is why Amanda is so pressed about having five minutes with the President face to face. If you turn down ten million dollars for five minutes I would want to think those five minutes will be historical. Right now there is a lot of smoke in the air about whats going on, and that is a good thing. Cyrus was acting suspicious from the last episode when he lied to Olivia and the President. It is obvious Cyrus has a hidden agenda, but what it may be remains to be seen.

Cyrus has something against Olivia as he brings a team in to dig up dirt on Olivia special team. We are now four episodes into the series and details about who they are remain vague. This, to me, is a key moment in the episode as the once untouchable team is being broke down to find where they're vulnerable at. What is even more interesting is the fact that the information uncovered about the team just leads to more questions about who they really are. I was shocked to find out that Quinn's identity did not exist before she started with Olivia, so who is she really?  This leads me to believe she has a much greater role than the show has revealed.

The next analysis I want to bring up is the role of the reporter Gideon. He has been way to consistent in the show to not have a larger role in the unraveling plot. The whole Amanda scandal has a sketchy vibe to it already. Why is Gideon still poking his nose around, especially when Olivia gave him a great career move to distract him from pursuing the scandal. Could it be he sees a greater value and what could be the biggest story to rattle America?

Meanwhile, Abby and Stephen find Flores's wife and kids at a women's shelter. She explains to them that she wasn't kidnapped, but wants to leave him. Abby realizing the trouble she is in wanted to help her escape the dictator. Abby lies to Olivia about her status with his wife and secretly places them in a hotel. Eventually, Olivia figures it out and has the wife and kids back at the office before Abby finds out. As Abby walks in, Olivia reunites the family to the satisfied dictator. The next moment that occurred was very genuine and a reality check. We are so use to seeing Olivia dominate with a "no questions asked" policy that when Abby retaliates against her the moment demands your attention. Everyone has been in a situation when their leader is wrong, what I love so much about this scene is that Abby reminds Olivia who she is and what she stands for. Abby does it in such a tone that Olivia can't deny the error of her ways and that she needs to fix what she did about giving up the wife to Flores. Olivia was forced to not think about what the book says to do, but listen to her heart which is what got her there. How often to we as people forget who we are, a reality check reminds us to stay grounded.

Remember how I said that the Amanda scandal is a bit sketchy, well it gets even more suspicion as Amanda tells someone on the phone she can't go through with it. I like this because it ties in with a scene a few episodes back with Amanda was talking to a mystery person. Tying in subtle elements from previous episodes puts together a brilliantly woven story. Olivia does what she is known to do and tries to help the wife escape. When confronted by Flores, the wife explains she wasn't kidnapped and she just left. Flores, finally understand the weight of the situation, said she could leave, but he must take his children.

This is the most dynamic part of Scandal in my opinion. Olivia Pope's way of forcing her will upon others is breath taking Who would question a dictator taking his kids back with him, why would he feel threatened? Well Olivia Pope knows why and lets him have it, claiming that his wife will bounce back, write books, tarnish his name as a leader and father, and become a hero for being stripped of her kids. This would ultimately cause a uprising, which would threaten his political power, I honestly was astonished by her witty demeanor. Olivia demonstrates a very unique character trait, which puts her on the pedestal once again as the hero.
The show ends with Amanda being kidnapped, someone's playing dirty. Stay tuned for my analysis of the following sequences of the next episode of Scandal!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Miscommunication: Hell Hath No Fury Episode 3

Olivia and the gang are back, this time representing a classic case in America. The "he said she said" scenario of rape. The client Olivia chose to represent is Travis, a wealthy and privileged white male. I had a vibe this this guy was guilty from the beginning, he is overly conceited and also missed his date in court. It seems as if Olivia is taking a risk by representing this client. Olivia demonstrates her cunning ability to protect her clients. Telling Travis's latest fling to escort a hidden Harrison out, this way the media will flock that way while Olivia and Travis make off undetected. Olivia Pope stays on top of her game and looking sharp as ever. Here in this episode we see the sad realities of the Judicial system as we learn that the jury has already condemned Travis guilty before the evidence is brought up. Olivia explains that the truth is no longer important, only perceptions of what people think. How many times has this happened in real life, how many times has someone been wrongly persecuted based on pre-conceived perceptions. The importance of public image is stressed here and it will be the only way to help change the direction of the case.

Miscommunication happens to be a large theme carried throughout this episode. Not just with us as the viewers, it is a show's job to keep us guessing, but there was a lot of miscommunication between different characters in the show. When Travis's victim, Helen, refuses to except money for a settlement, it puts Olivia's team in a bind. If not for money, then the only possible motive would be for the truth. Clearly Travis isn't telling Olivia everything. Once again, Quinn displays her rookie tendencies by asking what happens if we lose. This is interesting considering Olivia has won every case so far, and of course this ruffled a few feathers. Olivia responds in a snappy fashion we don't quit and what else would you expect from her.

While there is obvious miscommunication with Travis and Olivia's team, we continue to find a more twisting sequence of events of miscommunication. Amanda has mysteries phone calls whom Olivia suspects is the nosey reporter. Cyrus has a tape of the President's affair with Amanda a declares Olivia is blackmailing him no matter how much the President denies it. The First Lady invites Olivia to a White House event, without telling the President. Olivia comes looking quite nice. The First Lady is so nice that she offers the President a dance with Olivia. By now it is clear the President has genuine feelings for Olivia by his reckless behavior during the dance. The President asks Olivia to meet him in "their spot". Cyrus stops Olivia from making her way to the special spot, calling her out on the tape and saying the President set her up. Cyrus continues to meet the President at the spot only to tell the him that Olivia set him up and she was not coming. This clearly puts Cyrus in a position to be behind all of this, but I want to take the time to look at this situation.

This form of miscommunication happens in everyday life and is very threatening in the building of relationships. As we can see both Olivia and The President got the wrong message from a third party communicator. From looking from the situation from the outside we can see that both Olivia and the President wished to reconcile their differences, but since they were communicated indirectly they both got the wrong message that may cause them to hate each other. This happens everyday in relationships of all different kinds. Think for example, you send a important e-mail to a friend expressing your want to catch up soon, but the e-mail never reaches the friend. Now even though your friend never got the message you would think they are ignoring you creating an unnecessary tension. Here the failed e-mail would be the third party interrupting the message. This situation between Olivia and the President reminded me of this and how important it is to understand different angles of communication so that you don't lose a good friend over nothing.

Well, now the President and Olivia believe they both tried to set each other up and will probably come at each other with no remorse. The miscommunication between Travis was the fact he rape a woman in the past, and now her friend was out to get him hence so desperately accusing him of rape. Olivia uses this information to get Travis to beat the case, but there is a little discomfort knowing he got away with a past crime even if he is innocent now. Miscommunication, well why did the First Lady invite Olivia? Clearly she knew it would make her husband feel better, not good. Wait there is one more piece of information being withheld, Amanda is pregnant. In this episode, you can see how important communication is and how devastating it can be. i'm sure we all can relate.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Truth Will Set You Free: Dirty Little Secrets Episode 2

When watching a television show I like to get the general atmosphere that is conveyed by the elements of what is going on. The transition from the end of the first episode to the beginning of the second episode was dynamic. The serious tone of taking Amanda as a client left the first episode with a vengeful taste, but as the second episode began the work environment was full of high energy and very upbeat. The beginning recaptured the side of Scandal the was fun and quirky, leaving the mind to wonder what in the world is going on. Once again, I find myself looking through the lens of Quinn. As the quick pace becomes almost unnecessary to try and make sense of; Quinn demands answers to what was happening. Olivia and Harrison continue talking as if she hasn't said anything, putting us in a seat to just sit back and enjoy the show like the frustrated Quinn.

With Sharon Marquette as Olivia's client, we begin to unfold new troubles within the President's circle. It just so happens that Sharon Marquette is the best in town in managing the "call girl" business and keeps a written record on her of all her worker's transactions. This record turns into a list for Olivia's teammates to generate a grid of all the men that were in need of Sharon's services. When one older white male face is on the wall, Olivia immediately must leave. Olivia continues to stay true to her demeanor so far, this up and leave with no questions asked personality automatically details us that something big is up. And it is!

Who was that man? Well it was Patrick Keeting, a politician that was nominated for the Supreme Court. We all know how scandals can affect public image and an escort on your resume is bound to come up, hence is why Olivia must stop him from running.

The best part in keeping up with a series is watching the development of the characters. Quinn begins to have a little Olivia rubbing of on her. A man begins casual small talk with Quinn as she is watching over Amanda in the hospital, Quinn uses context clues to uncover that this man was a reporter. Quinn takes control of the situation by calling him out on all his intentions and confirming him there would be no story here so leave. Since Quinn has been reserved and feeling out her place on the team, it becomes quite obvious when she breaks her original character. Is this a foreshadow of what's to come of her?

There is so much that must be done to have a good show that you don't realize at the time of actually watching it. How convincing is it? Let's examine the scene when Patrick Keeting is called to be questioned about his history with a call girl. The show creates the environment that invites us to believe he is guilty. The pre-notion  of the list, his wife sitting with him, and keeping his political image clean; he has every reason to lie. Here is where the convincing comes in, there was a sense that Patrick Keeting honestly never had been with a call girl in the genuine way he defended himself. This was pulled off very well, and now it puts everything into question. Is their client a liar, putting the whole list into question as well as the credibility of their organization or his Patrick really lying just to save himself.

Olivia attempts to clean up Quinn's mess by speaking with Amanda. This scene is powerful, as Olivia's eyes are big and full of regret she attempts to reach out and show her concern for the women she is nearly responsible for almost committing suicide. When Amanda tells her off, Olivia instructs Quinn to slide her number under Amanda's door. As Quinn asks how do we know she will call, an emotional Olivia says "because I am very good at my job". Even with the disgruntled look on Olivia's face, her tone for Quinn even questioning her judgement was enough for me to understand she has been here before.

Remember the conflict we had in the plot earlier, while I have to say I am impressed with the creative development of the resolution. Scandal made both scenarios work. The list was an accurate list and Patrick was telling the truth, and this was because his wife was the call girl and never told Patrick. This was extremely cunning way to bring together the contradictions of the plot. And who would of guessed (sarcastic tone), all those men on the list were related by their political work. With the help of the team, Olivia gathers these men and convince them to drop the allegations towards her client Sharon. Olivia does her job again with time running out and everyone is happy. Or are they?

When Amanda shows up to be represented at the end, she is followed by an unexpected guest. The reporter who once didn't have a story is convinced something fishy is up. I know he is a reporter and he is looking for a story but I was a little unconvinced that he would just barged into Olivia's establishment out of no where like that. Still, this adds a whole new twist with a reporter bringing press to Amanda's scandal. Scandal continues to spark my curiosity for what's next.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gladiators in Suits: Sweet Baby Episode 1

Scandal sets the tone for the rest of the episode with its intense opening scene. Automatically as a fan of misdirection, I found myself drawn into the style of Scandal's delivery. Quinn Perkins seem to be trying to blow off what appears to be a blind date with Harrison Wright. She seems so determined to belittle him, but Harrison's poise and confidence suggests a different story. The wordplay was sharp between the two as they snap remarks back and forth. Harrison continues to state that this is not a blind date, but a job interview. Except that this is not a job interview but a job offer, now we can see Quinn's spunk slowly diminish as Harrison develops the upper-hand. This creates an exciting tension between the two. Once Harrison says he works for Olivia Pope, Quinn completely gave in, demonstrating a great deal of respect for Olivia. This was a grand introduction to whoever Olivia Pope is, putting her on a pedestal right off the bat. 
Scandal was recommended to me by a couple of friends, so I came into the series with high expectations. So far I was impressed with Scandal's ability to create its own style. The fast pace and intense energy maintained in the show really captured how it would feel to be someone with a demanding career. The witty conversations held my attention to the dialogue between characters. For some reason it caught me off guard that Kerry Washington was Olivia Pope, it shouldn't have! She really embodies her role as a straight to the point cut the crap leader of an organization. As Quinn is learning the ropes of what goes on within Olivia's organization, we are too. They are not really defined as a law firm, but they're in the business of protecting clients. I'm just as curious and confused as to what goes on here as Quinn is. It was clever to learn about the organization through Quinn's perspective. While many don't envision women in a commanding role, Olivia shatters all preconceptions. She leads men and women while maneuvering with a purpose that demands respect.

Not really knowing what to expect from this show, I find myself watching a developing murder case. Sullivan James, a public speaker and soldier, has a dead girlfriend with all the evidence pointing at him as the murderer. We began to learn more of what the organization does as Sully rushes in asking for Olivia to represent him. I was very pleased with this aspect of the show because I am a fan of crime series such as Dexter, CSI, and Law and Order. Olivia agrees to represent him, locking him away from public attention. She buys herself time to develop a case to prove his innocence. What makes this so interesting is that the case is very risky and Olivia has to use a gut judgment in order to determine if he's telling the truth. Now the factor of whether or not Sully is being honest brings another variable to the plot sparking suspicion amongst the viewer because of the team's uneasiness proceeding forward.

Olivia has a close relationship with the President and agrees to get rid of a woman who allegedly will come out to the press about an affair that supposedly didn't happen, supposedly. The details to why Olivia agrees to work this case while in the midst of another heated battle remains unknown. Olivia brings Quinn along to bury this Amanda Tanner girl. Everyone watching the show should have a clear sense that Amanda has some truth to her claims, because its evident something else is blocking Olivia's judgement. The plot then takes another exciting twist when the team finds out Sully knew his girlfriend was sleeping around, this would give him motive to kill. Still, Olivia trusts her gut to protect him. With new details of Amanda attempting suicide, Olivia is convinced there was an affair when she hears a nickname she's familiar with. I'll attempt I was somewhat shocked to find out that the President was having an affair with Olivia, which makes sense to why her judgement was cloudy. We see a breakdown in Olivia's character as she succumbs to her feelings and shows she is human. In the end, evidence is found to prove Sully's innocence, but will undermined him as a war hero by revealing his gay lover. Sully would rather go down for murder. I for one think this is a powerful moment because it illustrates the internal conflict between the public and private life and the lengths people will go to protect that life. 

Sully admits to being gay and beats the case by showing video evidence supporting his alibi. Olivia watches proud as the world is forced to come to terms with who he is whether they like it or not. Driven off the pain of betrayal Olivia takes on Amanda as her new client places the President in a potential world of trouble. Great way to end the first show, with its fast-paced, edgy style, and sharp demeanor Scandal drives it home for the season opener. I look forward to seeing the "Gladiators in Suits" and telling you my thoughts on the next episode of Scandal!