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.