A Special Place In Hell
Scandal Season 4 Episode 9 recap
Well that’s redemption.
I mean the show is crazy, of course. The bulging eyes of Kerry Washington when she’s shouting at Cyrus need to be parodied immediately, and I am not good at starting memes but I really hope someone’s on it. Those are some good faces.
But when Scandal is at its best – when it’s trying to actually do something and say something – it talks about how the tough get going. And Olivia Pope & Associates had forgotten, for a while, that they were the tough. So this is a B-plus effort at showing that they are once again tough, if you remember that I’m Canadian and a B-plus starts at 77% (seriously, when I found out a 90 was an A MINUS in certain states? Shock. Shock!), beecause this starts to look like a bunch of people who have been dealt a series of very, very bad hands, and have stopped worrying about it. Just like we all basically stopped worrying about the case of the week, or of the arc – the West Angola thing combined with the death of the girl whose name we’ve all forgotten. It just gets to show us some things. The Vice President is dirty, kidnappy dirty. Elizabeth North is dirty. Mellie, in case you forgot, is awesome.
I love that Olivia’s fear of her father, while still very real, is tinged with regular daughterly exasperation as she asks, “What are you doing here”. It’s less a question than an admission of irritation. And she knows it – “Where are you going to go?” Daddy is so in love with her, in a weird way, and yeah she even says sick and lonely – she’s clear that he got fixated on her in a way that has been twisting them both up for as long as she has lived. She is looking in the mirror.
I think this show is ridiculous, and it’s supposed to be ridiculous, but I love the idea that they are now confronting the truth – they’ve been psychologically abusing each other for so long that if they hadn’t, this show wouldn’t exist. They make their point. If he weren’t such a formidable terrible messed-up enemy (and really, it’s all but said that she knew this long before a year and a half ago), she wouldn’t be the formidable woman able to handle just about anything that she is now.
And, just to up the family drama, Olivia takes it out on her mother. And her mother tells her she’s obsessed with her father. The incestuous vibe is dancing right at the surface and they don’t do too bad a job at pointing out just how strange it can be, but also how you only have so long to be sad about your fate. And Khandi Alexander looks really, really good.
“So your life is sh*t. That’s how it is.” This is a message straight from Shonda Rhimes, you guys. Get up. Get over yourself. Have a dance party. You may have been dealt the worst hand, the worst ever, you may have the worst parents, may have the worst romantic luck, may never be acknowledged career-wise, but the statute of limitations is approaching.
Also, I did not think they could do it, but they had her deliver that whole “I choose me” Kelly Taylor tribute, and those stupid Sun and Vermont metaphors, and she was dancing in her living room, and so it worked. And, of course, made it that much better when he walked back in and she had disappeared. Because your life may be terrible and you may be kidnapped, but so what? It can’t be worse than a sociopathic incestuous father. Get Up.
God help me for being amused by Quinn and Charlie. They’re both the worst and the violence and the killing for sport is trying so hard to be edgy and mostly winds up as feeling forced, but at least they both treat it with the same degree of seriousness, which is to say, it’s a job they both kind of enjoy. I am generally tired out by Quinn. and I desperately need more people to actually occupy the offices of OPA, but I don’t hate these two, which is probably largely due to Charlie being endearing.
This is more than I can say for Huck. A substantial amount more – but maybe he too will get his groove back? Olivia got her groove back. Her mother told her to, which is maybe still kind of indicative of her parent-pleasing ways but…baby steps. Because I can be damn sure she’s not in Vermont.