One of my favorite things when watching a new show is seeing that show find its voice. In its second season, Scandal has finally found it and as a result we are getting some pretty fun, great episodes. It’s so great to watch a show become confident in its delivery, and Scandal is nothing if not confident in its storytelling. Last night’s episode was everything I love about the show – sharp dialogue, outlandish conspiracies, characterization, and Olivia being un-Olivia like.
Scandal Review “By Any Means Necessary”
A few months ago we found out that Hollis Doyle and co. rigged the election, which resulted in Fitz getting elected. Last week we learned that Olivia had reservations, but ultimately conceded and allowed Hollis to manipulate the voting machines. Since rigging the election, Olivia has been trying to fix everything she can. It’s sort of her way to right the wrong she helped create. Everything’s coming to head, so her visceral reaction and near catatonic state put Oliva Pope and Associates in a new predicament – they now have to fix Olivia. Olivia is so broken right now, and doesn’t know what to do. OPA finally share everything they know and conclude that Hollis was the one to set up the assassination attempt on the President. After turning him into David Rosen, the gang learns that Hollis didn’t pay Becky to assassinate Fitz.
So if Hollis didn’t order the hit, then who did? My top guesses are Mellie, Verna, Reston, or – and it’s highly unlikely – but it could be Billy. Someone it’s not, however, is David Rosen. I think that David has emerged as the good guy of the series. Well, maybe not the good guy, but Olivia is definitely right in saying he is a good guy. Olivia is a terrible person trying to right wrongs, but David has emerged as the character as the only character still wearing the white hat. It’s a little surprising, but it also means that David’s days may be numbered, especially as he moves closer to uncovering the election rigging. Josh Malina is so good, and I don’t think he’s going anywhere, but every time I see him on screen I cringe thinking that may be the last for him. His arms don’t reach very far, and he’s finally found out that he’s not smart enough or powerful enough to take down Hollis alone. He sure can try in the meantime. In the end, though, David may wind up being the unsung hero in all of this. It is well and truly fascinating. Who would have thought that David Rosen would be the one to figure everything out and possibly be the one that could bring down the Grant administration that Cyrus and Hollis and Verna and Mellie and, yes, even Oliva tried so hard to build?
Can we talk about Mellie for a second? She’s so horrible and manipulative but I can’t help but almost love her. She’s written so inconsistently at times, but Bellamy Young really brings it each week. Her scene with Cyrus in the nursery gave me chills, and I thought she was going to terminate the pregnancy. Instead, she goes crazy and talks the doctor into somehow inducing the pregnancy a month early. She’s grasping at straws and running out of reasons for Fitz to stay with her. She made him the man he is and is furious that another woman gets to share it with her. This show loves telling stories in retrospect, so hopefully we can get some sort of story showing us these two were once head over heels in love with each other. Surely there was more to their marriage than political reasons?
Fitz isn’t innocent in all this, but I love his more self-assured persona post assassination attempt. He knows what he wants and will find a way to get it at any cost. I hate that I like Fitz with Olivia, but since Mellie is such a horrible person, it almost makes it okay to root for the two. But cheating is not okay, you guys! Now that we are getting to know Olivia, however, she’s not as pure as we thought. Kerry Washington’s performance was fantastic last night, especially as she broke down in her bedroom. Washington and Tony Goldwyn have such great chemistry that I long for scenes with the two of them. When Fitz asked Olivia to wait for him, Goldwyn’s hand was shaking while holding the phone. I don’t know if it was an acting choice or it was written into the script, but that really moved me. I don’t know, man, I think I’m losing it. A shaking hand gave me feelings, you guys.
This show has been on fire lately, and it is truly a thing of beauty to watch. What started out as a just another mediocre political thriller/investigative drama has turned into a pretty damn fine show. Shonda Rhimes has woven this delicate web, and it’s becoming stronger every day. If you had told me four months ago that Scandal would be one of your favorite shows, I might have laughed at you and judged your taste in quality. But in one fell swoop, this show surpassed expectations and has found its voice. And what a beautiful voice it is. I’m all in, guys. Join me.
Scandal Season 2 Episode 12 | Scandal Review | Scandal “By Any Means Necessary” Review | Photo Credit: ABC | Series created by Shonda Rimes, starring Kerry Washington
Written by Jordan Hickman. You can read more from her at www.reallylatereviews.com and also follow her on twitter @jordan_hickman.