Scandal “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” Review – Welcome To Wonderland| October 11, 2013 at 12:07 AM EST
Tonight’s Scandal was all about the exposition and character development, something the show has never been too confident in before. And I loved it. Rhimes and co are finally delving into our characters’ lives and giving them actual history. Olivia had a life before Fitz and we finally got to see it!
Like everything, let’s start at the end first, okay? My favorite relationship on the show is now broken, possibly forever. Huck’s often been Olivia’s biggest supporter, but now I’m worried about their relationship. Huck finds out Olivia’s dad is the big man in charge of B613, the guy responsible for taking everything away from him. But, Eli’s also been responsible for taking everything away from Olivia, too, so maybe Olivia and Huck can commiserate over Eli’s awfulness with a bottle of wine and patch things up. I’m not holding my breath, unfortunately.
Speaking of character development, Fitz has done a complete 180 since last season. I love it. He’s more confident and snarky and so full of swagger. (Is that what the kids call it?) “How are my presidential balls now?” he asks Cyrus while making a demand. Brilliant. Fitz agrees to smear Janine’s name in order to get Jake out of the Huck Hole per Olivia’s request, er, demand. There’s a bit of foreshadowing involved when Fitz tells Olivia he’s good at saving people, so I’m thinking that might have something to do with Operation Remington that was alluded to last week.
Olivia finds out Jake is still alive, so she makes a deal with her dad/POTUS. It works and dirty Jake is at her episode’s end. I’ve never thought I couldn’t trust Jake, but the #GoodJake/#BadJake hashtags following the show prove otherwise. #GoodJake, I guess? Anyway, we find out that Eli has employed the Emily Gilmore way of doing things as he makes Olivia have dinner with him every Sunday night. As a result he pays off her loans for law school. Hey, Eli, I’ve got loans, too. I’ll have dinner with your creepy manipulative self once a week if Olivia won’t.
Set in a series of flashbacks, we see Olivia put the pieces together (with the help of Huck) and she finds out about her dad’s true identity. He’s not some Smithsonian pencil pusher; he’s the ultimate bad guy who apparently answers to no one and is above presidential control. (Also, why do paper companies make good cover for secret government assassin groups? Heroes, anyone?) Eli is the ultimate bad guy, and, unfortunately, Olivia has learned too much from him. Putting things into perspective, it’s no wonder Olivia has latched onto an older man like Fitz, and why last week we saw Olivia has a history with older men. Olivia’s daddy issues go way farther back than any of us ever imagined, and ol’ Eli has managed to weasel himself back into his daughter’s life. I love the way Joe Morton is playing Eli. Kerry Washington gives us just enough emotion and pathos in her performance that we can’t help but feel sorry for her. I can’t wait to see what else Morton and Washington bring on screen together in the weeks to come.
Finally, poor Janine’s name gets released even though she did nothing wrong. At least OPA wasn’t truly horrible as they work to clear Janine’s name. Too little too late, OPA. While I’m loving all the characters right now, I’m not too keen on the direction they are taking Quinn. She’s going to snap soon and it won’t be pretty. I know she has a sad story, but so does Huck. I have way more sympathy for Huck than I do Quinn, and part of that is in the way Guillermo Diaz portrays him. Katie Lowes is a very competent actor, for sure, and she certainly knows what she’s doing, but Quinn’s change isn’t healthy I don’t think. I’m sure we’re just getting started, too.
How about that promo for next week?! Crazy lady with a bomb? Whatttttt?! Before next Thursday, however, let’s talk about tonight’s episode. I liked the different pace, and the insane amount of characterization we were given in only 42 minutes. I don’t know how they are able to get that much information to us in that short of time, but the writers do it week in a week out. Tonight’s episode was beautifully directed by Allison Liddi-Brown, who directed last season’s “752” and my favorite television episode of all time, Friday Night Light’s “The Son.” I hope she directs more in the future. She’s very good at highlighting small moments in a big show. Well done.
What were your thoughts on tonight’s episode? I actually quite liked it, and I’m super excited for more. Follow me on twitter: @jordan_hickman
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