‘Scandal’ Review: ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’

ABC/Eric McCandless

Last night, Scandal gave us the next installment in the ‘What just happened?’ game and provided more angst for everyone at OPA and the White House. In “Mama Said Knock You Out,” the Grant children are not fans of their parents, Olivia tries to wrangle everyone in the Grant family to a national interview, and Mama Pope proves she’s mother of the year yet again with her vicious words to Olivia.

Of course, there were about 47 other things that happened, including Quinn licking Huck (gross), Mellie literally getting caught on her knees with Andrew, and Harrison falling for Adnan’s trickery yet again.  All of these people need wakeup call and to get their lives right, but before all that, let’s get to some of the top moments of the episode.

The Grant children are not here for their parents

Karen and Gerry finally make an appearance at the White House to help Fitz and Mellie sell the idea of ‘The Perfect First Family.’ Except they’re anything but that. Fitz has to be briefed on what his children are up at school and Mellie can’t remember if her own daughter is a vegan. Rock star parenting right there. Consequently, it’s not surprising to learn that Gerry has an “Anti-Grant” twitter and planned to wear a “Reston for President” shirt during this interview. He’s pissed off at his father, and will make it his mission to be the sticky wheel for Fitz.

The bomb of the evening, however, happens when Karen stumbles upon Mellie on her knees in front of “Uncle” Andrew. She’s already furious with Fitz for his cheating ways, and blames him for the mess of her family, but this changes everything. She realizes that Mellie is just as messy/messed up as Fitz and BOTH parents are far from perfect. Karen, of course, spills the beans about Mellie and Andrew to Fitz, who promptly runs off to coldcock Andrew. Because it’s Fitz and he has the emotional intelligence of a three year old.

Olivia Pope is “The Help?”

The entire time the Grants are lobbing grenades at each other, Olivia is trying to keep the façade of one big happy family going for for this interview.  It would be fair to say Olivia is a cat wrangler on a good day, but is she “The Help” as Mama Pope describes her? Just when you think Olivia’s parents can’t take anymore of her flesh, they find a new way insult her. Or is it true?

Olivia, at least season three Olivia, does run around after the Grants cleaning up their messes and reining in their children. Hell, the final scene of the episode is Olivia literally handing Mellie baby Teddy like the maid of the family. Of course, the argument would be that Fitz and Mellie pay Olivia, the best fixer of DC and modern day business woman, a hefty sum to manage their lives. And while that’s true, it’s a little much to have Olivia Pope beaten down time and time again by everyone in DC to a point where she likens herself to a maid of a rich white family.

As if this wasn’t enough for Olivia to deal with, Fitz basically negates everything he’s ever said to Olivia over seasons one and two by saying to Mellie, “If you hadn’t left, I wouldn’t have cheated.” What the? Huh? Does anyone remember “The Trail” and Fitz saying, “Why was I such a coward to marry her [Mellie] and not wait for you [Olivia]?” Which is it?

Is Olivia the love of your life or the side chick who you stumbled upon after your wife shut down your sex life? This all goes back to Mellie’s rape and how she evolved to be the person that Fitz doesn’t recognize, so it’s understandable…to a point. They were a happy couple who planned on being a power couple in Washington DC. It all changed when Mellie hid the rape and morphed into present day Mellie and Fitz never knew why or how it happened only that it was “his fault.”

However, if Fitz has found this soul fulfilling, once in a lifetime love with Olivia, why does it matter that Mellie found someone to be with in Andrew? He can’t have it both ways. Most importantly, Fitz hit Olivia where it hurts the most by blowing up at her for interrupting him speaking to HIS wife, because now Mellie is his wife, not the person he’s been trying to get rid of for two years now. Right. Thank god, Papa Pope threw Olivia a bone and told her how B613 is funded. Because Olivia is literally losing at life right now.

Huckleberry Quinn needs to keep their tongues to themselves

Huck wants to rescue Quinn before OPA brings down B613 because he now realizes that Quinn is a true gladiator and shouldn’t be left to suffer the way he did. Olivia is just fine letting her stay in B613 because Quinn made her decision. Ok. Couple of things: Quinn thinks she’s a better spy than she actually is and she continues to act like an emotional teenager. Also, stop with the licking of each other. It’s gross. (Charlie isn’t here for Huck trying to move in on his girl either).

Harrison looks like Wily E. Coyote

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Apparently Harrison is insane because every other week, Adnan is pulling the Wily E. Coyote shtick on him and he falls for it every single time. This time, Adnan managed to get full immunity from David Rosen in return for sharing all her information with OPA. Granted, she ran back to Mama Pope with the all the info from Olivia’s computer, but when she comes back (and she will), she has that full immunity to fall back on.

Jake is watching Mama Pope’s terrorist ways

Jake let the entire Adnan/Harrison situation happen so he could see what Maya was planning, and it appears she’s now the murder for hire in an assignation plot of Fitz. For now, Jake is on top of it and looks to be managing the threat. In a related note, Jake should watch his back because his delusions of power are starting to go to his head and whenever that happens, it usually ends with profuse bleeding.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around my feelings about this episode. While I enjoyed seeing how beautifully directed it was by Tony Goldwyn, the overall theme of Olivia continuing to fall deeper down the rabbit hole of despair is starting to wear thin. I realize this is part of the ‘tear a character down to build them back up’ arc, but how far is too far to come back from? Because I think we’re just about there.

What did you think of this episode?

Angela Romack
Angela Romack is writes what you’re thinking about when it comes to your favorite TV shows. If you don’t agree, that's fine. She's okay with being right. Follow her on Twitter at @AngelaMRomack.

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1 Comment

  1. Horrible episode. After two awesome episodes and losing my favorite character, I needed more than a go-nowhere episode filled with a family never seen on the show with no pay-off (i.e. Fitz finding out about his dad raping Mellie). Instead we get Andrew being punched by a hypocrite and Olivia being viewed as a maid. I’m seriously bored with Adnan, Mama Pope and Harrison. Huckleberry Quinn are disgusting. Is there even a purpose for Rowan anymore? Both Jake and Fitz were annoying and out of control. The only good parts were David and Abby focused on bringing down B613 (maybe a sum of 1 minute?) and Cyrus’ scenes in the Oval and at home with Ella.

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