TV Recaps

Scandal Recap: ‘The State of the Union’ Leads to a Reunion (of sorts)

This week’s episode of Scandal picks up right where we left off:  the gladiators and their leader still in flux, F@&$ It Mellie still in full swing and Fitz still just trying to hold his life together. This was not the most exciting episode but it did show Olivia Pope managing a crisis, so I’ll take what I can get.

In “The State of the Union,” Fitz prepares to speak about gun control in his State of the Union address, so Cyrus reaches out to a power couple who can provide assistance with his topic. Elsewhere, as Mellie deals with her private strike, she garners the nation’s attention. Olivia finds herself drawn back into Fitz’s world and Rosen is under the gun.

Olivia Pope, the Fixer, except of her own life | Olivia is returning to her old ways of fixing other people’s disastrous lives.  This week she begrudgingly takes on the case of James and Lisa Elliot (played by Mary McCormack and Josh Randall) after being blackmailed by Cyrus, her best frenemy. The interesting thing is that Olivia takes the case only after Cyrus pulls the “Fitz Card” and threatens to tell him that Olivia calls and asks about him daily. Olivia basically looks like she would chew off her arm before dealing with Fitz, so she takes the case. Olivia deals with the Elliots, who appeared to be the angriest, most vicious married couple of late, and manages to corral them to appear at the State of the Union. It was nice to see her lay the smackdown on these two, not before the wife stab the husband with a corkscrew to his leg, but nice nonetheless. Also, Olivia still manages to run the White House press from the sidelines even though Abby is the official press secretary and she’s avoiding the main resident like the plague.

In other news, Olivia is irritated with Jake for moving into a hotel suite because he’s “not going to be a kept man,” at her house and I’m irritated with Olivia for even entertaining her sidepiece. It’s fine for Olivia to be distracted by Jake and his booty calls right now, but eventually I need her to stop the nonsense and figure out her life. This isn’t slut-shaming. She could bang the entire Senate floor and I’d cheer her on, but I do need her to look like she’s enjoying it at the very least. She’s trying to hold on to what she’s supposed to want, instead of dealing with what she actually does want with Fitz.  No matter how many times she bangs Jake, she hasn’t fallen out of love with Fitz and she’s pissed about it.

scandal-402-thestateoftheunion-mellieMadam First Crazy | F@&$ IT Mellie is probably the best written character on this show right now, and she gets to eat fried chicken and wear pajamas in most scenes. Mellie is dealing with this horrific loss of her son and her shifting from raging anger, to quiet despair, to biting sarcasm is the way real grief goes. Her circumstances of being in this “partnership” with Fitz and under the scope of the American public’s eye only serves to amplify the situation. Abby’s harsh but true words are finally the kick in the ass Mellie needs to pull it together long enough for the State of the Union.  Bellamy Young continues to kill it in every scene, but her scenes with Jeff Perry on the balcony comparing grief over losing a child versus Cyrus losing the love of his life and her emotional breakdown after Fitz’s speech was pretty much flawless.

POTUS | Fitz is just trying hold his life together. This man is trying to run the country, keep his wife supplied with potato chips and make sure she showers, and keep his mind off Olivia.  Usually Fitz is not the greatest president (and I say this as a Fitz fan), but his phenomenal State of the Union speech should really negate all his other crappy presidential decisions. You know what’s even more telling? He couldn’t do that without Olivia. He knows it, and she knows it. He’s unstoppable politically when he has Olivia in his corner, and he’s less in his feelings when he has Olivia to talk to about life. Is Fitz perfect? Nope. Far from it in fact, but he needs Olivia both professionally and personal because when he finally starts grieving for Gerry it’s going to be ugly.

Quick question, why was Olivia so damn cold to Fitz right before the State of the Union? My patience with her is rapidly running out. Fitz is the one who lost a child. Olivia is the one who ran and continues to run. She doesn’t get to have the attitude this time. Quite frankly, Fitz should and he doesn’t.

And for those wondering, Tony Goldwyn nailed that speech and gave one of his best performances to date. Makes you want to see more of what he can do if given the material.

Huckleberry Quinn | Apparently Quinn thought that if she matched her outfit with Huck’s, he would forget how annoying she really is. Didn’t work. Huck is still pretty pissed off about her finding his family, even though we have no idea how that situation turned out. While these two are in charge of watching the fighting married couple, Olivia learns of their “incesting” at OPA from Abby and joins the rest of America in their revolted-ness.scandal-402-thestateoftheunion-cyrus

Cyrus and Sex Worker | Cyrus is a mess. He’s lost the love of his life, he’s now a vegetarian, and he’s got Bambi’s friend, Thumper, on his head. He’s drowning in so much grief he doesn’t even recognize the setup of the prostitute at the bar. A very hot prostitute, but a prostitute nonetheless.  Turns out, Lizziebear is ticked off over Fitz taking on gun control, choosing David Rosen as the Attorney General, and generally disregarding the Republican party, so she’s out the stir up some trouble for his administration via Cyrus.

 

OPP (Other Peoples Problems) | Jake has nothing to do, so he’s decided to look into Harrison’s death and finds that Charlie is involved. He also still bangs Olivia when she beckons, so there’s that. David Rosen appears to have blackmailed his way into getting the Attorney General seat and that’s okay. Charlie Brown has to win every once in a while.

About the author

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.

  • latonya

    tony performance was flawless as usually. given the material he is forced to work with. shonda has gold in kerry and tony but still stuck on stupid for scott and his wooden acting. she hates fitz and it shows in her writing which she also stated before in interviews,mellie is her favorite to write for that also shows. the racial undertones in scandal this season is disgusting and really pathetic that a woc would write this garbage is mind boggling. I’ll be really surprised if tony or kerry stick around after their contracts are up

  • latonya

    Phyllis u nailed the hammer on the nail so glad u posted this comment because every single word is 100 percent accurate. thank you so much thought I was the only one feeling like this.

  • Phyllis Steen

    You have to wonder why Shonda Rhimes kills herself writing meaty Emmy-baiting storylines for Mellie, who isn’t even necessary to the show, while Olivia, the main character, gets jack squat.

    You have to wonder why, every time Olivia Pope is mentioned to Shonda Rhimes in an interview, Shonda either ignores or makes a disparaging comment about Olivia, then starts talking about Mellie.

    You have to wonder why are we supposed to rend our garments for Mellie’s suffering while thinking that Olivia deserves to be called out of her name, have violent men put their hands on her, and be treated like dirt by her deadbeat parents.

    Don’t say that it’s because Bellamy Young is a better actress than Kerry Washington, because nobody thought that when Olivia was still allowed to kick butt and take names.

    Don’t say that it’s because of Kerry Washington’s pregnancy. Her kid is like 6 months old.

    We all know the real reason why, and it begins with the letter R (or U.T. in Shonda’s case). How many people would care so much about “poor Mellie’s” pain if her husband wasn’t sleeping with a black woman? Why weren’t the lead characters of GA and PP called whores all the time when they were sleeping with married men and why were they allowed to defend themselves when physically or verbally attacked while Olivia is not allowed to?

    I’ve never watched Shonda’s other shows, but I’m told that she is following the exact same pattern that she has used for black female characters on her other shows. Tear them down while elevating the white characters at their expense.

    Shonda Rhimes simply doesn’t care for black people besides herself — especially black women — and it’s disgusting to watch her use them for personal gain then go out of her way to treat them like trash. Being called an “angry black woman” should have been her NWC (Negro Wake-Up Call) and instead the defense in her favor in addition to the general gushing over her simply puffed her head up even more while having her favorite white characters eating food called the Underground Railroad Burger and Fruity Colored O’s.

  • LeeS99

    Mellie does not like kids and said so in s2 e13 specifically and other episodes. The kids (Karen and Teddy) she was certain came from Fitz are treated the same way she treated Jerry – out of sight, out of mind. So this over the top grieving is very
    bizarre. I guess Shonda thinks all the viewers are supposed to forgot Mellie’s
    comments and actions from previous seasons. It comes off as her being
    a drama queen with her grief being more important than anyone else’s grief.

    Hell she has even forgotten about Karen and Teddy while drinking and grieving. I nominate her for ‘Mother of the Year’.

    Mellie is the most self-centered, selfish person on Scandal which is a feat with all the other characters competing for the honor. I wish Abby had blasted her more harshly.
    If Mellie does not want the job of First Lady, then leave and get a divorce but stop the constant whining.

    My problem with Scandal over the last two seasons is the writing has everyone acting out of character.OPA would be investigating Harrison’s death not Jake. BTW when did technology challenged idiot Jake become a computer hacker? Jake did not even know how to print a document a couple months ago in Scandal time. Obviously Jake has no
    purpose for being on the show except as Olivia’s sex toy so Shonda has to force him into the story line in an unbelievable way. Why would Rowan leave Jake alive after Jake tried to kill him (S3 E9) and threatened his life when he was temporarily command? Rowan would have gotten his revenge. The entire Jake story line is silly with his obnoxious big talking to Olivia and David.

    Also Cyrus would never put himself in such a comprising position. They have had Cyrus and Olivia acting like idiots sometimes over the last two seasons and not the brilliant
    political operatives they were previously. We see flashes of their brilliance but it is not consistent.

    I’m loving Abby this season and David has finally seen the light if he wants to succeed in
    Washington.

    Please no more Quinn and Huck or Jake and Olivia who have zero sexual chemistry and it comes off as forced (or as The Huffington Post said they have as much chemistry as two J Crew mannequins). Let OPA staff focus on work for now.

  • Mookie Glenn

    Love what you say about Olivia & Jake. I absolutely hate this pairing. It is just too forced.

  • great review, I so agree on your thoughts about Olivia and Jake and about Fitz needing Olivia.

  • itsEmeryK

    i caught my breath from LOL at Quinn dressing like Huck, only to quickly lose it at “Thumper”! As always, spot on article. I, also, can not say enough about Tony’s performance in this epi. Great job, Ang!