Scandal 3.09 “YOLO” Costume Review: Power, Protection and Manipulation

6 Dec

In what has become a standard Scandal tradition, that last moments of this episode had me yelling “WHAAAAAAAT?” at the screen. The torture opening sequence elicited the same response and even though the promo had prepared me for Huck’s lick of crazy, it was still pretty disturbing; most of the Quinn scenes were coated in a sheet of ick. This is more than I can say for Quinn who only had an outfit made out of duct tape and while Lady Gaga could maybe make this work it felt like a step too far to have Quinn sans clothes as part of this torture; would Huck really do that?

It’s an episode that featured very few costume changes by Scandal standards, but we’ve still got plenty to talk about as a lot of the characters use clothes as a form of protection (except Quinn who can’t). Olivia wraps herself up in another big, beautiful coat, Jake pulls out his uniform and James mimics the color that Cyrus picked out for him when he set him up with Daniel Douglas.

Scandal 3.09 Mama PopeThe team get all caught up on the no longer Dead Mama Pope situation and as you can see white items of clothing run in the Pope family. Ok not really as this is Maya’s hospital attire, but Maya is wearing a white top/black skirt combo in the flashback sequence that is reminiscent of Olivia’s present clothing choices.

Scandal 3.09 breakfast bondingIn what you could call a strained breakfast catch up – and none of that food really looked like breakfast, not a waffle in sight – Olivia is surprised to hear that her mother thinks she doesn’t have much laughter in her life. For someone who has been locked away in a cell for 20 years she’s pretty perceptive. Maya has been given a wardrobe change and like her daughter it’s all neutral tones. Only one of the Pope women has a Prada purse.

Scandal 3.09 draped coatOlivia spends the episode in this double grey ensemble and the draped coat is reminiscent of the Donna Karan one that got blown up earlier this season. Like all of Olivia’s outerwear it’s beautiful and the oversized trend is coming in useful this season. It also gives Olivia something to wrap around herself and we’ve seen her do this in the past as a form of protection. Grey is also the perfect color to show the insanely messed up situation that Olivia has found herself in this season. Election rigging has got nothing on this.

Scandal 3.09 hugMaya gets her own camel coat of glory and a hug from her daughter after Abby pretty much forces Olivia to reach out in a physical way. The hug from Abby a few weeks ago was part of the emotional preparedness training. This also prompts another piece of the flashback puzzle for Olivia and like everyone else who has seen Alias I am getting every single “Spy Daddy is always good” related feeling. So Maya is actually Marie Wallace and Eli was just protecting his daughter and now his life is in the hands of Quinn?! Well that’s a whole lot of uh-oh going on. This show likes to create six twists for every one so I’m not going to put all my eggs in the “Eli is good” basket; however his comment about not enjoying killing at the start of the episode is pointing towards some white hat intentions.

Scandal 3.09 palazzo pantsHarrison thinks that Olivia is “handling it” and I don’t know who is in more denial as I’m pretty sure she’s a mess, even if she can cover it up most of the time. Abby spends most of the episode sassing people which I’m fine with because some straight talking is required and her palazzo pants are magnificent in the shot above. Abby also gets to be the connection to David Rosen and this is pretty flimsy in the attempt to use him with their get Maya out of the country plan, the dude needs his owns storyline. Speaking of guys who need their own story a mystery unnamed associate of Harrison’s, helps with some documents and lets him know the dreaded Adnan Salif is back. She also refers to him as H and doesn’t care to introduce herself to Abby.

Scandal 3.09 quickest walk and talkIn what might be the fastest walk and talk I’ve ever seen on TV making everyone on The West Wing look like they’re taking a pleasant stroll (which they are in comparison) Cyrus and Mellie discuss all things operation Daniel Douglas. Well not all things as Cyrus is trying to keep James’ infidelity out of it all. The infidelity that he set up and believed would never happen as he snarked to Mellie that his marriage is nothing like hers. Mellie is wears her political power color (complete with pearls) of red throughout the episode and instead of playing the “I told you so” card she offers the limited amount of comfort that she has to offer – that “it hurts and then it doesn’t.” She doesn’t go so far as offer him a hug, but this really isn’t a hugging kind of show unless someone is coerced.

Scandal 3.09 JamesJames wears a similar plum shade to the one he wore in his intimate interview with Daniel Douglas. James spends the first half of the episode passive aggressively taunting Cyrus using phrases like “got him to go deep” and “quick and dirty.” Cyrus eventually cracks and tries to blame James for going through with it. Cyrus doesn’t have an ethical leg to stand on (does he ever?) and James spells it out loud and clear what he wants to happen.

Scandal 3.09 loud and clearIt’s certainly not a cryptic message and so Cyrus puts the photos of James and Daniel into play. Well he only shows them to Sally and she doesn’t blink an eyelid, that is until she gets home and murders her husband. Everyone in political power on this show seems to have a killer instinct. Cyrus asks James for forgiveness, could this honey-trap scheme be a manipulation too far for James? The whole murder aspect isn’t going to help either.

Scandal 3.09 posturingIn another posturing match Jake pulled out the big guns by switching out his hoodie for his military uniform, which he must keep in his car as surely his apartment is being watched. Regardless it’s a clothing choice to try and assert some power with Fitz and also emphasize why he is so pissed off with the current situation. Jake might have had time to change clothes, however he’s rocking some light stubble. There’s no time for shaving. I’ve been writing about Felicity a lot recently for This Was TV and this is the first time I’ve had Scott Foley character whiplash; it might be down to the hilarious goatee that Noel was growing in one of the recent Felicity episodes I have discussed. The stubble looks a lot better on Foley here.

Next week is the mid season finale! Expect a whole lot of plot crazy and probably more coats to add to my covet list.

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