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Scandal 3.17 “Flesh and Blood” Review

11 Apr

“I’m a patient man, but a vengeful one and I have a very long memory.”

This declaration came from Rowan on last week’s Scandal and if nothing else he stayed true to his word as he showed little mercy for the man he believes to be responsible for the entire lie that was his marriage to Marie Wallace. Time is a something that can heal old wounds, alternatively it can build up the desire for revenge and there’s a mixture of this in the somewhat messy (both in structure and story) penultimate episode of this somewhat messy season.

As I mentioned last week the focus turning to all things B613 and Olivia’s family has been problematic as the serialized story has got more ridiculous each week and it has me clamoring for case of the week episodes. The setup is still the same in a way with montages set to 70s funk and the window of photos; unfortunately protracting the story in this manner has woven a complicated web that leaves Olivia shouting in the wind every week.

photo1In terms of short memory it looks like Fitz stopping by the OPA office has meant that everyone forgot how Jake made his entrance last week – by grabbing Olivia’s throat – and Olivia is more pissed off about being accused of treason. All while wearing an Escada coat which is reminiscent of this Scandal shredded paper promo shot. Olivia has lost her agency in a way and while she effectively shut down B613, it also leads to B613 past and present duking it out in her office. Everyone else is making the decisions and Olivia only gets to decide which Command gets to stay, sorry Jake you’re outta here. The other matter in which she lays down the law is with grounding Fitz, but this doesn’t stick when he sees he’s losing to Sally Langston. Oh and somehow the election is only six days away.

Olivia butts heads with all the dudes in her life; when Jake leaves she tells him she has set him free, but he insists that even without an actual B613 this is still who he is and you never really escape. As with Fitz and Olivia, the Olivia/Jake pairing goes in circles so when things go bad at her office, Jake is the person she rings. This never ending dance goes the same way; she loves Fitz, but she also feels something for Jake (she still doesn’t mention the throat grab) and it’s all becoming a bit love triangle tiresome.

The whole back and forth between Fitz and Olivia has never really interested me (I know there are many viewers who disagree) and at first the Jake angle added something new to this dynamic, now that’s old hat too and I can’t see a way out of it. Olivia tells Jake about her realization regarding her mother’s inability to love and how it must be easier to feel nothing and care about no one. Now I don’t want Olivia to become this nihilistic, but I hope that something happens in the finale to propel the love story forward that stops the merry-go-round we are currently stuck on.

It’s nothing new to see Olivia fighting with her dad about the right way to do things; it doesn’t normally end up with a dead body in her office. Rowan gets his long awaited vengeance and thanks to the longest car park hook up – seriously how long were they down there for? – Mama Pope gets to walk into OPA with no one noticing. Other questions on this matter include where is Charlie? Plus, why must there be so much licking and spitting this season? Not cool, show. More blood is shed as Rowan takes what looks like several bullets to the chest and it doesn’t look particularly good for him.

Olivia’s main contention with Fitz this week is far less dramatic, in that they only really argue about whether he should be on the road or not as there is a bomb with his name on it out there somewhere. That somewhere isn’t the school in Defiance as they expected, but in a church basement that is about to hold a funeral Fitz is meant to go to. The twist comes in the form of Cyrus going full monster as he wants to win the election at any cost and so he withholds the information Jake has just told him about the bomb location and goes on his merry way, smiling ever so eerily to himself about the potential easy win if Sally dies. Now, why can’t Jake just call in an anonymous tip to the police about there being a bomb in the church? I also get that Cyrus made his peace with what happened with James, but he is still being way too courteous over the phone with the guy who murdered his husband. Another case of short term memory on the show.

Other big story developments include Mellie spending the episode drunk and inadvertently revealing to Olivia what happened to her with Fitz’s father. Mellie’s a mess partly because the Andrew thing is over – Andrew is at the church and I’m going to be so mad if he gets blown up – and she doesn’t really care about anything at the moment. Leo wants to find out if Jerry is Fitz’s thanks to a loose lipped White House doctor and Olivia confronts Mellie with this news. It turns from a shouting match to Olivia’s realization that Mellie isn’t that stupid or reckless and Mellie’s heartbreaking secret is out. Olivia gets Mellie the test results on the sly and it’s hard to gauge from Mellie’s reaction shot who Jerry’s father really is.

In the gallery see how Mellie and Fitz are in sync in wardrobe only (purple tie, purple Michael Kors dress), the Grant fake smile parade, so much serious phone face from Olivia, the cushion fort that has been built on her sofa, a close look at Olivia’s trusty Prada purse and the eavesdropping OPA team.

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