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Kerry Washington Covers The Edit – Talks All Things Olivia Pope

27 Mar

Costume helps create a character and Kerry Washington has one item that puts her in the Olivia Pope mindset on Scandal telling The Edit “I don’t feel like Olivia until I put the shoes on. Shoes define how you walk in the world and how you stand, like: what is your posture in life?” The Edit is Net-a-Porter’s online magazine so there is plenty of chat about fashion from what Olivia wears on screen to Washington’s own style on and off the red carpet. The editorial sticks to the Olivia Pope color palette with added fringe such as this Isabel Marant jacket on the cover.

Kerry Washington The EditIn the piece Washington reveals how she managed to keep up with her Scandal tweets during the early stages of labor as she “figured that if I went completely silent on social media, then people would know I was in the hospital!” It can’t be said that Washington is not dedicated to the Scandal social media drive which she championed and harnessed to make it one of the most tweeted about shows.

Touching upon this idea of whether Olivia is a role model or not Washington believes that Shonda Rhimes “never wrote Olivia Pope to be a role model; she wrote her to be a human being, and part of what people identify with so much is that she is conflicted. In some ways, she’s so aspirational – you want to walk like her, dress like her, command attention like her and control a situation like her. In other ways, she’s a warning of what not to be.” Flawed, messy characters are what make television interesting and there is much about Olivia to be admired and an equal amount to be avoided.

Kerry WashingtonWe love a good wine cardigan here at TV Ate My Wardrobe (including this one from The Row which Olivia danced and got kidnapped in) and they talk about Olivia’s style at home “I love that I get to feel elegant at home. When you’re at home, be good to yourself. It’s not about trying to impress anybody.” And if you ever wondered what the wine Washington drinks onset is well then you are in luck as it is Welch’s organic grape juice.

The photos are moody looking and even though this aesthetic has become a bit overused when shooting Kerry Washington she does look incredible in the designer pieces they have picked out (and which you can shop on the site) and as always she gives a very good interview.

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Scandal 4.02 “The State of the Union” Costume Review: Peplum, Plaid and Purple

3 Oct

Last week Olivia ditched the swimwear and beach location for her old Washington D.C. haunts and while there are no white hats in sight just yet (metaphorical or physical), Olivia did put on her white suit to show that she is back and ready to work once again on Scandal. The focus of this week’s Scandal post is once again on the costuming and “The State of the Union” features the first piece from The Limited’s Scandal collection.

One color is repeated throughout the episode with variations of purple being worn by pretty much everyone who isn’t Olivia and burgundy symbolizes a connection between two characters who in the past have shared very little beyond the same surname and a treasure trove of animosity.

Scandal 4.02 The LimitedLet’s start with the an item that’s not going to break the bank; it’s Olivia’s first proper interaction with Fitz this season – yes they were in close proximity last week, but they refrained from any contact – and she is wearing the tweed peplum jacket from The Limited collection. It’s pretty neutral and even though the strains of Olivia and Fitz music plays nothing goes on here except speech advice.

Scandal 4.02 white ArmarniOlivia spends the first half of the episode in her ‘fix it’ uniform wearing a double breasted Armani jacket and her trusty Prada purse. There is a similar looking jacket from The Limited collection that’s probably not equivalent to your entire paycheck. For the full Olivia effect make sure you have your cell phone at the ready to give off good serious face. So many problems to fix. Olivia wears this outfit as she’s settling down with her customary bowl of popcorn and glass of red wine; where is the wine cardigan at this vital time.

Part of Olivia’s pensive phone face is a result of a ‘booty call’ debate with Jake and really who uses this phrase in 2014? Jake is getting a little uppity about everything and there’s a whole standoff about who tells the other what to do. Jake is less fun when he’s being all bratty, but he must be doing something right as Olivia shows up at his hotel room wearing nothing but a coat and pair of knee highs.

Scandal 4.02 joggingCyrus tries to get a rise out of Olivia by telling her that she looks like crap, she knows she doesn’t and even her jogging attire is super polished; courtesy of Lululemon.

Scandal 4.02 AbbyGetting a slight wardrobe overhaul is Abby as her White House threads have sharper, more precise tailoring than her OPA ensembles and now her peplum on the season 4 cast promo shots makes sense. There are still the Abby flourishes like the jewelry and the patterns, they’re just slightly muted now and this stunning Armani diamond print jacket is a clear indicator of how Abby’s style has evolved since she left her last job. Abby’s always gravitated towards a purple palette from wine and burgundy coats to DVF wrap dresses.

Scandal 4.02 matching plaidDitching her leather jacket this week is Quinn and she ends up mirroring Huck’s plaid shirt in Rails, drawing parallels once again between these characters. I might consider it cute if all the face licking hadn’t occurred last season and now Olivia has been made of aware of their torrid love affair – the way Olivia looked at the conference table was an accurate representation of the face I make when I think of the shenanigans that went on with these two.

Scandal 4.02 Fitz and MellieBeginning the episode as she spent all of last week is Mellie in her bathrobe and Uggs. There’s also a big plate of chicken and not giving any fucks about what the media think of her attitude/mental state. I doubt Mellie is picking out Fitz’s ties at the moment, but it is worth noting that the one he is wearing in this scene matches the burgundy of her bathrobe; despite Mellie not wanting to do as Fitz asks there is a level of intimacy between this pair unlike anything we have seen before.

Scandal 4.02 MellieMellie does end up at the State of the Union (thanks to the lack of sugar coating from Abby’s) wearing her power color of red – she wanted to wear blue, but that’s what Lisa Elliot is wearing – and while she manages to keep it together in front of the cameras in private she throws off her shoes and rips her pearls from her neck collapsing in devastating sobs. Bellamy Young is giving a tour de force performance as the grieving mother and there’s no solace in the clothes that in the past have acted as armor.

Scandal 4.01 “Randy, Red, Superfreak and Julia” Costume Review: White Suit Back On

26 Sep

Opening in paradise Scandal took a brief respite from the chaos of Washington DC for some brief beach time and in doing so we get to see a whole new Olivia Pope style. Well, not entirely as Olivia’s beachwear is very much in line with her work attire; a neutral palette.

Grey is where Olivia spent most of her time tone wise in the season 4 premiere; straying into darker territory as she gets involved with a new case and at the funeral that pulled her out of her beach dream location. Olivia doesn’t mess with standard funeral protocol and is dressed all in black. It’s the final outfit choice that is the most symbolical as she’s once again dressed all in white and ready for work. Washington doesn’t have to mean shadows and to use Jake’s overused metaphor ‘standing in the sun’ can mean many things. What I hope this suggests is that Scandal can return to the break neck pace of season 2 that got muddied by convoluted B613 conspiracies and parental meddling.

Our Scandal coverage is constantly evolving with the show and this week the focus is going to be on the costumes; what they signify and where you can get them from.

Scandal 4.01 swimsuitStarting on the beach and with Olivia in a super sleek La Perla Mare ‘Kosmos’ one-piece swimsuit that is both stylish and functional looking; a swimsuit you sunbathe and actually swim in. The episode is bookended with white attire of very different kinds and I don’t think Olivia will be hanging out on a beach anytime soon. She can probably get away with throwing on those Dior sunglasses in DC so this new wardrobe isn’t a total waste.

Scandal 4.01 Olivia beach cover upIt’s too warm for a wine cardigan during the daytime on the beach and Olivia has wisely swapped out the knitwear for a super comfy looking beach cover-up in the form of this Roberta Freymann ‘Nicola Dress Magik.’ Wine is an Olivia dietary staple and also the way Quinn tracks her down, alerting Olivia to the news of Harrison’s murder.

Scandal 4.01 bathrobeOlivia isn’t the only one dressing in a more casual manner, but Olivia’s befits the location and with Mellie her grieving process means not getting dressed up in her usually First Lady attire. If I was First Lady and my home was also a work place I’d also want to dress like this and yet it is unnerving seeing a woman who is usually so polished wearing Uggs out and about. As Fitz mentions at least she is washing her hair, which may I say looks fantastic in a less voluminous style. Mellie is generally a block color kinda woman and this multi-patterned zebra and floral ‘Xianado’ Natori silk robe is unlike anything we have seen Mellie in before; showing her inner turmoil in an overt and dramatic fashion.

Scandal 4.01 grey GucciAs soon as Olivia is back in DC she unleashes a torrent of amazing coats including this beautiful belted and gold zipped Gucci Fall 2012 offering (here is a similar Gucci coat swapping out zips for buckle detail). Gone are the beach curls and Olivia is giving Huck her best attempt at reaching out. These guys all have trust issues so it’s not that easy.

Scandal 4.01 purple coatSee also appealing to Abby (Quinn is at first the only person who is back on Team OPA, which is initially surprising as she was on the outs for most of last season) and there is a lot of hurt on both sides here. Both Quinn and Abby haven’t strayed far from their style comfort zones with Quinn in a Free People leather jacket and Abby sticks to her Donna Karan burgundy coat tradition. I am sticking to my tradition of coveting Abby’s outfit.

Scandal 4.01long black cardiganThis isn’t the wine cardigan that Olivia wears while she is actually drinking wine in this episode, however this Ralph Lauren Black Label cashmere delight could double up as one. It also performs the role of making Olivia seem approachable allowing her to see through the BS she is being dishing served up on this new case; that famous gut feeling still works. I’ve missed the glass window of investigation to be honest so I was thrilled when she was asked for her expertise and help.

Scandal 4.01 white suitAfter delivering a searing statement at a press conference on the steps it is clear Olivia Pope is really back and her all white Escada pant suit coupled with a power walk of defiance is a striking image. Cyrus snarks at Fitz about the repetitive nature of his relationship with Olivia, however in the moment where it appeared they would touch there was initially nothing; a connection is made in their shared flicker of a smile after they have passed each other. Their story is far from over.

At the moment I want to see what both Olivia and Fitz can achieve without the other at their side and even though I lean towards Jake, I am so over him using his sexual prowess as a trump card. We get it. I’m still hoping we’ll get a prolonged period of Olivia opting for the “I choose me” option and as OPA is what needs the most attention from Olivia at this present moment it is the perfect time to explore Olivia outside of romantic entanglements.

 

 

 

Scandal Season 4 Promo Photos: Going Back to Work?

10 Sep

The rain fell down on the cast of Scandal for their season 3 promo shots featuring the incredible Burberry trench Olivia wore in the premiere; this time no one is getting soaked, but they have still delivered a striking image with everyone dressed in their fanciest threads. Yep even Quinn and Huck have ditched the plaid and leather for ball gowns and tuxedos.

For a closer look click on the image (which first appeared exclusively at TV Guide).

BELLAMY YOUNG, DARBY STANCHFIELD, JEFF PERRY, TONY GOLDWYN, KERRY WASHINGTON, SCOTT FOLEY, JOSHUA MALINA, GUILLERMO DIAZ, KATIE LOWESOlivia is of course at the center of the group wearing a beautiful black and white ball gown with the guys mirroring this color palette in dashing white tie. The other women stand out with Mellie in ultra feminine bubblegum pink giving off princess vibes, Abby in an olive green fishtail frock and Quinn wearing the deep blue that we tend to see in her costuming. This cast sure scrubs up well.

It’s not all fun and frolics. Far from it and at the end of season 3 Olivia flew into the sunset accompanied by Jake after everything has gone to hell thanks to Olivia’s mother Mia. It was a bumpy year and one that got weighed down by its own conspiracy; hopefully after a break away from Washington D.C, and the mess her parents have created Olivia will return to a scene that is less convoluted and more like the fast paced fun of the second year.

The individual photos suggest a less lavish affair with everyone in their standard day ‘uniform’ and it looks like Olivia might be ready to get back to work in a tailored grey jacket and black pants. The lack of white is worth noting in this shot as this is the color she tends to wear when she is feeling in control and defiant, grey is her more muddled/conflicted choice.

Scandal Olivia PopeMellie in red. Standard Mellie projecting a strong image garb; the new season is set two months after the events of the finale and while Mellie is an expert in hiding her heartbreak I’m not sure she will be able to pretend everything is okay after the death of her son.

Scandal MellieShonda Rhimes has promised that season 4 will finally shed more light on Abby’s backstory and while we already know that she was married to an abusive and powerful man there are still plenty of narrative blanks to fill in. Abby’s dressed a little darker in her individual shot and the peplum is slightly more fitted than the wrap dresses, draped cardigans, billowy blouses and palazzo pants we’re used to seeing her in.

Scandal AbbyScandal returns Thursday, September 25. For the rest of the cast shots click on the gallery below.

 

Coming this Fall: A Scandal Inspired Line at The Limited

26 Jun

One hashtag you might see popping up on a Thursday night when an episode of Scandal is airing is #ScandalFashion and discussions dedicated to what Olivia Pope is wearing are just as prevalent as those talking about what crazy twist has just occurred. On TV Ate My Wardrobe we write our Scandal reviews with a specific look at the costuming and where possible we share where you can buy these items. A Scandal inspired clothing line from a national retailer isn’t too surprising, however this is the first time a lead star and head costume designer from a hit network show has collaborated with a store in this manner.

Scandal 3.3 Olivia DKNYIt isn’t just the Scandal cast who have embraced Twitter and costume designer Lyn Paolo is just as interactive with fans and when it comes to finding out where the clothing that we see on screen is from, she is more than happy to oblige. Now you will be able to buy your very own Scandal inspired clothing from The Limited (in store and online) from the end of September and the 42-piece collection ranges in price from $42 to $248. Paolo explains that “The whole team took great care in creating a collection that reflects Olivia Pope’s unique style. We believe the collection tells a story of confidence and professional sophistication as well as maintaining a strong feminine point of view.”

As Kerry Washington has been an advocate for Twitter interactions with fans, particularly when the show airs (meaning there is a constant dialogue when an episode is on) there is a strong focus on Scandal viewers. Not everyone can afford Burberry trench coats or Prada purses and so this affordable selection of clothing allows fans to experience the Olivia Pope style for themselves through both Kerry Washington and Lyn Paulo’s involvement. In a statement from Washington she alludes to this notion “By creating a line inspired by the show, we are introducing a collection that embodies the elegance and power of the Scandal aesthetic for real-life gladiators and everyday fashionistas. The collection is a nod to our devoted fans, to fans of fashion and to women everywhere who are inspired to boldly pursue their passions and look good while doing it.”

If you’re wondering what you might be able to purchase come September than we have a couple of sketch photos (courtesy of Women’s Wear Daily) and wide legged pants, belted outerwear and tailored jackets are on the menu (this makes me very happy). It wouldn’t be a Scandal inspired line without some white items that for reasons I have previously outlined (okay I spill) I might have to avoid. We will keep you updated when more pictures get released so keep checking back.

Scandal clothing scandal02

 

 

Scandal 3.18 “The Price of Free and Fair Elections” Review: “I’m the Scandal”

18 Apr

The Scandal season 3 finale showed who the real monsters are and while Olivia takes responsibility for her part in this tangled mess, she’s just a by-product and it’s both of her parents that are behind pretty much everything. Rowan’s declaration that he is “the hell and the high water” came into play as he showed just how far he will go to protect his daughter and get regain his power. It’s a revenge plot more than anything else and one that boils down to the playground mentality of you took something of mine so I’ll do the same to you, but instead of this being about something trivial Rowan did a deplorable thing and killed Fitz’s son Jerry. Well, Rowan didn’t commit the actual deed sending in head stooge Tom (who also dispatched of Adnan), but really it’s a much of a muchness.

photo1One of the most problematic aspects this season has been how little agency Olivia has; she’s become a pawn in a much larger game. Olivia deciding to make a break for it is satisfying on one level as she wasn’t dragged to the airport kicking and screaming; she made the choice. It’s somewhat sullied as she has only made this decision based on a whole lot of tragedy at the hands of her parents and she’s giving Rowan the one thing he wants; getting Olivia far, far away from Fitz. In terms of the love triangle Olivia lets Jake know that she loves someone else and he still goes with her anyway. Jake wants to be free of this life, he wants to be rescued and this is more important than being first choice at this point. Jake has always stood on the periphery and while he isn’t the man Olivia loves, the promise of Vermont and jam is a fantasy and will remain like this for at least another four years. Olivia owes it to herself to not be in a relationship that is this dysfunctional, though I’m not entirely sure that Jake is the answer. A break from all of this would have been the preferred solution, no matter how good Jake looks in that grey tee.

Early in the episode when it looks like Fitz will lose the election – the bomb turned into a huge MacGuffin – the Vermont fantasy briefly became a possibility. Until Olivia revealed the truth about Mellie and Big Jerry, which could be viewed as an act of self sabotage, but I also don’t think Olivia would want to keep something like this secret from Fitz even if it means sacrificing potential happiness. For a brief moment he thinks Mellie is lying, but why would she lie about something like this? Thankfully Fitz uses the reason part of his brain and he goes to Mellie; it’s probably the most tender we have seen him be towards his wife. There’s a renewed unity and it transpires that Fitz is indeed Jerry’s father. One brief moment of Grant family togetherness before the first casualty of Rowan’s rise to power.

The Grant children have only been recently introduced so I should have figured that one of them was doomed and Jerry takes the hit; the child that Mellie has always held at a distance because of what he represented and now he has gone. By killing Jerry, Rowan laid the double whammy of getting Fitz re-elected and taking away one of his kids. This is the hollowest of victories. Four more years of Fitz in power, maybe now we can see what a great politician everyone claims he is and yet we have never seen for ourselves. It’s going to be hard for him to get past this grief as we see him collapsed on the floor of the Oval Office and with no Olivia to reach out to.

Scandal 3.18Olivia hasn’t just left Fitz, she’s left everyone else at OPA and Abby’s the one to voice her rage and disappointment. Abby feels let down by Olivia and how they have done everything for her; now they are getting left behind. Abby’s behavior is understandable as Olivia was the one who created all of this, but I also can’t help but think how they will all be better off without it. Sure they will have to find new careers, but Abby’s media exposure during the election could open a wealth of avenues. There is of course the many files in David’s office that Jake sent him to “Go get the bad guys” so if she wants to continue to pursue this line of work then she can.

Everything is a little bit more complicated for the spit twins and I even beat Abby with yelling “MY EYES” first at the sight of them banging on the conference room table. Please let this be the end of whatever the hell this is and let Quinn and Huck become characters rather than caricatures in season 4. The reintroduction of Huck’s family is a step forward that I appreciate. Now to the last member of the OPA team and it’s so long to Harrison, who thanks to figuring everything out with Rowan’s plan is now a loose end that needs to be tied up. I’m disappointed that this character didn’t amount to much, but considering everything that is going on off-screen with this actor it is something that needed to happen. There’s no gun shot on screen so there is always the chance that Harrison could come back next season.

Where does this leave everyone now? Scattered and without Olivia. There will no doubt be something that pulls Olivia back and she’s not going to hit ignore every time that phone rings, but I am glad to see Olivia acknowledge that she is accountable, even if she isn’t the one who is doing the bad deeds. Olivia is still part of this machine and if time away from Washington D.C. allows for this character to regain her agency then this can only be a good thing.

This season has been messy in places and the focus on B613 has taken away some of what made watching Scandal fun as it got too complicated for its own good. Focusing on questions of power and what people to do to obtain and keep it is at the heart of Scandal and how to make things better in the face of monsters like Rowan and Marie (who is currently residing in the Huck/Jake hole of despair). The puppet masters have already been targeted this season and Rowan ends the season in power and this finale signifies a lack of hope; it’s not all doom as Huck takes a huge step with reconciling his past with his present and David still stands representing one white hat wearer. Maybe Olivia just needs a good old fashioned vacation and then she will be able to fight the real monsters.

 

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.

Scandal 3.16 “The Fluffer” Review: “What do you Need?

4 Apr

Season 3 of Scandal is nearing the end (there’s two more episodes after this one) and like Olivia Pope, I’m feeling a tad fatigued and the push/pull of “The Fluffer” didn’t do much to aid this weariness. The campaign is still full steam ahead as they try to get the female vote and it doesn’t help that everyone either wants to sleep with each other or inflict some form of misery. Destroying B613 is another priority and elsewhere Marie Wallace is looking to get some flowers with a side order of bomb. The soapy hijinks fun has turned into a bit of a drag and everything is verging on the self serious. What Scandal needs is to return to the twisty, breakneck paced storytelling that doesn’t involve layer upon layer of conspiracy; it’s the character stories that matter and these have got lost in the shuffle.

Abby white coatAbby fills in for Olivia at the White House and no one gives her the time of day, because she’s not Olivia. Abby tries to be the best Olivia Pope she can be, even down to the gorgeous white coat (by Escada), but they can’t even get her name right. This would be hilarious if they weren’t trying to get more female votes, which they don’t deserve when they don’t even have the decency to remember Abby’s name. Abby does a valiant job considering the room is cold, unfriendly and unwilling to hear her talk. The only person who responds to Abby putting on the Olivia hat is Olivia herself as Abby gives her a “You don’t run” gladiator speech when Olivia contemplates her decision to stay instead of her father’s offer to “be somebody new, somebody that wasn’t.”

One thing this show has been missing is some Olivia/Abby time and because the story has been focusing so much on both B613 and the presidential campaign, this relationship has been pushed to the sidelines. While Olivia isn’t one for sharing and Abby would definitely disapprove of Olivia’s back and forth relationship with Fitz, it would be better to hear Olivia hash out her feelings to a third party rather than going in circles with Fitz.

“What do you want?” is what Olivia asks Fitz and she’s still smarting from the realization last week that on one level she is no more than the help, even if she has both the ear and heart of the president. It’s a discussion which quickly escalates into an argument as Olivia calls Fitz out on pretty much everything “Maybe I’m here to make you feel hot and manly and ready so you’re not jealous of your wife’s boyfriend. Is that it? Am I your fluffer today Fitz, is that what I am? What service am I billing myself for you today?” Olivia’s got a lot of feelings about how she is being treated and once again Vermont or the lack thereof is raised and how the story of them has no end, it just stops. This tackles the heart of the Fitz/Olivia relationship issues because the world their relationship lives in means they can’t be together publicly, especially if Olivia is so determined to get Fitz in the White House for a second term. Is there a chance that Fitz might not win or the bomb will go off and therefore stop this storyline from repeating? Is there still a Scandal with a different person as president?

Olivia being defined by her romantic relationships is the least interesting aspect of the show for me (I know I might be in the minority on this one) and while I normally love a good tragic love story I find it hard to be invested in this one. Even the Jake aspect which was intriguing at first has soured; pounding on Olivia’s door and grabbing her by the throat is not an endearing quality. I mean it’s pretty shitty that Olivia used Jake’s emotional connection with her to get what she wanted and bring down his shady organization and put lives at risk, but there are much better ways to go about showing your displeasure. I guess these B613 guys are pretty similar in how they communicate and at least he didn’t lick her face (*shudder*), but still.

Scandal 3.16 computer faceBeing rescued, walking into the light are phrases that have been repeated throughout this season and if B613 is dead then I am hopeful that Scandal can go back to basics and sort out the tangled web it has woven this year. Marie Wallace is running around town with the “Mona Lisa of boom” and she has the campaign schedule so while one Pope parent promised they wouldn’t touch Fitz, the other one has different plans. This incredibly dysfunctional family gets its very own reunion as Marie brazenly interrupts the daddy/daughter dinner just as Olivia is waxing lyrical about when she will be able to walk away from this life. There are threats of violence between Marie and Rowan, with Marie daring to drink some of Olivia’s wine while delivering some career advice as she tells her to find another line of work. Pleasantries are shared – “You’re a monster” – and Joe Morton gets to deliver another line in that amazing, threatening way he does “I’m a patient man, but a vengeful one and I have a very long memory.”

Olivia might not have any impact on her mother, but she can get what Fitz wants and on this occasion that is stopping the affair between Mellie and Andrew. Olivia gives Andrew a choice between being Vice President or Mellie and if he chooses the latter she will publicly destroy him. The tragic thing here is that Andrew really does love Mellie and yet through circumstance they aren’t together, instead she is with a man who is indifferent to her and her thoughtful tie choices. There is a moment where Fitz does look proudly at his wife which doesn’t come across as staged as Mellie is speaking to the Warrior Women of America about sacrifice. This of course being one of the overall themes of this season as each character has sacrificed some part of themselves, in this episode alone Olivia talks about giving up everything inside her, Jake no longer has a sense of who he is beyond his role as Command and Andrew gives up the idea that he can be with Mellie. Mellie accuses of Fitz of taking everything from her, slapping him in front of a group of staffers – oh the memoirs these aids could write might top the exquisitely titled “Taken for Granted.” It’s all about weighing up what you can handle losing and justifying it.

Some of the photos in the gallery below represent some of the things discussed above such as Mellie on TV, Jeannine Locke’s amazingly titled book and the Pope family dinner. Other moments include a whole lot of serious phone face, another incredible jacket collar, Abby’s return to her wine color DKNY coat after she’s done being Olivia’s proxy and the saddest late night booty call.

As I said in the introduction, this is a rather tiring episode for both the characters and us as an audience. Now the pieces have been moved into their places for the final two episodes of this season hopefully it will propel the momentum and stop Scandal from losing what made it special in the first place.

 

 

 

 

 

Scandal 3.15 “Mama Said Knock You Out” Review

28 Mar

Olivia Pope will always been on the outside when it comes to Fitz family matters; even though she has his heart there are doors that will always be closed to her on Scandal. “Mama Said Knock You Out” is a tough watch at times and even though it didn’t include anyone gargling on their own blood, it rivals last week for heartbreak and pain. I don’t know what to make of B613 anymore and while I understand that shows have to evolve beyond their original premise, I do miss the case of the week aspect especially as the web of conspiracy continues to expand to everything. The parts of this episode that worked are the ones that deal with the emotional implications of the secrets that have been kept and the examination of what family and work means.

Scandal 3.15 the first familyStarting with the First Family and this homecoming is far from happy. It’s rare to see both Fitz and Mellie nervous, but in the opening scene they are both apprehensive about their kids visiting. This is for a variety of reasons; it’s going to impact the campaign and they’ve both been largely absent in their role as parents. Karen and Jerry are less than subtle when it comes to showing their disdain and Olivia figures out that Jerry has been using the internet as a tool against his father, Karen’s just pissed that her mom has stuck by Fitz despite the cheating. Karen’s rage increases tenfold when she walks in on Mellie in a very compromising kneeling position (she wasn’t praying) and this opens up a whole new can of Grant family worms.

Mellie and Andrew’s affair is both a new and an old one; emotionally it goes back 15 years, physically it’s only a couple of weeks old. Fitz is enraged and shows his truly ugly side with a tirade about how he cheated first, but Mellie killed their marriage long ago when she shut him out physically. Of course we have the knowledge that she was raped, but even if this wasn’t the case the blame and vitriol that Fitz spits in Mellie’s direction is unacceptable. Olivia enters the room and this is when it becomes apparent that there are some doors she can’t just walk through as Fitz screams at her that “I’m talking to my wife?” This is a terrible display from Fitz on every level.

This comes on the heels of Mama Pope telling Olivia that “You think you’re family. But you’re nothing but the help.” This is a knife twisting assessment of Olivia’s role in Fitz’s life and it underlines the notion that there is no Vermont or jam no matter how many times they steal away kisses in the Oval Office. Olivia is there to clean up, it used to be a different person each week, now it is all Fitz and B613. It’s her job as she emphatically tells Fitz later on, after she has had a heart-to-heart with a still grieving Cyrus as he confirms that yes, they are pretty much the help and even though he resents it, he also knows it’s important. This is another stellar week for Jeff Perry who expresses rage at Jake, followed by a heartbreaking understanding of why James died. Plus there is the cutest scene with Ella – it’s a banner week for the children of Scandal.

Scandal 3.15  24Family is a repeated theme this season as we have come to know both of Olivia’s parent (both shadowy and duplicitous with so much blood on their hands) and their beyond dysfunctional relationship with their daughter. No wonder Olivia likes to pound so much red wine. Rowan at first refuses to help with the B613 money trail investigation and for some reason they decided to 24 the editing, all that is missing is the ticking clock in the middle and two other shots showing what else is going on at this moment (I vote Mellie and Andrew in one box, Abby investigating something in the other).

Rowan is not a very tender father, but one thing that pushes him into darling daddy territory is Jake paying him a visit threatening him and if there’s one thing Rowan won’t stand for it is being told what to do by Jake. Jake is acting like the big I am and this power and arrogance is going to be his downfall if he isn’t careful. No one likes a smug leader Jake and while you look rather fetching in your Command suit you’re still not invincible. Joe Morton delivers yet another word twisting monologue and I don’t think I’ve heard the word alone be uttered in this way before. It’s as if the word was a bullet and he shot it through Jake’s heart.

Scandal 3.15 Mellie and KarenIn terms of costuming and color there is a mirroring between Karen and Mellie, however the different shades of green (Mellie in teal, Karen in emerald) show they are not quite on the same page. For the interview Karen wears the blue dress Mellie described as crafting a sweet and wholesome image. Mellie is also in blue, but hers is on the purple end of the scale with a bold print showing where the power lies. The children have relented and the Grant’s are presenting a united front; baby Teddy gets to be involved even if he is just a super cute prop.

Scandal 3.15 Fitz and OliviaFor some reason Fitz and Olivia keep getting it on in front of windows, which for a secret relationship isn’t very smart. I guess the lighting is better here, but still. There are multiple sexy shenanigans this week including close ups on side zips being undone, hands going up dresses and underwear being taking off while still wearing everything else.  Adnan is guilty of the latter seduction move and it turns out she is playing Harrison, manipulating him so she can get all the information on Fitz, his campaign schedule and his security detail. They really need to lock things up in the OPA office. There is also some stuff with Quinn and Huck, this show needs to retire anything that even hits at face licking.

Scandal 3.15 capeIn other news Olivia wore the most spectacular Dolce & Gabbana cape; perfect for strutting with purpose. Oh and for bump cover, which is why there is sadly no good full shots of this outfit. Olivia should definitely get more capes in her closet.

 

Scandal 3.14 “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” Review: “There is Someone Worth Saving”

21 Mar

What’s the point? That’s the question Olivia Pope is asking on this week’s Scandal after the dramatic events that went down at the end of the last episode and as predicted all my predictions are wrong. We don’t find out who Jake was talking or if he was monologuing to himself as he rattled off his family history and reasons for joining B613. What we do find out is that Jake did indeed shoot three people dead, leaving one witness to clear up his dirty work. Yep, I thought it was all going to be some massive fake-out cop-out resolution, so kudos Scandal writers with going through with the deed. That’s enough stalling with the big reveal, unlike “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” which went straight for the kill so to speak as Jake wearing his best spy black turtleneck attire shot James. That’s right, James is dead. And Jake did it.

Scandal 3.14 light and darkOlivia calls on her father s he can explain why any of this matters. At first Rowan is very much “ugh” about the whole thing, offering up a “what” instead of a “hello” as a greeting. Olivia practically begs for him to act like her dad and show her some guidance; a reason why everyone she knows is a monster. Last week Olivia had a hysterical laughing fit upon her realization that all the presidential candidates are murderers. This week there is no more laughter with the death of her friend at the hand of her sometimes lover. Rowan gives her a reason to continue, a point to all of this if you will and that’s because everyone is worth saving, no matter what they have done – Joe Morton delivers yet another fine monologue and there’s a reason he keeps getting them, just listen to the way he says 183. Jake explains that he is different because he actually pulls the trigger, but Rowan still claims that he is responsible for the 183 people who have died because of him; Jake just cuts out the Huck-like middle man.

One aspect Olivia laments is the lack of white hats and how the deck is always stacked; Rowan points out that there are exceptions, exceptions like Olivia who in the face of darkness drags them into the light. This is why Olivia’s power color is the one she is wearing in this scene (an amazing Alberta Ferretti white coat) and Rowan dressed in black is in direct contrast to her.

Rowan’s exit is as warm as his arrival, but it has done the trick and Olivia has renewed faith in both her abilities and she turns to one of the only non-murders she knows. David Rosen is deeply affected by what has occurred; he ended up as the sole survivor with a face splattered with someone else’s blood and now he’s got to send an innocent man to jail. David is a skittish mess and he’s visibly nervous when Jake stops by his office. Going it alone is not going to work and the first step is to tell Abby what is going on, after all they are the most stable couple on Scandal. All roads lead to Olivia Pope and now as well as a presidential campaign Olivia has vowed to take down B613; in her eyes Jake is not the problem, the institution is. White hat back on.

Scandal 3.14 white teeWhite isn’t only worn by Olivia this week and in this shot of Jake nothing seems to be wrong, he’s just on the phone wearing a white tee. When the camera pans down we see just how muddy this once white shirt was and how he’s burying Vanessa and Shelby in the woods. This battle has been won, but there’s a war coming to B613.

Scandal 3.14 neck beards and leather jacketsThe story of James and Cyrus gets played out in a series of flashbacks including their first semi-flirtatious encounter where James thankfully points out that Cyrus’ neck beard is a big pile of terrible and Cyrus isn’t a fan of James’ leather jacket (well not for reporting). Gone are beards and the a suit jacket replaces the leather one; flirtation leads to smooching and soon they are a secret couple. It’s sad to see what they once were and how Cyrus took a leap, only to use and manipulate James. This latter part is why Cyrus breaks down in the press briefing room as we go from a quick montage of all the recent deceit to their public coming out. Their relationship started in secret because of who Cyrus is and it devolved into secrets because of his job and desire to stay in the White House.

James’ death is particularly brutal because Jake had to make it look like a carjacking, no bullet to the brain for him and end of the episode takes us to a very dark place. Too dark perhaps, I’m not sure how much we needed to see him gargling on his own blood, but I guess they got their point across that bad things happen to good people at the hand of whoever is Command.

Scandal 3.14 shootingMellie is stepping out of her usual dress/cardigan twins sets and is swapping them for some Town and Country threads as she teaches Andrew how to shoot a shotgun. Of course Mellie is an excellent shot. They look like a couple here in matching plaid flannel shirts and vests; Mellie in purple and Andrew in blue. Later on as they debate gun control legislation they’re wearing these colors that complement each other and this time Mellie succumbs to temptation. This is all going to end horribly – it is Scandal after all – but at the moment Andrew is paying her the kind of attention that has been absent for far too long in her marriage.

Scandal 3.14 Adnan and HarrisonAnother pair mirroring each other are Harrison and Adnan both in teal (Adnan’s coat is Vivienne Westwood). Adnan is in over her head after partnering up with Mama Pope and she just witnessed her shoot someone in the heard during negotiations. This is enough for anyone to rethink their current position and while Adnan doesn’t reveal why she is so afraid to Harrison, he’s already turned to Olivia. Olivia chose Project David, but both Project Adnan and Project Quinn have been brought to her attention. The less said about what transpired between Huck and Quinn, the better.

In the gallery below you can see some of the black and white still shots from “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” of Cyrus being comforted by Fitz and his flower filled office. James and Cyrus dancing together is a poignant reminder of their happier days. There’s also Olivia in another black and white jacket; this time it is by Lafayette 148 New York. When Mellie isn’t in her hunting gear she’s wearing raspberry Giambattista Valli and amethyst Escada.

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