Tag Archives: 3.14

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.

New Girl 3.14 “Prince” Review: Finger Guns and Declarations

3 Feb

Nick’s big birthday gesture and the coin anecdote (which I’m still swooning over by the way) in the last episode suggested that things were moving in a pretty serious direction for the New Girl couple and there’s no better time to up the romantic ante than the post Super Bowl episode.

Sure they had to reinforce the notion that Jess is Nick’s girlfriend in the opening scene for any new viewers by mentioning this several times, along with the word panties. A word that normally skeezes me out, but much like the cake baking moist incident this is hilarious and the gag gets more ridiculous as it goes on – “Panty Hawk! I’d watch that show” – and it’s the punchline that sent me over the edge. In fact this episode delivers on both laughs and heart; while I don’t know how well the latter plays to a brand new audience there is of course Prince and he is amazing.

New Girl PrinceThe “I love you” moment on a sitcom can be rather fraught and New Girl switches the usual gender conventions with Nick blurting it out first and Jess replying with finger guns. Like their first kiss it just happens and it’s such a casual “Have fun, I love you” that it doesn’t sound out of place until everyone realizes that this is not something that has previously been uttered out loud and the things get super awkward. Maybe not as awkward as Jess having a panic attack and passing out when trying to say it back and then having all their friends share in Nick trying to take it back. Nick’s “I love you” reminded me not of another sitcom, but The Good Wife when Will ends a phone call to Alicia with an innocuous “love you.” This feels like higher stakes accidentally calling your teacher mom or dad, which I know I definitely did at least once and was mortified.

Nick’s generally been the one to make the first moves in this relationship, the only stumble on his part was when he found it hard to acknowledge that Jess was his girlfriend and that was more plot contrivance than anything else. Nick might have this grumpy exterior, but underneath it all he is a romantic at heart; the video from “Birthday” underlines this and if this big Super Bowl episode hadn’t been taking place I suspect this is when Nick would have said those three words.

So Jess is the one who is finding it hard to emote and in a crisis like this who better to help than Prince?!* Cece and Jess’ reaction when they tell the guys they’ve been invited to a party at Prince’s house is the perfect amount of crazy dancing and screaming. Jake Johnson ups this by once again showing just how high pitched he can make his scream; it might even top his Halloween haunted house effort. Prince’s role is to provide love and style advice for Jess; there’s a whole training montage and instead of running there’s ping-pong and a variety of outfits. Pancakes and some time in a dark cupboard help Jess with her fear problem and the reaction to the first time Prince whispers in her ear is perfect. Repeating the not being able to hear a whisper gag results in Jess yelling “I love you, Nick Miller” resulting in all the warm and fuzzy feelings. This show.

Also adding to the sweet emotional core is Schmidt’s story and quite a lot of this season has placed him on the outside looking in. First there was his two-timing and then he moved out; Schmidt’s always been about striving for an ideal that doesn’t really exist. After all his dream BFF is Kanye. Instead he realizes that his dingbat friends are the ones that he should want to be around. This isn’t settling, it’s just Schmidt finally understanding that what he’s got already is really pretty great. Silly games like lemon mouth are way more fun than the VIP area anyway and he still gets to dance on stage with Prince. In fact Schmidt’s trajectory this season has been much like the show itself, it got a little lost and now it has found its way back and we’re out of the New Girl slump. It’s a good thing that they turned it on for an episode that’s going to get a whole lot more eyeballs too.

Coach and Winston get to be the cool guys at the party with their “Fire and Ice” play that both Nick and Schmidt mocked and it not only gets them into the party, but also helps charm supermodels (that’s Victoria Secrets’ Alessandra Ambrosio and Ana Beatriz Barros). This is ruined by drunk Nick and his assertion that one day they will be replaced by robots. The product placement gag works a lot better than the season 2 episode “Models” as Nick yells at Coach for getting turned on by the gas mileage. Winston has felt this once, it was a Thursday. Product placement is one of those things that I know shows have to do so I don’t mind it too much, especially when it is done like this and shade is thrown.

Flashback gags of Nick dressed as Prince and Winston screaming “I love you” pretty much sent me over the edge and this is a very funny episode, it’s definitely the most I have laughed this season. All the bases are covered with awkward humor aplenty, strong visual gags like the guys at the washing machine and pretty much all the reactions to being in the presence of Prince – when he forgives Jess it is my everything.

There’s a definite sense of wish fulfillment as not only Jess gets to sing with Prince – she knows the words because Prince is magic – but her friends also get to join in. Yes even Nick with his terrible dancing. It’s fitting in a way that Cece ends the episode playing ping-pong with Prince as the rest of the group reflect on the crazy of their night as she needs a win; this is a great way to do so.

A really fun episode and one that used the huge guest start to not only propel the overall New Girl story forward, but also basks in the ridiculousness of this moment. There will be another New Girl episode this week and I’m pretty damn excited as while he is not Prince, Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) will be guest starring.

* My “reason why I love Prince” story comes courtesy of my first proper New Year’s Eve party when it turned from 1998 to 1999. I was 16 and in London at a house party and I felt like a super cool grown up (I really wasn’t – later that night I fell down a curb and some tube station stairs because of the too tall heels I couldn’t walk in and miraculously it was the curb that hurt the most). We thought that playing “1999” was so obvious, but really dancing and singing along to it is one of my fondest teen memories. 

Julie Hammerle

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