On Scandal last week Olivia Pope pretty much wore one outfit and to mix it up in “Say Hello to my Little Friend” there are nine costume changes for Olivia. The rest of Pope & Associates also show off their pattern filled closets and these might need downsizing if their financial troubles continue. So let’s get right to it as Olivia showcases her many white jackets and also throws in some rare patterned pieces.
Olivia in plaid is unusual even though this beautiful Ralph Lauren coat it sticks to her color palette, especially as Olivia is addressing the press. Olivia is facing a lot of turmoil in her personal life as she tries to ignore the plot her father is involved in and she wants to get back to “being a good girl.” Good girl would suggest the white hat but has Olivia come too far with everything she has done to reclaim that role? This shot also gives a better look at Abby’s wine colored Donna Karan draped cashmere coat that she wore a couple of weeks ago pairing it with another patterned scarf.
This is one of the white jackets that Olivia wears in episode 4 and she is appearing on TV to talk trash about the girl that their client is accused of murdering. This is the look I expect from Olivia when she is creating spin to help her client and it is paired with a dark top; the battle between light and dark is a repeated motif this year. It’s hard to tell where Olivia is coming from this season and how much of this is intentional and over at The AV Club Sonia Saraiya addresses the confusing nature of Olivia’s motivations and why certain things feel a bit off.
A classic Olivia Pope pant suit as she addresses her new client for the first time in front of the other associates; it’s not the bright white we see later in the episode and is entering grey territory. This reflects Olivia’s already wavering belief in this client as also represented by the plaid of her Ralph Lauren. The rest of the Gladiators in this shot are in their usual attire as Quinn is in the electric blue that has become her color this season, Abby is showing off another gorgeous blouse/pencil skirt combo and Harrison looks as dapper as ever.
White is Olivia’s uniform of choice and this double breasted white jacket is Olivia fits this description as she meets a potential client for the first time. This scene comes after her discussion with Jake about returning to normalcy so it’s not surprising to see her in something like this.
Another patterned piece with a textured wool blend jacquard Akris jacket showing another slight departure for Olivia as the case against their client gets stronger. Patterns aren’t really Olivia’s thing and the chaos that she is trying to control is showing through her clothing choices.
Patterns are both Harrison and Abby’s thing as Harrison continues to power clash his tie with his shirt and Abby adds more animal print to her wardrobe with this Diane von Furstenberg leopard print silk blouse. The palazzo pants and Tory Burch leather and chain belt are part of Abby’s big wardrobe update and Lyn Paolo has been killing it with Abby’s styling this season. In this scene they tell Olivia they are willing to work for free and I think we need more backstory from both of them to reinforce this level of devotion.
More form Abby’s new look and attitude as she attempts to coax David back on side as she visits him for a maybe lunch in this super sexy belted jacket and as I mentioned in the epic pre-season 3 Scandal chat, David and Abby are the couple I root for and it’s good to have one romantic story on this show that isn’t DRAMA all the time. More of this please to go with Abby’s fabulous new look.
Back to Olivia and another incredible jacket – I’m sure her coat/jacket collection could keep the electricity on at OP&A for a good year. This belted Kimono Donna Karan is stunning and as she tries to coax Jan Levinson from The Office into testifying for her husband she indulges in her favorite beverage. This piece covers the Olivia Pope color spectrum with ash grey, white and black and she shows off her amazing red wine not spilling power that I sadly don’t possess.
Back to white with Burberry (of course) as the verdict is fast approaching. Olivia is in her armor but she has judged the situation wrong and a killer gets to walk free. I think it’s time for Olivia to question her gut as a judging device. Everything is all messed up.
This of course leads to red win and lounge wear because what else can you do at the end of the day but pound a large glass of wine? I like Jake and I think it’s good to have conflict and obstacles with the central love pairing of this show but I also want to see Olivia without the ball and chain of a love triangle around her neck.
The same applies for Fitz who I find a lot more watchable when it isn’t purely about Olivia. This is why his scenes at the funeral are interesting as it shows him apart from the political machine that has made him a dishonest figure (though really everyone on this show, aside from maybe David is a giant liar at times). Alas he soon gets dragged back in as Cyrus tells him “I would hate to see your conscience get in the way of your goal.” Oh Cyrus, ever the manipulator. This scene also features a wonderful soundtrack moment with Nina Simone’s “Wild is the Wind” accompanying this excellent and emotive scene.
There’s another moment of honesty with Fitz in this episode and it comes from an unexpected place as he offers Mellie comfort and stands up for her after Cyrus berates her for the big microphone gaffe. Mellie is taken in by this for a second but then storms out; is she worried this is another part of their seemingly endless game of who has the upper hand?
Mellie’s mistake (#MelliesBigFatMouth) takes place when she is looking at her most First Lady; wearing nurturing pink and her pearls. It’s a rare mistake and one that calls into question her already waning popularity. This runs parallel to Olivia’s reputation being questioned and shows they have more in common than they like to admit.
Mellie’s outfit choice after this blunder goes for the opposite of what Olivia would suggest as there is no soft color in sight, instead Mellie goes for black lace and her titanium looking pearls. She’s trying to downplay the moment to Cyrus who is having none of her shenanigans. Cyrus also gives out some fashion advice later in the episode as Ethan returns from Montana wearing cowboy boots telling him “We wear shoes, real shoes, thinking man’s shoes.”
This brings me to Scandal’s latest guest star and TV Ate My Wardrobe favorite Lisa Kudrow who only appears on TV screens in this episode wearing both red and blue jackets.
While there is not much to talk about regarding her costuming at the moment, she is happy to wear the color of both parties and Congresswoman Josephine Marcus is here to cause some political conflict. Cyrus thinks he has the way to take her down swiftly and regain the female vote but he hasn’t factored in the Olivia Pope and she will come into play next week as Josephine becomes Olivia’s latest client.
This episode pushed the Remington plot forward and introduced a new political foil. While Olivia’s motivations are spotty in places I am glad that we got a more Gladiator centric storyline this week. They could definitely broaden Harrison’s role but I will leave you with his excellent dance moment that almost makes up for his lack of backstory.