This week's episode of Scandal
is a story of beginnings of sorts, as flashbacks tell show us how Olivia Pope and Associates is loosely formed, as well as the power of five that rig the election. In present time of "A Criminal, a Whore, a Liar and an Idiot," the president is out of the hospital but barely hanging on.
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It's about a month before the election and Fitzgerald Grant is behind in the polls -- badly. Hollis floats the idea of rigging the election, that all it'll cost is a grand. I don't know anything about rigging elections, but does that seem low to anyone else? Anyway, Olivia is pretty much dead set against it, which is a bit of a comfort to see. Obviously, the rigging happens but I get slight solace in the thought that not only was it not her idea, but she opposes it.
Without the option of rigging, Fitz's father is brought in to energize the party. Everyone is for it -- except Fitz. His father is controlling, overbearing and has a lengthy past with prostitutes, and has never been able to run for president himself. I suppose his father has well intentions -- as a governor himself who's won many elections, he knows you have to dig up dirty on the opponent to win.
Fitz wants to run a squeaky clean campaign but has no choice to go along with smearing the opposition when the chances of him winning are slim.
Doing it His Way
Enter Harrison, Abby and an ungroomed Huck, handpicked by Olivia to dig for dirt. They find that Grant's opponent has a lengthy past with prescription drugs. He's set to blindside the nation with the information during the next debate.
Except he doesn't at the last minute. Before we get into that further, let's talk about the problem with Fit -- he lacks any sort of charm. When he speaks, it's boring. There's no excitement. He can't connect. There's a sweet moment with Olivia, who tells him -- well, more like yells at him -- that she knows him, but the voters do not.
That probably got to him because instead of dropping the prescription drug abuse news, he instead goes for vulnerability, exposing his heart, his fear that was supposed to resonate with the public that he's fit for presidency.
Of course that does not go over well with Fitz's father, but Olivia and Cyrus seem thrilled.
The Guy for the Job
There's a nice parallel between the debate speech Fitz and the speech the present day President Grant gives after being released from the hospital. The move is prompted because the VP was all set to expose the reinstatement letter as a fraud.
But now she has nothing since the president is back. He's weary, obviously. I mean, he almost died. But he gathers up enough strength to face the press regarding an overseas hostage situation. The scene went from the past to present to show everyone that yes, he's fit for the job.
Back to past, Fitz's father ends up passing away after a heart attack and weeps against Olivia. But before that, he convincingly tells Olivia his intent to win the election.
Except Cyrus knows better. He knows Fitz would be a great president, but it's their job to get him there, to push him there -- no matter the means. It's a rousing speech to Olivia, who's starting to realize that Fitz can't win on his own.
The back story of the election really interests me. At first I wondered whether the president was in on it, but he obviously has no idea. With one day before the election, Olivia gives her consent to go ahead with the rigging -- every one of the five needed to be on board. Everyone benefits with Fitz winning, and I loved Hollis' line when asked what's in it for him, the big oil guy: That he's the one everyone would owe a favor to.
Proposal and a Divorce
So who's the criminal, whore, liar and an idiot? Why that's Olivia, in her own words -- but Edison accuses her of all of those things without so much as saying it. She throws him out of her place quickly.
But the craziest part is him coming back in the end to basically propose! Let's see everything that's wrong with it. Not only did was he on his high horse accusing Olivia of being the president's mistress (I mean, it's true but that's besides the point here), when he comes back to propose he doesn't even have a ring? Yeah, like that's ever going to happen.
I wasn't as surprised, however, at the president requesting a divorce from Mellie, although I did love how she set him for that. He almost died. I'm sure his life flashed before his eyes and he wants to not be in a dead marriage anymore.
Scandal airs on ABC Thursdays at 10pm.
(Image courtesy of ABC)