Open Thread: Scandal 2.16, “Top Of The Hour”

By Arturo R. García

Olivia (Kerry Washington) makes the call on ABC’s Scandal.

Even though both of our roving recappers were sidelined last night, they wanted to at least get the discussion going on schedule. So we’re opening this up for everyone to share their thoughts on the return of Olivia and company, and Kendra and Joseph will join in over the course of the week to come.

Spoilers in the comments and under the cut.

Now, thanks to our dynamic duo and their roundtable, I’ve learned to speak Scandal–at least a little bit, via osmosis. So a few notes and questions from my own viewing of the episode:

  • What did “Soul Man” have to do with any of this mess? I almost had a C. Thomas Howell flashback.
  • That scene on the lawn had to be the worst representation of a TV news cameraperson I’ve ever seen on television. Most of the ones I’ve met would’ve gone Terry Tate on Cuddy’s hubby there.
  • In the battle of Cy vs. Olivia, it seems Fitz came out the winner.
  • Aside from that “You ruined me” nonsense on the phone, of course. That did not get a good reaction on Twitter.
  • Sooo, Huck and Quinn (or as @OneChele memorably put it, #HuckleberryQuinn). A riff on “bad boy/good girl” ‘shippings?
  • Speaking of Quinn, not looking good for her next week, based on that final scene.
  • So am I right in guessing that the hidden camera Ballard set up goes back to Fitz’s private viewing room? (Which, eww.)

About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

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  • rebster

    Nice little moment when client Cuddy thought that of course Olivia Pope was the white Abby. Very small moment.

  • Medusa

    Nothing to add except that it would be a fucking privilege to watch Scandal with all you Racialicious folk.

  • Foxessa

    Liv, drop Fitz forever. He’s a big baby loser whiner harasser abuser. And not just to you. How he’s going to twist America’s baby is very, very sad.

    Liv, drop that Captain. He’s a killer plus 100% creepy. Smirking into his own surveillance cameras, seated in Liv’s living room — just — eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. When is Huck going to do a sweep?

    Liv, your advice to the parents about Annie’s parentage is awful. She has every right to know who her biological father is. Your obsessing on not just one but two unworthies is really frackin’ up your judgment here. Also, your face during that long close-up advice that concludes with, “learn to forgive yourself?” — it was nothing but one hideous grimace from start to finish. It’s all coming apart and you’re part of it. A huge part of it. Because you were a huge part of stealing an election. That’s at best a very big crime — treason to the American voters.

    Also Liv — gone so long? I forgot about you.

  • Kristen Reynolds

    Ballard’s smirk and smile in that scene in Olivia’s living room was beyond creepy. The whole thing makes my skin crawl.

    Speaking of Ballard, I understand that Olivia is supposed to have bad taste in men – but when Ballard shows up at her door with those bruises on his face and tells her that he was “mugged” she should’ve jumped all over that. He’s an intelligence operative with extensive military training – and he got mugged? C’mon.

    And, if Ballard was smiling for Fitz – why was he so worried about that camerman getting pictures of him and Olivia together. I thought it was because he didn’t want Fitz to know that he was doing more than spying on Liv, but now I’m not so sure.

    I am waiting for the season where Fitz is up for re-election and Liv takes him DOWN (please oh please let them take the show in this direction). He’s worried about being ruined politically, while she’s worried about being ruined emotionally (from my perspective). He may not care now, but he will when he’s watching as someone else is sworn in as president.

    • Mieko Gavia

      I figured it was because of the information with the mole. If anyone found out that Liv & co. ratted on the director of the CIA she’d be in danger, and Ballard couldn’t take that chance.

      I don’t think she’s dumb enough to believe that he got mugged, but considering all the bad romantic decision she’s been making I’m not going to put all my faith in it.

      • Foxessa

        Nah. It’s all about Ballard. He’s a Baddie, through and through. See above: smirking into surveillance cameras. Huck is gonna have his work cut out for him to save Liv from this bastard.

    • Ryan Bathe

      It’s Captain Donuts!!!

  • pepe3479

    Last night’s show was horrible and I wonder to myself if I only watch this show now to break it down like the lovely people here on this blog!

    What I hate most about the way Shonda’s writers work nowadays are that the “case of the week” stories are so unsubtle, it so obvious how they apply to the lives of the main characters. So when Olivia was speaking to the wife about “making a decision you thought was right at the time, and he doesn’t understand right now but he will one day” (something like that) I was so fuelled by so much anger. This attempt to legitimize what Olivia and Fitz have with a complete oversight on how extremely unhealthy and emotionally/mentally violent this relationship is, especially on Olivia.

    Yes, strong characters/people are flawed, none of us are perfect. We all have difficult hurdles, even in the most healthiest/calmest of relationships. But this is not right. Olivia’s character is like a channel of self-blame and excuses, and Fitz is a major abuser of power beyond just being President.

    • Mieko Gavia

      I actually thought that speech wasn’t making what they’d done ok, it was making it ok for both Liv and that woman to forgive themselves and move on. They made mistakes, they thought it was right at the time, but they were wrong and it upended their lives. But they have to keep going, even if the other person doesn’t forgive them.