Open Thread: Scandal, S03E15 “Mama Said Knock You Out”

By Kendra James (subbing in this week for Arturo Garcia)

Content Warning: Mentions of sexual assault.

Why is the volume on this show constantly turned up to 11? Use of dramatic tension becomes less effective if its the only thing used to advance the story along. Unless it’s desired outcome was thoroughly succeeding in turning Scandal into a show that I have less emotional attachment to than the adolescent canines over on MTV. In that, it’s succeeded.

This week we were introduced to the older Grant children who’ve been away at boarding school for three seasons of television (we’ll ignore the fact that the calibre of boarding school those kids would likely be at are in session for far less time and have far more and longer vacations than their absence would indicate), as Scandal attempted to refocus some of the parent/child drama way from Olivia and Eli over to the Grants and their brood.

That was all less exciting than the D&G maternity cloak Lynn Paolo had Kerry Washington swishing around the White House in, but here are a few stray observations:

  • For what I’m thinking is the 10th week in a row, Olivia gave Fitz the “This is my job. We can’t do this here!” speech as they fogged up the windows of the Oval Office with their supposed sexual tension. Fitz is the worst, so it was never a very effective speech to begin with, but now the viewer has to hear a rehash from week to week.
  • Does anyone else wonder what the blood pressure readings must be like in the Pope family? Daddy Pope has at least one high-strung monologue per episode delivered straight out of the Captain Sisko School of Intergalactic Terrorism. This week it was delivered after he once again told his daughter to keep her nose out of B613’s business if she wanted to stay alive. (He’d relented by the hour’s end.)
  • As much as Mellie is the character I prefer to focus on, I’ve gotta wonder when they’re going to finally let her tell someone about Fitz’s father– preferably Fitz. On the one hand it’s hard to begrudge her the right to her secrets, especially in the wake of everything she went through at the hands of Fitz Sr. She shouldn’t be forced to tell anyone anything (especially not her lying cheat of a husband). On the other hand, when Fitz asks her what she’s sacrificed in their marriage and continues to scream it for the next ten minutes, the audience can’t help but wish that this plot point (introduced back in s03e07) would hurry up and reveal itself. Mellie holds a very unfortunately gained trump card in their relationship, but knowing Scandal she won’t play it until Air Force One is going down (courtesy of Adnan Salif?) and she and Fitz have one final phone call.
  • On that note, don’t we all want to see Fitz’s reaction to finding out that his son might actually be his brother? That’ll take my mind off the fact that neither teenage sibling seemed to care a lick about their baby brother. Had they ever even met him before? Probably not, considering that they’re never home.
  • They may hate each other now, but I can see how Eli and Maya Pope would successfully raised a child together for at least a few years. Their parenting philosophies both seem to rest solely on reminding Olivia that she’s not living up to their explications and reminding her that she spends a lot of time cleaning up after and being subservient to white people.
  • And finally, Adnan Salif got the better of Harrison once again. The episode ends with the White Hat team finding him passed out and drugged on the ground in their office. This could be useful if Columbus Short can’t get his act together off set!