Scandal Season 2 Review “Any Questions?”

Scandal Season 2 Episode 21 Any Questions? (1)

Yes! I have plenty of questions! I should really just stop trying to guess which direction Scandal is going to take. Nine times out of ten, the show takes whatever I think is going to happen and turns it on its head.

A few thoughts about “Any Questions?”:

There were a lot of things happening simultaneously in this episode, and for a few minutes in the middle the plot got a bit convoluted. It was temporarily difficult to orient myself to who was doing what and with whom, but I suppose that disorientation fit well with the overall feel of this episode. Everyone was sort of starting to spin out of control, and the whiplash-inducing pace seemed like it was intended to convey that point.

David took an unexpected and disappointing turn this week. As it turns out, he has been playing Olivia and Co. the entire time he’s been there. They have been trying to help him, but it looks like it was all just a set-up so he could get the Citron memory card back. I think one of two things happened: (1) David and Billy paid Charlie to kill the girl, trash David’s apartment and make it looks like someone was after him so that Olivia and Co. would take him in so he could locate and steal the memory card or (2) Billy had Charlie kill that girl (or he killed her himself) and set David up to take the fall so that he (Billy) would have something to use as leverage to make David do what he wanted. I’m really hoping it’s the latter. Otherwise, I’m very disappointed in David. I say this turn of events is disappointing because up until this point, David has been the only true ‘white hat’ on the show. He’s been the only one who’s done right simply because it was the right thing to do. It was also interesting to watch his sense of moral right and justice juxtaposed with Olivia’s (and everyone else’s) shifting morality. It’s much easier to play dirty than it is to stand on your principles and fight for right. That’s what David was doing and that’s what made him the only truly heroic character in the series. Now, not so much. He’s gotten into bed with the devil, and I have a feeling he’s going to regret it. I understand that he wants to make Olivia pay for ruining his life. I understand that he wants to get Defiance out in the open. I understand that he wants everyone involved to answer for their crimes. But at what cost? Is he willing to destroy the democracy just to take down Olivia? And it’s not an exaggeration. If Defiance gets out, it will destroy the country and destabilize the world. I’m really disappointed that David has chosen this path.

I was seriously concerned that Cyrus was going to have a heart attack. He was furious at Fitz and doing his best to work damage control over Mellie’s revelation. The sad thing about all of this is that Cyrus wasn’t really working so hard because he was concerned about Fitz and Olivia. Cyrus was working so hard because he doesn’t want to lose the White House. He needs Fitz to get a second term because Cyrus needs the White House. That is one thing that he and Mellie have in common. They both need Fitz to remain POTUS so they have something validating their life choices. Cyrus has already revealed that being Chief of Staff is as close as he’s going to get to becoming POTUS, and he wants to ride that wave as long as he possibly can. It would be tragic if Cyrus weren’t such an evil, cold-hearted so-and-so.

The conversation that Cyrus had with James was not spoken like someone who truly loves their husband. It was cold and cruel. It’s not that Cyrus was mistaken about how everything went down, because I have no doubt that he’s right, but it was still cruel of him to confront James like that. Of course, I think deep down James probably knew all of that was true. That’s why he was so hurt. He’d been trying to convince himself that he’d actually earned that job, but he knew his time had passed. When James decided to marry Cyrus he gave up his career, and I don’t think he ever really got over that. He feels like he missed so many opportunities and a big part of him seems to blame Cyrus for all of that. Whenever they argue, James is quick to bring up the fact that he gave up his career as a journalist so Cyrus could pursue his dreams. But if you gave all of that up willingly, then why keep bringing it up? He made his choice. Now he’s got to live with it. Constantly whining about it means that you didn’t want to do it in the first place. But nobody made James choose Cyrus over his own career. That being sad, Cyrus still didn’t have to be so cruel to James.

Mellie is becoming increasingly pathetic. Last week she revealed that Fitz was having an affair in the hopes it would force him to end things with Olivia and come back to her. That didn’t work out quite the way that she planned. So now she’s got to try to figure out her next step. She hired a fixer of her own (the always fabulous John Barrowman) to work the situation for her. But a lot of Mellie’s function in this episode was to sit an wait. She wanted to see what Fitz was planning to do and whether he would change his mind about Olivia. On the one hand, it was a politically smart thing for her to do. She dropped the bomb about Fitz’s affair, and for the most part, she was controlling the dialog about it. Fitz refused to make any substantive public statement about Mellie’s claims, so her version of events was really the only one out there. On the other hand, she refused to reveal the name of Fitz’s mistress because she knew that if she did, Fitz would never forgive her. She actually wanted Fitz to choose her. But why? Is it because she loves him? Nothing she’s done up to this point has shown that she truly loves Fitz. Everything she’s done has been about making smart political moves or moves that are in her own best interest. Why is she all of a sudden so desperate to hold on to Fitz? Could it be that Mellie actually does have a heart buried somewhere way deep down inside her? I don’t want to get my hopes up about that because as soon as I start feeling a bit sorry for Mellie she does something to remind me that she’s evil.

Olivia and Mellie both wanted Fitz to seek a second term, but for very different reasons. Mellie wanted Fitz to run so she could continue being FLOTUS. She doesn’t care a whip about the American people. It’s all about Mellie. Her narcissism and duplicitous nature will be her undoing. Mellie honestly believes that she knows Fitz, but the truth is, she doesn’t know him at all. She believes that he cares about being POTUS just as much as she does, but he really doesn’t. I believe he honestly wants to do good things for the country, but he doesn’t care about the power. Mellie just wants the power of the White House.

Olivia, on the other hand, wanted Fitz to run again because she knew he was taking the coward’s way out by not seeking a second term. She knew that his confidence was shot after finding out about Defiance, and his decision not to seek a second term was more about giving in to all the negative things his father said than about choosing Olivia over the Presidency. It’s not that Olivia doesn’t want to be with Fitz. She does. But she also knows that if they get together under these circumstances, Fitz would eventually end up hating her. So she wants him to run so that he can know for himself that he’s better than what his father said about him. Olivia basically told him that she’d robbed him of his chance to succeed on his own once, and she wasn’t going to let him use her as an excuse to fail this time. Olivia always tells Fitz what he needs to hear, not just what he wants to hear. The primary difference between the two women: Olivia loves Fitz; Mellie loves Mellie.

This was a very solid hour of television and I cannot wait to see what Scandal has in store for the season finale next week. Harrison has really been working my nerves lately, and I can’t really put my finger on why. It could be that his suit, shirt, and tie combination last night was so offensive to the eye. Or it could be that I still have a bad taste in my mouth about what he did to Abby. Either way, he’s been grating on my nerves as of late. I must say that I am shocked that Billy Chambers is still alive but, after finding that out, less shocked that he’s Albatross. Why did Charlie choose not to kill him at the end of last season? Where has he been hiding that no one would know that he’s alive? Has Charlie been working for him the entire time? Does Creepy Park Bench Guy know that Billy Chambers is alive and does he know that he’s the mole? So many questions! So what did y’all think of this week’s Scandal?