Thursday, March 20, 2014

REVIEW: 'Scandal' Reveals Who Got Shot in 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' - The Season's Best Episode Yet

ABC's Scandal - Episode 3.14 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Sally sets a meeting with the NRA which sends the White House into a tailspin. Olivia and Huck come to shocking realizations and a surprising person asks for help from Pope and Associates.

The personal is political and the political is personal. That seems to be the mantra of Scandal. Especially so in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" where the show goes so far as to kill James and just let the characters react to that shock for the entire episode. It's a move to show that no one is safe but also to give some drive to Olivia Pope. Season three has been quite a reactionary and passive year for her. From the claims that she was the President's mistress to the manipulations both her father and mother did, she has been a step behind this year. But she also has spent a lot of time reflecting. Reflecting on how everyone she interacts with is a monster and does these horrible things in order to protect the greater good of the country who are blissfully unaware of what they do. They try to justify what they are forced to do and how they go about doing it but in the end they are still doing these acts of evil. They all cling to the idea that there is a better life for them in the future. One of Rowan being a father for Olivia. One of Fitz or Jake being the perfect, uncomplicated guy for her. One of it being okay for Andrew and Mellie to be together. One where Cyrus and James can live happily together and raise their daughter. All of it is a fantasy but it's what all of these people have to believe in in order to keep doing the actual real and often brutal things in their lives.

And it's just so tragic for Cyrus. Through flashbacks, we got to see how big of a deal James' presence was for Cyrus accepting who he truly was. Their first interactions were so sweet - a mood the show typical doesn't go for a lot but works marvelously here - which ultimately makes things so devastating by hour's end. We watch as Jake gives him a slow and painful death. That's not what he deserved. But it's exactly what he got and it was entirely because of his husband. Cyrus created one huge mess of things that ultimately cost James his life. And he won't get justice for it right away because Jake made sure he had a cover story in place. All Cyrus can do right now is try to focus on the work. Making sure that Fitz does the best move politically when talking about gun restrictions. We all knew he was coming to a brutal breakdown in the end. But's it just so destructive seeing him try to press forward and imagine that life he wanted only for things to come crashing back to reality and all he can do is cry and let out these primal yelps.

But now, Olivia is gonna try and do something to face that reality. Her team comes to her with all of these problems that have grown way too out of hand lately. Everything is in chaos and everything is up in the air. No one is safe and things can literally go anyway. She's laying her foot down and teaming up with David to expose B6-13. It's a move that won't get her the preverbal white hat back on but she's also trying to take control in a way that could return order to everyone's lives. Where they don't have to be killing people because of the secrets they might expose. They can just continue to go about running the country and dealing with the boring political aspects and going home to their families and friends and not have to worry about someone knocking on their door to take them out.

I can't wait for these last four episodes to see how the chips will fall next.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" was written by Mark Fish and directed by Paul McCrane.
  • I have no clue what Mama Pope and Adnan Salif are up too. Their scenes were a bit odd in this wonderful episode but I didn't detract anything from the grading due to their presence.
  • So, Joe Morton booked a regular role on a TNT drama pilot last week. I hope that doesn't mean he too is heading to a tragic end this season because watching him give Shakespearean level monologues every week is just too good.
  • Oh god, that Huck and Quinn kiss.