Scandal review, "Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington"

Scandal review, "Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington"

"Scandal does in one hour what most shows do in one season."


This was a tweet I wrote during the first act of "Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington." It was retweeted a shit ton of times, which is fun; but I think the assumption was that I meant it as a compliment, and I'm not sure I did. At least I didn't at the time I wrote it.

Scandal moves at a rapid pace. The show is constantly pushing forward, stopping for nothing, mowing over characterization and logic without a thought. That's part of Scandal's charm, really. This show is a nighttime soap, and I don't mean that to sound disparaging. Scandal knows what it is. It's fun. It's full of drama and quick cuts. It's a bowl of popcorn and a big glass of red wine.

If this terrorist/hostage scenario had taken place on a show like Homeland, we would've met Mary Nesbit, the grieving mother, a few weeks before. In fact, we would've met her son, Chris. We probably would've seen him killed. We would've spent more time on the potential cover up. The hostage situation itself would've lasted several episodes. There would've been more importance placed on the entire situation. Because a situation like that -- a woman wearing a bomb she created from a recipe on Pinterest breaking into the capitol building and demanding to see classified documents -- is a big fucking deal. On TV and in real life.

But on Scandal it's just another day at the office for Olivia Pope. This Mary woman is just another freak of the week, another patient on Grey's Anatomy who needs a heart transplant. And while a big part of me would love to spend more time getting to know these characters and seeing a story like this dragged out for a few episodes, I have to commend Scandal for not going that route. Scandal knows who its characters are. It's characters are the folks in the White House and the folks at Pope and Associates. Everyone else (unless they've signed on for a longer arc) is just window dressing. This is how they keep it tight.

Scandal has the balls to be quick and ruthless, and it makes for one hell of an hour-long ride, but I am worried that it starts to fall apart when you look at the season as a whole. Only time will tell, I guess.

Right now Scandal's focus is on two "mythological" things: B-613 and Remington. I think (though I can't be sure because this information was delivered in a split second of dialogue) Remington has something to do with the CIA recruiting people to pose as al-qaeda members. It may also have something to do with the FBI murdering Chris Nesbit. Or maybe I read this wrong and Remington is still a total mystery.

As far as B-613 goes, Huck realizes in this episode that Command (i.e. Olivia's father) still has power over him. Or maybe not. I mean, Huck likes to kill people. Eli Pope handed him a dude to kill and Huck did it. Maybe Huck is using Command as an excuse for what he did, because he liked it. Because he still likes it. Or maybe I'm definitely reading too much into this thing.

Because of course Command still has power over the B-613 guys. Because Jake Barnes is back and Olivia now knows that her father still needs him around for something, that he wouldn't have let Jake go if he didn't still have use for him. This Command power thing is what's going to keep Olivia from trusting Jake. And that's just how Command wants it.

Other stuff:

  • Harrison watch. He was not wearing clashing patterns today which means...he probably just hasn't picked up his dry cleaning yet. While Abby got to seduce her ex-boyfriend and Quinn got to hack into the FBI, Harrison got to...stand on the sidelines and get yelled at by Winston Zeddemore. #FreeHarrison
  • I like drunk Mellie. She's fun.
  • Olivia wore some darker colors today, like a periwinkle and a dove grey. By the end of the episode, she had shed the grey and her white underclothes were peeking out. She's getting back to hero mode. Take that, Washington!
  • How old is Fitz and Mellie's baby?
  • RIP Duck Phillips. We hardly knew ye.
  • RIP lady from Hope & Gloria. Remember Hope & Gloria? Just me? Keith Mars, people. Keith. Mars.
  • Is it offensive that Fitz assumed Mary would get woozy after wearing that bomb for a while? Would he have said the same thing about a male terrorist?
  • God, it would've been so ballsy and badass if Huck had actually killed Olivia's dad. I mean, you knew that he wouldn't, and I would miss Eli Pope. But come on. Bad. Ass.
  • Mellie's mission in life: Keep Olivia Pope ALIVE.

What did you think of the episode?

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Filed under: TV, TV Recaps, TV Reviews, Uncategorized

Tags: Scandal


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