Scandal s5 ep 15

The presidential campaign is getting properly under way in ‘Pencils Down’ which, even in the absence of a Case of the Week, makes for a bouncy, entertaining episode. On the Republican side, the first televised debate is to be hosted by Sally Langston. Susan is knocking it out of the park in her rehearsals, but through a chance remark from Abby finds out that David Rosen is cheating on her, which throws her off her game. David splits up with Elizabeth, then Susan dumps him. Which is, of course, kind of unfortunate for David. In a matter of hours, he goes from being the man with everything – having nice sex with a woman he loves, and hot and dirty sex with a woman he doesn’t – to morose celibacy. He’s hardly blameless, of course, but still: sucks to be you, Rosen.

Mellie is seen as aloof, intellectual, and patrician – not entirely unfairly – so Olivia tries to coach her into being a woman of the people. “Lose the bitch face!” she snaps at Mellie during rehearsals. But the strategy starts to unravel when Mellie tries a little too hard to convince everyone that she loves burgers. And (Donald Trump) sails on serenely, making it clear that debate practice is un-American, and frying bacon with the barrel of his smoking-hot gun.

Over on the Democratic side, Cyrus is once again finding himself edged out: this time by Governor Vargas’s brother Alex, who has the ear of the Governor’s staff, and a taste for back-channel dealing himself: he offers Olivia dirt on Susan in return for something on Senator Edison Davis, who has also declared his candidacy. Is it time, in Scandal-land, for the first African-American president? No, replies Olivia, it’s time for the first woman president. (Shonda and Kerry’s support for Hillary Clinton is presumably not coincidental.)

And in her spare time, Olivia is still trying to find out why Jake has become engaged to Vanessa. (It should be said that Joelle Carter is doing an excellent job in this role, which requires her to be plausibly socialite-ish yet enigmatic, down to the little curlicues of vocal fry.) There’s another unpleasant sex scene between Olivia and Jake on the way to the answer, which links Senator Davis and – of course – Rowan, although precisely why the remnants of B-613 are so keen to back the Senator remains to be seen. Also, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that there’s more to Vanessa. It’s Scandal. There always is.


3 thoughts on “Scandal s5 ep 15

  1. CPS April 14, 2016 / 6:51 pm

    This episode was entertaining, funny and socially relevant. It portrayed how the woman candidates are treated in general by the public. Plus it highlighted the differences between Mellie’s entitled attitude (I should get it because I want it, its your fault Olivia fix it, etc.) and Susan who knows she has to work extra hard because she fits the stereotype of a plain Jane nerd.

    Hollis and Sally Langston are obnoxious hoots. Edison is in way over his head with Rowan. Cyrus is back to being a political monster who is battling a political animal, Alex Vargas. This should be good.

    David is a disgusting person for playing Susan when he was judging Fitz’s morality previously.

    I’m loving the Fitz and Susan (Fusan?) relationship. He really respects her and their mentoring relationship shows a lot of growth in character for both of them.

    As usual the episode would have been better without Jake and Rowan. I keep wondering why are they still on this show? Does Shonda really think we want to see more of them and their crappy story line (Jake and Olivia as siblings with benefits is just gross)?

    Olivia is still punishing herself by associating with dark forces – Rowan, Jake, Mellie and now Alex.

  2. Jed Bartlet April 14, 2016 / 7:01 pm

    I agree about the episode being particularly about how female candidates are portrayed. (Again, I’m assuming that to be very much on Shonda’s mind at the moment: whatever you think about the relative merits of Clinton and Sanders as candidates, I’d be prepared to argue that HRC simply wouldn’t get away with being as angry as Bernie.)

    As for Jake – I think that Shonda is over-estimating the extent to which the audience (a) likes him, and (b) thinks there’s something despite-it-all erotic about his relationship with Olivia. But I might be way off the mark.

    The thing I don’t get about Fusan is why she still calls him “Mr President”. Even his hookups got to call him “Fitz”.

    • CPS April 14, 2016 / 9:47 pm

      That is correct. Woman candidates are portrayed as emotional/hormonal if they get angry. Plus image the outcry if Hillary Clinton wagged her finger all the time like Bernie Sanders. Again she would be portrayed as a caricature.

      Well I have read that Shonda has a crush on Scott Foley since he was on Felicity during her younger years so she keeps casting him in her shows. I don’t think he has charisma so I find him boring as an actor. When Scott joined the show, Shonda was always tweeting about his abs. But actually Tony Goldwyn who is 12 years older than Scott is in better shape abs wise.

      I love Joe Morton as an actor but he has over stayed his welcome on Scandal too.

      Fitz keeps telling Susan to call him Fitz but she prefers being formal even when talking about his personal life. If I recall correctly Cyrus rarely calls him Fitz to his face. It is always Sir or Mr. President and same for Abby.

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