Thursday, December 5, 2013

Heartbreak Hotel

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and the vacation from Gladiating. But I saw a preview of Thursday’s episode, and I can see already I’m going to have a hard time settling down Thursday night.

The show opens with Eli explaining to Mama Pope that Olivia has been asking all sorts of hard questions (and not what types of cookies she made when she was sad), so he will be putting her on a plane out of the country. He cautions the living conditions won’t get better where she lands, it’s just further away and harder to find. And. Damn. I know Walter entertains the notion from time to time of putting me away somewhere, but I usually think it involves a padded cell. This is a marriage in crisis, friends. Anyway, Mama wants to see her daughter before she leaves, and Eli is all...have we met? But she’s been underground for 20 years and this is all she wants. And wow. 20 years. She’s missed the Saints winning the super bowl, two presidents, and Miley Cyrus’ twerking. (oh. And she’s (Miley) is Time’s Person of the Year. Consider. Discuss).

The newest, and most annoying member of B6-13, Quinn, is getting guidance from Charlie on going to work, listening, and understanding she’ll need to report back on what she knows. In case we weren’t already irritated enough with her, we are treated to a flashback of her killing the connection to Omar Dresden. The case of the week is tracking down who killed the guard – who is Quinn. This has total shades of “No Way Out”, where the gladiators spend the day tracking down the person in the video, who is Quinn. I love these scenes, the Gladiators (a group that still includes Jake) trying to piece together who did it. Huck goes to explain how they are doing it and Abby cuts him off saying she wasn’t really asking. And how great would my work life be if I could do that?

James is not speaking to Cyrus because he got fired and he (Cy) doesn’t care. He was bored, and Cy dangles a carrot of a puff piece on the Vice President’s husband. Sadly, Cyrus is setting James up – remember, from last week’s episode, we’ve figured out the Veep’s husband, Daniel Langston, is more into men than women. James, bless his heart, falls for this, hook, line, and sinker and loves Cyrus again. And I must say, even with Cy’s questionable behavior, I love him. He fascinates me. But he is a douche when it comes to James, and I’m thinking – he has to stop doing this.

The other story of the week, Phoebe is back, and someone has broken into Phoebe’s house and stolen the computer containing their campaign strategy. Eh, I’m not going to spend a lot of time building the suspense on this one, as it appears Lisa Kudrow’s story arc has come to an end. The sister/daughter staged the break-in. When Olivia recommended Phoebe cut ties with her, Phoebe instead takes the blame for it, and says she owes her this. And this campaign implodes, exiting stage right. And also leaving Olivia with no dog in the political fight. Oh but wait – Harrison also shook the sheets with sister/daughter, and I’m deeply saddened the only hint of a storyline Harrison gets is with someone who’s leaving. But the upside is we do get scenes of Abby and David who are clearly back together. Line of the night – David calling us Gladiators PopeHeads...BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! He says he’s not getting involved in this alleged break-in, and she retorts he needs to use the snore guards or it’s back to the sofa. I just love this relationship, the healthiest on the show.

Mellie is rewatching her interview where Fitz comes to her aid, and you can see she’s all starry eyed about him. Again. But Fitz is completely preoccupied, and leaves her saying, don’t wait up. Next scene – he is calling the Super Fitz Phone (SFP). Olivia is still caught up in ‘the love of my life killed my mother’, so she watches the SPF, instead of answering it. Mellie can see that something has his attention, but she’s hoping it’s not his Liv.

Scandal then earns its parental advisory by showing us in graphic detail, her mother’s maneuver to get out of the cell. She’s gnawing on her WRIST. Yes, this was some nasty, Hannibal Lecter business and I had to avert my eyes. Mama Pope is as cray as the rest of them. As the doctor said “she ate her own wrist. Most people would have passed out after a few bites, but this one? Just kept chewing until she found an artery. Whatever demons she’s wrestling with are still there.” And. Word. Eli Pope looks as if his entire world is just falling apart. There are clearly some likeability issues if someone will bite off their flesh to get away from you. Just a thought, Eli.

Cyrus has a sordid little plan of getting compromising pics of the Vice President’s husband, which includes him (husband) coming onto James. He enlists Mellie into his diabolical plan – by asking her to let on to Daniel that it’s an open marriage. And wow. I’ve heard of pimping your spouse, but right there, Cyrus went too far. Of course, comeuppance is everything on this show.

Fitz calls Olivia telling her they need to talk, that he “owes” her. And this makes her go smooth the eff off, telling him to stop calling. She then takes a very nice – I’m guessing Restoration Hardware – paper weight to the SPF. Jake calls BS on this, reminding her that the leader of the free world won’t let anything like a broken phone stop him. And he was right – next thing we know – Tom, GSSG is at her apartment saying it’s time to go. She is – get this – whisked off to Vermont. Where he calls her out on keeping her Dad a secret and continuing to tell him she doesn’t know him, when in fact, she knows him better than anyone. But she doesn’t know this: in Vermont, Fitz has built their dream home where they raise kids and make jam. He admits he can’t be the mayor there, but she can still make jam. And I have figured out that Liv is obsessed with grapes—wine, jam. Anyway, the house is incredible – including skylights, and plenty of room for kids. It in, in short, their dream, and he wanted her to see it before he sold it. HE. BUILT. HER. DREAM. Olivia is badASS, but even a badass’ panties will melt away when the President of the United States builds your dream. The scene of passionate lovemaking is...well, my tv melted, so I can’t tell you about the rest of the episode. This scene is interspersed with scenes of Mellie trying to reach Fitz via his cell. When she asks Lauren (the long LONG suffering staff assistant) to try Olivia’s cell phone, Lauren gets the “aw hell” look on her face, knowing that Olivia won’t answer. She doesn’t, and Mellie is crushed. And I’m crushed on her behalf. She thinks that last week’s interview was a step in the right direction to repairing their marriage. But while Fitz did the right thing, he’s still in love with Liv.

[okay, I have about 55 parenthetical thoughts here. And I can remember them all because my tv melted. FIRST, how can Fitz build a HOUSE for Olivia and Mellie not know about this? I knew when Walter bought a Samsung Galaxy Phone ( Iphone there. It’s heartbreaking), and yet Fitz can buy land, and build a HOUSE using all local builders and this doesn’t make the news? Or their bank account? I’m thinking Mrs. Obama would be all “what up, Boo?” when she saw that credit card bill. Second? Fitz is supposed to be in New Hampshire, and yet he’s in Vermont. In a secluded house. That man is a Secret Service detail’s worse nightmare. Third. Poor Lauren and Tom – those two canNOT catch a break. They should quit, or at the very least, demand hefty raises. Between having to track Olivia all over DC, making phone calls on Mellie’s behalf – just damn. Lastly, Tony Goldwyn has single-handedly changed my mind on gratuitous nudity. No wait. Lastly. Bill Withers ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ played during this scene. Brilliant.]

...Liv is getting dressed after her night of passionate sheet shaking (and uh...Kerry and Tony? Y’all owe me for a melted tv). She hears the helicopter and says she has to go – her ride’s there. And ha. He invites her to stay another day. She says she has to work, and he has the world to run. And ha ha. Fitz tells Olivia he loves her, no matter what, but he needs to stop her father. She tells him to do what he has to do, because they both need answers, and she goes off to catch her ride with the parting shot – “don’t sell the house. Not yet.” And Fitz fans all over swoon. Jake is cute, and he’s got a lot of catchy sarcasm (he reminds her that breaking the SPF doesn’t stop the President), but he doesn’t have a house where Olivia can make jam. I hope they aren’t planning to write Kerry Washington’s pregnancy into the show. Because what these people DON’T need is a baby gladiator. But that kid will have the best outerwear at Sidwell Friends.

In many ways, this was a heartbreaking episode – Mellie’s heart broke AGAIN. She is constantly putting her faith in that errant husband of hers. If she wasn’t sure he was with Olivia, seeing her husband in full presidential mode while (finally back) in New Hampshire gave her all the information she needs. She hints to Fitz that maybe the situation has changed and Liv may want to run his campaign, and Fitz simply says, maybe it has. Heartbreak #1. I think the price Mellie has paid for being in the White House has been even greater than she anticipated, and the look on her face during this scene is [Bellamy Girl, you have scenes and scenes for your Emmy reel. Choose wisely.] She even tries to HELP Cy, by warning him to stop being so cavalier about his marriage – “that once you open a door, you can’t close it. And it changes everything”. Mellie and Cyrus have an uneasy alliance, at best, but she is being a true friend to him here. Which Cyrus brushes off with a smug “my husband isn’t your husband”. And the irony alarm starts clanging wildly!

Because James, dressed in a nice cashmere sweater, carrying a bottle of bourbon and in Daniel’s game room (heh), is trying to conduct this interview. But Daniel, armed with a gossip tidbit from Mellie that Cy and James have an open marriage, isn’t interested in an interview. He’s interested in James, who is so cute (And he is. I love Dan Bucatinsky!). And naïve. When James tries to kiss him, James is completely taken aback. Daniel tries to get all righteous because he was set up (which was comical! What do you mean you’re not in an open marriage and don’t want to cheat with me? The nerve!), and as James realizes he (James) was really the one that was set up, we see heartbreak #2. And heartbreak #3 if you count that mine broke, just a bit. Cyrus, Cyrus, Cyrus, not everything is for sale. When James comes home – he’s a little standoffish, obstensibly because he’s so hurt Cyrus could use his love like that. But then Cyrus gets a text from his PI, which shows the real reason James is so aloof – it seems after a bit of booze, James got himself a little side lovin’ from the Vice President’s husband. And this breaks Cyrus’ heart. Now, does it break because of James, or because now his plan is foiled? I can’t say, but there’s heartbreak #3 (4 counting mine). [Otis Redding is playing over this scene. Again. Brilliant.]

And then in a bit of poetic justice for me personally: it turns out when Huck said he couldn’t make out the face of the person that killed Omar Dresden? He was telling a tiny lie. He shows up at Quinn’s apartment, with his torture gear, telling her they need to talk about who exactly her employer is. Gulp. She oughta be scared, and deeply apologetic for getting on my damned nerves these past couple of months.

Eli takes press clippings of Olivia to MamaPope, and she’s amazed that he raised such a beautiful daughter. She then asks about photographs of their life together, and when he admits there are none, she asks what happened between them, and what he did to her when he promised to take care of her. He admits to taking care of her basic needs, and without saying another word, MamaPope knows her daughter is a mess. (Heartbreak #4, 5 counting mine) When she pushes too far, he storms out telling her now that she’s well enough to travel, she’ll be leaving the next day.

Oh but no. Because a woman batsh!t crazy enough to chew her own damn arm can get out of a hospital. Why she wasn’t in restraints is beyond me. She’s clearly got a little B6-13 in her, because she overtakes the doctor and escapes.

Livvie is walking down the streets of DC when she hears “Hi Livvie”. She turns around – it’s her MOTHER! And the heart that’s been broken since this series began starts to heal.

Credits. Apparently we have only 2 episodes left before the winter break? What IS that? If it’s a few weeks, okay, but if it’s months and they won’t be back until February sweeps? I will have some issues.

So – will Olivia return to the Grant campaign for reelection? Where did MamaPope learn to chew her arm off?

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