Scandal 3×11 ‘Ride, Sally, Ride’: The Thick of It

Source: ABC

Look, Scandal is fundamentally nuts. It operates on the fringes of what’s possible. Other shows are interested in showing us what could happen five minutes from now if we stop paying attention, or what direction we’re heading, or whatever. Scandal isn’t concerned with practicality, it’s concerned with setting its universe on the margins of believability. Could a sitting Vice President run against her President in the post-12th Amendment era? Sure. Would that ever happen? Who cares. Nuance doesn’t hold up under bright side-lighting.

It’s been two and a half months since we’ve had a new episode of Scandal, and Ride Sally Ride catapults us back into the action, at the very least. We’re out of the Spy vs. Spy world, at least for the time being (we get just enough Charlie, Quinn, Rowan, and Ballard to suggest they aren’t going away entirely), and we’re firmly in the batshit world of Scandal politics for the time being. All attention is centered on the White House at this point, with satellite characters dipping out to bring ancillary, non-politico characters into the mix. It’s reminiscent of mid-2nd season, right after the assassination attempt, when Liv is firmly ensconced in the west wing and Pope & Associates basically standing around with their dicks in their hands.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

Sally Langston, she of the biggest jesusballs, has decided to run as a third party candidate against Fitz while still remaining VP, which goes beyond ballsy into just plain stupid, but Christ is with her, until maybe she allows the devil to enter her through her acceptance of abortion or whatever, so who am I to critique her decisions. Sally’s got about a snowballs chance in hell of making it out of this season alive, let’s let her have her fun. Everyone goes into hyper-reactive mode and rushes around doing walk-and-talks and a breakneck pace, exemplified best by Mellie in the cold open as she shuffle-runs in a dress shorter than any first lady has ever worn to deliver the news to Fitz and co.

A lot of stuff seemed to happen in this episode, but not a lot of pieces moved around. Rowan has basically thrown in with Billy pt. 2, eclectic boogaloo to take down Fitz. Shoeless Jake Ballard is for some reason freezing Quinn out while bringing Charlie back into the fold, because a traitorous psychopath-for-hire is better than…an untrained “lawyer”, fair play, I guess, Ballard. He’s “dating” Olivia or something to draw attention away from the fact that Fitz is a poor man’s Francois Hollande. This we find out from a very convincing mock-up of the Washington City Paper (RIP BMORE CITY PAPER, YOU HEARTLESS SUN BASTARDS).

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

James has thrown in with David Rosen and the justice league, which at this point is just Abby when she’s drunk, and is calling himself Publius because he is the worst. Harrison has some stubble and a steamy affair with an Arabess. Oh, and Mellie and new bland white Republican Californian…

This episode very effectively and entertainingly drew the battle lines the back half of the season is going to play around with, and there isn’t a lot going on outside of that. It remains to be seen how much of the rest of the season will be devoted to politics, spycraft, and actual good old fashioned American fixing, but the storylines are there. The rest smells good.

 

Stray Thoughts:

  • It makes absolutely no sense to keep Charlie on-staff at B613, but I do love his pliability.
  • Seriously though where are all these white, male, Republican governors of California coming from?
  • So, with the Republican split, what exactly is anyone’s path to victory? It’s vaguely plausible for sane-Mitt Romney to win, but not without the tea party. And Sally Langston is going to learn the hard way how many total white folks over 65 there are in this country.
  • Source: ABC

    Source: ABC

    So Rowan seems to be alluding to more rogue intelligence services. Wonder if they’re foreign.

  • Lotta defilement talk, huh.
  • Man, this show is always on the brink of a bona fide coup. It’s like BSG sometimes.
  • Publius, James’ chosen moniker, was the name that Madison, Hamilton, and Jay wrote the Federalist Papers under. They were alluding to Publius Valerius Publicola, who was heavily involved in the overthrow of the last Roman King, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. He was one of the first Consuls of the Republic. James has delusions of grandeur, is what I’m saying.
  • “The devil murdered my husband when he snuck inside me.”
  • Don’t forget John Anderson!
  • Mellie’s hair is getting…also, in what world does the Secret Service allow this lunch meeting? Why is Mellie printing this on her own stationary?
  • Abby and Harrison are my favorites, btw. Besties!
  • Never resign. Remember David Vitter.
  • “So busy being a patriot you forget to be a person.” Lol great statement of purpose.

 

John M.

works for a legal newspaper in Baltimore and lives within three blocks of Tilghman Middle, the alley where Omar and Brother Mouzone have their showdown, and Pearson’s Florists. He enjoys putting his liberal arts degree to good use by watching a lot of TV and reading a lot of internet. He occasionally blogs (about Dawson’s Creek) on tumblr.

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