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'Scandal' recap: Season 4, Episode 2, 'The State of the Union'

KERRY WASHINGTON

Mellie spirals, Portia de Rossi schemes, and Olivia and Fitz continue to not kiss. Here's your weekly Scandal recap.

Finally — well, okay, it only took one and a half episodes, but still — Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) are alone together. And as soon as they are, their theme song starts playing. And they're about to bow-chicka...wait, he just wants her help with his State of the Union Address.She reluctantly makes suggestions. And then more music [ba-da-dum...ba-da-dum...], and they move around each other, and nothing happens. Can't they hear their hypnotic kiss music? Is the Capitol sound proofed? Ugh. They do not touch.

Then Liv goes to the hotel where Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) is staying and, naked under a trench coat, demands he come to her, which doesn't make sense because she's already there. And now that Donna Summers song "someone left the cake out in the rain" is playing, which is also hypnotic, but more in a Studio 54 think-I-might-vomit way. I don't care if it's classic, that song is weird, and I cannot get hot and bothered over scruffy-face Jake makeouts when Donna Summers is complaining about losing a recipe.

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Saying what we're thinking


Instead of puking this episode, I wound up crying because the gun-control portion of Fitz's speech was so spot-on: He attacks the right to bear arms outright (by saying that slavery was also protected in the constitution), and says that when a teacher holds a 6-year-old covered in blood and watches her die, "that is where the argument ends." Basically, it was president porn, political-wish-fulfillment television for everyone who wishes that Obama or anyone would take a stronger stance and say these things about gun control outright. I'm surprised that, afterward, Fitz didn't rip off his shirt and reveal he's a superhero, albeit a superhero who once killed an old woman undergoing chemotherapy by smothering her with a pillow.

After the address, Fitz comforts a stricken Mellie...right, Mellie...okay, now that I've wakened from my #OliFitz trance, let me back up.

PJ party


Earlier in the episode, someone snaps photos of Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) lying on her dead son's grave wearing pajamas and eating a party-size bag ofpotato chips. She looks like she's about to watch an Adam Sandler flick, which may be why the photos make the front page of several news outlets and require their own Chipgate press conference. Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) fears the story will eclipse the aforementioned upcoming State of the Union address. So he asks Mellie to attend the address, by playing his dead-husband card. But she's like "my dead is worse than your dead: no way." Pajamas win.

Another couple who won't budge are theElliotts. They're basically Fitz's gun-control back-up singers: he's a veteran and she's in a wheelchair after being shot by a deranged gunman (she's the teacher Fitz mentions). But they're trying to cancel their appearance, even though the Capitol is handicapped-accessible and everything. So Cyrus wants to hire Olivia to bring them in. She refuses. He blackmails her by threatening to tell Fitz she's been calling every day for him, and pines for him, which is a weird threat from a man who has peoplekilled for a living.

This is when my mother-in-law shouted, "Wait, does she still love the President? I'm so confused." Yes she loves him! She may not know it, but we know it, and so does the tiny chorus inside the Capitol that plays too softly for them to hear it, which is maybe why she doesn't know it.

Jackie-O FTW


Short story with the Elliotts: they're famous for being perfect and in love, but then it turns out they totallyhate each other, for example,he was tortured by the Taliban and says that was better than being with her. The hatred is flaring, so they refuse to appear together. So Liv tells them to get a divorce; they don't respond, but they do show up at the State of the Union address. In other words, I don't fully understand this storyline.

As for Abbey, she gets to diplomatically shine. She and Olivia are still fighting, which has blossomed into a contest for supremacy in the game of spin. Liv says she's too glib as Press Secretary, plays too fast-and-loose. But Abbey proves her way can also work, when she gives Millie some tough love. Basically, she tells her to stop the pajama pity party, thatmost Americans who lose children have to go back to work a few days later, and that if Jackie Kennedy could be in car with her husbands brains one minute and then stand by LBJ being sworn in 99 minutes later, Mellie can put on a dress, sit in a box and smile for all the Americans dealing with their own grieving. Way to go Abbey, but frankly, it sounded like something Olivia would say.

Meanwhile, Cyrus got picked up by a "sex worker", which makes sense because I was wondering why that guy would hit on him. Not that Cy isn't attractive, but this other guy is smoking hot and 20 years younger. He's also, as it turns out, working for Portia de Rossi. I still haven't figured out her character's name, which is mostly because I don't care: When Portia de Rossi is on a show, she's Portia de Rossi. And she's trying to figure out what's going on inside Cyrus's head and/or maybe hoping to blackmail him later.

What else?


Abby tells Liv that "Huck and Quinn were incesting all over the office"; then they almost do it again in a hotel room with the Elliotts. Also, Jake is looking into Harrison and Adnan's deaths, and spies Charlie's mug in some of his intel. And David meets a hurdle on his way to Attorney General, whenPortia de Rossi digs up those fake domestic-abuse photos that Liv created back when she tried to split up Abby and David. So David goes through the B613 files and then blackmails a senator, whose vote he needs, with information about a bunch of frozen venison (don't worry about it). The blackmail happens in a parking lot because David is not standing in the sun.
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