DISCLAIMER: The following article contains spoilers from TV shows of the past week. So if you haven’t seen the episodes of the week, and you detest spoilers, then I suggest you leave while you can. If you haven’t and you don’t mind spoilers, feel free to enjoy. If you have seen the episodes, then by all means read on and lets ki-ki.
I had thought there was going to be a new episode of Scandal this past week, but Grey’s Anatomy had a two-hour event episode. And so Scandal had to take a back seat this week. Either way, the episode from two weeks ago was one of those that you just have to talk about. So I am going to talk about that and then talk a little on Grey’s Anatomy and The Catch. Okay, let’s go!
REVIEW OF THE WEEK: Scandal – S05E17 (Thwack)
So you know how you think you have gotten rid of a zit and then it’s like, “Surprise, bitch! I’m still here!” That’s what happens when former Vice President Andrew Nichols returns in this episode. Like I thought we were done with this plot thread, but them – BAM! – he makes a killer return (See what I did there?).
First off, can I say, regardless of what you make of the episode, credit must be given to Jon Tenney for portraying a post-stroke Andrew. It was very uncomfortable to watch at times – the slurred speech and the mannerisms, and then the vile things that came out of his mouth? Well played, Jon Tenney. Well played.
Also, can we say goodbye to Fitz’s Journalist Girlfriend, Lilian Forester? She has been nothing but a nuisance since she arrived and not the good Hollis Doyle nuisance; she’s been the bad Jake Ballard kind. The episode opens with her headed into some medical center. Abby has her followed and thinks she is pregnant. But alas, she isn’t. Instead she is snooping around the former Vice President.
I never did like the way they treated the Andrew Nichols character. He was such a good guy when we met him. Mellie was in such a vulnerable state and he seemed to be the only one that was ever in her corner, and the flashbacks only made me like him more. And then all of a sudden, he was kidnapping and auctioning Olivia off and sleeping with Elizabeth. Sigh. We can’t have nice things on this show, I tell you. They all go bad eventually, evidenced by how the episode ends.
Former VP Andrew has apparently made some recovery from the stroke realness that Huck served him the last time he was acting out and needed to be taken care of. The VP is now in a chatty mood and wants to reveal all the secrets. He apparently wants revenge or something like that.
After getting wind of his intentions, Olivia calls a meeting of the ‘We Hate Andrew’ Club, and all the people that matter are in attendance – Fitz, Mellie, Elizabeth, Cyrus, Abby, David and of course Olivia. They are all discussing how to handle the situation and Cyrus is just there laughing like a porn fanatic with access to unlimited WiFi. Why is he filled with glee? Well, it turns out he has immunity and is only there to watch the other guys scramble to save their lives.
Olivia realises that it was Huck that served Andrew with his first stroke and she tells him not to think of finishing him off. LOL. The irony of it all!
Meanwhile, Hot Marcus (yes, we are calling him that because he is HOT) is as usual stuck with basic assignments, because the OPA gang are really trying to protect his soul. I see he is this show’s Asher Millstone; you know, out of the loop at first, but then gets brought into the fold with a bang?
In the meantime, every one of the ‘We Hate Andrew’ Club is scrambling to handle the situation. Huck runs into Elizabeth North in the parking garage, because where else do you tell someone to murder someone? Huck says he is not doing that again, that he has repented. Mellie goes to see Andrew, you know, to try and ‘handle’ him. Safe to say it doesn’t go well, because they end up talking about their mutual disgust for each other. AWWW.
Meanwhile throughout the episode, Olivia has having flashbacks to that awful kidnapping storyline that we are all trying to erase from our minds. She appears to be slowly losing it. Then she goes to her Father Dearest and asks for him to listen in on Journalist Lilian Forrester’s conversations, seeing as he and Jake are the NSA and all that.
Remember how Huck was forming repented things? Well, turns out he was only talking about killing; kidnapping is still allowed. He kidnaps Andrew and brings him to that bunker under the White House, where a lot of shady things have happened and will forever happen. In there, Olivia and Abby ask Andrew for his terms, and smug as ever, he says he wants $10million and Olivia representing him in his book deal which will be titled Andrew Nichols: Battle Scars of the American Hero. Say what you will about Andrew, but that book, if published, will have all the Ts and Is read the heck out of it.
At the next ‘We Hate Andrew’ Club, the players are gathered to contribute money to pay off Andrew. Elizabeth North says she is in for $5million, and David Rosen and I are both shocked. Who knew Lizzy Bear was balling like that? How does she have all this money? you ask. Well, she says she’s been a Republican her whole life. LOL. (Seriously though, are Republicans just generally richer than Democrats?) Mellie says she ain’t paying nothing! She says she doesn’t have $5million lying around. Fitz cuts in to say, “Umm, I gave you some dough in the divorce!” And Mellie is like, “I earned that dough, bitch!” Olivia pushes, but Mellie pushes back, saying, “I have paid enough!” LOL, you tell them, Mellie!
Back in the shady bunker, Andrew is proving to be really difficult. They ask him to call Madam Journalist off and he says nope, send the money first, which they apparently do. But then you see, Andrew is a smart, smug sonofabitch. He knows they didn’t send the money and so now he wants twenty – wait for it – BILLION DOLLARS! Someone definitely drives a hard bargain. He also wants an APPLE PIE! Hian.
Following Andrew’s difficulty, Fitz develops a plan. He decides he will, you know, maybe do his job for once in his life and handle this mess. Abby doesn’t agree with this course of action and goes to see Liv so she can talk him out of falling on his own sword. But Liv thinks it’s a good idea. In fact, she is proud of Fitz. When Abby mentions that if Fitz goes along with his plan, that that would be the end of her own career, Olivia condescends by telling Abby she can come back to work for her at OPA. UMM, HEXCUSE ME! IS OLIVIA ACTUALLY BEING SERIOUS? LIKE FO REAL? WTF! You can see the wheels turning in Abby’s head though, as she gets ready to be a monster and think of herself first! And frankly, I am on her side!
Abby meets with Andrew, and pronto, Journalist Lilian is overheard, by Olivia’s NSA spies, changing the direction of her article, now titled Mellie Grant: One Affair, Many Lies. LOL, these people and their juicy book titles. Olivia is ready to go to war and heads to Abby’s office. Liv thinks Elizabeth North is responsible for the intended attack on Mellie, but then realises that it was Abby who did the something! Abby handles the situation and basically kicks Liv out of the White House! She declares to Olivia, “I don’t work for you! You work for me!” LOL! YES! ABBIE, READ HER!
And then, Hot Marcus pulls off a miracle of getting a prominent cardinal to endorse Mellie. But Olivia shows no excitement over his news, as she has more pressing issues on her mind. Hot Marcus tries to get her to talk but she isn’t having it.
In spite of having her White House pass revoked, Liv somehow gets into the White House, you know, one of the most secure buildings in the world, using Jake’s ID. LOL, okay o. She gets to Andrew in the Shady Bunker and is about to POPE the hell out of this situation. She starts well, doing her thing, and it looks like she is headed somewhere. But then Andrew cuts her off, he says, “Do you talk this much in bed? Are you this chatty on your hands and knees? Does that big mouth of yours work as hard as it does right now?” LMAO, this is the point where I grab my bowl of popcorn tightly, because this trick is going IN!
What follows is an intense and uncomfortable scene, credit to both actors here. They played the hell out of this scene. Andrew goes on and on, calling Liv a cheap slut underneath all her expensive dresses. And as he rants, Liv keeps flashing back to the kidnapping and keeps getting CRAZIER by the minute! And Andrew keeps talking and taunting and goading her, calling her a side piece, an aging porn star! And then, Liv rests her hands on a steel chair, clenching the steel and trying to calm herself. But how can she be calm when Andrew is still yammering on? He talks about auctioning her again, he tells her she has nothing to offer him and that he’s got everything he ever deserved. He’s got REVENGE.
That word ‘Revenge’ unlocks an understanding in Olivia, and she finds herself wondering why she is resting on the steel chair when she can multitask. She lifts the chair up (Kerry Washington chews all the scenery available here) and pounds Andrew’s head like there is no tomorrow. And the piece of violence is both glorious and terrifying to watch.
Thereafter, Fitz comes into the Shady Bunker and consoles a shaken Liv. (This should bring them back together for the 100th time since they are now both officially murderers; very romantic stuff going on here). Abby walks in too, to behold the pounded yam that the Former VP has been reduced to. Olivia then barks orders at Abby, orders which she ends with a chilling, “Never cross me again.”
In the following montage, we see all the players using Andrew’s death for their political gain, because in the words of the great Cyrus Beene, “Never let a tragedy go to waste.”
- The B plot in the episode involves the inner power struggle in the Vargas’ campaign. Cyrus seems to be winning so far, but then Alex Vargas seems to have a card up his sleeve. It turns out B6-13 Agent Tom and Cyrus are totally doing the nasty and Alex Vargas plans to use that against Cyrus somehow. I’d be careful if I was Alex, because Cyrus don’t play. He WILL MURDER YOU!
- I don’t know if I want HOT Marcus to get involved with the demons that are Quinn and Huck. I get his plea to be taken seriously and trusted. But does he know what he is getting himself into? Tsk, tsk.
- Olivia is usually good at reading people, so the fact that she didn’t know that she condescended to Abby was surprising to me. It really was insulting. Abby and Quinn are the two characters that have evolved most positively on the show. Picture their Season 1 selves and their current selves, and you’ll get what I am saying. Olivia thinking Abby would want to come back and work FOR HER was frankly quite stupid.
- Can this show finally let go of the ridiculous Olivia and White Hat thing? She hasn’t been worthy of the White Hat for 4 seasons now. And this murder only goes to show that. When Huck becomes your voice of reason, then you know you have a problem.
- Cyrus was funny in this episode. Offering a dollar during the contribution meeting was comedy gold.
- I can just see Liv and Fitz getting back together again. I already have migraines just thinking about it.
- During the episode before this one, Jake was seen eating some sort of roasted chicken. This past week, he decided to go less simple. He had a plate filled with what looked like scrambled eggs and greens, and he was munching on a sandwich. And that’s it for last week on ‘What Is Jake Eating?’.
- The episode ends with Olivia going to her father. I suppose this is supposed to be some metaphorical, deep-meaning something-something, about how she has crossed over to the dark side and embraced her inner Slytherin.
Rating: 6/10 – The episode gets credits for the drama, even though it was very over-the-top and ridiculous at times, but it didn’t have one dull moment. Very entertaining stuff. I can’t say I like the direction the show is going in though. It’s very dark, and I doubt they’ll ever get back from it. I want a return to the Election Storyline though. This was fun but the election is where the real stuff is at.
TALKING POINTS OF THE WEEK
Crazy Dr. Ben and Dr. Owen vs. Dr Riggs (Grey’s Anatomy): Last week on Grey’s Anatomy, we got a two hour “event” episode. The first hour was pretty good. The second hour fell flat. The first episode had this time whammy-jammy thing that is HTGAWM’s forte. It felt like watching a Grey’s Anatomy episode through HTGAWM lenses. It made for an interesting viewing. The story itself was awesome. Dr. Benjamin Warren is a character that I think is very likable. It’s understandable that he’d feel that he is way better than the other residents. He was an anesthesiologist, before he decided to pursue surgery. So in a way, he is quite more knowledgeable and experienced than a regular resident. Still, it doesn’t mean he is qualified to do some of the things he’s been doing. It’s definitely hubris speaking here. He did it by cutting a patient open in the psych ward and again here. It’s understandable that he’d think he was doing his job that he took an oath to do. Just like with HTGAWM, the flashbacks were used here to devastating effect, credit to Jason George, the actor who plays Dr. Warren. He played Ben’s frantic nerves to perfection. A part of me does believe that while he saw the elevator doors open, his mind didn’t register it. He was so caught up in the rush of that moment. Here he had this pregnant woman dying right in front of him. He makes a decision to open her up, the elevator doors open, but then his mind isn’t there, it’s focused on saving the woman in front of him. So I get where he is coming from. This is the second time he’s done something like this though, and so his six-month suspension was more than deserved. Bailey was right; had he been another resident (and not her husband), he’d have been fired. The problem though here is, while he feels remorse over the woman’s death, he still feels he made the right call. Here is hoping his time off gets him to really think and come back a better doctor. What does this mean for his marriage though? Knowing Grey’s Anatomy, probably not good.
The second hour was more like the aftermath of the events that had transpired in the first. This brings me to Owen. The character Owen Hunt, in my opinion, was only as good as his interactions with Cristina Yang. With her gone, he’s largely just being existing. That was until they brought in the Dr. Riggs character. Now the two characters seem to have history and – my God! – have they drawn it out! Jeez. At this point, I don’t care if Dr. Riggs killed Owen’s sister, roasted her corpse, fed himself and then gave the remnants to his dog. I DON’T CARE! Owen needs to shut the fuck up and the two of them need to get over themselves and the writers need to stop dangling this stupid mystery in our faces.
Oh, and Owen, quit shouting like you’re a saint. You also cheated on Christina. You aren’t perfect. So quit acting like you are and like Riggs is evil personified. It’s just childish. I mean the episode has them trying to figure out what punishment to dish out to Dr. Ben Warren, but the moment Owen hears Riggs’ name, like a blood hound, that’s suddenly all he can think of. Faulting Riggs who was barely even there at all now seemed to be his priority. LOL. At this point, it doesn’t matter what Riggs did or didn’t do to Owen’s sister; the more he tries to make Riggs look bad, the more he comes across as stupid and silly.
Also, if my TV watching experience has taught me anything, it’s that the sister is very much likely alive. Just you wait and see. In the season finale, she is probably going to march into the hospital and be like, “Hi y’all, remember the person that those two idiots have been squabbling about for weeks? Well here I am!”
Grey’s Anatomy was good two hours of TV. First hour was a hit, second a miss.
Izombie Season Finale: I really enjoy this show. It has the right amount of drama, horror, comedy and campiness, and it balances them all well, and it just works. I didn’t think I could possibly like the second season more than I did the first, but I did. The two-hour season finale was simply amazing. Twists and turns that I most definitely didn’t see coming and resolutions to the season’s mysteries. This is how you do a season finale. Here’s hoping the third season doesn’t suffer from the Third Season Syndrome.
Robbie Turner Says Bye (RuPaul’s Drag Race): I have finally warmed up to this season. And this really is a strong crop of queens. The race is as tight as ever. And while you can obviously tell who the front runners are, some things still surprised me. Take Naomi Smalls who took the deserved criticism she got last week and showed us that there really is more to her than a pair of bra and panties. The bitch can actually construct a garment and her scarecrow couture was everything. Her performance this past week almost makes me forgive RuPaul’s decision to send Acid Betty packing.
That’s another surprise I didn’t see coming. I actually miss Acid. I liked her aesthetic, and whether I like to admit it or not, I miss her shady and negative ways. Plus toward the end, I genuinely began to like her. One queen I can’t seem to warm up to though is Derrick Barry. I still can’t stand her, and while her lip sync was okay, she was lucky that she was lip synching against Robbie and that the song choice favored her. If she was up against ChiChi, then Derrick would definitely be the one packing her bags this week – which brings me to RuPaul’s actual decision to not put ChiChi in the bottom two. I have rooted for ChiChi (her broke queen story reminds me of Adore Delano who I love), as I like her as a performer and I find that her entire story evokes sympathy. I like an underdog. But while Adore Delano showed visible improvements and was a hard worker, ChiChi just seems to be falling back on her excuse of not being as financially strong as the other queens. Her outfit this week was hideous. And while Robbie’s was badly put together, you could see elements of the Cowardly Lion character in her outfit. ChiChi says she isn’t a seamstress and hot-glued this mediocrity, and Michelle rightly pointed out that that’s not an excuse. BenDeLaCreme won a challenge with a sick hot-glued gown, so ChiChi was just lazy and it’s getting irritating.
At this stage of the competition she needs to be doing better. Let’s hope RuPaul keeping her for one more week pays off. Bye Robbie, you really did nothing for Seattle.
The Catch: Four episodes into the newest Shondaland drama and the good news is that it’s improving. The bad news is that it’s still a pretty bland show for the most part. The Catch has a decent premise. A private investigator who, like all Shondaland leading ladies, is a bad ass and incredibly great at her job, falls victim to a con man, who happens to be the man she fell in love with. It’s a nice premise that seems formulaic and similar to even Scandal in a way. Unfortunately, this show is nowhere near Scandal‘s level. The show has had a lot of trouble behind the scenes. First off, the original showrunner, Jennifer Schuur aka the person who developed the show itself, left the show due to “creative differences”. As if the original showrunner leaving wasn’t enough, a couple of the roles where recast for whatever reasons. The lead male role, aka the con man, was originally played by Damon Dayoub (now played by Peter Krause), while his female partner in crime, Zoe, was originally played by Bethany Joy Lenz (now played by Sonya Walger).
Now as much as most people would like to think that Shonda Rhimes is behind the success of How To Get Away With Murder, she largely isn’t. Sure, having her name attached to the show definitely doesn’t hurt its appeal. But she is just a producer on that show, shikena! She isn’t the director or the writer. She only produces.
The show Belongs to Pete Nowalk (who frankly doesn’t get enough credit). Now he actually writes what we see, he created these characters, knows them, knows the actors that best fit what he has created, knows how to write for his characters so it makes all the difference. Now imagine HTGAWM without Pete Nowalk; that’s what The Catch suffers. Without the trusty hands of the person who had the original idea, the final product we get is greatly affected. The premise of the show is one that demands its actors to be charismatic and have a certain oomph. And while I think Mireille Enos is a wonderful actress, she is frankly miscast here (as is majority of the cast). Mireille’s acting style is less Annalise Keating and more Bonnie. Less femme fatale and more just femme. This isn’t to say that she isn’t leading actress material; it’s saying that this role doesn’t fit her. I don’t buy her as a private investigator. The opening scene where she physically takes down some guy was laughable. It just doesn’t work. Picture Maggie Q (of Nikita fame) as this character instead. Maggie can lead a show. She is fucking believable as someone who can stand her own in fight scenes. She can pull her weight in the acting department. And more importantly, she has that magnetic quality that would just fit this role and ensure that you can’t take your eyes off her. The lead male role, now played by Peter Krause, is a role that demands the actor to be suave, charming in a very James Bond sorta way. Peter Krause isn’t that.
The whole show seems rushed and you can tell that the cast hasn’t properly gelled together, making some scenes awkward as they don’t yet have the chemistry to make their interactions believable. It’s not all bleak though. By the fourth episode, the show has shown visible signs of improvements, and from the looks of things, it’s only going to get even better.
I don’t know if the show would have been better with the original cast and showrunner. But I do know I’d have loved to at least see that version. Seeing as this is the version that we are stuck with, well lets hope it keeps getting better. I wouldn’t get too attached though if I were you.
Orphan Black And Outlander Return: These two shows are such guilty pleasures for me and I am so glad that they are back. I have missed watching the Queen of Acting Witchcraft that is Tatiana Maslany. From the looks of the fourth season premiere, the show Orphan Black is going back to its roots. Like almost all shows, it suffered from Third Season Syndrome (you know, that season where a hit show starts losing its way after two stellar seasons. Look no further than Scandal, Glee and House of Cards for examples of this disease. And this is why I am scared for HTGAWM which enters its third season come September). What kept Orphan Black afloat though is what draws people to the show – Tatiana Maslany. If you haven’t seen this show, watch it just for her. I can’t sing her praises enough. She is incredible. I can’t describe it, you’d have to see it for yourself to get it.
Outlander also returned for its second season, picking up right where the incredible first season finale left off and delivering a gut wrenching and emotional season opener. The acting on this show is also so good, it’s embarrassing. Tobias Menzies leaves me speechless on this show at times; the way he can go from playing the cruel and evil Black Jack to the loving and caring Frank Randall is breathtaking. April already looks to be an amazing month of TV, and Game of Thrones hasn’t even premiered yet!
Lucifer and Rosewood get renewed: I don’t know if anyone watches these, but yay, you get to watch them again for another year.
GAY THEMED MOVIE/SERIES I THINK YOU SHOULD WATCH
Last time I recommended the indie movie Weekend. This time I am going for a movie that’s kinda the opposite of that. It’s titled Geography Club. The movie is a coming-of-age, high school movie (based on the book of the same name) that caught me by surprise. I didn’t expect it to pack as much meaning and depth. I had expected a cliché high school movie that would most likely end with the characters fretting about whom to go to prom with. Instead, what I got was real characters, whose struggles I couldn’t help but relate to, since I had also gone through something similar.
Geography Club stars Cameron Dean Stewart and Justin Deely as two high school boys who meet and go on this journey of self discovery sorta together. They are supported by Ally Maki (who is awesome as the leader of the Geography Club), Nikki Blonsky and Alex Newell.
The kids know about each other’s sexuality and form a club called The Geography Club, where all LGBT kids could just hang and find comfort in knowing they aren’t alone. The club is titled such to thwart any suspicion and unwarranted attention.
The stories are well handled and surprisingly well acted.
The one flaw is Geography Club lags toward the ending and sticks a rather wobbly landing, but this doesn’t take away from the fact the entire movie is an awesome journey. It’s kinda like going on an awesome road trip but then running into traffic when you’re like ten minutes away from your destination. The traffic at the end shouldn’t affect your entire judgment of the road trip.
Rating: 7/10: One of the better coming of age, high school movies out there. Solid stuff.
That’s it for the week, folks. Sound off!
Written by Deola