The Queen SWEARS he didn’t set this up. But after our conversation in the Cawfee Talk IX post we get an episode that fits right into the discussion. Except this time, the dogs all work on Capitol Hill…and in the White House. And a very smart and enterprising woman makes money servicing their primal need.
The episode opens on Olivia Pope watching a newscast about the President’s first Supreme Court nominee. Images of President Grant are reflected on Olivia’s troubled face as we hear more about Judge Keating’s record on the Right to Privacy. Olivia, it turns out, is in her office with a very well dressed, mature woman who credits Pope with getting Grant elected and asks about why she left the White House.
At that moment Olivia gets a call from Finch, who is in the field with Huck and Abby. Huck and Abby are in a well-appointed townhome somewhere in Northwest DC, quickly gathering items from the house and computer. From Olivia’s office the mature woman is adamant that they remember to get the photograph albums in the living room. As Finch is talking to Olivia he sees a police car and black sedan round the street corner where he’s standing. One of the passengers is U.S. Attorney David Rosen who spots him. Finch tells Olivia that he’ll be at her office in ten minutes.
It turns out that the mature woman in the office is Sharon Marquette–the Madame of a high-priced escort service which handles the Washington Elite. One of her new girls was arrested in the lobby of the Hay-Adams Hotel and “…sang like a little bird” as Abby gleefully points out. Apparently Finch is one of Sharon Marquette’s clients, and Abby most definitely does not approve. It is imperative that the team gets its hand on the Madame’s Client List, which it turns out she has hidden in a secret compartment of the album which contains her grandkid’s photos. Once the list is decoded and the clients pictures and information placed on the evidence wall, Olivia discovers Supreme Court nominee Patrick Keating’s picture among the rest of the Johns. She heads for the White House to “fix” things.
While the Queen is still not blown away by this series, I have to admit that I am becoming drawn into the plots. The desaturated color and hand-held style of filming really adds to the grittiness of the goings-on in this Washington world of power. This is a show in which the spin doctors are the heroes and not the politicians. Unlike other shows focused around investigation like the CSI and Law and Order franchises, Scandal has yet to really use the city as a character. It’s still generic shots of the Monument and the Capitol. I know this is only the second episode of the series, but until things start taking place in Anacostia and Chinatown (in other words, when more people of color start showing up), they won’t really convince of the uniqueness of the Nation’s Capitol and the way it shapes the society that is integral to the show’s premise.
At this point, the acting is palatable, if not compelling. Washington does have a way with a line that is definitely character-defining. And there was one scene in which multiple crises are thrown her way. She stops for a moment…thinks…and then rattles off a list of activities to put all pieces in place for every situation. It was a very well done moment. However the Queen still thinks the series could benefit from a slower pace and exploration of the main characters–if for no other reason than to distance itself from the style of Grey’s Anatomy. But that said, like the Madame’s johns, the Queen will definitely be back for another session.
How about you Miss Things? What did you think? Has anyone else joined the Scandal bandwagon?