Scandal-Icarus-Lisa Kudrow

For weeks, Scandal has been building towards something but last night proved there’s much more ahead. “Icarus” dealt with the fallout from Olivia’s most recent revelation, along with guest star Lisa Kudrow’s continued success. Rest assured no one fell out of the sky, but you might just fall out of your seat.

The Players:

  • Director: Julie Ann Robinson
  • Writer: Jenna Bans
  • Cast: Kerry Washington, Guillermo Diaz, Columbus Short, Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, Tony Goldwyn, Jeff Perry, Bellamy Young, Joshua Malina, Scott Foley, Lisa Kudrow, Kate Burton, Dan Bucantinsky, Khandi Alexander, George Newbern, Jack Coleman, Sally Pressman, Cameron Watson, Teri Reeves, Sharmila Devar, Paul Adelstein, Joe Morton

Episode Title: “Icarus”

Olivia continues to help Josie as Mellie and Cyrus attempt to undermine her. Meanwhile, Harrison’s past calls his loyalty into question.

The Good:

  •  The Past: As we imagined, Olivia can’t work for the man who’s partially responsible for her mother’s death. Opening the show with Olivia’s flashback of her last moments with her mom and closing with her confrontation with Fitz left an impression. The men in Olivia’s life were full of surprises. When Liv first confronted Fitz on his whereabouts during Operation Remington he pulled his POTUS card and threw Deliverance in her face too boot. Rowan/Eli’s reaction was even more surprising. Either guilt or fatherly instinct made him allow Liv to ask one question about the top-secret mission, though it’s hard to believe he didn’t order the attack on the plane. During his last face-to-face with Olivia he feigned ignorance, but when she said her mother was on that plane his brow furrowed, jaw tightened, and eyes darted ever so briefly. Is this something anyone could get over?
  • Temper Temper: Lisa Kudrow is carving out a niche for herself as one of the best guest stars Scandal’s ever had.  Josie Marcus is a truly engaging character; watching her eviscerate James in that interview on the subtle sexism the world continues to shove in the face of a veteran and congresswoman was thrilling. We’re only three episodes in to her seven-episode run and we’re already wishing for more. Before it’s all over, we’re guessing for trouble from her sister/daughter. Candy seems to have rebounded well from the news, but she’s never seemed to enjoy the assistance from Olivia and her gladiators. Sure, Liv and Abby pushed Josie into standing up for herself with a fake ad, but Candy balked at Josie’s aggressive behavior during the interview long before she learned the truth. Before long Candy might find a way to distinguish herself too. 
  • Loyalty: Harrison’s story was billed as something that would make him put his loyalty to Liv in question. That was a little overblown as it didn’t look like he was going to do anything but reaffirm his devotion to Pope & Associates. At least he gave Cyrus the opportunity blackmail and cajole, even though his plan to get Harrison to stop Olivia from working with Josie was unsuccessful. The threat of letting Adnan Salif back into the country was unnerving for the normally calm Harrison, and since Cyrus’s retribution is swift it will come out soon enough. Adnan went down for the same insider trading scandal that Harrison did but obviously there’s more to the story.
  • Bloom: For all the tutelage Huck gave Quinn, you’d think a lesson in common sense would have been given. It makes little sense that Quinn would be unbothered by Charlie’s sudden presence at the shooting range she frequents. How she could accept his pointers on firing one day and seek him out for more assistance is baffling. This is down to Huck. When you spark someone’s interest in something as intoxicating as torturing and killing, it’s your job to fan the flames or extinguish them completely. We get why Huck is steering clear of Quinn. We could hardly fault him for it. Still, idle hands become the devil’s playthings. Rowan/Eli is nudging Charlie to prep Quinn for something that will hurt us all.  Worrying about what that could be was perhaps the biggest mystery of the night.
  • And Then There Were Two: Cyrus started to come back into his own last night. First he blackmailed Harrison, making good on his threat to endanger his life with an old foe when Harrison didn’t comply. He tried to manipulate James before his big interview, though that’s likely a daily occurrence in their house. It was his seemingly omnipotent knowhow of the Vice President that was truly impressive. How Cyrus knew Sally was making moves on the presidency is beyond us, but watching him curtail her attempt bolstered our opinion of him. Cyrus wasn’t the only one stepping in a good direction. Jake continues to seem like a better option for Liv. We’re still not Team Jake or Team Fitz, but the way he hops-to when Liv needs him is endearing. His matter-of-fact yet caring reply when Olivia asked for more evidence was a like a shot of adrenaline to the heart.

Overall:

“Icarus” was the high soaring flight its name implied. As Fitz left Olivia’s apartment, the splices of her mother’s final exit from her life made for a powerful realization. This could sever them for real. Wondering what B6-13 has planned for Quinn is the most starling and worrying new thread from the evening. Harrison’s drama wasn’t as surprising, but the potential there is certainly intriguing. With Josie’s campaign, so much is going on and that’s how we like it.

Rating: 10/10

Scandal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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