Scandal-Kiss Kiss Bang Bang-Jeff Perry, Keerry Washington, and Tony Goldwyn

Scandal is up to its old tricks. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” focuses on the day after the shooting and its fallout. As the victim’s family dealt with their loss, a few kisses kept us distracted.

The Players:

  • Director: Randy Zisk
  • Writer: Matt Byrne
  • Cast: Kerry Washington, Guillermo Diaz, Columbus Short, Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, Tony Goldwyn, Jeff Perry, Bellamy Young, Joshua Malina, Scott Foley, Jon Tenney, Kate Burton, Dan Bucatinsky, George Newbern, Khandi Alexander, Nazanin Boniadi, Sharmila Devar Paul Adelstien, Joe Morton

Episode Title: “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”

As Fitz and Sally duke it out for an endorsement from the NRA, Olivia and Huck come to some realizations. Meanwhile, a shocking person asks for Pope & Associates’ help.

The Good:

  • Kill the Spare: Whatever Adnan Salif was supposed to be, she is nothing in the shadow of Marie Wallace. Watching the two shop for terrorists established Marie’s dominance; Adnan is footing the bill for their unknown scheme and Marie is calling the shots. Adnan’s desire to keep their business between the two of them was immediately ignored. Since blowing up that plane was just a personal thing, Marie needs a terrorist to do the deed and take the fall. The game-changer was her swift and graceful murder of one of the two henchmen sent instead of her requested cohort Ivan. It became immediately clear that Adnan regretted and even feared her new associate with good reason. Whatever they’re up to, it makes far more sense for Marie to protect her terrorist connections by making Adnan the fall guy for their crime. At this point what they’re doing is just as important as figuring out which will betray the other first.
  • Candid Camera: Oh Quinn and Huck, how do you go on? The camera in the safe made it obvious to Huck (and us) that part of Quinn still wants to come home. Though we’d be happy to see her succeed on her own, she belongs at Pope & Associates. Quinn’s a natural spy; she’d never leave a job without making sure she was recorded, especially after she accidentally killed that guy in “Everything’s Coming Up Mellie.” This is why Huck’s drop-in murder visit rapidly evolving into a make out session caught us off guard. We’ve been mentally pleading for Huck not kill Quinn for so long we forgot about how close they were to developing into something more when Huck first took her under his wing. He wants to save her now, and it might be for a couple more smooches.
  • The Good Guys: It’s not easy being the good guy, especially when you’re Olivia and Jake. Last night did a lot to compare the burdens that they bear. They soothe their consciences in different ways. Jake kills for the good of the republic, but stays with James until his last breath, assuring James that his daughter is safe. Olivia makes sure that the patsy for James’ murder is arrested and immediately pledges to shut down B6-13. Both characters are being led somewhere. Jake’s direction is hazy, but Olivia’s declaration gave her peace for a week. Time will tell if she’s serious about taking down her kind of ex-boyfriend’s organization. That move will give Jake’s future some definition.
  • Give it to Me: Abby’s pursuit of David’s truth is the reason we weren’t ready to let go of this relationship. Relentlessly hounding David about the weight he was carrying and demanding he allow her to share in his pain cloaked Abby in loving appeal. It doesn’t make the most sense for him to be alive. If Jake truly wanted to clear the evidence, David wouldn’t be breathing. This makes David the deciding factor in his and Olivia’s new quest to end B6-13. David exists to keep Olivia pointing due North, to keep her white hat close by. There will come moments when Olivia will be able to rationalize ending the fight. David’s dedication will mean the difference between a flash in the pan story and a real crusade.
  • Gun Gang: Who didn’t immediately think, “Oh, they’re going to sleep together,” when Mellie and Andrew were sent out of town to court the NRA? This was something that needed to happen. Had they waited any longer the affair would have become another drawn out disaster. Since Andrew banks on Fitz’s utter disregard of Mellie, we’re hoping the bottom will fall out of this soon. That’s not to say Andrew isn’t right. Fitz politicized James’s death just as Mellie reminded him everyone else would without acknowledging her input or thanking her for stumping with the NRA. But being the alpha male that he is, there’s no way Fitz will relent to another man in any way. 
  • Work: Peppering the episode with flashbacks of the development of Cyrus and James’ relationship kept the night focused on the pain. James forced Cyrus to confront who he was and to stop living his life in the shadows. To see a relationship so bold and beautiful ruined horribly and ended brutally was bitterly compelling. Watching Cyrus struggle first with courting James and then coming out, showed a softer side his character was desperately in need of. We expected Cyrus to want to continue to with work. It’s the only thing he can do naturally. But making him sob in front of the press core, desperately trying to work through the pain was the anchor his plot needed to round you the night. We would have preferred someone address the fact that Cyrus engineered the clean-up that cost James his life but we’ll settle for seeing the President drag a sobbing Cyrus from the briefing room.

The So-So:

  •  The Hand of God: For about the third week in a row, we’ve come to the same conclusion: Joe Morton can make a nice little speech. Rowan appears at his daughter’s bequest and though he approaches with a brisk, “What,” he’s a pro at dispensing paternal advice. His case for the need for necessary evil is the reason Olivia called. We particularly liked words about her being the one dragging everyone shrouded in darkness back into the light. Even though the speech pushed Olivia into action, there’s more Rowan should be good for. Let’s see more action for the man with the eloquently powerful speeches.

The Bad:

  • The Boy Toy: So continues the ignoring of Harrison. The Adnan Salif plot that was meant to be a relationship is amounting to nothing. Adnan is at most his occasional bedfellow and nowhere near as terrifying as Harrison claimed. She’s just another woman for him to worry about and cater to. If something’s going to turn this around it needs to happen soon.

Overall:

“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” was the well-rounded episode we appreciate. Most of the plots are still building, but we got a few thrilling moments like Huck and Quinn’s kiss and Marie’s shooting. Still, someone’s got to fix that Harrison’s situation, and soon.

Rating: 9/10

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

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