Scandal-Mama Said Knock You Out-Jon Tenney and Tony Goldwyn

Scandal knows how to hit, especially when the mothers are dealing the blows. “Mama Said Knock You Out” made Mellie and her kids the stars of the night. No one knows how to fight like a family. And with Olivia’s parents working to tear her apart, the night was sheer perfection.

The Players:

  • Director: Tony Goldwyn
  • Writer: Zahir McGhee
  • Cast: Kerry Washington, Guillermo Diaz, Columbus Short, Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, Tony Goldwyn, Jeff Perry, Bellamy Young, Joshua Malina, Scott Foley,

Episode Title: “Mama Said Knock You Out”

The Grant kids return to the White House for a live interview with Fitz and Mellie. Elsewhere, Adnan asks for Harrison’s help as Rowan warns Olivia to leave B6-13 alone.

The Good:

  • Knock Knock: So who was expecting the kids to stir up so much drama?  Surprisingly the Grant children fit in well and pushed the show forward. Bringing them in for a campaign boosting interview was perfect for Jerry’s political teenage rebellion, starting a “Fascist Fitz” Twitter account and intending to wear a Reston campaign T-shirt. It paled in comparison to Karen walking in on Mellie, “on her knees,” with Andrew. Even better, the headstrong teen wasted no time confessing her discovery to her father. It was nice seeing the children draw out Fitz and Mellie’s marital issue. Their interview truce wasn’t surprising, but the possibility that the children might return to provoke more honesty is comforting.
  • Glass Houses: Fooling around in the camera dark spot of the unlocked Oval Office is business as usual for Olivia and Fitz. Their lackadaisical attitude towards secrecy has never sat well with us. That’s why Mellie and Andrew’s double duty scenes of graphic intimacy were so jarring. Only so many people can brazenly flaunt their adultery at one time; someone’s bound to get caught. We sensed that Andrew was serious, but his desire to claim Mellie as his own in the President’s quarter after Fitz punched him proved it. Andrew’s open disdain for Olivia isn’t the only thing that’s growing. He is yet another ticking time bomb in the White House rapidly getting louder.
  • What Have You Lost?: We’ve only been fed bits of information on the ruination of Fitz and Mellie’s marriage until now. Fitz went in search of other bedfellows after 10 years of blindly respecting Mellie’s sexual shutdown. The confrontation they had after Fitz punched Andrew was breathtaking perfection. Fitz loudly condemned Mellie for lying about her libido and blamed her for his cheating and the dissolution of their happiness.It was the perfect time for her to finally confess Big Jerry’s rape and their son’s questionable paternity, accept of course for the impending live interview. The reveal must be right around the corner. The only other person that knows about it is positioned at the White House. With that hanging over our heads, the future looks bright.
  • From the Darkness: Somewhere in the middle of this family debacle and at the heart of their adultery argument we saw a spark. When Olivia’s interruption caused Fitz to turn and bellow, “I’m talking to my wife,” we saw the shell of the man he was long before he fell for her. The man who would do anything to figure out his wife’s problem, to help her, to feel her again. Falling for a married man is dangerous for a reason; whatever is severing his union can be repaired if they try. Fitz and Mellie’s strife has lasted more than a decade, and their twin affairs certainly don’t make their relationship look stronger. Still, Mellie had to notice the passion her tryst provoked in her husband, because Olivia did.
  • The Help: Olivia’s mother’s phone call rattled her just as Marie intended. The thought that she is nothing more than a high-class maid cleaning up after big problems immediately unsettled her. Though she pushed through and finished the work day for Cyrus’s sake, the thought made her question her position. Something about the way Mellie thanked Olivia for handing over the baby for the interview really drove that point home. The fact that she couldn’t ignore the spark in Fitz’s eyes when he argued with his wife won’t go away any time soon. Marie’s theft of the President’s schedule and security detail information from Olivia’s computer will do more lasting damage than her perceived slights. With her father now helping her research B6-13, her family’s on track to ruin her professional career. Considering Harrison was dumb enough to fall for Adnan’s charms and make the theft possible, Olivia has a rough road ahead.
  • The Job: It’s been so long since Cyrus has been allowed to be so open and honest without any hidden agenda. We nearly forgot what his broken tone sounded like. First his desperate attempt to attack Jake in the White House moved us, even though his conversation with Jake sparked him to action in the first place. His talk with the President showed him reconciling with the necessity for James’s demise. But the echoing consequences of his loss are profound. That Cyrus left the White House long before the interview in the middle of a huge fight shows how broken he is. Watching him talk Olivia into returning to the White House to fix the problems he can’t bear reminded us of their quiet kinship in past seasons. Add that to the touching shot of Cyrus at home completely engrossed in his daughter Elle while the special at the White House was ignored in the background. This other side of Cyrus was a welcomed departure. He’s sure to return to the monster he was, but the change his loss has brought is a beautiful addition to a complicated character.
  • How it is: Either their pressures of the job or the brutal rebuff from Olivia pushed Jake over the edge, more than likely it was a little of both. His refusal to bend to the President’s request and his conversation with Rowan shows how far he’s sunk. There was a ring of truth Rowan’s belief that Jake’s visit was merely an attempt to talk with someone who’s been where he is. However, with Rowan actually digging into B6-13, we’re sure Jake was there for intimidation alone. It puts us at ease that he has eyes on whatever Marie and Adnan are pulling, but with Jake’s new attitude comes the uncertainty on how he’ll choose to take care of it. His agents aren’t doing any better. Why Quinn told Charlie that Huck broke into her apartment is beyond us. For a brilliant spy, she didn’t bother to come up with a good enough lie, and provoked Charlie into sneakily moving into her apartment. Since her second meeting with Huck produced more harsh words and very gross tongue play Quinn needs to prepare. Her fake boyfriend and her real lover are going to butt heads very soon.

Overall:

“Mama Said Knock You Out” was the one-two punch we’ve been waiting for. No real explosions occurred, and yet the scenes were such a delightful deviation we hardly cared. With only three episodes to go in the season each plot is positioned to create serious problems for nearly everyone on the show.

Rating: 10/10

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

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