ConStar Studies Scandal "It's Handled"

How I felt watching most of the episode.

Season Three came out of the gate FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS! I’m still in shock from that premiere. *major spoilers below*
I’m rewatching the episode as I type to get some of his lines right. This episode was chock full of fantastic, fierce, and fiery one liners.
Key thoughts:

  • Joe Morton KILLED IT as Papa Pope. Act One was amazing. I basically wrote a dissertation below; lots of questions about him & his motivations.
  • I want to know what happened to Olivia’s mom and the plane crash. I have a feeling that will be important*[theory at the bottom]
  • Shonda did a great job of using dialogue to express character and relationships.
  • Fitz basically told us he leaked the name halfway through the episode.
  • Harrison is Liv’s champion and she (still) refuses him. I blame Papa Pope.


  • “I know more than  you could possibly imagine; about things of which you cannot possibly dream.”
  • “Just to be clear, I am the hell AND the high-water.”
  • “You have to be what?” “Twice as good.” “Twice as good as them to get half of what they have.”
  • “I am done with you and your superiority and your rudeness.”
  • “I am a monster, but honey, I’m your monster.”
  • “The White House will destroy you.” “That’s what mom used to tell me about you.”
  • “The time has come; I want it to come.”

Tl;dr under a read more cut, but just know I have a lot of thoughts. This is a long post.I’m really enjoying the black and white photography featured in the episode. I hope it continues. It’s very neat, somber White House Official and then we see the messy, often loud, behind the scenes moments. (Also, I just enjoy black and white photography.)
Joe Morton’s intro was FIERCE. He killed the episode right from the get-go. Let’s GO!

“If only you’d been this quiet as a child.”

1. Character and relationship revealing from the first words out of his mouth! That’s how it’s done.
2. It’s hard to imagine Olivia as a talkative child; not because she doesn’t speak (we know she can go) but because you think of a bubbly nonstop talking child and then we learn later her mom dies and got shipped off to boarding school and you figure out why she changed her tone of talking.
This scene in the hangar gave me LIFE.

“I’m here to fix it.”

He just really comes at her. The body language is great, he comes at her while she stands still. Also, it’s such an Olivia move; I wonder if Joe Morton studied the way Kerry acts when she’s dressing down a client to get his movements and change them just enough that it’s a family trait. He’s clearly not a good father, but he speaks so many truths (so many father to his daughter truths).

“Whose body do you think they will bury?”
“Power is in charge.”
“I know more than  you could possibly imagine; about things of which you cannot possibly dream.”

This is so poetic and reminiscent of… something. You know the line—Oh! This: from Hamlet “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

“You have to be what?” “Twice as good.” “Twice as good as them to get half of what they have.”

As many on Twitter said, this line has been spoken and/or referenced by many a black parent to their child as they convince them to strive for more. It doesn’t come as easily to us. Just working twice as hard often only gets us half.
Also, has Olivia been so thoroughly dressed down by ANYONE? She’s always the boss in the room. Often, even in the room with the President. Here she holds no power, no eye contact. Even her hair is restrained.
“Do you have to be so mediocre?” And then he has the nerve to caress her face. I can’t get a full read on him “There’s always money.” How long as he been this man? How did it affect his wife before she died? Clearly it affect Liv but does he feel he is being a good dad (maybe good isn’t the word in his head but not a bad one…)? Because, really, he could not be there at all. What purpose does he feel he is serving by “fixing” it for her and sending her away? Is it because he loves her or because getting her away serves some grander purpose for him? Clearly he’s made it so no one knows he’s actually her dad. (Or do they just think he’s what Olivia’s file said?)

“Just to be clear, I am the hell AND the high-water.”

This line was LIFE. A really great end to the Act One teaser.
I’ll try to not write as much for the rest (should anyone care to even read this, I just need to get my feelings out).
Cyrus is a Slytherin. I mean, it’s obvious, but in this episode he really showed those ambitious, cares only for himself, while pretending to want to help others, and so much rage. As Madame VP Sally said, “I am done with you and your superiority and your rudeness.” I hate that Olivia listens to him so much (though, of course, had she listened to Dad, there’d be no show.)
Also, “I can run this play in my sleep.” You didn’t run it too well, Liv. Others handled it for you and you got mad about it.

“I am a monster, but honey, I’m your monster.”

SUCH a monster. Don’t turn around and start a kill folder on her after telling her to get off the plane. Nope.
“I am many things, stupid is not one of them.”Also, she’s wearing equal black and white in this scene (the clothing is important, especially in this episode).

“The White House will destroy you.” “That’s what mom used to tell me about you.”

WOW. Just. Wow. I’m glad we got so much Olivia backstory in this episode (though I wonder if it was just because people were complaining we knew nothing about her or if Shonda thought this was the only time it felt natural to get such details about her past. It’s not like sharing personal information is a Liv character-trait.)
The Fitz scene with Sally kind of shows how, though he actually lost Defiance, he came very close to winning the election. He gets Sally, who refuses to help him, to come to his side and sympathize with him. It’s how he nearly won that election; that same charm he used on Sally.

“The time has come; I want it to come.”

He told us right THERE. Right there he basically said “I leaked Liv’s name.” That reveal at the end had my jaw dropped for at least 5 minutes.
Harrison is her second in charge at her own company and he saves her reputation and she never shows him any recognition or love. I really need to know what the deal is there. He fights for her SO HARD. Constantly. He defends her, wants to save her, and takes care of the business when she’s off in the Oval Office with the President. So what is in their backstory that makes her snub him SO hard while he worships the ground she walks on? I don’t ship them, I don’t. But I need more of a platonic relationship between them. Her dad was clearly not around and sent her off to school. She needs family. And she has it, right there in her office, but she rejects it. Man, Papa Pope really messed her up. =(
“Where is Jake Ballard?” “No one refuses an order in my business […] You may pretend that what you do and how you live is not made possible by what I do and how I live!” See, I need to know more about their relationship. How does he contribute (or think he contributes) to her life now? “The freedoms that I make possible!” God complex! Ugh, but I need more of Papa Pope! His monologues are amazing and I want to know so much more.
This scene in the Providence Box (as I don’t know what else to call it) was just simmering. I hadn’t actually noticed, but Kerry Washington herself tweeted out that the scene had no music. For a show known for music and for filling scenes with intensity or awesome oldies, not having a music really added to the tension. Mellie is really the woman scorned, she really gets the short end of the stick (though I’m not a fan of hers. But I get people who are. But wait until her next move.) They were married, she loved him, and he’s in love with another woman and refuses to sugarcoat it for her. The bass in her voice when she says “I will share it with the world.” But it’s because she must have known since the inauguration; the story she “pulls” is exactly what happened. Mellie was perfect during the “story time” monologue. The emotions she goes through and the guise of “making it up” but knowing and telling them that it was exactly what happened. I want to not be on Team Fitz, but that hug didn’t help. But I’m sure he’ll pull me off his team in due time. Prob once Jake comes back into Olivia’s life.
I’m so curious as to what Liv is gonna do to help this girl. The easiest out is to bring back Amanda Tanner’s name, as she was actually sleeping with the president. But I’m sure it won’t be that easy, with Fitz wanting her name out there. I suppose, though, that Olivia feels like she has to help the girl, since she’s wearing the white hat, but in the scene, she’s actually wearing dark colors. So I wonder if that means she’s really going to help her or harm her further.
Finally What’s in the file?!
*Maybe Jake and Fitz had something to do with Olivia’s mom’s death!!!?!???!?! The theories begin!