Scandal Recap: "It's About Peckers, Too Many Peckers"

Photo: ABC/John Fleenor.
Scandal is at its best when it uses fake media outlets to criticize society, and real-life media. Tonight's episode was shaped around the coverage of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), and her White House affair, just like the in-depth segments we saw emerge about a woman working for the White House 17 years ago. There was a lot to criticize — the power dynamics of gender and race, how we talk about females, and the double standard that still exists when it comes to women and men embracing their sexuality.

Like most exposés, the media's look into Liv's life started with childhood. The one where she was raised by two successful people, lost her mother at a young age, and was educated at a private, all-women boarding school. The newscast said her father, Eli (Joe Morton), "once told a colleague that he was on a quest to do the impossible — to raise an African-American girl who felt fully entitled to own the world as much as any white man."

When we turned on our TVs and first met Olivia less than four years ago, she was introduced as a powerful woman. She held her own with men and women. Olivia Pope has made mistakes; she's hurt people — but she has also been a role model when it comes to being a success, taking command of a room, negotiating, and being a compassionate boss. (Yes, we know she's fictional, no need to mention it.) Yet, it was no surprise to hear all the different ways the media tried to strip her of that power. They said things like, "Is she that good or simply lucky?" They went so far to try and erase that work, asking if she had just taken the power instead of earning it in the first place.

The internet commenters were worse, mirroring an unfortunate reality. Three different porn films had already been made about Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia, and the commenters on sites were discussing murdering and raping her. This gave her the opportunity to make an important point, and have the best quote of the night: "How come whenever a woman does something that people don't like, the only way these men on the internet know how to express themselves is threatening rape?"

The media used words like "sassy" and "urban." They mentioned her race enough to imply the "angry black woman" trope, but never enough to actually say those words. It's language we are sadly all too familiar with today. It's language that should start a revolution. In this case it did, if a minor one. Led by the newest Gladiator, Marcus Walker (Cornelius Smith Jr.), the workers of Olivia Pope & Associates were able to shut down the media with accusations of dog-whistle journalism. They went on air and said everything we want to say about how the media portrays women, particularly black women. We cheered. Olivia raised her wine glass, and finally smiled.

They weren't the only ones fighting against the treatment of women. The female senators are doing the same thing, and looking to Mellie (Bellamy Young) to be their leader. In their first meeting, they asked for Mellie's approval to impeach her husband. Not because he is a bad president, because "it's about peckers, too many peckers." They knew the men would be invited for drinks and cigars to talk things over. They knew that Fitz's face wouldn't cover the tabloids because he was a man. Only Olivia's face would get that honor. They knew his reputation would stay intact. A fact that was summed up perfectly when Mellie listed all of these things and Cyrus' (Jeff Perry) response was, "He's a man."
Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless.
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And, to make it even more timely, an extra storyline about gun control was thrown in. The gun control law that President Fitz passed to honor the death of his son is being used as a weapon. Nice, huh? If he wants to stay president, he needs to make things right with the Republican party, his party, and renounce the very bill that he loves and planned on being his legacy.

There were also plenty of great B-storylines this week, particularly when it comes to B613. Last week we learned the Louvre was set on fire as part of a plan created by Papa Pope. It's all in an attempt to get money back from the extortion charges. The fire was just a convenient distraction so artworks could be stolen and sold on the black market. Even in prison Rowan Pope has a plan to try and get back at his daughter.

Jake (Scott Folley) teamed up with Charlie (George Newbern), and his ex-wife (yes, apparently he was married before) "Elise," to try and find who is helping Rowan with this scheme. They aren't that great of a team, considering the only thing that happened was "Elise" (we never learn her real name) getting shot. We may not be closer to the criminal mastermind, but we did start learning about Jake's past life. Not only was he married, but Jake, er "Jake," has been lying to us about his name all along. Sorry Team "Jake"-members, if a guy lies about his name and gets over you in less than a week with the ex-wife he never told you about, he's not a quality guy.

In other news, Teddy Grant is ALIVE. Yes, somehow in all of the drama that surrounds Fitz and Mellie, they remembered to spend time with their youngest child. It has been so long since we've seen Teddy, that he's gone from a baby to a fairly old toddler (who is straight up awful at hide-and-seek — you'd think being sneaky would be in his blood with his parents).

Perhaps, Fitz is taking notes from not-so-baby Teddy because he has decided there is no need to be stealth. With the whole world looking at him, he went to Olivia's door, walked through all the paparazzi and journalists, picked up Olivia, and took her on a date, holding hands and all. Liv and Fitz are having their first real date, and it's not in Vermont. You know, something romantic just between the two of them, and every single person with cellular service, Wi-Fi, or cable. So what's next? We don't know. But, the Shondaland journalists think there can only be one of two options: "Will Olivia Pope become our next First Lady, or the first lady to take down the sitting president?" Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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