Fug the Show: Scandal recap, season 4, episode 10, “Run”

So, this episode was “intense.” I put it in quotes because I personally wasn’t into it, but you can tell the writers wrote the word INTENSE on the whiteboard and underlined and circled it three times. It has all the hallmarks of someone doing their Most Intense Work Ever: dirty fingernails, tears, big hair, a prison, heavy breathing, and some kind of cous cous. It’s probably Kerry Washington’s Emmy episode, because it’s 43 minutes of Olivia being Super Intense, suffering and lecturing through fear and then lecturing through bravado and then crying and then so much running. But Scandal is nothing if not overly enamored of itself, and in its rabid self-fancying, it gave the game away too early for any of this to feel like anything but filler.

Point 1: We don’t know who took Olivia precisely, but we do already know who is behind it, more or less — war-mongering and power-mongering Jon Tenney and Portia de Rossi, although I’m sure there’s another shadowy higher power who will betray them when this all spins out of control – and we also already know Fitz is aware of it. All of that knowledge took most of the scary out of this. We know it’s not random. We know she’s a bargaining chip. We know she’s only been missing for one episode and there are eleven more of the season. We’re not that worried about her. Not yet. While there’s validity to showing what she went through, and making it all about her experience does give you the sense of how isolated she is, it’s hard to go there with her and be scared for her.

Point 2: The episode began with a scene of her running, running, running, down a dirty hallway, toward a red door…

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and again, Scandal is never fonder of itself than when it’s playing with time and space, so this is clearly from the end of the episode. Showing it to us at the top of the hour deboned about 41 minutes of the show, because I was just like, “Okay, we get it, we know she ends up running with a gun, so obviously she overpowers these guys,” and we had to tread water waiting for the show to get there. Between that and the show’s MADDENING recent crutch of twisting the plot and then three seconds later flashing back to lay out EXACTLY what led us there — rather than letting you realize it in an actual suspenseful way – Scandal cuts itself off at the knees. The episode already had a hook. Olivia was taken. It didn’t NEED this extra bell and whistle. We were already worried for her. It could’ve just opened with the ensuing scene, which is the abduction, told from Olivia’s point of view. Instead, it essentially spoiled itself.

Okay, rant over. Honestly, I understand from a storytelling point of view — and editing, and directing — that sometimes you get excited to do an episode that has a different feel to it. And for budget reasons, shooting 90 percent of it in one location is way cheaper (they call those Bottle Episodes, and most series have at least one per season, and this had to be one of them). But I just wish it had shown more confidence in its own story. Most people tuning into Scandal would have stayed even without the promise of an action sequence.

Shall we delve in? Good:

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Fugs and Pieces, January 30, 2015


Happy Friday! How fast this year is already ticking away. While you ponder the unstoppable march of time, enjoy:

– This will start your weekend off correctly, thanks to Elle: She’s the Boss: Judith Light on Angela Bower, ‘Transparent,’ and Diamonds. YES. She looks amazing.

– Gawker’s (new?) book blog enumerates the 50 best first lines in fiction.

– And in honor of her birthday this past week, Flavorwire treats us to some of Jane Austen’s best insults from Pride and Prejudice.

– Yahoo Style addresses the death of the mani-cam. We think.

– Did you read about this new app that will give you a fake boyfriend for….reasons? Well, over at Jezebel, they tried it out and…it’s funny. Just read it.

Cosmo talks to Empire‘s Grace Gealey about the show’s huge success and diversity on TV. And also jumpsuits.

– I agree with The Daily Beast here: PLEASE DON’T STEAM YOUR VAGINA, no matter what GOOP says.

Stacy London’s Top Shelf was on Into The Gloss this week. I love her.

– This is an interesting interview with Lena Dunham at the Los Angeles Review of Books. This line, in particular, resonated with me: “Friendship, particularly female friendship, has always struck me as more romantic than romance, more familial than family, a complex world where we are reflected back to ourselves in broken/gilded/found-on-the-street mirrors. I love art that addresses the complexity of it.”

– I think you’ll enjoy Amal Clooney’s rejoiner about what she wore to court. (Lainey)

– These books of Fashion Through the Ages are gorgeous. (All Things Georgian)

–Pajiba celebrates the return of The Americans — such a good show — with a look at its wigs. WIGS!

– Speaking of The Americans, Fashionista talks to its costumer designer and you will want to read all about it.

– Buzzfeed asks the real question: HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW CENTER STAGE?

– I’m just going to share this headline with you, from Celebitchy: Johnny Depp is so bored of ‘Mortdecai’ that he made up a chupacabra attack



Royals Round-Up, January 30, 2015

This week’s slideshow brings you both BABIES AND BOOZE. Two of my favorite things. Also: Loads of Prince Carl Phillip

Around the internet:


High Fugshion: Elie Saab Spring/Summer 2015 Haute Couture in Paris

And the gowns roll on, and on, and on…

[Photos: Getty]


High Fugshion: Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2015 Haute Couture

Some of this is actually really cute, in a way where I’m excited to see if Jennifer Lawrence has the good sense to grab it, and then some of it is a random grab bag of awful. Strap in and let’s do this thing. These are selects; click here for the full collection on Style.com.

[Photos: Getty]


Well Played, Katy Perry


Regardless of your personal feelings about Katy Perry…

Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show Press Conference

NO ONE can say that she hasn’t fully committed to this plan to play the Superbowl Halftime Show.  Down to her accessories, even. I admire her commitment. And, in spite of myself, really want her skirt.

[Photos: Getty]