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Scandal: Any Questions? (2013)
Lots of Questions Remain
As tensions build towards the truth behind Mellie's shocking revelations, a race against the clock to find the "mole" consumes OPA. "Any Questions" demonstrated that even when Scandal reveals truths, the truths always lead to so many more questions. In this episode we see Cyrus about to implode when he realizes that his man Fitz has gone off script and decided that he would rather have Olivia than a second crack at the presidency. The episode flashes back and forth from Cyrus adeptly dodging reporters questions and him frantically scrambling to fix the damage Mellie has done.
Back at OPA, the associates are still working hard to find the mole, with the assistance of the newest Gladiator, David Rosen, disgraced former district attorney. David is instrumental in assisting Huck with hacking into Sally Langston's daughter's email account thus giving him access to her home network. The working theory is that the VP is the mole.
Meanwhile, Gladiator Extraordinaire, Harrison realizes that Olivia is the "problem" that needs fixing because the worst kept secret is that she is the President's mistress. He demands to know her endgame so that he can know how to protect her from the fallout. But Olivia has other plans. She seems content in leaving OPA to Harrison in order to ride off into the sunset with Fitz. But of course, this is not to be.
We discover that Fitz, for all his posturing about jeopardizing his presidency's second term by choosing Olivia, did not file the papers for his candidacy. In other words he never intended on running for a second term. When Cyrus tells this to Olivia, she cannot bear the thought of him not running for a second term because he feels that he cannot win on his own. She wants him to run, to exorcise the demons of Defiance and solidify his place in history as the rightful President of the US. This tension is built up by his impending press conference where many believe he will confess to an extra marital affair.
Mellie, on the other hand, has found her own fixer. He is determined to parlay the political firestorm she started into political clout if only she will name the President's mistress. But Mellie is too smart to throw down her "ace of spades" (no pun intended). She is going to hold out and wait until Fitz's press conference because deep down in her heart she knows that Fitz is going to chose the Presidency and by proxy, chose her over Olivia.
Back at OPA, Charlie, who has been rendered persona non Grata, by the mysterious Joe Morton character shows up at OPA looking for a deal. The exact same deal that Huck got which gave him his life and freedom back. He will give up the name of the mole for that deal, but Huck has another idea. Why not just torture the name of the mole out of Charlie and then kill him as the final act of revenge for putting him in the box and separating him from his family.
Charlie gives up the mole, Huck gives him a last meal, a donut, and is about to kill him, when "Baby Huck," Quinn, stops him and reminds him that gladiators don't do revenge. Charlie, who seems to be the cat with a thousand lives, gets away again.
However, Charlie's appearance was just a smokescreen. He entered the lion's den to steal the Cytron card from Olivia's safe. Harrison realizes too late that OPA has been played. And we finally discover who the mole is...
The mole is Billy Chambers and David Rosen is working for him. Yes, the same Billy Chambers we all assumed Charlie killed, is alive and has been pulling strings behind the scene. Billy is now in position of the Cytron card, the President announces that he intends to run for re- election and OPA are compromised yet again by crafty deception.
Scandal is Intriguing
Perhaps its because the powerful female lead is African American and people are just not used to seeing a competent power broker being a person of color. Kerry Washington is spot on as the driven "fixer" in Scandal. Shonda Rhimes has spun another gorgeous tale without color casting and letting the actors be whomever does the best job rather than a vehicle for whoever is "hottest" right now.
To the story. I wasn't planning on watching Scandal, but it kept popping up on Hulu so I thought I would give it a shot. From the very beginning the show caught my attention because the drama of the inner workings of the White House and the lengths by which people will go to protect their reputation was just interesting. I imagined that the stories that leak out in the press are, to some extent fabricated, but to pull the curtains back and see the wheeling and dealing at work it a ton of fun. Enter Olivia Pope, confident, driven, assured and yet vulnerable and to be pitied on intimate level. All her crew are broken in some way shape or form, but they function together to get the job done. "Gladiators in suits," is what they consider themselves to be.
I didn't go into the show making up reasons to like it. The shows stories held my attention and I like them, in much the same way I like Grey's Anatomy, another Rhimes creation. I am really enjoying Columbus Short, an actor with lots of talent a few opportunties to shine. I hope the show does well for him. Kerry Washington wouldn't have been my first choice, but she's won me over. I hardly recognized Guillermo Díaz, because he looks so different than from his other films. But I see potential for his role as the mysterious CIA hacker.
I can't wait to see what is going to happen throughout the season and I hope the show gets picked up. It is really that good. I can understand that the show is a shock to the system because Kerry Washington isn't your typical blonde or brunette power female and the ideal of her ***spoiler*** having a relationship with the President of the US would seem absurd to someone who's mind is conditioned to see beauty in the typical European way, but I think the show works because it is so unexpected.
None of the High Drama of the First Wall Street
What made the first Wall Street great was not simply the greed of Gordon Gekko, but the mesmerizing way he drew in Bud Fox. It was like watching a moth to flame, Gekko's seduction of Bud Fox, and to watch his morals go swishing down the toilet was like watching a train wreck.
This version of Wall Street lacked the taunt drama of the first. Gordon Gekko's charm was not nearly as effective on Shia LeBouf's character. For him to be so brilliant, after Gordon bounced out to London with a 100 million dollars all I wanted to say was, "sucker." You didn't see that coming? Everyone in the audience knew that Gordon Gekko wasn't going to go all mushy and exchange 100 million dollars for a relationship with his daughter. How could you be so gullible? This was suppose to be the climax, the shocking revelation that made us all gasp. It made me yawn and look at my watch.
Not only that, but the movie at various points was just too preachy. I realize the country's economic system is at the brink, but I don't really want to see a movie about it---reality is horrible as it is. So as far as entertainment value, Gordon's sermonizing about the perils of greed and speculations felt like I was being scolded for being a dumb sheep, blindly allowing the greed to happen. Another reviewer said that some might find it boring if we didn't understand financial terms. I have to disagree. I understand financial terminology and still found it boring.
Wall Street, was from the very beginning, a story about good and evil. How absolute power corrupts absolutely. How greed can never be satisfied and it will devour the naive and corrupt their moral values.
Wall Street 2 never developed into a movie that I cared about. I didn't care about the mentor committing suicide, I didn't care about the central characters and I didn't care about who put Gordon Gekko behind bars. Thus the movie failed to tell a compelling story. The actors were not bad, but not great. The cinematography was beautiful. But the story failed on so many levels that the movie should have went straight to DVD.
Rizzoli & Isles (2010)
Funny, Sexy, Smart
Being a fan of NCIS I was disappointed at the departure of Sasha Alexander and I hoped that she would appear in another television series doing something she really enjoys. But I was never a fan of Angie Harmon and she was my least favorite Assistant D.A. on Law and Order. It was hard for me to imagine Angie Harmon playing a tough, tomboyish Boston detective. Actually, I was thinking before the show aired that the roles should have been reversed. I could buy Sasha Alexander being the tough cop more than I could Angie Harmon.
However, I am happy to admit I am wrong. Angie Harmon shines in Rizzoli and Isles and it is apparent from their chemistry that they are both having a great time doing a project they are completely committed to. The dialog between the two of them is so funny and entertaining especially when Maura goes on a tangent and provides useless facts with such sincerity and genuine intent to educate.
The dynamic between them was cemented in the episode, Money for Nothing, when the working class girl and the débutante had to decide if they were going to have each other's backs.
I hope the murders become more interesting and the cases more complex. The show has a wonderful supporting cast-- the cop that gets queasy at the sight of blood, and the hard nosed cop that has a soft spot for furry creatures. Very funny stuff.
Rizzoli and Isles is becoming my favorite show.