Scandal Review: Sexy Secrets

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Last week's premiere of Scandal introduced viewers to the world of crisis management and provided just enough insight into each character to pique our interest and bring us back to learn more about them and their world.

"Dirty Little Secrets," meanwhile peeled back a layer or two on a couple of the fixers at Olivia Pope and Associates, crashing together in the end at the intersection of sex and politics.
Scene from Scandal

The firm is hired by the finest Madame in D.C. Their very own Stephen Finch is a client. Or was a client. Abby's crush on Stephen is made quite clear through her disdain of his (hopefully former, now that he's engaged) activities.

Protecting the Madame's client list is a difficult enough task, but the issue is compounded when President Grant's first Supreme Court nominee turns up as one of her Johns from over 20 years ago, even though the nominee has no idea he's connected to the Madame. This, despite the fact that we've now heard the "I don't work for you" protest at least five times, sends Olivia running straight to the President to warn him in case she and her cohorts can't keep this list from being made public.

Which, of course, later leads to a tense moment between President Scumbag and Olivia where he talks love and mistakes and she tries to get out without doing something she might regret. (For this quote and more, check out our Scandal quotes page.)

Learning the lengths to which people will go to protect the people they love is the impetus Olivia needs to figure out a way to save her client, save the Supreme Court nominee, and thereby save the President. Again.

Oh, and Amanda Tanner, the White House aide who accused the President of having an affair and then attempted suicide last week? A reporter for a D.C. paper has picked up her story. In an attempt to retain Amanda and help keep this affair under wraps, simultaneously protecting her own reputation, Olivia promises Amanda that what's begun as a two-line story in the wee hours of the morning could grow into a media nightmare unless Amanda agrees to let Olivia help.

Amanda doesn't agree, at least not at first, so Quinn is given the task of convincing Amanda to let Olivia assist her. The point at which Amanda agrees is also conveniently the point at which the reporter, Gideon Wallace, walks through Olivia's door and knows he's on to something.

After the second episode, I'm all over the place in terms of what I love, like, and don't like about Scandal.

I love getting to see glimpses into each character's personality, such as Huck's fierce desire to protect Olivia when he feels she's being threatened. There's a story there, you know? And I want to know what that story is. Harrison's remark to Abby that all men basically pay for sex is a tiny hint at what kind of man he is in relation to the kind of man Stephen is.

Quinn's obviously got some dirty little secrets of her own based on her conversation with Amanda in one of the final scenes.

I'm not quite sure what Abby sees in Stephen that makes her care so much about his extracurricular activities, but surely we'll learn what it is about him she finds so attractive at some point, right?

I love that Olivia Pope is this outwardly strong, confident woman who takes complete control of situations to help her clients yet is vulnerable and almost a little broken on the inside. Kerry Washington portrays both sides of this character flawlessly.

Some of these character moments are obvious, but what makes other moments perfect is their blink-and-you'll-miss-them nature. I know that as the season progresses we'll learn more of the characters' secrets - such asĀ  Washington teased in our interview - but I'm kind of impatient, even after two episodes. What can these characters be hiding? Who are they beneath their gladiator suits?

I really like the fast-paced dialogue that drives the show. While it may not be realistic, it certainly isn't boring.

What I'm most on the fence about is the way story lines are converging. My hope is that every client who walks into Olivia Pope and Associates won't have some sort of direct connection to the President, or the White House, or even to politics in general. If so, this will be the most scandalous fictional Presidency since Charles Logan. It's okay by me if the stories each week stay separated. If Olivia is going to somehow extract herself from this Presidential affair, she can't keep running to the man's office every time he somehow manages to get himself into trouble, whether knowingly or otherwise. The Amanda Tanner scandal is enough to continue to involve the President in Olivia's life. We don't need any high-priced call girls for that.

What did you think of this week's episode of Scandal? Do you like the way the storylines this week intersected, or was it just too coincidental?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (113 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


Just caught up on the eenirtty of Fringe. Mostly due to the fact that Lost has finished I need something to fill the void.Seemed a bit off at first but I stuck with it and I agree. It paid off. Been watching your reviews all the way with each episode of season 2. Damn this show is good. The characters, their relationships, the over arching story. I completely agree with Roth. There have been some ups and downs, but their A game is being shown through as often as possible.And if you aren't watching Fringe you really should start. But the finale. THAT FINALE!I saw the major cliffhanger coming a mile off but I was yelling and screaming for all of them to realise that wasn't our Olivia. Cannot wait for season 3 now. I really want to see how things pan out for Evilia. One complaint though. It's a little hard for me to explain but I can't help but think the "grey area" of the alternate world was lost a little and it has become darker in this episode. A lot of the counterparts came off as menacing and sinister. I wasn't fond of it.


This is definitely my new favorite show. Love Kerry Washington! The cast is great, the pace of the show is good--lots of scandal and I love the interaction among the players. I can't wait to see what happens next!


I deleted this show from my Hulu. They talk too fast and its not as exciting as its all hyped up to be. And everything else is pretty over-exaggerated.


The show is fun, i like the way they are introducing complications unlike fairly legal which pretty much wraps up everything in a pretty bow. So happy to see Brendan Hines on my screen again, I hope he becomes a series regular. Miss Lie to Met and the cast!


Again I felt the tension between the president and Olivia. I doubt she will be on his side by the end of the season. His sense of loyalty is obscured too since he claims to be in love with Olivia and then she quit and he cheated with another white house staff member. Looking forward to next weeks episode.


The stories are going to keep me intrigued, but I feel like they're overacting...and I hope that stops soon! I'm also watching for the man candy...Henry Ian Cusick and Columbus Short. YUM.


I'm enjoying it. I accept the fact that I'll have to suspend belief on many things. I agree with pretty much all of thus. I like the fast and witty dialogue. I appreciate the fact that they toned down the delusions of grandeur and cheesy lines. I hope all the cases don't end up interconnected and linking with the president either. I'm also very eager to delve into the team 's pasts. I was instantly intrigued by how protective of Olivia Huck is. He's already a man of few words so he's very mysterious and has me very curious. I thought it was a strong episode. I liked the pilot too but I could see them find their footing a bit more in this episode.


I still don't understand the relationship between the President and Olivia. She left him because she wanted to give him the fair chance of working things out with his wife, but he decides to have an affair with someone other than his wife anyway. It doesn't make sense. Is he so influenced by power that he can't control himself, or is there a story we don't know about? It's probably too early to say. Still with Olivia taking up Amanda's case, at some point she will figure out that Olivia had an affair with the President as well, how would Amanda handle that? My guess is that's where the reporter would come in, she might just think that Olivia is doing another job for the President by 'handling' her case. What's Quinn's story though, does she act as the newbie to Olivia's world like the audience? Maybe we are learning just like her, but even we know a little more about Olivia than she does.


I'm loving the show, though that the wife was the call girl was obvious from the moment in the interview with Olivia. I just thought he knew.


@Carol why is that? we still say all we want to say, but now we need too comment twice to do the task.
and by the way the comment shows up complete (without the cut) in our profile page. this is just weird

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Scandal Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Sharon: I didn't stay out of trouble for 30 years by kissing and telling, Stevie. Nobody knows that better than you.
Stephen: Your clients are all grown men. I'm a grown man. I made a choice. To do something illegal. And sometimes we have to live with the choices we make.

It's a dirty little secret. And dirty little secrets always come out.