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.


Thank God for that limit.


uugggggrrrr this 1000 limit is soooooooooo annoying!!!


continuing..... the set of Olivia's office feels like it is a recycled set of Private Practice Season 1.
and did anybody else notice that the president calls Olivia Livi, that's how Meredith Grey called the liver of her "anatomy Jane" doll when she was a kid. for some reason i just can't shake that thought out of my head ever time i hear him call her that. it ruins the mood for me.


i don't know what is it about this show that just doesn't let me climb 100% on board with it. sth about the stuffy feel of the oval office and over all Hallmarky feel of the show with everything shaggy detail of her office somehow glamed up, plus the out there romance with a 13-star crossed lovers at it's center just doesn't ring real for me.
last ep was good but i totally called that by the end of the ep he will come out of the closet, it was classic Hallmark moment, even though this e didn't have a card ending like that, it still felt a little too clean and there is nothing clean about fixing scandals.
Abby was just annoying sitting on her high horse, i mean come on, you have worked as a PI and dealt with numerous scandals not to mention that you aren't exactly 25, so what are you ranting about, seriously? i get it, she is jealous but to have this reaction is just stupid, if she would teased him and made sexual innuendos ala Boston Legal, now that would be fun!
the set of Olivia's office feels like it is a recycled set of Private Practice Season 1.
and did anybody else notice that the president calls Olivia Livi, that's how Meredith Grey called the liver of her "anatomy Jane" doll when she was a kid. for some reason i just can't shake that thought out of my head ever time i hear him call her that. it ruins the mood for me.


Good review. I liked the episode much better than the first. Olivia is captivating. Quinn is hilarious. We got to see the other characters more. I don't want the storylines to intersect intimately every week.


I love your review. Olivia loves the president and that why even though she knows it is wrong, she can't resist protecting him. I love this flaw in Olivia it makes her an interesting human and not a cold perfect robot.

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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.