Season 2 of ABC drama Scandal just premiered tonight, and I'm already wondering if I have the energy to keep up. The show is about a Washington, D.C. spin doctor/fixer named Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington). With her crew of associates, all geniuses with shady pasts and injured souls, she goes around saving politicians and others from scandals. They are gladiators in suits, as one of the associates puts it. They wear the white hats. Except when they don't.
Did I mention Olivia also has an on-again, off-again affair going with the President of the United States?
Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey's Anatomy and now Scandal, likes to move fast. You kind of have to run to keep up with her characters. That, or just kind of let your brain go fuzzy and hope you can glean the most important plot points.
Season 2 picks up where we left off. One of Olivia's gladiators, Quinn Perkins, has been framed for the murder of a journalist. But Quinn is actually an assumed identity for Lindsay Dwyer -- a woman who appears to be responsible for an explosion that left seven people dead. Now she's on trial for their murders. Are you keeping up? Because it gets more complicated. Needless to say, Olivia and the gladiators are trying to defend Quinn/Lindsay. But there's a lot Olivia knows about her that she's not telling anyone.
There's a hint of West Wing to Scandal, with the topical politics and fast-talking and walking through hallways. But the show is more about twisted plots, scandals (especially sex scandals), impossible escapes, and keeping secrets.
Through the first season you got the feeling that while Olivia flirted with ethics and bent the rules sometimes (okay, one of her associates is an ex-CIA agent who will occasionally torture for information), she mostly stayed clean. Not so with this season. By the end of the episode, it looks like Olivia is at the center of a massive cover-up of some sort having to do with that explosion Lindsay was involved with.
I don't know if I buy all this! It seems a little shark-jumpy, actually. But I'm willing to give Shonda Rhimes the benefit of the doubt just because I love these characters so much. Olivia is smart, powerful, and crafty. Her associates are weird and a lot of fun.
Am I going to stay with the series this season? It's kind of the same question Olivia's associates are always asking themselves: Am I going to stay with this crazy lady? Well, I think we all know what the fun answer is.
Did you watch the last season of Scandal?
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