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Amazing Grace | Film Review

As a kid, I didn’t spend every Sunday in church. But I went enough have the culture ingrained in my soul, my psyche. My favorite part of church was the choir. In fact, that’s all I was in it for because I never understood what the sweaty loud man at the podium was talking about. I wanted to hear the beautiful and powerful voices of the choir. So naturally, when the Amazing Grace documentary was released I had to go see it.

I bought my proverbial movie snacks: Raisinets, soda, and a big tub of popcorn. Shout out to the Laemmle Town Center 5 theatre for using real butter. I thought only ArcLight theatre did that. I sat down, started grubbin’ on my snacks and was immediately transported back to those Sunday mornings in the church house. At the first sound of the band and choir, my foot went to tappin’ and my head went to noddin’. Soon after SHE graced us with her regal presence dripping with soul sistah glamour in her flowing gown and regal afro.

Then it happened. She opened her mouth and out came that angelic voice we all know and love. Had my mother been sitting next to me she would have shouted the phrase she always said during my childhood when she played an Aretha Franklin album, “Sing it Rhee!” Aretha started with “Wholy Holy,” originally written and sung by the legendary Marvin Gaye; if you know me, my favorite male singer of all time. But oh, did Aretha make that song her own or what? She injected so much soul into that song that I thought Jesus was about to come sit next to me and help himself to some of my popcorn.

After about three songs, my writer/producer Spidey senses started kicking in. Where are the talking heads? Where are the interviews by the people who were there? Where’s the b-roll footage? Why did Aretha choose to sing “Precious Lord” instead of “Goin’ Up Yonder?” The 10 out of 10 stars I had prematurely given the film started slipping to an 8. I thought, why would they do this? That 8 quickly jumped back to a 10 after, Aretha’s father, Reverend C.L. Franklin took to the podium and praised his baby girl for her powerhouse vocals. He spoke of a six year old Aretha who sang her heart out in the family living room. He told the story of how a woman told him she thought Aretha’s performance of secular music on a television show was just okay, but wished she would come back to the church. He politely corrected the lady by letting her know that Aretha never left the church. See. Judge not, that ye be not judged (Matthew 7:1). Mind your business lady.

After that, my pesky writer/producer Spidey senses vanished. I forgave the sound synching problems, the out of focus shots, and absent interviewees. I realized those things were a reflection of the church and Aretha’s voice: organic, raw, and powerful. All that was needed was her gushing father and her heavenly voice. Those two elements alone got the job done. They did what a film is supposed to do which is to evoke emotions. I reminisced about sitting in the church pews dressed in frilly dresses, tights, and black patent leather Mary Janes. Chills ran through my body when Aretha hit that note. I laughed at Reverend James Cleveland’s side comments. And when Aretha brought down the house with “Never Grow Old,” tears streamed down my cheeks. Wow, the power of her voice! Ms. Franklin was and still is a national treasure with a voice gifted from God.

10 out of 10 🌟s

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Screaming at the Screen | Imposters S2 E2: Trouble Maybe

Mattie gets a visit from Shelly Cohen, ex-husband of Lenny Cohen, another one of The Doctor’s assassins. I have to go back and look at the last episode of season 1 because I don’t remember what happened to Lenny. She was crazy af. Shelly is there to take Mattie to meet The Doctor face to face. She makes a run for it, but he catches her and chokes her out. She picks up a book and knocks him in the head enough to get him off of her. It’s one of those books with the pages dug out and inside is a knife. She stabs him in the stomach and runs out of the house. YASS GIRL! He stumbles out of the house and gets into his car to chase her down, but he’s bleeding. The car slows down, then stops. Mattie stops running and looks back to see what he’s doing. He gets out of the car and goes after her, but because he’s wounded, he can’t run. Mattie runs into the park and finds the Cult Dude she met in the last episode. He’s a recruiter for one of those “find yourself, heal your life” kind of organizations. Mattie tells Cult Dude that she wants to go to the cult place right now because she’s falling apart . He agrees to take her. Cohen ends up passing out, but not before he gets a look at Mattie and Cult Dude getting into the car. OH, SHIT. HE READ THE LICENSE PLATE.

The 3 Musketeers, Ezra, Richard, and Jules hole up in Mexico to avoid being killed by The Doctor and the thieves who tried to con them out of the FBI’s ring. Angry Girl, Jules, pays somebody a deposit to get fake passports for them, so they can hide out anywhere in the world. They agree to step up their con game in order to come up with the rest of the money quickly.

Richard aka Mac Daddy is at a bar looking pitiful and getting wasted. Even during a loser moment, he manages to become the target of a horny cougar. He quickly tells her he doesn’t have any money. She doesn’t want to be embarrassed in front of her cheering friends across the room for failing to score, so she tells him to wave to them and kiss her. Of course. Richard has never been one to turn down any opportunity to hook up with a woman.

Ezra goes to the marketplace, pick pockets a tourist, then pretends like he found the man’s wallet on the ground and asks him if it’s his wallet. He tries to walk away, but the tourist offers him a small amount of cash as a reward. Ezra thanks him and shakes his hand. Little does the tourist know Ezra slipped his watch off. He gives the watch to a merchant that has been watching the whole thing. He gives Ezra money for the watch. YOU SURE HAVE GOTTEN COMFORTABLE WITH A LIFE OF CRIME, EZRA. In the first season, they made a promise to only steal from bad people, but we see that quickly went out the door. That makes them no better than Mattie.

The 3 Musketeers meet up back at their place. Mac Daddy shows up drunk and gives them his earnings. It’s not even $100. They get on his case about it. He tells them he can’t bring himself to take money out of women’s purses because that’s not a con, it’s stealing. EXACTLY! Ezra reminds him they wouldn’t have to steal from good people if he didn’t leave the 1.5 million dollar ring back at his house in the states. Jules reports that they need $5,000 in order to get the passports. Ezra whips out $2,500. They’re like, where the hell did you get this? He says it was going to take too long to get the money by pulling off little cons, so he stepped it up. First, he started selling maps to historical boats. Then he sold actual boat tours. Hell, why stop there? This fool managed to sell a boat he doesn’t own to a group of white guys and nobody questioned it because it was a white man who was selling it. Jules and Mac Daddy lecture him about not being dishonest and say behaving like that makes them no better than Mattie. DIDN’T I SAY THAT EARLIER? They make a pact not to lie to each other anymore.

Mattie checks into the cult motel. Weird Lady gives her the lay of the land, teaches her about wholeness. Later, Mattie calls local hospitals to see Shelly hass been checked in. She finds the right one and tells them she’s Shelly’s sister. The receptionist connects her to a detective. Mattie quickly hangs up.

We find Ezra sitting at a table in the town square writing. A pretty girl comes out of a shop and trips over his leg. He jumps up to help her. She says she doesn’t speak English well, but asks if he’s a writer. He says no. She looks at his note pad and tries to read it. She’s standing all extra close to him and he’s loving it. WHY THE HELL IS SHE STANDING SO CLOSE? Next thing you know, we see her picking his pocket. DAMN EZRA, YOU SEE A PRETTY FACE AND YOU START SLACKIN ON YOUR PIMPIN! TYPICAL. Pretty Little Thief walks away grinning. She gets down the street and checks the wallet. There’s a decent amount of money in there. Then she searches her purse frantically. Something is missing. Ezra pops up behind her holding her phone. Ha! I jumped the gun on Ezra. I thought he got ganked. I’m sorry for thinking you were controlled by the vajayjay Ezra. Pretty Little Thief had the nerve to be mad about him stealing her phone. She demands it back. He says only if you give back my wallet. They exchange items. Ezra tells her how he knew he was on to her. He says she was too flirty immediately after tripping over his foot and that the normal reaction is to show anger. He says he let her take the wallet because she’s beautiful. OF COURSE YOU DID EZRA. She tries to take off, but not so fast girl. Ezra confronts her for taking the money out of the wallet. She pouts, gives it back. She says she has to to work. He offers to walk her there. A romance is born. They end up in a movie theatre where Pretty Little Thief records the movie on her phone. DAMN GIRL, YOU’RE A BOOTLEGGER TOO? JUST TRIFLIN! Ezra offers to bring her in on his con games to make double the money. She doesn’t really trust him, but why not, right?

Max, one of The Doctor’s con men, shows up at the doctor’s office. He no longer wants to be on the run. So, we FINALLY get to meet the doctor. He was never seen in the first season. All we saw was a shadowy figure. That’s what I love about this show. The writers are good at creating tension and suspense. So, Max and the No Good Doctor discuss what happened in season 1 when their plot to con the FBI failed and Mattie ran off and the 3 Musketeers took the ring. He tells The Doctor that he wants to work for him again, if not, he might as well kill him now because he’ll be dead anyway trying to be a regular person. The Doctor tells him to show up at some hotel later and wait to hear from him, he’ll let him know then if he will agree to let him come back to work for him.

Ezra and Pretty Little Thief meet up at a cafe and flirt. He says he wants to hear her play the violin she’s carrying. He’s making sexual innuendos. The merchant is ear hustling their conversation and tells her in Spanish that he’s not really talking about her violin. She pretends to get mad and reaches for her wallet to pay for her coffee. What do you know? She can’t find her wallet. Ezra offers to pay for it, but she says no. She tells the merchant that she lives nearby and will bring the money back to him. He suggests she let Ezra pay for it because he’s not a fool. She tells him she’ll leave her violin with him to ensure she’ll come back. He agrees to that. Ezra examines the violin and tells the merchant that it’s worth 10,000 pesos. He says he can sell it and split the money with him. The merchant says no and makes him leave. Pretty Little Thief comes back. The merchant tells her he wants to buy the violin for his granddaughter and will pay double what it’s worth. Next thing you know she comes running down the street to Ezra and tells him she got 20,000 pesos for a violin only worth 5,000 pesos. I looked it up. 20,000 pesos in US dollars equals about $1,100 and 5,000 pesos equals about $277. So, they made 3 times the amount they paid for it. They celebrate with a hot passionate kiss. She tells him her name is Rosa. GIRL, THAT AIN’T YOUR NAME. They get a room and get busy.

Mattie and Cult Dude hang out at the cult house. She finds out that he’s gay and that his boyfriend is a member of the cult too. She’s shocked. He makes fun of her for thinking her brought her to the cult house to seduce her. They laugh if off.

Back at the hotel, Ezra and Pretty Little Thief lie in post-coital glow. The next morning Ezra wakes up to find she’s gone and so is his money. See, like I said, men will always be taken down by the coochie. Bless their hearts.

Ezra combs the city for Pretty Little Thief. BOY, YOU KNOW SHE’S LONG GONE. But oh his lucky stars, he finds her at the movie theatre. He fusses at her for having sex with him then conning him. She whips out a big wad of cash, tells him she doubled their money by using a trick he taught her. GIRL BYE. I’m like she’s only saying that because he found her. I don’t trust her and I don’t trust Ezra’s peen. He buys it though and they head back to the hotel for round two. SMH…

Fast forward to Mattie at the cult lair. She has dreams of her past conning everybody. Suddenly she gets awakened by some creepy lady standing over her. It’s Anne-Marie Johnson, from In the Heat of the Night, In Living Color, Girlfriends, and a million other shows and movies. She’s creepy af in this episode. Her name is Gail. She’s the advisor. It’s time for Mattie’s one on one. Creepy af “counsels” her, but it seems more like an interrogation. Mattie is shook. She’s not used to people seeing through her. Anne-Marie is such an amazing actress. She was seriously creeping me out. I was like, run Mattie!

Mac Daddy goes to the bar, tells the bartender he’s off booze and pays his tab. Two pretty travelers come in talking about they’re looking for the most funs.

Max falls asleep waiting for the doctor to show up. Next thing you know somebody puts a gun to his head. He doesn’t even look to see who it is. He tells them to go ahead and pull the trigger. It’s Sally, his former partner in crime who ran off with money they were supposed to give to The Doctor. She says she’s not going to kill him, at least not yet.

I really likes this episode. I like the Bonnie and Clyde thing Ezra has going on with Pretty Little Thief, even though she can’t be trusted. I’m curious to know what’s going to happen to Mattie at the cult house. I feel like they’re going to keep her captive or something. Gail seems like the type who dices up bodies and serves them to the others in a stew.

One of the main things I love about this show is their amazing cliff hangers. They leave you eagerly anticipating the next episode. I just found out this show was created by Paul Adelstein who played Leo Bergen on Scandal. He was Sally Langston’s campaign manager and Abby’s boyfriend. He also played in another Shonda Rhimes show, The Practice. I never connected those two characters because they were complete opposites. Leo was a ruthless shark and in the Practice, Paul played a kind-hearted doctor. The show was also created by Adam Brooks who wrote Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Beloved staring Oprah Winfrey. I really enjoy this show. The actors are great and the writing keeps me on my toes.

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Screaming at the Screen | Scandal S7 E18: Over a Cliff

Okay.  Anybody who knows me knows that I am a die-hard, ride or die gladiator.  I’ve been watching Scandal since day one.  The minute the characters stepped onto the screen I was hooked.  Despite all the law breaking and scandal making, I fell in love with the characters.  Shonda Rhimes, my writing idol, created a show that solidified itself as my favorite television show of all time.  So, the series finale was hard for me.  I’m so sad to see the show end.  What will I do with my self, my Thursday nights?  How will I live?  Next Thursday, you’re liable to find me in my apartment in the dark sitting in the middle of the floor drinking wine and rocking.

Tears . . .

Alright.  Let’s get on with it.

Olivia arrives at some dark abandoned warehouse where she meets with prosecutor Lonnie Mencken only to find out if he’s not going investigate Cyrus’ airplane hijacking and B613, but promises to get her a Senate hearing instead, if in exchange, she can guarantee that Mellie will make gun control a priority. She tells him she can do it if Cyrus and Jake go to jail and B613 is dismantled. He pulls out a gun. LONNIE YOU AIN’T CRAZY! YOU BETTER WATCH YOURSELF. Olivia thinks he’s about to shoot her, but he tells her this is how she’s going to get her Senate hearing. In an earlier episode, we found out that Lonnie’s son was killed due to gun violence. Killing himself is the only way he can get the president to do anything about gun control. Lonnie bites the bullet right in front of Olivia.

Sally Langston informs her Lovers of Liberty that the Senate hearing is up and running. Cyrus storms into Jake’s office and orders him to kill all of the members of the committee. Jake says they don’t have anything to worry about now that Lonnie is dead. Cyrus reminds Jake that David is the head of the Justice Department and that means they’re screwed. Back at QPA, David explains to the gladiators that Cyrus and Jake will be investigated and jailed for their crimes committed under B613. Huck realizes that they will go down too because of their own B613 crimes. YEP. Y’ALL DID THE CRIME, SO YOU GON’ HAVE TO DO THE TIME.

Olivia meets with Daddy Pope in the park. She confesses that she was the one who exposed B613. She wants his help to save the country, but Daddy Pope is like, hell no, I’m retiring. He gives her an envelope with the deed to his house and account numbers for off shore bank accounts and trust funds he set up for Olivia and her future child. SEE, DADDY HAS ALWAYS LOVED HIS BABY GIRL. HE MADE SURE SHE WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF. Olivia can’t understand why Daddy Pope isn’t supportive of her wanting to save the country. After all, didn’t he raise her to be a good person? Daddy Pope let’s her know there’s a difference between him raising her to be a good person and her doing massa’s dirty work with a smile on her face. Olivia can’t see the difference between what she’s doing and what Daddy Pope has done for the same white people to protect their republic. He tells her it was HIS republic he was protecting because he was in charge and he made the rules. Olivia thinks coming out of the shadows and standing in the light by protecting the people is going to make the country better. Daddy Pope is like, girl, you don’t know these white people like I do.

Marcus shows up at the White House to talk to Mellie. He finds her drinking her hooch and staring at her presidential painting, which was supposed to be unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery, but was postponed on account of the B613 hearings. She grapples with the fact that nobody will recognize her as a great president, but as an impeached president. Marcus tries to tell her different, but she silences him by getting down to the reason she invited him there. She’s going down, so there’s no time to waste anymore. She grabs Marcus and kisses him.

Back at QPA, the gladiators sit around the conference table fidgeting and worrying about their testimonies. Quinn is freaking out about baby Robin growing up without her parents. Olivia tries to console her, but Quinn tells her to shut up. GIRL, WHO YOU THINK YOU TALKIN TOO? Olivia gives her a pass because she knows Quinn’s worries are valid. Abby is worried that David will move on eventually after growing tired of having a prison bae. Huck isn’t worried about prison. After all, he’s been in the hole. He eats prison for breakfast. He’s worried about speaking in front of the fifteen members of the Senate committee. Poor Huck, always so painfully shy.

The B613 hearing begins. All the gangs there, the gladiators, Fitz, Mellie, even crazy ass Hollis Doyle and creepy ass Tom. You know, Tom is all too happy to drop a dime on Cyrus. Ain’t nuthin like a lover scorned. They confess their deeds and implicate Cyrus and Jake for the the airplane hijacking, the assassination of President Rashad, and the crimes of B613. Later, David tells them to expect jail time for some of them and suggests that they get their affairs in order. Olivia makes a request to him to let Quinn to visit Charlie in prison. The gladiators tell him everything. Quinn asks Charlie to marry her. She came prepared wearing a white dress under her coat. Abby hands her a bouquet of flowers and Huck officiates on account of his last minute on-line certification. We find out Chalie’s government name: Bernard Gusky. THAT IS ONE HOMELY NAME. They all get a chuckle out of it. Quinn vows to never hack him without cause, to help him hide the bodies without question, and to always have his 6. Spoken like a true assassin!

On the way to his car, David runs into Jake. He threatens David to drop the case by walking him down memory lane to the time when he shot and killed Cyrus’ husband James in front of David for threatening to expose Sally Langston’s murder of her husband and Cyrus’ help in covering it up. David remembers it well, but this time his fear is replaced with anger. He’s tired of being Jake’s bitch. He tells Jake he’s the one who’s the bitch because he’s just a hired gun for everybody including Cyrus right now. David is like, if you’re going to shoot me, then do it because I’m not scared of you anymore. He hits Jake with a dose of reality: either do Cyrus’ dirty work or put on the white hat. Jake knows he’s right. He lets David go. NOW, THAT’S HOW YOU GET DOWN DAVID! CHARLIE BROWN FINALLY TOLD LUCY OFF FOR MOVING THE FOOTBALL.

Cyrus is bad mad because David is still alive. He has the gall to accuse Jake of not having the guts to kill David. UM, CYRUS? HAVE YOU MET JAKE? Jake kindly reminds him that he’s a killing machine and he can kill anybody anytime he gets good and ready. He adds that Cyrus doesn’t have the right to talk to him about killing until he grows the balls to carry out the dirty deed himself. And with that, Jake goes home.

Later in bed, David is quite proud of himself as he tells Abby about his run in with Jake, but she’s more concerned about going to prison in the morning. David gets a call from Cyrus. He wants to cut a deal. NOW, DAVID, YOU JUST GREW A PAIR. HERE YOU GO BEING GULLIBLE AGAIN. EVERYBODY AND THEIR MAMA KNOWS CYRUS BEENE AIN’T TAKIN THE FALL FOR NUTHIN. Cyrus hands David a letter confessing to hijacking his own airplane and framing Mellie. He wants to have a farewell drink with David. David says no, but we all know Cyrus doesn’t take no for an answer. Right then and there, I knew David was a goner. Cyrus goes about telling David how much of a monster he has been. David starts coughing and choking. He falls on the floor gasping for air. Apparently, it’s taking too long for him to die, so Cyrus speeds it up by smothering him with a pillow. CYRUS. I HATE YOUR GUTS. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. WE WERE ROOTING FOR YOU. Awww David. Tears.

The gladiators gather around David’s cold body at the morgue. Olivia says he died of a heart attack, but they all know Cyrus did it. Quinn points out that now that David is dead, they are all going to prison. Abby doesn’t want to hear that kind of talk. She tells them they have to fight for their lives. Huck wants to handle it, but Olivia says no because they are the only good guys left.

Quinn goes to Daddy Pope for help. She wants him to use his resources to send her and her family to some remote place in the world. He’s not willing to risk his freedom for theirs.

Olivia and Fitz share a drink. Olivia doubts herself for trying to do the right thing. Fitz tries to defend her, but she admits to being the problem for everything that has happened. In comes the Olitz theme song. OH LORD, NOT THE OLITZ THEME SONG. Tears. Olivia gives Fitz two options: they can keep arguing about doing the right thing or they can do “something else.” Fitz takes “something else” for $400, Alex. He utters those same four words that sparked the point of no return for Olitz seven seasons ago, “Take off your clothes.” YAAASSS! AND I GUARANTEE YOU THEY TOOK MORE THAN “ONE MINUTE.”

The gladiators are prepared to walk the plank, but the committee has postponed their recommendations because they have a new witness. Ol’ Daddy Pope takes a seat in front of the Senate committee. They have a little chuckle when he tells them he’s not there speaking as Eli Pope the citizen, but as Rowan, killer and the commander of B613. They’re like, yeah, okay black man. Daddy Pope proceeds to snatch their edges by telling them he wasn’t just responsible for running B613, he created it out of necessity due to the complacency of white men who’s white privilege placed the country in a state of neglect. He hips them to the fact that while they, privileged white men, were busy destroying the country, he was the one making the real decisions for the good of the country, like when to go to war, what president sits in the oval office, the soldiers brought home in caskets, the freedom of citizens to sleep peacefully in their comfy beds knowing no enemy was attacking America, and keeping the stock market afloat. God dammit, Eli Pope aka Damascus Bainbridge aka Command aka Rowan, a black man, is the one who’s really making America great. Senator Reston asks Daddy Pope if wants a parade for his efforts. He rattles off many things he wants, but the icing on the cake would be to see the faces of complacent, privileged white men when they learn that a black man is the one who has really been running the country for the last thirty years and that their power only existed because of his black power. HE GOT THAT COMMITTEE SHOOKETH! Oh, the pearl clutching of it all! Daddy Pope knows somebody has to take the fall, but in order to spare privileged white men the embarrassment of having been ruled by a black man, he will kindly let Jake and his whiteness have all the credit and all the prison time. DADDY POPE WAS, IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE NUTHIN TO FUCK WITH … lolololol.

Back at QPA, Quinn and Huck celebrate, but Abby can’t be happy because the real good guy, David, is dead. Olivia pays Jake a visit in jail. She apologizes to him for making him step out of the sun with her. She’s sorry for him being the one going to prison when all of them did dirt. He says prison is nothing. Again, what’s prison to a B613 agent? Jake thanks her for showing up for him. Welp, no more #TeamJake.

Olivia summons Cyrus to the Oval Office and demands that he sign a letter of resignation. He offers her a drink. CYRUS, NOW YOU KNOW LIVY AIN’T STUPID. He goes on about never being able to enjoy a drink again. OH WELL, YOU SHOULDA THOUGHT ABOUT THAT, CYRUS BEFORE YOU GOT GREEDY. He signs the letter, gives Olivia a pat on the hand, and makes a weary glance at the presidential seal on his way out the door.

Mellie wants Olivia to join her as Vice President to help her restore faith in the American people. Olivia politely turns her down noting that she’s finished with cleaning up other people’s messes. She tells her that Mellie doesn’t need her because she’s capable of running the country on her own and she knows she’ll do a great job. Mellie asks her what will she do instead. She says anything she wants. Olivia takes off down the streets of D.C. strutting and looking fly as always sporting her signature fabulous white coat. She takes one last look at the White House, like yeah I did that. A black woman ran the White House and a black man ran the free world. How ‘bout that! A black SUV pulls up beside her. It’s Fitz.

“Hi.”

“Hi.”

Quinn and baby Robin greet Charlie outside the prison.

Fitz reveals his presidential portrait. HEY FITZ! LOOKIN ALL HANDSOME IN YOUR BLUE SUIT AND ALL THE GIRLS CUTTIN THEY EYES AT YOU. Oops, The Color Purple slipped in there.

Mellie signs The American Assault Weapons Control Act of 2021. She snuggles up next to Marcus for a picture with her cabinet members. 2021 huh? Ol’ Mellie got a second term AND Marcus.

Meanwhile, Jake’s crazy ass is lying in prison grinning at memories of standing in the sun with Olivia. I guess if he can’t have her in real life, wet dreams will do. That Olivia lovin is something powerful… After all, she has the face that launched a thousand ships.

Alas, daddy and baby girl sit down for a real family dinner and share their favorite thing: fine wine.

Abby and Huck say their goodbyes at David’s grave. Tears.

Two little black girls stroll the halls of the National Portrait Gallery. They come to a halt in front of a portrait they can’t take their eyes off of. It’s Olivia Carolyn Pope. She’s gorgeous and regal in a white collared blouse, a thick brown leather belt cinched at the waist, a Cinderella-like, flowing blue skirt, and beautiful big natural hair. HEY MADAM PRESIDENT!

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Scandal: Season 4 Episode 20 | First Lady Sings the Blues

“Now, you, scared man with glasses, we flip him over.  Now, right now.  He scream.  We flip anyway.” ~Shady Doctor

It’s a Christmas miracle!  Jake is alive!  Thank you baby Jesus.  From the looks of the previous episode, Jake was deader than a doornail.  Thank God Huck decided that Jake was “warm enough” then proceeded to jackhammer his fist down on Jake’s chest, jumpstarting his heart.  I was going to be highly disappointed if Jake died.  I would have been pissed at Shonda.  She already took McDreamy, but Jake too?  That would have been all out cruelty.  So, I’m happy she let him breathe.  And I’m happy I don’t have to be mad at her.  She’s my favorite writer after all, so I don’t know how that would have worked.  It wouldn’t.  She’s a god.  I bow down.  Okay, let me stop drooling over her.  It’s getting a little creepy.

The first few minutes of the episode gave me LIFE when Quinn walked into the conference room of OPA and found Jake spread eagle on the table bleeding like a hog at the butcher shop.  On reflex, she whipped out that gun in slow motion badassery.  I was like, “Quinn, you betta do it bitch!”  She was ready to SET. IT. OFF!  It’s amazing to see her transformation from a jittery little puppy to a badass assassin.  Talk about a character arc!  Huck took her under his wing and created a monster.

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Olivia and the rest of the gang rush to OPA to find Jake hanging on by a thread.  Charlie calls in some shady doctor to work a miracle, only the miracle can’t be paid for with money.  Shady Doctor wants Olivia to rescue his friend, a former Russian assassin (Assassin Granny as I call her), from being pulled back into the spy game by some KGB dude after many years of civilian life as a wife, mother and grandmother.  Olivia wants no parts of helping an assassin, but Shady Doctor threatens to bounce, leaving Jake to die.  Olivia agrees, then goes on a warpath to find Daddy Pope and kill him for what he did to Jake.  Livy girl, you already tried that several times and look how that turned out.  You will never get the upper hand on your daddy and you know it.  He told you pointblank, “What have I always told you, Olivia?  Against me, you will never win.”  So, you may as well sit down somewhere, girl.

So, Shady Doctor manages to piece Jake back together.  Later, when he gains consciousness, he finds a breathing tube in his throat, his arms strapped to the bed rail, and Russell, the man who gutted him like a pig lying on the slab next to him.  Ooooh shit!  How did Russell get there you say?  Daddy Pope.  FLASHBACK:  Russell shows up to Daddy Pope’s house with the nerve to tell him that he failed to locate Olivia and crew.  He politely puts down his drink, pulls out his pistol, and shoots Russell in the arm.  He hands him a handkerchief, then goes back to sipping on his brown liquor.  That Daddy Pope is a cold piece.  But, I love it!

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This is a Man’s World

“Sir, don’t you think a man would be better?  I know.  I hate myself for saying that.  I threw up in my mouth a little bit for saying that.” ~Abby

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Over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Mellie finds herself down in the dumps about America’s lack of support for her run for Senate.  Hence, the title of the episode, First Lady Sings the Blues.  Clever title.  For those of you who live under a rock, Lady Sings the Blues is a movie where Diana Ross portrays troubled Blues singer, Billie Holiday.  Phenomenal movie.  Get into it.

Former Vice President Sally Langston takes Mellie’s misfortune as an opportunity to tell her talk show audience how poor her approval rating is and how abandoning her job as the First Lady is an insult to the people of Virginia.  Millie wants to go on Sally’s show and go toe-to-toe with her, but campaign manager Elizabeth advises against it because she’ll look defensive.  Fitz asks Abby for her advise since she’s the next best thing to Olivia’s stellar problem solving.

Abby suggests that Mellie distance herself from Fitz politically, but even more important, they need to find out if running for Senate while married to a sitting president is illegal as Sally suggests.  She learns from David that it’s indeed legal “because no one ever imagined that a woman would ever get an idea in her pretty little head to run for office.”  In this case, Mellie should be thanking her lucky stars for misogyny.  Abby reluctantly suggests that a man should go on Sally’s show to defend feminism because the audience will turn the channel if they see a woman defending it.  She suggests Cyrus as the guinea pig.  Cyrus is like, “hell naw” because he’s against Mellie’s run for Senate.  Fitz gets in his face and demands that he get on board.  Needless to say, Cyrus goes on the show to defend Mellie all the while faking the funk, which Sally picks up on right away.  She accuses him of not truly supporting Mellie because he really feels he’s more deserving of that seat in the Senate.  I can’t stand Sally’s hypocritical, Sarah Palin-like ass, but I think she’s right on this one.

Desperate Times Calls for Desperate Measures

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Unfortunately, Cyrus’ appearance on Sally’s show makes things worse for Mellie.  America still thinks a First Lady shouldn’t be allowed to run for Senate.  On top of that Fitz’s approval rating has dropped further.  Poor Mellie.  She’s circling the drain fast.  Elizabeth suggests telling America that Mellie and Fitz’s marriage is over to get rid of the conflict of interest.  Everybody looks at her like, . . . the f*ck?  Fitz brings in the heavy artillery, by calling Olivia.  She pretends like she’s not going to help him, but she knows she can’t resist him even if it means helping her lover’s wife win an election.  Their conversation is strained, but the ever-present passion and longing between those two is coming through the phone lines strong.  Oh, how I wanted them to have a “one minute” moment.  Yes, I’m #TeamFitz.  What of it?

After learning that Daddy Pope is most likely behind Russell getting shot, Olivia offers up Daddy Pope’s phone number to the KGB Dude if he calls off his mission to turn Assassin Granny back into a killer.  She tells him he’ll be a hero in Russia if he’s thee one and only person who was able to eliminate the world’s most powerful man.  He bites.  Worse decision of his life.  Olivia discovers him in the trunk of her car with a bullet to the head after she fled from Assassin Granny’s house on account of finding her and the grand babies lying lifeless on the couch with matching bullet wounds.  Dear Daddy Pope strikes again.

The whirlwind episode wraps up with another badass girl power moment when Olivia takes Russell back to her boudoir, straddles him, and tells him to close his eyes.  Russell thinks he’s going to get some hot poon tang, but what he gets is the cold barrel of a Glock against his cranium.  Olivia did that!  It was reminiscent of the scene in Harlem Nights when Dominique La Rue (Jazmine Guy) straddled Quick (Eddie Murphy) and pulled a gun from under the pillow.  Only she wasn’t badass like Livy.  She squeezed the trigger, but nothing came out.  Quick whipped out his gun and blew her away.  No such fate for Olivia Pope.  She handled hers like a BAWSE!

Being the smart cookie that she is, she caught on to Russell when she realized he was the only person who could have told Daddy Pope about the Russians.  He tried to play dumb, but Livy wasn’t having it.  She put a kung-fu grip on his wounded arm (which made him cry out like a little bitch) and demanded him to tell her about Foxtail.  I want to know too.  Whatever it is, Daddy Pope is involved, so you know it won’t be a day at the beach.

What kind of death and destruction do you think Daddy Pope has up his sleeve this time?  God help us all. . .