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Scandal - The Last Supper - Review: "Mediocre"

Thursday night means Scandal, with last night's episode titled “The Last Supper”.

It was written by Allan Heinberg and directed by Julie Anne Robinson. But I can't say I was that impressed.

It's a weird feeling, especially considering next week is the winter finale, and the previous penultimate winter episodes have been a lot better, more intense, more exciting. It's almost as if the winter finale is a week too late.

It's hard to put my finger on why I didn't warm to last night's episode, but I guess there was a lot of bridging going on, whereby the story arcs were being sustained until next week, with a lack of real progression or answers being added to the equation.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy the entire episode - I enjoyed several aspects, but not the entire hour. One of two main highlights for me was seeing Olivia give Cyrus her shoulder to lean on, in the wake of his indiscretion surrounding Michael. Olivia also supported Cyrus's endeavors to patch things up by not revealing to Michael's boss, Elizabeth, why her phone was playing up. With (finally) some noticeable traction for this arc, hopefully it will come to an end soon. Parts of the episode also made me wonder whether killing off Emmy award-winning actor Dan Bucatinsky's character James Novak was the right thing to do, but that's for another discussion.

The second highlight of last night's hour was seeing Rowan play his cards better than a blackjack card counter. Jake, Fitz and Olivia had earlier made the decision to take down Rowan as soon as humanly possible, but that led to a series of poor decisions, chief among which was the failure to examine the files Jake said he had, prior to attempting to take the man down.

Joe Morton was the standout male cast member once again with his performance in the restaurant as he beautifully asserted himself over his daughter. Kerry Washington did an excellent job expressing Olivia's genuine terror. Despite his confessions regarding his poor attempt at being a father, Rowan wasted no time disabling the pending offensive play against him. The President's Situation Room was rendered useless as Rowan calmly walked to his car, got in, and left. He's in the wind, but it's Rowan vs the world.

In previous weeks I was more than happy to see Huck building a relationship with his son, but I thought last night's progression in this area was dumb. It was a major miscalculation on Huck's part to involve his son in a stakeout, but I can't understand why the creative team even went there. All it's done is roll everything back to square one, which will continue to unnecessarily sidetrack Huck, limiting his use for OPA. As a side, Huck using the broken window to dispatch his attacker was pretty good to watch.

I'm on the fence as to whether the reintroduction of Andrew into the picture is the right idea, but I'm happy to let that one play out. The man nearly got blown up by a car bomb, making him the second character this season to cheat death from one. Andrew and Mellie wasted no time having a fling, followed by a more emotional discussion later, in Bellamy Young's strongest scene of the night, but things grow tenfold in complexity when we see Andrew also involved with Elizabeth. I'm wondering whether the man is a puppet on a string - could Rowan be holding them?

There was stuff to like, but the episode as a whole wasn't that good. Let's hope next week's winter finale, and ninth episode of the season can deliver on the promises made in the promo.

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to share your thoughts and theories in the comments below, and to follow Scandal's ratings on my TV ratings website, www.seriesmonitor.com/scandal.


About the Author - Jimmy Ryan
Jimmy Ryan lives in New Zealand. He is an avid follower of drama television and has a keen interest for television ratings and statistics. Some of his favorite shows right now are Person of Interest, Scandal, House of Cards, Orphan Black, The Blacklist, The 100, and Castle. You can visit his television ratings website, www.seriesmonitor.com or follow him on Twitter, @SeriesMonitor.
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