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