what they deserve

If you haven’t watched this week’s Scandal/Homeland, STOP READING NOW.  

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Scandal and Homeland remain two of the shows I almost always watch the night they air.  I sometimes stay up till 2 am, on work nights(!), to watch them.  I’ve had a bit of a love-hate thing going with both shows for a while now, but I’m absolutely addicted…especially to Homeland.

This season started out strong for the Homeland crew.  Carrie had left the CIA and was raising her baby, Franny, overseas.  She was doing good work and had a great love, who wasn’t Brody–but seemed pretty solid.  Of course, he was also no Quinn–but Quinn was off in Syria, fighting baddies.  Unfortunately, something crappy happened between her and Saul, so that was not ideal.  But, overall, Carrie was really pretty happy.  Now, Carrie has always been maddeningly annoying, but she’s a character you root for…mostly because she’s been through Hell.  And seeing her finally happy was refreshing.  But this is Homeland, and this is Carrie.  It couldn’t last.

At first, it was a great new storyline.  But it’s really gotten muddled with crap no one actually cares about.  The few episodes, recently, where Carrie and Quinn were reunited were magic.  When Carrie and Saul snarled at each other?  Yes–please.  But the recent gobbledygook of Russians trying to murder Carrie and Allison being the Queen Viper?  GOD NO.

Look–I love Homeland because of Saul and Quinn.  Period.  And I think most fans agree with me there.  We love the chemistry between those characters and Carrie.  And that’s the real story in Homeland–at least without Brody.  The show has had a difficult time rebounding from Brody’s demise.  Mostly, because that story was A+ TV, even if flawed.  And that character was one of the most interesting characters I’ve seen on TV.  With Carrie, it was pretty much the best.  So, why are they distracting us from these relationships and the depths of these connections?  It’s silly and just plain annoying.

Okay, okay–so I may have a huge crush on Rupert Friend and his Quinn character.  I may want Mandy Patinkin’s Saul to be my daddy.  Whatevs.  Mostly, I just want my favorite characters to live happy, peaceful lives in Carrie’s log cabin–waxing nostalgic about my favorite ginger man.  I mean, make these dreams happen, people.

But, seriously–the most interesting story here is the connection between Carrie and Quinn.  Both of these people are so, so damaged by their own sense of goodness and because they pursued honorable paths.  Both of them are running from the consequences.  But, with each other, they are able to be broken and whole at the same time.  It’s a compelling look at the common theme of hero, and it’s one worth telling a whole lot better.  So, yea–get on that.

On to Scandal

Oh, man.  You know, I have this theory that Shonda is one of the best TV writers ever (no, really), but she always peters out.  And man, I get it.  It’s hard to constantly write things that are that powerful.  The first few seasons of this show were jaw-dropping, and it quickly became my binge obsession.  Crazy plotlines, sure, but such great characters and monologues.  Lots to think about and feel.  Great stuff.  And then they kidnapped Olivia.

Now, I watched a Behind the Scenes thing recently that kind of went into that more–and I will be the first to admit that I NEVER connected the plot line of that to anything real or important…but apparently it was.  And that’s kind of the problem.  There was too much noise in that whole plotline–so the whole point was totally missed.  And I did not care.  Even though I love Olivia.

I’ve hated this season, for the most part–like yell at my TV hated.  Mostly because of what they did to Olivia.  I want strong, layered, fantastic Olivia.  Not stand by her man Olivia or shrinking puppet Olivia.  And don’t even get me start about Papa Pope.  Or Jake.  I mean–just don’t.

But FINALLY, THANK YOU GOD, they came out swinging with a fun, interesting, poignant finale.

I am LOVING Melly since she’s broken free of Fitz.  She’s finally stepping into her own power, and it’s beautiful to see…especially when she partnered with Olivia.  I love that they talked about women’s issues with no ambiguity and connected it to our favorite badass.

I loved Huck’s storyline this episode–and even thought it was nice to see a different side of Papa Pope–though I am still so troubled by him and that entire B613 plot.  And Jake’s story was as flimsy and disappointing as it comes.  He deserves so much more.  Give him real things to do.  That’s such a great, untapped character.

And I loved the whole David love triangle–but man, David’s an idiot.  Thanks for more Portia.  She’s a star, duh.

But, by far, the highlight was that scene between Fitz and Olivia where she finally came out swinging and said what we’ve all been thinking all season…this doesn’t work.  As much as we want to believe in jam, all we’ve got is moonshine.  And man, it burns.

That whole scene was pretty epic with Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn bringing it.  We’ve all been there, right?  In that confrontation when something is breaking apart, finally, and man–you still love that person.  But, man, you are so effing done.

The whole thing was a great discussion about love.  And heartache.  And reality.

It was heartbreaking, but so liberating to watch her in the end–alone, on her new couch, with her big glass of wine, watching it snow.

It felt like anything was possible now.  And that’s exactly what that character deserved.

So, thanks–Shonda–for finally speaking the language of women who aren’t going to settle for less than what they deserve.  The whole painful, ridiculous anti-feminist season we had was almost worth enduring just for that moment.

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