On Thursday’s (Oct. 24) episode, the coincidentally-perfectly titled “Say Hello to My Little Friend,” the former “Friends” star made her debut on the ABC hit, revealing just how her top secret character would fit into Olivia Pope’s (Kerry Washington) world.
As Congresswoman Josephine Marcus, it’s clear that Kudrow is going to be a thorn in Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) side. In our first glimpse at her, the Democratic presidential hopeful from Wyoming is taking Fitz to ask during a primary debate. A challenger who the White House initially writes off as inexperienced, Josephine gets the boost she needs when Mellie (Bellamy Young) stupidly trashes both her and the voting public supporting her into another congresswoman’s hot mic during a photo op.
Just like that, Josephine has the legitimacy she needs to be viewed as a viable candidate in the bid for her party’s nomination and Mellie’s getting trashed in the press. (Worst Lady is probably my favorite because it’s ever-so-apt.) Mellie, at Cyrus’ (Jeff Perry) insistence, apologizes, which only gives Josephine more of a platform to earn herself some press.
So, Cy does what he’s so good at and sends his underling Ethan to Wyoming to dig up some dirt on the woman. When he returns with a pair of cowboy boots (“This is not the Bush White House!”) and the knowledge that Josephine abandoned a baby at 15, Cy thinks he’s got all he needs to halt her momentum, but if the previews for next week are any indication, he’s dead wrong.
While it’s a bit frustrating that in Kudrow’s debut episode, she’s only seen twice, through a character’s TV screen, it also feels much more organic. This character is here for a good while and it’s clear she’s going to be the cause of some great drama, so it’s smart of Shonda Rhimes and her writers to slowly bring her in, rather than trump her up from the get-go.
It should prove great fun to see Josephine turn to Liv for help when the White House tries to squash her, just as it should be a treat to see the usually-light Kudrow get dark and twisty in the “Scandal” sandbox.
– Remembering the show is part procedural, “Scandal” went the ripped-from-the-headlines route this week, with Pope & Associates, desperate for clients now that Liv’s become a bit of a Beltway joke, taking on a disgraced Senator accused of murdering the girl he’d been sexting. Anyone who’s ever watched an episode of “Law & Order” likely knew who the real killer would be, but Melora Hardin, known mostly for playing the insane Jan Levinson on “The Office,” dove into her role as the “Good Wife” with gusto. Her final confrontation with Liv, once Liv has pieced together the truth, was a bit chilling.
– If the case-of-the-week was good for anything, it was the bringing back together of Abby (Darby Stanchfield) and David Rosen (Josh Malina). Those two crazy kids might just work it out after all. Until Liv has to deviously tear them apart again, that is.
– Operation Remington Update: Fitz learns of Peter Foster’s death in the newspaper and, in the latest “Fitz Is An Idiot” move, has him buried at Arlington and attends the funeral, forgetting he’s, you know, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES and can’t do anything unnoticed. Word of this gets to Cy, who goes straight to Rowan (Joe Morton), demanding he be told why Rowan had Foster killed.
Meanwhile, Liv has kicked Jake (Scott Foley) out of her house in fear of her father after learning that he had Huck (Guillermo Diaz) kill again. (“I’ve never heard of B6-13. I’ve never heard of you!” Sad, scared Olivia is a cold Olivia.) Jake tracks down Huck, demanding he know who Rowan had him kill so they can take him down together. After all, they’ve both been in the hole. They both know what’s up. Huck won’t help him, so Jake listens in on Rowan and Cy’s talk, which, when it isn’t ruined by loud schoolchildren, reveals to him that Foster was in possession of a flight plan of some kind.
Jake takes the recording and Foster’s records to Liv’s office, where he’s summarily kicked out once again. He leaves everything with her though, leading Huck to go through it and recall the tattoo he saw on Foster that matches numbers in the records. He and Jake go to Liv together and they reveal that Operation Remington is the one flight plan missing from Foster’s record, that it was a rescue mission in Iran during the First Gulf War and that, though Foster has the mission number tattooed on him, Fitz was the pilot involved.
While this is happening, Cy goes to Fitz and chides him for the funeral flap, asking him to get over it and not do anything to screw up his chances of reelection. “Do you think we can leave the past in the past, sir?” (Just what did Fitz do?!)
– “What the hell is this?”
“This is a reunion. One that is long overdue.” (Again: WHAT DID FITZ DO?!)
– Can we start talk of an Emmy nomination for Bellamy Young now? Her work in the scene where Fitz grabs her hand is exemplary. The way she moves from being touched, to being sad, to being angry as all get out is just perfect.
– “You’re not worried about me. You’re interested … I see you. I see that look in your eye … Stop being interested. Stop asking questions. Stop while you still can.” Poor Huck. Poor, poor Huck. Also, is Quinn (Katie Lowes) too far gone? Discuss.