Season Analysis: Scandal started to turn into Alias a bit in Season 3, which was good, because the subterfuge was a whole lot more interesting than Olivia and Fitz’s umpteenth attempt to make their impossible love affair work.

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“Everything’s Coming Up Mellie”
Scandal is a sort of opera, insofar as every character has the biggest emotions possible at any moment.  Thus, the best performances that can be wrung from that style are those that cover every the full range of big emotions.  Bellamy Young is able to imbue First Lady Mellie Grant with just this range by playing her as villain, hero, victim, and manipulator.  And she got to shine in all those roles like no other time with the flashback-heavy “Everything’s Coming Up Mellie.”  This episode revealed that not only has Mellie been a victim of unfaithfulness, but also a victim of rape by her father-in-law.  But she used that total loss of control to take charge like never before.  The whole point of this episode is that you cannot peg anybody so easily.  Even when people are direct and show their personalities so openly – and Mellie easily fits that description – you never know just what is in their past and who they really, fully are.  And that is the trick of Scandal at its best: its operatic emotions make it seem like everyone can be easily judged, but its most revelatory moments make it clear that nobody can ever be so simply pegged.

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