It’s Handled, According to Daddy Dearest: Scandal’s Newest H.N.I.C.
Turns out Rowan Pope is the match to Mommy Dearest. When you watch an episode of Scandal you never know which character is going to be so polarizing next. We’ve come to expect that from Chief Executive of the White House Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) aka The Monster, and First Lady Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young), otherwise known as The Animal. How many more strong characters on Scandal can we stand? Dominant, power-hungry, backstabbing, out for themselves…the list goes on. Now we can add one more to that list in the form of Joe Morton, who plays Olivia’s estranged father Rowan Pope. His speeches given during episode 3.01 “It’s Handled” were frighteningly captivating and equally hellish to watch – definitely akin to the feeling we get when Cyrus or Mellie take the stage. That’s why he was given our weekly TVAD Award – for out-performing all the incredibly talented actors already present in this series. As a token to Scandal’s newest cast member, we’ve compiled a list of our Top 5 Cringe-Worthy Rowan Pope Quotes from “It’s Handled.”
1. The presidency versus you
My goodness, when you’re the President’s mistress it’s one thing, but when you’re the daughter of Rowan Pope, it’s a whole other ball game. With the extremely high standards Olivia’s dad has for her, I’m astonished she turned out as well as she did. I’m sure there is a deeper back story to Olivia than just what Cyrus Beene’s kill folder for Olivia has revealed. But when your dad starts talking about your lady parts, what other Scandal reaction can you have but OMG followed by WTF?!
“You’ve raised your skirt and opened your knees and gave it away to a man with too much power. You’re not rare, you’re not special, your story is no different than a thousand other stories in this town. So you know how this goes, you can call this in your sleep. First they’ll smile, be warm, sympathetic, on your side, letting you know they will fight for you. Then they’ll lull you into a false sense of security and then once your belly is exposed they will gut you and everyone that you know. And they will be swift about it and by the time you realize you should be fighting back, well… you’ll already be bleeding to death. That is the presidency versus you. Whose victory do you think they will fight for? Whose body do you think they will bury?”
2. Power is in Charge
If there is one thing Scandal has taught us, it’s that we don’t have any clue who anyone is until it’s too late. In politics, there’s always someone playing someone else, but who holds the winning move isn’t the question you find yourself asking in this episode – it’s who’s writing all the rules? Who is making the decisions, who is the real person in charge? Their identity may not be revealed yet, but even Rowan Pope has someone to answer to. Any guesses at who might hold claim to this power?
“He would never. You and I both know he is not in charge; he is never in charge. Power is in charge. Power got him elected. I know more than you could possibly imagine, of things you cannot dream. He told you, you would be First Lady and you believed him. Did I not raise you better? How many times have I told you, you have to be what? You have to be what?”
“Twice as good as them to get half of what they have.”
3. You know to aim higher.
Rowan scathingly talks down to his daughter on what is certainly thought of as one of the most well-known facts. While most African Americans know about the black tax, the same cannot be said for the wider diaspora of persons of African origin. Viewers outside of the United States may well have interpreted Rowan’s comments differently. Not only is Olivia reminded about what being black is in aiming for high powered position but she also has to contend with the double edge sword of being black and a woman. Especially when women tend to face a workplace dominated by men and race isn’t the only factor which you have to work “twice as hard” as their male colleagues. Five hundred and thirty five seats are in U.S. Congress and only one hundred and one of those seats are occupied by women. Rowan has discovered his daughter’s ambitions aren’t going in the direction he’s drilled into her head since she was 12 years old. Apparently First Lady isn’t what you should strive to be in the Pope household, though I can’t hold too much against Rowan for that belief – especially when Mellie Grant seems to abhor the idea what revolve around being the First Lady. However, the way in which Rowan belittles his daughter has an undeniable verbally abusive tone and quite honestly I’d like to find that box Jake Ballard is in and put him in there instead. *revised
“For god’s sake – you know to aim higher, at the very least you could have aimed Chief of Staff, Secretary of State. First Lady?! Do you have to be so mediocre?”
4. I am the hell
There’s a certain tone to these powerful men within the political office that Shonda Rhimes has tapped into, and when this switch is flicked anything can happen. Remember when Cyrus looked Mellie in the face and said, “You might be an animal but I’m a monster”? I can’t imagine the sparring words between Cyrus and Rowan, which are bound to happen now that Cyrus is in The Know. When the time comes I just know it’s going to be brilliant. The only question remains will be – who will win the speech throw-down when that happens?!
“Olivia you are getting on that plane come hell or high water.. and to be clear I am the hell and the high water.”
5. They never think of the democracy that I make possible.
Remember that scene in Lean on Me when the principal nicknamed Crazy Joe (played by Morgan Freeman) was throwing out I’m-A-Bad-Ass with quotes like, “They used to call me Crazy Joe but now they can call me Batman,” and “I’m the head H.N.I.C.” (LOL! I still laugh in spite of his antics, he has a way with words.) When principal Joe talked to the faculty he gave off this demeanor of self importance and superiority. In his voice was the idealism that everything he said was the God-given truth and those in his surroundings would welcome and be grateful for it. And like Rowan – who finds himself in a place of power – he seems to be keenly aware of where power comes from.
“No one refuses an order in my business. Now you may choose to not understand that, you may choose to feel disgusted… you may choose to pretend that what you do and how you live are not made possible about what I do and how I live. I do my job so that fatty can watch reality TV, eat fast food, stare at the internet, screw their husbands or their battery-operated products. And never use their teeny tiny brain to think about the freedoms that I make possible. They never think of the democracy that I make possible. They never think about it so they sleep like babies at night.”
Scandal airs Thursdays at 10|9c on ABC