TVLine – Performer of the Week: Kerry Washington

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Kerry Washington Scandal Performance

A weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Kerry Washington

THE SHOW | Scandal

THE EPISODE | “Run”

THE AIRDATE | January 29, 2015

THE PERFORMANCE | Even when grabbed from her home and (seemingly) whisked off to a dingy destination unknown, Olivia Pope has it handled. On-screen for nearly the entirety of the midseason premiere’s 43 minutes, Washington walked the fine line between fierce fixer and Marvel-caliber hero, as Liv slowly took stock of her environs and abductors, never acting too hastily and, for better or worse, never superhumanly seeing too many steps ahead.

Even when Olivia taunted Otto about his obvious No. 2 status, Washington showed us a woman strong in observation yet not foolhardy enough to fancy herself a one-person TAC Team. Similarly, she conveyed Olivia’s prioritization of prudence and patience over impetuous pluck, as bathroom break after bathroom break she processed information about the world around her. Even when Liv attempted that first great escape-via-underwire, Washington made clear this was not some superspy seizing on a surefire plan, but a well-tailored D.C. power player who perhaps Netflix’d Alias on a recent night.

Did the unusual, break-from-format episode at times come off as “Emmy bait”? Perhaps. Still, Washington is POTW-worthy for maintaining the Olivia of it all, for never letting us forget that as far (or not!) removed as she may be from home, this is the Gladiator we have spent three-and-a-half seasons with, only this time under extreme, different circumstances. Now if only Liv hadn’t dropped that gun….

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