Anatomy of a Scandal season 1, episode 2 recap – the episode explained

By Marc Miller
Published: April 15, 2022 (Last updated: November 4, 2023)
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Anatomy of a Scandal season 1, episode 2 recap – the episode explained


Anatomy of a Scandal‘s second episode begins to look at James’ actions head-on, and Sienna Miller continues to shine.

This recap of the Netflix series Anatomy of a Scandal season 1, episode 2, contains spoilers.

Read the season 1 review of Anatomy of a Scandal.

Anatomy of a Scandal season 1, episode 2 recap

The episode opens with James telling his wife, who is in bed with her son asleep next to her, that he has been accused of rape by the woman he had an affair with. She takes the information as a nightmare returning, just when they thought they were rid of the problem. The scene jumps to both of them driving up to the courthouse. They are met by hundreds of rabid reporters taking pictures and asking questions. Sophie heads up to the courthouse rafters and James in front of the high court. He pleads not guilty.

Next, we see Kate and her intern talking about the case. She says something that piques her interest. James is so good-looking that she thinks that he is a rapist. In political chambers, on the other side of the aisle, the Prime Minister calls out his opponents for still supporting James Whitehouse, the rapist. The Prime Minister responds that whoever doesn’t stand by someone innocent until proven guilty is spineless. Moving on and back to the Whitehouse home, James buys a black labrador puppy for the kids to distract them from the ongoing scandal. They name the pooch Velcro.

The show then goes back into flashback mode, where James and the Prime Minister are part of a secret college society, a real, almost Skulls & Bones, crowd. They are all boorish and insulting, practically destroying the restaurant. One of them goes behind the waitress, grabs her breasts, then says he wants to offer her “support.” Young James attempts to buy her off and apologizes for their behavior. She walks away without taking the money.

Sophie has flashbacks. After talking to James about not wanting to go to court to show him support (which would make him look guilty), she reminisces about her college days and wanting to get a job when this is all over. Sophie thinks back to her college days, where she watches James, a star track athlete, and says, she will marry him to her friends. Later, she thinks back to watching how “clever” her friend Holly was in class and asking her to tag-team projects together to get through school. Sophia was not a committed student like her friend. When it was her turn to read the books and give her partner the notes, she didn’t do it, but she took Holly’s notes anyway.

The episode ends with James, in the court, facing his accuser. Olivia takes the stand and starts to answer questions from her lawyer. Her answers confirm many of what James flashbacked on, how they met, and what they did. That evening they bumped into each other in the hallway. The main differences are that Olivia mentions how she did not ask them to grab a drink when they bumped into each other. Also, James held her arm and let it linger for longer than average time. They have a drink and look over the city; she asks him twice about won’t his wife wonder why he was so late? No, because he said that she trusted him.

Finally, the real shocker even took Kate by surprise. When Kate asked about their relationship, they went over some sordid details and how James broke it off after five months. James lets her down quickly and even asks if she wants to be transferred to a different department. She gives him the answer he wants to hear, and he begins to patronize her. “Because I do so appreciate your talent,” she replies coldly. “Which talent?” He gets back on that horse, telling her how talented she is. She gets upset but asks about the line edits to help push through his immigration amendment.

In the courtroom, Olivia is speaking about trying to keep her lips from almost quivering when James broke it off with her, but she is virtually speaking directly to James than answering Kate’s questions. She says she didn’t want their relationship to end. Why? Well, she is about to give us the answer. “I didn’t want it to end because I was in love with him.”

This turns out to be too much for Sophie to bear. She gets up, weak-kneed, and walks away up the stairs where she was sitting in the rafters. This is noticeable to all, and James is very concerned about her but cannot move. The episode ends with Sophie feeling like she is in free fall, backward onto the marble floor of the courthouse below. This symbolizes the feelings of her personal life at the moment.

What did you think of the Netflix series Anatomy of a Scandal season 1, episode 2? Let us know in the comments below!

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