‘Look at Me When I’m Talking to You’

Olivia Pope's dad reminds us of black parents' favorite expressions.

Joe Morton as Rowan Pope (Scandal ABC)
Joe Morton as Rowan Pope (Scandal ABC)

(The Root) — In just the first four minutes of last week’s season premiere of Scandal, giddy gladiators finally got a glimpse of what life must have been like in the Pope residence. And, for anyone who grew up under the thumb of an exacting parent, that scene looked all too familiar.

As it turns out, someone other than the president of the United States has the power to bring Olivia Pope to her knees — her dad. Arriving just in the nick of time to save Olivia from a swarm of bloodthirsty reporters, Papa Pope (played with filial fervor by Joe Morton) whisks the newly scandalous fixer off to get fixed.

“Did I not raise you better?” Rowan Pope asks incredulously. “How many times have I told you, ‘You have to be what?’ “

An uncharacteristically speechless Olivia tries to whisper, “Twice as good — ” before Rowan, so mad he’s spraying it while saying it, finishes her sentence.

“Twice as good as them to get half of what they have!”

The rest of that scene played out like a “Things Black Parents Say” sketch on YouTube, with Rowan literally spitting out classic one-liners in that booming voice any child who’s landed in boiling hot water would instantly recognize.

And since Liv defied her dear ol’ dad by getting off that plane, there will definitely be plenty more Pope versus Pope showdowns to come. Here’s a list of the top 10 things we expect Rowan — the prototypical demanding dad — to say at least once per episode (plus one that isn’t actually said). Olivia, you’ve been warned.

1. ‘I brought you into this world and I’ll take you out.’