‘Scandal’ Review: ‘More Cattle, Less Bull’

On the latest episode of Scandal, Olivia Pope and Associates went to work for the other side aka the woman (Lisa Kudrow) who has a genuine shot of ousting Fitz from the White House. She was holding a big secret; one that Cyrus and Mellie were dying to exploit. Meanwhile, Huck and Jake were determined to learn more about Eli and the truth behind Operation Remington, mainly, where exactly was Fitz flying that fateful night?

And can we talk about this episode being brought to you by the letters W-E-R-K, as in I saw a flash of the real Olivia Pope for that split second she swaggered down the hallway in THE DRESS. I miss her, I can’t wait until she gets her mojo back. Sigh. Until then, let’s get back to this episode.

Operation Remington

Let’s get right to this because I have some major feelings about where this is headed. Jake and Huck are still teamed up like Scooby and Shaggy trying to solve a mystery. They just have guns and computers instead of Scooby Snacks.  As Huck is going through all the info they copied from Eli’s house, he notices the discrepancies and puts two and two together: Fitz shot down the plane that was carrying Olivia’s mom, Maya Lewis, and some other people.

Feel bad for the other people, but the bomb dropping of Liv’s mom being on the plane is what matters here. I said from the beginning that I will not believe she’s dead until I see a body and even then I’ll question it. I stand by this and now circle it in permanent marker (and I wish upon a shooting star that Ms. Rashad is already secretly taping scenes with Kerry Washington and Joe Morton.) These two ‘figured out’ what happened with Fitz and Eli and this shady mission entirely too quickly.

Even as they were breaking into Eli’s house, I thought, ‘why is this so easy for them, this is the HEAD of B613. He has more security than some flimsy alarm system and a computer sitting out in the open.’ He knows what you’re going to do before you do it. Huck is good, but Eli got him to kill like flipping a switch on, so there’s no way Eli isn’t ahead of the Hardy Boys on this. What I want to know is where is this really going? Yes, Olivia is going to flip out and I fear it’s going to be ug-ly. Like rip Fitz’s heart, slice and dice it up, and then pour acid all over it ugly when she confronts him next week. BUT when the real truth comes out, what’s it going to be? And who is going to be around to hear it, because I’ll bet my first born child this isn’t the end of the story.

Also, that hot, sweaty, dirty-shot throwing basketball game? I was here for all of it while resting my behind on Team Fitz’s side. In fairness, there was too much clothing on either one, but I’m shallow and then I would have missed the words coming out of both Fitz and Jake’s mouths. So, in the end, it was best they kept the shirts on their bodies. The undertones of Fitz letting Jake know he’s not okay with Jake making moves on Liv and Jake letting Fitz know he’s sniffing around that pilot mission sharpens those triangle edges ever so slightly….it’s about a girl AND a possible murder mystery.

ABC/Richard Cartwright

ABC/Richard Cartwright

Fitz Phone

Apparently when Liv chucked it a few episodes back, she didn’t break it…thank god for small favors.  Anyway, let’s discuss Olivia looking at the ‘Fitz phone’ willing it to ring. Been there, done that, not proud of it, but it’s the stages of being in love. When Jake calls her out for always having the “Fitz phone” on her person, she makes a big show of throwing it in the trash because, ya know, she doesn’t need it. She’s NOT that girl.

Fast forward to when Olivia is having a crappy day after being fired by Josie and she’s drinking and needing a hug and that phone rings in the trashcan. Olivia Pope launches herself clear across the room to dig the phone out of the trash to talk to Fitz, who’s hiding from Mellie in the bathroom by the way. Did the conversation involve them discussing their undying love? Nope. It was just a couple having a normal, flirty, sweet, conversation discussing their respective days.

Fitz calling Josie “an idiot” for firing Liv and Liv telling Fitz “you can’t vet your own jokes, you’re not funny,” is where I fall in love with them all over again. It’s not some steamy sex scene (although I would not pass that up), it’s a simple conversation that proves they know each other and just miss talking to each other. He doesn’t flinch when he says “I love you,” and Liv can’t respond. He just wanted her to know.  Now, I have seen people on social media saying this makes her look weak and desperate and only living for Fitz. Maybe they’re right, but then I say they’ve never fallen in love. Love makes you really, really dumb.

Side note: Olivia has a Fitz box of mementos that reminds her of him. You only have a box of stuff reminding you of a lover when it’s serious. Also, she was about to sleep in one of his campaign shirts. You don’t keep their stuff and sleep in his shirt if it’s over.

ABC/Richard Cartwright

ABC/Richard Cartwright

Mellie and Olivia

God bless Lyn Paolo for that dress, god bless Kerry Washington for bringing Liv’s walk back, and god bless Bellamy Young for opening with, “I like your new boyfriend. Is he married?” Whaaaat. SHOTS FIRED. Or so I thought. I rarely put in a whole monologue but read what Mellie says to Olivia.

“He’s tired and broken, and it isn’t the job. It’s doing the job without you. He’s not alive when you’re not here. He can’t breathe when you’re not here. He doesn’t have the will to run much less win when you’re not here because you – you are everything to him, Liv. He needs you and so do I.”

Remember that is a wife talking to the love of her husband’s life that isn’t her. Whoa. She knows it, Liv knows it, and Fitz knows it.  And in her own way Mellie loves Fitz, she really does. She also craves power and power always wins for her. In the end, I think Mellie means every single word of this speech, BUT remember, she still has an ace up her sleeve with knowing Fitz leaked Olivia’s name to the press.

She’ll happily drop that information when it best suits her needs or Liv and Fitz piss her off, whichever comes first.  I’d like to say this scene was hands down my favorite of the night, and that’s saying something since I got a real phone call between Liv and Fitz. Young’s delivery of every single word was flawless and Washington’s facial reactions had me glued to the TV.

Shoutouts

-Quinn, you’re grounded. Stay there. Do not move. Do not ask for water. Do not ask Huck more question unless you want an entire roll of duct tape used on you and I hope he does when her finds out about the gun.

-Dabby, you two are the healthiest couple on the show, and that says EVERYTHING. Also, I’m gonna need a flashback of Olivia busting Abby’s ex’s kneecaps soon.

-Paul Adelstein, I can’t wait to see what evil you’re about to bring…like maybe how you gave Abby a black eye……..

-Ethan, bless your heart, you are so far in over your head trying to run against OPA, but you’re adorable trying to keep up.

-Lisa Kudrow, love you in this role and don’t mind you sticking around for a few more episodes.

-Jake, bless your heart for thinking you were even second fiddle.

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Angela Romack is writes what you’re thinking about when it comes to your favorite TV shows. If you don’t agree, that's fine. She's okay with being right. Follow her on Twitter at @AngelaMRomack.