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‘Scandal’ Review: ‘Flesh and Blood’

ABC/Kelsey McNea

This week’s Scandal gave us the next installment of the musical chairs game before the literal bomb goes off.  In “Flesh and Blood,” Olivia has all the men in her life causing problems, OPA deals with the fallout of shutting down B613, and Mama Pope is running around causing mayhem with this bomb in DC just because she can.

Also, Jake is still trying to get Olivia to choose him, Huck and Quinn move their jacked-up mating ritual to a garage, and Harrison loses to Adnan and Maya yet again, only this time there’s a gun involved.  Let’s talk about it.

Huckleberry Quinn and Dented the Car Hood

Quinn and Charlie – Batman and Robin – work as a couple. They’re both pretty and disturbing, and can be cute in a demented Scandal way. You know what’s not cute? Teeth pulling, Hannibal Lector-type licking, and now sex on a hood of a car – which has the potential to be hot and sexy, except if it involves Quinn and Huck. Because they ruined hot, sweaty, sex on the hood of the car sex and made it awkward, ‘is it over yet?’, and ‘why does Shonda hate the audience this much?’ sex.

The brother/sister dynamic worked so well before and now that these two sociopaths have crossed this bridge, it’s impossible to go back. And of the two, Huck should want this more since he’s now living on borrowed time due to Quinn’s deadly lady parts (RIP Jesse and Gideon). Most importantly, because these two fools were busy getting hood rug burns on their respective behinds, they let Maya literally walk into OPA and shoot Rowan in the heart. See? Quinn’s already ruining Huck and she just finished with him out in the parking lot.

The Maya Pope/Dominic Bell/Rowan Powder Keg Explosion

It seems Maya’s boo has been her boo for the better part of thirty years, and Rowan has been waiting just as long to dispose of him. A woman scorned is one thing, but the head a super-secret spy organization spurned means Dominic has been a dead man walking for the better part of his life. Side note: Dominic must have really loved Maya, because what kind of idiot sleeps with the head of B613’s wife, a known international terrorist for three decades, and thinks there will be no consequences?

The human side of Rowan is jealous that Maya really did love Dominic for all these years, and then the psychopathic side of Rowan goes and blows Dominic’s brains all over Olivia’s office. Of course, Maya pops up at OPA to shoot Rowan in the chest because she needs one more way to screw with her daughter’s psyche.

Then there was the moment when Olivia says that her mother loves no one because she’s even threatened to kill her multiple times, and Rowan counters that Maya hasn’t actually gone through with it so she obviously does love Olivia. What the…?  Mother. From. Hell. This effed up view of love is why Olivia sucks at communications when it comes to Fitz.

The Olivia Pope/Fitz/Jake Merry-Go-Round

This triangle is a mess. Let’s start with Jake ratting Olivia out in front of Fitz and Cyrus about her sex moves to get his phone or the fact that he didn’t even apologize for choking her (never letting this go). Then there’s Fitz, still married to Mellie and still in love with Olivia. And still playing some kind of emotional torture game with Olivia’s feelings (and I say this as Olitz to the end fan).  And finally, there’s Olivia.

She’s exhausted, confused, still admittedly in love with Fitz, and absolutely petrified of becoming her parents. Actually, she’s more afraid of becoming her mother at the moment, because her mother allowed Dominic to die, and he was the one person that Maya allowed herself to love outside of Olivia. If Olivia is her mother, then, in her mind, she isn’t capable or deserving of loving Fitz. Basically, there isn’t enough therapy in the world to help Olivia deal with the two people who brought her into the world.

As for the two suitors, Jake tries to convince Olivia that she really does feel something for him, while Fitz later calmly tells Olivia that he doesn’t like her sleeping with Jake. There was no adolescent reaction from Fitz, which would not be far off from his usual behavior and it was refreshing. While she does feel something for Jake, it’s nowhere near the same level as her feelings for Fitz. Agree or disagree, Olivia is in love with Fitz and vice versa. He doesn’t deserve her, he knows it and she knows it, but here they are. Jake is the guy Olivia should be in love with because, on paper, he is perfect for her. Fitz is the guy with whom she is in love and he’s nowhere near perfect. To be fair, Jake is nowhere near perfect either and he’s put his hands on Olivia twice now. He will always get the side eye.

Mellie is out for blood and Fitz’s DNA

Mellie is all kinds of pissed off at Fitz for shutting down her relationship with Andrew so naturally she turns to the booze for help. Honestly, Drunk Mellie is the best because the already limited filter she has from her brain to mouth disappears and she usually ends up reading someone like the Constitution. Interestingly, that’s not what happened this time. This time, she slips up and confesses to Olivia that something isn’t quite kosher with Gerry’s paternity and that Big Gerry may have had something to do with it. What happened to Mellie is revolting and life changing. On the other hand, it appears she has short term memory loss again when she tells Olivia “you owe me.” Nope. The only thing Olivia owes Mellie is a long overdue slap for her consistent belittling behavior toward Olivia. Mellie condoned Fitz and Olivia’s relationship more than once. She doesn’t get to the play wounded victim over their ongoing affair now.

More importantly, Mellie started this newfound interest in her son’s paternity to hurt – both politically and emotionally – Fitz. She wants him to pay for the last 15 years of her prison sentence of a marriage without taking responsibility for her actions at all. AND she got Leo and Sally involved because they’re nosy and picked up on the rumors of her trying to get this test done. She opened up a whole can of worms that haven’t even started squirming about yet.

A whole bunch of people are about to be dead

Harrison tracks down Adnan, who pulls a gun on him and holds him hostage. Meanwhile, Maya has successfully planted this bomb at the senator’s funeral, thinking Fitz would attend the event to blow him into kingdom come. Unfortunately for her, Cyrus foils her plan and saves Fitz’s life by stalling at the White House over Fitz’s eulogy. He does, however, let Sally and Andrew arrive at the funeral, knowing full well the bomb is there. Cyrus is the devil, and he’s not damn sure not going to let Fitz lose this election and have James’ death be in vain. This man has his priorities.

Couple of quick questions/thoughts, since I’m very chatty this week: Are we sure Rowan is Olivia’s biological dad? My spidey sense was pinging all over the place when Rowan kept harping on how Dominic ruined everything. Also, why is he so helpful/nice to Fitz now? I don’t believe his about face at all.  It was nice to see Olivia Pope actually working at OPA, even if it did involve B613. Overall, this episode really did remind me of the old Scandal I love and miss this season. I’m ready for the finale, except if they kill Sally off, because Kate Burton is everything.

Also, B613, it’s time to go…you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here anymore.

About the author

Angela Romack

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.

  • iheartwilson

    This discerning viewer thinks it was perfect for Mellie to tell Olivia she owes her because that’s who Mellie is… a “woe is me” character, a character who is her own worst enemy.

  • Macaluso99

    STANDING OVATION
    The ‘woe is me’ Mellie storyline has gotten boring and silly now. I would prefer a Mellie who owed her sh*t instead of the constant pity party.

  • Kendall

    Great review, somebody finally has some compassion for what Olivia has been through this season, and haven’t bought into the Woe Is Me Mellie bullshit. So many less-than-discerning viewers have bought into Mellie as a sacrificial lamb and it’s like the rape made everybody forget who Mellie is at heart. Also, she refuses to take responsibility for the choices she’s made that has led her to where she is now. Liv owes her nothing, and in actual fact, she owes Liv, because if not for her, Mellie could easily be in jail now after she forged the letter of reinstatement when Fitz lay dying in hospital. Also, if not for Olivia constantly throwing Fitz back to Mellie, he would have left her by now. I can’t believe how much she’s blaming Fitz for her misery when she’s the one who started the ball rolling by not telling him that Big Jerry had raped her. She struck a deal with the devil, and everything that’s happened since then has been as a result of those actions. I posted a heated response on another site to remind people the numerous ways that Mellie has screwed up and has needed Olivia to rescue her;

    “The misery that Mellie is going through has all mostly been self-inflicted. Even having Olivia as Fitz’s campaign manager was her idea. She wants power at all costs, and those costs are simply biting back at her now.

    Her telling Olivia that she owes her, brought out the biggest guffaw of the night in my household. Olivia who came in and breathed life into her dead marriage enough to get Fitz elected, Olivia who’s “yes” was required to rig the election that got him the presidency (2×11). Olivia who walked away from Fitz so that he could govern honestly and free from Scandal (2×08). Olivia who had the choice of letting Fitz step down so that he could be with her, but instead helped Mellie flush the stench of Amanda Tanner away (1×07).

    The Olivia who helped deliver the Kashfari hostages after Mellie had told the families that the US government were willing to negotiate with terrorists (2×16), The Olivia who stepped in when Mellie falsified the letter of reinstatement and helped her avoid jail (2×11). The Olivia who continues to throw Fitz back to her instead of going along with his romantic notions and ideas of being together. The Olivia who Mellie begged to come help her husband win the presidency back (3×05). The Olivia who handles Mellie’s family crises when all Mellie wants to do is to hide herself away in her glass of hooch (3×15). The Olivia who handled Leo and Sally and that entire paternity mess caused by Mellie herself during a fit of rage (3×17).
    That’s the Olivia who owes Mellie? Really? That line called for a big old ” Bitch please” and made me wonder how much longer we’d have to put up with this Poor Mellie rhetoric that the writers are insisting on . No doubt next season they’ll decide to give her cancer.

    Mellie is the one who truly needs to be called out on her shit, regardless of the fact that she was raped. She’s the one who needs to be made aware that her choices led her to where she is today. Olivia gets called out all the time on Scandal. She’s the one who gets branded a whore for her choices. She’s the one that the show insists on calling a hypocrite. She’s the one that nobody goes to bat for, she’s the one who’s expected to be strong all the time and save everybody, yet is berated time and time again for making the choices that nobody else wants to. She’s the one who takes the risks, while Mellie stays playing at being First Lady. A job that she finds “profoundly boring” (episode 3×01) yet clings to with everything she’s got. Unlike Mellie, Olivia has earned everything she’s got, and she doesn’t owe Mellie Grant a dime. Mellie is literally her own worst enemy, so I’m always going to reserve my sympathies for the one character on the show who truly deserves it.

  • iheartwilson

    I loved Mellie in this episode! So many great one-liners. And I like that Olivia offered to get the paternity results after the Leo & Sally problem was handled.

    Cyrus was so shocking to me at the end even after everything he’s already done. THAT SMILE! I’ve wondered how James’ death would affect him.

    Quinn leaving Huck and Charlie in the dust was great. They could fight or make out; she didn’t care. LOL

    I loved the opening scene at OPA. The best part for me was David saying, “Really?” right after Olivia did.

    Olivia called Jake. And I loved the conversation.

  • Carol

    EXCELLENT!! I always look forward to reading your reviews! I use it as a guide when I go back and rewatch the episodes!! I cannot wait to read your review of the season finale!!!