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‘Scandal’ Review: ‘The Fluffer’


Once again, last night’s Scandal gave us the next installment in the ‘What just happened?’ game and provided more angst for everyone at OPA and the White House. In “The Fluffer,” Olivia kinda sorta begins to get her mojo back, OPA implements their plan to take down B613, and Mama Pope is running around causing mayhem in DC just because she can.

As usual, there were 97 other things going on, like Jake yet again trying to get Olivia to “sit in the sun” with him, Abby trying and failing to get anyone in the White House to listen to her, and Harrison losing to Adnan and Maya yet again.

The real Olivia Pope made a brief appearance…

Olivia tried to send Abby as her surrogate to put some distance between herself and the mess that is the White House. That goes over about as well as a substitute teacher does with a class full of bullies.  So Olivia has to come back to wrangle all these cats yet again. The good news is that Olivia Pope FINALLY started to clapback and it’s only taken all of season three for her to start to find her voice again. Her verbal slap of Fitz was perfection and about three years overdue. How much crap is she supposed to take from ‘the love of her life?’ The same goes for Huck, her supposed ride-or-die sidekick. She finally reminds him that he works for her, something he seems to have forgotten. Remember, how he choked her all those episodes ago and that was never addressed? Still not over that.

She also got a hold of Andrew’s behind and let him know that he has two choices: being VP or sleeping with Mellie. This is the Olivia that makes shit happen. Mess with this Olivia and she will have you teaching political science in a community college, just ask David Rosen. Of course, as soon as the real Olivia Pope starts to kick ass and take names, she turns around and bangs Jake to get his phone to break the code for B613’s funding. Yup, that’s right, the great Olivia Pope now uses her vagina, not brain to get information, but hey, the ends justify the means, right?

Fitz needs a good old fashion ass whooping

Because this man has done everything to push Olivia away, including consistently yell at her for doing her job (a job he begged her to come back to), yell at her for trying to open his eyes to her new reality, not care about Mellie, but yet not allow her to be ‘happy’ with Andrew AND send Olivia to be the one to break them up. His ivory tower is starting to get old. Fitz chose Andrew over Olivia’s objections, and now has to live with the consequences. Period. Interesting that Andrew seems to choose the vice presidency, and consequently breaks Mellie’s heart.  Fitz is an ass, there is absolutely no question about this and deserves to be alone for long while to think about his life choices. Actually, Mellie had the right idea with that slap, and it was the best moment of the night. Hoping it knocked some sense loose.

To play devil’s advocate, however, Olivia’s speech about “waiting for Vermont and a man who can’t keep his promises” ain’t right either. Fitz has offered multiple times to walk away, and Olivia was the one to push him back to Mellie and the White House. She doesn’t get to say one week “There is no Vermont” and then next say that she’s waiting for the very idea she shot down. Both of these idiots need to remember ALL of their conversations, not just the selective ones they use to hurt each other. More importantly, they need not be together until both grow up. At this point, I choose Olivia single, home alone with sex toys over Fitz AND Jake.


Speaking of Jake, just ugh. He’s just as bad as Fitz. He accepted the position of head of B613, he could have said no, but he didn’t and now has to live with those consequences. Case in point, showing up drunk to Olivia’s house and begging her to stand in the light with him while rationalizing killing James, because he wasn’t technically Olivia’s friend. Nope. Jake is still a murderer.

And in the WTF moment of the night, Olivia seduces Jake to get his phone to find the new account number for B613.  The prostitute feeling of this scene is so icky, it made the already tepid chemistry between Olivia and Jake gross. Disregarding that, Jake, the head of B613 has absolutely no problem leaving is top secret, super spy phone out for anyone to steal? Worst. Spy. Ever.  Also, he has Charlie and Quinn following Maya around as she’s setting up her plans to blow up Fitz into smithereens. Obviously that’s a smart move, because it always ends well if Quinn is involved.

While these fools are running around chasing Maya, Olivia (with the help of Rowan) has figured out the way to cut the head of snake off B613 by cutting the funding. Of course, once they finally take a stand and literally cut the power to B613, they screw up Jake’s surveillance of Maya and the bomb intended for Fitz.  Jake is pissed and immediately goes over to OPA to choke Olivia against a wall. Because that’s how a grown man expresses his feelings with violence.

The Presidential race is down to two

The only person who managed to win at something this episode was Abby because she managed to bring down Gov. Reston, who got away with murder last season. She got to wear the gorgeous white coat this episode and it looked on her, as did the burgundy sweater she rocked while talking to Leo. Speaking of which, the sparks between those two are there and David Rosen should be worried.

Maya is about to blow everyone up

And she doesn’t care who is collateral damage. In a family reunion from the bowels of hell, she shows up basically to threaten Olivia for getting in the way of her plan. Case in point, that girl that Harrison got to spill the beans on Maya wound up sitting on a park bench with her throat slit.  Meanwhile, Olivia has no idea that Maya’s plan is to blow up Fitz and anyone else who happens to be around into tiny pieces. In a superficial note, Khandi Alexander looks drop dead gorgeous in that red suit.

Couple of storyline thoughts before I get into what I’m struggling with this episode (and season). I don’t trust Rowan and his helpfulness comes at a price, I don’t know what it is yet, but maybe his help is really a way for him to take down B613 for firing him, and kill Fitz because Maya gets away with planting that bomb now, and all the while staying Olivia’s good graces.

I think I’m ready for the summer hiatus, because quite frankly, I don’t like anyone on this dark show right now. The great Olivia Pope now uses her vagina to get information, Fitz is a murderer and an emotional abuser, Jake is murderer and a physical abuser, Mama Pope would cut her own daughter’s throat if she got in her way, and Papa Pope is no better (despite his apparent softening that I don’t believe).

Who am I supposed to invest in? Humans are messy and gray and make bad choices, but damn, at some point I have to be able to relate to these characters, even in this world full of murderers, spies, wrist chewing and teeth pulling, because that’s how we’re wired as people. Otherwise, what is the point?

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.

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  1. I’m also tired of the Mellie the Martyr act.
    She loves POWER and Fitz has taken nothing from her. Mellie could leave at any time and have a
    rewarding life. She is a rich, attractive, privileged white woman with the world at her finger tips. Meh, I’m SO over her whining like Jake and Fitz. Shut up and be First Lady since that position is what you can’t live without.

    Olivia was correct and Andrew is a wuss who wants power because it is the only way Mellie will stay with him. Mellie is not interested in some lower level politician after being First Lady. If he truly loved Mellie, he would have chosen her or at least discussed the decision with her. Why not cut a deal with Fitz and Olivia?

    Mellie and Fitz have basically done the same thing with each other “I don’t want you but I don’t want anyone else to have you either” Mellie when Fitz tried to divorce her and now Fitz when he said stop screwing my VP… so it all balances out in the end… They all need to be slapped.

    Olivia’s speech to Andrew also applied to Jake since he too choose Power when he assumed command of B613. He could have negotiated with Fitz to be let out of B613 so he could have a “normal” life. Jake is a very weak man begging a woman to save him. Plus he screwed up by letting the terrorists get to this stage. Rowan would
    have shut down the terror operation once he had them all in that room. Quinn was correct in her assessment.

    MamaPope is a Gangsta. That woman is scary and Papa Pope seems to have met his match.

    I loved Abby in this episode. Poor Harrison still does not have a story line.

    Also no man who chokes a woman after pushing her and giving her a concussion in a past episode gets my support. I can’t believe people especially WOMEN are still Team Jake. Are they all f*cking crazy? If Fitz had choked Olivia they would all be up in arms. No matter the provocation you do not physically abuse someone you supposedly love.
    By the end of season 3, I hope Jake, Mama Pope, Papa Pope and B613 operation all die. Leo can stay on the show since he is entertaining. Mellie can go back to being a recurring character after a presidential divorce so the WH family drama resides. Shonda had better give Harrison a real story line in season 4 after wasting so much time on time in season 2b and 3 on story lines for Mellie, Jake and Quinn.
    Finally, let’s get back to focusing on Olivia being The Formidable Olivia Pope – more OPA and less White House. Please let Olivia be single like season 1 when she was all about being a fixer.

  2. Oops – when I said Fitz… I meant Cyrus.

  3. It can be depressing to read your reviews. LOL. But I deal with hubby who claims no one on this show is someone to root for anymore. Shining some light, I hope… I still find Abby and David to be people to root for. They want that white hat (or coat), hate when they have to compromise and hurt when Olivia seems to be taking hers off.

    Mellie – I’ve found myself feeling very sorry for her this season and I was proud of her for slapping Fitz because the hypocritical control freak wanna-be deserved it. Olivia – I was surprised they went there with the seduction of Jake, but I think she would have found another way to get to the phone if she didn’t already want to open that door for him the night before. Like Fitz, Jake is hurting her emotionally yet she can’t let either one of them go. Quinn – I hope she saves the day and disarms the bomb. Then she needs to dump Charlie. Fitz – Didn’t see much of him, at least not the ranting and raving stressed one. I’m curious about what they’re going to do with his character that still makes him authentic. Harrison – I feel like I don’t know him anymore. Huck – Don’t care what happens to him. Maybe Quinn can become the new Huck at OPA.

    I still miss James. I almost didn’t watch last night’s episode because last week left me bored. But this episode left a cliffhanger that makes me want to watch next Thursday.

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