The good news is Olivia is still alive, in one piece, and not violated by her kidnappers, something I had feared would go down in this latest Homeland/24-esque episode of Scandal titled, “Where’s The Black Lady?” Granted, Olivia is a little worse for wear, but it’s nothing that a hot shower and new clothes couldn’t fix, right? Get back to me next week about that question. Anyway, this week everyone in Olivia’s life is dealing with the fact that she’s been kidnapped. Granted, some of these people are quicker than others, but everyone tries to unite to save Olivia. The kicker is Olivia is busy making deals and saving herself while Fitz is blackmailed into starting a war with West Angola. What. A. Cluster. Let’s get to it.
Fitz and the Decision
Because SSA Tom’s “Helen of Troy” comparison is on point for this episode, it’s important to remember that Menelaus went to war and fought 10 years to get Helen, the love of his life, back after she was kidnapped by Paris. Now, the Greeks were pretty dramatic about love, but then again so is Fitz. He is torn between saving Olivia and sacrificing innocent American soldiers in a fake war. Consequently, Fitz is losing his mind because he’s can’t even use the greatest tools in at his disposal, like the Secret Service, the FBI, or the CIA because Andrew has turned them all against him. Andrew even has White House aides, staff, secretaries, and even valets spying on Fitz. Basically, Andrew is the reason there’s no more Lauren in Fitz’s office and this is not ok. Fitz his is supposed to be the most powerful man in the world, and once again the power lies with the people surrounding him to help him get Olivia back. He has to rely on OPA and Jake, Mellie and “late to the party” Cyrus to work behind the scenes to get it done. Meanwhile, Abby is just wandering the halls of the White House in a banging wardrobe.
In the end, Fitz remembers the moments he fell in love with Olivia – The Trail, The Constitution, The Hallway – and chooses to start military action with West Angola, which is not surprising. What was surprising was the person who made the decision clear for him: Mellie. Lord knows she’s waffled on the adjectives used to describe both Olivia and Fitz, but this week she seems to remember that Fitz loves Olivia with his entire being. She gives him permission to start a war because that’s what you do for someone you love, you (literally) fight for them. Also, Mellie was pretty clear that she and Fitz are a solid platonic partnership, and not anything more. It’s refreshing to see, but who knows if it will last. Because Mellie. She even took one from Andrew for the team to gain access to his phone and give it to Elizabeth, which means she has something to hold over Olivia’s head yet again. Ugh.
Of this entire ragamuffin team searching for Olivia, Jake is the child who was left behind. Even Quinn is leaps and bounds ahead of him and you know that’s saying something. Huck, on the other hand, is back to his torturous ways, and Elizabeth learns firsthand that if you see his red toolbox, you’re effed. Also, this is the Huck I adore, he’s RIDE or DIE for Olivia and that’s how it should be. Now, back to Jake. This super spy doesn’t even realize the ring Huck finds in Olivia’s neighbor’s apartment is actually Olivia’s. Tell me, when he was on that island with Olivia, while she was in nothing but a bathing suit AND that ring, did he not notice it then either? How about Huck figuring out that Olivia was using the water glass to show them a reflection of Ian’s face and Jake doesn’t get it? Or when Huck and Quinn get ahold of Andrew’s burner phone, realize there’s a repeated Pennsylvania number on it and Jake adds “The Vice President didn’t go to Pennsylvania to buy a burner phone.” Thank you for that stunning observation, Capt. Obvious. Go sit down in the corner and figure out what FaceTime is. If he’s the top spy for the United States, just give the keys to the country to our enemies now and let me get a head start to Canada.
Olivia Saving Herself
Olivia is still being held by Ian, and he’s let it slip that he really doesn’t care if Fitz goes to war with West Angola, because he gets paid either way. Here’s where Ian blinked. He just offered up that he’s willing to be bought for the highest bidder and Olivia noticed it. This combined with Olivia’s quick thinking of getting his image reflected in her glass of water during her “proof of life” video, demonstrates that she’s thinking on her feet. This is the Olivia I love. The “I’ve always got options” Olivia, who uses her brain to stay one step ahead and not her vajayay, to say, steal a cell phone from Jake. She manages to convince Ian that he sitting on the most sought after resource in the world and the money he’s getting for babysitting her is chump change compared to the price on her head on the open market. She’s not wrong, and she manages to get a shower, some new clothes, and to say “Hi” to her boo with this deal. Boss move. In related news, Jake once again comes up short as point man on the rescue squad, but he did recognize Olivia’s sweater, so there’s that.
Overall, this episode was pretty solid for me and not for the obvious reasons of Olivia getting out of that cell. That’s just the next step in this Homeland/24 mashup. What’s solid is Olivia’s reliance on her intelligence during this ridiculous plot and the use of a series long prop, Olivia’s ring, to give this story layers. Olivia Pope has never taken that ring off. Ever. You can check any episode of Scandal and see that ring on her hand. Huck lets everyone know the importance of that ring with two sentences, “She wears it for him. She never takes it off.” That changes everything. It’s no longer just a breadcrumb for her team to find, it’s something she would never part with unless under duress. Olivia wore that ring after Closetgate, after thinking Fitz killed Maya and 300+ other people, and even while standing in the sun on the island with Jake. Olivia might struggle to say the words “I love you” to Fitz but that ring said it all day, every day for her. If that’s not huge, I really don’t know what is. As for the rest of it, like Olivia being sold to the highest bidder and this fake war? Please make it stop. And bring her home to DC. It’s time.
What did you all think?