by Joseph Lamour
If you missed last night’s episode, all of the White Hat Brigade knows most of Scandal’s huge secrets–and don’t you worry… I won’t discuss it till we’re under the cut. Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it yet: a character is indignant about something–I hope I didn’t give too much away! As we all know, Scandal is all about these secrets and how they simultaneously enrich and ruin everyone in Northwest DC.
A lot happened in this episode, so let’s get to it!
The breakdown: Each week, Kendra or I will provide a Friday Scandal recap the day after the newest episode airs. The next Thursday morning a longer roundtable discussion of the episode is posted featuring Joe, Kendra, and a variety of guest commenters.
Spoilers for Scandal 2.12: “Truth Or Consequences” are under the cut.
We open with Quinn’s ex Jesse Tyler (played by Katie Lowes’ real-life husband, Adam Shapiro) in a polling station–where, already, he’s sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the volunteers by about half a foot and fifty years. As the trainer gives a tutorial on the new-fangled voting machines, Jesse swiftly and smoothly changes American history…with a 5 second game of switcheroo. Honestly. Is it that easy, really? So much, that Jesse can simply leave right after he did so, which didn’t arouse any suspicion. I kind of wish the voting trainer completed this pastiche of Americana by actually noticing the only young person in the room suddenly disappearing, perhaps adding, “He’s probably off playing Xbox.”
Meanwhile, in The White House, Cyrus is asked to fix the President again by the First Lady. Fitz wants to divorce Mellie in her ninth month of pregnancy and end Scandal six seasons early by being with Olivia, who will not only be known as Fitz’s mistress, joining France (and England, too, Cyrus) but will significantly alter others’ perception of his judgement. Cyrus continues to only care about the political implications of a divorce, and not the emotional ones, which Mellie, Grant, and Olivia are all about in this episode. I, for some reason, am liking Mellie more and more, perhaps because she is the least terrible person on the show at the moment. Cyrus mumbles “breeders” under his breath as Mellie leaves the room. To me, that slur is so outdated I haven’t heard a real person say it since 2002. I wonder why television writers think gay people look at straight people like aliens. As the First Lady leaves the room, she’s breathing heavy and looking a little pallid. Afterward, the Chief of Staff didn’t miss a beat and said another awful thing to Fitz, intimating that Olivia is not the “hue” that most Republicans are fans of. (I then exclaimed, “Oh snap!” from my couch.) In other words, we’ll definitely be talking about it more in the roundtable.
Olivia meets with Cyrus, beside herself. In the last week she was proposed to, her other love survived an assassination attempt, voting scandal, et cetera. It’s made clear to us that Olivia is starting to break under the guilt of the Cytron bombing and polling coverup. Cyrus tells Olivia that he will “take care of everything” and to stop thinking about it. The show flashes back a few more times this episode to the last moments of Jesse Tyler’s life: how he tried to extort more money from Hollis but instead ended up with a Becky bomb in his cubicle. This show jumps back so much, it makes one a bit dizzy, doesn’t it?
Olivia, despondent, and so over thinking in any capacity, goes home, takes off her coat and crawls into bed…and tunes out. Like…for serious. Fitz calls and tells her about the impending divorce, and rather than having to react or think about it, or Edison’s proposal, she hangs up on Fitz and continues her mannequin impersonation. A stark contrast from every other episode, Olivia’s sadness is not complete with her trademark watery eyes and lip quiver, but a blank sadness reserved for utter defeat. This worries everyone (including me on the couch with a box of tissues–transference works, folks…) so, Edison lets the gang know his concerns and begs that they do something about it. After Edison leaves, they decide to lay everything they know (about everything) out and share all of their secrets before Olivia’s problem eats her up whole.
Huck checks in on Olivia and finally gets her mind working again by translating what Cyrus said earlier into what it really meant: he’s “solving the problem” by having Hollis killed. That perks our heroine right up–and she’s back! Olivia rises and makes a few visits: first, to Verna, who provides her with an out, and then to Cyrus, with whom she argues loudly on a DC city block about extremely illegal private political matters involving things done to change the lives everyone on the planet. This makes complete sense. She gets nowhere with Cyrus so, in an effort to solve the problems (in the plot hurricane this show’s writers have created for recappers like me to sweat over) and not have anyone else die, Olivia turns Hollis in to David Rosen for the assassination attempt. She provides Hollis’s burner phone as proof.
As we see in jail, Becky and Huck share an even more depressing love story than Scandal’s main one. They bond over murdering people. She blows up buildings, assassinates Presidents, and beguiles hackersassins. (That’s Huck’s title, right? It should be.) Oh, and she’s going to be sentenced to death soon. After Huck gives her his real name as an olive branch, she agrees to give over her bank information to prove Hollis hired her to kill the President and, after a few sleuthing scenes, we see that Hollis paid Jesse Tyler for the voter rigging…but not for the assassination. So who is it that hired Becky?
And if all that wasn’t enough, after a Presidential labor is induced to delay divorce, we’re left with Charlie getting into an elevator with Hollis, mirroring the final scene from the season one finale where Billy Chambers was murdered. The question is, will it end the same, or will Hollis survive and make things worse for everyone?