By Kendra James
It’s like we never left Olivia Pope’s DC as this episode barely misses a beat, jumping in right where we left off with what could have potentially been the best cage match on network television. Three men enter, one man leaves. Given Hollis’ involvement my guess is that is probably would have looked and sounded something a lot like when that dog used to beat up Foghorn Leghorn on the farm.
The breakdown: Each week, Joseph 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. What do you think?
Spoilers for Scandal 2.13: “Nobody Likes Babies” are under the cut.
But Hollis lives and–hey, look!–Mellie’s got her baby! She and Fitz are posing for new portraits for an outlet that I’m assuming is not People Magazine, or any real press outlet for that matter, because they’re making jokes about kids getting beat up on the playground which I can’t imagine a real President of the United States could ever do. Maybe the school bullying topic isn’t in vogue anymore? Maybe he wasn’t on the record. Maybe I should stop trying to make sense of anything going down on this televised romance novel.
Oh well. For the first time all season I’m not in love with Olivia’s outfit in this next scene with Cyrus. Being that this is such a rare event (we all know Olivia Pope’s closet is always on-point), I found myself imagining what her shirt would look like without that high collar instead of paying attention to the intense metaphor-laden discussion she and Cyrus were having. Why do all the acting moments on this show involve bits of spittle flying from character’s mouths? The definition of subtlety is lost on this writers’ room.
Back to Fitz, who has what I can only assume are legitimately valid points about Mellie’s recklessness in inducing labor four weeks early: given the number of flashbacks and time-skips this show employs, I was surprised we didn’t get a shot explaining how Mellie managed to convince her OB-GYN to induce labor to save her marriage or her political career. Pretty sure they’re one in the same at this point. (And let’s talk about the overused plot device that is the flashback–yikes. You tell me I’m getting a flashback on an episode of one of my silly teen paranormal shows, and I practically throw myself out of my chair in excitement because it’s just one. Another flashback on Scandal and I start checking the Devils score. Less is more, Scandal. Live in the now!)
Almost as annoying as the flashbacks are the crosscuts between scenes which I won’t try and detail. Suffice to say: it was the Supreme Court Justice in the hospital with the assassin. Verna Thorton and her oxygen mask (watch that oxygen mask, people–it’s making more dramatic moves than a string of pearls in a Tyler Perry movie), not Hollis, tried to kill Fitz because she loves her country and (more so) wants to save her legacy before her dying breath. It’s the first in a series of poor reasoning and judgment that plague various characters this week.
At Gladiator Headquarters the team needs to figure out some way to get evidence out of David Rosen’s house. This leads to arguably the least interesting plot of the episode in which we’re forced to pretend we care about a relationship that isn’t Fitz/Mellie/Olivia or James/Cyrus. Abby volunteers herself to go back into David’s apartment undercover so she can crack his safe while he’s gone. I argue that a) Huck probably could have done the same thing faster, better, and without the unnecessary sexual-emotional turmoil and b) David, being an attorney, would be horribly naive to leave Abby in his home with grand-jury evidence that he must know her boss would love to see destroyed, no matter how much he loves her. But I don’t have a TV show, so there we are.
But if you were over-analyzing too much, never fear because…suddenly, everyone’s naked! And by “everyone” I mean Cyrus and James because, now that James has been subpoenaed by David, they can’t have a conversation without checking to see if the other one’s wearing a wire. If this were a USA Network original series featuring Matt Bomer or Gabriel Macht. I’d at least know to call this scene and the two-minute naked conversation that ensued pure, unadulterated fanservice. On Scandal it was just … odd. Confessing to election-rigging due to a worry of a life of Ivy-League mundanity could have happened while clothed. Or at least with a bathrobe.
Feeling neglected by lack of decent storyline, Quinn finds a whole $5000 that she proudly hands over to Huck to try and buy a hit out on Hollis. It’s kind of valid–he did destroy her life after all–but also laughable that she thinks $5000 pays for a professional hitman. I mean, I’ve never tried to take out a hit on some one before, but I’ve watched enough cable dramas to know that cash ain’t gonna cut it. Huck knows that, too, and knows a bad life decision when he hears one. But while he’s talking Quinn out of her mistake, Cyrus is dialing his assassin up on speed dial. And this was a man worried about a life of mediocrity–mediocrity doesn’t have an assassin on speed dial.
Then–finally!–we’re at those last ten minutes that this show lives for. Who did Cyrus take his hit out on? (James.) Will he go through with it? (No.) Will Fitz ever find out about the voter fraud? (Yes.) Did Fitz kill Verna? (Yes.) Did that come out of nowhere? (Kind of.) Does this mean that Fitz and Olivia can finally be together? (Are you kidding? Shonda’s got this on lock for a five-season minimum, at least.) Olivia and Edison are over, but Fitz and Mellie are stronger than we’ve ever seen them. Oh, and next week we jump ten months into the future because they were running out of election flashbacks to use.