Previously on Scandal: Marriage is hard!
Olivia’s swimming in a fabulous suit and cap again when we see the shadow and Jake Ballard fall over her as she goes for a turn against the wall. He tells her he’s there to protect her on the president’s orders, and she tells him there are laws against stalking. All of this starts a back-and-forth (“Go away!” “No!” “Go away!!” “NO!!”) that seems to go on forever, even segueing into a different conversation when she calls Fitz to demand that he tell Ballard to leave. The conversation hits Sorkin levels of speed, but it’s all for nothing because Fitz isn’t budging, threatens to break God knows how many laws to have Olivia locked up and detained for her own safety, and Ballard stays where he is.
Worst Pickup Line of the Night: “[My wife] She moved out!”
Back at the White House, Mellie has indeed moved across the street to Blair House (because the president hasn’t been exposed to the chicken pox!), following through with what she threatened last week. She’s given Fitz a countdown–a ticking clock to the end of their marriage unless he does something about his “Olivia problem.” Mellie, being the only one on this show who actually tries to assert some control over their own lives, threatens to schedule a nationally televised interview where she’ll out Fitz as a philanderer once and for all. Cyrus is desperately attempting to run damage control on the situation from his office when James comes in proclaiming that he’s been anointed to be the next Anderson Cooper. It’s here we learn that James isn’t actually a real journalist, given his excitement at being compared to someone who works for CNN.
Worst White House Ruse: Expecting the American public to believe that the child of the POTUS didn’t get the first dose of his chickenpox vaccine.
We come to a brief interlude and watch Gladiators, Inc., go through video footage as they try to figure out who took Huck. Using superpowers gifted via Mike Tyson, Huck identifies Charlie as the man in the baseball cap. Because even through grainy security camera footage, he knows one of Charlie’s ears when he sees one.
While the Gladiators work their magic (literally, magic, because most of their investigative “skills” utilized during this episode just Would. Not. Work.), we have to go back to Fitz, which has quickly become my least favorite part of each episode. My problem with Fitz (granted it’s not mine per se, as I’m hardly alone in this sentiment) is summed up when he sums up how he plans on dealing with Mellie’s threats: “When a child has a tantrum, you don’t indulge them.” And that’s great, except Mellie isn’t a child. She’s a grown woman who deserves the courtesy of a face-to-face discussion about, well…everything. Despite the “happy” and “romantic” ending we’re heading to for Olivia and Fitz, it’s important to remember that his treatment of both Mellie and Olivia is equally horrible. And to some extent Olivia knows that because, when Fitz calls her and insists that either he’s coming to her or she’s coming to him, she refuses… before she actually does go to him in the Oval Office. She yells and tells him they’re through–but we have a season finale, too, so of course she has to leave him with a sliver of hope.
Worst Sliver Of Hope of the Night: “I am not a fantasy. You want me? Earn me!” (At this point the man could cure world hunger, and he still wouldn’t have earned her back in my eyes.)
Despite Olivia dashing off to see the president, the Gladiators still have work to do. They manage to get a bead on Charlie by staking out his favorite pastry place, finding out he’s in a book club, and having Huck do more fancy computer things. This all leads to the revelation that not only did Charlie kill Amanda Tanner way back in Season One, he’s under Cyrus’ control. We really hammer that point home a few moments later when Cyrus calls up Mellie and says, “What if I could get rid of Olivia Pope?” And in case you really didn’t get it, he proceeds to call up Jake to try and lure him away from his post at Olivia’s home so that he can send Charlie in to do that getting rid of. But because Jake only takes orders from Fitz, and not that poor woman who’s about to lose her job, he stays put leading to a tense conversation between the two at the door of Olivia’s apartment. Even though she hears it all, Olivia still can’t believe it.
Worst Case of Denial Ever: “Cyrus is my friend.” We all have an certain unquestioning devotion when it comes to our loved ones, but yikes.
As we come to the end of the hour we have three important things going down:
1. Mellie’s transformation from First Lady to Khaleesi.
2. Fitz self-destructing his marriage and presidency while getting it on in Olivia’s apartment during A.
3. Jake’s seemingly conscious decision to do nothing when Charlie walks into Olivia’s apartment –theoretically to kill her– during B. (And can we talk for a minute about how there are two shows on network television right now where the villains routinely spend their time watching the heroes get naked and have sex on hidden cameras in their apartments? Hi, my name is Kendra, and I’m a fan of The Following.)
Worst Sexual Desecration Of A Motown Classic: “You’re All I Need To Get By,” Marvin Gaye and Tammie Tarrell. We need to find this show a new music director. Or a Spotify account.
It’s that #2 that’s probably going to have everyone talking around the water cooler tomorrow. I’ve said it before, but for all intents and purposes Olivia and Fitz are the main romance on the show. We’re supposed to be rooting for them. I just still don’t understand how or why. I know our roundtable will hit this up for the next week, so for now all I’ll say is this: This is not romantic. It’s not sappy. It’s not something I can cheer for. Sitting in Olivia’s apartment and refusing to get out after she’d spend the entire episode telling him to leave her alone? That’s just abusive, controlling, and manipulative. He’s “earned” nothing with this action except for our disdain. He knows the position of power he has over her–what’s she going to do? Call the police on the president? I don’t think so. This relationship is just so oddly portrayed that I find myself constantly wondering what Shonda’s endgame with this could possibly be. Because these two people? They would never be happy together.
Team Mellie out.