By Arturo R. García
After getting its Homeland on last week, Scandal took a dip in the Law & Order case pool, in a story about connections that also pushed the season’s big story further along much quicker than expected.
Meanwhile, Olivia is trying to disconnect herself from the whole affair while defending Fitz’s partymate, Sen. Richard Meyers, who is accused of adding murder to his own d-ck move: specifically, putting his in front of the camera and sending the result to somebody who’s not his spouse. (Both Scandal and L&O went full Carlos Danger this week, giving new meaning to the term “double-header.”)
But the gig brings Olivia no closer to clarity or comfort, even if Harrison gets to do a little shimmy at keeping the lights on; not only is her best play for the senator’s wife (Melora Hardin) to confirm to the jury that he’s a raging jerk, but she finds out that the wife played Olivia the whole time, using her husband to distract everyone from the fact that she killed his sexting partner. Maybe the only person left more confused after the trial wraps up is David, who goes from fending off a barrage of slut-shaming tactics from the Gladiators (which, to be fair, he really should have expected) to getting sexts of his own from Abby (which is also weird, mostly because Abby flirts even more awkwardly than she performs her usual job duties.)
Speaking of Huck, he spends the episode floating around as a wild card, seemingly gauging his own “emotional reactions” while trying to get a handle on them. At least, he would, he argues, if Quinn would leave him be. And it’s tough to argue against the message he delivers her in his climactic outburst: she really is asking about him out of interest as much as, or perhaps even more than, out of concern for his well-being. Remember this image from last season’s finale?
With Huck deciding to join forces with Jake, the question now becomes, where does Quinn take her burgeoning jones for the dark side? And can Jake and Olivia trust Huck? Can Huck even trust himself? And is any member of this trio prepared to see this push for answers through?
But let’s go back to Fitz, because it’s interesting to note how his show of respect for Peter Forster and subsequent visit to B613 dovetails with Mellie’s surprising stumble on a hot mic, which opens the door for all sorts of possibilities for Lisa Kudrow’s role as Rep. Josephine Marcus (D-MT). He might not recognize the threat in front of him yet, but Fitz seems to be newly energized by his silent campaign against the agency, while Mellie still thinks they’re playing the same old games. Notice her recoiling from his kindness when he defends her against Cyrus’ browbeating.
Meanwhile, Mellie seems more shocked than anybody to be caught not just throwing shade, but speaking in her own voice, as opposed to that of the Doting Political Wife. It would be interesting to see her lapse into accountability play out for a few more episodes, especially juxtaposed with Marcus, who appears to be headed toward an arc as the Scandalverse’s version of Wendy Davis. But with Fitz distracted and Olivia’s career seemingly on the decline, suddenly the show is suggesting a path toward a truly pyrrhic denouement: the end of not just B613, but the Grant administration and Pope & Associates.