By Arturo R. García
Give writer Jenna Bans credit: “More Cattle, Less Bull” justified its’ rather fast clip by successfully showing why this show’s distaff circles have no choice but to stick around each other. It also delivers a major reversal of fortune for Olivia’s career, just in time for what will probably instigate the final battle with her father.
It turns out that the White House Correspondents Dinner ended with Olivia getting the last laugh. Not only did Rep. Carol Marcus go from firing Olivia to acknowledging that she was right on the money in calling on Marcus to reveal that the woman raised as her sister is, in fact, her daughter — a plot point that also allows the show to avoid making Marcus an outright clone of Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis — and is now insisting that Olivia run her bid to win the presidency from Fitz.
Unfortunately for Marcus, she makes her pitch just a few hours after Mellie executes her own reversal of course. The same First Lady who gleefully slut-shamed Olivia to her face is now beseeching Olivia to “come back to us.” Mellie’s proposal seems to have been inspired by her catching Fitz and Olivia’s bathroom conversation. And Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington do manage to illustrate the chemistry between their eternally-put-upon pairing in that particular scene. They might both be antiheroes, but their connection is closer to Spike & Drusilla than Sid & Nancy.
Coming off of the heels of her hot-mic mistake, Mellie’s idea signals her admitting that whatever political aspirations she has are still tied to Fitz, and to his re-election. And she needs the woman he really loves to ensure that happens. And maybe even more importantly, to make sure he looks like he enjoys the process. Of course, nobody has accounted for Sally’s plan to run as an independent (Tea Party?) candidate, which stands to be livened up somewhat by the addition of NOAH F*CKING BENNET Jack Coleman. (Also, business is business and John Barrowman has the whole Arrow thing going, but too bad we can’t see Mellie’s Fixer go up against Sally’s.)
But just like last week, even without Olivia around, Fitz is made to feel “alive” by his conflict with B613 and the Project Remington cover-up. While Fitz is still pushing the issue head-on, though, Jake and Huck’s sleuthing seemingly pins him closer to culpability than he anticipated. Key word there being seemingly. Because it’s not hard to imagine that the “revelation” that Fitz was involved in shooting down a flight with Olivia’s mom inside will turn out to be a red herring, or that we’ll end up meeting the former Mrs. Pope, either in the present-day or in a flashback. (We’d also like to give a shout-out to Awesomely Luvie, who has already amassed a list of candidates for the role when the time comes.)
And if it turns out that Rowan was behind the death or disappearance of Olivia’s mother, then that might be the last thing to push her away from enduring those Sunday night dinners in silence and toward a more active opposition to him.
A couple of random ideas:
- If Fitz addressed the nation and said aloud that he had reason to believe that Rowan and the organization had “gone rogue,” would that not ensure he had to be kept alive instead of martyred, if only through the election?
- The look Quinn gave her new gun — we think she picked it up from a Mr. Chekhov — can’t mean good news for anybody around her. Who do you think she’ll end up shooting first?