Scandal 312B

Open Thread: Scandal 3.12, ‘We Do Not Touch the First Ladies’

By Arturo R. García

Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) face yet another re-definition of their relationship.

This week’s episode was best served when it strayed from the usual tropes. Sure, we got Olivia and Fitz arguing (again) about the rules of their relationship, and starting the episode with them in flagante pugna about her deciding to “date” Jake — with him outside the door — at least made it a more interesting take on the Fight Of The Week.

But it wasn’t until Jake, and then Mellie, and then Huck, began questioning Olivia that the episode scored the most. SPOILERS UNDER THE CUT.

We know how you feel, Jake.

And really, Jake was in maybe the most awkward position of all. Not only did he get to watch the Secret Service overhear him being called “a fox in the henhouse,” but, thanks to Major Tom, Jake got to listen to Olivia admit she doesn’t know if she even has feelings for her. At least Jake’s spiritual ancestor, Riley Finn, got to leave the drama on his own terms.

But Jake did get a chance to, hopefully for him, stop Olivia from treating him like he’s the next level down on her Pyramid of Screaming. Now that he finally understands how deep in the game his role as Command puts him, he can begin to exert some leverage over not only her, but practically anybody around him.

Mellie (Bellamy Young, right) and Gov. Nichols (Jon Tenney) take their reconnection another step further.

Olivia also unknowingly lost a chance to exert leverage over Mellie. It’s doubtful that she would, but with Mellie’s continued attacks, you’d think O would at least appreciate having an extra card up her sleeve the next time Mellie insults her. In any event, we get more of a look at Mellie’s state of mind following her rape at the hand of Fitz’s father. It also provides some crucial context for her bond with Gov. Nichols, and her eventual decision to pursue it, however briefly — for now.

(Aside: You have to wonder what would have happened if this show were a period piece; set the Grant White House in the 70s and you have the potential for an epic crossover with Swingtown. But we digress.)

In the end, Olivia’s conversation with Huck might prove to be the most prophetic. Because while her professional reputation has been forged on “holding the leash,” the monsters chasing her, and Fitz, and Quinn, and Harrison, and James are still not far from door.

We just put this picture up to show you Harrison’s (Columbus Wright) #swag face.

Scandalous Thoughts

      • I can’t tell who’s worse at being covert, James or David. You’d think a student of history like Mr. “Hey, I’ll name myself Publius” would have read up on Deep Throat’s approach to leaking these types of news.
      • It’s a little tough to believe at this point that Olivia wouldn’t even suspect Maya to be behind the (erroneous) leak of information behind the drug shipment. But here’s the thing: wouldn’t whoever arranged for the doctor to talk have eventually figured out Nichols wasn’t the one buying them?
      • Also surprising to see Cyrus seemingly running at full speed. He looked more than comfortable hanging out with Hollis and Adnan.(The latter, by the way, is played by Nazanin Boniadi.)
      • But while Cyrus is doing alright for now, we have to ask: how long until Sally comes undone?