New Show Recap: Scandal, Season 2, Episode 21, “Any Questions?”

The First Warning Sign of a Heart Attack: Being Cyrus Beene

Bullybrag (verb):

  1. The use of rapid-fire speech to list one’s impressive credentials with the end goal of intimidating or persuading others.
  2. How the Scandal characters get things done this week.
  3. Term created by Persephone’s pileofmonkeys because we are just that good.

Cyrus still can’t catch a break. He goes through a chaotic press conference, which basically consists of Cy telling people to refer to the president’s statement. He also gets to respond, “Asked and answered,” a LOT, which for me would be a dream come true, but Cy seems pretty peevish. He decides to go directly to Fitz, who is still in bed with Olivia. Cyrus is apoplectic and bullies the Secret Service agent into letting him in via a self-aggrandizing and menacing speech, which we will henceforth refer to as bullybragging (SPOILER ALERT: There is a LOT of bullybragging in this episode). He busts into the bedroom and does an excellent imitation of an angry parent.

Cyrus isn’t happy with James because of the interview. James defends himself by saying he took advantage of his big chance, just like Cy has done in his career. Cyrus busts out in humorless laughing at James’ naiveté. “It wasn’t a lucky break, it was a chess move.” DAMN, Cyrus is mean. He calls James, “Doughy on camera,” mocks his credentials, and reduces James to tears. Now I want them to break up. I mean, Cy’s plan to kill James was bad, but calling him doughy? He is dead to me.

Cyrus pleads with Fitz, who has decided not to run, to reconsider. Later he pleads with Olivia to rethink this. Both are resolute.

Cyrus is approached by Mysterious Person Played By Joe Morton (MPPBJM). MPPBJM is ticked that Jake has failed in separating Fitz and Olivia, and that Cyrus is threatening to expose Jake. MPPBJM tells Jake to capture Charlie; he’ll take care of Cyrus himself. Cyrus bristles when he is chastised by MPPBJM, but he is quickly put in his place. (We may not know who MPPBJM’s name is, but we know that he has a lot of power, knows everyone, is a puppet master, and is really, really arrogant with good reason.) Cyrus receives his orders, which are to show Fitz the videotape of Jake and Olivia, and to cut Charlie loose. Cy acquiesces, although he is clearly reluctant.

Olivia Keeps Her Eyes on What She Thinks is the Prize

Olivia doesn’t quite seem like Olivia during this episode, something that is accentuated by her drab, collarless navy blue jacket and weird-fitting white pants (I am not stylish, so I thought they looked weird, but maybe this is the next big thing). She seems almost distracted even as she talks strategy with her team.

Harrison and Olivia talk while sitting across his desk from each other
This shirt looks MUCH better with the jacket on.
Photo courtesy of ABC TV.

Harrison, wearing a really distracting checked shirt and suspenders, talks tough to Olivia, asking what her end game is and to be aware of the dangerous position she will be in if/when Mellie names her as the president’s mistress. Harrison keeps winning points with me because he clearly adores Olivia and wants what’s best for HER. He’s not happy that she chooses to focus on the mole rather than saving herself, but he respects her decision. Also, although Olivia shuts him down, at one point you see the faintest hint of a smile while he is nearly lecturing her. She’s proud of him.

The other gladiators have fairly little to do. (It is a sign of a busy episode when Huck’s attempt to torture someone is an aside.) However, I had the opportunity to have my wishes come true, briefly, in this episode. David Rosen said, repeatedly, that he was one of Olivia’s crew: “I made my choice, I’m part of the team now. ‘Go Gladiators.’ Oh, the irony.” My friends, it felt”¦wrong. He sounded so bitter, so un-David Rosen.

Mellie White Knuckles It

Mellie is on tenterhooks, alternately sure that Fitz won’t go through with announcing his decision not to seek reelection and terrified because it seems like he will. She meets with an image consultant, world-class dreamboat John Barrowman, who attempts to sell himself via a self-aggrandizing speech (Scandal is the home of people with, err, healthy egos), but Mellie isn’t buying it until he is able to deliver a draft of the speech Fitz plans to deliver that evening. That only confirms her worst fears – he is going through with it.

The President Speaks

Fitz is all ready to announce that he isn’t running for a second term. However, because Olivia realizes (via information provided by Cyrus) that Fitz isn’t running because he doubts himself post-Defiance, she tells him to run again. She doesn’t want him regretting it later, or hating her, and she wants him to know that he could do it on this own. He takes her advice and tells the American public that they can mind their own business about his marriage, and that he will be running for a second term. Mellie, who is watching this, is triumphant. She gloats that she knew Fitz wouldn’t go through with it. She’ll likely be dismayed when she finds out that Olivia made this happen, not Fitz.

The Molebatross is Revealed

The team does some impressive sleuthing and, via her daughter’s email account, determines that the vice president could not have been the molebatross. Fortunately, who should waltz into the office but Charlie (if you call holding David Rosen at gunpoint waltzing in, which I do in Charlie’s case). Charlie has realized that he has been burnt and wants the group’s help. This probably doesn’t go as well as Charlie has planned, since he is taken prisoner and Huck prepares to torture the identity out of him. He tells Huck, and before Huck can execute him, Quinn stops him because Huck is not that person. They then let him go. (Well, I guess they have to, right? They can’t afford to keep him in baked goods. I mean, this is a man who rhapsodizes over donuts during what he believes are his last moments on earth.) This backfires when they check later and find that the disk revealing vote tampering is missing (you know, the one Abby stole from David). Quinn and Huck are aghast that they made it possible for Charlie to do this.

Olivia, Abby and Quinn walk into the office and see Charlie holding David Rosen at gunpoint.
Olivia, Abby and Quinn walk in to see Charlie and David Rosen. Photo Courtesy of ABC TV.

But Wait, There’s More!

And the big reveal is that the Albatross mole ladybug goldfish is Billy Chambers, the vice president’s murderous aide, who was presumed dead after last being seen getting in an elevator with our favorite amoral, pastry-loving assassin, Charlie. And the person who is handing him the incriminating disk? Not Charlie, who is again in the wind, but the embittered David Rosen. Whoah.

Not So Deep Thoughts

  • The women may have been attired boringly, but this episode was a high point for men’s suits. John Barrowman and Joe Morton both had really beautiful suits with subtle color combinations and beautiful ties.
  • Maybe it’s just me, but unless Quinn has a photographic memory, her newly acquired skills seem to have come too quickly.
  • Bullybrag tally: 5 (Cyrus, Olivia, Joe Morton, Mellie and John Barrowman) 

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Moretta

Moretta will take that applause. Her Twitter is https://twitter.com/GobezMoretta.

4 thoughts on “New Show Recap: Scandal, Season 2, Episode 21, “Any Questions?””

  1. Whenever I watch this show I think “Oh, I’m beginning to understand what my friends with ADD feel like most of the time.”

    I’m annoyed that Liv hasn’t addressed the damage Mellie can do to HER out loud yet. Obviously Fitz has far more to lose in many ways, but if Olivia was named her life would be over too. And she either isn’t acknowledging that or she’s decided that her career and reputation are worth if if she gets to be with a disgraced Fitz and I’m not sure that’s as romantic as the show would like us to believe.

    1. I officially got off the Fitz + Liv 4EVA train when they had that romp in the computer room. What. An. Asshole. And then trying to make it look like she’s the one dragging HIM along? Having videos planted in her place? Not leaving her hotel room? Squick.

      I still like looking at him with his shirt off though.

      1. He is a murderer who has treated her like a whore on several occasions. He’s also a killer. I agree that their chemistry is off the charts, but I think the best thing she could do is to have a lot of sex with him and attempt to get him out of her system.

    2. I think Liv was in major, major denial. Something about Fitz just makes her so passive. And I agree — for her to be involved in this scandal would destroy her professionally and make her a cheap joke. Harrison did his best, but Liv was just holding her hands over her ears and humming.

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