Oh, Olivia. Liv, Liv, Liv. How the mighty have fallen. Somehow, you have gone from brilliant campaign advisor with everything in control to the president’s shrieking mistress.
Things Stop Being Polite, and Start Getting Real
The show opens with Tom, the Secret Service agent who has always seemed pretty decent (the kind of blondy cute one who has always been so loyal to Fitz) and Jake waiting stonefaced outside a hotel room(?) while Olivia and Fitz have sex, and then argue loudly about Jake. Fitz refers to Jake as a fox in his henhouse, tells Liv to “just shut up” and let him talk. Liv is still protesting loudly, telling Fitz she’s not a prize in the state fair, but Liv, honey, he’s not treating you as a prize. No one thinks you’re a prize right now. She goes into one of her Liv speeches, which would be moving if she hadn’t made it so many times. She is a ball of contradictions, talking too loudly, and too angrily, and the bottom line is she’s just pathetic. Daddy dearest was right: Fitz has demeaned her. Even the devoted Jake looks significantly less enamored of her at that moment. It’s a low point, but I don’t think Liv recognizes it as such.
This Charming Man
Back at the White House, Mellie and Andrew are circling each other. My rheumatiz starts acting up, which means it’s flashback time. Mellie doesn’t want to go to a dinner in honor of Fitz’s dad. Andrew is outside listening to them fight about how they never have sex anymore. Boy, Fitz has a long history of talking loudly while his beta males wait outside. Additional flashbacks reveal that Mellie attempted suicide by overdosing on Oxy and Andrew saved her. (BTW, Jon Tenney is clearly the latest cast member to have upset the makeup artist, but she’s decided to go a different way with his punishment: while Jake was overly rosy, Tenney’s makeup gives him the waxen complexion of a freshly embalmed corpse, coupled with dramatically dark silent movie eyebrows.) After the suicide attempt, Mellie confides in Andrew about the rape. They become friends, but it’s clear he wants more.
Now in modern days, the media is pursuing a lead that Andrew has abused Oxycontin when he was lieutenant governor for Fitz. Who leaked it? Liv suspects Rowan, but all of us just know it’s got to be Mellie. Liv’s people also think Mellie dropped a dime on Andrew, and she figures it’s because they were involved. She tells Mellie it has to end. She understands what it’s like to be so passionately in love. Mellie is like, no, you do NOT understand. She didn’t sleep with Andrew. In fact, right now Andrew is coming across as quite the nice guy (although we aren’t quite at Nice Guy™), considering that he took the fall for the Oxy to protect Mellie’s secret (so it WASN’T Mellie and we were all wrong). I wonder what Andrew’s secret will be, because you know he’s got a good one. Working with Cyrus Beene? Ties to a terrorist group? Sleeping with Sally Langston? Maybe, even, a LIBERTARIAN? (I’m not sure even Shonda would go that far. How could he come back from that?) Right now, he’s WAY too good to be true.
Oh, and at some point, Mellie and Andrew kiss passionately. She breaks it off, but is clearly reeling.
James and David’s Bogus Journey
Cyrus is closing in on the leak from Publius, and James is getting nervous. He admits that Cy might kill him if he is found out. The reporter in question wants to meet Publius. Tension is building. Unfortunately, there is something about their chemistry — their bickering about the stupidity of the name Publius, for example — that just makes me think wacky buddy comedy. David plans to meet the reporter in the guise of Publius, but James figures out that it is a setup — Cyrus has sent Charlie to kill Publius (Charlie also takes a second to mock the name, asking if the name is “Latin for dweeb“), meaning David is about to get assassinated. Unfortunately, he can’t warn David in time, and David gets kidnapped and stuffed into a car before he meets the reporter. He’s dunzo and he knows it. While in the trunk, David calls Abby and tells her he loves her. The trunk opens and it’s Abby and Huck. She suspected something was up and had Huck bug David. She gloats that she’s just saved his life, so he better tell her he loves her. Awwwwwww. Abby and David just slightly edge out Charlie and Quinn for healthiest relationship on this show.
She’s Not That Quinn to You, Liv
Quinn is spying on Charlie, who is spying on Liv and Rowan, when suddenly Liv materializes and gets in her car. Liv asks Quinn to come back. Quinn tells Liv that Huck licked her face like a piece of meat. Like a non-person. (Yeah, that must have sucked, Quinn, but I would have thought not as much as when he FORCIBLY REMOVED SEVERAL OF YOUR TEETH AND TORTURED YOU, QUINN.) Quinn says she’s not coming back and threatens to shoot Liv, all the while with her lower lip jutting out, yes slightly quavering, like a young Shirley Temple when she was trying ever so hard to be brave but she really wanted to cry.
Jake Has a Cunning Plan
Later, Liv tells Jake to stop using Quinn as an agent. He eventually tells her that he wasn’t using her as his agent, but Liv seems distracted by the fact that Jake tells her as he is peeling off his shirt to take a shower at her place because he has decided to expand on his role as her sham boyfriend by pretending that they are having sham sex. In other words, she’ll be seeing a lot more of him around. Nice move, Jake. I look forward to you stealing Liv away from Fitz, while Mellie simultaneously hooks up with Andrew so that Fitz has no biddies in his henhouse.
Huck Scares Us Yet Again
Huck keeps giving Liv coffee. It’s creepy. Why? Did he take some sort of remedial course on collegiality? Kind of, yes. He is bringing the coffee because he wants to show Liv that he’s sorry for torturing Quinn. Wow, he really doesn’t have a clue, does he? If you have been acting like an emotionless monster, you need to show you are really a loving person at heart, Huck, and coffee doesn’t do that. Fortunately for Huck, I’m introducing my own line of Scandal gifts for all occasions. May I recommend “Oopsie Daisy?” Oopsie’s the “Bear Who’s Care-y and Not at All Scary.”
Guess Who’s Back?
Hollis Doyle is going to back Sally, which should be a triumph, but Sally is in the Republic of Flashbackia, heading to straight to Nervous Breaktown. Hollis just wants to get to appoint the next Secretary of Energy, so he approaches Fitz via Cyrus. I look forward to the day when Hollis is finally Texas Toast.
Jake on the Job
Quinn pitches her computer expertise to Jake, who appears to be considering it. Also, it turns out that B613’s contact at the White House is Tom, super-loyal Secret Service agent. Dag, Tom. That is…cold? Smart? Complicated? Good news for the actor playing Tom?
Adnan Salif is Still Not Interesting to Me
Adnan Salif. Clearwater. Sexing AND blackmailing Harrison. Insider trading. Money. Cyrus. She wants something. Big Reveal: She’s working, and possibly sleeping, with Maya Pope. Or is she Maya Pope’s secret daughter? Still not interesting, although Maya Pope’s hair looked amazeballs.
And finally, I’ve decided to stop being snide about Fitz and use the simple eloquence of the innocent children to tell you what I think of you. YOU ARE AN ELEPHANT BUTT.