New Show Recap: Scandal, 3×16, “The Fluffer”

After last week’s ick-fest, I’d like to say that this Scandal doesn’t get down and dirty. Boy would I like to say that. But I can’t.

B613 is Going DOWN, Baby!

Liv decides to work with Rowan to take Vitamin B613 down on the condition that Rowan doesn’t harm Fitz. She finds out how they fund themselves (they rerouted tiny amounts of funding to a secret account using computer magic). They need to find an algorithm. Huck wants no part of this when he learns that Liv is working with her father. He tells her Rowan is playing her. Liv says, “This is the job.” Huck does it.

Today in Fitz is a Jerk, Liv Learns Nothing

Abby in a white coat leading the meeting
Even wearing Olivia white can’t help Abby pull off the job of subbing for Olivia. (Photo credit: ABC TV)

Fitz walks out of a briefing led by Abby (Liv is avoiding Fitz for a few minutes) because it isn’t Liv. He doesn’t even bother to get her name straight. Liv ends up coming in to fix the Jeannine Lock book crisis (she’s written a tell-all). He pouts to Liv, who has come in to combat the Locke situation. He wants Andrew to leave the ticket. Liv says no. Fitz pouts some more. She gets frustrated and gives an impassioned speech. She’s so eloquent in expressing her pain — too bad she is full of it. Fitz says it isn’t his fault. How exactly is that true, Fitz? It comes out that Fitz wants Andrew to stop having sex with Mellie. Liv says she’ll handle it.

Andrew+Mellie = No

Andrew keeps trying to connect with Mellie who is avoiding him. He looks at her like she is the only thing in his world. God help me, I believe him. I really think he’s in love with her. Liv gives Andrew an ultimatum: get rid of Mellie within 24 hours. Andrew protests that he loves Mellie. Liv looks moved and cynical at the same time. She says she’s never met a man like Andrew who wouldn’t choose power over love. Well, it’s nice to know she is aware of it in the abstract. Ultimately, Andrew does choose power, but it’s because he has seen how excited and dynamic Mellie is in a speech she gives to group of injured soldiers. He realizes she loves this part of the job. So, when she shows up afterwards and wants to talk about the speech, Andrew brushes her off. Mellie is furious, rushes into Fitz’s office, and slaps him hard in the face. Once again, the Secret Service does nothing. They probably receive daily briefings about who is allowed to get violent in the Oval Office (Mellie can slap Fitz, Cyrus Beene can slap Jake, and so on).

So there we have it. No more Meldrew. Finished before they start. Dunzo.

Jake is no Rowan

Jake, who is clearly staggering from the weight of being Control, shows up outside Liv’s apartment, drunk. He is maudlin and whines for her to let him in. She won’t. She doesn’t want someone who kills her friends. Jake says that James wasn’t Liv’s friend, and he would never kill her friends. (Way to draw that line in the sand, Jake.) Jake tells Liv he could get in if he wanted to, pounds on her door, and then reproaches her, “I asked you to save me.”

Liv Does the Job, Regardless of the Pain

Huck looks at the info Rowan provides. It’s gone. Huck was right, or was he? Rowan says Jake did it. Huck suggests that Liv “distract” Jake. Poor Jake. First he runs out of shirts, now he’s being used by Liv. Liv looks shocked but goes over and has sex with Jake, allowing the gang to use a gadget of some sort to steal all the information from Jake’s apartment.

Mama Knows Best

Maya Pope is getting a bomb from a sexy ex-boyfriend, double and triple dealing, and otherwise enjoying life. Harrison wants to find her. He contacts the sexy spy, Claire, he slept with earlier this season. She says she’s not going to alienate the most powerful woman in the femme fatale business. However, when she meets with Maya, she recognizes that Maya is bad news and decides to work with OPA. Bad decision, Claire! She helps Maya, and of course ends up dead for her problems.

Maya takes a minute from her busy schedule to stop by where Rowan and Liv are eating dinner. She warned them to stay out of her business, didn’t she? She also made this observation:

Maya drinking a glass of wine, saying, "In my 22 years in prison you know what I missed most of all?"
Of course you did, Maya. Source: Scandalmoments Tumblr
Maya saying, "Really good wine."
Wine, baby. We knew Liv got it somewhere.

Women don’t Skuldiggery this Skulduggery

Abby gets a tape of Reston telling his imprisoned wife to play along or she’ll be in Victorian-style lunatic asylum for the rest of his life. It goes viral in no time, and BOOM, it’s effectively a two-person race.

Against Liv’s best wishes, Cy leaks that Sally’s daughter had an abortion when she was 13 years old. This is close to your finest moment, Cy. Very close. Fortunately, the time you nearly assassinated your late husband was actually the low point.

Boom! Huzzah! Oh, Wait…

Boom! B613 goes down, and for some reason, they all feel like their plan has worked. Certainly Quinn and Charlie seem to think so (and Quinn definitely reveals that she is the ultimately team OPA, which doesn’t play well for Charlie, who has been quizzing Quinn jealously about relationships).

They have barely uncorked the first Jeroboam of champagne when Jake busts into OPA’s office, grabs Liv by the throat, slams her up against a wall and tells her she has just killed the president. I repeat: HE GRABS HER BY THE THROAT AND SLAMS HER UP AGAINST A WALL.

Congratulations, Liv, you’ve just gotten rid of two problems at once — your emotionally abusive boyfriend and your physically abusive boyfriend! (Because of course you are never going to get near Jake again, right?)

This season can’t end soon enough. (Ed. Note: The shuttlebus for hell for those of us that hope Maya really does blow Fitz up is loading behind the Denny’s. Drinks and snacks will be provided.)

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Moretta

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

2 thoughts on “New Show Recap: Scandal, 3×16, “The Fluffer””

  1. This show is so frustrating. I was fully along for the ride, but it’s taken turn after turn for the stupid, and my patience is wearing thin.

    They took down Vitamin B613 by cutting their power? Won’t it come back when the power comes back on? If Olivia really did enable Maya’s murder plot (new band name? I think so.), why is it that Jake and the Mod Squad are now completely helpless in stopping it? Did the whole protection plan hinge on the lights being on at Acme Paper? Nobody took notes?

    Papa Pope only speaks in monologues now. Maybe that’s all he’s ever done. Can you imagine the father-daughter chats when Olivia was growing up?
    “YOU are OLIVIA POPE. THIS is a sanitary NAPKIN. Use it to CONTAIN your menses. You must contain your menses BETTER, FASTER, and SMARTER than all of those OTHER people. You may ask me one question, and one question only.”

    Fitz is terrible, Jake is terrible, Cyrus Beane is terrible. Huck is terrible. Charlie, who was oddly the most psychologically healthy man on this series for a while, is terrible and a really shitty boyfriend. Papa Pope is interesting, at least, but also terrible.

    Didn’t you love Abby’s Olivia Pope coat, though? I also miss her smokey khol eyeliner.

    On top of the terrible horribleness of Jake dragging Olivia across the room by her neck, for the love of CJ, WHY THE HELL WASN’T HE OFF BEING CONTROL AND SAVING THE GODDAMN DAY? CHRIST, JAKE, you’re cruel AND stupid, and that is a really unfortunate combination.

    I am disappoint, Scandal. Pull it together, get your head in the game, stop torture-porning your women, blow up at least half of your men with Maya’s patriarchy bomb.

    1. I feel like B613 was destroyed by someone leaving a refrigerator magnet next to Jake’s desk. It’s so ridiculous. I mean, I don’t ask for much in terms of believably. They could have come up with some code name for computer magic — I would have nodded acceptingly. Just work with me and have Joe Morton deliver the line — he’s got gravitas.

      Jake should have said, “Olivia. Give me your phone. ” Then he could have dialed 1-800-SEX-PRES, Olivia and Fitz’s private number, which would have connected him immediately to Fitz and he could have said, “Hey, someone is going to kill you and here’s how.” But no, he had to manhandle Liv instead.

      Papa Pope pontificates ponderously plenty. I wonder if Joe Morton has to take a deep breath before those lengthy speeches.

      I did miss Abby’s eyeliner. She looked different and I couldn’t figure out why, but that’s exactly it. I kind of hoped that she would be her normal peppery self, but I guess it’s natural to be cowed when you are presenting to POTUS.

      Is it weird that I had higher hopes for boyfriend Charlie than boyfriend Jake?

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