Wow, after last week, can this episode keep up the drama and the breakneck pace? Yes and no. Some of the developments were easy to predict, but they still moved things along and allowed me many opportunities to talk to my television.
Olivia’s Mom Fights Back
Olivia’s mom Maya wants to see Olivia, but Eli won’t let her. She attempts to commit suicide by gnawing at her wrists. (There is a lake of blood there — was there a warning beforehand? Yes, there was.) This persuades Eli to let her see some press clippings of Olivia through the year, which cheer her up, but she quickly latches on to the fact that there are no personal photos of Rowan and Liv taken after the plane crash. Eli gets mad and storms off after telling her that she is going to go far, far, away so that no one can find her. However, Maya has other plans. She escapes and heads straight to Olivia’s house, where she waits for Olivia outside. (BTW, she seems really competent at escaping a secure facility for an executive assistant.)
Out of the Frying Pan, Quinn-to the Fire
Quinn begins her first day as double agent. Charlie gives her a pep talk, urging her to think of it as a relationship where he’ll actually listen to what she says when she reports at the end of the day. He also urges her to pretend he’s her boyfriend. Something tells me that although she’s no donut, Charlie has developed a taste for Quinn.
Olivia’s team tries to figure out who killed the lone witness to Omar Dresden’s departure, but Quinn works against it. Ultimately, they are unable to get a clear picture of the killer (Quinn), which probably comes as a relief to Charlie, since Rowan has told him to kill Quinn if she is discovered.
Quinn returns home after a long day of double agency. As she opens the door, she steps on a piece of paper. It’s a very grainy picture of her from the lobby when she killed the witness. Huck is waiting there, his tools of torture already arranged neatly on a metal tray. He wants information, and something tells me he is going to get it.
SisterDaughterGate, No More Guest Spot-erGate
The Josie Marcus presidential campaign gears back up, only to be stalled by the news that a laptop has been stolen, and all signs point to the Reston campaign. Liv and team advise Marcus to let the police handle it, but Marcus’s campaign manager Candace (her “sister daughter,” as Abby tartly refers to her) wants the world to know and talks to the press. After that, Harrison is tasked with babysitting her. The Gladiators figure out that Candace did it, and call Harrison to alert him. He gets the call while — surprise bed-mate reveal — he’s in bed with the perpetrator herself.
Liv urges Josie Marcus to get in front of this story and confess. She’ll have to fire Candace, of course. She agrees, saying that she knows what to say. Now does ANYONE think she is going to fire her daughter and shame her on national television? Only Liv, it seems, but, as we know, Liv is unfamiliar with the kind of sacrifices a mother would make for her child. Josie Marcus confesses, withdraws from the campaign, and ends her relationship with Liv. Good-bye, Lisa Kudrow. You comported yourself ably, although you never really did a Midwestern or Western accent.
Big Dumb Fitz is a Big Dumb Jerk
Fitz is trying to get hold of Olivia, but she dodges him until finally he persuades her to get on a helicopter, which takes her to a beautiful house in the middle of nowhere (AKA Vermont). He is waiting for her with a smirk that to me signifies he expects he’s going to be spending some horizontal time with Liv. He confronts her about her father. It’s always all about you, isn’t it, Fitz, you big narcissist? He tells Liv he would have protected her, thus guilting her AND blaming her. I will admit that I used a LOT of strong language when I watched this scene. Stupid Fitz.
Fitz goes into a monologue about the house. It turns out that he built it for Olivia for when they got married. He wants her to see it once before he sells it. Fitz does his whole, “I’m just a man who loves a woman, woe is me” thing, and Olivia falls for it. She runs to him and kisses him passionately. They make love. This whole time I am screaming, “NO, Olivia! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
(I have to break from this recap for the second week in a row because during the Grope hookup scene, they are playing Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine (When She’s Gone).” It is not fair to use that song — 1., It doesn’t match what is going on in the scene, and 2., THOU SHALT NOT USE BILL WITHERS TO ADD POETRY TO FITZ’S SLEAZY MANIPULATIONS. )
The next morning, Olivia tells Fitz not to sell the house yet. Ugh. I will, however, take a second to give Tony Goldwyn props for his physique. The man is 53 years old, people, and he still does a very respectable shirtless scene.
Boy, Has Cyrus Beene Making Some Bad Decisions
James is miserable and furious because he lost his job. Cyrus cheers him up by offering him a job writing a puff piece on Daniel Douglas Langston. James takes the bait. Oh James, why are you falling for this? Don’t you notice that Cy is being really, really nice? Cy and Mellie work together to put the plan in place: they manipulate James and DD into doing an interview at the VP’s mansion. From there, DD will make a pass, James will rebuff him, and the photographer with the telephoto lens will document the whole thing. After that, Sally Langston will fall in line or fall on the battlefield.
Mellie tells DD that Cy and James have an open marriage, while Cy advises James to relax and have a few drinks with DD. He also tells James to wear that plum V-neck he just bought. To be fair, Mellie has misgivings; she warns Cyrus that once you let other people into the marriage, you can never get back what you had. Cy isn’t worried at all that James will cheat.
James heads to the interview. DD makes a pass after setting the mood with some cringe-worthy reminiscing about the glory days of college sports —the long days on the road, the closeness he felt with his fellow athletes, the sweaty locker rooms… (OK, he doesn’t say the last one, but he might as well have.) James is shocked, and DD explains that he heard from Mellie that James and Cy have an open marriage. The pieces fall into place, and James realizes he’s been pimped out.
James returns close to midnight and tells Cy the interview went well. He peels off the plum V-neck and goes to take a shower. While he is in there, Cy gets the pictures from the photographer. The good news: they definitely out DD. The bad news: James did NOT rebuff DD’s pass. Cy is devastated.
- So this is how we get to see that Harrison has a life — a hookup with Montana Barbie? No no no. Not good enough. (I wanted to call her Bozeman Barbie, or Billings Barbie, or Butte Barbie after cities in Montana, but I thought that would be too confusing, so I am officially forgoing the alliteration yet sneaking it in at the same time. Fitz isn’t the only one who can have it both ways.)
- At the beginning of the episode, Mellie is happily rewatching the interview where Fitz defended her. Poor Mellie. She really does still love him, doesn’t she?
- It looks like Quinn’s dream has finally come true. She’s going to see exactly how B316 Huck operates, up close and personal, and as we know, Huck is downright talkative when he’s in the (torture) zone.
- “My husband’s not your husband, Mellie.” — Cy to Mellie, shortly before everything falls apart
- “Feels good to be back in the saddle.” — James to Cy after returning home from his Daniel Douglas interview
- “So all we know is that the killer was a woman in a cheap skirt suit and dumpy heels?” — Abby, in front of Quinn, who is too worried about being unmasked to be insulted by that withering comment.