ABC promised us that there would be an OMG moment (the network's marketing magic, not mine) at the very end of tonight's episode of “Scandal,” and damn if that wasn't the case. Of course, spoilers ahead, so don't even think of clicking through if you haven't seen the episode.
When the screen goes black, Jake (Scott Foley) has a gun aimed in the general direction of James Novak (Dan Bucatinsky) and David Rosen (Joshua Malina). Then, blammo, we hear (but do not see) a shot fired. This isn't the shot we were expecting, of course. Most of the episode was spent trying to sort out who was going to kill Sally (which really would have been a relief for everyone except Leo, who kinda needs her to win the election lest he get “fired” to death). The increasingly crazy Vice President had decided that confession is good for the soul even if it's really, really bad for everyone in the Oval Office short of the janitor.
As much of a mess as all of this was, it was a glorious opportunity to watch Cyrus unravel and Olivia and Fitz (and Olivia and Jake) have desperate, painful conversations about how much it sucks to know how the sausage is made in Washington. Seeing Olivia desperately cling to the idea that eating French fries, drinking a bottle of wine and canoodling with her fake boyfriend Jake could erase the murder cover-up from her mind was a human moment that made me wonder why she doesn't do this sort of thing often enough to be wearing size-42, white woolen muumuus instead of suits (and also reminded me of how well the show is disguising her pregnancy thus far).
Better yet was Olivia (Kerry Washington) screaming at Fitz that there IS no Vermont (not literally, but you know, their Vermont). You would think her decision to tell him about the murder might have brought them closer together, but her suggestion that he throw the debate pretty much railroaded that idea. I love it when Fitz suddenly thinks he has a spine, but maybe that's only when he's a little drunk. They still got it together to make out, but then this has never been the healthiest of relationships, has it?
None of this really mattered, though, because it seems pretty clear (though not entirely clear) that either James or David got a bullet to the head. Hey, there's always a chance Jake tripped or someone we haven't seen actually shot him (Washington is full of snipers!). If not, I tend to think we might be saying goodbye to James, simply because his recent realization (he didn't want revenge, he just wanted some tears!) would make his death all the more poignant.
It would also add another layer to Cyrus' apology, which seemed equal parts sincerely guilt-ridden and sincerely pissed. We can't minimize how much it must sting for Cyrus to realize he's been sleeping next to Publius, or how furious he must be knowing his husband has been plotting his downfall. I can't imagine how this relationship can continue, despite James' willingness to shove his betrayal aside now that he's gotten a pat on the head.
I can't rule out an exit for David Rosen, though. As much as I love Joshua Malina's way with rapid fire repartee, his character has been the Gladiator's punching bag so many times I'm starting to feel a little punch drunk. Even as his relationship with Abby seems to deepen (at least a little bit), I feel that something dramatic is going to have to happen to make his character feel less like a distant moon circling Olivia Pope's sun. Of course, killing him off would be pretty dramatic, too.
We only heard one shot — that doesn't mean there weren't two. Losing either (or both) of these actors would be a shame, but I can see where their storylines need a good shake. Let's just hope that shake doesn't mean goodbye.
Who do you think was shot, if anyone?