You know it’s really hit the fan when Olivia drunk dials her dad. Yeah, that happened.
While buying into Operation Remington is a bridge too far for me (for some reason I can accept the idea that the President once shot down a plane, but I find the idea that he ended up dating the daughter of a woman killed on that plane a little much — I know, picky picky picky), I love that this conspiracy is unraveling at the worst possible time — as Fitz is gearing up for re-election. Seeing the chess pieces move in this episode was like watching professional ballroom dancers or ice skaters glide through a routine. If backstabbing was a dance, it would be a tango.
Is it wrong to root for Josie Marcus? I realize that she’s still shiny and new, and it’s only a matter of time before she becomes either corrupt or irrelevant, but watching Lisa Kudrow tear into Dan Bucatinsky (who’s her producing partner in real life) was a fist pump moment I haven’t felt for Olivia in a while. Too often Olivia’s white hat moments were followed by pining for Fitz, hate sex with Fitz, or some other encounter with Fitz that reminded me that, as strong as Olivia is, she still has a weakness for a guy who isn’t exactly decent boyfriend material.
Josie Marcus may have a temper, and she may be realizing that being a politician on a national stage entails selling her soul to the sugar lobby, but it’s easy to see why Olivia would work for her even if she didn’t suspect Fitz killer her mom. Admittedly, that little speed bump made it a whole lot easier.
Though “Time Has Come Today” is a Shonda Rhimes favorite, it worked exceptionally well in this episode. In deciding the guard his no-longer-secret from Olivia’s questioning, Fitz is walking through a door that is shutting behind him, I suspect, for good. The tick-tock as Fitz left Olivia’s apartment (intercut with the flashback footage of Olivia’s mom walking away for the last time) made me hopeful that the flip-flopping between Fitz and Olivia is over. Here’s hoping he’ll no longer be able to weave pretty stories about living in Virginia and eating jam out of the jar to draw her in and make her miserable. Though Jake may be entirely screwed up in ways we have yet to see, he’s been more committed to Olivia (despite that odd breakup after the Correspondents’ Dinner) than Fitz ever has been. Of course, to be a good boyfriend Jake needs to stay alive — and after this week’s assassination attempt, that’s by no means certain.
In Washington, loyalty is hard to come by, of course, with the case in point being Sally Daniels. While she and Leo scheme to woo the support of conservative preachers, Cyrus is one step ahead, as usual. Sally is like the Charlie Brown of “Scandal,” always kicking at the football that gets predictably yanked away.
If a woman were to become President on this show, I would be torn between voting for Mellie or Josie. In this episode, watching Mellie swoon over Olivia, the “whore” of just a few episodes, was something to see. Unlike Josie, she knows the political game inside and out, and I can’t wait to watch her take down any competition that comes Fitz’s way in his bid for re-election — even if (maybe especially if) that’s Josie. Mellie may be buffeted around by plots that don’t serve to give her character logical direction (she too often seems to swing wildly and suddenly between pragmatic and jealous), but she’s still fun to watch in action.
While I know (according to what Shonda Rhimes has said) that Harrison worked with inside trader Adnan Salif before joining Olivia, I’m surprised to see his return to the U.S. means a life or death situation for Harrison. Still, I’m just happy Harrison is getting a storyline, any storyline, as I sometimes forget he’s even on the show. If that picks up the slack from Huck’s increasingly twitchy and hermetic behavior, even better. While Olivia is in a fine stew right now, the gladiators are what makes this engine tick, and if all they’re doing is pinning pictures to a board and tapping on computers, the show feels the lesser for it.
That being said, I’m not sure how I feel about Baby Huck being courted for B613 — or how I feel about the fact that she’s clearly interested. You would think having a coworker who primarily shakes all day would be enough to convince you that his previous line of work was not a viable career path. Still, I’m wondering if Command just wants her in his pocket as leverage over Olivia or for a bigger game move we can’t fathom yet. You can usually expect “Scandal” to play big, and while I would argue the “my boyfriend killed my mom and didn’t know it” storyline may be too big, more often than not, this show gets it right.
Do you think Baby Huck will go to B613? Do you think Jake will survive? What do you think is ahead for Harrison?