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We Need To Talk About Last Night’s Episode Of ‘Scandal’: ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner’

By / 10.11.13

SCANDALPROMO

Previously on Scandal: Olivia’s dad runs a secret murderspy agency. Cyrus and Mellie sold out some poor intern. Sometimes when Mellie gets super angry she talks without moving her mouth. Perd Hapley showed up.

We are traveling through time.

Actually, no. That’s not quite accurate. We are not traveling through time. We are doing flashbacks. You can tell we are doing flashbacks because everyone has different hair … things going on. Huck has a wild homeless man mane. David has a hilarious goatee. Olivia has bangs. Everyone was trying things out in 2008, apparently. I blame Soulja Boy.

But I am already off-topic. I should focus. Last night’s episode was split into two parts. In the present day, we had the fallout from Cyrus and Mellie’s plot to pin the president’s affair on a giggly drunken intern named Janine who (a) looks enough like Lauren Ambrose that part of me expected Seth Green to bust into Olivia’s office with goggles on his head and statistics about sexually active college students in the area, and (b) did not technically sleep with the president. Interspersed throughout this saga, we had said flashbacks, which dealt with the intersection between bangs-having Olivia, homeless Huck, and Olivia’s terrifying father. This is where we’ll begin.

OLIVIASUBWAY

It’s 2008! Olivia is riding the subway, which is where she meets and befriends a bearded, scraggly man named Huck. She is also having dinner every Sunday with her father, who she still thinks works as a fossil expert at the Smithsonian, and who demands these dinners in exchange for paying off her law school loans. (Let me be incredibly clear about something: If any of you are very intense government operatives who want to take me out to dinner and pay off my school loans on the condition that I keep the conversation light and don’t ask any questions, I will have the ribeye.) On the way home from one of these dinners, a couple of muggers try to make off with her purse and Huck jumps in and goes all Batman on them. This leads to Olivia asking him about his past, which leads to Huck rambling incoherently about B6-13 and Wonderland, which leads to Olivia asking her dad — who has “some connections” at the FBI — to look into him, which leads to Huck disappearing, which leads to HEEEEEEEEEY would you look at that? We got ourselves a plot.

Long story short: Olivia has questions now. Like, why did this guy vanish 20 seconds after she mentioned him to her dad? And why is there no record of his arrest when she meets with the goateed David? And what’s with the shady Acme building on Wonderland Avenue? And why does her dad have a pen with Acme’s logo on it? And why is a shady company with a rundown headquarters that is secretly the home of a top-secret murderspy agency that operates outside all three branches of government making pens with their logo on them? And what kind of dipsh*t top banana murderspy would carry one of these pens around with him all day even though he supposedly works at the Smithsonian? Technically those last two questions are mine. Still, I think they’re valid.

Anyway, Olivia brings all this up at their next dinner, and her dad does that thing he does where he turns into the bad guy in a Nicolas Cage movie. He gives her a speech about not asking questions that includes about five or six implied OR ELSEs before she storms out. She eventually gets him to release Huck by bringing her big fancy Senator fiance around (Edison), and her dad retaliates by running said fiance off the road and ordering Olivia to break up with him. But yeah, her dad runs B6-13 and is terrifying.

*****

Here are some other things I think “B6-13″ sounds like:

  • A section of JC Penney where you can find clothes for boys in elementary school.
  • A Dollar Tree version of the Backstreet Boys that had one minor hit in the late-90s.
  • A chemical compound that a madman is using to manipulate Congress into going to war with China in a movie titled xXx: War Powers that I am willing to write and direct for free.

*****

OLIVIAOFFICE

Back to the present day. Everyone has fixed their hair, and they are all terrible. Allow me to elaborate:

- Cyrus and Mellie are terrible because Cyrus and Mellie are always terrible. Yes, there’s a discussion to be had about whether Mellie has a right to be a little terrible after she put her political ambitions on the back burner to support her husband and he turned around and became a wandering-dicked clown who pouts and chugs scotch at the slightest sign that he might not be getting his precious way on every single issue, but it’s a little difficult to have that discussion after an episode in which someone tells her that she’s evil and she responds by smirking and saying “You’re welcome.” So, for now, we stick with terrible.

- Janine the Drunken Intern is terrible because after a whole episode where she cried to Olivia about her life being ruined by the accusations about the alleged affair, she turned around and accepted a $2 million bribe from Mellie to cop to the affair during a live interview that Olivia set up to clear her name. And she made a smug little face when she was confronted about it. F-

- Fitz is terrible because he — THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES — preempted Janine’s interview with a live press conference where he threw her under the bus. Remember, he didn’t know she was going to “admit” to the affair when he got up there. He spent the whole episode ranting and raving about THE TRUTH and that POOR INNOCENT GIRL, then he went on every television station in America at the exact time she was going to clear her name and BURIED HER because his mistress begged him to use his power as the Commander-in-Chief to spring her other boyfriend from the torture hole her dad had him hidden in. I love this stupid-ass show.

- Olivia is terrible because when Huck — who has literally killed for her and grants her every request without so much as a quizzical eyebrow-raise — asked her a direct question about whether her dad is the head of the murderspy agency that made his entire life hell and turned him into a monster (information he got, for the record, after Quinn — whose life Olivia saved after she was framed for murder — snooped through half a decade worth of Olivia’s private emails, because everyone on this show is terrible), she was all “What? Him? Noooo. No. Definitely not. Really? No” until he choked the answer out of her in a dark parking lot WHICH WAS CRAAAAAAAAAAAAZY.

Here’s my favorite part of that last paragraph: Despite being a sadistic disgraced spy who gets a truly disturbing amount of pleasure out of doing serious bodily harm to other human beings, and who, again, just threw a woman up against her car and choked her, Huck is probably the most redeemable character on the whole show. Think about that for a while.

Next week on Scandal: SOMEONE HAS A BOMB.


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