Previously on Scandal: Olivia’s mom escaped, Fitz has a stupid cabin, other stuff.
Nope. Not ready to talk about it yet. Let’s start somewhere else.
When we last checked in with Olivia and her secret-prison-dwelling, former-Newsradio-starring mother, they were just getting reacquainted outside Olivia’s apartment. We zipped ahead a little for storytelling purposes — first to the inside of the apartment, briefly, and then to the safe house and a seedy-looking motel — but I’ve got to believe they had the following conversation at some point, and quite frankly, I’m a little upset we got cheated out of it.
Olivia: Hey, so what happened to your wrist, anyway?
Olivia’s Mom: Oh, I tried to gnaw through my own artery like some sort of cannibal zombie rodent because your father, who, as you know, runs a secretive murderspy organization that operates outside the authority of the United States government, had me locked away in a glorified dungeon for 20-some-odd years and was planning to move me so you could never ever find me.
Olivia’s Mom: Soooooo … how are things?
But life isn’t fair, I guess, so we make due with what we got. And what we got, in this case, is an episode-long race to see if Olivia and her team can get her mom safely out of the country before B6-13 tracks her — and them — down. In order to do this, they use the classic Pope & Associates technique of “Quick! Call everyone you’re sleeping with and see if they can help!” (NOTE: This strategy is much more effective when the people who utilize it are sleeping with high-ranking government officials.) The end result: The president pulls some strings to get Olivia’s mom on a plane out of the country even though Olivia’s dad had recently tossed her up on the Most Wanted and No Fly lists under a different name, complete with a ton of treasonous accusations. Cool. Cool cool cool.
Except for the part where Olivia has a flashback as the plane starts pulling away and realizes that — WHOOPS — her mom probably did do all that treasonous stuff, and now she and her team — and really, A+ investigation work by her team to not, like, cross-check the “fake” name on the Most Wanted list to see if it was really her — have involved the President of the United States in a plot to help a recently escaped known enemy of the state flee to Hong Kong in the middle of the night, which would still somehow only be, like, the fourth worst thing we’ve seen him do in office. Scandal gon Scandal.
Still not ready to talk about it. Let’s talk about Cyrus, James, and the Vice President instead.
There are two sides to this, and it’s making it tough for me to process it. On one hand, it’s great that James finally saw that Cyrus has been playing him like an acoustic guitar in the parking lot of a Dave Matthews concert, and it’s great that he decided to stand up for himself by doing … something. Maybe screwing around with the Vice President’s secretly gay husband while pursuing a story about him wasn’t the greatest or smartest outlet for that frustration, both for his personal life and his burgeoning journalism career, but, I mean, any port in a storm, right? Cyrus has had this and worse coming for a long, long time, so pardon me if I don’t fall all over myself to grab a baton and hurry to the front of that particular pity parade.
But, on the other hand, prior to last night James was the one (1) character on the show who had an undisputed claim to the moral high ground. Yes, okay, this meant that in the Scandal universe he ended up being a comically naive little fawn who was constantly in danger of getting his delicate little feet caught in a painful steel trap because he was chasing a pretty butterfly through the forest, but it was kind of depressing to see him stoop to the scheming and cheating that’s already second nature to everyone else.
FUN FACT: If the teaser at the end of the episode is to be believed, and Daniel Douglas was killed by his wife for his philandering ways, it means the sitting President and Vice President on this show have both personally committed murder while in office.
Okay. Okay. Here goes.
I have been devoting a chunk of these recaps every week to my ongoing belief that Quinn and her fantasy-camp-assassin storyline were the woooooorrrrrrrrrst, and how I just wanted to someone to step-in and put an end to it all by whatever means necessary. So when Huck caught her last week and busted out his tools, there was a part of me that was very pleased, because I figured we were finally getting to that point. But even as that was happening, I still figured there was no way he was actually going to torture her. No way. I figured she’d get the holy hell scared out of her, sure, or that someone would step in a break things up just in time. And it looked that’s what was happening when Olivia’s phone call interrupted the tooth extraction at the beginning of the episode. But then…
He did it.
He really did it.
Huck ripped Quinn’s tooth out with pliers.
Right out of her gums.
And he was all kinds of creepy and face-licky about it.
I was not ready for that to happen. No, I was not. And now I don’t know how I feel about it. Nor do I know how to feel about the 24-esque TORTURE WORKS thing where now she’s sneaking mysterious syringes into B6-13. I’m so confused. I got what I thought I wanted, and it’s not making me feel any better. Maybe next week everyone will start a breakdancing team and fly to Vegas for a competition. I think that would help.
Next week on Scandal: We gotta get that plane outta the sky, people!