Previously on Scandal: Olivia’s mom is on a midnight train plane to Georgia Hong Kong. Huck is a dentist now.
Scandal is a lot of things. It is a political drama, a gore-filled primetime soap opera about an alcoholic and her ragtag team of morally ambiguous misfits, and a nutty, borderline reckless, speedboat ride to Crazytown Marina. But mostly, at its heart, it is a vehicle for characters to shout dramatic monologues at each other.
I point this out because last night’s episode featured one of its best and most over-the-top, delivered by Olivia’s father to her secret boyfriend, who (a) happens to be the President of the United States, and (b) has just kidnapped him and locked him in an interrogation room in the Pentagon. God, it was so great. And accurate, too, all the way up to the part about Fitz being obsessed with Olivia because she is “a door marked exit.” Fitz is such a spoiled, impulsive, cabin-building putz. It’s always fun to hear someone spell that out to his face in exhaustive detail. (See also, Mellie’s moonshine-addled rant from a few weeks ago. Which reminds me: I like to picture her listening to Eli’s speech, snorting, and saying “More like a whore marked exit,” because Mellie is mean and evil and the best.) I mean, pretty much the last thing you want to hear from your beau’s father is “Don’t use the person that I made to make you into a man. You are a boy,” especially when he’s right. Eli Pope is a man with many flaws, but let no one say that he can’t deliver an A+ rant when the situation calls for it.
But anyway, the rest of the episode. We’ve got three things happening: Olivia and her team are investigating her mom, again, some more, because it turns out the reason she was locked away in a secret terrorist dungeon all those years was because she was, like, actually a secret terrorist; Sally, Cyrus, James, and Mellie are dealing with the fallout from Sally depositing a sharp object into her “sodomite” husband’s back with enough force to send him to the forever-burning afterlife she thinks he’s going to; and The Ballad of Quinn, Charlie, and Huck added a new verse, which included a lyric about skin-peeling. Like most good ballads.
The thing with Olivia’s mom was the big development, though, both because it uncovered an important piece of the past and because it shook things up considerably going forward. I imagine the show will parcel out more nuggets of information about the hows and whys of the thing where she tricked her husband into blowing up a plane full of innocent people, and I imagine they will be ridiculous and fall to pieces under a modest amount of scrutiny by an impartial observer, but in the meantime, please keep the following things in mind:
- Olivia’s dad got promoted to and/or maintained a powerful position in a secret spy agency even after it was revealed that the woman he married was an international terrorist who stole a staggering amount of secrets and tricked him into having the future president shoot down a passenger plane in European airspace. Can you EVEN IMAGINE the 24-hour news networks and Congressional hearings that would take place if this actually happened? People’s heads would explode.
- Don’t belittle the President or he will have you fired and replaced with the man he is currently fighting with for the affection of your daughter. A useful lesson for all of us, really.
- The pilots of the plane that Olivia’s mom was on got woken up in the middle of the night with orders to fly halfway around the world as part of a covert mission that could have gotten everyone tried for treason if it came to light, and all they got for their trouble were a couple bullets in the forehead. Remember that the next time you complain about your job.
Patient Name: Daniel Douglas Langston
Date of Death: 12/11/2013, between 0030 and 230 hours
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Physician: Dr. Gullible von Improbable
Patient, a healthy, athletic 52-year-old man, was found unresponsive by his wife when she woke up on the morning of December 12, 2013. Cause of death appears to be a sudden, massive, almost unexplainable heart attack suffered in the middle of the night.
Upon arriving at the home, I performed my examination of the body. The patient’s wife, the Vice President of a scandal-plagued administration, appeared to be in shock. It was almost like she had seen a ghost or maybe stabbed someone with a sharp office supply. Letter opener, large pen, etc. Due to her distress, my examination of the deceased — again, a tall, strapping, former lacrosse player who appeared to be the picture of health and longevity as recently as literally the moment before he died — was cut short at the request of the President’s secretive Chief of Staff, Cyrus Beene, who she apparently called before she called the paramedics, for some reason.
This shortened examination meant that I was unable to look at the patient’s body to see if he — a muscular Adonis of a human being, who looked like he probably ate a healthy diet and exercised multiple times a week, although I don’t even know why I’m bringing that up — might have suffered an injury that caused his premature, surprising death, but that seemed unnecessary given the circumstances. I mean, I put my stethoscope on his chest and didn’t hear a heartbeat. The body doesn’t work without a beating heart. Ergo, his lack of a heartbeat must have killed him. That’s the only explanation I see. No further inquiry required.
Note: I mentioned this last week, but please keep in mind that this development means that both the President AND Vice President have murdered someone in cold blood during their first term in office. This should probably tell you all you need to know about Scandal.
I have thought long and hard about this, and I have decided that I will do a complete 180 on my stance on the “Quinn is a spy now, no, seriously” storyline if she and Charlie become the equivalent of cartoon supervillains going forward. With Jake in the top spot at B6-13 and Quinn on the outs with Olivia and Huck, both of them are kinda soldiers without a country right now. I hope they build an underground lair in Washington and threaten to poison the water supply just, like, because. One of them will need to grow a mustache. Either would be fine.
See you back here in February.
[Photo credit: ABC/Danny Feld]