Previously on Scandal: Phoebe from Friends has a secret sisterdaughter. The president might have murdered someone close to Olivia. Again.
So let’s start with the big thing here. Fitz — the current, sitting President of the United States — may or may not have knowingly or unknowingly murdered Olivia’s mother as part of a top secret mission that Olivia is investigating and he’s not talking about. For those of you keeping score at home, if this is true, it would bring the count of Influential Female Role Models In Olivia Pope’s Life That Were Murdered By A President With Whom She Is Having A Torrid On-Again, Off-Again Affair to two, thanks to that thing last season where he killed the Supreme Court justice who tried to have him assassinated. Please consider this your reminder that Scandal is a bullet train that is engulfed in flames and endangering everyone in and around its path as it screams from insane plot to insane plot, no matter how hard a concerned railroad employee played by Denzel Washington tries to stop it. This is either a Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 or Unstoppable reference. Take your pick.
Point being: If Fitz is really, really committed to killing all the females in Olivia’s life, my vote is that he offs Quinn next.
The other major plot from last night involved toughening up Lisa Kudrow’s character for the national election, since Olivia and team are working for her now. This was a two-step process: First, they yelled at her. Then, when she yelled back, they used this freshly discovered temper to trick her into being tough by creating a fake attack ad that her “opponent” supposedly made, and showing it to her right before her huge interview with Cyrus’s journalist husband. The result was a nationally televised verbal napalming of the following things: her opponent, her interviewer, sexism, iced tea, Cinderella, and the media. Mission accomplished. (NOTE: I’m just going to gloss over the fact that a largely unknown Democratic presidential candidate chose to do her first national interview with the husband of the current Republican president’s Chief of Staff, who her campaign manager knows for a fact is a sinister backroom dealer who is not above dirty tricks ranging from misinformation to murder. It’s best if you don’t think about things sometimes.)
As far as the other characters on the show…
- Harrison is worried that Cyrus is going to let some guy into the country who wants to kill him, so he enlisted Huck to help prevent it from happening.
- Cyrus is threatening to let said guy into the country in an attempt to frighten Harrison into convincing Olivia to work with the White House. (Reminder: Cyrus and Olivia ARE FRIENDS.)
- Fitz is still a huge putz.
- Mellie shamelessly sucked up to Olivia to try to get her to run Fitz’s campaign, then turned around and called her a whore when she said no. Classic Mellie.
- The Vice President is still plotting her secret presidential campaign, except it’s not a secret anymore because the White House knows about it and flipped her hyper-religious supporter to their side with the promise of tax cuts.
- Olivia’s dad used to have a sweet mustache.
- Quinn is acting out by spending all her free time at the firing range and latching on to any creep who has murdered people and will give her attention, because Huck is shutting her out and she is every terrible 14-year-old girl in the world.
We good? Great. Moving on.
Have you guys seen The Sting? God, do I love that movie. Paul Newman and Robert Redford run around grifting people in 1930s-style suits and hats, and pull one over on a notorious crime lord named Doyle Lonnegan who punctuates all his commands with a semi-threatening “… you follow?” I mean, what’s not to like? Newman and Redford as flim-flam men. You should watch The Sting.
Anyway, I bring this up because the big misdirection thing in last night’s Scandal — where Jake met with his pretty ladyfriend in the alley, and the guy we thought was lurking in the shadows to kill him was actually lurking in the shadows to kill her, because she was secretly the assassin all along — was straight out of The Sting. Like, exactly. Between this and last week’s Chinatown-esque sister/daughter twist, I’m starting to think Shonda Rhimes got a good deal on a box set of classic movies from the 1970s on Amazon. I look forward to next week’s episode, when a mentally ill cab driver will shave his hair into a mohawk and consider killing some politicians.
Olivia Pope is an alcoholic. Definitely. She drinks wine out of a glass the size of her damn head literally 100% of the time she is not at work, polishing off bottle after bottle alone on her couch while she waits for someone to show up unannounced at her door with Earth-shattering news. Hell, for all we know, she does drink at work. Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. It would explain a lot, actually. She’s constantly bouncing between being very erratic and very, very confident, which is a telltale sign of someone who keeps a secret stash of cheap Cabernet in a locked drawer in her desk. I man, she drunk-dialed her dad last night. That’s not something a healthy person does. If we see her using mouthwash before a big client meeting, we’ll know for sure.
But, that said, if anyone deserves a drink every now and then, it’s a woman whose murderspy father may have once ordered her secret boyfriend to kill her mother, and whose other boyfriend was hired by that secret boyfriend to spy on her and was later thrown in a torture hole by her father and held until she agreed to start having Sunday dinner with him, so maybe we should just grab her a corkscrew and cut her a little slack. Girl has a complicated life, you know?
Next week on Scandal: The plot thickens! I assume! That was such a weird and vague promo!
[Photos via ABC]