Back to IndieWire

‘Scandal’ Season 4, Episode 5 Recap: A Tad Lackluster, Especially in Comparison to Last Week’s

'Scandal' Season 4, Episode 5 Recap: A Tad Lackluster, Especially in Comparison to Last Week’s

Olivia is back on her friend Catherine’s case. If you recall she is the one who is being accused of murdering her daughter. (She was also caught having sex with her daughter’s boyfriend). Catherine is rotting away in jail claiming that she’s done nothing wrong, while the Gladiators (which now seems to be just Olivia and Quinn with Huck working part-time hours) dig for more leads.

As they search for more clues, the team discovers that Caitlyn’s father may have had something to do the murder. He’s hired some shady ex-cop to work at his company and Quinn and Huck find surveillance photo of the daughter’s best friend Faith being assaulted by the man.

While Quinn and Olivia are working, Huck apparently doesn’t have time for OPA at. He’s desperately trying to reconnect with his wife and son; which really means he’s stalking and spying on them. Though he tries telling his wife the truth that he was trapped in B6-13, she’s not trying to hear it and she attempts to have him committed. I felt back for Huck he was really excited to see his son, but he can’t really think that his wife would allow him anywhere near the boy. (We all know that Huck isn’t the most mentally sound.)

While Huck is slacking on the job, Liv is lounging around at stakeouts with her silk suits on. Even Quinn is alarmed by her presence. Perhaps in the aftermath of Harrison’s death and Abby’s exit, Liv is trying to open up to the people she loves and trusts. In a rather vulnerable and un-Olivia Pope-like fashion she candidly tells Quinn. “My boyfriend is avoiding me.” I was as shocked and appalled as Quinn was to hear those words. (Since when did Jake become Olivia’s man? Was it because he went to Sunday dinner at her daddy’s house? Did I miss something?) Bottom-line is, Jake isn’t answering his phone and for once Ms. Pope is noticing.

While Quinn and Olivia are staking out Caitlyn’s father’s office, they witness Caitlyn’s Faith being murdered by the shady ex-cop. They are unable to get any proof because Huck has taken their listening device to spy on his wife. Though they are too late to save Faith’s life, the murder is further proof that the father has something to do with this tangled web of lies. They also realize that Faith doesn’t run because she swallows an object, which turns out to be a key that Caitlyn’s father James and his goon are desperately searching for.

Meanwhile, back at 1600 Pennsylvania, Fitz is pressed for some answers. He has convinced himself unequivocally that Jake has murdered his child. He’s on edge and drinking regularly. The quarterly updates that Cyrus is giving him on Jake’s status him aren’t going to cut it.  He wants a confession and he’s determined to get one, even if he has to go down to the Pentagon himself to retrieve it.

At first it looks like Fitzy is inclined to give Jake a fair interrogation. However, he gets more and more incensed when Jake refuses to break.  He won’t eat, drink or talk other than to say he’s innocent of the charges. (Jake is kind of a G, people are all in his face and he’s sitting back and relaxing, reminiscing about his time in Turks and Caicos with Liv.)  Jakes demeanor further enrages Fitz. Still, I don’t believe he truly believes Jake killed his child. Just like Jake said, “ The only thing that matters is that I put my hands where you think they don’t belong.” (Its always been and always will be about Olivia.)  Fitz isn’t trying to hear that and he proceeds to beat Jake’s ass. (Ya’ll know it’s not a fair fight because had Jake been unchained it would not have gone down that way.)

It looks like Rowan is feeling rather fatherly (or maybe a little guilty), because he’s taken to just showing up at Li’v apartment unannounced. Foolish Liv is just outright ignoring her gut because she lets him in, and then tries to have a real father daughter conversation about men with him. Smh she really must be missing Jake if its come to this.

Sadly, her daughter’s “Girls Gone Wild” moment is not enough to shake Mellie out of her drunken stupor. Feet still snug in her Uggs, still draped in a house coat, she once again stumbling about the White House, chips and chicken wings in hand.  She does however, remember the set time that she and Fitz are supposed to visit Gerry’s grave and when he’s nowhere to be found she loses her shit. (Obviously she thinks he’s somewhere laid up with Liv.)  She even takes out her rage on Fitz’s poor long suffering assistant Lauren. Honestly, the woman needs all of the raises.

Still trying to piece things together, Olivia goes to confront, Caitlyn’s dad about his involvement in his daughter and Faith’s deaths. Though he admits nothing he’s obviously guilty of something. We seem him later on a park bench with his hired ex-cop goon, pretty much admitting to his involvement. (He doesn’t seem all that upset about the death of his own daughter or the fact that his wife is in jail for a crime she didn’t commit.) By the way, why do all conversations have to take place on DC park benches? Does the city not have anymore meeting spots?

Reflecting on Faith’s death which could have gone unnoticed had she and Quinn not witnessed it, Liv finally decides to listen to her gut and her own common sense. (I really don’t know what took her so long; She knows Jake likes to be all in her face.)  Realizing that Jake wouldn’t just up and disappear, she has Huck trace his phone to the location where it was last used which happens to be The White House. Immediately fearful for Jake’s well being, Olivia calls Fitz to demand answers. Unfortunately for her, Fitz isn’t trying to hear anything that she’s saying and he promptly hangs up on her. Cyrus and Abby aren’t tryna help her out either; she really has very few friends left in Washington.

Later on, Cyrus finally comes by to tell Liv that Fitz is holding Jake for the murder of Gerry and Harrison. At first I think Cyrus is being loyal, but in true monstrous fashion Cyrus lets it be known that he hasn’t forgotten that Jake murdered his husband. And that when he takes the lethal injection for the crimes he’s committed he will be more than thrilled to dance on his grave. (I can’t be mad at Cyrus, I almost forgot that not only did Jake murder James, he also sat by and watched him die.)

Refusing to believe that Jake had anything to do with either Harrison on Gerry’s deaths, Liv runs off to her father to accuse him of these heinous crimes. I don’t know how he did it but Rowan don’t play. He basically manipulates her once again into not trusting her gut and Liv’s left in a blithering pile of disarray until Abby finds her. (Hopefully to help her pull it back together! How you gonna get your man back girl if you’re over in the corner falling apart?  Anyway, there’s no room left in the corner, Huck seems to already be on his way to reoccupying that space.)

While all of this is occurring, poor David Rosen is losing his grip on reality. Feeling deeply guilty about the judge’s suicide, he’s getting drunk every night and calling up Abby, trying to get back in the comfort of her panties. She’s having none of his foolishness and he finally comes clean to her about using the B6-13 files in order to blackmail people into submission. He says, “I was trying to be Olivia Pope and I killed him. Why are we all trying to be Olivia Pope?’ Clearly David is ill equipped to handle any hat, white or otherwise.

Mellie confronts Fitz about his ghost status during their designated time to visit Gerry’s grave. They go back and forth for a while, shredding each other to pieces like they typically do until Fitz blurts out that Gerry was murdered. And Mellie, bless her heart, clings on to that knowledge and seems to before our very eyes turn into the original Mellie Grant. You remember, the cold, bitter and unfeeling woman that we hated from the beginning.  In her mind, instead of it being a freak accident, Mellie can see Gerry’s death as “meaningful.” Sickened and horrified at her words. Fitz sends her out of his sight. (Poor Mellie, she needs all of the psychological help.)

Overall, the episode was a tad lackluster, especially in comparison to last week’s episode. I can’t decide if I enjoy the fact that this one case is being spread across several episodes. It’s not quite interesting enough for me to be invested. What could make a man get both his daughter and her best friend killed?  But here are my questions for this week.

  1. Does Abby really think she’s going to going to get any real answers from Fitz when she questions him about Jake? He doesn’t even know her real name.
  2. Does Liv not care that Jake murdered James? (Come to think of it, Fitz killed Judge Cancer and she cared not.)
  3. Does anyone else feel a bit terrified of Mellie? She’s lost it and now she’s starting to bathe again.
  4. Do you think Huck’s wife will ever forgive him?
  5. Is Olivia going to keep going to Sunday Dinner’s at Rowan’s house?

What did you all think? Were you feeling restless like I was with the episode?

Aramide A Tinubu has her Master’s in Film Studies from Columbia University. She wrote her thesis on Black Girlhood and Parental Loss in Contemporary Black American Cinema. She’s a Black Cinema geek and blogger. You can read her blog at: www.chocolategirlinthecity.co   or tweet her @midnightrami

This Article is related to: Features and tagged