I knew this episode of “Scandal” was going to be epic when it opened with The Isley Brothers’ “Summer Breeze”. Let me tell ya’ll that it did not disappoint.
Olivia has gotten back into the habit of swimming. If you recall that’s how she coped when she and Fitz stopped speaking when he discovered her part in the election fraud. Jake’s fate is still undetermined and she’s having nightmares about him, Fitz and her daddy.
Liv and Abby have come to some sort of a truce after Abby arrives to Liv’s house and finds her in shambles over Jake’s MIA status. Pained to see Olivia in such a state, Abby puts on her big girl panties and goes to confront Fitz. She bursts in to the Oval Office and tells Fitz, “ I need to talk to you about Jake Ballard.” Fitz tries to intimidate her but then she says, “ I’m not asking the Commander in Chief. I’m asking the married man who use to sleep with my friend what exactly he has done with the man she is currently sleeping with.” #WHELP Fitz tries to play her by calling her Gabby but this is ABBY’S season and she’s coming for him Gladiator-style.
Despite all of the drama, Olivia’s personal life must be put on the backburner because there are things that need to be handled. Former President Edward Cooper has died and the man who was convicted of attempting to assassinate him wants desperately to clear his name. Now that Cooper is dead, the bullet still lodge in his head can be extracted for further examination. The convicted assassin is convinced the bullet will help clear his name.
Meanwhile, Cyrus is apparently getting it REAL good. Mr. Beene is over here trying to play Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. Male Escort Michael has got him so worked up that he’s offering to put him up in an apartment and open bank accounts. Cyrus is even late for work letting himself be all vulnerable and exposed. I’m not here for this Mr. Beene! He knows good and well that Fitz can’t run the country without him. I’m going to need him to pull it together.
While Cyrus is off tickling his fancy, the Gladiators are working two cases… (well Olivia and Quinn are working, Huck is obsessively playing a video game.) Though Olivia’s friend’s murder case isn’t at the forefront, Huck and Quinn have discovered that the swallowed key goes to a locker. They just have to figure out what locker it is. Liv has also decided to take the convicted assassin case, in an attempt to establish the man’s innocence. The Gladiators figure out that in order to get the bullet, they most get the attorney general to charge the attempted assassin with murder.
While Liv’s life is spiraling out of control, Mellie seems to be getting herself together. Looking fresh, clean and chicken grease free, she’s back in First Lady mode prepared to help Former First Lady Bitsy Cooper lay her husband to rest. The pair smilesdemurely and play their respective roles for the cameras, but when they are in private all bets are off. Irritated by Mellie fussing over her, Bitsy declares, “My husband’s only religion was believing he had to screw anything with a pulse.” She goes on, “But since us bitches have to get though this dog and pony show, I’m going to need you to sit down, shut up and follow my lead.” (LMAO she said it so calmly that I nearly choked on my evening tea!) Mellie is shocked into silence, so Bitsy politely suggests that she goes and “vaccinates” fat kids. in an attempt to make herself seam useful. (Mrs. Bitsy Cooper does not have time!)
While Mellie is strolling though The White House in search of some husky kids to vaccinate, Lizzie tries to get her to back Fitz in a corner. Always playing the role of “First Lady”, Mellie basically tells Lizzie “Girl please!” and then goes on with her day.
Despite Mellie’s initial reaction, Bitsy teaches her some lessons in the art of power grabbing as First Lady; power isn’t given its taken. Apparently, Bitsy ‘s now deceased husband was only good for bending his secretary over his desk, leaving Bitsy to run the country while he got the credit. Despite all of this, Bitsy has never and will never get any credit. As she says, “I will be remembered as the wife of a man who did something with his life.” That one hit me like a punch to the gut, so I know Mellie felt it too. (If you have been watching “Scandal” from the beginning then you know all Mellie really wants is some power and recognition. She’s much smarter than Fitz and he loathes the fact that she’s seen as an= White House accessory.)
Hearing about Olivia’s nightmares drives Fitz to her front door. He comes with “proof” in hand that Jake is responsible for Gerry, Harrison and Maya’s deaths as well as the demise of Olitz. Instead of the dreamy withering Olitz we usually see, Shonda gives us some real ish!!! Fitz tries to come for Abby at first by calling her a “bitch” but, Olivia is not here for any of his nonsense, and she provides him with a quick lesson on how women are continually degraded with vulgar names in society. (Snaps for Olivia.) She demands that he take her to see Jake but Fitz is unyielding. He’s horrified when Liv tells him that Jake couldn’t have done what he’s accused of. She tells him “I know about him about him the way I know about you.” Fitz tries to shove the “evidence” of Jake’s guilt in her face, but Liv isn’t budging. She wants to see Jake, and Fitz isn’t going to convince her otherwise. (Go head on Ms. Pope! Show your backbone girl! This is the Olitz I wanted to see.)
Since Liv wasn’t trying to hear him out, Fiz runs to Daddy Pope for comfort. (This is how I know Fitz has imbecile tendencies, how can he trust that man?!!). Maniacal and goonish as always, Rowan convinces Fitz to not only let Liv see Jake, but also to release Jake back into his custody.) (Ol’e’ sneaky Rowan.) He even butters Fitz up by telling him that he’s the expert in all things! Fitz gobbled that nonsense up like it was the last piece of 7up cake on the Thanksgiving dinner table!
Heeding Rowan’s advice, Fitz allows Liv to see Jake. Let me tell you their meeting made me feel all types of forlorn and melancholy. Jake looks awful, he’s had the dog crap beat out of him. He doesn’t believe that Olivia is convinced of he’s innocene so he directs her to his bank account and tells her make sure his mother receives the money. He says, “We both know in the end you’re not going to choose me… Not choosing me is ok.” (Ya’ll that was way too much, I very nearly cried.)
As I’ve mentioned in the last couple of recaps, Liv’s gut is in shambles. I remember the days when she used it to help her make a decision. We no more Ms. Pope! The man accused of murdering former President Cooper played her for the FOOL! He surely did try to kill that man and now because of Liv’’s help his name will go down in history as the man who murdered the president. (Really though, Shonda that scene was terrifying! Brian Benban played that role! That creepy ass gleam he gave, talking about he wants the electric chair. HORRIFYING.)
When Olivia goes to David to tell him that he’s won and that the man really is guilty, she also asks him to help Jake. In turn he informs her that Jake is no longer in government custody. Rowan has taken him.
As usual Papa Pope bestows upon us a monologue of mass destruction. Gloating he says to Jake “I played the President like a fiddle. I made him feel pretty I held him in the palm of my hand until even he believed I was the better man.” “You can’t take command, command takes you.”…. Rowan reminds us that we are just pawns in whatever sick game he’s conjured up.
Realizing that handing Jake over to her father will mean she never sees her face again, Liv turns to the man she can manipulate. Despite everything, Fitz’s hatred for Jake festers because he blames Jake for ruining his relationship with Olivia. Perhaps it was just to keep Jake alive or maybe she really meant it but Olivia tells Fitz, “If you hand him over, you and I will never have any hope of ever being together again.” She goes and gives the lovesick fool some hope. And in return, he keeps places Jake in government custody, moving him to a maximum-security prison.
As the episode closes out, Mellie decides to take a page out of Bitsy’s book by doing what Lizzie asked, backing Fitz into a corner. Abby proves her worth to Cyrus letting him know that she knows his dirty little secret. (I guess Cyrus will be taking a peak at his own “back door after all.) We discover that Huck has been so focused on his video game because he’s playing against his son.
While Huck has been playing, Quinn has been earning her keep. She discovers that somehow in this twisted scheme, the reason why her Liv’s friend’s daughter and best friend were killed all lead back to Olivia. Someone is after Ms. Pope, and people are being killed to cover it up.
Non-too pleased about Olivia muddling up his plans, Papa Pope confronts her in a rage at the swimming pool. She tells him that she has weapons he can’t possible posses, she politely swims off toward the other end of the pool.
“Scandal” was perfect this week but my questions are still left unanswered.
- So are we going to talk about that fact that Liv is pretty much an alcoholic?
- How is Cyrus going to destroy Male Escort Michael? It shall be thrilling to watch. (At least we know that the Black baby’s college fund is safe.)
- Will Cyrus trust Abby more now that she knows his dirty little secret?
- Didn’t yall think Liv was a Black lie when she was waxing poetic to Fitz about hope?
- At the end of the episode, didn’t you think Rowan was going to reach into that pool and wring Olivia’s neck?!
- Can we talk about how Rowan referred to Olivia as his most prized POSESSION?! (icky icky yuck yuck)
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