For an episode with Cyrus making a pivotal decision, Olitz sex, and someone eating their own wrists (!), Vermont is for Lovers, Too feels a bit like filler. Luckily, it sets up for a promising mid-season finale.
Let’s bitch it out…
Cyrus (Jeff Perry) has never been “Husband of the Year” material. After all, he lied to James (James Bucatinsky) about Defiance and used James’ desire to adopt a baby as a bribe. But he has really taken it to a new low this week…when he pimps out his own husband for political gain! As you may recall, Operation Honeytrap had to make a deep course correction after discovering Daniel Douglas (Jack Coleman) is not a fan of the ladies. So Cyrus schemes to get James alone with Dan during an interview, after Mellie (Bellamy Young) plants the seed that James and Cyrus are in an open marriage. The end goal is to blackmail Sally into shutting down her campaign or James will reveal her husband’s predilections.
Of course this all entails putting James firmly in Dan’s sights. Mellie warns Cyrus he does not want to open that potential-adultery door (and you know the worst is going to happen when Cyrus reassures her “my husband is not your husband” Oh! Way to jinx yourself…). I hope that the incriminating pictures Cyrus receives have just been staged by James as payback for Cyrus’ antics.
Meanwhile in the underground dungeon/jail where Rowan (Joe Morton) is keeping Liv’s mom, Maya (Khandi Alexander), she begs him to let her see Liv (Kerry Washington). Granted we still don’t know the background of why she’s there, but I’m confused as to why she thinks Rowan would do her a kindness here? What about locking you up for 20 years makes you think he’s into favors?
Maya takes his refusal REALLY poorly. As in EAT-YOUR-OWN-WRISTS-in-a-suicide-attempt poorly. This particular scene is harder to watch than any other scene Scandal has to offer…that includes Huck (Guillermo Diaz) torturing people and pretty much any scene that Katie Lowes’ Quinn is in (sorry Quinn, but it’s true). The suicide attempt does appear to soften Rowan long enough to secure Maya some pictures of Liv (during which she realizes Rowan was a crappy dad), and the infirmary proves easier to escape from, setting up a reunion with Liv at the very end of the episode. I’m really glad Scandal didn’t drag this reunion out for a few more weeks, which the writers could have easily done. As usual the show’s breakneck speed works in its favour.
Meanwhile, Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) summons Liv to Vermont to tour the house that he built for her. A) how realistic is it that Liv will ever settle down in Vermont with 2.5 kids? B) Fitz wants more kids? He doesn’t even pay attention to the ones he has! After having the same fight, different topics (“You didn’t tell me this.” “Yeah well you didn’t tell me that”), the action suddenly starts to get good. It always gets good for Fitz and Liv when “The Light” by the Album Leaf is playing in the background. After the quintessential Vermont shag (on a rug in front of the stone fireplace), Liv gives Fitz her blessing to “do what you have to do” to stop Rowan.
What else? In what seems to be the end of Lisa Kudrow’s role, her Congresswoman Josie Marcus drops out of the presidential race. Her daughter exercises some really poor decision-making skills when she frames Gov. Reston’s campaign for stealing their laptop. Not unsurprisingly it’s discovered pretty quickly, prompting Josie to take the blame to protect her daughter, at which time she resigns. This means Liv is now free to run Fitz’s re-election bid! You know who’s super pumped? Poor Mellie, who figured out that Fitz spent the night with Liv in Vermont but still wants Liv to run his campaign because, as we brutally saw last week, she knows it’s up to her to make Fitz a success.
Over in D-plot land, Quinn is freaking the eff out. The gladiators are investigating the murder of the security guard Quinn killed last week. The entire episode finds Huck trying to clean up blurry security footage to get the face of the killer. After he tells the team he wasn’t successful (as if), he shows up at Quinn’s house with a picture of her from the video…and his torture tools.
- I love the ongoing disdain that Abby (Darby Stanchfield) has for all things technological
- Tony Goldwyn’s 50-something abs rival any of those oft displayed on The CW…Kudos!
- Before Huck discovers Quinn’s secret, he makes a valiant attempt to let her know he’s proud of the work she’s doing. It’s adorably awkward.
- Did David (Joshua Malina) call the gladiators “Popeheads”? Ha!
- I’m glad Liv finally beat that POTUS booty-call phone to death. It looked like some crappy burner that Sons of Anarchy use to close gun deals. Why can’t the White House spring for something nicer? Classy, yet untraceable…
- Finally, Harrison (Columbus Short) is SO close to getting a plot line this week. He gets a bed partner and everything!
- Doctor (responding to Rowan’s question if Maya is mentally ok): “…she ate her own wrists Sir”
- Liv (to Fitz): “My father runs the nation’s top secret government spy organization!” This makes the list because I could not stop snickering. Also I am impressed that Kerry Washington says it with a straight face.
What did you think? Are you glad the Maya/Liv meet-up has happened so soon? Are you ready to learn why she was locked up? Do you think Cyrus deserves whatever he gets at this point? Sound off below!
Scandal hits the pause button for two weeks and returns for “the Winter finale event” on Thursday, Dec 5 at 10pm EST on ABC. Apparently “Mind = Blown” and “#Mom?” are in order