The devil came down to Scandal tonight and it was superb. More shocking revelations, heightened emotions, and plenty of juicy developments. Bonus points: we don’t need to pretend to care about this upcoming Adnan Salif storyline (phew).
Let’s bitch it out…
Every TV writer out there please pay attention to Scandal because THIS is how you open a mid-season finale. In the best scene of the episode, Sally (Kate Burton) cuts back and forth between present day and her fight with the always-referred-to-with-both-names Daniel Douglas (Jack Coleman) up to the point that she stabs him in the back with a letter opener. The pace, camera angles and editing all capture the emotional chaos perfectly.
When Cyrus (Jeff Perry) arrives on scene, he’s physically distraught when he realizes this is a direct result of his manipulation. I’m actually surprised Cyrus takes it this hard; it seems a bit out of character. Yes, he’s emotional because the murder involves James (Dan Bucatinsky), but for a man with assassins on speed dial, this isn’t his first rodeo.
Over at Gladiator Central, the focus is on finding out the truth about Maya (Khandi Alexander). Thanks to David (Joshua Malina), the team discovers that she was a spy for hire. They flip through “old” photos of Maya selling secrets across the globe (Side Note: couldn’t they find any actual pictures of Khandi Alexander from the 1970s? She’s a very mature looking 20 year old in those photos…).
Meanwhile, Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) kidnaps Rowan (Joe Morton) to allow Maya time to escape. Seems someone didn’t get the memo that she’s the bad guy now. Fitz turns on his classy charm, letting Rowan know he’s banging Liv (Kerry Washington) and “the things I could tell you about the way she tastes.” When did Scandal get so raunchy? Between this and David’s “I put parts of my body into parts of your body” it feels like the writers are going out of their way to be provocatively dirty. Perhaps they’re just trying to match the insane amount of torture porn going on this season? But I digress…
The upside of Fitz acting like a child is that it spurs Rowan to call Fitz out on all his shit. As in: He’s a boy & he’s an entitled adolescent who’s never achieved anything on his own. This must hit home for Fitz, since he’s lost all self-confidence after learning about Defiance. In response to Fitz telling Rowan he loves Liv: “Don’t use the person that I made to make you into a man. You. Are. A. Boy.” Yes!
Liv joins the awkward party and, in talking through her assumptions with her dad, realizes that Maya told Rowan there was a bomb on the flight. He sacrificed a few hundred to save thousands if it blew up over London. But Maya wasn’t a zealot who would die for the cause. She must have been lying. To what end? Simply to cause Rowan emotional pain when he realized he killed innocent people for no reason? There will be no answers anytime soon, because Maya’s plane never landed in Hong Kong. After what must have been quite the detour, Maya calls Liv from the front of the White House.
‘A Door Marked Exit’ is a big episode for nearly everyone, but it’s especially big for Jake (Scott Foley). After hanging around in the background for the last little while, Jake grows a pair and challenges Liv to go easy on Huck (Guillermo Diaz). It’s a good reminder for Olivia to realize the entire world does not revolve around her. “People have other problems you know…” I think it’s the most words I’ve seen Jake string together all season. And just when I thought he had hit his quota for the night*, he says goodbye to Liv: “I loved you. Whatever happens next, I loved you…I love you,” he tells her.
*Jake must have stolen Harrison’s (Columbus Short) word count for the night. Seriously, the only thing Harrison does all night is make a face during David and Abby’s (Darby Stanchfield) gross sex talk. That’s all that registered.
Back to Jake (because, yes there’s more!) Instead of fleeing after his farewell declaration of love, he shows up as…wait for it…the new Command. WHAT?! Rowan has been given the old heave ho. He forgot his own company’s motto: cut off the head of the snake and another grows in its place. But don’t worry Rowan, if you’re interested in a position you can take an aptitude test.
- Sally’s call to Cyrus after the murder is captured by an NSA contractor and given to David. More to follow.
- All sympathy built up for Mellie during ‘Everything’s Coming Up Mellie‘ disintegrates tonight. The smug grin on her face when she finds out about Daniel Douglas’ death is chilling.
- Of note, James makes his own deal with the devil. He will stay with Cyrus if he gets hired as White House Press Secretary. Should be interesting…
- It looks like Quinn (Katie Lowes) is back on the dark side for good now that Huck has told her she can’t come back to the Gladiators. Hey, at least Huck didn’t skin her alive. So there’s that.
- I’m not sure the Bible says that Jesus died so we could murder our husbands, no matter what Cyrus says.
- I couldn’t stop laughing when David shows James the quiz with all of the hand-drawn penises.
- Though not directly related to this episode, is anyone else angry that Bellamy Young did not get nominated as Best Supporting Actress for a Golden Globe? Kudos to Kerry Washington on her nom, but I think not recognizing Young is a huge oversight. She and Jeff Perry own this show.
- Cyrus (to James): “I’m still the same man that you married, you just never noticed the 666 on my forehead before”
- Paul Adelstein’s Leo to Sally: “I am always your first call. You kill somebody, you call me”
What did you think of the episode? Will the revelations tide you over until the New Year? Are you looking forward to Jake heading up B613 or will Liv just be involved in the same power play dynamics with two men now? Sound off below. Happy Holidays, see you next year!
Scandal has now finished airing its 2013 episodes. The series returns after a loooong hiatus on Thursday, February 27 at 10pm EST on ABC