Once again Scandal writers proved that they do not believe in the slow build (and we continue to thank them for it). Buckle up, because the mid-season return is one crazy ‘Ride’.
Let’s bitch it out…
It’s been awhile (two sad, aimless, lonely months), so let’s refresh our memories on where we left off: Kate Burston’s Sally murdered her husband; Quinn (Katie Lowes) has been cast out of OPA and is trying to work for B613, which Jake (Scott Foley) is now in charge of, and Liv (Kerry Washington) is back as Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) campaign manager.
One would think that Sally would take some time for quiet reflection after stabbing her husband to death. But luckily for Sally, she doesn’t have to worry about that much, because SHE didn’t kill her husband, you see…the Devil made her do it. But the Devil’s gone now, so Sally’s going full steam ahead and publicly declares that she is running against Fitz in the next election. What she’s not doing, however, is resigning as VP, which ruins Liv’s well-calculated strategy to paint Sally as someone who is letting her country down. That’s going to make for some awkward West Wing run-ins over the next few years…
Over in the Oval, our favorite sullen teenager needs to get himself a new running mate. He wants the one person that he trusts: Andrew Nichols (Jon Tenney), his former Lieutenant Governor in California. Let’s take a moment and just reflect again on the fact that this whiny, selfish alcoholic is the leader of the free world! This guy has access to nuclear launch codes. WHY!? Stop making out with your campaign manager and make some god damn presidential decisions! Poor America. Langston 2016! I mean, they’re both murderers, so it’s not like we can really count that against her.
What’s a Scandal episode without an inappropriate, cringe worthy sex talk between Papa Pope (Joe Morton) and Liv? After hearing he was removed as the head of B613, Liv went to console her dad. To say that things backfired is an understatement. Papa Pope bitterly explains that the reason he was replaced is “the married man you can’t seem to stay away from had me abducted and locked away up in chains and spoke to me about the way you taste,” while letting Liv’s terrorist mom escape. Fitz has now made himself a very powerful enemy (could you make a worse enemy than Papa Pope?). He knows where all the bodies are buried, and is going full-out after Fitz. “The greatest weapon I can use against him calls me dad.” Shivers. He gives Liv one final warning: “Start grieving now Olivia…but first, RUN.” Yikes!
Meanwhile, over in marginally white hat land (I think it’s safe to say OPA will have to retire theirs), James (Dan Bucatinsky) and David (Joshua Malina) have the audio of Sally’s post-murder call to Cyrus (Jeff Perry), but it’s inadmissible in court. James proves to be the worst White House employee/husband ever (but really, who can blame him?). He goes rogue, gives himself the moniker Publius, and starts texting reporters about a potential cover-up of Daniel Douglass’ death to spur on the investigation. James acknowledges that Cyrus is a monster, and since James is his only weakness, he’s the only one that can catch him. First, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for Cyrus at his husband’s betrayal, and second, doesn’t this seem a little bit like déjà vu? Didn’t we do this already with the whole Defiance scandal when Cyrus almost had James murdered?
Over in Sally’s camp, Leo Bergen (Paul Adelstein) – a worthy adversary for Cyrus – re-introduces the possibility of the Olitz affair to the media. It spreads like wildfire, so Mellie (Bellamy Young) hosts the world’s most awkward lunch with Liv, because as everyone knows, FLOTUS would never embrace her husband’s whore. But wait, that’s not all. Mellie also presents Liv with a list of eligible bachelors and directs her to pick one to date ASAP.
Liv ultimately rejects the list but embraces the concept, and picks JAKE BALLARD to fake date!!!! After all, Fitz trusts him and Jake is a true patriot (also, he just plain likes Liv). THANK YOU! Thank you for giving Jake and Liv a reason to make out every week. You make me so happy, Scandal. Just when I thought you would let me down in the Jake arena…
But wait! We’re not done yet!
- We also find out that the reason the new VP pick has never married is because Mellie is the one that got away (awww?). So excited about this. Mellie needs to get laid, and she needs someone who actually gives a crap about her.
- Leo has a secret meeting with Papa Pope, presumably to discuss the destruction of Fitz.
- Also, over in Harrison Wright (Columbus Short) B-plot land, Adnan Salif has finally arrived. And – surprise – it’s a hot chick (Nazanin Boniadi)! Nice move Scandal writers. Not only does he get his own plot, but he also gets to make out.
- Charlie (George Newbern) continues to be my favorite comic relief. On whether he will handle a clean-up job: “Of course, wouldn’t want that YELP review to say I was anything less than thorough and discreet.” Ha!
- Kerry Washington’s pregnancy, while obvious, is nicely handled. The wardrobe is exactly what Olivia Pope would be wearing if she was pregnant.
- Mellie needs a new hair dresser. Does her hair keep getting bigger because it’s full of secrets?!?
- Deal breaker: Quinn kidnaps a child. I’m so over Quinn. This did, however, temporarily block OPA from finding out how Daniel Douglass died when the child’s mom was forced to tell OPA that he was drunk and hit his head.
- Thoughts on the camera work during the Mellie/Liv lunch scene? I really liked the black/white freeze frame and then slo-mo (however this is said in camera-speak), but I could see how it would make some viewers dizzy.
- Charlie (describing how he came to B613): “Killed two birds…and some people”
- Leo (fighting with Cyrus over whether 3rd Party candidates can win elections): “Teddy Roosevelt” Cyrus: “He lost his third party race” Leo: “His face is on a mountain”
What did you think of ‘Ride, Sally, Ride’? What was your favorite part: The Adnan Salif reveal? James going Rogue? What looks to be Mellie’s upcoming chance to get laid? Sound off below!
Scandal airs Thursday at 10pm EST on ABC