In “We Do Not Touch The First Ladies,” Mellie (Bellamy Young) does, in fact, get touched. So that’s fun. But for the love of God, can we please ALL stop saying Publius?
Let’s bitch it out…
As soon as the episode opened, I was tickled in delight because…Tom the bodyguard (Brian Letscher) is back. I missed Tom. I love Tom. Imagine my surprise when it turns out Tom is the B613 mole inside the White House! I don’t know if this was planned all along, but I love that it’s someone who’s been hanging out in the background since Season 1.
The Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) / Liv (Kerry Washington) / Jake (Scott Foley) love triangle is ramping up as expected. It starts with a super awkward Liv/Fitz post-coital fight (awkward because of the five people standing outside the door listening in, and for the way we’re all just going to pretend Kerry Washington isn’t super pregnant). Fitz doesn’t like Liv’s fake relationship, and Liv doesn’t like being treated like a prize to be won. Because “I have goals. I have dreams. My whole life is not about you.” There’d probably be more weight to that statement if, you know…her whole life wasn’t actually all about him.
Over on the other corner of the triangle, Jake has to do all the crappy jobs of a boyfriend with none of the benefits. He’s getting pretty comfortable in Liv’s house though. After yelling at her to stock her fridge, he goes and takes a shower because “it’s been a long day and I want to wash it off me before we have pretend sex.” Fair enough.
At the White House, James (Dan Bucatinsky) is freaking out, and rightfully so. Cyrus (Jeff Perry) is on a rampage to find out who Publius is. This is not going to end well for poor James, as he’s barely dodging Cyrus’ attempts to ID the reporter’s informant. When James plans to meet the woman he’s been feeding information, sidekick David (Joshua Malina) offers to go in his stead. Thanks to Abby’s (Darby Stanchfield) suspicious personality, she and Harrison are able to save David before he walks into a trap and Charlie (George Newburn) gets another 5-star Yelp review. In hindsight, I really should have played the “Drink every time they say Publius” drinking game for this episode. Missed opportunity, I guess.
Meanwhile, those journalists continue to be the bane of Cyrus’ existence. This time, it’s evidence of drugs in the governor’s office 15 years ago. Andrew (Jon Tenney) admits to taking Oxycotin for an injury, and offers to go public to take the heat off Fitz. Scandal continues to be the master of the well-constructed flashback. Turns out, the Oxy incident took place right after Mellie was raped by her father-in-law. Completely alone, unable to confide in her husband, and afraid her son is the result of the rape, she was the one who got the Oxy and intended to commit suicide. Andrew found her passed out, empty bottle in hand, and saved her life. Surprisingly she told him everything that happened, heartbreakingly admitting that “sometimes, that makes me not want to be alive.”
Back in the present day, Liv realizes it’s Papa Pope (Joe Morton) that passed the Oxy info onto reporters to tank Fitz’s re-election plans (remember Liv: start grieving now). Luckily for the campaign, her moral compass is flexible and she shuts down the story by making it seem like the eyewitness was paid off.
By the time we get to Mellie and Andrew’s kiss, it’s well deserved. The symbol of affection follows a surprisingly impressive buildup for a relationship that was only introduced last episode. Appropriately, the kiss takes place in the First Lady portrait room in the White House. Personally, I wouldn’t get hot and bothered by seeing Eleanor Roosevelt staring down at me, but to each his own. However, it is a little creepy when Andrew starts stroking the painting of Jackie Kennedy, no? You already touched one first lady, just leave it at that…
Meanwhile, we find out that Adnan Salif (Nazanin Boniadi) came back for a few reasons. 1) to bone Columbus Short’s Harrison (as any red-blooded woman is wont to do), and 2) to force him to donate funds to the Grant campaign. But you know those pesky terrorists, they move in packs. That’s right, Adnan Salif’s roommate is non other than Liv’s mom!
- Blah, Blah, Quinn storyline Blah
- I am in awe of the audacity Liv has to tell Mellie that she needs to shut down any relationship she has with Andrew. With a complete straight face, no less!
- Hollis Doyle (Gregg Henry) is back! He ever so sympathetically refers to the dearly departed Daniel Douglass as “Double D” and offers politically correct gems such as: “Assets gotta be moved…I got a couple of you sharp Jewish fellas and a damn sight clever Asian to do all that for me.” Welcome back Hollis, you filthy redneck!
- Oh, Mellie flashback hair: how I’ve missed you. You’re so…non-Texas beauty pageant sized.
- Charlie (George Newbern) chuckle o’ the day: “I’ve never been much of a computer guy. More killing, less coding I say”
- Who is actually giving Jake this B613 turnover package? If B613 is above the President, who is above B613? And how is the Fitz / Liv discussion about Jake key information that Tom must acquire to “protect the republic”?
- Huck (Guillermo Diaz): “You took in a wild monster and you groomed me and petted me and trained me to sit at your feet. But that doesn’t make me a puppy Liv, it just makes me a very loyal monster.”
What did you think? Are you happy that Liv’s mom is back? Are you mentally preparing yourself for the last 30 seconds of next week’s episode? Sound off below!
Scandal airs Thursdays at 10pm EST on ABC