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Scandal: Joshua Malina blogs 'The Fish Rots From the Head'

Or: ‘Malina: A Blog of Random Thoughts’

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Craig Sjodin/ABC

Consider it handled. Each week, Scandal fan-favorites Joshua Malina and Scott Foley, who play David Rosen and Jake Ballard, respectively, join forces to bring you behind-the-scenes scoop. Here, they revisit episode 13 of season 5. Check back each week for more — and of course, send feedback to us at @EW and to the guys at @JoshMalina and @scottkfoley.

Joshua Malina: So … 513. We’re back!

Scott Foley: [silence]

JM: Scott.

SF: [Silence]

JM: Scott?

[19 hours pass]

JM: Okay! Looks like Foley is not going to get back to me. I guess he’s busy. He does have a script he wrote with Greg Grunberg in development at Shondaland, and he’s currently shooting a major Jake-centric episode of Scandal, so I’ll cut him some slack rather than saying something like “Waaah. I’m Scott Foley, and I’m too preoccupied to write half of a two-page blog.” That would just be mean of me.

So … you just get me this week. Rather than “Folina: A Scandal Hangover Blog,” it’s just “Malina: A Blog of Random Thoughts.” That said, in honor of Scandal’s return to the air, I went above and beyond in preparation for this week’s blog and actually watched the episode. It was really good! I dug it.

First things first. Last week, I was working with Tony, Kerry, Bellamy, and Darby, and we realized that 513 marks a very significant passing of the torch. With Fitz’s montage of chippies being escorted in and out of his quarters, he is now the character who has had the most sexual partners on the show. Can you guess who held the title up until this point?

Yep. David Rosen. David has gotten busy with Abby, Wendy the dead prostitute, Kinky Sue, Elizabeth, and Susan, averaging one partner a season. Which is not really so terrible. But that President Fitzgerald? He’s a dawg.

Another thing that struck me about this episode is that O.P.A. may be good at what they do, but can we stop looking up to them as role models? Young people of the world, take a look at how they handled the Secret Service hotel room party gone bad! Olivia has her people clean up, cover up, bribe folks, and create fake alibis, all so that no one need know about the poor dead girl on the floor. Apalling! Only Marcus is like … ”Umm, wait a minute. Maybe we should figure out what actually happened?” Which is how you know he’s new to the firm. And sure, Olivia eventually comes around in that awesome scene in the Oval at the end of the episode, but … for my money, too little too late! David may have his own moral failings on display lately, but O.P.A. — these are some dark and sketchy characters, no doubt.

My own contributions to this episode were pretty light, which is, I think, how America likes it. I had a little presser with the President at the very end, a pants-drop with Lizzy Bear, and that one scene in bed with Susan. You’ll notice that when I do a scene in bed, I tuck the blanket just up to where the fat starts. I kind of have it down to a science.

Some of my favorite moments from 513 include:

Cyrus Beene’s “brother Oliver” story. Cyrus masterfully manipulates Frankie V. with an entirely fabricated tale about the tragic travails of a non-existent sibling. Fantastic. It’s a terrific speech that Jeff puts over beautifully. I think it should win an Emmy, but the award should actually go to Cyrus, because he’s the one who’s acting in the scene after all, and damnit, he’s good.

Jake’s a creeper. Those were some very freaky head-games he was playing with Ms. Pope. Showing up unannounced at the foot of her bed, getting her all hot and bothered, flouncing out of her apartment with a ”Bye,” and heading back to (his fiancée!) Vanessa? Not cool. I really wanted to press Scott on this behavior. Maybe that’s why he didn’t show up to blog …

How great was the Oval Office scene? I believe it marks the first time that Olivia and Fitz have seen each other since the midseason finale. You can tell that their usual rhythms are off. They’re tentative around each other, feeling one another out. Then they finally start to get into it, and as the personal mixes with the professional, we sense the enormity of what they’ve lost. Oh Olitzers, I feel you. Tony and Kerry even had me yearning for Vermont. Unable to connect as they had in the past, they still somehow bring out the best in each other. Because of Olivia’s dressing-down, the President does the right thing, calling a press conference to announce that charges will be brought in the Secret Service scandal, and allowing me to stand at his side looking serious and handsome.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. I guess we’ll be back with Folina next week. I mean, I hope so. I miss Scott. :(