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'Scandal' recap: 'Honor Thy Father'

An unexpected guest makes his way to Olivia’s door.

Posted on

Nicole Wilder/ABC


TV Show
Drama, Thriller
run date:
Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young
Current Status:
In Season

This week broke down into a meat-and-potatoes episode of Scandal. Everything proceeded neatly on the lines it was expected to. My roommate called the “twist” in the B-plot in the first 10 minutes of the show. Which is to say, it was unexceptional, but it was here to do a whole bunch of table setting for the run-up to the finale.  

So let’s get to that B-plot. Olivia is woken late in the morning by an urgent call. It wakes her from slumber and from an embrace with a stranger (Franklin? Russell? Does it matter?)—one who seems to think her name is Alex. That’s okay though—he is an extremely attractive stranger, and takes her subterfuge and her midnight mutterings in Farsi in stride. However she is dedicated to her work, and so we find her meeting with a Congressman whose father is currently on his last legs on death row.  

The father’s crime: Shooting the math teacher who statutory raped and then broke the heart of his 15-year-old daughter, after said daughter had hanged herself in her bedroom. The Congressman is vehemently certain that his father is innocent—he recounts in gory detail his experience when his family discovered his sister’s death. His father refuses to cooperate, attesting to his guilt at every turn.

Liv gets her guys on it, and realizes that Mr. Hoffman was basically a professional predatory sleazebucket, preying on the girls he taught. It doesn’t take long for Liv and company to determine that maybe another parent, or his wife of the time, could have pulled the trigger. They settle on the wife, only to find that she’s been dead for weeks after a bout of pancreatic cancer.

Huck and Quinn examine the house, and coincidentally discover the gun that was used to kill Mr. Hoffman. What could be better? A dead wife who killed her husband—nothing could be easier and less hurtful (theoretically) to all parties involved, right? But Liv figures out that the gun hadn’t spent 15 years in a basement after the crime. She susses out that the Congressman himself was responsible—he killed his sister’s rapist, and his dad took the rap.

In the end, the Congressman confesses. In act, he’d been dying to confess for years, since the day he committed the crime. He’s been holding it in, waiting for the moment he can take responsibility for his actions. Congressman Reed is a dream of a politician—he holds the truth above all things, especially his personal actions and his personal truths. He’s wildly unbelievable as a Congressman, mostly because he takes responsibility for the crime he committed (eventually—let’s not forget, he’s no saint) and sets his dad free.  

Out of order, but now let’s get to the A-plot, the meat of the episode and the set-up for next week. David Rosen continues to pursue his campaign against B613, and his latest gambit is to try and force Jake Ballard into testifying. This goes about as well as you would think strong-arming a professional assassin into doing something goes. (Not well, is how that goes.)

NEXT: David Rosen Jake saves the day