Scandal recap: A Door Marked Exit
Olivia has a whole new perspective on her parents, as Jake gets a new job and Fitz hits a new low
On Scandal, the line between good and evil is awfully blurry (cue the Robin Thicke). Olivia’s dad is a monster and her mom is a victim — no, scratch that, Eli looked out for the good of the nation when he discovered Maya was a killer. But that role reversal doesn’t wipe the slate clean for Eli; he still tortured Huck and Jake in a hole. Oh, and speaking of Huck and Jake, these “good guys” have respectively tortured a friend and taken the lead of a nefarious government agency over the past two episodes. And that torture victim, Quinn, returned to Pope & Associates, only to then get back in bed with Charlie the contract killer.
Aside from Olivia, who can we trust anymore???
Well, we can place Vice President Sally Langston firmly in the “evil” column. The mid-season finale begins by putting us in the room with Sally and husband Daniel Douglas before she picks up that letter opener and literally stabs him in the back. We learn that DD bit the dust not just because of his indiscretion with James, but also because he threatened to leave her behind and start a life with “a nice boy somewhere.” So to review: She’d rather her husband die than have the world find out he’s gay. Sounds about right.
Many of you Gladiators wondered last week why it was Cyrus that Sally called after she murdered Daniel Douglas. Well, she rightly assumed that Cy, knowing her motivation, would feel guilty about what his devious actions had wrought. He replays the last few weeks in his mind — you know, how he pimped out James, whom he has a baby with, to the VP’s gay husband — and it all leads to one conclusion: Daniel Douglas’ blood is, at least partially, on his hands. (In reality, Daniel Douglas’ blood is on Sally’s hands, splattered across her face, and dripped all over her office. Another Scandal, another bloodbath.)
NEXT: Mommie Dearest? Not so much.
Olivia, meanwhile, has her own family drama to deal with: Her mother, the known terrorist, is on a plane headed for Hong Kong, and for freedom, and she must be stopped. Liv puts OPA on the case of digging up all the dirt they can on Maya/Marie (the latest character in the Scandal-verse — following in the confounding footsteps of Eli/Rowan and Quinn/Lindsay — to have two first names).
Speaking of Quinn, we learn that Huck replaced one of those teeth he yanked out of her mouth last week with a tracking device, just in case the whole double-agent thing doesn’t work. And, of course, it doesn’t: She uses some serious MacGyver skills (did she already go through some accelerated B613 training?) and digs the tracker out of her bloody gums. She is going to need some serious dental reconstruction after the past few days. Liv sends Huck and Jake to find her dad, therefore finding Quinn. But someone else finds Eli first: Fitz. And Quinn is busy helping Charlie do Cyrus’ dirty work. Somehow, Cy thinks he’ll be able to convince people that a man who was stabbed dozens of times in the back simply died of a heart attack. THIS will be his greatest trick yet.
Back to the dysfunctional world of David and Abby: We’re in the U.S. attorney’s office and his girlfriend, who knows no limits, is asking him for a — you guessed it! — huge favor that threatens national security. She wants Maya/Marie’s file, and he agrees, with barely a complaint, to just email it over to her. Worst. Attorney. Ever.
Olivia is none too pleased with Huck at the moment. He tortured Quinn. Then he lost Quinn. Now he can’t find her dad. But Jake begs her to cut him some slack. Because while she’s begun to think Eli isn’t so bad because her mom is the real villain, Jake and Huck know how evil he can be. Me? I’m just happy when Jake gets to make an intense speech, especially while wearing his best action-hero black tee.
NEXT: ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman whose husband is screwing another man.’
Cyrus’ most comically unbelievable plan is about to go into action, and Sally is shell-shocked. A military doctor comes to take a closer look at Daniel Douglas’ body, and Sally snaps out of it just in time to keep the doctor from undressing her clearly stabbed husband. Is Cyrus really going to get away with this one? No autopsy in such a high-profile death? I don’t know, guys. There is one person in D.C. who doesn’t care to get into the details: Mellie, who gleefully visits Cy’s office to tell him the “good news” of Daniel Douglas’ heart attack. Of course, she soon learns that Cyrus is well aware of his passing. “Hell hath no fury like a woman whose husband is screwing another man,” he tells the first lady as he drinks his morning booze.
But if you want a worse taste in your mouth than murder and 10 a.m. scotch, how about a man telling his mistress’ father about all the things he’s doing to his little girl between the sheets. Um, Fitz? Gross. This is meant to make Eli squirm, and it has the same effect on the viewer. “The things I could tell you about the way she tastes…” Fitz says to Olivia’s FATHER. Listen, I’ve rooted for Olitz to make it work, but this made me cringe. And after that display, Eli responds in a totally appropriate manner: By referring to the immature president as a “boy” and calling him out for never loving Olivia, but instead loving the escape from reality she provides. “You love that she is a door marked exit,” Eli barks. “Don’t use the person that I made to make yourself into a man. You are a boy.” Emmy voters, meet Joe Morton.
Olivia is focused on a different parent right now: Abby lays out everything she’s learned about Maya. While living under many assumed identities across the globe, her job was to steal classified documents from high-level officials — hence, her marriage of convenience to the B613 chief. But Abby argues that she doesn’t have blood on her hands, so maybe she served her time. We’ll see about that…
Back in the B613 love nest, Quinn is remembering simpler times when her only worry was whether to get highlights. Charlie calms Quinn down by telling her she’s free to leave whenever and that her hair is beautiful as is. I know he’s a hit man, but are we beginning to like Quinn and Charlie together? Maybe I’m just wistfully remembering him as the cute fiancé from Father of the Bride, but romantic Charlie is starting to grow on me.
NEXT: Defiance all over again?
James, meanwhile, isn’t feeling too romantic lately: He marches into David Rosen’s office to inform him of his affair with the VP’s husband and point out the coincidence of Daniel Douglas’ death so soon after their dalliance. David’s answer? He’s done digging up dirt with Cyrus’ husband. The last time they paired up, to uncover presidential election rigging, David’s life was ruined.
Jake and Huck put the pieces together and realize that Eli is with Fitz, so Olivia calls up the president’s cell (good reception in the basement of the Pentagon!) and invites herself to his interrogation. Liv confronts her dad about what happened the day he had that plane shot down, realizing as she speaks to him that her mom told him a bomb was on that plane when there really wasn’t one, so he had the plane shot down for no reason. So we’re back to Eli=good, Maya=bad — at least for now. On his way out the door, Eli threatens the president that B613 is more than just one man.
Look who’s come back home: Quinn saunters into OPA, demanding an apology from Huck. Instead, he tells her the only reason she’s alive is because of Olivia. “You’re not a Gladiator anymore,” he says as she heads out the door and back to her love nest. “You came back,” Charlie says, surprised, embracing his girlfriend. You guys: I’m totally on board with this relationship…
When James gets home, Cyrus fights for his marriage. “I’m still the same man that you married, you just maybe never noticed the 666 on my forehead before,” he tells his husband. Turns out, James isn’t above a little tit-for-tat: Later that night in bed, he asks for the job of presidential press secretary and agrees to stay married.
Excuse me while I raise my voice a bit: WHY IS JAKE TELLING OLIVIA GOODBYE??? I was all for the part where he marched into her office and stole a kiss; poor Jake hasn’t seen any action since early fall. But it’s a nothing-to-lose kiss: He’s going…somewhere. “I loved you,” he says, in cryptic past tense. “Whatever happens next, I want you to know that I loved you.” But it’s not all in the past; his last line is a very current “I love you.” WHERE ARE YOU GOING???
NEXT: ‘He is a godless sinner, and he deserved what he got.’
Also, what’s going on with Sally? Well, her campaign manager insists that the show must go on, but he doesn’t know that he’s trying to convince a murderer to run for president. As he talks about Daniel Douglas looking down on Sally from heaven, she seethes, “He is a godless sinner, and he deserved what he got.” Leo puts the pieces of the puzzle together, but he’s most offended that Sally called the White House for help and not him. So will Sally still run?
David Rosen is getting a lot of visitors this episode: Shelby is an NSA analyst with a very interesting piece of tape for the U.S. attorney. It’s Sally’s call to Cyrus after she committed murder, and David is beginning to think James’ theory isn’t so far-fetched after all.
Once Eli comes up for air from the Pentagon basement, the president has made arrangements for someone to keep his B613 seat warm: Jake. So what do we think this means? Will Jake take B613 in an honest direction, or will he be dragged back down into its depths? Whatever the answer, I’m just glad Jake’s goodbye was only to his part-time job at Pope & Associates, not to the show altogether.
And the reveals don’t end there: Maya calls Olivia following her ill-fated flight to Hong Kong just to say hi, and it looks like she’s already back in D.C. We’ve gotten a lot of Maya in flashbacks and in an orange jumpsuit, so it was a pleasant surprise to see her in her Pope family finest: An off-white trench, long leather gloves, and perfectly coiffed hair. We hope she sticks around at least for the fashion.
This was the last episode of Scandal until FEBRUARY 27! What are we going to do with our Thursdays? (A helpful suggestion: You don’t need to watch Scandal to enjoy a glass of red wine.) This mid-season finale posed as many questions as it answered, and I’m most intrigued by these three plot strands: What kind of B613 leader will Jake be? Will David team up with OPA for his investigation of Daniel Douglas’ murder? And what does the future hold for the show’s most unlikely couple, Quinn and Charlie? Also, I’m bummed after all the breadcrumbs left in these first 10 episodes that we still haven’t gotten any real insight into Harrison’s past.
Let us know what YOU’LL be thinking about most over these next two-plus months in the comments below, and share your predictions for the newest storylines!
Follow Katie on Twitter: @ktatkinson