Scandal recap: Mr. President, We Have a Mole
Oh my god, Fitz! What is happening!? Bourbon. Sex. Defiance. Anger. Moles. Scott Foley.
Set in the 24 hours surrounding the Christening of James and Cyrus’ adorable adopted child Ella, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” showed us where things stand. And 10 months after Fitz pulled the plug on a Supreme Court justice, nobody seems any happier or more secure.
But we’ll get to Fitz in a moment, because David Rosen wakes up with a butchered blonde woman next to him!! After lying to the police, he turns to Olivia for help. They pretty quickly determine that he was roofied, which is why he was unaware that his bedmate was being brutally murdered. Pope and Associates move the body (or, Wendy) back to her house. It turns out, Miss Wendy had been sleeping with men in order to get dirt and expose secrets — people pay her to do it — which explains the allure of David. (Not that David couldn’t land an attractive blonde; he’s just privy to a lot of secrets. Also, I’m just still rooting for him and Abby.)
But when Olivia explains the situation to David, he assumes that she set him up. That Olivia wanted to silence him in order to kill the election-rigging inquiry. In the 10 months that’s passed since the last episode, David had embarrassed himself in front of a Grand Jury when he lost his key source and, it turns out, his job. Since being disgraced, he’s been working at a high school, teaching civics (or history) to a group of unengaged students and his mother’s been paying his rent. He says it himself: He’s the “single most unlucky schmuck” out there. I hope he gets a win soon.
Meanwhile, Fitz is depressed and angry. He has Mellie delivering glasses of bourbon to him while he showers at 7 a.m. (Or is it scotch? He seems like a bourbon guy to me. It’s much more D.C.) When dealing with the hostage situation, he decides to send in a SEAL Team, and won’t listen to Cyrus’ objections. Cyrus is so bad and manipulative, but Jeff Perry does this thing where he can make him sympathetic in spite of all that. I feel for him when Fitz shuts him down! Mellie uses Fitz’s distrust of Cyrus to her advantage: She spins the narrative and convinces Fitz that Cyrus was the bulldog who orchestrated the whole election thing, and that she was just caught up in the wake. And when Fitz takes her hand, her happiness is palpable and desperate.
Emotionally, Olivia is still experiencing extreme pangs of regret over Defiance — the name the Justice Department gave to the election rigging agreement. It was the name of that town in Ohio. She’s having flashbacks of her time with Fitz. It’s clear she misses him desperately. And she’s scared that Fitz knows about Defiance (she’s right, of course). So, to try to forget, she works and swims and doesn’t sleep.
NEXT: Olivia, meet Scott Foley…
Olivia needs a simple relationship, or just a simple fling, and thinks she might have that in Scott Foley’s Captain Ballard, the handsome senior intelligence officer with the crazy beautiful apartment. They meet cute in a coffee shop. I love their initial conversation. “What do you do” is pretty much always the first question in D.C. When she doesn’t answer, I love how he teases her that she must work for the CIA or the NSA. This makes me wonder how Olivia Pope answers this question on the D.C. party circuit. But wouldn’t he recognize the former Press Secretary? Anyway, they make up secret, simpleton professions for themselves and laugh. It’s nice to see Olivia flirting again.
At the Christening (sad it’s not the National Cathedral!), Fitz and Olivia are baby Ella’s godparents, and are forced to gaze into each other’s eyes during the ceremony. Fitz follows Olivia when she leaves and pushes her into an electrical closet…and, well, besides Olivia’s awesome, passionate slap, you can guess what went down. Afterwards, Fitz tells her that they’re done.
As usual, things spiral out of control in the final minutes of the episode. Abby tries to apologize to David, but still gets rejected. Fitz’s hostage rescue operation fails, likely due to a mole in the office. David shares with Olivia a flash drive from Wendy’s computer that contains high-level military secrets (locations of nuclear weapons, the President’s bunker, etc). And Olivia calls Captain Ballard to set up that date. Earlier in the episode she’d discovered that he was one of Wendy’s employers, but that apparently didn’t seem to bother her. Things aren’t so innocent here, though. They flirt and make plans over the phone as the camera follows him to reveal that he’s looking at a live feed of her apartment. “I like people-watching,” he tells her coyly. Scary!
One of the great things about Scandal is that it’s not all doom and gloom. There is always some humor, and this week’s episode was no exception. Cyrus has to reluctantly barge in on Fitz while he’s showering (with Mellie) to inform him of the hostage situation. “All set for the Christening tomorrow?” Mellie asks demurely. “Yes, yes, all set,” says Cyrus, knowing very well he’s just interrupted some sort of shower sex situation. Then there’s Huck teaching Quinn how to “clean up” a crime scene, and his surprised face when she jabs the knife into Wendy’s dead body. There’s Abby looking at an obscured photo of genitalia:
Abby: Is that someone’s…
Harrison: Hairy baby arm? No.
And finally, there’s the episode title: “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.” WTF! This is no Wilco reference, though. This is Shonda Rhimes being awesomely cheeky.
So, Scandal-lovers, on this Valentine’s Day episode what did you think of Fitz’s hate sex with Olivia? Was it hate sex? Also…did anyone spot a moment of flirtation between Quinn and Huck, or am I just reading too much into that? Were you proud of David for standing up for himself and playing hardball? And what is Captain Ballard’s angle? Who is he working for?