Scandal recap: 'Dead in the Water'
As Huck's life hangs in the balance, Olivia and team try to save his life before it's too late.
Let’s be real with each other. Scandal has been off the rails this season. One more election night episode, and we were all going to lose it. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like the past eight episodes didn’t happen. I’m not going to say that a presidential assassination attempt, a vice presidential death, and a president-elect getting assassinated is normal or believable. But if all of that crazy led us to this episode, almost perfectly coinciding with the fifth anniversary of the show’s premiere, then maybe it was worth it because… y’all. Scandal showed up tonight in its strongest episode in a very, very long time.
Oh Huck, there you are. All maybe-dead in the trunk of a car. It’s been a long season, but no matter where you stand, if you’re not rooting for Huck to survive, you can get out of my Gladiator club. As Olivia’s team tries to piece together what’s going on with this crazy club led by that terrible woman with the hokey way of speaking, they realize Huck is missing. And Quinn is the first to chime in that if that “bitch Meg has touched a hair on Huck’s head,” then she’s going to have some serious issues. She and Charlie hop into action and quickly determine that Meg has definitely hurt Huck based on all those bloodstains everywhere.
Meanwhile, Abby’s newly minted mole status is entirely too fresh in all of our minds, so when Olivia shows up at her office asking about Huck, it’s hard to even look at Abby and the crazy, nearly unbelievable turn she’s taken. When Olivia shows Abby the people in question, she quickly says she has no idea who they are (liar) and that the FBI is busy with investigating the president-elect’s murder (still kind of lying). It’s a new low for Abby because Huck is family, and even when Olivia appeals to that, Abby still rebuffs. Thankfully, we still have time because Huck is alive. Or at least he is for now. Meg has driven Huck out to the middle of nowhere, which I’m pretty sure doesn’t exist in D.C… but who am I to question landscapes when no one is willing to question the geometric inaccuracies behind a bullet wound that killed the president-elect? Anyway, Meg pushes Huck into an imaginary quarry, and he’s going to drown, I guess. Logic is out the trunk escape-hatch that we all know about after watching kidnapping movies.
So here we are: half-dead Huck, totally dead Jennifer Fields, and us… hanging out in the trunk of Meg’s car. Huck flashes out and appears back in OPA, with Quinn saying he needs to pay attention. Olivia appears in white and beautiful pointy-toe heels saying he only has a couple minutes and that he can’t give up. She asks him about the car, and in a weird alternate-hallucination world, logic kicks in. It’s only in a hallucination that Scandal could make sense again. Olivia, or Huck’s inner monologue, tells Huck to find the windows.
So, side note, since we’re all gladiators here: This scene with Huck solving the problem of his own drowning in OPA is Scandal at its absolute best this season. By the time we hit near death for Huck, he’s surrounded by Olivia as the windows are cracking, Meg with a gun to his head, and Rowan demanding that he come up with an answer. In a season that hasn’t felt particularly logical, it’s the season’s most illogical moment that brings it back to its roots. When all of its characters are placed together fighting for one of its originals, the show feels like Scandal again. Huck uses a headrest to bash a window in, and somehow, he manages to escape to the surface of the water. The only problem is, he can’t swim to the edge.
Anyway, Abby decides to hop into action and calls crazy pants who’s been making all the annoying calls over the past couple weeks. Abby wants to know what’s happened to Huck, but crazy pants insists to Abby that Huck is already dead. You can see that Abby is devastated, and she wants to know where his body is, but this new crew? They’re ruthless. Without the information, Quinn and Charlie continue forward looking for Huck. But with the cards stacked in his favor, even with the air gap laptop Quinn found, Abby turns to the president because he might be the only friend she has these days. Elsewhere, Marcus arrives at OPA offering his services in Huck’s absence. He’s sticking around whether she wants it or not, so she asks him to stick around too, because Olivia could use a friend herself.
Meanwhile, Huck has somehow managed to pull himself out of that nonexistent D.C. quarry. Seriously, if anyone knows about this quarry, please let me know. He runs into himself on the shore, all Once Upon a Time style. Dream Huck offers to torture him, because at this point, he’s doomed anyway. It’s nearly nightfall, and when it gets dark, he’s going to be predator bait anyway. Mind you, I’ve never seen a coyote in D.C., but again… DON’T QUESTION THE WRITERS’ ROOM.
We get back to the almost normal when Olivia asks Marcus, “Am I a good boss?” But there’s no time for that answer, because Olivia’s people have information on Meg. Olivia realizes that Abby is involved, and when Abby appears, she smacks the BEJESUS out of her. I live for it, and she does it again, because Olivia knows I can’t handle it. Olivia wants to know everything… she doesn’t care if Abby is sorry because Huck is on the line. We flash to Meg, who has bleached her hair and is waiting with the silencer gun. She shoots the door, but no one is there except for a rat, which makes sense since she is one. But again, we’re wrong because it’s Quinn and Charlie waiting with a gun to her head, asking, “WHERE IS HE?”
While that happens, Olivia questions Abby and demands answers. Abby tries to logic her way out of it, but Olivia wants information on her Huck. She says, “You really want to lecture me right now? You think I’m in the mood? You think I won’t get a chair and work it out on you?” Damn, y’all. But Abby can’t help find Huck, so Olivia deems her worthless. Abby tries to leave, but Olivia isn’t interested in Abby leaving. She insists that Quinn will have free reign to do whatever she wants to Abby because Abby has messed with the wrong gladiator.
As we enter the “viewer discretion is advised” portion of the evening, Huck pulls a body out of the water… presumably Jennifer Fields… before passing out on the shore. Meanwhile, Quinn has bleach blonde Meg all saran wrapped on the ground so that she can drill into her and cut her fingers off. Y’all. She actually is cutting her finger off. Quinn goes full-on crazy, and when Meg says, “No wonder Huck loved me instead of you,” Quinn loses her mind and slits her throat. It’s a bad move for finding Huck, but you gotta applaud our girl for getting the job done.
Charlie and Quinn come back with the bad news that Quinn went bonkers and killed Meg, and Olivia is not pleased. The only nice thing is that we have all the key players back in OPA for a nice moment, commiserating over the possible death of their friend Huck. Charlie bursts in on Olivia and demands that she fix them in that Olivia Pope way. Get back to the white hat gladiator thing and fix them. He insists that she is a miracle worker, and miracle workers don’t get to quit. And that’s when Olivia demands everyone comes to the conference room… now. Olivia insists that Huck comes home, alive or dead, because he’s family.
The team deduces that Huck must be with Jennifer, and if they can find Jennifer, they can find Huck. They finally arrive at the beach where Huck is stranded and dying, and as they approach, the rest of the team talk about how they should have gone with Olivia and Jake. But they were tasked with staying with Abby, unbeknownst to them as to why though… until Quinn pieces it together and lunges at Abby, promising that she will kill her as Abby apologizes. Olivia and Jake manage to find Huck and get him to the hospital, but he’s not in the clear.
Everyone comes to the hospital, even Fitz. There’s something really special about all the main characters coming together again for Huck, and it makes the conversation between Fitz and Olivia all the more poignant. Fitz has forgiven Olivia for what she’s done to get the Oval, and Olivia has forgiven Fitz, so she has to forgive Abby. And if anyone can bring Abby back from the darkness, it’s Olivia. But no matter what happens with Olivia and Abby, it’s Quinn who might be hurting the worst. She’s at Huck’s bedside, yelling at his unconscious body because he’s more interested in protecting everyone else than he is in himself. She says he has a blind spot, and she’ll watch it for him, but he can’t die. As she starts to leave his room, Huck wakes up. Quinn climbs in his bed, and Charlie realizes that maybe Quinn wasn’t his after all. Celebrate with me, Huckleberry Quinn fans!
Outside, Olivia stands with that Olivia face, and it makes you wonder after all this crazy… maybe Olivia is coming back down to earth. She sits down with Abby outside, who clearly realizes how far out of her lane she’s driven. She grabs Abby’s hand, and Abby breaks down. Could it be that the entire OPA family is finally home? Could it be that we’ve returned to good ol’ Scandal? Only time will tell.