Episodes like last night’s are tricky in the sense that part of it was very promising while other issues made it very weak. It would have been hard for Scandal to come back after its astonishing premiere with an episode that matched it in action and drama, but I didn’t expect the show to…I don’t know, fall flat?
Let’s start with the positives: flashbacks that flesh out the relationship between Olivia and her dad. We learned last week that Liv’s mom died when she was 12 and she never lived with her father again, and this episode did a tremendous job of filling in the gaps of their relationship without being too heavy-handed. It also explained a lot of questions that have been floating around the Scandal universe for a while: Why did Olivia originally break up with Edison? What deal did Charlie think Huck had? How did Liv end up knowing about Huck at all?
Olivia’s relationship with her father makes for a rich addition to Scandal. You’re forcing together two incredibly powerful characters that frequently navigate murky ethical waters.
This development also obviously changes things for Olivia and Huck, whose bond has been the tenderest on this show. She lied to him, which clearly changes something for him by the way he shoved her against her car by her neck. Was her father’s profession the reason she couldn’t be straight with Huck from the beginning? This was by far the most interesting part of the episode for me because of how it will change the show going forward.
Also, is anyone else a little scared when it comes to Quinn? She’s got kind of a psychotic glint in her eyes now, and I feel like her story this season could take a very dark turn.
Now for the issues–the whole Janine plotline. I said last week that it was very Scandal for Janine to become Olivia’s client. She would undoubtedly feel responsible for the girl’s situation, and when you add that to the fact that Olivia is just generally protective of people who have been wronged by power, you have Janine sleeping on Liv’s couch.
But. It really doesn’t make sense when you examine how they handled it. Olivia starts off the episode by commenting on her own recent scandal, blatantly and publicly suggesting that it was a lie. Olivia would never commit to a lie that she could get trapped in later, which she obviously will. Her whole handling of this situation was completely out of character for her.
And then this whole Janine’s public image versus Jake’s life conundrum. Liv guilts the two men in her life (her father and Fitz) to try to save her former love interest. Dad says he’ll save Jake if she burns Janine, so she goes to Fitz to get him to use his “presidential-sized balls.” The only problem with that? Fitz free Jake by burning Janine. Dun dun DUN.
It’s a development that only further proves how messed up Fitz really is. He’s all about the high road and clearing the name of an innocent kid until he thinks Olivia doesn’t want him to, and then he’ll burn whoever it takes to keep her on his side…even if it’s exactly what she doesn’t want.
Maybe the point of this season of Scandal is just how badly everything is finally unraveling. Olivia and Fitz think they should be together, but their relationship has only poisoned the both of them so that they’re incapable of living up to their full potential and doing what is best.
Finally, Mellie continues to be the smartest one on the show. Sure, she’s evil, but I’m convinced that she would make a great president. Focused, ruthless, efficient, brutally intelligent…her downfall is that she is under-appreciated with nothing to do. That’s when the evil tendencies tend to run wild. Hey, maybe she should run B6-13!
Oh, yeah, Jake is back. Hi, Jake!