This week on Scandal‘s midseason finale, Huck’s involvement in President Grant’s shooting was detailed, Vice President Langston began waving a big stick around the Oval Office and Cyrus feared the worst about James, only to realize the truth was even more grim.
HUCK IN THE CROSSHAIRS | As acting President Langston makes herself at home at the White House and addresses the nation with a not-at-all-candy-coated outlook on Fitz’s fate, Huck resurfaces at the office to out himself as the Red Hoodie Guy who’s wanted for the shooting. Harrison rings Olivia at 1600 Penn. to summon her over, and when she begs off, he insists, “Get your ass back here, now!”
With all the gladiators assembled, Huck explains how his girlfriend Becky had called him, sounding in dire straits, and asked him to meet her at a hotel room. Upon arriving, Huck did not find Becky but saw a radio-controlled sniper rifle fire off five shots at the president. He then made an atypically questionable call, to clean up the casings and pack up the rifle — to track down whomever “took” Becky, he explained. He then reveals the assassin’s gun to the room.
After Abby calls in a “favor” from David to get her hands on the hotel security footage, the associates discover that Becky checked in on her own volition, so her distressed phone call was likely a ruse. Quinn suggests in private to Huck that they have each been patsies, him for the shooting and her for the Cytron bombing — so maybe the events are connected? Huck dodges her line of (smart!) questioning to go find Becky, and at her place he discovers a secret room that proves she was working him. When a forlorn Huck retreats to the house of the family that he “watches,” Rebecca (“of Sunnybrook Farm”) sneaks up on him with a gun. She won’t divulge who hired her, but does invite Huck to run away with her. She explains that she was supposed to do an even better frame job for the shooting but didn’t, because she likes him. “We’re the same, built for each other,” she attests. “Come with me. We would do the Bonnie-and-Clyde-for-hire thing.” Huck says he’ll think about it.
The next day, Becky returns home to find Huck there, sitting with her surveillance photos of him. They pull into a heated clinch, and commence having sex atop the pics. In the afterglow, they each say “I love you” and Huck agrees to run off with her. Huck later calls Olivia to say goodbye, explaining that the feds “will hang me” for the shooting. “She got to you, didn’t she?” Liv accuses. “Turn her in… Your girlfriend shot [the president] in the head.” Huck counters, “Do I tell you who to love? So don’t tell me.” Huck later has a change of heart, though, and calls Harrison to coordinate a time when he can plant the sniper rifle at Becky’s. But when Becky is a no-show at “their place” (aka outside that family’s home) and he discovers her phone number has been disconnected, Huck gets suspicious, approaches the house, sees the door is ajar, and… finds everyone dead inside, as a recording of his convo with Harrison plays on a loop. Simply tragic, tragic stuff, and all told an hour of great work by Guillermo Diaz.
A JUSTICE IS SERVED | Hollis Doyle meets with Langston, offering her a chance to “make some history” using the contents of a file he slips her — and soon enough, the veep is blackmailing Verna, the “left-wing, baby-killing, homosexual, godless creature,” with an ultimatum: Step down from the Supreme Court, or I’ll tell the world you withheld your terminal condition and have been on meds that may have clouded your judicial judgement/opened the door for me to call into question every ruling you ever handed down.
Verna reports to Liv that the “bible-thumping bitch” is blackmailing her and wants her seat vacated “to take the court to the far right.” Liv has no easy fix for this one, and can only suggest her friend does step down, and do a speaking tour or take a lofty gig at Harvard Law. During their convo, Verna picks up that Huck could be the Red Hoodie Guy….
SECRETS & LAYETTES | With the only president that he answers to lying in a hospital bed, Cyrus is at home when he takes a call from James’ mother — and eventually realizes that his husband lied about visiting Dad the previous weekend. When James sticks with that story during a lunch date/casual prodding, Cy fears the worst — telling Liv over wine, “My young, handsome slutty husband is cheating on me.”
Cyrus’ go-to grunt Charlie does some P.I. work. He reports back that James is certainly not having an affair, but spent some time in a tiny town in Ohio — “Defiance.” A red flag goes up for Cy, who looks to put out this fire by pulling strings and getting him and James a baby girl to take home in a week’s time — meaning James will have to quit his job (and thus drop any hot story he’s working). “I’m not going to stop saying yes [to the baby],” James effuses. But when James later meets up with David on the sly, it appears he is still working the story, and turns over to the AUSA the incriminating memory card that proves the election was rigged.
OH, AND THERE WAS THIS | David finds Abby waiting for him at his place. She slaps him around some, juts her fingers into his mouth, applies some, er, “hand action” down below and they collapse onto the floor, writhing. Afterward, she ups and leaves, her face a weird mix of repulsion, anger and lust. Real Don-and-Megan Draper, psychosexual stuff.
THE BIG FINISH | The highly eventful (isn’t it always?) hour comes to a close with Verna offering Langston a choice of two envelopes: her resignation, or the name of Red Hoodie Guy (aka “Your Osama bin Laden”). In a great piece of dialogue, she notes, “One pill makes you larger, one makes you small. Your choice.” Meanwhile at P&A, a distraught Huck tells Harrison that Becky “killed his family,” and when Olivia arrives, she says they will track her down. (Quinn meanwhile acts the voice of reason, asking why this all wasn’t handed over to the feds; Harrison kinda sorta explains away that plot hole.) But it may all be for naught, as an FBI TAC team (minus Carrie Mathison) storms the office and takes Huck into custody “under the Patriot Act.”
What did you think of Scandal‘s midseason finale? Who hired Becky to frame Huck? Did the team make a mistake by not going to the cops? And what’s with treating David’s head like a bowling ball? Am I that out of the loop on the latest “moves”? (Scandal returns on Jan. 10.)