This week on ABC’s Scandal, a 10-month time jump found Fitz driven to drink, David in too deep and Olivia struggling to stay above water as troubles new and familiar loomed large.
THE STATE OF THE UNION | Yes, 10 months have passed since Fitz learned the truth about Defiance — yet he apparently never made it clear to anyone that he knew. Mellie thinks he and Liv just, like, had some nasty spat, so she’s doing her best to satisfy her man’s need for (conspicuous amounts of) drink as well as bow-chicka-wow-wow. Fitz though rolls his eyes at the latter while glugging the former.
The presidents other significant other, Cyrus, meanwhile has had his fill of the cold shoulder (yet in all these months never thought to ask point-blank what was up). But when Fitz ponders a questionable call with a Navy SEAL team and a group of CIA hostages, Cy forces “a minute” with the boss and has his voice heard.
Still, Cyrus is shaken, and insists to Mellie in private that their guy knows about Defiance. “He could bathe in Scotch for all I care,” the chief of staff says, alluding to POTUS’ new crutch. “He’s shutting me out. He’s running the country, on his own.” Cyrus tells Mellie they must force Fitz to trust them again, or “someone else will ride our horse across the finish line.”
Later, Mellie takes Cyrus’ advice somewhat to heart, broaching the topic of Defiance with her husband and throwing Cyrus, with all her might, under the proverbial bus. (Here’s a drinking game, Mr. President — take a shot each time Mellie reiterates that Cyrus was behind Defiance.) When Fitz takes and kisses the First Lady’s hand, oh how she beams… in an inappropriate way.
Acting on Mellie’s advice to follow his gut, Fitz sends in the SEALs, only to come away from the botched raid knowing there is a mole amongst his team.
THE DAVID ROSEN‘S PROBLEM | Blackballed by his brethren in the wake of his second epic strike-out, David is now running a private “firm” out of his apartment, using wafer-thin business cards to boot. Even worse: He wakes up one day to find a pretty blonde from the local pub bar beside him. Dead. Smothered in blood. And a knife in his hand. Colossal mistake No. 1: David covers in front of some inquisitive flatfoots, thus compelling him to not only summon Pope & Associates for a consult but comply with their recommendation to move the body and stage a B&E-gone-wrong at her home. (In the course of the cover-up, we witness that Quinn, with tutelage from a duly impressed Huck, “is a natural” at being a cleaner, as well as driving a knife into a cadaver to generate fresh splatter. Plus, she’s awfully cute in her clear plastic apron.)
The gal, Wendy, apparently had been using her womanly wiles to get (ahem) close to men who have access to information, then turn her learnings into tabloid stories — or in her final, ante mortem case, try to sell secrets to the military. That’s where Scott Foley comes in, as Captain Jake Ballard. Having already “met cute” with Olivia at a coffee shop, Jake turns on the charm when Ms. Pope drops by on her strange, super-secretive kind of business. With Jake himself trading in confidential intel, their confab is a bust, though he plants the seed for a possible dinner date.
Later, David discovers a flash drive that Wendy was using to fish files from his laptop at the time she was killed. On it, he and Olivia find massively high-level military secrets. Though David can by no means afford her (as she made clear earlier), Liv agrees to help him get back the white hat he wore so well.
PURE ELECTRICITY | As revealed in a meet-up with Cyrus, Liv is loath to even talk about Fitz these days — though Cy does share with her his theory that the president got wind of the Defiance scheme. Still, Olivia is the godmother to Cyrus and James’ daughter Ella, and will need to share space with godfather Fitz at the christening ceremony.
And Share. Space. They. Do.
Fitz fast-walks after Olivia as she leaves, eventually tugging her into an electric closet for a torrid, angry, heated rogering, while Stevie Wonder’s “I Don’t Know Why” wails. Afterward, Liv admits, “I made a mistake” — referring not to the romp but Defiance. “No, that was betrayal,” Fitz counters. Driving home just how hurt he still is by her compliance with the scheme, he coldly says, “I may not be able to control my erections around you, but that doesn’t mean I want you. We are done.”
EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE…. | Olivia returns home, defeated anew, and rings Jake. With some hesitation, she pulls the trigger on a not-quiet date with the charming stranger while… quite unbeknownst to her… he’s watching her, and every room in and around her apartment, via hidden surveillance cameras. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, indeed.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Can we assume that Jake framed David, to lead Liv to him? Is it sadder to see Fitz inhale Scotch or have depressing shower sex with Mellie? (Hey, remember when Mer cried after sex with George? Good times.)