Scandal Recap: Hook, Line and Stinker

Scandal Season 2 Recap Jake Frames MoleDysfunctional families were in plentiful supply on this week’s Scandal, in an hour that was also punctuated by a “Holy mole-y” moment.

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LOBE IT OR LIST IT | The Case of the Week involved the kidnapping of Maybelle Doyle, a pill-popping, money-burning, bad boy-bedding problem child if ever there was one, thus instilling much skepticism in her father Hollis. In fact, he doesn’t budge on the ransom until Maybelle’s severed ear arrives at the OPA office. Hollis then gets serious, wiring half up front and the rest once they rendezvous with his mutilated, gagged girl at a remote filling station. Maybelle, though, subsequently goes MIA, just as Huck scrutinizes the lopped lobe and deduces that she sawed it off herself and thus staged her own abduction. Huck intercepts Maybelle and brings her back to OPA, where she must face her parents and, even scarier, Olivia, who rails at the lass for not appreciating the chance for a “do-over.” Hollis gives Maybelle a choice: money, or family. She chooses the former and marches off, as her father urges her, “Go on! Get!” At episode’s end, with their OPA business done, Huck, after overhearing “Lindsey” leave a birthday message for her unreachable dad, introduces Quinn to a new family he found — but not to replace the one Becky took from him, but of her own. To, you know, stalk in that warm-and-fuzzy way.

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THE OSBORNE IDENTITY | Acting off Mellie’s tip, Cyrus tasks Charlie with getting the 411 on Fitz’s new bestie, Jake Ballard. POTUS meanwhile charges Jake with ferreting out the CIA mole, with the lure of maybe landing a position “more official” within the White House. After spying a tense encounter between Liv and Osborne (who had detected that Huck was following him), Jake snoops around her apartment and finds intel that he relays to Fitz, fingering the CIA director. Later, Cy — armed with info from Charlie — visits his president and alludes to a highly secretive mission the former military man was involved in, in Iran. “The point,” Cy argues, “is you did things, things you can’t talk about. Well guess what, so did I.” And while Cyrus’ indiscretion took place in Ohio versus the Middle East, “I am no less a patriot, my service was no less valiant…. History makes the villains and the heroes.” Moved by his chief of staff’s words, Fitz reads him in on the Osborne sitch. Cyrus in turn gives an innocence-pleading Oz the hook, and the CIA boss later turns up dead of an apparent suicide.

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‘CLOSE. YOUR. EYES.’ | Liv blows off an evening of wine and popcorn with Cyrus, explaining that she is “jumping,” that she has plans with a new guy. Cyrus in turn makes mention of his own issues with Fitz and how he must deal with his “competition” — neither of them of course realizing they’re talking about the same mystery man! Yet when Jake shows up for his 5-star dinner date, Liv has downgraded into her loungewear, explaining, “I’m not over it yet,” her previous romance. Jake professes his affection for how Liv says “What?” when she answers the phone, how she always seems to wear white, how wine is a food group for her. “You seem sad,” he then notes. “If you let me, maybe you’ll not be so sad. You can start fresh. Maybe I’m your do-over. You deserve a do-over.” At Jake’s cue, Liv closes her eyes and fields a warm kiss from the wannabe beau, who then asks: “Are you still thinking about him?” “No,” she answers — but do we totally believe her?

THE KIDS AREN’T ALRIGHT | Turning to First Family matters, Fitz is gung-ho about a weekend visit from invisi-kids Karen and Jerry, but Mellie shuffles his schedule to busy him up. Fitz accuses his Mrs. of meddling, but she sobers him up fast with the hard-to-guzzle truth: Their kids begged not to come. “You are lubricated all of the time, your skin stinks of Scotch, you are mean. It’s you. You’re different.” And it wasn’t Defiance that changed him, but the realization that “your precious Olivia didn’t have the secrets of the universe tucked between her magical thighs.” (Ouch!) Mel then delivers words that sting even more: “You’re Big Jerry,” the father that Fitz can’t stomach, “so you should understand.” And on that note, Fitz finally releases his grip on his double old-fashioned.

‘MOLE’ REMOVAL | The hour closes with the police’s aforementioned discovery of CIA director Osborne’s dead body. We then cut to an isolated park bench, where Jake meets up with a strange man who confirms: “It’s done?” Yes, Jake answers — and everyone is buying the suicide angle, “Hook, line and sinker.”

What did you think of this week’s Scandal? Is Jake possibly as dirty as he now (again) seems? How long will it take for Cyrus and Liv to realize the man they have in common? And are you digging the Huck/Quinn dynamic?