This week on ABC’s Scandal, Olivia endeavored to “defuse” a situation that ultimately proved to be as explosive for Fitz as well as herself, while Huck set out to kill B613 boss man Rowan.
The Client of the Week is Mary Nesbitt, a benign-enough woman who retains OPA for a “family matter.” Mary’s next stop, however, is the Capitol, where she threatens to detonate a bomb vest unless she gets answers from a congressman Paul Young about her son Chris’ death in an FBI raid — and all this happens just as Olivia arrives on the scene, having gotten curious about her new client’s agenda.
At first, it appears that Chris had become a bona fide terrorist for al-Qaeda — as a mysterious “FBI agent” proves to Harrison by showing the lad in a recruitment video. When said agent proves to be a fake, David goes to Cyrus to declassify Chris’ file. Cy scoffs that they merely have an “understanding” in the wake of the Cytron card trade, that he owes David nothing more than the job he gift-wrapped for him — but David leverages Cy with damning intel about the agents in the raid, all of whom — save for the trigger man — got promotions aka hush money after accidentally killing Chris.
Fitz then reveals to Olivia over the phone, swearing her to complete secrecy, that Chris was CIA, under deep cover with al-Qaeda. Yes, the FBI killed him by mistake, unaware of his allegiance, but no one — his mother included — can ever know his mission, lest the 57 agents he embedded within al-Qaeda be outed and tortured.
And though Liv at first maintains, “No,” she doesn’t understand the need for the cover-up, she eventually relays the lie to Mary, that her son was a terrorist. The room is then evacuated, but Mary stays behind to blow herself up.
Concurrent with Mary taking hostages at the start of the episode, the Secret Service tackled an intruder who attempted to get into the Oval office to talk to the president about “Operation Remington.” When Cyrus sees the apprehended man’s name, he orders the Secret Service to let him go free. Later, Rowan visits this Peter Foster in a trailer home, lobbing an envelope of cash at him. But Peter is tired of the money, of the lies, of protecting a president who cant keep his pants zipped. “Screw the deal,” he hisses.
Rowan leaves, only to be met right outside by the barrel of Huck’s gun. When push comes to shove, though, we learn that Huck couldn’t bring himself to kill the guy. “This should have been my day, Liv. I should have had peace,” he tells Liv later. “But even after all that time, he owns me. I thought I was free but… He still controls me” — as he does his own daughter, Liv admits. So Huck carried out his order from Rowan, to fake Peter’s suicide.
Elsewhere, after Olivia escapes the hostage sitch scot-free, Fitz finds Mellie high on hooch. He wonders: Isn’t Olivia being blown to bits your happy ending? Au contraire, she argues in a glorious speech about the nightmare that would be “St. Olivia Pope.” Rather, “I can celebrate because she still walks this earth, she is still your flaw. And that makes her my weapon.”
Meanwhile, Olivia returns home, where Jake is holed up. (Oops, too soon?) She demands to know, “How are you here?” seeing as B613, her father, never just lets someone go. “I have no idea. I do not know,” Jake maintains. He then shares, “I never thought I’d get out of that hole… but your face saved me You saved me.” They both then concede that Rowan/Eli still owns them, as they duck his incessant calls.
REVIEW | It was a bit wheel-spinny of an episode for me, this early into the Remington storyline. If that mystery/conspiracy is to be the next Defiance, the next Albatross, they need to give it some teeth and quick. And — unpopular opinion time? — tortured-yet-sadistic Huck is getting trotted out just a bit too often. But the Drunk Mellie/David-vs.-Cyrus combo made up for it, and then some!