Scandal, Scandal, Scandal! How is this show so good week after week? One Thursday night I'm going to have to live-blog or publish my notes. They're angry then they're happy. There are lots of exclamation points.
From the acting to the dialogue to the costuming to the camera work, ever aspect of Scandal is just exceptionally done. I'm glad no one watches with me in my living room. Watching alone allows me the freedom to be giddy then shocked then angry then sad. All of the emotions, basically.
Scandal ripped a case from the headlines and drew inspiration from Anthony Weiner's salacious sexting for "Say Hello to My Little Friend." Except Weiner didn't kill anyone and this Senator's little friend turned out not to be so little. Nor was his scandal an isolated incident.
Everything about tonight was so flawlessly written and executed that I hardly know where to begin. This is one of the first cases of the week which I've found to be seriously intriguing, and it was such because Olivia got it wrong. Sort of.
When she's right all the time, it stops being interesting. When she's off the mark, she's human. We can relate to her then. Right now Olivia Pope is off her game.
It's understandable, really.
She was named the President's mistress and has had to deal with that scrutiny. Her business is failing as her reputation crumbles. She's had to come to terms with the fact that her father is responsible for god only knows what including but not limited to ruining Huck's life and also killing people he deems unnecessary or no longer of value to him. She's scared.
With all of that on her plate, she helped a murderer go free. But that murderer wasn't the senator. It was the senator's wife.
That chain of events was masterful. She planned to lie for him, was crushed by the revelation that even in the midst of the trial he was still sending racy pictures to coeds and then decided to tell the truth, flooring David Rosen in the process. She didn't love her husband. He was a pig. But he wasn't a murderer. What a way to win a case, right? It wasn't until the verdict was read and the wife remained seated that it clicked that she'd been the one to kill her husband's sexting partner. And there was absolutely nothing Olivia could do about it. At all.
Much like there's nothing Huck can do to stop Quinn from being so interested in what he does.
Huck is back on the wagon, going to meetings, talking about drinking whiskey and how much he loves it and hates that he loves it. Quinn sees what this is doing to him and she can't stop for half a second and realize that maybe her interest isn't healthy. While he certainly has been in episodes this season and toward the end of Scandal season 2, Huck is so seldom a highly emotional character that his outburst at Quinn was haunting and heartbreaking. He doesn't want to see her destroy herself the way he's been destroyed, and he knows that if she goes down his road, she's walking it willingly.
He at least had the benefit of believing that he was doing what he did in service to his country. He doesn't want his life and his demons for her.
Huck teaming up with Jake to help take down Command is awesome, provided neither of them has some sort of secret programming that would cause them to turn on each other if they heard some magic word. The thing about Command and B613 is that we can't be sure just what training they've been given. They don't know why they're alive. If they're alive there's a purpose.
What if Jake is only alive to get rid of Huck? What if Command tells Huck to kill Jake?
I don't buy for one second that Papa Pope didn't know that they were being surveiled, much less that Jake was doing it. He's too smart for that. Huck and Jake working together, and bringing Olivia into the fold, is tricky. It's great, but it's tricky. None of them are safe, but there's no doubt that this mission is dangerous. As dangerous as Operation Remington apparently was.
Here's the good news about Operation Remington: It appears that, unlike Defiance, we're going to find out about this much more quickly. It won't be the buzzword that hangs out there over every episode taunting us and never getting resolved. Fitz seemd pretty damn resolute while marching into Papa Pope's office. While this will certainly continue to be a major story this season, it seems like we'll find out what happened on that mission sooner rather than later and then we'll watch Olivia do her magic to fix it.
While we're learning about Operation Remington and just how Olivia is going to fix it, we'll watch her struggle between Jake and Fitz. And what a struggle it's shaping up to be. Jake was wonderful tonight. His line "You are not alone in this. I'm not going anywhere" was exactly what Olivia needed to hear because it's exactly what Olivia needs. And that quick "more wine?" when she was on the phone with Fitz and Jake felt the need to make his presence known? Phenomenal. Amazing. There's so much love-triangle angst being cultivated there. I like it!
Tidbits from the episode that deserve mentioning:
- Papa Pope--Eli? Rowan? What's his name? Does Olivia think his name is Eli while everyone else calls him Rowan? Is his name Eli Rowan professionally so as to hide his relationship to Olivia? Can we get some answers here, Shonda? Thanks. Until then, Papa Pope it is, I guess.
- Harrison. Dancing Harrison. Someone make a gif of that so I can watch it over and over again. While we're at it, someone get the guy a decent story line.
- Abby and David. I love that she's going all in with him. Someone on that team deserves a little happiness. If it can't be Olivia or Huck (or Harrison or Quinn?), Abby and David will do.
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.