Scandal Season 4 Episode 7 Review: Helen of Troy

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We're definitely gearing up for November sweeps! Scandal Season 4 Episode 7 just jam-packed at least a season's worth of good stories into one episode.

I'd be lying if I said my head wasn't spinning right now. I seriously feel like we just ran a marathon. Or a half-marathon. 

Okay, no, I'm not much of a runner, but that was a lot to process you guys.

Despite the fact that talking about Olivia's love life is very good for traffic, I'm hesitant to say anything about Fitz and Olivia's conversations tonight for fear that someone is going to yell at me about how I'm wrong just because I don't 'ship the two of them. 

At the risk of that, here I go anyway.

It's quite clear that Olivia's "there's hope" from last week was a line meant to keep Fitz on the hook, relatively devoid of promise. Whether that means she's fully invested in a relationship with Jake, fully invested in not being with Fitz right now because it's just too complicated, or fully invested in being with herself alone, I don't know. Neither do you.

What we do know is that Fitz is clinging to that hope in the saddest of ways and to him that hope is remarkably tied up in the promise of sex. Tonight we didn't get a single mention of jam or Vermont or their future but we were regaled with all the things he'd do to her if only she would just drop whatever she was doing and get herself straight over to the White House for some Oval Office Action.

Oh, okay then. 

His "come over here and show me there's hope" line just made me want to barf, particularly when coupled with Tom's adoration of her beauty.

In order to get information about Jake, Olivia went to see Tom, and Tom spent minutes going on and on about how beautiful Olivia is, how she's a modern Helen of Troy, and that he can see why all the men in her life love her, why they do the things they do for her. 

Hello! She has a brain between her ears! And it's actually a pretty smart one if any of these dudes would ever stop to pay attention to anything besides her body for half a minute! Jeeeez, that makes me angry. 

For once I want her to stand up and say that she's more than just an object. Just once. Stand up to one of them! Please!!

Anyway. Tom gave her no information at first, not that she expected he would, and her contingency was to take a play out of Rowan Pope's handbook and have Tom shivved by a corrections officer, under the guise that it was a message from Rowan, so that he would talk.

It worked like a charm and Tom sang like a canary. 

See?!?! Olivia does have more weapons at her disposal than those under her expensive clothes! She's done questionable things in the past to get results, but she went for it tonight with Tom, making him fear for his life, and getting what she needed to exonerate Jake in the process. 

Now Fitz has to work with Jake lest he admit to himself and everyone that the only reason he had Jake locked up in the first place was to keep him away from Olivia for good. Well played, Olivia Pope! Well played, indeed!

Her father is a scary man, and he's going to blow a gasket when he finds out they've freed Jake, but the truth is they all do have to work together if the have any hope of defeating Rowan. Now is not the time for love triangles. Now is the time to take down the man who isn't even really a father, despite his saying he's done everything for Olivia's benefit.

I could probably talk about that aspect of tonight's episode all night long, so to shift the focus completely away from Jake, Olivia, Fitz, and Rowan, let's talk about Abby Whelan and how much I love her. (I know, I know, I'm the only one. I don't care. Team Abby over a cliff!)

It was heartbreaking to watch as Abby poured her heart out for Olivia about how she felt upon seeing Chip and why she felt she needed to keep it together in the building. She was caught in the middle of a terrible conflict in knowing that he's a horrible monster who could ultimately do some good for the President and his policies.

It's an interesting thought to ponder where our obligations to ourselves begin and end in relation to that of the greater good, and that's what Abby grappled with tonight.

Tell the world what her husband had done to her or keep silent and pass some legislation?

Olivia encouraged Abby to tell her story from behind the seal of the White House, to stand up and tell the truth. Abby realized that hadn't done a lot of the women they'd helped over the years very much good. In many cases those women are still public enemy #1. (The Monica Lewinsky name-drop felt like an obvious reference to one of Judy Smith's real-life clients.)

In the end, Abby came clean with Leo Bergen about her husband's assault and the lasting damage he'd done to her, which prompted Leo to tank his own client's career. 

Dang, Leo! I didn't know you had a soft spot on that Sally Langston-supporting heart of yours, much less that it would be for Abby! I like Abby and David together, but there's something about the way Leo made Abby laugh at the end of the episode that makes me think he'd be an okay guy for her, too.

Three other things of note before I close:

  • Huck and Javi
  • Jeremy Winslow
  • Michael the sex worker

Huck's son is an Internet-apple off the family tree, tracking down his dad to the OPA office. How Javi knew that he would find his dad at OPA is unclear, but the fact is that he did. Huck has his son back, sort of, but it's covert, so basically nothing good can come of this for Huck.

(Please, please, please, writers, let something good come of this for Huck.)

Jeremy Winslow committed suicide to avoid telling Quinn anything about why he possessed a folder full of pictures of Olivia Pope. Before he died he said that they "can't stop what's coming." 

WHAT is coming? Winter? We better brace ourselves! 

Oh, right! Old Mellie is coming! Ehhh, more like she's back! And in the middle of meddling and inadvertently revealing to Cyrus that his boy toy is the leak! Charlie's probably available for freelancing if Cyrus needs him.

All joking aside, I'm really intrigued by the Winslow story and what, exactly, might be coming. It sounds more ominous than Rowan Pope and I'm having a hard time picturing anything worse than him.

What did you think of Scandal Season 4 Episode 7? How do you feel about Abby and Leo? WHAT is coming? Sound off in the comments below and then get ready for the Scandal Round Table, coming soon!

In the meantime, you can watch Scandal online right here!

And here is your first look at Scandal Season 4 Episode 8, "The Last Supper."

Baby Made a Mess Review

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Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Scandal Season 4 Episode 7 Quotes

Abby: I cannot cry in the White House.
Olivia: You can cry if you want to.
Abby: Press secretaries can't cry! It's, like, a rule!

Fitz: Can we think about finding a way to spend time together now that there's...hope?
Olivia: Well, it depends.