Scandal Season 4 Episode 8 Review: Shiny Objects

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Olivia, Jake, and Fitz tried to take down Rowan Pope on Scandal Season 4 Episode 8. They tried...and failed.

With the winter finale coming next week, what many had hoped for was Rowan Pope being taken down this week and some sort of resolution -- at least a temporary one -- to the Jake, Fitz, Olivia triangle and a reveal of the next big bad to come next week. 

That didn't happen. At least not the take down part. But we might have gotten a glimpse at the big bad, and he's a familiar face.

Rowan Pope has run his course. The man has to go. He's too powerful and too good at being evil. He has no flaws or weaknesses. 

Without delving too deeply into next week's previews, since those are notoriously misleading, it seems like Olivia has finally come to this conclusion as well. There is no prosecuting this man and putting him in prison. Not secretly. Not in the broad daylight. There is no putting him in the hole. He will not simply stop being Command and clock in and out at the Smithsonian every day for the rest of his natural born life.

Fitz, Olivia, and Jake had a solid plan for capturing him.

[to Fitz and Jake] Shut up! We don't have time for this. You said we can't just wave a shiny object and expect him to come running. You're wrong. I'm the shiny object and my father WILL come running.


She was the shiny object they dangled in front of him, and he, claiming his daughter as his weakness, seemed to fall for it. But between her phone call to him and their dinner, his story changed and he turned on his daughter while accusing her of doing the same. 

I'd say he turned on her any time he's tried to have someone close to her killed but he would say he was doing it "for her own good." I believe that he believes that everything he's done has been for her. In some sick, twisted way, he believes that he's made the world a better place for her and has only ever wanted the best for Olivia. He just has an incredibly terrible way of showing it.

Who was playing whom when those phone calls were made tonight? Did he bait her with the first phone call and know that he was being baited with the second?

How did he know that they were sending a team in for him at dinner with Olivia, down to the position of every single member of the special ops guys sent to apprehend him? And know that the files were being transported so that he could have a very large number of files turned into blank documents in the span of a car ride?

Yes, we know he has men and women on the inside, but really? That was crazy! And not in the crazy, twisty, good way for which Scandal is known. He's jumped every single shark there is to jump and it's time for him to become chum.

The fact that there are always more questions than answers when it comes to Rowan Pope is causing the character to grow tiring, at least for me. I need to see our "good" guys (who are really morally gray, just like Rowan) win a little.

Props do have to be given to Joe Morton for playing the role so well, though. He's simply amazing as Rowan Pope, delivering lines dripping with disdain and vitriol like no one else can.

I'm hopeful that his story will wrap up next week so we can move on to the next big arc of Scandal season 4, which is going to involve Andrew Nichols quite heavily.

Fans have been asking where he's been, and now we have an answer. He's been diddling Lizzie Bear in her secret penthouse apartment.

Andrew Nichols and Liz. I can't say I saw that coming, especially since the last we saw him, he walked away from Mellie for the Vice Presidency but still carried a torch for her and then hooked up with her in his office after nearly getting blown to pieces.

The entry of Andrew back into Mellie's life paves the way for her to turn a blind eye to any potential Fitz and Olivia pairings on the horizon, but his relationship with Liz is the one that I'm finding most interesting at the moment.

We have a few more details about who or what is coming. Liz is--was--working with Kubiak, who was working with Winslow. Winslow's daughter and her best friend were killed over a file folder containing pictures of Olivia. Andrew doesn't seem to know about the pictures or to know why Kubiak was there, even though he knew who Kubiak was.

Liz was also working with Michael to get intel on Cyrus and the White House but Michael is proving loyal to Cyrus and not Liz. (Yay! I'm actually happy Michael is proving loyal to Cyrus, even though I don't particularly care about the character.)

Maybe Liz thought Fitz was cheating with Olivia and had her tailed to catch him so she could have him resign the Presidency, but that seems too easy. Somehow it has to tie into whatever Rowan warned Olivia about as he walked out of the restaurant.

He said that she would not like discovering what the world was like without him in it, so perhaps whatever caused Jeremy Winslow to kill himself is this thing on the horizon and he's been holding it at bay. Hmmm...

And finally, moving away from the theories and into the B-plots interspersed in tonight's episode...

Olivia is torn between Fitz and Jake. We can argue all we want that she loves one and doesn't love the other, but the writers are making it quite clear that she loves both men.

Let's let her be torn for a while. Let's let her love them both and see where she wants the relationships to go. But let's hope the writers make her choice the right one in the end, even if that means she chooses herself and leaves both of them to bicker with each other about which one she loves more.

I can tolerate each of them fighting for her affections, wooing her, trying to sweep her off her feet. But the two of them bickering like schoolboys over how to take care of Rowan because they both want to impress her and sway her to their side? Sorry, dudes. You both look like losers when you do that.

(Though Jake was right. Rowan has to die. For whatever that's worth.)

Huck is in a world of trouble right now with his son. He wanted Javi in his life and let that happen against Kim's wishes and now Javi has witnessed a horrific scene because Huck couldn't have some boundaries with his son. 

I want Olivia to intervene here and find a way to help Huck by talking to Kim. She fixes things for everyone else; now is the time to help Huck. And Javi. After seeing what he saw, the boy is going to need it.

What did you think of tonight's episode of Scandal? Are you ready for Rowan Pope to go? What's Liz up to?

Remember, you can watch Scandal online any time right here at TV Fanatic.

Meanwhile, here's your first look at Scandal Season 4 Episode 9, "Where the Sun Don't Shine."

The Last Supper 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 8 Quotes

Fitz: Look, Jake...
Jake: Captain Ballard. Jake is what my friends call me. You're not my friend, Mr. President. Friends don't put you in prison for crimes you didn't commit. They don't refuse to hear you when you're telling them the truth. They don't hit you when you can't hit back. So when you refer to me from this point forward it will be as Captain Ballard, is that understood?

So now I'm innocent is what you're telling me? Good. Pleased to hear that. Should we each take turns hugging or how does this work exactly?