Scandal Season 4 Episode 16 Review: How Olivia Got Her Groove Back

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Having never seen Lena Dunham act before, I was unsure what to expect from her guest role on Scandal Season 4 Episode 16.

When compared to her terrible, horrible, no good, REALLY BAD wig (seriously, costuming department?) her appearance on the show wasn't awful. 

Sue Thomas helped Olivia Pope get her groove back, and for that, the character gets at least three gold stars.

That wig is one of the worst I've ever seen in television. It's legitimately terrible and I can't believe that was better than Dunham's signature short look. At no point in time did it look even remotely believable and somewhere Kim Zolciak is screaming at a television about how they should've purchased one of hers to use for this episode.

Anyway. Enough about the wig. Let's talk about what's hiding underneath it.

Lena Dunham's guest role on Scandal has been heavily promoted for several weeks now. Fans of hers were no doubt impressed with her performance. Her detractors were not. There's no getting around that, so I'm going to shoot for the middle and that's what the character had to say to Olivia Pope.

Which was, basically, "get your sh*t together." 

When Olivia first met Sue, she sorely underestimated the girl with the pigtail braids, made a demand, and attempted to shame the girl not once but twice for her sexual proclivities. Sue wasn't having it, and that's where things got interesting.

Sue's penchant for having kinky sex with high-profile D.C. men wasn't something about which she was ashamed. In fact, she was proud of the fact that she was capable of having such a robust sex life. She owned it. Much in the same way that Olivia owned her own power once upon a time.

What was good about Sue is that she challenged Olivia to see herself as others used to see her: powerful, confident, driven, a force to be reckoned with. 

Olivia likes to pretend she's still that person, but Sue's use of past tense made it clear that others don't see her quite so positively anymore. It's more that they don't really see her at all.

She's gotten caught up in the various dramas in her personal life, plus she got kidnapped, and she's sort of a shell of herself. At home, Olivia knows that. She recognizes that she's not really living. That's part of the reason the book inspired her to feel something. Power, pleasure, maybe a little of both. 

Olivia Pope needed to get her groove back and thanks to Sue, she did just that with a man named Russell who's facial hair was sort of distracting; but his abs? Perfection.

Jake covering for her with Fitz was pretty perfect, too. And that's not me being Team Jake or Team Fitz or anything other than Team Olivia. He knows she needs to feel and process and what it's like to come out of a traumatic experience like the one she was in and he's giving her space to do that.

Some might argue that it's creepy that Fitz is expecting detailed updates about Olivia, but the flipside of that is that Jake's the one providing them. What those scenes tell us is that regardless of Olivia's feelings for either man, they both care about her and want to see her safe and well.

Too bad Sue Thomas didn't have someone stationed outside her apartment to protect her from those who might seek to do her harm, even though the one who killed her was a man she willingly let into her home.

Oh, Huck. 

Dear Kim and Javi,
Please get Huck a therapist.
Your friends, The Viewers.

Huck killed Sue to protect David Rosen so that David could move forward with the case against B613. It doesn't even matter that this will bring ugly things to roost on Olivia's doorstep. Huck can't even care about that. All he knows is that he wants to go home. His wife and son finally believe him and he wants to go home. 

Who can blame him?

The scene where Huck signed the immunity agreement while David talked about how he feels guilty for Sue's death despite the fact that he had nothing to do with it was well written. Two thumbs up for that. 

So was the scene where Quinn reminded Olivia that Abby was her client and Abby is family. 

Ultimately, this episode was as much about Abby as it was about Olivia. They both play ball in the boy's club and they're both subject to the same sort of scrutiny. What they're wearing and who they may or may not be dating come before what they're doing that makes the world or their spheres of influence better. 

Abby's speech to Leo about how what happens to her happens to him is recapped in its entirety on the Scandal quotes page. It was too good not to immortalize. It's a current topic of discussion in the real world, what with the "mani cam" on red carpets and female actors demanding to be asked the same questions as their male counterparts. Why the focus on a woman's attire and who she's dating when her brain is what's important?

It might have been one of my favorite scenes in the entire episode.

No, wait. Second favorite.

That honor goes to Cyrus asking Olivia what's she's moving forward towards. It was a simple question, sort of off the cuff, but there was no answer. She doesn't know and can't tell him. Inevitably she'll be pulled back into the drama of the White House (like next week on Scandal Season 4 Episode 17 when Cyrus has to get married) but for now it's nice to watch her try to keep herself out of it.

How easily she'll stay there is anybody's guess.

P.S. Mellie's running for Senator of Virginia ahead of her planned campaign for the White House and Lizzie North is going to help her do it. Whee! 

What did you think about "It's Good To Be Kink"? Is Shonda venturing too far into the realm of the PSA? How do you feel about Huck killing Sue?

Don't forget you can watch Scandal online right here at TV Fanatic!

It's Good To Be Kink 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 16 Quotes

Mellie: I'm running for Senator of Virginia.
Abby: Well, that's...history making. Good for you. Good for Virginia, ma'am.
Cyrus: You think so, Red?

Huck: Where's Jake?
David: It's just the two of us. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. You can be Newman. I'm fine with Redford.