Tonight’s episode of Scandal was a pure thrill ride from start to finish, and if you didn’t end the episode with your jaw on the floor then you’re watching it wrong. Deception, betrayal, lies, death: everything comes to light this episode and I loved every minute of it.
Scandal Recap “Nobody Likes Babies”
“Nobody Likes Babies” did a great job of laying everything out on the table this week, culminating in big reveals and conspiracies, while also setting up new conflicts for what comes next. This was a particularly strong outing for Jeff Perry, Dan Bucatinsky, and Bellamy Young.
With nothing left to hide, Cyrus tells James everything about the election rigging. Not knowing if he could trust James, the two get naked to prove they aren’t wearing wires. Doing so allowed Cyrus to be completely open with his husband, especially knowing everything is falling apart. We learn Cyrus’s motivation in rigging the election, and it’s that he wanted to be President: “I stole the White House. I have the stones, I have the backbone, I have the will. I would have been a great President.” Jeff Perry was as good as he has ever been in that scene. I got chills and his earnest pleading as James left the room left me dumbfounded. He’s so good. “I love you” says Cyrus. “Is that enough” replies James. Let’s not forget about Dan Bucatinsky, who was outstanding as well.
After receiving a subpoena, James now has a decision to make: he can lie and protect Cyrus and the President, but go to jail, or he can tell the truth and Cyrus will go to jail. In the end, I was surprised he chose to perjure himself. Poor David just can’t catch a break. He needs something good to happen to him.
Speaking of David, he lost his job and his girlfriend all in the same day. After Abby stole the disc from the voting machine, David has no proof that Hollis rigged the election, and since James lied under oath, his reputation is shot. But don’t worry; he’ll be fine. He’s the only good guy left, especially after tonight.
Someone who has really grown is Quinn Perkins. All season long she’s been putting the pieces together about what really happened during the Cytron explosion. Tonight she asked Huck to kill Hollis, and the look of pure hate and determination on her face is one I wouldn’t mind seeing again. Too often she reminds me of a darling woodland creature, so it was nice to get a real fire in her. After Huck tells her that he will kill Hollis, he reminds her that if she does then she can no longer be Quinn Perkins and can no longer work with at Olivia Pope & Associates because they aren’t in the business of revenge; they fix things. I love Huck, you guys.
Someone else who learns the truth is Abby. She finds out that Olivia paid David’s ex with Harrison’s help. Obviously distraught, Harrison tells her that when Olivia asks him to do something, he does it. No questions asked; because she didn’t ask questions when she was helping all of them. “Gladiators don’t have feelings” he tells her. Abby will be okay, but she chose Olivia over David after stealing the disc. She obviously has feelings for him, and probably even loves him, but what a sad moment as she breaks down and Harrison holds her.
Finally, let’s talk about President Fitzgerald Grant a bit. He’s always been a decent guy. He’s stuck in a loveless marriage with a monster who will do anything to remain First Lady, but is in love with a woman he can never fully be with. Finding out Mellie put his son’s life in danger by inducing her pregnancy was the last straw. As he tells Olivia to wait for him, that he will divorce Mellie no matter what, is the first time we believe him. And Olivia believes him as well. Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington have such incredible chemistry, and their brief moment of bliss was fun to watch. But tonight we get another side of Fitz. When Verna tells him the truth, he’s shocked. He can understand Cyrus, because Cyrus will do anything to get what he wants. He can understand Mellie doing what she did because she’s a monster and will always be a monster. But he’s absolutely floored when he finds out Olivia was behind the election rigging. The person he loves most in the world didn’t believe in him and that hurts the most. That Olivia used him as a way to get to the White House, and didn’t believe in him is a much bigger betrayal than Mellie or Hollis or Cyrus betraying him. The look in Goldwyn’s face said it all – everything he ever feared has come true. In the end, when he tells Mellie that she’s stuck by him no matter what, we see a broken man. He’s with a woman who clearly doesn’t love him, yet he knows that she will never hurt him because doing so would hurt her. That’s why she didn’t order the assassination hit on him. Fitz looks in Mellie’s eyes and sees the woman who has stopped at nothing to get where they are now. He knows what he’s getting with Mellie, and as much as he loves Olivia, Mellie will never betray him. Olivia was right — love does hurt, as Fitz knows all too well.
As Verna tells him the truth about trying to kill him and rigging the election, a part of Fitz that we didn’t know existed came out. He wants vengeance for what she has done; for shooting him and killing his Press Secretary, for telling him the truth about Olivia – he can’t take it anymore so he kills Verna. Because not only does he want her to suffer, he also wants everything to stay hidden and for his reputation to stay intact.
And that, my friends, is why Scandal is so good right now. They can do these insane, soapy, dramatic, over the top things yet somehow it still works. The President of the United States just killed a Supreme Court Justice. I mean, really. Any other show you would be rolling your eyes and laughing at the sheer absurdity of it all, but somehow Scandal can pull it off with graceful aplomb. And my goodness is it beautiful to witness every week.
Next week’s episode brings us back to real paying clients for Olivia, more conspiracies, and hottie Scott Foley. I can’t wait.
Written by Jordan Hickman. You can follow her on twitter: @jordan_hickman