Catch up on Scandal S7 Ep. 7 Something Borrowed

by

L.T. Milroy

 

Things are quite dark in Scandalverse heading into the holiday break. Quinn Perkins, a veteran of the show who has been with us since the beginning, is still MIA. Her colleagues, and especially her fiancé, are getting desperate to find her. Since this is the big winter finale, the gang’s all here to celebrate. There are even some faces on hand we haven’t seen for a while.Enjoy this episode. It needs to last for a couple of months. Of course, we’re sent into the break with a cliffhanger, maybe the last in Scandal history…

Stressed-out spies. Things are understandably tense at QPA these days, with Quinn having disappeared. It looks as though she was taken right out of the elevator while coming up to the office for her wedding. Charlie is beside himself with worry about his pregnant bride. Huck tries to ‘cheer him up’ by describing an idea he came up with for a new torture device and how maybe they can try it out whenever they find who took Quinn. But not even the thought of indulging in bloodthirsty behavior can cheer up Charlie in his present state. He tells Huck of the fantasies he has of killing Quinn’s captors and how that’s mainly what he thinks about lately. A grim-looking Abby interrupts to say there’s been a report of a woman found dead fitting Quinn’s description.

At B613, Liv is frustrated that Quinn still hasn’t been found. She tells Jake she wants all the stops pulled out on this case and the weight of the federal government behind the search effort.

When Liv gets home that night, Charlie is waiting by her door. He’s supposed to be looking at the body to see if it’s Quinn, but he can’t bring himself to go. He’s apparently looked at a lot of bodies lately and is tired of the emotionally draining ritual. He asks Liv if she thinks Quinn is dead. Unlike his co-workers at QPA, he thinks she’ll give him an honest answer and not just one he wants to hear. Liv basically says she doesn’t know, but anything is possible.

Charlie finally forces himself to go look at the body, and the woman isn’t Quinn. He seems as stressed by that as he is relieved.

Making Cy suspicious. Abby visits Cyrus in his office. He tells her he was able to talk Fenton Glackland out of filing charges against Charlie. Magnanimous of Fenton, since Charlie is guilty of kidnapping and torture and possibly attempted murder. Cy says Fenton is currently on vacation in Montana to clear his head. Then Cy wonders how they could have been so wrong about him. Even Cy himself was starting to wonder if maybe Fenton was up to something sinister and how could he think something so preposterous? Abby says they had information that the plane bomber once worked for Fenton, which was solid information from the NSA. It was intelligence directly from Jake, so there was no reason not to act on it.

There was a weird moment in this scene. When Cy talked about Fenton going to Montana, he mentioned a gift Glackland gave him before leaving. It’s a candle, which is in Cy’s office, and of which we got a lingering look. It was strange the show went out of its way to acknowledge a seemingly insignificant gift, which makes me suspicious that it contains a bug of some sort and Fenton is spying on Cy. Maybe their ‘chance’ meeting and unlikely relationship isn’t so random, after all. Cy doesn’t appear to share my cynicism at the moment and thinks it’s a lovely candle. Maybe a gift is just a gift? We’ll see.

In any case, Abby bringing up Jake does stir suspicion in Cy. He waylays Jake in a White House hallway and mentions how it was his intelligence that led to the plane bomber. Funny thing is, Cy says, he looked into it and couldn’t find any evidence that the bomber ever worked for Glackland. He adds that Charlie almost killed an innocent man because of that bad intel. Jake looks at Cy creepily and says that those in government service always do their best, but sometimes mistakes happen. This seems to be kind of a threat, and Cy appears to take it that way.

Fresh from creeping out Cy, Jake goes to Liv’s office. She says there’s no news on Quinn. Jake says that the only two people who have any reason to want her dead are in the room, so there’s a good chance she’s still alive. An accurate observation, and one that points out the absurdity of this situation, where Liv is worried about the welfare of someone who might have been intending to expose her damaging secret and wreck her life. She and Quinn have a complicated relationship, to say the least.

Then Jake says he’s worried about Curtis Pryce, who’d been contacted by Quinn. They don’t know how much she told him or how extensive his knowledge is. He could be a problem. A staffer interrupts to tell Liv her father has been trying to get in touch with her. Pa says it’s urgent.

Pa is involved, of course. Papa Pope is waiting for Liv in a restaurant. She tells him she’s too busy to waste her time with him. Quinn is missing, and she can’t stay. He immediately gets her attention by saying he has Quinn. Liv sits, and Pa starts bargaining. He says it’s time for Liv’s reckoning. Quinn, the one person Liv thought she would never kill, now knows enough to take Liv down. It’s quite a dilemma for her, Pa says, and the key to his freedom. Quinn is his pass to getting what he wants. He proposes an even trade: Quinn for his freedom, which, he specifies, includes getting his dinosaur bones back. If Liv doesn’t agree to the terms, he’ll kill Quinn.

Pa seems to mean business, but Liv doesn’t seem to care. She says he’ll never harm Quinn. He won’t do anything until he hears from her, because she’s in charge. She gets up. He says he’s not bluffing. She again just tells him not to waste her time and leaves.

When Liv tells Jake what happened, he thinks the only way to handle this is to storm Pa’s house. If there’s a chance to get Quinn back alive, they have to take it. But Liv disagrees. She says they should wait it out. Pa is bluffing. He’ll return Quinn.

The next time we see Jake, he’s meeting secretly with Pa. He tells Pa this battle with Liv is one he’s not going to win. Pa says to let Liv do her worst. He’s ready. When Jake relays those sentiments to Liv, she’s annoyed that he went to Pa behind her back. She still thinks they should have done nothing and just waited Pa out. Jake still disagrees with that strategy and says Pa will never just admit defeat and give Quinn back. Liv has to start taking him seriously, and she has to do it soon, because the clock is ticking.

Taking a meeting in a hotel is rarely a good idea. Liv’s assistant, the one who interrupted her meeting with Jake earlier, is sitting in a hotel room. There’s a knock at the door, which she opens to Pryce. She called him there to talk about some dirt she has on the administration. She says he has to promise that Liv won’t find out she told him, and Pryce agrees. Gee, I don’t see any way this could go wrong. Curt should take a tip from Pa to always meet in a restaurant or some otherwise public place. Amateur.

House arrest doesn’t look all that bad. While her staffer takes that meeting, Liv goes to one of her own. She’s in a secure and lavishly appointed apartment when who strolls in but Mama Pope. Apparently Liv installed her there to hide her from Pa. Even though her accommodations are lovely, and she can’t complain about her living conditions, Ma is still a prisoner and is ill-tempered about it. Liv tells her that Pa kidnapped Quinn. After being reminded who Quinn is, Ma asks what Liv wants her to do about it. Of course Ma is going to be contentious and difficult. Did Liv expect anything else? If she did, she sure doesn’t learn from experience. Liv says Ma can help her or not, which she expresses by saying, “You can either be my mother or a bitch”, a line that’s odd and obtuse and ridiculous all at the same time. When Ma is silent, Liv gets up to go, but Ma just laughs and tells her to sit her “dramatic ass down.” Hee! A little mother-daughter time, Pope style. Always a bit off kilter.

Ma asks what it is Quinn has on Liv that has Liv so nervous. Liv isn’t specific and just says that Quinn ‘knows things’. She despairs over what to do, but Ma scoffs at that. Ma says Liv knows what she wants to do, and she’s there looking for permission. So many of Liv’s problems go away if Quinn dies, but she’s afraid to admit that. Ma says she should just let the clock run out.

Speaking of clocks running out, Liv’s assistant calls Jake from her hotel room and says, “It’s done.” Pryce is crumpled on the floor, condition unknown. Are Liv and Jake already to the point that they’ll just wantonly kill anyone who gets in their way? Or is Pryce incapacitated but still alive? I think we’re supposed to assume he’s expired. Don’t get in Command’s way.

Jake drives this point home for Cy. As the Veep is waiting outside the Oval for a meeting with Mel, a nearby TV has a news bulletin that Curtis Pryce is missing. As Cy watches, Jake comes up creepily behind him and says what a shame it is. It would be quite a loss for the country to lose such a crusading journalist for the truth. But Jake says it’s not really unexpected, since Pryce has stepped on a lot of toes and made lots of enemies. Again, this sounds a bit threatening, and Cy takes notice.

A reckoning and a boot. Jake goes to Liv’s place and tells her Pryce is missing. Liv says it’s a tragedy, but she doesn’t want the details. He reminds her that Pa’s clock runs out tomorrow morning. She has to decide exactly how she wants to handle it. Liv says even though it would solve a lot of her problems, it’s hard to just let Quinn die. Jake says then she should take Pa’s deal and give him back his bones. But Liv is still conflicted. She says if she gives in on this, he’ll just keep asking for things. This is about power, and he’ll take everything she has if she lets him. Jake says then to just go ahead and kill him. At long last, do what she has to do. He asks her who she is; if she’s really Command, she’ll act like it. Liv apparently doesn’t like being called out and tells him to leave.

Time to kiss Liv’s butt. Remember that nuclear arms reduction treaty Mel was going to get signed by Bashran et al? Looks like it’s finally time to do that. Although we don’t get to see the treaty actually signed, Mel meets with Liv beforehand. Even though she’s been distracted by various side projects, Liv was apparently able to help enough with the treaty that Mel praises her for it, saying she was instrumental in Mel accomplishing something six previous presidents couldn’t. She smooches her ass so much, Liv probably had a hard time sitting down for dinner. After a slight speed bump last week, it looks like Mel is ride-or-die and solidly on Team Liv.

One last thing… The entire episode has basically been a set-up for the final scene. Her time running out, Liv goes to Pa’s house. He immediately gets down to business and asks what Liv’s decided, Quinn’s life or his freedom? Liv is still full of attitude and says he doesn’t summon her, which is kind of silly, because she’s standing right there, so he apparently does summon her! Pa’s answer is to pull a gun, point it at her head, and repeat his request. Liv is unimpressed; she says he won’t shoot her, even though it would solve his problems (there’s a lot of that going around in this episode). He should do it though, she says. She tells him to shoot her, just go ahead and do it. End all his problems, quickly and easily. She stands and waits. He points the gun at her, and his hand starts shaking. After a while of that, he lowers his arm. He can’t bring himself to shoot. Liv smugly says if he doesn’t have it in him to kill her, she wins.

Of course, Pa still has the Quinn card, which he then plays. He says the time is up, and she can’t just let Quinn die. Liv wordlessly gets out her phone, calls a number, gives some sort of official code, and says she has a kill order. She then gives the specifics on Pa – height, weight – and where he can be found. She hangs up and tells Pa he has twenty minutes to live, because government agents are on their way, and they have orders to shoot to kill. He appeals to her humanity, but she says she wasn’t raised to have any. Then she says Pa has taken everything she ever loved. And now he speaks of her ‘humanity’? There is none. She’s no ‘ray of light’, she says, she’s not ‘a warm campfire’, she’s a blowtorch. Then she tells him he has sixty seconds; he can kill Quinn or hand her over.

Pa says Liv is bluffing, but she says he’s the one who’s bluffing, and she starts counting down from sixty. Pa leaves the room. There’s the sound of a keypad, followed by a door opening. Then there’s a gunshot. Quinn’s voice can be heard, pleading, then another gunshot, then silence. Liv is shocked and looks sick, like she’s about to hurl all over Pa’s nice furniture. Pa walks back into the room and asks if she wants to see the body.

Aaaaand, that’s it. That’s the end of the winter finale. As for myself (and likely as well as any other fans who have been watching since the first episode and have something invested in this show), I was screaming, YES!!! YES, I DO WANT TO SEE THE BODY!! On this show, are you kidding?? I DEFINITELY want to see the body!! But the episode ended, so that will have to wait.

Fitz is still around? It should be mentioned that there’s also a subplot this week, involving Marcus and Fitz and Fitz’s foundation, all of which are apparently still ‘things’ on this show. A boring subplot that didn’t add anything to the proceedings, but a subplot nonetheless.

The foundation has criminal justice reform as a pet cause. Marcus thinks Mellie could spend some of the political capital she’s about to get from the treaty signing by helping that cause, but Fitz disagrees. He and his ex aren’t exactly getting along well these days and can barely stand to look at each other to co-parent that ghost of a kid that no one ever sees. He’s not in a position to ask for any favors.

That leads Marcus to go to the White House on Fitz’s behalf. He brings along some folders containing crime proposals to show to Mel. She wants to know why he’s really there. He says because Fitz can’t be. And it’s sad that she won’t speak to Fitz, he says, because she’s better than that. It’s hard to believe these two had a torrid affair not that long ago, because anyone in the same room with them these days is in danger of getting frostbite. Mel says he’s being condescending and insulting and tells him to leave. After he goes, she starts leafing through one of the files he left.

Later in the episode, Fitz drops by the White House to pick up Teddy (who still isn’t seen, just referred to, but even that’s an improvement). Mel tells him she wants to discuss his foundation’s ideas on criminal justice reform. Just like that, she seems interested. Not sure why time was taken up with this, except as a way to justify Fitz hanging around, if he’s going to.

And one more sub-subplot. The Dabby situation is also addressed. Last week, an Abby/David reunion appeared to be in the works. Early in the week, Abby made it very clear she was interested in Davey’s bod at one point, and he, rather abruptly, backed off, made a lame excuse, and left. Strange, since he was originally the one who wanted to rekindle things between them. Later, she calls him on his apparent rejection, and he confesses that she scares him because her world is so dangerous. He’s been helping find Quinn by alerting them whenever dead females are found who fit her description, of which it appears there’s a depressingly endless supply. How long, he asks, before he’s identifying Abby’s body? But Abby’s in no mood for this downer talk. She says her job can be dangerous, but life is full of risks. Some risks are worth taking. And she kisses him. So it looks like Dabby is indeed back on, despite David’s well-founded concerns.

Time for a break. This is where things stand going into the holiday break of the final season. Liv may have gone too far in calling Pa’s bluff. But is Quinn really dead? That’s a total toss-up. Just hearing gunshots means nothing on this show. A corpse, and a DNA test on said corpse, will be required before I’m convinced. Pa may still consider Quinn to be more useful alive than dead. And the two may even have been working together, against Liv, and Quinn was never really kidnapped in the first place. There are several possibilities. One thing’s for sure, though: Quinn is nine months pregnant. If she and Pa are in cahoots, I hope he knows something about birthin’ babies, because she’s due to whelp at any moment. Yikes.

All will be addressed when Scandal begins the second half of its last season, on Jan. 18. Happy holidays, Gladiators!

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Catch up on Scandal S7 Ep. 6 Vampires and Bloodsuckers

by

L.T. Milroy

 

It’s hard to believe, but we’re already near the midpoint of the final season of Scandal. The show is almost set to take its winter break, with its central character closer to the dark side than ever. But while Olivia seems to be getting comfortable wearing that black hat, she spends this week’s episode hurrying to stay one step ahead of her former employees, who struggle to stay on the side of the angels. It’s an interesting battle, even if most of the combatants, in this case the Gladiators, aren’t aware they’re at war. They might think they know Liv, but they don’t really know what she’s up to, or what she’s capable of. They still regard her as an ally. Wonder how much longer that will last.

A revelation. Last week’s episode ended with the plane carrying Rashad, the leader of Bashran, and his entourage, being blown up. This week, that development leads a harried Mellie to call for a meeting in the Oval. Then Liv is seen, and the mystery of who blew up the plane is quickly solved. She’s in the B613 lair when Jake comes in and tells her “They’re dead.” Liv looks pensive and asks if she and Jake did the right thing. Jake says they did. So B613, which still appears to be comprised solely of Liv and Jake, is behind the killing of Rashad and his niece. Not only did Liv conspire to take out a sovereign head of state, she also eliminated Mel’s best chance for legitimate nookie in the foreseeable future. That B613 truly is evil.

Speaking of nookie, Cyrus is apparently fresh from some as he dresses at Fenton Glackland’s place. Fenton is lounging around (in an adorable apron!) and wants to know why Cy is in such a rush. Cy says it’s official business, and he can’t go into detail, but it seems Fenty already knows about the plane blowing up and assumes that’s what this is about. Cy says he can neither confirm nor deny. Fenton complains that he can’t learn anything about politics if Cy won’t tell him anything. Cy says he doesn’t have the clearance, so Fenton says to get him the proper clearance, so they can discuss things freely. Cy looks like he’s thinking things over and says that if he tells Fenton something, he has to swear he’ll keep quiet about it. After getting assurances, Cy proceeds to tell a ridiculous story about how the ghosts of presidents Harding and Filmore live in the White House and may be vampires. It’s a big Washington secret. Fenton just smiles as Cy leaves.

Over at the haunted WH, Liv and Mel go over plans for what to do during the next few hours. The POTUS is anxious and upset, but seems to be holding it together. Rashad’s funeral is the next day, but Liv says she won’t be able to be there, because Quinn and Charlie’s wedding is at the same time. She says she can skip it if Mel doesn’t want to go to the funeral alone, but Mel tells her that’s not necessary.

Quinn reads the riot act… When Liv gets back to her office, her secretary tells her that Quinn has called four times. Liv glibly says she probably has cold feet. That night, she meets Quinn at the DC War Memorial. Liv has brought her something borrowed for her wedding. Quinn is rather quiet and seems anxious, and Liv tells her she knows Quinn is nervous about tomorrow. If she has a bad case of cold feet and wants to talk about it, Liv will stay and talk with her all night, if need be. But that’s not what’s on Quinn’s mind. She asks how Liv could do it. She knows about the plane bombing and can’t believe Liv would order it. Liv tells her to be careful talking about things she doesn’t know about. Then she basically confirms Quinn’s suspicions by saying she did what she had to do. Quinn says she killed for convenience, but Liv says she made a judgment call, the same way she did when she saved Lindsay and turned her into Quinn. That doesn’t move Quinn, either. She says OPA was never about justice, but QPA will be. Liv dismisses her misgivings. She tells Quinn to go home, get married and get on with her life.

Later, Liv is upset about Quinn confronting her. She asks Jake if what they did was worth it. He says yes. It will lead to a deal with the rebels, who have said they will agree to Mel’s nuclear disarmament treaty. He asks if she thinks Quinn would talk, and Liv says no, so he tells her not to worry about it.

…then is late for her own wedding. The next day, Liv is at QPA, which is all decked out. The Quinn/Charlie wedding is being held there. I guess that makes sense, since workaholic Quinn basically lives there, so why not get married there? But the bride is late. Abby goes to her apartment to try to find her. Liv calls her and leaves a chirpy, cute message, as if they hadn’t just had a nasty spat the night before.

Mel isn’t so under control now. Mellie is in an Oval Office meeting with Bashrani Ambassador Marashi. He’s there to deliver a message from the new regime: the new Bashran being run by the rebels will honor the nuclear treaty Rashad agreed to, provided the U.S. recognizes the new government. It seems like a simple request and one that Mel would readily agree to. But she’s still rather upset and in no mood to play nice with those who she assumes just murdered her possible future squeeze. She says no deal. Then she adds, menacingly, that the rebels better run and hide if they know what’s good for them, because she’s coming for them.

Runaway bride. Abby calls Huck from Quinn’s apartment. She says Quinn isn’t there, but Quinn’s engagement ring is. It looks like she deliberately took it off, left it behind and ran. Talk about cold feet.

Back at QPA, an upset Charlie says it’s not possible. She must have left the ring by mistake. Quinn wouldn’t run. Huck searches her apartment, and it’s clean, but he finds something interesting on her laptop. He brings it back to QPA. She had a file called ‘Vows’, which Charlie said she worked on all the time and was for writing her own wedding vows. But when the file is opened, it instead reveals all kinds of information on the Rashad assassination. Quinn was investigating his death. Liv watches, along with her former Gladiators, and tries to act concerned for Quinn, while she’s actually more concerned for herself. She pays a visit to Jake and tells him they must find Quinn.

The Gladiators put together a timeline on Quinn’s disappearance. Charlie says he saw her the night before when she was going out for a walk at the DC War Memorial. Now Liv really looks concerned. She was out for a while, then came back home, and he last saw her this morning. As Huck is hacking Quinn’s cell phone, the smarmy talk show host, Pryce, walks in. Like them, he’s looking for Quinn. He says she left him a message that she had information that Rashad was killed by Americans. He was going to meet up with her to discuss what she knew, but she’s disappeared. This must have Liv freaking out of her shorts, but she tries to stay composed and discourages Pryce from following up on what’s likely a non-story, but he thinks it may be big.

The set-up. Liv calls Mel from QPA. Mel really wants her back at the White House, but Liv says she needs a few more hours. Mel seems pleased about how shocked Marashi was with her laying down the law, but Liv says to be careful; there can be no retaliation taken until it’s certain who blew up the plane. Later she meets with Jake, who discovered what Quinn was able to find out. A tarmac worker at the airport named Brian Ladd saw something strange and told Quinn about it. Liv is worried, but Jake says they can use this to their advantage. They can link Ladd to the eccentric millionaire Fenton Glackland and make it stick. Liv at first says she doesn’t like ruining an innocent man but apparently thinks it over and finds it preferable to facing ruin herself. She takes the information to the Gladiators and tells them that if they find Fenton, they’ll probably find Quinn.

Abby pays Cy a visit and tells him of their suspicions about Glackland. Cy admits to a relationship with him but thinks the idea of him being involved in any international assassination plot is ridiculous. Fenton is much too scatterbrained to engineer a coup, he says. But as he thinks it over, he remembers Glackland’s knowing about the plane bombing and asking Cy for a security clearance, and starts to get uneasy. He goes to QPA to voice his concerns and gives Fenton a call, but he’s not available.

Unfortunately for Fenty, all a distraught Charlie had to hear is that Cy’s new BF might have info on his wayward bride, and he was off to try to persuade him to spill what he knows. The angry groom pays Fenton a little visit. With his toolkit of torture in tow.

Meanwhile, AG David tells Liv that Brian Ladd has been found dead of an opiate overdose. How convenient. David speculates that maybe Fenton got to him.

Oh, lonesome Mel. Mel has Jake summoned to a White House balcony. She mentions his ‘extracurricular’ activities and asks if she wanted the leaders of the coup removed, could he do that? He says yes, but he doesn’t work for her ‘off the clock’, implying that’s what B613 is for. She dismisses him and summons Marcus. She wants his advice and as well as some personal interaction. He provides the former and declines the latter. He says to forget about avenging Rashad’s death and getting the nuclear treaty signed is more important. On the personal end, he’s totally cold and un-open to anything but a completely professional conversation. So she dismisses him, too.

Charlie reverts to his old ways. Huck continues to trace Quinn’s movements from the night before. He says she called Pryce to say she met with who blew up the plane and taped it. They set up an appointment to meet at the war memorial. Cy hears this and is relieved to say the person they’re looking for is not Glackland; Cy was with him all night and can vouch for the fact that he never went out. David says there’s a security camera at the war memorial so he’ll get the footage from the previous night. That news sends Liv into a total panic. She frantically calls Jake and says he has to get his hands on the footage and destroy it. When she gets off the phone, there’s another development: Abby says they can’t find Charlie.

In a frantic attempt to find his betrothed, Charlie tracked down Fenton, who is now saran-wrapped on Charlie’s table of horrors. Charlie reverts easily back to his old ways and is being rather persuasive, but he’s trying to extract information that apparently isn’t there. Fenton denies knowing anything about Quinn’s whereabouts. He seems sufficiently terrified as he tells Charlie he’s a coward and that if he had anything to offer, he would have done so by now. Charlie is desperate for something to go on and appears determined to go ahead with a good torturing, but Huck, who somehow divined where Charlie was, bursts in and stops him.

Mel’s change of heart. At the White House, Mel has rethought her attack dog approach. She meets again with Ambassador Marashi and this time tells him that she accepts his terms. He can tell the new regime in Bashran that if they ratify the nuclear treaty, the U.S. will recognize their government.

That Jake sure works fast. David has found the war memorial security camera footage from last night and brings it to QPA. The Gladiators and a covertly nervous Liv gather around to watch. It’s been erased. Liv lets out a silent sigh of relief as a frustrated Charlie loses it. They seem to be back to square one.

Mr. Glackland rethinks going to Washington. Back home that night after his unfortunate brush with the crazypants version of Charlie, Fenton tries to relax, with some help from Cy. He says that maybe he should reconsider a foray into politics. Being stripped, plastic wrapped like a tuna sandwich, and threatened with a filleting by some crazed wacko would get any normal person thinking twice.

The episode also throws a bone to Dabby fans. It looks like those two crazy kids might find their way back to each other, after all. David has made no secret of how he thinks he and Abby belong together, and by ep’s end, it’s looking like she might agree.

One last thing… The usual bombshell revelation is saved for the final seconds. Back in the B613 lair, Jake tells Liv he’s been looking over security video from the QPA offices the day Quinn disappeared and discovered that some original footage was taped over. He’s only been able to restore a single frame, but it shows Quinn in the elevator on the way to her wedding. She never got there, but it’s obvious she didn’t get cold feet. She almost made it to the church… er… office, on time, but someone stopped her before she had the chance. And if Jake and Liv didn’t take her, who did?

This looks like a way to give the pregnant Quinn a break while the actress who plays her, Katie Lowes, deals with her RL pregnancy. That’s probably all it is, but who knows? It’s the final season, so the killing off of a major character may not be out of the realm of possibility. Next week brings the winter finale, 07.07 “Something Borrowed”. The only preview available is so broad, it could apply to practically any episode –

The first half of the epic final season ends with shocking revelations and jaw-dropping events that leave everyone reeling.

‘Epic final season’! ‘Shocking revelations’! ‘Jaw-dropping events’! Everyone will be reeling! It’s almost too much to handle!

Catch up on Scandal S7 Ep. 5 Adventures in Babysitting

by

L.T. Milroy

The battle for Liv’s soul continues. But at the moment, the forces of darkness seem to be winning.

Our heroine takes another few steps over to the dark side this week. She obviously relishes her position of power and influence, and so far it’s not manifesting itself in very attractive ways. And she’s casting aside those sent to help her without a second thought. At some point, she needs to come crashing back to earth and probably will. But not this week.

She quickly got comfortable with her power. We open where last week left off, with Liv confronting Pa in his empty studio. She punished him by having his precious dino bones removed, and she isn’t stopping there. She starts questioning him about Fitz in a rather demanding tone, and then tells him that speaking with her is a ‘privilege’. In fact, everything he does these days is a privilege and depends on her approval. He looks cowed and accepts this without question. For someone who was Command for so many years, he sure lost his attitude pretty quickly. Then she has a request for him: he’s tasked with going to Fitz and telling him, in no uncertain terms, to go home. He’s to go back to Vermont immediately, and stay there.

Pa does as he’s told. He pays Fitz a visit and tells him to leave DC. It’s the best thing for everyone. He apologizes for getting Fitz involved in this whole mess.

Adult-sitting. Mel addresses the nation on the Bashran situation, saying that U.S. military intervention is a likelihood. That prospect doesn’t meet with approval by many in the media, and doesn’t seem too popular with the public, either. The president’s posse meets in the Oval Office to discuss the situation. David reminds everyone that Congress must declare war (Davey gets in his throwaway line or two then disappears for the rest of the episode, which is typical of his character of late). Rashad, Bashran’s deposed president, is there and is obviously uncomfortable with his situation. He thinks it’s time he went back home and faced the insurgents trying to take over his country, but Mel says they’ll kill him and everyone close to him. He should stay where he is and give the U.S. government some time to sort out the options. Rashad says his niece, the one going to college in the states, is in danger and needs protection.

That assignment falls to the Gladiators. The young woman, Yasmeen, is taken to the QPA offices for safekeeping. Not only does she go from relaxed dorm living among her friends to being a virtual prisoner in an unfamiliar place, she’s also forced to hand over her cell phone and laptop. It’s too easy for enemies of her uncle to use them to trace her. Worse, after she questions her predicament and her future, Quinn informs her that her old life is over. She won’t be returning to school and will eventually return with her family to Bashran. Yasmeen is understandably distraught.

Meanwhile, Liv thinks there may be an alternative to war. She tells Jake that two political parties in Bashran, that formerly opposed each other, joined forces to pull off the coup. Their relationship is fragile, and if they can devise a way of getting them fighting and distrusting one another, the coup may well fall apart with no outside intervention necessary.

Liv is in trouble, briefly. Personal matters, of course, are also bedeviling Liv these days. On her way to meet with Mel, she’s not happy to run into Fitz and asks with annoyance if he got her message. He breezily answers that he did, but he’s staying in DC. At that moment, Mel sternly calls Liv into the Oval. Liv asks Fitz what he told her, and Fitz says, “Everything.”

And it seems Fitz really went all out in tattling on Liv. Mel now knows that Liv forced Luna Vargas into suicide and is heading up the reconstituted B613. Liv says anything she does is only meant to empower Mel and protect her and the presidency, but the POTUS doesn’t see it that way. An angry Mel says that anything Liv does reflects on her, so if it ever gets out that Liv killed Luna, much of the public will see that as Mel killing Luna. As for B613, she wants no part of it and orders that it be shut down immediately. After issuing that directive, Mel has another. She tells Liv to go secure congressional approval for war with Bashran.

Educating Fenton. Fenton Glackland, having taken Cyrus up on his offer to learn about politics, meets him in his office to ‘shadow’ him. On the agenda today is meeting with a bunch of senators to try and gin up support for a war. As he tries to sell one of them on the prospect, a guy who is less than enthused about it and doubtful about selling it to his constituents, Glackland sits off to the side, playing with his beeping cell phone. Cy tries not to notice but can’t help being distracted a couple of times by Glackland’s apparent lack of interest in the proceedings, not to mention his rudeness.

The unreceptive senator becomes more interested when Cy starts talking about the revenue a war could bring to his district.

Things aren’t going well all over. Pa is sitting in his empty studio when Liv storms in. She says she gave him one thing to do, and he couldn’t do it. Instead of Fitz going home, he went to Mel and spilled Liv’s secrets. Pa says that’s not his fault. He did what she asked. He went to Fitz and as persuasively as he could, told him to go back to Vermont. He can’t be held responsible for how Fitz reacts. An irritated Pa says he should get something in return, bellowing “I. WANT. MY. BONES!!!” But Pa’s fury and bugged-out eyes aren’t scaring her. The Command, CoS, drunk-with-power Liv, doesn’t care what some washed-up DC has-been wants. She tells Pa that everything about him makes her sad, as she turns to go. On her way out, she does her best Soup Nazi impersonation, throwing over her shoulder a glib, “No bones for you!”

At QPA, Charlie tells Yasmeen that her phone has been destroyed. It’s the only way they could be sure it wouldn’t be traced. Things just keep getting worse for the poor kid, who starts crying. He leaves to give her some privacy. That’s a small act of kindness he pays for, of course, as a while later it’s discovered that she’s missing. Quinn isn’t happy when she finds out Charlie left her alone, and less so when she learns Yasmeen used his phone to make a call. It’s out of character for him. The old Charlie would have water-boarded her to shut her up, not given her a phone and some privacy. He’s gotten quite soft. Huck says he’ll trace the call.

Fitz is at a bar to meet up with Jake. Fitz is jovial, asking how Jake’s job and life are, but Jake is distant and doesn’t want to discuss either. Then he says Fitz is wasting his time in DC. He tattled to Mel about Liv, and now here he is, trying to rattle Jake’s cage. It won’t work. Fitz is trying to take all of Liv’s toys, when he should just step aside and let Liv be who she’s destined to be: Command. The white hat brigade ain’t coming to the rescue this time.

For her part, Liv is back in bed with the smarmy Pryce. She’s trying to get him to agree to go easy on Rashad on his show, and he won’t. He says he finds a lot to be lacking in the way Rashad’s regime has functioned, and he’ll keep expressing that opinion, but Liv says he’s doing it just to spite her. Yes, of course everything is about you, Liv. But when Pryce has Rashad on his show, he does seem to ease up and go easier on him. Liv watches and smiles. She goes to the Oval where Mel is watching. Liv asks her about the interview, but Mel shushes her, saying she wants to see the rest. Mel’s curtness signifies that she hasn’t forgiven Liv yet.

Educating Cy. Cy is wrapping up a session with another senator in his office. He’s pleased to have just secured one more ‘yes’ vote but is increasingly agitated by Glackland’s behavior. The political science 101 student was again playing with his phone and was seemingly inattentive throughout the session. Cy has had enough, and after the senator leaves, he tells Glackland that if he has no interest in what’s going on, he should leave, as well.

But his guest has been paying attention. Glackland hasn’t just been texting friends all afternoon, he’s been crushing data on some program he invented. He’s been researching whether going to war is a good idea, and all of his calculations tell him no. He’s in the business of inventing and selling things to the public, and this war is a bad product. Cy might be able to successfully sell it to the people, but they’ll see it was a mistake and the traditional ‘honeymoon’ period that new administrations have will quickly be over for Mel. If she sells the people this bad product now, Glackland says, they won’t buy anything from her in the future.

Cy has this on his mind when he reports to Liv that it looks like there will be no war, as the vote is going to be split 50/50. That’s fine, Liv says, since Cy, as VP, will cast the tie-breaking vote. Cy says that’s true, but he’ll be voting no. Liv says should he do that, she’ll consider it an act of war against her and Mel. He says he can’t vote in favor of something that’s a bad idea. The war is a loser, the American people don’t want it, and they’ll hold Mel responsible. He’s doing this for his president and his country. It’s too bad if Liv can’t see things his way, he says, because she’ll be losing an ally and a friend.

From this meeting, a miffed Liv drops in on Fitz. She frustratedly tells him that there will be no war, so there will be no treaty, so there will be more nukes in the Middle East. And did he enjoy tattling on her? He says he did and that he intends on giving her back her white hat, whether she wants it or not. He’s not going back to Vermont, he’s staying in DC.

Office lovin’. After it’s evident there will likely be no war, Mel meets with Rashad. He says he can’t wait any longer and has to go back to his country to try and save it. She says going to Bashran right now is a death sentence. He says not standing by his people would make him a failure as a leader and a cowardly man. He must go back. Mel gets closer and tells him she doesn’t want him to die, and he can see she means that on a personal level. He looks at her, acknowledging the chemistry between them, and they kiss, briefly. She hastily breaks it off, and it’s clear she doesn’t know what to do next.

Cy, on the other hand, knows what needs to be done. He asks Glackland to have a drink in his office. He says he figures he owes him one and that Glackland might turn out to be a pretty good politician after all. They toast each other before engaging in a little lip-lock of their own.

Liv gets schooled. Meanwhile, the Gladiators have traced Yasmeen and find her in a truck stop with her girlfriend, Gillian. Yasmeen is gay, and not only was not going back to school separating her from her GF, going back to Bashran meant returning to a country hostile to gay rights. She’s not happy to be found. The couple wants to run off where no one will find them. Quinn says it’s too danergous; QPA was able to find them in a truck stop, so Rashad’s enemies would have no trouble tracking them down before too long.

Later, Liv stops by Quinn’s office to ask her to keep Yasmeen a little longer. Quinn tells her all about the running-away drama. Quinn’s pregnancy is more evident these days, and as she talks, she’s wolfing down some Gettysburger like a woman possessed. Hee! It’s pretty amusing. She says the whole incident is her own fault, since she failed to respond to the needs of her client, and that she should have remembered Liv’s rule for properly relating to clients; she never asked Yasmeen ‘what do you want’, and she should have. Liv takes note of this. Looks like she realizes she may have forgotten one of her own rules.

Back at the White House, Liv finds Mel alone out on that balcony that has seen so much action on this show. She strolls up and asks Mel what she wants. In order to help her and be an effective chief of staff, she needs to know what Mel’s goals are. She appears confident, even though she and Mel are still on the outs. But recent events seem to have softened Mel’s resolve. She says she wants Rashad, and she wants the treaty. Liv says she can still arrange to get that war, but Mel doesn’t want to hear a sales pitch. They have to move quickly, but she doesn’t want to know any details. Liv says to consider it handled.

And she appears to do just that. When we next see Mel, she welcomes Rashad to a meeting in the Oval and tells him she’s gotten him a flight to Turkey the next day. It’s safer for him to return to Bashran that way, and he’ll be returning as president. The coup will not stand. She says she can’t tell him any details, but he doesn’t seem to want any. He thanks her for all she’s done. She says it won’t be easy to say goodbye to him, but he says he’ll be back, for the treaty and for her. He goes to kiss her, but she pulls away, saying “You have your country, I have mine.”

Yasmeen is less happy with the arrangements. She decidedly doesn’t want to go with her uncle back to Bashran. So Quinn asks her what she wants. She says she wants to be herself. Quinn says her best shot at achieving that is to go home and try to change her country from within. I suppose she means it’s preferable to a life on the run in the states, only to be found and killed sooner or later, but Yasmeen looks doubtful. She’s probably thinking just how wonderfully receptive her country’s elders are to being lectured to by some gay 19-year-old. Likely not very. They’re more likely to try to ‘convert’ her or to just throw her in prison to rot. All of the kid’s options pretty much suck, and she’s well aware of that. She tries to smile, but she’s obviously feeling like hell.

The next day. Mel awaits Rashad to see him off, and Liv arrives to say he’s on his way. Mel is relieved at the outcome but tells Liv she doesn’t want to know how it happened. So I guess that order to dismantle B613 has been quietly rescinded? Liv replies that there’s just one more thing…

Fitz breezes through the White House halls and runs into Liv, who’s leaving the Oval. On her way past him, she mentions that she’s sorry it came to this. He walks into the Oval to see a stern looking Mel waiting for him, with arms crossed. She tells him to go back to Vermont. He starts to protest, but she interrupts to say that talking to her is a privilege that he no longer automatically has. From now on, if he wants to speak to her, he’ll have to schedule an appointment, just like anyone else. For now, he should just go home and mind his own business. Fitz looks stunned. She gets closer to him, whispers “I’m sorry”, then backs up and tells him to go.

Liv is on the set of Pryce’s show. She thanks him for his help with Rashad, but he says he had no choice. She looks pretty smug, but he adds that he’s not afraid of her, he just doesn’t like her. He was drawn to her beauty and power, but he thought there was more there, a solid base of values and character underneath the veneer. Now he knows there isn’t. He says goodbye and walks away and it’s obvious that Liv has just been dumped, all that beauty and power notwithstanding. She gives a rueful smile.

At the airstrip. Quinn and Charlie are there to see off Rashad and his entourage. Yasmeen still looks heartbroken by the whole thing. As everyone files onto the plane, Quinn tries to give her a pep talk, but she looks like she’s on the way to her execution. Which she is. This send-off was really dragged out, and it was obvious something was going to happen, and then it does. As the plane is pulling away, before it can even get airborne, it blows up in a huge fireball. Quinn and Charlie helplessly watch as it burns.

So it looks like the political situation has just been complicated by the death, which is likely an assassination, of President Rashad. Although, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he did escape, given this show’s track record. Last season, Jake survived a cabin explosion, and Huck was somehow able to live through being shot point blank three times and drowned. And that’s just last season. So it’s hard to definitively write anybody off on this show. And what about Liv’s role in the whole thing? Did she play a part in the explosion? We’ll just have to wait and see…

There were no preview scenes at the end of this week’s episode, but there is an ep next week, 07.06 “Vampires and Bloodsuckers” –

Quinn and Charlie’s big day is celebrated by the Gladiators; Cyrus, Mellie and Jake deal with a new crisis in the Middle East.

 

Aren’t vampires and bloodsuckers the same thing? And what have they got to do with Quinn and Charlie’s joyous nuptials? I’m afraid to speculate…

 

Catch up on Scandal S7 Ep. 4 Lost Girls

by

L.T. Milroy

 

After a bit of backstory last week, we return to present day on this episode. It often feels a lot like old times, though, especially when Liv and Fitz are bickering and making up. Though their relationship status has shifted around over the years, these two can be counted on to always find one another again. It’s just that this is the final season, so there’s a bit more urgency to the proceedings.

Love and/or lust isn’t just in the air for our favorite couple, however, as all of our DC heavyweights seem to have been afflicted with the fever this week. Since it’s not spring, get ready for some fall fever, Scandal-style.

Déjà vu all over again. We go briefly back in time once again to start things off, though. Liv and Pryce’s make-out session interrupted when they find Fitz at Liv’s front door. This is reminiscent of last season, when we sat through endless replayings of the same scene, in that case the night of Frankie Vargas’s assassination. Here’s hoping this is the last time this particular scene is played out; it was sufficiently shocking the first time, but it’s worn out its welcome and shock value, so enough already.

Liv and Pryce awkwardly stop making out when they see Fitz, before Pryce clumsily shakes Fitz’s hand and swiftly makes his exit. Liv wants to know what Fitz is doing there, assuming it’s personal, but Fitz says he’s there on business. She’s cold and unreceptive. He gives her a file with information on missing girls and says he needs her help. She says he’s not supposed to be there. He says she’s in a unique position to help and shed light on a troubling situation, but she just tells him to talk to QPA about it and goes inside.

White House and personal matters. Mellie has gotten Rashad and Nazari, the leaders of the disputing nations of Bashran and Dakal, to DC to discuss a nuclear treaty. She meets with Rashad in private before the summit and is hopeful they can reach an agreement. She also is still clearly interested in maybe at some point working out her own personal agreement with Rashad. They’re interrupted by Liv, who’s also optimistic about the summit. After Rashad leaves, Liv brings up Fitz, and Mel says she knows he’s in town and that he called to ask about the kids. Yeah, those invisible Grant kids. Whatever became of them, especially the youngest who would be, what, like, four or five now? Who looks after him, anyway?

An aide tells Cyrus that, due to rules around the giving of gifts to White House officials, he can’t keep the extremely expensive Cezanne that Fenton Glackland gave him. When Cy goes to tell Glackland, he’s invited into the eccentric inventor’s lab for some fun with virtual reality glasses, or whatever those things are. Doesn’t matter, they’re clearly just a flirting device for Glackland, who then comes on to Cy. He makes a proposition that Cy teach him about politics as a way for the two of them to get to know each other better. His forwardness seems to spook Cy a bit, and he hastily leaves.

Liv asks Jake to look into what Fitz is up to. They had an agreement that he was going to stay in Vermont while she was Mel’s chief of staff, but now he’s back in town. He says he’s there working, and he’s on official business, but she says it doesn’t feel right.

Fitz has indeed taken his cause to QPA, where they look into all the missing girls. There are 219 of them, all teens or younger, all recently gone missing, and all girls of color. Quinn says they need to look through the bios and find one, a poster girl quite literally, and spotlight her story to bring attention to the matter. Eventually, Zoe Adams of Baltimore is picked.

Taking care of business. Liv, in her office, is told Marcus is there to see her and Pryce is on the phone. She says to show Marcus in, and whenever Pryce calls, tell him she’s unavailable. Hmm. Marcus wants to see Mel and asks for Liv’s permission. She says no without even look up from her desk. Then she asks him how Vermont is, and he says “Cold; white.” She asks how Fitz is and gets the same answer. They both get a laugh out of that, and Liv relaxes a bit, before motioning for him to sit. Marcus says Fitz still talks about her and obviously misses her. Liv questions his motives for being in DC, but Marcus asks who cares what Fitz’s motives are and it’s irrelevant if he can focus attention on this problem.

That seems to get Liv to think seriously about the matter for the first time. She drops in on QPA to see how the Gladiators are handling things. They’re not there, so Liv looks at all the photos of the missing girls. They’re taped up on the glass, all 219 of them, and Liv looks overwhelmed. It’s at that point the Gladiators walk in, somewhat stunned to see her. Liv tells them they need more than just a poster child, they need a spokeswoman, which would be Nora, Zoe’s mom. Liv says she’ll make sure Nora gets plenty of press. It’s Liv taking charge in her former digs, just like old times. On her way out, she runs into Fitz, who’s coming in. He asks her out for a drink. She seems receptive to that and looks like she might say yes but instead tells him “Let’s see how the summit goes.” They exchange sweet smiles as they part.

The summit. Mellie gets Rashad and Nazari together at the same table, but things don’t get off to a good start. Nazari doesn’t like the treaty, thinks it’s biased and accuses Mel and Rashad of conspiring against him. Mel tries to smooth things over, but Nazari just keeps being nasty, and he and Rashad throw some insults at each other before Mel calls for a break, so everyone can cool off.

Mel and Liv retire to the Oval. Mel is frustrated. She thinks Nazari is being difficult and they should be confrontational with him. Liv takes a more measured approach and says Nazari is being careful and skeptical, and he can’t be blamed for that. Then she adds that maybe Mel is siding with Rashad because of some personal reason, which Mel denies.

Let’s not reminisce about that.  Nora the poster mother goes on Pryce’s show to talk about her daughter and the problem of missing children. Accompanying her is Fitz, who has apparently taken on the role of Gladiator this week. Since Fitz is there, Pryce takes the opportunity to call him out on not doing anything for missing kids while he was president. As if that’s the only thing wanting about Fitz’s presidency. The list of Fitz’s screw-ups in office would fill volumes. We know. We were witnesses. But he fields the criticism skillfully, saying he didn’t address the problem because, like most people, he didn’t know the magnitude of it. He says his foundation will be taking on causes like this and while the while foundation is based in Vermont, his work will take place to a large extent in the big cities like DC, where he’s thinking of moving.

That last part is thrown in casually, probably not even noticed by many. But Liv is watching at home (sipping a huge glass of wine, of course). She sure noticed and gives that statement the side-eye.

A break for some flirting and girl talk. Still on a break from the summit, Mel shares a drink with Rashad. She says they can’t be seen by Nazari as colluding, because he’s definitely sensitive about that. As they talk, there’s more chemistry between these two, which Mel tries to ignore.

She goes from that get-together to Cy’s office, where a somewhat jaw-dropping scene occurs. As Mel walks in, she sees the Cezanne, assumes it’s a copy, then looks closer and is surprised and impressed to realize it’s genuine. He says it’s a gift from Glackland. Mel is beyond amused by that, giggles like a teenager, plops down on a chair, and tells Cy to spill everything. It’s obvious Glackland really likes him, Mel says, and she wants all the details. It’s like a slumber party!

Cy sits and sighs and says that it doesn’t matter, because Glackland is “beneath him”. Huh??! He seriously did not just say that. Cy, have you, you know, met yourself? With all the dirt he has on his hands he’s going to talk about someone not being as good as he is? Besides, this is a guy who married an ex-hustler, and he’s worried about status? Speaking of Michael, Cy brings him up, saying that he can’t go from having a hot young partner like that to someone like Glackland. Again, huh???! Is he under the impression that he’s some gorgeous kid who deserves the same? A mirror, Cy; go check one out and come back to reality.

Mel is the voice of reason. She counters that anyone who gifts an original Cezanne can’t be too shabby. You just said a mouthful, Mel. Then she admits that she has a thing for the Bashrani president. This is news to Cy, who raises an eyebrow. Hee! She says she finds Rashad really alluring but knows that getting involved would be a bad idea. Then they share a laugh at their predicaments.

Having it all, again. Liv drops by Pa’s paleontology studio, where he’s cleaning some dinosaur bones. He mentions that he saw Fitz on TV, talking about staying in DC. Liv seems intrigued by that possibility, so Pa tells her she can’t be command and be in a relationship. She reminds him that this is not his B613, she’ll run it her own way, and that may include a private life. Pa says that’s not possible. He says her getting ‘boy advice’ from him is pathetic, but apparently he’s all she has left. She says nothing and turns to go. As she’s leaving, he says she should choose having a life over B613.That she should look at the life he had as command, and learn from him.

Summit interruptus. Mel, Rashad and Nazari are back at the table, and things are going smoother. The two warring leaders seem to have found common ground and look close to agreeing to a treaty, when the door bursts open. Security agents rush in and start hustling everyone out. There’s a coup underway in Bashran. At the moment, Rashad is no longer president.

Liv goes to see Jake in the B613 lair. He insists that if they had more agents, they would have seen the coup coming. Why didn’t the CIA have any idea, I wonder? And is the new B613 just Liv and Jake? That hasn’t been spelled out, but it sure looks that way. No other agents have been seen or mentioned. Liv intends to run a secret global spy agency with just two people? Good luck with that. Jake says that if he wasn’t so busy tagging along after Fitz for her, he might have known the coup was coming. Then he says she needs to decide whether she’s command or “someone’s girl”. He seems to be echoing what Pa was saying. Liv doesn’t like hearing it any better from Jake.

Liv then goes to the Oval, where Mel is pacing. She says they may have to send troops to Bashran. Liv says that would be a mistake,since it would undermine foreign policy. Mel disagrees and wants to give Rashad sanctuary. Liv says he’s no longer his country’s leader, so he’s not entitled to special protection. The U.S. has no use for him. Mel seems a bit shocked by the heartlessness of Liv’s words and says if they send Rashad home, the rebels will kill him. Liv says that’s not their business. They should stay out of it and avoid a possible military conflict. Mel says Rashad has been fair with them throughout the negotiations and was ready to agree to a nuclear treaty. He’s a friend of the U.S. and worth fighting for. Liv says she’ll think about it.

Olitz, again. Meanwhile, there’s still the matter of the missing kids. Fitz shows up at Liv’s door, saying that just as the issue was getting some attention, the coup knocked it out of the news. He wants her to get Mel to hold a press conference. Liv says she’s his ex, so he should ask her. He says he knows Mel checks with her about everything, so he’s coming to her first. Liv is stressed out and irritated by the day’s events and asks him why he’s really there. Fitz shifts gears and says because he loves her. She’s running the world, like he once did, so he understands what she’s going through. Then he says that everything that went wrong during his presidency happened when they weren’t together. They should face the fact that both of them are better together than apart. Liv looks a bit annoyed, but maybe that’s just because she’s not happy with herself for giving in. Which she does. She grabs and kisses him.

The next morning, presumably after an all-night nookie session with Fitz, Liv goes to see his ex. The POTUS asks what she decided. Liv carries two folders and says she made two briefs they have to discuss. Mel admits that she does have personal feelings for Rashad, but that doesn’t sway the fact that she wants to do the right thing. Liv gives her the first file, which she says contains information about military movements that her generals are going to need if there’s involvement by the U.S. Mel says she wants this to be her decision, but Liv reminds her that she’s never alone; she’s Mel’s chief of staff and will always be at her side and have her back. Mel asks to see the other folder.

??? Then there’s a rather inexplicable scene where Quinn visits Nora, who sees her and assumes there’s bad news. But Quinn has good news; Zoe has been found alive and is coming home. How this was accomplished isn’t addressed. Maybe this matter was covered in the second folder? Or was that about another option in the Bashran situation? It isn’t stated.

Cy’s love life, however, is unambiguously addressed. He goes to see Glackland and tells him he’s keeping the painting, buying it for $20 because he can’t accept it as a gift, then says he’s mulled over the offer to teach politics to Glackland, and is accepting. Apparently Cy has decided to go ‘beneath’ himself. Ugh.

Pa’s in trouble. Liv drops by QPA and tells the Gladiators that not only is Zoe back home, but the FBI is starting a special division to deal with missing people of color. It was a job well done. On the way out, she gets a call from Jake. He tells her what he’s found while digging into Fitz’s activities. Seems Fitz was true to his word; he went right up to Vermont after leaving office and stayed there, avoiding politics and DC, like he said he would. Then he got a visit from someone…

The next time we see Pa, he’s walking into his empty lab. The dinosaur bones he fussed so much over are gone, but his daughter is there. She says she knows he talks to the bones sometimes when alone in the lab, but that’s not the only one he’s been talking to. She shoves a chair in front of him and tells him to sit.

So Pa’s visit to Vermont has been uncovered, and he’s about to be interrogated. And what of the political situation with Mel’s potential BF? A preview of 07.05, “Adventures in Babysitting” –

Olivia and Mellie assert their power as never before; Cyrus works on congressional approval to declare war on Bashran; a close watch is kept on President Rashad’s niece.

Will Liv be able to put aside her romantic urges long enough to get the business of state done? Will Mellie? Will Cyrus? Such drama…

Catch up on Scandal S7 Ep. 3 Day 101

by

L.T. Milroy

 

It’s been established that this, the final season of Scandal, is all about a battle for Liv’s soul. It begins in earnest this week.

It’s also flashback time again, just like so much of last season, when it was done to take the focus off Olivia, to accommodate Kerry Washington’s pregnancy. That’s no longer a factor, but this episode is a reminder of last year, due to the decided lack of Liv’s presence. While she’s mentioned quite a bit this week, she’s seen very little. It’s a bit strange. The focus is on Fitz, and what he’s been doing since his presidency ended, and we saw him board that helicopter and leave the whole DC circus behind. He’s been living a relatively quiet life. But that, of course, is about to end.

Sweet home Vermont. To kick things off, there’s a montage of Fitz leaving Washington for Vermont. He has friendly, screaming crowds to greet him and a beautiful, big country house waiting for him. His first night there, he’s alone in bed, watching as he’s the topic of conversation on the news. The talking heads speculate about what kind of ex-president he’s going to be, and then one of them brings up the kiss he shared with Liv in front of the press just before getting on the helicopter. Fitz turns off the TV.

Day 1. On his first day as a regular citizen, the alarm wakes Fitz at 7 a.m. He goes downstairs and is surprised to see a full staff waiting for him. There are also some files, which a guy who introduces himself as Tad says are from Marcus Walker, concerning the planning for the Grant Library. Tad introduces everyone and is then pulled aside by Fitz, who promptly fires him. Well, first Tad has to fire the entire staff, Fitz says, and then he’s fired. Tad is confused, but Fitz says it’s nothing personal, he just doesn’t want a staff underfoot. He wants to do things for himself.

Fitz reiterates this request to Luther, a Secret Service agent assigned to him. He says he doesn’t want someone cooking for him. He wants to cook for himself. And if he needs something from the store, he wants to drive himself there. Luther isn’t thrilled by this independent streak but says he’ll try to accommodate it. Then we see Fitz at the market, where he does his own shopping and is told he’ll have to activate his debit card before using it. At home, he fouls up cooking his dinner at first but then gets better at it.

After a couple of weeks of this solitary domesticity, Fitz calls Marcus and leaves a message asking when he plans on coming back home.

Partying in Havana. Marcus has been spending the immediate aftermath of leaving the White House by catching up on his partying with a little R&R in Cuba. He’s seen dancing and drinking the night away in a club before going home with some hot young thing. The next day, a conversation about race with the HYT and the inquiring message left by Fitz, gets the ex-press secretary to think about wrapping up his southern vacation and getting back to work. Before long, he’s at Fitz’s door.

Fitz seems glad not just to be getting his professional life back on track, but also to be having some company in that big country house. One morning, when they’re out jogging, Marcus takes Fitz to a big plot of land in the Vermont countryside (at least, they’re supposed to be in the Vermont countryside, but that view suggests otherwise. Those look like western mountains in the distance, not the kind seen in the Green Mountain State, but poetic license, I guess). He tells Fitz this is where the Fitzgerald Grant III Presidential Library is going to be built. The land has already been bought. It’s a lovely location, and Fitz approves. As they stand gazing at the site, Fitz starts talking about all of the plans he has for the library and what great things are ahead for the two of them.

Day 41. Fitz watches a news report about the education bill Mellie is trying to get passed. He likes the bill and wants to use his influence to help her with it, but Marcus is hesitant. He says waiting 100 days before getting involved in a new president’s term is standard procedure for the outgoing president. Marcus says this as he’s looking at plans for the Grant library and asks what kind of role Olivia is going to play. He says she can’t just be ignored, since she was a high profile person in his administration, and now she’s Mel’s chief of staff. Fitz doesn’t seem comfortable taking on the whole Liv thing at the moment. Instead, he suggests going out for a drink. The Secret Service is, again, not crazy about going out on the town with the ex-prez, but it’s another argument Fitz wins.

Marcus and Fitz sit at the bar at one of the local pubs, just a couple of guys having a beer. They get reflective, and Fitz again talks about the future and how much they can accomplish together. He asks about Mel, but Marcus doesn’t want to talk about Mel any more than Fitz wanted to talk about Liv. Mellie is focused these days on being president. She doesn’t have time for outside distractions and that’s as it should be, says Marcus. Too bad he didn’t hear Mel’s rant last week about her lonely ladybits, he might be thinking differently! Fitz listens, and then he says Liv’s part in his presidency has to be acknowledged, but it shouldn’t be overstated. The library will recognize her for her small, advisory role only, because that’s the role she played. Marcus looks doubtful.

Breakdown on Day 74. Fitz hosts a lavish fundraiser at his house. Afterward, he and Marcus sit and have a cigar with one of the guests/donors, a fat old jerk of a guy who is the stereotype of the kind who must be humored by politicians seeking benefactors. Marcus, in particular, is clearly disgusted by him, but says nothing. As Fitz freshens the guy’s drink, he runs out of scotch and asks Marcus to go get another bottle. Marcus is annoyed and basically tells him to go fetch his own damn bottle. Fitz, now clearly annoyed himself, gets up to do so and gives Marcus a look on the way.

Later, Fitz walks into Marcus’s room as he hastily packs. Before Fitz can fire him, Marcus says he quits. Then they have words. Marcus calls Fitz controlling. Fitz says Marcus is always angry and bitter. Marcus says he’s nothing more than a glorified valet working for Fitz, who’s a narcissist. Then he says Fitz didn’t accomplish anything during his presidency that Liv didn’t have a hand in. She did everything for him, and he got the credit, while she got a reputation. Fitz counters that Marcus is a poseur and says he wants to be an activist, but he doesn’t want to put in the work to affect change. He just wants power, and he latched onto Liv, Mel, and then Fitz himself to get it. He calls Marcus a coward. Marcus dares Fitz to call him that again, which Fitz does, and the fists start flying. After they pummel each other a bit, Luther rushes in to pull them apart. Marcus picks up his bag and leaves.

Analyzing Fitz. Mel is in the Oval Office when she’s told she has a phone call. It’s Marcus, calling from his car, fresh from his battle with Fitz. It’s funny that, upon being told who’s calling, Mel instinctively smoothes her hair before picking up the phone. Hee!

It’s the first time the two have spoken since Mel took office. She knows something must be wrong, and he tells her he quit working for Fitz. Mel gives a rueful smile and says that Marcus is in stage two of his relationship with Fitz Grant. In stage one, Fitz shows the best side of himself and is too charming to resist. He’ll talk about what a great team the two of you make and how you’ll conquer the world together. Then in stage two, Mel says, you see Fitz for what he really is: entitled, selfish, and unmotivated. It’s a tough realization, and stage two can be long and painful. But she claims while it can be hard, it’s worth getting through, because it leads to stage three, which is when you come to see that Fitz has a magic about him; it’s a charisma that few have, and people respond to it. For all his faults, people are drawn to him and want to be around him. “Fitz can be challenging and complicated,” Mel tells Marcus, “but right now, he’s yours.” She tells Marcus to take advantage of that relationship and not quit, because he’s worth it.

Marcus takes this all in. Then he says he’s proud of her, and she smiles but doesn’t answer. There’s a long silence before she thanks him for calling.

Joe Morton picks up a paycheck. Back at chez Fitz, he checks out his bruised face in the bathroom mirror before walking into the living room. There, sitting on the floor waiting for him, is none other than Papa Pope. One of the threads throughout this episode is an old gun Fitz’s father gave him, which he came across while unpacking. It’s also the gun, once upon a time back in the first season, that Cyrus said Fitz would use to blow his brains out one day when he was out of office and feeling irrelevant. As Fitz walks in, Pa has found the gun and is menacingly holding it as he says hello. But that’s just meant to briefly shock us before he hands over the gun quickly, saying he hasn’t come for Fitz and casually insinuating that if he wanted Fitz dead, he’d already be in a body bag. He’s there about Liv.

A paranoid Pa starts looking around, asking if Fitz has seen or heard anything strange in the house. Fitz says no, but Pa is still jumpy. He says Liv is a problem. Fitz has been ‘had’ and that after he decided not to revive B613, Liv turned around and did it  herself, installing herself in command. Fitz doesn’t see that as a problem. It appears he’s still smitten with Liv as he says that if that’s true, she’ll run it the right way. Pa disagrees. He talks about how Liv has changed and can’t be trusted and alludes to her killing Luna Vargas. She’s out of control, and it will only get worse. Fitz needs to step in. But Fitz says Washington is his past. If Pa thinks there’s a problem, he needs to handle it. Pa says he no longer has any power, and besides, Liv is watching him. She needs to be reined in, and there aren’t many people who can do that; Fitz is one of them.

Reunited, and it feels so good. After Pa makes his point and leaves, Fitz is alone once again. That night, he’s sitting outside his house holding the gun, when Marcus drives up. Marcus eyes the piece a bit nervously, but the gun is again a red herring, as Fitz has no intention of using it. They’re both obviously ready to make up as each rubs his wounds and acknowledges that the other can pack a punch. Marcus sits. They know they both said some unfortunate things during the fight. Marcus says one of the problems is that although they’ve worked together for a while, they don’t really know each other that well on a personal level, and that needs to change. Fitz agrees. Then Fitz says he’s had a change of heart; when the 100 days is up, he’s going back to Washington. Before he leaves, though, he wants to do something meaningful.

Here’s where the episode’s plot-device subplot, which involves a Confederate statue, should be mentioned. An African American man, described as a student, has been staging a sit-in at said statue, as he wants it brought down. Where the guy is a student isn’t mentioned, nor is exactly where this protest is taking place. It seems like a local thing for Fitz, so presumably a college in Vermont. Apparently it’s such a plot device, the writers didn’t even care enough to bother to spell that out. Several news reports are seen throughout the episode of the guy sitting by the statue in the freezing cold, talking about how it offends him that he has to pass a statue of a slave owner all the time. It should come down. Just before he goes back to Washington, Fitz shows up with a press entourage, the guy gets national publicity, and the statue is torn down. That’s simplifying things, but just a bit. Anyway, Fitz has done his good deed and is ready to return to DC.

And the episode ends exactly how the last episode ended, where Liv comes home, making out with that annoying Pryce guy, to find Fitz waiting by her door. Only now we know why he’s there. Pa convinced him that he can save Liv from herself.

So what’s next for Liv in her Faustian struggle? A preview of 07.04, “Lost Girls” –

While Liv is busy running the free world, the team at QPA works with an unexpected client to solve an important case; at the White House, Mellie prepares for the upcoming nuclear summit with President Rashad and Prime Minister Nazari.

Hee! Liv is running the free world! Mel may be president, but that doesn’t mean she’s in charge! It’s nice to see QPA get clients. Now maybe Quinn can start paying for that new furniture. And will President Rashad give President Grant a hand in removing the cobwebs from her ladyparts? Stay tuned…

 

Catch up on Scandal S7 Ep. 2 Pressing the Flesh

by

L.T. Milroy

 

There’s romance in the air in Scandaland this week. It seems to be on everyone’s mind in DC. There are other things to worry about in the world, like a possible nuclear incident that might be brewing, but our characters have their priorities. They know what’s really important.

Though weighty issues like nuclear war are broached, this is actually a pretty fun episode. Nothing wrong with a little lighthearted Scandal in the final season.

The CoS ain’t got no time for you. Things start right off on a lewd, and gross, note, as we see Liv in a hotel room. She’s getting dressed as Curtis Pryce, the annoying talk show host from last week, lounges in bed. Ugh, that’s the gross part. Even if Pryce is kind of hot looking, it’s hard to see past the smug and smarm. He’s apparently enjoying the afterglow while Liv, who has no time for such things these days, is anxious to get back to her life. A brief time-out for a little side nookie, and she’s off to take on DC and the world. He complains a bit about the secondary role he seems to be playing in her life, always meeting in hotels just long enough for her to have some stress-relieving sex, but she curtly cuts him off and basically lets him know he’s not a boyfriend, he’s a boy toy, and if he’s not okay with that, she’ll just find another. All things considered, he seems okay with that.

Dinnertime. At the White House, Liv is preparing for a dinner in honor of the president of Bashran. She’s a bit tense, because this is the country the U.S. was caught spying on in last week’s episode, which included Liv threatening the ambassador’s son. There’s a lot riding on President Rashad agreeing to a nuclear treaty, but it’s not going to be an easy sell. Bashran is on the brink of getting nuclear capability, and Liv wants to end that before it begins.

Liv vents to Cyrus about what a stressful night this is likely to be, but his mind is on other things. He complains that she’s seated him next to the eccentric tycoon, Fenton Glackland, who Cy can’t stand. Besides, it seems to him that they’ve been put next to each other simply because they’re both gay and it’s assumed they’ll automatically have a lot to talk about, right? It obviously annoys Cy, but Liv just tells him Glackland is a big bucks benefactor, and Cy should take the opportunity to kiss his ass.

Back at the new QPA, the dinner is seen as a different opportunity, a place to meet prospective clients. The only problem is that the Gladiators aren’t invited. Abby is having lunch with David, who’s still the AG, and asks him to get her four tickets. He isn’t really into the idea, but of course, even though they haven’t been an item in quite a while, Abby can still influence her old BF when she wants to. She gets the tickets, and QPA is ready to attend, under phony names, of course.

Difficult diplomacy. Mellie is greeting President Rashad in front of the press. They’re all smiles as the cameras are on them, but after the reporters are herded out, his friendly demeanor vanishes. He scoffs at her request that he sign a non-nuclear treaty, especially since the U.S. has armed his enemies in the past. He’d very much like to discuss ridding the world of nukes, he says, and why not start with the countries that have the most? Like the U.S.? Mel gives a tense smile. This is going to be a bumpy ride.

Pre-party, Quinn is handing out tickets and identities. She tells Charlie they’re going as a couple, but his name is Kevin. Huck is all cleaned up, and it’s always weird seeing him that way, but he’s looking unhappy. Abby asks what’s wrong, and he says he doesn’t want to go, as he’s no good at small talk. I’m sure that qualifies as an understatement! Abby says he doesn’t have to talk much and just let the other person do the talking, to which Huck answers that the only way he knows to get people to talk is to hurt them. Hee! The RL problems of a sadistic spy. Abby says these Washington folk love to talk about themselves, so they won’t need much encouragement. She says he’ll do fine. Huck asks if it feels strange for her to visit the White House after she used to work there and if she misses it. Abby pauses then says she had an exciting, high-profile job serving the president, and of course she misses it sometimes, but she adds tgat she still prefers being a Gladiator.

Poor, horny Mellie. Mel is nervously getting ready for the dinner. Liv is there and stresses upon her that Rashad must agree to sign the treaty. Liv says that Bashran is maybe a year away from getting nuclear capability, so tonight is crucial. Mel is feeling the responsibility of her first big test of international diplomacy and responds by telling Liv she’d rather go out drinking…slip away to some DC pick-up spot. She complains a bit about all of the responsibilities that come with being president. It never ends, she says. She’s working all the time. She knew it would be tough, but she had no idea. And dating is out of the question. For a woman in particular, the job makes it impossible. She bemoans her single and sex-less status, saying exasperatedly, “There is a famine in my ladybits!” Then she paces around as she says she at least needs a vibrator but can’t even get that, because it’s not like she can go on-line and buy one, like a normal person. The universe seems to have conspired against her getting off.

It’s a funny scene, but Mel is obviously frustrated and doesn’t know how to deal with it. Liv can’t help but laugh. She says she wonders how this scene will play out when Ken Burns makes his documentary of Mel’s presidency, and then Mel laughs, too. Then Liv says it can be lonely, but it’s the job. Mel says she knows.

After dealing with a horny Mel who’s facing the first big test of her presidency, Liv goes to a recess of the White House that’s now housing the new B613 command center. Jake is there, and she tells him that it looks like Rashad is going to be difficult, so they’d better find some dirt on him for leverage. Jake says he’ll start digging.

Mingling. It’s dinnertime, and everyone goes to work. Cy heaves a sigh as a blustering Glackland comes up to him and introduces himself. Huck attempts to make small talk with a woman and only succeeds in creeping her out. Abby tells him to find someone he has more in common with; there’s some military here, so he should try one of them. Quinn, with her husband ‘Kevin’, is looking for clients. Liv is working the room and is surprised to run into Pryce. He isn’t supposed to be there, and he has a date with him, no less. Liv isn’t happy. Mel tries to talk Rashad into signing the treaty, but he’s still resistant, because he faces too much political resistance; if he even says the word ‘treaty’ in relation to dealing with the West, the opposition in his country will rise up, and he’ll be killed or exiled. It’s out of the question. Mel looks despairing and frustrated. Liv sees her from across the room and knows things aren’t going well. On cue, Jake walks in and motions Liv out to the hallway.

Jake, a fast worker as always, has dug up some photos. They show Rashad going into his hotel room, just last night, with a girl who looks to be a teen, maybe underage. Liv thanks him, takes the photos, and returns to her seat. Then she eyes Rashad menacingly as she ponders her next move.

Glackland is blustering a lot, every bit the gasbag Cy thought he would be. He mentions that he’s thinking of getting into politics and might make a run for governor. Hell, he has the time and the money. Then an announcement is made that tonight’s musical entertainment will begin shortly in the next room. Glackland isn’t interested in listening to some singer, he says as he gets up, and tells Cy he wants a White House tour. Cy reluctantly follows him.

An aide delivers a note to Liv, who reads it and says to hold the start of the performance for a few minutes.

Bathroom diplomacy. Liv meets with Jake in the B613 lair. He hands her another folder, which contains info he knows can be corroborated. It leads Liv to take a meeting with Rashad in the men’s room. For privacy, she says. She hands him the folder, and he says the girl in the pictures is his niece, who visited him last night. Liv knows that by now. What she also knows is that he got his niece into college in Boston. Even as he rails against Western influences to please certain factions in his country, he chose to send his niece to college in the U.S. It wouldn’t be good for him at home if this information got out, says Liv. But this just seems to cement Rashad’s hardline view. He says he knows all about her blackmailing of his ambassador and threatening his son, so he expected possible dirty dealings. He also tells her he won’t do business with her, and the matter is closed. He won’t sign the treaty and will be leaving as soon as the concert is over.

Cy reads the riot act. Glackland has been his insufferable self all through the White House tour, and Cy is glad to finally be at the end of it, as he takes his obnoxious guest into the Oval Office. Most people show hushed reverence upon seeing the Oval for the first time, but Glackland, of course, has no respect for anything. He saunters right in, strolls around, then proceeds to walk behind the president’s desk and plunk himself down in her chair, not even hearing as Cy, a bit stunned, implores him not to. Glackland then starts talking again about his big, successful business and how he thinks it’s time to branch out into politics; maybe governor isn’t setting his sights high enough. Why not president? Cy’s heard enough. He snaps and yells at Glackland to get up, calling him an ignorant, entitled boob. In a thinly veiled reference to our current situation, Cy says that the presidency isn’t a prize for bored millionaires. Someone as vulgar as Glackland could never appreciate the splendor of the room or the importance of the building in which he’s sitting. This has all been mounting up in Cy for the past couple of hours, and he lets it all out. Now it’s Glackland’s turn to look stunned. Once Cy is done venting, he regrets it almost immediately and starts to apologize, but Glackland just gets up and walks out.

What Huck’s small talk leads to. Huck takes Abby’s advice and starts a conversation with an army officer. It’s going okay until Huck glances at the medals on the guy’s uniform, which spooks him, and he cuts it short. Later, Abby finds him in the hallway, looking at his phone. Huck says the army guy was suspicious. His medals were in the wrong order, so Huck secretly took his photo and is looking him up. Then Huck says the guy isn’t in the army’s data base, so whoever he is, he isn’t U.S. military.

As this is being unraveled, the fake army guy stops President Rashad and his entourage in a hallway. They’re about to leave, but fake army guy says Mellie wants to meet with Rashad privately. He’s been sent to take Rashad to her, he says, so Rashad goes with him. Instead, fake army guy takes him into a room, closes the door and pulls a gun. He’s a member of the Bashrani opposition, sent to assassinate the president. Before he can pull the trigger, however, Jake and his minions burst in and tackle him.

Personal diplomacy. The plot foiled, Jake and Liv take Rashad to a secure room. He’s understandably shook up, but they tell him they intend to find out how the assassin was able to get into the dinner. Then they leave Rashad alone with Mel. She tells him she knows what he’s feeling, since she gets several death threats a day. He says that with his country as volatile as it is, he fears what would happen to it if he were assassinated more than he fears his own death. He seems sincere, and Mel says the treaty really is in his country’s best interests. Signing it really would be the best thing for the future of his country and its people. He thinks that over and says that if Dakal, Bashran’s greatest enemy were to sign the treaty, he would, too. Mel says it’s a done deal. She’ll get Dakal to the table.

And just like that, a huge hurdle, which seemed insurmountable just a few minutes ago, is out of the way. Mel and Rashad have come to a major mutual agreement. Rashad relaxes, takes a sip of water, and asks if Mel has anything stronger. Mel seems surprised but says that of course she does, and gets up to pour him a drink. I immediately thought of that homemade hooch she’s so fond of, but I think she’ll have to know him a little better before she breaks that out! She hands him a glass and sits down next to him. He tells her how lovely she looks, and he’s right; she wore a simple but beautiful blue dress to the party and looks pretty good in it. And let’s not forget how horny she is! Some sparks fly between these two, and they both know it, but they also both know how ill-advised a personal relationship would be at this point. So he finishes his drink, thanks her, and leaves. She lets out a deep breath after the door closes.

The return of Dabby? Romance is in the air with the Gladiators, as well. Abby was standing next to David during the concert, and he tried to take her hand, but she rebuffed him and walked away. Later, she confronts him and asks what he was doing, but he doesn’t understand her resistance. He thinks they should be a couple again. She reminds him that they’re friends, but he says they’re good together, and she knows it.

Spies in love, part whatever. Meanwhile, Quinn and Charlie arrive back at QPA after the dinner. Quinn thinks it went pretty well, but Charlie looks weary. Quinn went all-in with her fake identity, referring to Charlie as Kevin all night, calling him her husband, and making up a fake marriage and family. The whole thing made him uncomfortable. He seems to be questioning their relationship, as he says that he proposed to the ‘old’ Quinn. The ‘new’ Quinn, the one that runs QPA, seems to keep postponing their wedding and doesn’t apopear to need him. He says she needs ‘Kevin’. As he talks, a realization settles in, and Quinn gets angry. She slaps him and asks if he’s really going to dump her while she’s pregnant. He says he’s not dumping her, she’s dumping him, or at least that’s how he sees it. So she sets the record straight. She tells him she loves him and wants to marry him. She says she knows she told him she wanted to get the business up and running before the wedding, but she’s changed her mind. She wants to get married now, as soon as possible. And if he doesn’t want to get slapped again, she says, he should kiss her. And they kiss.

Does this romantic stuff also extend to Cy, by any chance? Glackland had at one point mentioned his art collection, and Cy was shocked that while he spent thousands on art, Glackland didn’t seem to know, or care, about any of it and that he didn’t know who Cezanne was, even though he had one of his paintings. When Cy arrives at the office the next day, still wondering what the fallout might be from the Glackland incident, a package is waiting for him. It’s the Cezanne, a gift from Glackland, with a note that reads that the painting may as well belong to someone who really appreciates it. Cy gives a little smile as he looks at the painting. Maybe we haven’t seen the last of ol’ Fenton.

The standard shocking Scandal ending. In the final scene, Liv is lookin’ for some lovin’, too. She finds Pryce and tells him she has a story for him. She’s going to give him an exclusive about Mel and the Bashran/Dakal treaty. Pryce is impressed and thanks her. But there’s more. Seems Liv has reconsidered his boy toy status, as she says she wants to celebrate, but at her place, not a hotel. He asks if she’s really inviting him over, and the next thing we know, they’re making out in the elevator of her building. As the elevator stops and the doors open, the disheveled pair stumbles out into the hallway. But as Liv gets out her keys, who does she see waiting by her door? None other than Fitz, making his first appearance of the season!

So what has the ex-president, also known as Liv’s ex-squeeze, been up to, and what does he want? Such questions will be addressed next week in 07.03, “Day 101” –

During the first 100 days of Mellie’s presidency, Fitz stays out of the limelight in Vermont, where he takes up life as an ordinary citizen for the first time in years; Marcus joins the former POTUS to begin important work on the Fitzgerald Grant III Presidential Library.

Not only has Fitz returned, but welcome back, Marcus! I was wondering if he decided to keep working for Fitz, and apparently he has. So the former POTUS laid low and presumably made jam up north for the first 100 days of Mel’s presidency and now he’s ready to…do what? And how will he react to the presence of the smarmy and annoying Pryce? Will Marcus have a hand, so to speak, in addressing Mel’s lonely ladybits situation? How bizarre will the Quinn/Charlie nuptials be? So many questions…

Catch up on Scandal S7 Ep. 1 Watch Me

by

L.T. Milroy

 

So, the final season of Scandal is upon us.

A recap on just where things stand as the last set of episodes kicks off: Mellie Grant, the former first lady and senator, is now the president, and Cyrus Beene, a former chief of staff, as well as death row inmate, is VP. Fitzgerald Grant, the former POTUS, is gone after two terms, living in Vermont, and basically in retirement. For now. Frankie and Luna Vargas are both dead. (Those poor Vargas kids. Talk about collateral damage). And Olivia Pope is no longer heading up her own Washington fixer business. Her former business is now in the hands of Quinn Perkins and the other Gladiators. Liv is now Mel’s chief of staff and also commands the newly reconstituted B613.

So Liv is in command, as well as being the new president’s chief of staff. She’s large and in charge.

Kiss my ring, dude. Season 7 opens with a graphic example of Liv’s comfort with her new role as the president’s right-hand woman. To the strains of “Fight the Power”, she strides confidently through the White House halls to her lovely new office. Waiting for her is a Senator Michaels, who’s there to get an earful from Liv about the president’s college bill. It was the idea of the dear, departed, dead Frankie Vargas, who’s only mentioned and not seen in this episode. This is good, because every time we saw him last season his brains or guts were on display. So, RIP Frankie, but glad you’re finally gone. Anyway, he had a plan for free college for anyone who wants it. Liv knows Sen. Michaels doesn’t support the bill, and she’s trying to get him to change his mind.

When it becomes clear Michaels can’t be persuaded, the S7 version of Liv swings into action. She whips out an envelope which she says contains lots of sleazy stuff about the senator. She doesn’t go into detail, only saying that what’s in the envelope could ruin his career, his marriage, and his life. It’s a good old fashioned blackmailing, my friends!

The college bill is a tribute to the late President Vargas, says Liv, so it’s important to Mellie, and she intends to honor his memory by getting it passed. Liv asks if Michaels is on board, and he just looks shell-shocked by the whole thing. Apparently, he’s never been Poped before, but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing this from Liv a lot this season. As Michaels looks stunned, Liv smugly wants to know if he’s going to ask in what world this kind of thing happens. Then she says, “In what world? My world,” and she smiles, as the music swells again. “My envelope-filled world.”

Cut to Liv walking into the Oval Office and informing a pleased Mel that they can count on Michaels’ vote. It’s good to be king. Or at least, chief of staff.

The new QPA. Meanwhile, back at Liv’s old office, things are looking a bit dire. It’s now Quinn Perkins & Associates, and though there’s only a one-letter difference between that and the old OPA, the new QPA is having trouble attracting business. David Rosen, who’s still AG, is there and is being brow-beaten by Quinn: can’t he steer some clients their way? David says OPA had earned a certain amount of trust that QPA doesn’t have and points out that it takes a while to gain a reputation. At that moment, a woman walks in looking to hire them. Well, that was easy. Quinn dismisses David and tells the woman to sit down. It’s the first Case of the Week for Quinn and our spy friends!

The woman, Madeline, says her father is a professor currently at a symposium overseas, and he’s disappeared. He’s in (the fictional) Bashran, a volatile country on the brink of attaining nuclear capabilities. It can be a dangerous place, but she says he’s been there before and is familiar with the terrain, so the fact that he’s stopped calling is troubling. Something must be wrong.

Look who’s still hanging around. Speaking of disappearing, Pa said at the end of last season that’s what he would be doing, now that Liv would be working in the White House. But here he is, having dinner with his daughter. He’s complaining that Liv has cameras on him, and he’s being watched constantly, which she denies. He’s in no mood for a pleasant meal. He gulps some wine and tells Liv she has a reckoning coming, something about a crisis of power and good vs. evil. She’s still new to Washington, Pa says, and she’ll find out she can’t have it all. But S7 Liv is as smug as she is ambitious. She just smiles and says, “Watch me.”

Smug vs. smugger. Speaking of obnoxiously smug, as if the new Liv weren’t enough in that department, the new season introduces the love-to-hate-him character of Curtis Pryce. He hosts a political show called The Pryce of Power, which looks a lot like Sally Langston’s The Liberty Report, only not with the fun Sally at the helm. Instead there’s Pryce, who’s really smarmy and know-it-all and irritating. When we first see him, Liv is his guest, and the two try to out-smug each other, which is annoying to watch. As Liv tries to make a point about the Vargas college bill, which he doesn’t support, he cuts her off saying their time is up. So he handles an opposing viewpoint by claiming to be out of time? Smooth.

After the show, they’re still trying to out-smug each other, but it’s also evident that Liv feels some chemistry with this sleazebag. It’s not surprising later when he asks her out. She toys with him, neither accepting nor declining, but it’s clear she’s intrigued. Ick.

CotW, QPA style. Back at the office, QPA is looking very much like the old OPA, as the Gladiators go over what they’ve found out about Madeline’s father, Joshua Stewart. The professor has always been well-traveled, sometimes taking his daughter with him to various spots on the globe as she was growing up. Huck does some poking around, and it’s looking less and less like Stewart was a traditional “professor”.

It leads Quinn to show up at Liv’s place that night. Liv looks a bit disheveled as she opens the door a crack to ask what she wants. Quinn fills her in on the CotW and says the Gladiators think Stewart might be a government operative, maybe CIA, and he may have been captured. She hands Liv some papers and asks for her help. Liv reluctantly takes what’s proffered, as Quinn asks if she can come in, because she really has to pee.

Then I remember that Quinn is pregnant; it’s easy to forget, because it’s been a long time since the end of last season, and she’s not really showing yet. But she is with child and needs to use Liv’s bathroom. But preggers or not, Liv ain’t having it. She doesn’t want any guests, so she takes the papers and closes the door in Quinn’s face. Then she asks, through the closed door, how Quinn’s doing. Her concern is touching.

We find out why Liv was so averse to having guests. She’s already got one. She returns to her bedroom where Jake is waiting, removing his pants as she walks in. So Liv and Jake are a ‘thing’ again? What about his significantly less than storybook marriage? No wife is mentioned as he gets undressed. But Liv’s all business right now. She’s looking through the papers and tells him there’s work to do. He doesn’t much like being ordered around and starts getting dressed again. She relents, climbs into bed and tells him to stay. With a bit of persuasion, he does, as he gets undressed again and gets into bed. He’ll take sex with Liv over no sex, even if it’s on her terms, as most everything seems to be these days.

Government intrigue. The next day, Jake stops by Liv’s office. He tells her QPA was right; Joshua Stewart isn’t a professor but a longtime CIA agent, a valuable asset in the Middle East. This information can’t get out. They can’t tell Quinn, or even Mellie. He also says Joshua knows a lot of covert information and could be a danger if captured, which he probably has been. This is a guy who isn’t used to torture, so if he’s faced with such, he’ll probably talk pretty quickly. That’s why he’s a danger and the best course of action, Jake says, is for the U.S. to take him out before he can do much damage. Jake says he can accomplish this with no one knowing, with the help of the new B613. All he needs is Liv’s go-ahead. She says she needs to think about it.

The temptation of Cy. Cyrus is meeting with Senator Diane Greenwald, who’s another opponent of the Vargas bill. She’s a hard sell to change her vote, because it’s not that she disagrees with the substance of the bill – she doesn’t – but she believes it shouldn’t be Mel’s legacy. It was Frankie’s idea, who’s a Democrat, and Democrats should get the credit. In fact, says Greenwald, if they can put it off for four years, maybe Cy will get the credit. Then she kisses his ass about what a great candidate he’d make and how he should be the one to give the White House back to the Democrats and how free college could be his legacy. He says no, but he’s clearly intrigued by the idea. She tells him to give her a call when he’s ready to talk about his future.

Liv goes rogue. At QPA, Quinn tells Madeline that Liv is working with them, so it looks good for finding her father. Madeline thanks her and leaves. After she’s gone, Charlie berates Quinn for not telling Madeline that her father is a spy. He sees it as part of an overall problem that’s sure to come up when raising their own child; Joshua didn’t tell his family what he was doing, Charlie says, and wants to know how honest they’re going to be with their kid. Quinn isn’t ready to address such weighty matters yet and blows him off. She says right now all they should be concerned with is finding their client’s father. Huck asks if she’s spoken to Liv, and Quinn says not recently.

Huck has unraveled what’s going on and is waiting outside Liv’s door when she gets home that night. He tells her that Madeline deserves to see her father’s body and give him a funeral. He says he knows that Liv’s planning to covertly have him killed, and it’s not right. His family deserves some closure.

The next day when Jake walks into the Oval, Liv is waiting there, along with Mel. Liv says she just brought Mel up to date on the rescue plans for Stewart. Mel’s interested and asks if Jake has any news. Outside the office, Jake is none too happy about Liv’s end run around him and lets her know. She doesn’t care. She says Stewart is a patriot who’s served his country his whole life, and patriots get rescued, not killed. Not in her White House. Jake says it’s not about the White House, it’s about B613 and protecting the public the way Liv sees fit. Liv says she’ll be command in her own way; it’s not Pa’s B613 anymore.

The temptation of Cy, part II. Liv runs into Cy and tells him that something has been added to his schedule. Mel was supposed to meet with a group of young girls visiting the White House, called the Rangerettes, but she won’t be able to make it, so he’ll have to step in. He’s not happy about the assignment and thinks someone else should do it, leading Liv to remind him that his job is to do what he’s told. After the encounter, he calls Senator Greenwald and tells her he wants to talk. My, these people are sensitive. This reminds me of Abby last season when, after a mild dressing-down from Fitz, chose to take someone’s offer of going over to the dark side. Such fragile egos in DC. One would think they’d have thicker skins.

Spywork. Jake has a reasonably thick skin, after all the torture he’s been through. But he’s not being tortured now; merely humiliated as he does some surveillance to find out where Stewart is. He’s been listening for a while, but has found out nothing. Liv drops in to see how it’s going and he says it’s pointless. Stewart has been missing for seventy-two hours now and was likely being tortured the whole time. He’ll never make it anyway, Jake says, we have to get in there and take him out before he can spill any vital secrets. Liv just says to keep listening.

The temptation of Cy, the final chapter. Mellie meets with the Bashrani ambassador, hoping to come to some consensus on the Stewart matter, but comes away disappointed. He’s a bit of a condescending dick and no headway is made. Mel cuts the meeting short in frustration.

She catches Cy just as he’s about to greet the Rangerettes. Now that some time has been freed up, she’ll be happy to meet with them. Probably a leftover from being first lady, Mel isn’t too jaded to enjoy giving a White House tour to some wide-eyed little girls. Before she does so, she tells Cy how much she’s appreciated his help on the Vargas bill. It’s important to her, and he’s really stepped up his game to help out. She says she envisioned the two of them as a unity ticket, and it’s really turning out that way. They work well together, and she’s looking forward to what they can accomplish.

Mel seems sincere, and it catches Cy off-guard. By the time that meeting he’d scheduled with Senator Greenwald rolls around, he’s had a change of heart. He tells her that as much as he’d like the college bill to be his legacy, it can’t wait four more years. The country needs it now. He can’t in good conscience stall it just to serve himself. He’s going to keep pushing for its passage.

Payback from Jake. Liv walks into the Oval where Jake is with Mel. She says Jake has brought good news: Stewart has been located near the Turkish border. Liv says a SEAL team can be sent in for a rescue, but Mel says after talking with Jake, she’s changed her mind. A rescue is too risky, and a surgical strike is the best option. Liv disagrees, but Mel and Jake overrule her.
Liv, quite ticked off as she strides out into the hallway, takes out her phone. She makes a call, asking the person on the other end for a favor.

In the Situation Room. Mel and her staff are gathered to watch the strike get carried out. Meanwhile, Liv goes to see the Bashrani ambassador and tells him about it, adding that, unbeknownst to him, he’s involved. Or rather, his son is involved. Then we see that Huck is watching a playground from a distance, his rifle trained on a little boy on a swing. Unless the ambassador agrees to help get Stewart freed unharmed, Liv says, she’ll give Huck the order to shoot his son.

Wow, would Liv really follow through on this, the murder of a kid who looks about five-years-old? Even Huck is hesitant, asking if she really wants to do this, and we know how bloodthirsty Huck can be. We’ve seen him kill adults he doesn’t know and has no quarrel with, so he has no problem killing innocent people. Apparently, he might draw the line at kids. How nice. But we don’t find out, as Liv is counting down to the trigger-pulling, the ambassador stops her and says he’ll cooperate.

Liv goes to the Situation Room and hands Mel a phone. It’s the Bashrani ambassador, who tells Mel that Stewart is safe and has been taken to the embassy. He’s coming home, unharmed.

The fallout, a surprise, and of course, Liv comes out on top.  Later, Jake shows up at Liv’s door and apologizes for going to Mel behind her back. Instead of giving a matching apology, Liv grimly says he’s sleeping with the boss, which is her mistake. He got too comfortable, and that’s on her. She says it won’t happen again, because it’s over between them. They can’t both work together and be lovers, so it’s over. He goes to kiss her, but she backs away and tells him to go home to his wife. So he is still in that marriage from hell. He reluctantly leaves.

After he goes, Liv’s phone rings. It’s Senator Greenwald, who says that Cy didn’t take the bait. It looked like he was going to, she reports, but then stayed faithful to Mellie. She says it appears he’s on team Mel all the way and can be relied upon in the future. So it was Liv behind the temptation of Cy. And he passed.

Then Liv goes to the Oval to have it out with Mel and it’s Scandal speech time. Mel is angry that Liv did those things behind her back and against her wishes, but Liv says she did it because the office belongs to the people. Mel doesn’t own it, she’s temporarily leasing it, and she should appreciate that. Mel is still angry, wanting an assurance that in the future, Liv will be working with her and have her back instead of skanking around behind it with her own agenda. It seems to dawn on Liv that Mel hasn’t quite grasped how things are will go around the Olivia Pope White House, so she decides to lay down the law.

Liv says Mel needs to remember three things: 1. You do not ignore me, because, 2. I am right, always; it may be annoying, but get used to it, Liv says, because, 3. There is only us. She and Mel are a team now, and if they work together, they can have it all. Liv says the men around them want to take it all away, because they’re terrified and feel threatened, which is why Mel shouldn’t listen to them. Liv doesn’t seem so much angry that Mel sided with Jake over her, but that Mel sided with any man over her, and it can’t happen again. She says for the remainder of Mel’s presidency, Mel’s success is Liv’s only agenda. “Put your faith in me,” Liv says, “and you’ll become a monument.”

Mel listens intently and says she’s all in. She says she wants to be a monument.

There you go. It’s Liv’s world, we just live in it. And try our best to survive.

There’s also a little bit at the end with the smarmy Pryce, who’s apparently going to be around a while. Looks like Liv took him up on that date, as she shows up in a restaurant where he’s waiting. She sits down, but just long enough to, again, lay down the law. She tells him she’s going to , and he should follow about thirty seconds later and meet her in a hotel room. She tells him exactly how to get there. It looks like that’s as close to “dating” as it’s going to get for the two of them, but he doesn’t appear to mind. He merely gives a slightly lascivious smile as she leaves. He probably already realizes, it’s her world, and he’s just living in it.

And that’s where it ends. Welcome to a new season and a new Olivia, the madly driven, power-hungry version who plays international politics and threatens five-year-olds. What’s next for our no-longer white-hatted heroine (if she ever was one), is in a preview for 07.02, “Pressing the Flesh” –

President Mellie Grant hosts a state dinner for President Rashad of Bashran in a first step toward peace in the Middle East, and in case Mellie’s charm alone doesn’t work, Olivia secretly puts Jake to work, so that they are armed with a back-up plan; the team at Quinn Perkins & Associates attends the party in hopes of gaining more high-profile clientele.

I wonder how Liv will react to her former mates skanking around her party looking to drum up business .They’d better remember who’s in charge…