Catch Up On Scandal S7 Ep. 11 Army of One

By

L.T. Milroy

 

Not much to say to set up this week’s Scandal. Liv is being told to hit the road and is seeing her hard work and manipulations and such, all go to naught, so things might get a bit messy for her. Meanwhile, Mel is testy, Quinn is impatient, Cy is devious, Pa is by turns paternal and scary, and, for a change of pace, the Gladiators may have some actual gladiating to do! Buckle up!

That will be all, Ms. Pope. Picking up where last week left off, Liv is in the Oval Office with Mel, who has just had Liv replaced as chief of staff. After discovering Jake unpacking his things in her office, Liv confronts the POTUS about her decision. Mel says she did what she had to do. Liv doesn’t hold back, calling her foolish, reckless, naive and stupid. Mel answers that the stupid thing would be for her to continue to fall for Liv’s crap. Liv says that Jake has an agenda, but Mel doesn’t care; she says what this is about is Liv killing Rashad. Liv owns up to the deed but says it was justified. Mel ain’t having that. She says Liv killed Rashad because she didn’t trust Mel to make the right moves in the situation and thinks Mel is a bad president. Then she tells Liv to go.

So Liv tries another tactic. She says Jake is trying to come between them, and they can’t let him. She tells Mel not to let anger cloud her better judgment. But Mel says she’s not angry and tells Liv again to go. Liv stands there as several emotions cross her face, until Mel says that if Liv won’t hand in her resignation, she’ll announce Liv’s termination. It’s up to her. Liv finally reluctantly leaves.

A strange interlude. Jake and his wife Vanessa are in AG David’s office, with Vanessa all excited about Jake’s new job. David is vetting Jake for the chief of staff position, asking if there’s anything he needs to know that he doesn’t already. So Jake sprightly says that he and Vanessa have an open marriage. I assumed he was referring to his skanking around with Liv, the most recent example of which being just a few hours ago, but that’s not it. Vanessa looks uncomfortable and asks him if he thinks this is a good idea, but Jake says they should come clean: Vanessa is having an affair. They have an arrangement, Jake says, and he thought David should know, but doesn’t think it should be a problem. David seems a bit taken aback but agrees.

Hunting Liv. Quinn and Pa watch the news at Pa’s house. They’re reporting rumors that Liv is on the outs with the Grant administration. Quinn is excited about Liv’s seeming White House departure. Without Mel to back her up, Quinn says, Liv is vulnerable to prosecution. But Pa thinks it’s too soon to think about taking Liv out for good. They have to pick their moments carefully. Liv may be down, but she may not be out just yet, and they can’t assume she is. Pa says now isn’t the right time to go after her. Quinn is silent but looks confused.

Case of the Week?? Is there actually a case of the week at QPA? And is it still called QPA? I assume it is, so I’ll keep addressing it as such. Charlie walks in the office to see a strange man waiting there. Abby informs him that he’s a client. She says it’s a little awkward with Charlie still in mourning, but this guy showed up, and it’s not like she could turn him away. Charlie says it’s okay. They need to pay the bills, and besides, he thinks Quinn would want them to carry on the business.

The Gladiators meet with the guy, a government employee whose name is Robert Bacall. He recently discovered that twelve million was deposited in his bank account, followed shortly after by an email, written in Russian, that stated he’s now in their service, the twelve mil was a kind of welcome bonus, and they’ll be in touch. Robert says he’s a mid-level lackey in the State Department with virtually no power, so he can’t explain why anyone would assume he could help them. He asks the Gladiators to make this all go away.

Spies, compromised. Mel goes to see Jake in the B613 lair. He tells her that with Liv gone, this place is all about Mel now. Its tools are Mel’s tools, he says. Just as Jake is raving about what great tools Mel has inherited, everything shuts down. All of the computer screens suddenly go blank and the power goes off. She snarkily says maybe he needs better tools, but he looks genuinely worried. Gee, I wonder who could be gumming things up and trying to make Jake look bad.

He immediately places a call to Liv, who sits smugly at home on her couch. Jake tells her she doesn’t want to do this, but Liv is obviously in no mood to have him tell her what she wants. She reminds him of something he apparently forgot, and utters Pa’s infamous epithet: “You can’t take Command.” Game on.

A covert meeting. Liv takes a clandestine and decidedly unglamorous meeting in a bridge tunnel with some guy named Hector. Well, hello Garrett Morris! Always nice to see you again. She says Pa told her Hector could do anything, and she needs him to ‘keep them off the network’. So it looks like he’s responsible for the B613 power failure, and she wants him to keep working his magic. Hector says he’s not exactly on good terms with Pa, and Liv says neither is she. He says he’ll see what he can do.

 

Mel sure is ill-tempered since Liv left. In the Oval, Jake is trying to explain the continuing B613 outage to a skeptical and pissed-off Mel. He says Liv is just throwing a temper tantrum and will get over it. Mel isn’t so sure. An aide interrupts to say Cyrus is here and wants to have a word with Mel. Jake and Cy trade frosty greetings as Jake leaves.

As soon as they’re alone, Cy asks Mel what Jake has on her. He assumes Jake is holding something over her and is manipulating her. That angers Mel. Why does everyone always think of her as a victim? She says Jake is there because she wants him there. Cy says he killed Rashad, but Mel says if he did, it was at Liv’s command. Cy can’t believe Mel has fallen for Jake’s line of BS after all he’s done. He deserves execution, Cy raves, not a promotion! But Mel is totally unmoved. She simply says that Liv is out and Jake is in, and that’s all Cy needs to know. He can either accept that and be her VP, or he can be someone she has to deal with. “Is that something you want?” she asks with steely resolve, Surely he doesn’t want to be someone she has to deal with. She’s definitely not bluffing, and Cy seems to notice that.

A little fun in the nursery. Pa is in the baby’s room, looking all cute cooing to Robin as Quinn walks in. It’s a precious scenario, a bit too much so for Quinn, who asks if this is why Pa is so reluctant to let her take Liv down. Exposing Liv’s deeds means also exposing that Quinn is still alive, and then there would be no need for her to hide out at Pa’s any longer. She says his reluctance to lose his ‘new family’ is making him lose sight of their goal of putting Liv in prison. Maybe she and Robin are bad for Pa, Quinn says, because they’re making him soft.

Quinn has apparently grown a bit too comfortable with Pa, speaking to him this way. He reminds her of who he really is and tells her not to push him. Liv is his child and a sensitive subject. Then to prove he hasn’t gone soft, he threatens Robin by telling her how easy it would be for him to simply break her neck, and Quinn would be powerless to stop him. Quinn looks sufficiently terrified, with Pa’s hand menacingly close to Robin’s throat, so he backs off. He tells her that she just felt the way any parent would feel when their child is threatened. The reason he can’t allow Quinn to take Liv down is biology. She’s a parent herself now, so she should understand that. His point made, he lets Quinn take Robin back and mother and daughter hastily leave. Alone in the room, Pa appears a bit shaken as he tries to gather himself together. It looks like threatening an infant is a bit extreme and uncomfortable, even for him. Who knew he had boundaries?

Randy Robert. Huck is trying to trace Robert’s Russian email, but it keeps leading him in circles. Abby’s digging led her in a different direction, and her search is more fruitful. She walks into QPA and asks Robert about hotel receipts she’s found and that he’s been having lots of midday meetings with someone. Robert first denies knowing anything about it, then admits that he’s been having an affair, and it’s with a married woman, so that’s why he was evasive about it. Can anyone guess what comes next? As Abby is berating Robert for not being candid with them, Huck interrupts to say he’s discovered who Robert has on the side: Vanessa, Jake’s little woman. This mid-level State Department drone with no power has been banging the head of the NSA’s wife.

In case there was any doubt about who was behind all this, Liv is seen at home watching news reports on the whole salacious thing. She’s sitting on her couch, drinking wine and eating popcorn and smirking, when the phone rings. It’s Jake. She tells him she was thoughtful enough to write up a draft of his resignation. He hangs up.

Mel, of course, is decidedly unhappy with the whole mess. She calls Jake and David to the Oval to read them the riot act. Robert is being sold on the news as a Russian spy, and she accuses Vanessa of selling state secrets. David promises there will be a full investigation. Jake says it was Liv who put the twelve mil in Robert’s account, and Mel agrees. She tells them to prove it and make it go away.

Old friends…it’s complicated. Liv pays a visit to Cy, who’s treating himself to a little libation. She asks him for a drink, and he says he doesn’t drink with enemies. That makes Liv apologize for what she did with Glackland. She says she had no other options. So she was responsible for that. Liv is in a confessing mood and says she had Rashad killed, but it was to get the peace treaty signed, so it was a righteous deal. Cy asks and gets confirmation that the frame-up of Robert also came from Liv. She says she just did what she had to do for the good of everyone and adds that if Jake can push her out, he can do the same to Cy.

At QPA, the Gladiators are trying to connect the twelve mil in Robert’s bank account to Liv, but she did a good job of linking it to Russia. To the media, it seems as though Robert is a Soviet spy. Looks like poor ol’ Robbie is playing the part of patsy.

Solving problems. In the Oval, Mel and Jake discuss their options in the Vanessa situation. Cy walks in and says he has a solution that will make both Jake and Vanessa look good.

Next time ‘nessa is seen, she’s giving a TV interview where she denies having an affair with Robert. It was all a set-up by the NSA. She was working for her husband, the erstwhile head of the agency, as part of a sting operation. Robert is indeed a Russian operative, Vanessa says, and she was helping her hubby and the US government bring him down.

Watching from the wings in the studio, Jake smiles. Liv watches Vanessa’s display on TV wearing a stony expression.

So Jake and Vanessa are in the clear, but they threw Robert to the proverbial wolves in order to do so. He’s at QPA fretting over the fact that everyone thinks he’s a Russian spy. Abby’s answer is to give him a list of lawyers, because she says he’s going to need one. That’s the best QPA can do for its first client in, like, forever, tell him to get a lawyer? The Gladiators seem unconcerned about Robert’s welfare. Talk about collateral damage. Ouch.

An ultimatum. Later, Cy shows up at Liv’s door. She asks if he’s there to gloat. He says no. He then says he has a private memo from Mel to the CIA director, asking her to corroborate Vanessa’s story or face obstruction of justice charges. Liv says it’s not something she can use, since she wants to get rid of Jake, not Mel. But Cy says, if Mel goes, he’ll become president, which is something he still covets, of course. Liv says Mel has been Cy’s friend, but he says Mel is an amateur who didn’t even know she was being set up. Liv counters that Cy is more than capable of doing his dirty work himself, so why involve her? He says she’s better at this kind of thing than anyone. He also lets her know that a Cyrus Beene administration would welcome her back into the White House. She can have all the power, he says, or none at all.

A deal. At Pa’s place, Pa tells Quinn he knows how frustrated she must be. She says she saw Vanessa on TV, and Liv definitely took a hit from that incident. But she knows Liv doesn’t give up and is still fighting. Sooner or later, she’ll reach out to Pa for help and he’ll be forced to choose. He’s already told her about the biology thing, so Quinn knows that if it comes down to her or Liv, Pa will choose Liv. Quinn offers Pa a deal: if he lets Quinn call Charlie, the three of them will go away and disappear, forever. If Pa will leave them in peace, she won’t pursue trying to put Liv away. Pa agrees.

Bad news at the doctor’s. Mel mentioned earlier in the episode about needing a mammogram, and now she’s in the doctor’s office, waiting for it to begin. Liv shows up, and Mel says to let her in. Liv tells her she’s decided not to resign. Instead of announcing her resignation as chief of staff at tomorrow’s press conference, she’s going to call on Mel to resign the presidency. Liv hands her a file and says she came out of respect, to give Mel advice on the best way to step down. Mel is predictably unreceptive, as she scowls and shoves the file back at Liv, who goes on to wax poetic about how Mel should take responsibility for her actions and step aside gracefully, for the sake of all the female politicians to come.

Chuck gets a surprise. At QPA, the Gladiators are discussing their most recent case. They all agree that it was creepy working it without Quinn, and the prospect of closing up shop for good is considered. Charlie protests, of course, but Abby says it’s just not the same anymore, with Quinn not there. Charlie smiles and says it will be the same again, eventually. For someone supposedly in mourning, he’s acting rather chipper. The Gladiators look at him expectantly. He gives a big smile, stands up, says he’ll be back, and runs out.

Charlie runs straight to Pa’s place in his excitement, and standing outside, calls for Quinn. Pa comes up behind him and puts a gun to his head, wanting to know why he’s there. Charlie says he’s looking for Quinn, and Pa says she left an hour ago, to be with Charlie, per the agreement he and Quinn had. She said she’d take Robin and Charlie and ride off into the sunset with her family. Yet here Charlie stands. Looks like Pa has been double-crossed by Quinn, that little scamp.

Liv walks into her apartment and hears the sounds of a baby. I would hightail it out of there at that point, but Liv goes to investigate. She finds Robin in her bedroom a second before Quinn steps out of the shadows. Liv is, of course, shocked to see her, but Quinn has no time for pleasantries. She says she just wanted Liv to see her goddaughter once, then takes out her gun and points it at Liv. Poor Robin. With Quinn and Charlie as parents, and Liv as godmother, she doesn’t stand a chance at a normal life. She’s already had guns pointed at and around her numerous times and almost been choked by Pa, and she’s only, like, a week old.

Liv tries to talk her way out of this jam, but Quinn lays out her plan. She’s written up Liv’s confession, which Liv will sign and give to David, and Liv will spend the rest of her life in prison. As she says this, Quinn steps forward and sticks her gun menacingly in Liv’s face. But this isn’t Liv’s first gun in the face. She coolly says Quinn can’t kill her, because she’s still Command. She never stopped being Command, and she’s too important to kill. Liv adds that there are B613 snipers outside right now who aren’t happy that Quinn is pointing a gun at Liv, and they undoubtedly have Quinn in their sites. Then Liv lunges for Quinn’s gun, they struggle briefly and a shot is heard. But the shot wasn’t from Quinn’s gun, it was from outside. Apparently, there really were snipers out there, the first time there’s been any evidence that B613 was comprised of anything but just Liv and Jake. How convenient. In the struggle, the snipers hit the wrong target, as Quinn goes unscathed, but Liv is shot in the shoulder. Liv yells for Quinn to leave while she can, and Quinn grabs Robin and runs.

Giving up. Mel may have blown Liv off before, but that was apparently bravado. She meets with Jake on a White House balcony and tells him Liv knows all about her role in the Vanessa affair. Mel says she’ll admit to it, before things get worse. Jake says he can help her fight this, but she says no. She says she’ll leave his name out of it, so he should get through it okay, but as for his future, she can’t vouch for that. When Cy becomes president, Jake will be on his own.

Coming home. An injured Liv shows up at Pa’s door. It looks like the bullet just grazed her shoulder, but she still got shot, and she’s still in rough shape. Pa lets her in and cleans the wound and stitches it up, which is a pretty neat skill for him to have. We also get to see the whole process up close, which is rather gross. Liv cries that Quinn hates her, and they have a bonding father/daughter chat.

Liv, redeemed? The next day, the news from Capitol Hill is all about Liv’s impending press conference, where she’s expected to announce her resignation. Once she takes the podium, she talks about how proud she’s been to be Mel’s chief of staff. Then, instead of incriminating Mel, she abruptly resigns. As she gives her speech, the other characters are seen. Jake is packing up B613, when the power suddenly is restored and the computers kick on. Sitting in front of his TV, Cy looks distressed, as his dream of the presidency crumble before his eyes. At QPA, Abby and Huck watch Liv on TV. Huck turns around to see who’s just walked in the room and looks shocked and stunned. It’s Quinn, of course, who’s returned with Charlie and Robin. The Gladiators are beside themselves as they mob the happy family. At the White House, Mel watches the TV with a somber look.

So instead of bringing down the president and her administration and potentially throwing the country into chaos, Liv decides to take one for the team. I guess it’s kind of a big deal, given how far over to the dark side she seems to have gone of late. She redeemed herself just a bit, I suppose.

So where to next? Why not try something gimmicky in Scandal‘s final season, like a crossover? After a two-week vacation, the show returns on March 1 with an episode entitled “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself”, which is actually the first part of a How to Get Away with Murder crossover, the second half of which, “Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania”, will follow.

In 07.12, Liv is transitioning out of the White House when she gets a visit from criminal defense attorney Annalise Keating, who needs help with a case she hopes to bring before the Supreme Court. How much help a politically hobbled Liv is actually going to be able to provide, however, remains to be seen. Do Liv and Annalise have a past? That remains to be seen, too.

Does this mean I have to recap two hours on March one? And if so, where will those extra hours in the day come from in order to do so? And did the other networks always basically take the time off during the Olympics instead of trying to compete with counter-programming? Scandal’s break coincides exactly with the Games, so the network is pretty much giving up and ceding the next two Thursdays to the Olympics. Make sure to take in your share of skating and skiing and curling over the next three weeks. Apparently, it’s required.

CU next month, Gladiators!

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Catch up on Scandal S7 Ep. 10 The People vs. Olivia Pope

By

L.T. Milroy

Olivia Pope has needed a good intervention for a long time. The one she gets this week seems to fall short of the mark…or does it?

While her buddies/former buddies are in Vermont trying to straighten Liv out, the episode’s other story involves her would-be victim. Is Quinn Perkins alive or dead? I think we all know the answer to that, but this week, it’s confirmed.

Afterglow and a nefarious plan. Liv and Fitz are lounging around after their tryst at the end of last week’s episode. Liv is wearing her fabulous white robe and looks fantastic in it, as always. Fitz asks her to come away to Vermont with him for the weekend. Next thing we know, they’re on a plane heading north. Surely you didn’t think they were going to drive? I can’t even imagine Liv and Fitz tooling down the New Jersey Turnpike.

They arrive by helicopter at Fitz’s lovely VT house. The place is big and charming, and Liv is happy to be there at first, but her smile fades when she walks into the living room and sees Huck. Fitz dramatically slams the door shut. Huck says “We know”, and the other Gladiators walk in. Fitz tells Liv to sit.

Rumors of Quinn’s death have been greatly exaggerated. When we last saw Pa Pope’s house, Charlie had stumbled across his presumed-dead daughter, demanded Pa tell him who she is, and started strangling Pa when he wouldn’t answer. That’s where the action picks up this week, with Pa struggling to fight Charlie off. As the two engage in mortal combat, the not-so-dead Quinn bursts in and grabs Charlie. She tells him to stop trying to kill Pa, because he’s protecting her and the baby. A stunned Charlie watches as Quinn picks up the crying Robin.

You have to feel for ol’ Chuck here. He held a memorial service for his fiancee and baby, and now he sees them very much alive. And Pa, who he thought was working against him and who he just tried to take out, is now a good guy who’s helping that fiancee and baby stay alive. After the initial shock, Charlie sits hyperventilating on a couch as Quinn tries to calm him down. He can’t believe she wouldn’t get in touch with him to let him know she and the baby were okay. She says she couldn’t risk it. Then she asks him if he wants to meet his daughter.

Cy tattles. Cyrus goes to see Mellie and spills the beans about Liv. He says he thinks Quinn had evidence that Liv killed Rashad, and then Liv had Quinn killed. Mel says she wants to talk to Liv about it and buzzes for her secretary to send Liv in. But she’s told that Liv hasn’t arrived at work yet. Mel says to find her.

Liv, of course, is preoccupied in VT. Abby sets up their ultimatum: Liv gives up being Mel’s chief of staff and dismantles B613, and David won’t prosecute her for Quinn’s murder. Liv is not contrite. She says she and B613 were handling a situation, and Quinn should have trusted her and not gotten involved. Then Liv tries to defend herself by throwing shade on everyone else and how everyone the room has dirty hands and they all know it. For them to be moralizing is a joke. She recognizes this as an intervention and says she has no intention of staying.

But Fitz isn’t contrite, either. He calmly informs Liv that she has no power there. He’s told the Secret Service not to let her leave. Her phone and email have been disabled. She’s stuck there until they’re done with her. Liv is furious and stalks out of the room.

Ballard the whipping boy. Walking through the White House halls, Jake calls Liv and gets her voice mail. He leaves her a message to call him then walks into the room that houses B613 to find Mel there waiting. She’s not supposed to know about B613, so the jig is apparently up. She tells him she knows Liv killed Rashad. He scoffs at that, but Mel is pretty pissed off herself at the moment. She says he better tell Liv to get to the White House, now. If she’s not there soon, Mel makes it very clear she’ll take out her frustrations on Jake. Then she leaves.

WTF??? In the episode’s most surreal, if not un-amusing, scene, back at Pa’s, Charlie is trying to bond with Robin. He’s holding her but can’t get her to stop crying. Understandable that this kind of thing doesn’t come naturally to him. He’s spent his entire adult life tracking people down and torturing and killing them, so nurturing an infant is a bit out of his realm of experience. Quinn takes the baby and shows him how to rock her and sing to her to calm her down. Then Pa joins in, and Pa and Quinn start dancing. It’s quite a scene: Quinn, holding the baby, singing and dancing with Pa around his living room. Charlie can’t quite believe his eyes.

Liv sulks. Back in VT, Liv has petulantly retired to her bedroom and locked herself in. Despite being told they won’t work, she tries her phone and text, and of course, they don’t work. Abby knocks. Liv won’t answer or open the door, so Abby just starts talking. She says she knows Liv did what she thought she had to do to hold onto her power. She knows Liv must feel bad about Quinn, because Liv is still a fixer at heart and wants to resolve situations, and not go around bumping people off. She says they all owe her and want to help her. Liv is unmoved and says nothing.

Badass Cy. Jake has been tasked with finding Liv, but for once, he has no idea where she is. He strides into Cy’s office and says Cy needs to go to Mel and shut this whole thing down. Cy tells him to get out of his office. Jake grabs him and pushes him against the wall before grabbing scissors and pressing them to Cy’s neck. If he won’t cooperate, Jake says, his secretary will come in later to find that Cy has slashed his own throat. Surprisingly, Cy blows all this off as Jake bluffing. Jake asks why he would think that, and Cy says because he’s been at this a long time and has taken on people worse than Jake. Besides, there would be no reason for him to kill himself. Cy says it would look suspicious immediately. Jake suggests that it would be assumed that work pressures or his recent broken romantic relationship might make Cy suicidal, but Cy still calls his bluff, saying that’s ridiculous.

Since Cy won’t back down, Jake relaxes his grip. Then Cy says that Glackland didn’t dump him; he ran away, because he saw something in Cy that scared him and does Jake want to see it, too?  That frustrates Jake ,who cuts Cy’s neck a bit then backs off and leaves.

Liv is still sulking. David is now outside Liv’s door. He’s spouting legalese, cataloging all the laws she’s broken. In the living room, Abby sits next to Huck. She apologizes for not believing him about Quinn. She still can’t believe that Liv would kill Quinn, one of their own. They agree that they miss the old Liv.

Cy is still tattling. Cy can’t seem to get enough of running to the POTUS to tell on people this episode. He’s in the Oval, sporting a band aid on his neck, relating to Mel how Jake threatened him. Mel still says she won’t do anything until she talks to Liv. He accuses her of being scared of being president without Liv, and Mel throws him out. Hee! Cy has such a big mouth, he can’t even engender any sympathy after some loon cuts him with scissors.

In the hallway, Jake sees a couple of Secret Service agents he knows are on Liv’s detail and asks them where she is. It’s kind of funny that he’s been reduced to this. They won’t tell him anything.

Trouble with spies. Back at the nursery, Charlie looks through baby clothes with Pa. He apologizes for almost killing him. Pa, of course, understands. A little bonding, B613 style. Charlie says he’s getting used to the idea of having a family now, so he and Quinn will be leaving in the morning. I don’t know why he thinks he can just turn and go, but Pa disabuses him of this notion quickly. Quinn can’t leave; everyone thinks she’s dead, and they need to keep thinking it, for now at least. Just Charlie being there has put Quinn in jeopardy. But Charlie doesn’t want to listen to reason. He says Pa lost his own family, so now he wants to take Charlie’s.

Liv continues to sulk. Fitz is sitting outside his house. Marcus brings him a beer and joins him. Fitz asks how his talk with Liv went, and Marcus says he doesn’t know, because she still won’t open the door.

That may be about to change. Liv has always had a soft spot for Huck, and now he’s outside her door. He hasn’t come to talk, though. He puts down a tray of food, tells Liv it’s there, and starts to walk away. She gets up and calls after him. Of course, he’s the one who finally gets her to speak. He pauses but doesn’t answer. So she opens the door slightly and says she needs something from him. He still doesn’t respond or turn around, so she starts kissing his butt. She tells him how special he is to her and how she’s always been there for him, because he’s her Gladiator. That makes him turn to face her. She asks him to leave with her, go back to DC and run B613 with her. They could be unstoppable together. But Huck is still way too angry with her. He says killing Quinn was unforgivable, and he’s not going anywhere with her.

Everyone wants a piece of Ms. Pope… Quinn is now trying to reason with Charlie. She tells him Pa is right. Everyone, Liv in particular, needs to keep believing Quinn is dead. As hard as it will be, Charlie needs to leave, alone. Charlie says he’ll kill Liv. Quinn says she’d rather see Liv arrested, convicted and rotting in prison. She wants justice, but that will take time. Charlie has to go.

Ballard the whipping boy, part II. Jake, still trying to track Liv down, breaks into her apartment. He’s poking around when he hears the front door open. He calls out for Liv, but when he walks in the living room, Mel is waiting for him. She tells him to sit and asks if Liv killed Rashad. He declines to play games and says she already knows the answer to that. He adds that it was a ‘just’ kill. Mel wants to know why it had to be done, and Jake says it was because of Mel herself. She had become too close to Rashad and was ready to go to war for him. Things were getting too dangerous. Then he says that Liv did this for Mel. Everything Liv does is to help Mel, and she should remember that. Mel abruptly gets up and leaves.

Mel was getting close with Rashad, but to basically ridicule her for that is kind of crazy, considering her ex-husband. If there was ever anyone who led with their private parts on this show, it was Fitz. He wasn’t just ready to go to war for his GF, he actually did it. So Jake can STFU with his slut-shaming of Mel.

Speaking of private-parts Fitz, he takes his own turn outside Liv’s door. He tells her she’s always been right about everything, but she’s not right about this. He sits down and says he’ll be there when she’s ready to talk.

Charlie accepts the inevitable. Charlie is in Robin’s room to say goodbye to her. He’s been convinced that he needs to leave to protect his family. She’s crying, so he picks her up. Pa walks in and shows Charlie how to properly hold her.

That’s the last we see of the goings-on at Pa’s, for now. I wonder how Charlie is going to leave and pretend to everyone that he doesn’t know Quinn and his kid aren’t dead. That’s for next week, I assume. For now, we find out Liv’s fate…

Giving up. It’s the next morning in VT. Liv finally leaves her bedroom and walks into the living room where everyone is sitting. She puts down a note on the table before saying she spent all night writing it. Abby picks it up and reads it. She says it’s good, smart. Liv says she’s resigning as Mel’s chief of staff. Dismantling B613 will take a bit of time, but that process has been started. I don’t know why it would even be a process, since B613 still appears to be just her and Jake, but why let logic muddy the situation? Liv says she’s not admitting she was wrong, and she tried her best. She does admit that she has to stop. She can’t continue the way she’s been, and things have to change. Her resignation will be announced at tonight’s press briefing, she says, and walks out.

Fitz follows her out of the room. She says she’s fine and wants confirmation that she’s doing the right thing, to which Fitz answers that she always does. That’s the second time this episode he’s told her how right she always is, which is BS, so I don’t know why he’s so insistent. They hug, and he tells her they’ll be leaving for DC within the hour.

Where’s Waldo? Liv? Jake is in the Oval with Mel. He still hasn’t ferreted out Liv. Mel says she knows he’s been asking around and has since found out Liv is in VT. Only Mel doesn’t know it was an intervention. She obviously assumes Liv and Fitz went up there for a weekend romp, and she’s pissed. How careless of Liv to just up and leave town for a two-day sexfest. It’s so disappointing that her chief of staff would do that. Mel says Liv is bad for the country.

Like old times. Jake goes to Liv’s apartment and questions her about the weekend. She says she’s about to lose all her friends, except him, and kisses him. And they make out. Remember when Liv used to ping back and forth between Fitz and Jake? Some things never change.

The big moment…maybe not. The Gladiators and David are gathered around the TV at QPA to watch the press briefing. They’re wondering how the big news of the president’s chief of staff resigning will be handled. The briefing begins, and nothing seems amiss. As it moves along boringly, it becomes obvious that there will be no announcement. The Gladiators look grim, as they realize they were duped. Later, with Fitz, they debate what to do next. Turning in Liv and exposing her and B613 would put the country in danger, Fitz says. It can’t be risked.

The next morning, Liv wakes up in bed with Jake. But sexytime is over, and it’s back to business. She gets up to get dressed and tells him to go to Mel and shut this whole thing down, once and for all. Bring a kill file if he has to, but stress to Mel that this has to stop. That’s an order.

So Jake brings Mel a file filled with details of all her ugly deeds. He says Liv sent him and tells Mel she needs B613 working for her and someone faithful to her protecting her. Cut to Liv doing her thing, striding like a supreme badass through the White House hallways with a smirk on her face. She thinks she outsmarted everybody, but she’s about to get a taste of her own proverbial medicine. As she nears her office, she notices her things are being carried out. She walks in to find Jake standing behind her desk, a smirk of his own on his face. Liv strides out and storms into the Oval, throwing out a patented Olivia Pope “What. Did. You. Do?” at Mel. The POTUS responds with her own smirk.

So it looks like Liv was double-crossed by her bed buddy. Jake apparently convinced Mel he’d make a better chief of staff, and since she was souring on Liv anyway, Mel didn’t need much convincing. So Liv is out of the White House, and Jake is back in. We’ll see how Liv deals with that situation next week, I presume, in 07.11, “Army of One”. Like last week, there’s no preview available, other than the few seconds that was shown after this week’s ep. It looks like Liv will find out that Quinn is still with us, among other things.

What kind of CoS will Jake make? And how will it be sold to the public that Jake, who was forced out as Mel’s VP, is now back in as CoS? And what about Jake’s job as head of the NSA, even though we never see him do any NSA stuff? We never see Mel do POTUS stuff or Cy do VP stuff, either, and when Fitz was prez all he seemed to do was have sex, so I guess there won’t be a problem.

There will be a hiatus of almost a month after next week’s episode, as NBC airs the Olympics. The show should leave us with something interesting to think about during all that time. Let’s see what they come up with…

 

Catch up on Scandal S7 Ep. 9 Good People

by

L.T. Milroy

So, you want to see more Papa Pope? And you want to see him chew the scenery with desperation, over and over? And you want to see him pour his heart out with freaky dialogues to a plastic dinosaur toy? That’s what you’ve always wanted, right? Well, you’re in luck! This week’s Scandal  will be right up your proverbial alley!

If you’re a fan of this show, the only part that probably needs explaining is the dino thing. Pa spends this whole episode screaming at a dinosaur toy.

So, onto “Good People”, which answers the question of Quinn’s mortality. Is she alive or dead? And what of her child?

What happened… After a recap reminding us of how we got to this point, there’s a jump back in time. Pa is in a department store, looking for a piece of luggage. A helpful salesperson gives him by hand picking one out. Cut to Quinn getting on the elevator in the QPA building in her wedding dress. Suddenly, the elevator stops. Pa can be seen peering down from the ceiling. Then he gets off the elevator, dragging the luggage behind him, which presumably contains Quinn. But Quinn is nine months pregnant, so there’s no way she could fit in there! I know this show asks us to believe some crazy stuff, but really, this is quite improbable.

Quinn wakes up on a bed in a basement. When she gets up and discovers her feet are chained, she calls out, asking if anyone’s there. Is that a good idea? Obviously, since she’s chained up, whoever took her doesn’t exactly have friendly motives. She doesn’t have to wait long to meet her captor. As Pa strolls in, she tells him the Gladiators are already looking for her and will be there soon. He tells her she’s in a very secure bunker, and they’ll never find her here. Besides, he took her engagement ring and left it behind for them to find, so they’ll think she got cold feet and skipped out on the wedding. They’re not coming.

Pa tells her she’s ‘currency’. He’ll be using her to trade for his freedom and to get his bones back. He lets her know he’ll be talking with Liv later, she’ll agree to the deal, and Quinn will go free. She just needs to wait a few hours.

Of course, we know how that father/daughter dinner went, but it’s replayed in case we forgot. I didn’t forget how smug Liv was that it was all a bluff on Pa’s part. He says she’ll get Quinn back in exchange for his bones and his freedom, and she mocks him. She says she’s definitely not making a deal, and gets up and leaves.

Killing Quinn, part I. That makes Pa angry. He goes home and gets out a handgun. Then he punches a code into a keypad that opens the door to Quinn’s bunker and cocks the gun but pauses. Perhaps the prospect of offing an innocent woman and her (barely) unborn child is too much even for a prolific killer like Pa. He screams in frustration as he walks away from the door.

Then he gives the first of his monologues to the model dinosaur. Pacing around, he says that in three days, if Liv doesn’t agree to his terms, Quinn will die. I assumed early on that it had to have a camera in it that Pa knew about, because otherwise he’s just plain losing his marbles.

Pa goes back to that same store, and the same sales guy comes over. Pa gives him a story about how his daughter is pregnant, and he’s looking for a crib.

When Pa goes back to the basement, he finds an ill-tempered Quinn. He told her he was coming back last night after meeting with Liv, and he didn’t. She reminds him that she’s incredibly pregnant. she needs food and water and some new underwear. Pa says Liv asked for some time, and then he tells her he bought a crib. That’s not what Quinn wants to hear. She says if Liv wouldn’t deal last night, she won’t deal with him at all. Liv wants to win, and that’s obviously all that matters to her. It looks like Liv’s decided that losing Quinn is just the price she’ll have to pay. Quinn says that she’s already as good as dead if Liv gets her way, and Pa will never be free. Liv will be the only winner in this. It’s over for both of them. Pa just gives her a bag he says has cereal and a change of clothes in it, and leaves.

Pa raps with the dino again. He says Liv is down to fifty-seven hours and counting.

Pa and his awesome BFF that he just met. Pa walks into a pub and there, bellying up to the bar, is his shopping buddy, the salesguy from the department store. Pa introduces himself as Montell Damascus (has Damascus Bainbridge been used too many times and been retired, or am I just looking for an explanation when I should just be enjoying the show?) The guy says his name is Marv Howard, and he seems really happy to have a drink with Pa, who of course, gives him a totally phony history, which includes being a truck driver and having been in the army. Marv says he was in the army, too. The two get all buddy-buddy, leading to Marv noticing that Pa seems to do a lot of shopping. Marv says he could help out. He gets a forty percent employee discount, so if there’s anything Pa wants, Marv could buy it for him and save him some money. Pa thanks him and says he may take him up on that.

Jake is in this too, naturally. Pa then has a clandestine meeting with Jake. He thinks Liv put Jake up to it, but Jake says he’s there on his own. Speaking of Liv, Jake says he knows what’s going on with Quinn and the wager he and Liv have, and that Pa should give up now, because he’s going to lose. Maybe in the past Liv could be bargained with and ‘handled’, but she’s not who she used to be, Jake says. Pa will lose, and an innocent woman will die. Pa disagrees. He says he knows who his daughter is, and he’s ready for whatever she has in store. Jake answers that it may not be as ready as he thinks.

That sounds like a fairly cliched and benign warning, but considering these two and their history, nothing is without meaning. Later, Pa thinks over what Jake said. It leads him to go around to his house and check on his stash of firearms, all of which are missing. It looks like Jake came in when Pa was away and cleared out his arsenal. Pa is enraged. He storms in front of the dino and yells that it went way too far this time. So Jake got into Pa’s house but didn’t find Quinn? That keypad is in the cupboard only hidden by a couple of boxes of instant oatmeal or something, so the master spy somehow missed this thing that was right under his nose? Good sleuthing, Jake.

The gang’s all here. Meanwhile down in the basement, Quinn is going a bit bonkers and is hallucinating that the Gladiators are with her. The first visitor to really engage her is Huck, and he does his customary get-inside-her-head thing. He asks her that if she suspected that Liv blew up Rashad’s plane, why didn’t she tell anyone? Quinn says she’s not certain Liv was involved. Then Huck says she confronted Liv about it, so she must have been pretty sure, but told no one. He goes on to say he doesn’t recognize her right now; the Quinn he knows wouldn’t be lying around waiting to be freed, she’d be trying her best to escape. He brings up her child, so she reminds him that he’s not exactly an authority on kids, and he looks hurt. Then she says she told no one about her suspicions about Liv because that would have made it all too real. He tells her she has to think of a way out of there. Pa bought the crib for the baby, but it looks like he has no intention of keeping her around. She has to get out.

The new BFF comes in handy. Finding himself arms-less, Pa heads out to see his new platonic squeeze at the department store. He tells Marv that he could use his employee discount, which Marv is happy to give, but he’s less so when Pa tells him what he’s in the market for. Pa asks if the store sells guns. Marv says yes, but he’s hesitant to buy one for Pa. If he uses his discount, the gun will be in his name, legally, even though Pa will own it. Pa brushes that off. After three months, Marv can sell the gun to Pa and he’ll register it in his name, so no problem. Marv clearly is still uncomfortable with the idea, so Pa shamelessly turns it into a race thing. He thought Marv was a good guy, but maybe he had it all wrong. Maybe Marv just doesn’t want to do business with Pa, because he ultimately doesn’t trust him because he’s black? Is that the case? Did Pa greatly misjudge him?

Pa’s calculated guilt-tripping works. Marv backs down and says of course he’ll buy a gun for Pa. And why stop at one? Why not several, rifles and hand guns? Pa has a family to protect, after all. Back at home, Pa steps in front of the dino and gleefully displays his new hardware. He rants that whatever is in store for him, he’s ready. It’s at this point it’s finally revealed that there is indeed a camera in the dino, and Jake is watching in the new B613 bunker. He gives Liv a call.

Killing Quinn, part II. Down in the basement, the Gladiators are debating what will happen to Quinn. Then there’s another replay of the scene at Pa’s house, where Liv calls what she thinks is Pa’s bluff. This time, Quinn can be seen listening. There’s an air vent that apparently gives her access to the conversation in the living room. We get a couple of flashbacks to show what happens next, as she goes back to communing with the Gladiators. First we see her try desperately to get away, as it appears Liv has abandoned her. Upstairs, Liv is counting down as Pa leaves the room and punches the keypad. When he gets to the basement, he discovers Quinn isn’t there. She’s managed to pick her chain and jumps him from out of the shadows, wrapping the chain around his neck. He gets free and points the gun at her. She begs for the life of her child and that he not kill her until after it’s born. Back upstairs with Liv, she hears the gunshot. Pa returns and tells her he’s just earned his freedom. He tells her to rescind the kill order on him she just called in. At least it’s acknowledged that she did that.

In this version, Liv isn’t the distraught mess she was in the other version of Quinn’s assumed death. She agrees to call off the kill order. Then she rather coldly tells Pa to wait a few days and make sure he gets Quinn home. Because if Huck doesn’t see a body, he’ll will never stop looking for her, and Pa doesn’t want that. He agrees, and Liv leaves. Pa goes back downstairs, and Quinn tells him he got what he wanted, and to let her out.

Then there’s another flashback to dreamland, and Quinn is again talking with the Gladiators. As they discuss the situation, it leads her to remember the hairpin Liv gave her, which she uses to pick her chain. This time when Pa comes in and they struggle and Quinn begs for her baby’s life, the gunshot is seen, but with Pa shooting next to Quinn, not at her. He tells her to keep quiet and goes back upstairs. Quinn then hears through the vent the conversation that follows, where Liv talks in a detached way about needing a body to bury. Ouch. When Pa comes back, Quinn is seen again telling him he got what he wanted and to let her leave. Pa asks her if she’ll settle for some wine. Knowing Pa, it’s probably really good wine, but Quinn is pregnant, not to mention exhausted. She says she just wants some water. Pa tells her to come upstairs.

Huh?? Am I the only one getting whiplash? A few minutes ago, Pa was ready to kill Quinn, and now they’re in the kitchen having a friendly drink together? That’s what’s happening. Quinn calls Liv a bitch, and Pa laughs that he can’t call his daughter a bitch. Yeah, that’s a father/daughter who have never been anything but respectful to each other. Then the inevitable happens and it’s baby time. Quinn’s water breaks. She starts to panic and tells Pa she needs a hospital and a doctor, not to mention Charlie, like, now. But Pa has other ideas. He gives her an injection, and she’s out. Is it safe to do that to a woman in labor? Another question I’m probably not supposed to ask.

Doctor Marv. Quinn is semi-lucid for the birth. We see it briefly, and Marv is there. Sales guy Marv, who specializes in luggage and cribs and guns? The same. Apparently he’d been a medic in the army a hundred years ago, and that’s good enough for Pa to call him in for some emergency medical-type stuff.

When Quinn wakes up, she’s in a nice bed in a nice bedroom. Pa is there, holding her baby. He tells her she’s in Liv’s former room. He also says she can’t go home right now. Quinn says she knows. Liv thinks she’s dead, and if she knows Quinn’s alive, she’s not sure what will happen. But for now, Liv can’t know, which means Quinn has to stay put. Pa says she and the baby are safe with him, until they figure out what to do next. He tells her his friend who has medical experience was there helping out, and he pronounced it a successful birth producing a healthy child. Pa gives Quinn her baby back and says he’s going downstairs to finish cleaning up. As he’s leaving, she actually tells him he’s a good person, to which he answers that we’re all good people when someone gives us a chance to be. That’s kind of an untrue and effed up philosophy, particularly coming from Pa, but Quinn doesn’t notice. She seems too relieved at the moment to be alive and have a healthy baby.

Things go south pretty quickly on this show. So the episode is almost over. Quinn isn’t dead, she and her newborn are alive and well. and she’s comfortable in Liv’s old room. But of course things aren’t going to end on a hopeful, carefree note. After buying the arsenal, it looks like Pa went back and took further advantage of Marv’s employee discount, as the room is stocked with baby clothes. Quinn starts looking through them and notices the clothes are in all different sizes. Her amusement turns to puzzlement, and then horror, as she realizes there’s enough there to get her baby through a couple of years.

Upset, Quinn goes down to the basement where Pa is cleaning up. She sees him scrubbing the floor and asks what’s up with all the baby clothes? How long does he plan to keep her here? Then she notices the ‘cleaning up’ Pa is doing is of Dr. Marv. He’s in a pool of blood, dead on the floor. Quinn is horrified. She takes back calling Pa a good person. Hee. Really, Quinn? Don’t be so judgmental. She can’t believe he would kill the doctor who helped her. The ‘doctor’s’ name was Marvin, Pa says, and if anyone was a good person, he was. Pa had to kill him to keep Quinn and the baby safe, he says. I’m not sure why that is, and it isn’t explained. Surely Pa could have come up with some kind of lie and not spill the beans about the situation and let Marv live. Pa’s been at this kind of thing a long time, certainly this shouldn’t be complicated for him. Again, wrong questions, so don’t ask them. Pa then laments that Marv was his best friend. Huh?? They’ve known each other about ten minutes, and Pa lied about himself to Marv the whole time. Not a great basis for a friendship. Besides, Pa, you’ll find your friends will stick around longer if you don’t kill them.

Quinn’s a pretty twisted individual herself, though, so this all makes some kind of sense to her on some level. At episode’s end, she’s down on the floor, helping Pa clean up after Marv.

After an episode that was basically all-Pa all-the-time, the show shifts gears next week. 07.10 is “The People vs. Olivia Pope”, and it appears to be intervention time for the former fixer turned CoS/nasty woman (and not in a good way).

Fitz sets up Olivia for an intervention; Cyrus tells Mellie about Olivia and Jake’s extracurricular activities.

Ah, nothing better than an intervention with a bunch of DC whackos up in the wilds of Vermont? What could possibly go wrong?

Catch up on Scandal S7 Ep. 8 Robin

07.08 “Robin” (1/18/18)

 

Hey, Scandal‘s back, bitches Gladiators! It seems like forever since we’ve hung out with this bunch of DC whackos. In case you forgot exactly where we left off (after all, it was over two months ago), Papa Pope had kidnapped Quinn and was threatening her to get what he wanted out of Olivia. When Liv didn’t believe him, he left the room and gunshots were heard; he told her he shot Quinn, but no body has yet been produced. Liv and the Gladiators all seem to presume she’s dead, though, and that’s where we pick up with the current episode.

Quinn’s fate? Things start right off with the supposed answer to what happened in Pa’s house. A car pulls into a deserted parking lot at night, and Pa gets out. He opens the trunk; inside is a body, but it’s wrapped up and it’s impossible to tell who it is, though it’s assumed to be Quinn. Pa pours gas all over the trunk, lights it, and gets out his cell phone to call 911 about a car on fire in a parking lot.

In the aftermath, the gang back at QPA is looking grim. David says the body found in the trunk was charred beyond recognition, but some hair and blood were found that identified it as Quinn. Mel walks in and tells everyone how sorry she is. She informs Liv to take as much time off from work as she needs. The group goes to a funeral home to make arrangements, and it’s there that Charlie tells a story Quinn loved about someone whose dying wish was to have his ashes loaded into bullets that were to be fired at his enemies. Charlie says he wants to do that for Quinn and also asks Liv to write her eulogy.

Huck starts digging. Later, back at QPA, Huck asks Liv if Quinn ever mentioned anything about a hairpin. One was found near the body, and he doesn’t remember her saying she was wearing one to the wedding. It’s the hairpin Liv gave to Quinn when they met in the gazebo, a meeting Liv doesn’t want the Gladiators to know about. So Liv says she doesn’t know anything about it. But Huck has started asking questions, and he’s not going to be deterred.

Huck, in fact, pledges to Quinn that he won’t stop digging until he gets answers. He visits her body in the morgue and tells her he’ll do whatever it takes to find the truth and avenge her death, no matter where it leads him.

So, this is looking like Quinn is gone for good. There’s a charred hunk everyone believes is her, and a memorial service is being planned. I, however, am not convinced. We’ve never actually seen a body, and there’s no concrete evidence it was her in the car. We know Pa kidnapped Quinn, so hair and blood samples would be easy to get; a few yanks on the follicles and a paper cut and, bingo, you’re in business. Put that hair and blood in with the mystery body, throw it in the trunk, and you’re all set. Maybe Quinn is a goner, but there are far too many unanswered questions to just accept that, at this point.

Huh??? In the next scene, Pa is in his lab, and his dinosaur bones are being unpacked. Why does Pa get his bones back after presumably killing Quinn? Didn’t Liv refuse to give him his bones, which is why he killed Quinn in the first place? In shorthand, he bitched about his bones, Liv said no, he gave an ultimatum, she called his bluff, and Quinn got shot. He shouldn’t then get his bones back. And what about that phone call Liv placed just prior to Pa supposedly shooting Quinn, where she called in a kill order on him? Shouldn’t the feds be breaking down the door and taking out Pa? Was Liv just bluffing? This all makes no sense.

Jake is there, and Pa tells him Quinn’s death is Liv’s fault. He also basically says Liv is dead to him. So Pa is through with Liv for good? How many times have these two been done with each other, for good, over the past seven seasons? The show is ending, so who knows? That threat may actually come true this time.

Later, Fitz shows up at Liv’s door. He’s brought a bottle of wine and wants to know how she’s doing. But she’s in no mood to talk to him. She blames him for pretty much everything, says he should have left town when she told him to, and says he’s not her friend. Then she takes the bottle from him and shuts the door in his face.

Huck is still digging. When Abby gets home, Huck is waiting, inside. That’s a sight one never wants to come home to: Huck hulking in one’s living room. And it’s upsetting for another reason. his searches have uncovered evidence linking Liv to Rashad’s assassination. Through his digging, Huck has become convinced that Liv had a hand in the assassination plot, Quinn found out, and Liv had her killed. He’s says he’s carrying some proof and tries to give the papers to Abby, but she’s not interested. She says there’s no way Liv killed Quinn. Huck is talking out of grief, and she’s going to ignore what he’s saying. She tells him to let it go, and he reluctantly leaves.

But Huck is on a mission. He pays Fitz a visit. Fitz?? How much interaction have these two characters had over these seven seasons? They’ve both been on the show since the beginning but have operated in totally different worlds. Now they sit across from each other. Huck wants to talk about Liv. He says working in the White House has changed her. She’s worse than Fitz now, he says, with his customary brutal honesty. It’s like DC has made her a different person who he doesn’t know anymore. Fitz listens to all this and says he has to agree. Apparently, that’s all Huck wanted to hear; that he wasn’t alone in feeling estranged from his longtime friend. He thanks Fitz and leaves. That was kind of anticlimactic.

The meeting leaves Huck in a dark place, even for him. He’s obviously obsessed with the prospect that Liv may have killed Quinn. We see him at home, ominously eyeing his toolbox of horror, which contains the implements of his torturing trade. It’s sure looking like he’s thinking the previously unthinkable: using it on Liv. Then he’s at an AA meeting, talking about how much he wants to drink ‘whiskey’. We’re familiar with what that’s code for. He says he badly wants a ‘drink’, but he knows if he gives in and has it, he won’t be able to live with himself.

A weird reunion. After he’s through telling strangers how much he wants to ‘drink’, Huck goes back to QPA. It’s late and everyone is gone, so when he hears glass clinking, he draws his gun. But it’s just a very drunken Liv, gulping wine in her former office. She says she thought that coming back and sitting in Quinn’s chair might give her inspiration for the eulogy, but it’s not helping. Then she starts crying and blubbering about how they were Quinn’s fellow Gladiators, they were supposed to protect her, and they failed. Liv seems genuinely heartbroken, but Huck still grips his gun as he listens, clearly still thinking of using it. But he doesn’t. Liv rants and cries for a few minutes, then kisses Huck and goes.

Memorial. At QPA the next day, everyone sits around a table, helping Charlie load Quinn’s ashes into bullet casings. Then they all gather in a clearing in the woods for the memorial service. Liv gives the eulogy, which is rather disappointing. It sounds like something a drunk mess came up with at 3 a.m., which is pretty much what happened. The best she can do is call Quinn’s death “awful”, which is not exactly inspired for someone who in the past has shown to have quite a way with words. Then they take turns remembering Quinn as they shoot from the gun. This is kind of lame, too, because that story Quinn loved involved the bullets being used against the dead man’s enemies. Here, the gang just remembers Quinn, and then just shoot into the ground. They couldn’t come up with anything more powerful and affecting than that? Maybe the shooting-the-enemies thing isn’t possible, but this just seems so pointless, loading Quinn into the bullets just to shoot them at the ground. Not really much of a Gladiator’s send-off.

Later at QPA, they continue remembering Quinn as they drink. The only one missing is Liv. Abby says she invited her, but Liv has yet to show.

One more time. That’s because Liv has other plans. She knocks on Fitz’s door. He stands aside, and she walks in. She’s silent at first, and then just collapses against him. He asks her what she wants, and she says just a night, and they start making out. So Olitz is on, for tonight, anyway. So much for getting hammered with the Gladiators.

And one more thing… After the drinking and reminiscing is done, the group at QPA breaks up. As David walks to his car, he sees Charlie just sitting in his. It’s been a rough episode for Charlie, of course. He lost the woman he was about to marry, as well as their daughter (Quinn was nine months pregnant when kidnapped), who they were going to name Robin. Now that the memorial is over and it’s time to resume his life, he doesn’t know what to do. He tells David he has nowhere to go; he can’t return home, as it’s full of baby gifts. Quinn had spent so much time assembling the playpen in the living room, there’s no way he could deal with getting rid of it. David asks for Charlie’s keys.

So Charlie doesn’t have to face it, David and Abby go to Quinn and Charlie’s place to de-babyfy it. As they’re breaking down the playpen, something falls out that looks like a flash drive. Leave it to Quinn to leave clues behind.

But we don’t get to find out just yet what it is. Instead, we go to a parallel scene, as Charlie gets out of his car. His emotional confusion and grief has led him back to his old boss, Pa Pope. He knocks on Pa’s door and tells him he wants back in. He’s reporting for duty, like the old days. Charlie says he wants his old self back, from the good old torturing days of B613, before he met Quinn and his life got all messed up. He’s ready for his first assignment. But Pa tells him he’s in no shape right now to be making these kinds of decisions. It’s obvious Charlie is a hot mess at the moment. He needs to take a little time, Pa says for him to go home and think things over.

That’s not what he wanted to hear, and Charlie hesitates to leave. As he pauses, he hears a baby cry inside the house. He demands Pa let him in, and then pushes past him and runs upstairs. He finds a baby in a crib, dressed in pink. He pulls his gun and asks Pa whose baby it is. Pa doesn’t answer and fights back. As they struggle, Charlie wraps his hands around Pa’s neck and starts choking him. He appears to have the upper hand, and Pa is struggling as the episode ends.

 

Oh yeah, there’s some Cyrus stuff. I nearly forgot, there is a ‘B’ plot, concerning Cyrus and his BF, Fenton Glackland. Seems Fenton doesn’t want to be the BF anymore.

Early in the episode, he shows up at Cy’s place and abruptly breaks up with him. Like, walks in, tells Cy it’s over and leaves. End of scene. Later, Cy goes to Fenton’s office to talk to him, since his calls have gone unreturned. He wants an explanation. You may remember, before the show took that long holiday break, Fenton was kidnapped and worked over by a desperate Charlie, who thought he had something to do with Quinn’s disappearance. Cy thought that incident had been forgotten, but Fenton looked into Charlie and found out he was once a killer for hire, and he used to be on Cy’s payroll. Cy pretended to know nothing about him, but he was once in Cy’s employ, doing his dirty work Fenton poked around some more and discovered that Cy knows all kinds of sleazy people. They seem to be drawn to him. Cy looks hip deep in all kinds of ugliness. Fenton wants no part of it.

Cy confirms that he used to run with a sketchy bunch, but says that’s all in his past. That was a long time ago and he’s a different person now. Fenton doesn’t think so. He’s an earthy type who has always relied on his instincts, and he says here, his instincts are telling him that Cy is a bad guy. He no longer wants to be exposed to that.

So it looks like Cyrus/Fenton (Cyton? There’s really no good way to mash up their names) is no more. There was also an odd scene where Cy runs into Jake in a WH hallway and mentions the break-up. He appears to think Jake had something to do with it. Jake picks up on that and denies being involved, then insults Cy, for good measure. These two have such a weird relationship. Jake killed Cy’s husband, James back when he was B613, so nothing personal. All in a day’s work. A lot has happened since then, but the pair has evolved to the point where as angry as he still is at Jake, Cy seems to know the guy is a remorseless killer and handles him carefully. It’s always supremely strange when they have a scene together.

What about next week? Back to the real story. Am I the only one who expected Quinn to walk in at the end, as Charlie was choking Pa? Maybe they’re saving that for next week.

As for 07.09, “Good People”, there’s no preview available. There’s just the few seconds of teaser shown at the end of this week’s episode and no several sentences about the plot to be found on-line, like there usually is. It seems as if the network is trying to keep the ep under wraps, which usually means something *big* is going to happen, and they want it to be a surprise. From the teaser, it looks like Quinn’s time in captivity at Pa’s will be shown. I hate being spoiled, so I don’t know what direction they’ll take, but there are theories among the fans that Quinn and Pa have cooked this whole thing up together, to stage Quinn’s death and shock Liv back into being her old self. It’s a bit far-fetched and kind of nutty that those two would be working together like that, but I guess nothing is really too weird for this show. We’ll see.

At this point, we’re being led to believe that Quinn is dead, as is her unborn baby, both at Pa’s hand. When last seen, Pa was being choked by an enraged Charlie, who may have just found his presumed-dead daughter. Is her mother really dead, or was this just a way to get the pregnant actress off the show for a while? Is Quinn Perkins gone for good? If so, are any of the other longtime regular characters in the crosshairs in these final episodes? Some of them have cheated death on more than one occasion, most notably Huck and Jake, who between them should be dead at least five times over by now. Will their luck finally run out? Will Liv ever wear that white hat again? And how long will I be able to resist a Pa-plays-with-his-bones joke? Good questions all, as the second half of the final season begins…

 

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!

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…