Catch up on Scandal S4 Ep. 2 The State of the Union


by L.T. Milroy

This week’s episode is called The State of the Union, and that is meant both figuratively and literally. The state of everyone’s unions is pretty much a mess, this being Scandal. And with the actual State of the Union address coming up, everyone in Fitz’s orbit is caught up in preparations.

So, where are we after 04:02?

Remnants of B613 remain, most prominently tied to Jake and David, but that plotline has been relegated mostly to the background, for now, anyway. The bombshell comes in the form of those files in David’s garage. The whole evil network thing could be interesting as a side plot, just not as the main story, like it was last season.

Major goings-on in The State of the Union

The Fall of Rosen. David’s white hat has taken a bit of a tumble through the mud. Finally. Our last pure good guy character has willfully gone over to the dark side by using nefarious tactics to get what he wants. On this show, that makes him normal. He was just the last holdout.

At the end of last week’s ep, Fitz had nominated David for Attorney General and given DR’s squeaky-cleanness, it looked like he’d sail to confirmation. But the evil Lizzie Bear (I’ll keep calling her that as long as Cyrus does) doesn’t like him and particularly that he’s not a Republican. She sets out to derail the process. Somehow, she gets hold of those fake domestic violence photos Olivia had made up to scare Abby away from David a couple of seasons ago. Supposedly those files were disappeared after they’d served their purpose, but Lizzie dug them up. David is told to withdraw his candidacy, or the photos go public.

But David is done being a do-gooder doormat. He decides to fight back and digs into those garage files. He comes up with some dirt on a Senator Watson, who is leading the charge against his confirmation. David blackmails him, Watson changes his tune and sings David’s praises, and AG Rosen again appears be a possibility.

The fallout from this is David’s newly intensified animosity for Olivia. The resurfacing of those old trumped-up photos Liv commissioned seems to make David a whole lot angrier at her than at Lizzie for digging them up in the first place. It looks like David may be carrying a V for vendetta against Liv.

Bring that platter over here, post haste. Seriously, if there was somebody  I could call at any hour to whip up a plate of fried chicken for me, I’d have died a long time ago of a heart attack, due to eating totally prodigious amounts of fried chicken night and day. Mellie apparently is able to exercise more self control than I can, since she’s still alive and at a healthy weight.

But the fried chicken bingeing is just one symptom of Mellie’s continuing depression over son Jerry’s death. She spends most of the episode in pjs,, a robe, and Uggs as she wanders around the White House like a ghostly apparition, albeit one that eats constantly. She merely scoffs at Fitz’s attempts to comfort her, though he gets points for trying, for once. Cyrus tries relating to her on a grief level. He brings up James (more on that later), and while she empathizes, it’s not enough to get her off the couch and into some clothes. The WH staff is slipping into panic mode, as photos of Mellie in robe and Uggs, sitting on Jerry’s grave eating potato chips, have been published in a supermarket rag.

The task of getting Mellie to snap out of it long enough to smile in public at the SotU goes to WH Press Secretary and former OPA gladiator, Abby. She starts by giving her with the you’re-not-the-first-to-suffer-a-tragic-loss thing (a bit brutal maybe, but true), and finishes up with how Jackie Kennedy plowed on despite losing her husband, because her country needed her. Asking Mellie to identify with one of the most beloved FLOTUS’s in history is a good move. Mellie pulls it together for one night but collapses again as soon as she’s out of the spotlight.

Cyrus: a riddle wrapped in an enigma stuffed inside a whole lot of BS. I can certainly believe someone in Cyrus’s position would be heartbroken. He lost his husband, the love of his life and the only person around with whom he could truly be himself. That’s why I can understand someone in Cyrus’s position being heartbroken, just not Cyrus himself. After all, this is the guy who arranged to have James rubbed out when James was getting too close to Defiance, then called it off at the last minute.. Then he pimped his husband out to another man, again, to score political points. Cy can play the grief card all he wants, but that card is marked.

And so is he, apparently. While drowning his sorrows at a bar, he’s approached by an attractive, younger man and is interested, but doesn’t take the bait. I figured that was because, well, this is DC, and everybody knows who Cyrus is. Everybody wants something from everybody in this town, and a guy like Cyrus, in a position of power, has to be careful of strangers offering drinks. But later he and the hunky boy run into each other again, and this time, Cy goes for it. It culminates in some hot, monkey love. This takes place even though once they’re alone, boy toy comes clean and says he’s a sex worker. Given that information, Cyrus hesitates, but only for a moment.

Later, we find out that rent boy was sent by Lizzie. We don’t know yet what she’s after, but given how much Cyrus hates her, it’s safe to assume she didn’t get him a sex toy because she thought he was lonely.

It looks like Cyrus has also drawn the contempt of Andrew. We see the Veep this week, briefly, when Cy reminds him  his only function at the SotU is to “stand and clap.” Andrew practically spits at him, and it’s obvious these two hate each other.

Huck and Quinn can die. I really couldn’t care less about them. I can handle Quinn on her own, since she’s gotten pretty good at what she does at OPA, and I don’t mind watching her work. But Huck has totally overstayed his welcome. He’s just morose and boring, and he and Quinn have no chemistry. Will they or won’t they? Will they be able to work together again, or will that sick torturer relationship get in the way? Am I supposed to care?

It was amusing how when Abby calls Olivia to have it out with her again, she spills the beans about Huck and Quinn “incesting all over the office,” and how Liv never noticed. In response, Liv gives a distressed look to the office conference table. LOL!

“Fixed”. Olivia is basically blackmailed by Cyrus into doing a favor for the Grant administration, even though she insists she doesn’t want to work for the White House in any capacity. There’s a couple, James and Lisa Elliott, who are supposed to be Fitz’s guests at the SotU. James is an ex-POW and war hero, and Lisa a teacher who was a hero in a school shooting that left her in a wheelchair. They’re the poster people for the gun control proposal Fitz is going to make, but they haven’t arrived in town, and the WH hasn’t been able to track them down. Cyrus leaves that up to OPA.

It turns out the Elliotts, that pair of red-blooded All-American heroes, hate each other. To the point they can hardly be in the same room together without hurling insults and sometimes, heavy objects. Liv brokers a deal that if they can just get through the SotU looking like a happy couple, she’ll help them down the road with the fallout and try to salvage their careers when they inevitably get a divorce.

It’s left to Huck and Quinn to babysit the Elliotts and try to keep them from killing each other. Problem is, Huck and Quinn often want to kill each other. That is, when they don’t want to bang each other. Again, don’t care, and definitely don’t want to watch. Last year’s incesting was enough. Ugh.

Jake will probably buy stock in Viagra. To try to assert his independence and to bolster his claim that he’s not just Olivia’s f**kpuppet, Jake moves out of Liv’s apartment and into a hotel room. Although, he wimps out a bit on the independence thing when he tells Liv that she can stop over for a booty call whenever she wants. While waiting to service his woman, Jake spends his time looking at morgue photos of Harrison and Adnan and trying to trace their last steps. And guess who turns up? Along the way, he stumbles across evidence of Charlie. I figured Charlie would be back. He’s too useful to the evil to disappear for long.

At episode’s end, Olivia turns up at Jake’s door but insists it’s not a booty call. She seems insulted by the very concept. Then she takes off her coat to reveal she isn’t wearing a thing under that long coat but a pair of fashionable f**k-me boots. I don’t know what dictionary she’s using, but as far as I know, what she’s doing is the very definition of a booty call. Right down to the booties. It’s clear that Jake feels manipulated but equally as clear that he doesn’t care.

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