Catch up on Scandal S4 Ep. 3 Inside the Bubble

by L.T. Milroy

Wow! a million things happened this week, so it’s a typical week on Scandal! I’ll try to include all the facts required to understand the goings-on.

Case of the week. Catherine, an old friend of Olivia’s from law school, shows up. But instead of becoming a lawyer, Cat married a rich one named Jeremy and has retired to a life of luxury. Her seventeen-year-old daughter, Caitlin, has gone missing after they had a fight. OPA tracks Caitlin to a hotel and tells Catherine where she is. Then they find out that Catherine was fooling around with Caitlin’s boyfriend, which is what the fight was about. By the time they get to the hotel, Caitlin is dead. Catherine says she didn’t do it but is arrested for murder. By episode’s end, Huck has dug up a security video from the building where Jeremy’s law firm is located. It shows Caitlin in an elevator, struggling with an unknown man; they appear to be fighting over a manila envelope. That’s all we know at this point. CotW to be continued.

Cyrus: Dumb as a box of rocks or crazy like a fox? When we left Cyrus last week, he’d just given in to being seduced by a young hustler, even after finding out the guy is, well, a young hustler. That one looked like a freebie, but now the guy is suggesting that he might prefer paying, because it would just feel so great to be naughty, amiright? And it looks like Cy has taken the bait immediately, as this week we see him in the bedroom with rent boy, opening his wallet while getting dressed, post workout. Seems he enjoys being naughty.

Cyrus has been around politics for his entire adult life. He’s been a Washington insider for a long time, and a member of the President’s inner circle for the past four years. As beltway folks go, it would be difficult to be more hooked-up than Cy. Surely he’s not stupid, gullible, or lonely enough to get involved in something like this.

That’s why I’m thinking this might be more than it seems. Is Cyrus secretly cooking up something, and only seems to be falling for this thing “hook, line, and sinker,” as boy toy tells Lizzie? Is he intending to out-scheme the schemers? Self-professed monster or not, if Cy can turn the tables and get the drop on rent boy and Lizzie, while also managing to get himself some hot sex in the deal, he’ll be my new god.

Little boy lost. David’s fight for his own soul continues. Last week, we saw him use those files Jake gave him to dig up some useful information against an opponent. It worked well enough to get David confirmed as the new Attorney General. Since dipping his toe in the evil pool went so well the first time, he decides to do it again.

David is in court defending Fitz’s crown jewel, his gun control legislation. When it looks like it’s going down to defeat, thus embarrassing Fitz and giving David a loss right out of the gate in his new job, he figures maybe it’s time to try bad-guy mode again. It’s back to the files, where he finds an old DWI nobody knows about, which includes two fatalities, against one of the judges deciding the case. A judge David knows is likely to vote against the gun control legislation. He confronts the judge and tells him the evidence will go public unless he votes down the challenge to the gun law.

The threat works, and the law is upheld. David is Fitz’s new best boy. They’re drinking toasts to him in the Oval Office, but the euphoria doesn’t last. There’s news about the judge. Apparently afraid of secrets he thought long gone becoming revealed and has committed suicide. Ironically, he’s done so with one of those guns over which he sold his vote. This is what can happen when you take a walk on the wild side, Dave.

It looks like David has to decide what kind of Washington player he’s going to be. It seems as though he still has a conscience, unlike just about everyone else on this show, and is bothered by the judge’s death. He’s at a crossroads. Does he follow his better instincts telling him to keep his moral compass calibrated or give in to those baser instincts that will allow him to get his dirty work done and still sleep at night? Does he have the temperament to make a Faustian bargain? We’re going to find out.

Abby’s kind of lost, too. Poor Abby. Girl can’t catch a break. Liv wants her back at OPA, but the two have a lot of crap to talk out before that happens. In the meantime, Abby does her thankless job as a White House Press Secretary who cleans up messes but gets no respect, least of all from Fitz, who keeps calling her Gabby.

The latest mess is handling Mellie once again. There’s a video clip that’s been on the news, of a newlywed couple honeymooning at Yosemite Park. The husband falls to his death, and it’s unclear whether his wife pushed him. Mellie sees the clip and becomes obsessed with it. She’s finally getting dressed instead of hanging around in robe and pj’s all day, but now all she does is research the case and watch the clip over and over. It’s up to Abby to both placate Mellie’s weird obsession and somehow also keep Fitz happy, always a tough line to straddle.

But Abby has shown she’s very competent at her job and manages to bring this situation to a satisfying conclusion. Satisfying enough that Fitz invites her to a private meeting in the Oval to express his gratitude and sip some vintage scotch. She takes the opportunity to berate him for getting her name wrong, and he tells her that he’s underestimated her.

All seems to be going really well, until Fitz invites her to sit down and promptly asks her if she’s heard from Olivia. She tries to keep the smile plastered on her face. Poor, poor Abby.

Charlie, Quinn, and Huck: The Axis of Evil. Could this sick, twisted bunch be more entertaining? They’re more fun than a set of Ginsu knives, a Mapp torch, and a pair of industrial pliers. After spotting Charlie on a video while tracking Harrison, Jake brings him in for questioning about Harrison’s death. In this world, that of course means Jake will torture the information out of him. But Charlie has one request first: some time alone with Quinn.

So Quinn gets to spend a night locked up with Charlie, with whom she had a sick (or by their standards, normal) relationship last season. This occurs while she’s still trying to reestablish a communication with Huck, with whom she also had a strange and deranged relationship last season but isn’t presently speaking with her. Charlie tells her how much he misses her, but she resists and tells him she’s not like him. She actually has a life and claims she has people. Among those people she lists Jake, who just locked her ass alone in a room with her crazy ex. Quinn appears to be a bit delusional regarding her support system.

This fact is reinforced when the night is over. Quinn returns to OPA to find that neither Olivia nor Huck noticed she was gone. Even though she dropped off the radar for twenty-four hours, they weren’t worried enough to find out where she was. She lets them know how disappointed she is and later, Huck tells her that if it happens again, he’ll look for her. This seems to make her very happy. Doesn’t take much, does it? Raise the bar, girl.

Jake is the creepiest guy in the world. And that’s saying something on this show. He acts all normal for a while, and it starts to look like he might be a regular guy after all. Then he does something like summon Quinn and lock her up with her slimy, torturer ex-BF. Jake gets her to show up by saying he just wants her to talk to him for a few minutes then is shuttering her behind the dungeon door for the night. WTF, Jake?? I was starting to give him a bit of a pass because he treated Liv well for the past few months, but then he does something like this, and I remember his checkered past with B613 and the torturing and killing, and it all comes back what a sociopath he is.

Guess who’s coming to dinner? Jake advances into full-blown cray-cray when forced into dinner with Papa Pope. Pa has invited Liv and Jake to his place to break bread together, which doesn’t sound awkward at all! Just a few minor details might get in the way of merriment…oh, say, the completely screwed-up relationship between Liv and her Pa. Pa and Jake’s past affiliation with B613. That Pa had Jake tortured and thrown in the hole not too long ago. How Jake survived that to stage a coup and force Pa out. You know, typical dysfunctional family stuff. We all deal with it.

The dinner is actually going as smoothly as can be expected, when Liv gets a phone call and excuses herself, thus leaving Jake and Pa alone. Pa takes the opportunity to act all paternal and thanks Jake for taking care of Olivia. But Jake is having none of that. As soon as Liv is out of earshot, he asks Pa why he killed Harrison. Is it because Harrison found out Pa also had Jerry killed? Pa isn’t happy with this kind of talk, and it gets no better for him. Jake says Pa is done in Washington. He’s not in command of B613 anymore and thus has no purpose. He tells Pa to leave town and never contact Liv again. He suggests a destination. A nice tropical island he knows of. If Pa doesn’t go, Jake says he’ll tell Liv about Harrison and Jerry. Pa counters by telling Jake, “I’ll be the one standing over you when you die.” These people don’t fool around.

Liv returns and says she has to go tend to her case. Jake and Pa immediately exchange niceties and say they’ll have to do dinner again. Pa tells Liv, “I’m not going anywhere” when she asks about making plans. Of course, that statement was meant for Jake. It’s a throwing down of the gauntlet, as it were.

And Pa means it. At episode’s end, Jake sees Pa getting into a chauffeured car outside his house. He’s carrying no luggage and apparently isn’t going anywhere. Game on!

One last word. Regardless if the show airs an hour earlier this season, it seems the writers have upped the sex-talk ante.

Two scenes stand out this week. When trying to talk Cyrus into some sex-for-money, rent boy offers to “replace that dry lump in your throat with something much more satisfying.” And when getting off the phone with Olivia, in lieu of saying goodbye, Jake says “Call me later if you want me to do that thing to you.” It’s funny, because he says it as he’s stalking Charlie and just kind of throws it out casually before hanging up.

Oh, and Kyle Secor turned up in a bit part as an NRA lobbyist trying to defeat Fitz’s gun control law. It’s always good to see Tim Bayliss. Wonder if he’ll be back.

I think that’s it.

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