Everything is coming to a head as Scandal approaches its winter finale. I can’t imagine what they have in store next week to leave us to ponder over the break. It’s hard to believe the body count will be higher than this week, though. The DC is indeed a dangerous place in Scandalverse these days.
Case of the Week. That would involve the messy trinity of Olivia, Fitz, and Jake. After Liv plays Fitz the recorded statement she got from Tom, where he says that Papa Pope gave the order to kill Fitz’s son, Jake is brought from the supermax prison to the bunker in DC. He’s glad to hear Fitz now considers him innocent, but not happy that he won’t be released and instead will be spending his time in the bunker. There’s also the matter that Fitz wants Pa to be arrested in order to face justice, while Jake considers justice in this case to be a bullet in Pa’s head. Preferably put there by Jake himself.
And expectedly, there’s some major macho bickering and posturing between these two, which impedes progress. Jake kicks it off by insisting that Fitz call him Captain Ballard, since only his friends address him by his first name, and he doesn’t count Fitz among his friends. Each is also anxious to mark his territory with Liv. Jake brings up their time on the island, which Fitz absolutely doesn’t want to hear about, and says they’ll take Pa down without Jake’s help. They come to somewhat of a truce and shake on it eventually, but there’s still much animosity between them.
The trio decides to bring David to the bunker and tell him of the plan to take down Pa. Jake tells David about the existence of the B613 files. He pretends he’s telling David about this for the first time, and David pretends he’s never heard about these files before. They tell David of the need to handle the matter “discreetly and creatively,” since the files can’t become public. Then Jake talks about how he wishes he had gone ahead and used the files when he had the chance, which is a dig at David for having them for months and being too scared to act. The AG says he’ll see what he can do.
When Liv tells Jake the files will be sent to the Pentagon, she adds that he’s going to have to go before a tribunal to attest to their authenticity. He agrees. Liv assures him that all will turn out well and he’ll be freed, but he’s still not sure. He isn’t certain he can trust Fitz.
Later, Fitz tells Liv and Jake the files are in safekeeping at the Pentagon and will be delivered to David’s office. Then Pa will be arrested. Fitz wants to storm B613 headquarters, but Jake thinks he should do it, since he was Command. They fight over it, and Liv looks despaired over all the testosterone floating around in that little room.
She’s had enough and tells them to shut it. She says Pa needs to be lured to a safe location, so he can be taken into custody. When it comes to her father, she knows she’s the best bait.
Double-agent Liv. Meanwhile, Lizzie has a problem. Though they haven’t had the warmest relationship, she needs a fixer, so she calls Liv. She thinks her cell phone is being bugged and wants OPA to look into it. She says she has lots of enemies, particularly among those who want her job. Liv doesn’t like her and says so, but business is business, so she takes the case.
And it leads where we all expected. Huck tracks a remote access worm in the phone’s feeder app, and it leads to Cyrus. Liv meets with him and asks why he’s bugging Lizzie. He tells her about rent boy Michael and the leaks. She asks what we’ve all been wondering, which is how he could have fallen for a ho. Cy says it’s because, unlike the rest of his stressful life, being with Michael “wasn’t real.” It was an escape from the pressures of Washington and also from what little home life he has. That kid of his is finally mentioned, as it seems little Ella cries and runs from him, because she doesn’t recognize him.
Cy says he needs to know what Lizzie is up to and asks for Liv’s help. Liv says that Lizzie is already a client, so there’s a conflict of interest. Cy mentions their long friendship and says that if she won’t help him with something this important, that friendship won’t survive. He also appeals to her sense of political loyalty by saying, “These people want to destroy Fitz and me…us.” So Liv is persuaded to work against her own client.
When Liv digs up the candid photos and videos of him with Mikey, Cy is distraught. It’s still hard to believe he didn’t see this coming, but he says he knows how stupid he’s been, particularly since he’s done this exact thing to stupid people in the past. He’s ashamed that he’s compromised his family, his country, and his president for a little selfish fun.
Despite Lizzie being a client, Liv lies and tells her that her phone was a victim of something called the Goldilocks virus that infected her daughter’s tablet and spread through the house’s wifi. She says the problem is fixed, and there’s nothing to worry about. As Liv hangs up, we see Cyrus is there. He’s relieved, but Liv can see he’s still in bad shape and tells him not to go back to the White House. To call in sick, for once. He says he has a date with Mike that night, but Liv tells him to cancel.
Scandal again pushes the boundaries of its time slot. But Mikey didn’t get where he is by giving up. Though never told where Cy lives, he shows up at Cy’s house that night, worried something might be wrong. He asks to come in, and after some obvious struggling, Cy opens the door then gives a quick look around outside before closing it.
Cy is agitated and not exactly happy to see him, and boy toy can tell. He says he was worried when Cy canceled their date and tracked down his address. He comes on to Cy, who says Ella is sleeping, but Mikey answers that just means they’ll have to be quiet. Cy looks at him and it’s hard to tell what he’s thinking or what he plans to do, but anything up to and including murder would seem to be a possibility, given Cy’s state of mind. After a moment he says, “Turn around and bend over.” Rent boy takes down his pants and does so. When he starts to say something, Cy tells him not to talk. Mikey appears to think that’s a joke, but Cy lets him know he’s not kidding then presses his head to the table and tells him again to be quiet.
At this point, it was still a toss-up as to what Cy was going to do, but it turns out rent boy will live to see another day. Instead of a beat down or worse from an angry Cy, Mikey gets some angry sex. Shonda Rhimes said that moving to 9 p.m. wasn’t going to make her cut back any on the sexual content this season, and she continues to keep her word. I think this is a first from a network show. Angry, gay sex. Well, angry on Cy’s part, anyway. Mikey looks a little stunned.
A heart of gold? And it’s looking right now like the rough, angry sex was unwarranted. Huck hacks boy toy’s phone and as expected, finds all kinds of valuable information from snooping around Cy’s emails. It turns out Mikey only turned over a small portion of that info to Lizzie, and very minor things at that. He held back almost everything. A wealth of inside info that Lizzie would certainly have liked to get her hands on.
Intrigued, Liv tracks down Mikey and tells him she hacked his phone and knows he’s working for Liz. Then she asks why he didn’t hand over most of the intel he gathered, and he says it’s because he’s come to admire Cyrus and the job he does. He couldn’t bring himself to betray Cy. He seems to be sincere, and to seemingly cement that, Mikey gives up some interesting information on Lizzie. That she keeps a secret apartment in the city. He’s not sure for what, but Liv might want to look into it.
She can’t do it fast enough. When she gets back to the office, she dispatches Huck to the place to set up a bunch of hidden cameras. Then she calls Cyrus to tell him about the secret apartment. She also mentions Mikey’s apparent loyalty and that he might actually happen to genuinely like Cy. He looks like he’s about to cry as he hangs up.
Yes, there is a VP. The Vice President makes a return appearance, finally, after being AWOL for most of the season. Andrew is seen leaving a speaking engagement about the situation in West Angola we heard about last week. Though his aides tell him to hurry it along, he stops to thank some members of the kitchen staff and is shaking some hands when there’s an explosion behind him. There was a bomb in the car he was late at getting to. If he hadn’t paused to schmooze, the country would be minus a VP.
Cyrus says the West Angolan Liberation Front is suspected in the bombing, but no one has claimed responsibility.
Back at the White House, Andrew is getting medical attention in his office, when Mellie rushes in. She’s concerned about him, but he says he just has a couple of scrapes, and he’s fine. Mellie asks for some privacy, and after the room is cleared, he thanks her for her concern, which she answers with a kiss. He looks surprised and hesitates a moment, then gives in to some Veep/FLOTUS sexytimes.
Later, Andrew visits Mellie in her office looking a lot more under control. He says the unexpected office romp was fun but wonders why she hasn’t paid any attention to him for months. Um, buddy, she lost a child. Maybe that’s why jumping your bones was suddenly not all that high on her must-do list. She reminds him that he chose to be VP over her and left her behind. Then Jerry died, and now this bombing really scared her that she was going to lose him, too. She wants to give us another try. More snogging follows. Looks like Mandrew is back on.
Catching up with Quinn. Quinn has been given the unenviable task of trailing a couch potato. She’s following Kubiak (am I the only one who takes that as a shout out to Hill Street Blues?), who does little besides sit at home on his butt and eat donuts. He’s a coronary waiting to happen. Watching the every move of someone who does nothing has Quinn bored to death.
When some excitement finally beckons, she probably wishes things would get boring again.
Leave your kid alone, Huck. Now that his son Javy has found him, Huck is playing video games with him at the office. Is this some spy version of take your kid to work day? Doesn’t seem like a great idea. Liv strolls in as they’re playing and gives Javy an awkward hello. Huck rushes Javy out the doo, at which point Javy calls him “Dad.” When he’s gone, Liv asks if his mom knows he’s there, among other pertinent questions, but Huck shuts her down and refuses to talk about it. He asks if Liv has anything work-related for him. If he didn’t want to discuss the whole kid thing, he shouldn’t have let said kid come to the office. But Huck isn’t thinking too clearly about these matters right now.
It gets worse. After setting up all of those cameras in Lizzie’s secret apartment, Huck sits in a van outside watching the monitors. And who’s there keeping him company? Javy, of course, because a stakeout is a really good way to get in a little father/son bonding time. What could go wrong?
Plenty, of course. They do manage a bit of conversation, as Javy finally asks why Huck left. Huck doesn’t go into detail but tells him it had nothing to do with him or his mom. Then they’re interrupted by action, as Lizzie appears on camera in her living room with a man. Thinking something naughty might be about to happen, Huck sends Javy out for ice cream. He didn’t anticipate this situation may arise? It’s a stakeout! And sending Javy out into the streets of DC alone at night? He’s like, ten. Smart move, Huck. Apparently those paternal instincts haven’t kicked in yet.
After Huck sends Javy off, he shuts the door. There’s almost immediately a knock. Thinking it’s Javy, Huck pulls the door open, and Quinn rushes in. Huck asks what she’s doing at his stakeout, and she says this is her stakeout. She’s followed Kubiak to this address. He’s the one who’s with Liz.
What’s Lizzie up to? Kubiak and Liz briefly discuss Jeremy’s suicide, when the doorbell rings. Liz answers and lets in…Andrew! Wow, good job, show. Did not see that coming!
Liz tells Kubiak to leave for a few minutes. He asks why, and she says because she’s having a torrid affair and wants to be left alone. She seems to be joking, but as soon as he leaves, Liz and Andrew commence to some serious tonsil hockey. Wow, didn’t see that coming, either! So the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee and the Vice President have formed some sort of political and personal alliance. Can’t wait to find out what they’re up to!
As soon as the make-out session starts, Huck turns to Quinn and says they need to call Olivia. At that moment, the window behind Huck breaks, and an arm with a gun reaches in. It’s Kubiak, who made the van as surveillance. Huck grabs Kubiak’s arm, and he drops the gun. But then Kubiak starts strangling Huck. Quinn picks up the gun and furiously pulls the trigger several times, but it won’t fire. So she picks up a screwdriver and starts stabbing his arm. Huck manages to pull Kubiak down onto some broken glass and slit his throat. He falls onto the sidewalk outside, a bloody mess.
Just then, Huck notices that Javy was returning when this all went down and saw the whole thing. The kid is obviously horrified, drops his ice cream, and runs. I expect mom will be slapping Huck with a restraining order in rapid fashion.
All plots lead to daddy. The presence of Papa Pope is a constant in the episode. When we first see him, he’s calling Liv just to check in and make sure she’s all right. He’s concerned, because Liv didn’t show up for their weekly dinner date. She says she wasn’t aware they were on speaking terms, but he says that they’re family, and family forgives and forgets. Liv counters by saying she also considers Jake family, but Pa disagrees. He insists that Jake and Fitz, or “those boys,” are not, and never will be, family. And he will be there for Liv long after they’re gone.
Pa has made a habit of repeatedly referring to the men in Liv’s life as boys. I think this carries the obvious racial overtones, but it also appears to be just another way Pa likes to establish dominance. Jake and Fitz are immature little kids while he’s the wise adult, and someday Liv will realize that.
But Liv has plans of her own. After squabbling with the two boys all afternoon about what their next move should be, she’s decided she has to be the one to lure Pa out. She calls him tearfully to say he was right about Fitz and Jake. She cries that it’s all been a bunch of macho posturing and all about them all along. She doesn’t want to be angry with him any more and asks Pa to dinner. He accepts. But when she hangs up, the tears disappear immediately. She makes another call and says, “7:30. It’s a go.” Looks like Papa Pope is being set up by his little girl.
But it goes about as well as all plots do against Pa. A team of snipers sets up outside, but Pa is already there as Liv arrives at the restaurant. Fitz and Jake watch on closed camera at the White House. Fitz reminds the snipers not to shoot unless they have to. He wants Pa taken alive, if possible.
Then Pa starts speechifying. He knows he hasn’t been a perfect father, but he’s always wanted the best for Liv. He discusses his shortcomings, and it seems as though he really wants to make amends.
At the same time, we see David with his task force as the B613 files are delivered.
After a bit of that self-effacing talk, Pa suddenly switches tracks. He gets up, sits next to Liv, and says he’s going to be leaving. “The men outside are dead, because of you,” he says. At the WH, Jake and Fitz watch in horror as each of the snipers is picked off. Pa says Liv has forsaken him and her family, in trying to get him killed like this. The betrayal upsets him, because “those people” she’s loyal to are not “her” people.
David and his team start going through the boxes of files, only to find all the pages are blank. On the street outside the restaurant, all the snipers lie dead.
Pa says he would have had a trial and an execution, and Liv would have let it happen. He’s tried all his life to protect her, but it’s done no good, so now she’s on her own. Liv sits in stunned silence. Before he leaves, though, he gives this parting shot: “You think the world is terrible with me in it. Wait until you see what it’s like without me.”
And with that, Pa gets in a waiting car as sirens wail through the streets.
So, as usual, Pa is at least a step ahead of everyone, but this was a pretty tall order. He assembled his own team to take out all the snipers? And how did he manage to hijack those files and replace them?
Pa has become basically omnipotent and infallible. A show like this needs a good villain, but it keeps things interesting if the villain stumbles every once in a while. If he gets the best of everybody at every turn, that gets kind of boring.
So we’ll see what’s in store with Pa. He told Liv he was leaving, but who knows what he means by that? I very much doubt we’ve seen the last of him.
But we will be seeing the last of Scandal for a while. This Thursday is the mid-season finale, Where the Sun Don’t Shine. A preview from the network:
Command is always two steps ahead and everyone in Olivia’s life is in danger. Meanwhile, Cyrus is forced to face the consequences of his behavior, and Huck and Quinn finally figure out just what Elizabeth North has been planning, but they might be too late to stop it.
Oh, incidentally, where was Abby this week? She was MIA. I missed her.