Catch up on Scandal S5 Ep. 7 Even the Devil Deserves a Second Chance

by

L.T. Milroy

Where to begin with 05.07? Well, it seems this is dominatrix week on Scandal. How’s that for a start?

Yes, there are ass-kicking women kicking ass all over the landscape, both physically and otherwise. None, of course, is more powerful than the queen bee herself, Olivia Pope, who’s been buzzing relentlessly around Fitz’s hive, making Cy nervous that he’s been demoted to a common drone.

And Liv got to do some fixing again, for the first time in a while. It works out well for her. The rest of her life is still a hot mess, though, as always.

Case of the Week. There actually is one of those this week, as OPA has a real client for once. Not much business has been coming Liv’s way since she’s been outed as the president’s GF. Just how has she been paying the Gladiators lately, anyway?

The CotW is handled almost independently of the rest of the goings on this week. And Liv’s proximity to Fitz is the reason she got the case in the first place.

A man and his wife arrive at the White House. Frank Holland is getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom bestowed upon him by Fitz. He’s an author, professor, and philanthropist who spent his life concentrating on women’s issues. He wrote a book about domestic violence that Abby liked so much she credits it for giving her the gumption to leave her abusive ex. She gushes all over Holland as she welcomes him.

Back at OPA, Liv is sitting with the new client, Hannah Taylor, who claims she was raped by Mr. God’s Gift to Women two years ago, when she was his student. She wants Liv to speak to the president on her behalf. She knows Liv has his ear.

And Liv does do that by mentioning it to Fitz during one of her many moments hanging out in the Oval. She says he may have given a medal to a rapist, but she’s not sure yet. He tells her to keep him posted.

Liv goes to Holland’s house to ask him about Hannah. He claims to have a vague recollection of her as a former student who suddenly dropped his class, but he was never sure why. His wife Janice looks at Hannah’s picture and remembers she came by the house one day to talk about “that plagiarism thing.” The good professor had accused her of plagiarizing one of her papers. Of course, Holland says the rape charge is ridiculous.

But the plagiarism charge isn’t. Hannah comes clean but says it has nothing to do with her case. Liv says it’s a pretty big thing to just not mention and almost drops Hannah as a client but decides to keep her on. Liv says what they have to do now is find out if there are other victims. Especially now with the plagiarism thing, the only way Hannah will be believed is if there are others to back her up.

That doesn’t prove to be a huge problem. Much like the Cosby case, one victim leads to another until OPA has found over twenty different women telling remarkably similar stories about how they were all drugged and were being abused when they came to.

Dominatrix One. That leads to our first brush with grrrl power this week. Liv goes back and meets with Holland and his wife and tells them what she’s dug up. She found out Janice has an Oxycodone prescription. Liv asks if she knows that her husband had been stealing some of her pills and did she know what he used them for? It’s clear from the look Janice gives Liv that not only did she know, she approved and supplied him with the drugs.

Holland starts to answer, but Janice snaps her fingers at him, and he sits back and shuts up. Yes, she snapped her fingers at him. And he clammed up, like a good boy. This is obviously how their relationship works. Then she gives Liv a long, intense, very scary glare before launching into a diatribe about how tough it was for her growing up as a smart female in the America of the 1970s, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Her husband has dedicated his life to helping young women achieve their dreams. All the good he’s done empowering women and girls all over the world for so many years can’t be measured, she says. If he likes to indulge in a little rape every once in a while, it’s a small price to pay.

Liv sits in silence and horror taking this all in. Janice finishes by saying girls fall for their professors all of the time. She claims it will be a case of he said/she said, and it will be easy to protect Frank. That’s what her life is all about, she says. Protecting and preserving his legacy. And she will do so at all costs.

After thinking it over and determining there’s really nothing she could do, Liv has a revelation. She gets all of the victims together that OPA tracked down and brings them to an appearance where Holland is giving a speech. As he’s speaking, they file down the aisles and surround the stage. Liv has made sure the press is there and cameras start going off as Holland stops speaking. Then the women start telling their stories.

Janice Holland is there, and she’s predictably not happy. But her stare of death isn’t so intimidating anymore. Liv tells her that her husband is going down for this, because feminism is a legacy Liv must defend.

So there’s a happy ending to the CotW. Around the rest of Washington, there’s the usual turmoil.

An apology. At the White House, things are starting to settle down after the impeachment hearings were suspended. Fitz goes on TV and tells America how sorry he is. He apologizes to everyone. To his wife, his family, and the American people. He says he’ll do all he can to earn the country’s forgiveness. He seems sincere, and the speech goes over well, drawing praise from the pundits.

It’s all cause for celebration for the Grant Administration. Fitz and his minions raise a glass that night, toasting Fitz escaping impeachment. Liv is at this little party and is dressed lovely, as always, but she doesn’t look happy. She hasn’t spoken to Fitz since walking out on their ‘wedding’ and is anxious about seeing him again. Abby’s chattering doesn’t put her at ease, either. Red says she heard that the Senate committee was bribed and asks if Liv knows anything about it. Liv asks Abby not to make her lie but if she has to answer about it, she will. Then she cautiously approaches Fitz.

But she needn’t have worried. He smiles as she walks up to him, takes her in his arms and starts dancing with her. She asks if they’re okay after that whole almost-marriage thing. He brushes it off, saying that wasn’t the marriage they wanted. They’ll know when things are right..

Susan Ross, the VP, and AG David Rosen are also there celebrating. Susan mentions they’re both going to be speaking at the same function the next day and offers him a lift in her motorcade…unless he has a date? He says he doesn’t and accepts the ride invitation. I think the Veep was just flirting in her own awkward way. Susan’s no smooth operator, but she’s fun to watch.

Cy rushes in to piss on this little parade. He tells Fitz there’s an emergency and pulls him from the party. He says Rowan, aka Papa Pope, has escaped from prison, and Tom is out as well. Olivia walks in, hears the news, and pretends to be surprised and distressed. Well, she is distressed, but she’s certainly not surprised. Fitz assures Liv they’ll find Pa and hugs her. Over his shoulder, Liv sees Abby, and from the look they exchange, it seems like Red has figured out exactly what Liv did.

Jake is done. Again. So Abby and Mellie know Liv’s secret. Anybody else? When Liv gets home, Jake is there sitting on her three-quarter couch that’s still missing a cushion and drinking her wine. He tells her to sit and then says that Pa killed Elise. Liv seems surprised, although I don’t know why. That’s what he does. For years he headed up an organization that kills people. Why is the shock that he’s done it again? Did she think he’d change in prison and become a nice guy? Jake blames her for Elise’s death, since Liv made a deal that put a known killer back in action.

Then Jake moralizes all about how awful the Pope family is. Pa is a serial killer, and Liv got him out of prison purely for her own interests. Pa may have trained all of those B613 agents,  but she is his greatest achievement. She’s exactly what he raised her to be.

Like when Fitz got all haughty with Mellie last week, going on about how she had blood on her hands after all he’d done, I just can’t with Jake here. He headed up B613 for a while himself and had lots of people killed. And there was also his killing of James in cold blood. There’s really not anybody qualified to give a speech about morals on this show, because everyone is sullied, but that never stopped them from doing it.

Jake really laces into Liv, who tells him he’s drunk and needs to go. Before leaving, he gives her a creepy kiss. I think it was meant as goodbye for good, but considering how he’d just attacked her, it’s still creepy.

Chief of Stuff. Cyrus is obviously glad to be back bending the president’s ear in the Oval Office. There’s a difference now, though, as Liv is around pretty much all of the time. Cy tells Fitz how the apology went well, but now they have to follow it up with a grand gesture of some sort to get the people’s attention. Fitz disagrees and says he’s decided to go another way and do lots of small things. Liv pipes up about his agenda, and Cy gives her a look like she’s speaking out of turn. But it’s not the only time he’ll do that this episode. Liv doesn’t notice. Her phone rings, and she leaves for the office.

Cy asks Fitz if it’s true he called off the FBI search for Pa. Fitz says he has, because he’s going another way. Later he reveals that he’s hired Jake to find Pa, even though Jake already knows Liv got Pa freed. Looks like Fitz is one of the few people who doesn’t know that, at this point.

Lizzie’s back, and she’s mad. Abby meets up with Lizzie North, who has resurfaced after being unceremoniously fired at Cy’s request. The two still seem friendly, but then Liz gets to the point: Sally Langston wants to interview her on her show, and Liz has full intentions of accepting and airing all kinds of dirt from her time in the inner circle. The only thing that will stop her is a high-level job in the administration. If she doesn’t get it, she spills.

Abby tells Cy about the situation, and he brings the matter to David, who’s supposed to make it go away. David summons Liz to his office to intimidate her. He orders her to sit, because she’s being detained due to how she’s thinking of leaking classified information. He adds that he knows she was the one who leaked the footage of Liv and Fitz in the White House.

But his intimidation tactics fall flat. Lizzie isn’t fooled. She tells David he’s a weasely little troll, among other unflattering things, but she always thought he stood for the law, until today. He must be working for Cy, who she calls sweaty and red-faced. She’s just hurling insults in every direction. Then she stands up and calls David’s bluff: He has no grounds to detain her, and she’s leaving. She watches him as she walks out, waiting to see if he’ll try to stop her. But she’s right. She has the law on her side, and there’s nothing he can do legally, so he reluctantly lets her go.

David goes to Cy and tells him he couldn’t break Liz. Cy says he blew it, but David says he had no legal standing to hold her. If Cy wants to keep her off Sally’s show, he’ll have to think of another way.

As a last resort, Cy goes to tell Fitz about Liz’s plans. When he gets to the Oval, Liv is there, as usual. Every time Cy sees Liv hangin’ with her BF the prez, he gives her a look that I’ve never seen on Cy’s face before. It’s rather off-putting and it’s obvious he’s keeping something bottled up that will surface at some point.

Cy says Fitz can come up with something to keep Liz off Sally’s show. Maybe detain her on the grounds of national security. Fitz says he won’t go to extremes, so Cy says he should at least call Liz and placate her; it’s Cy she’s mad at, but she’ll listen to Fitz. After Cy leaves, Liv tells Fitz he should just go ahead and let Liz do the interview. That seems a bit foolhardy, but Liv looks pretty sure of herself.

Sally’s been Poped. Of course, that’s because Liv was already taking care of things herself. Who needs the attorney general or chief of staff when Olivia Pope is around? The interview arrives, and Sally looks quite smug and seems sure that she’s going to blow the lid off the Grant Administration. She says Liz must be pretty mad about what’s happened, and Liz says she is, but she’s not talking about being fired. Instead, she goes off about the whole impeachment mess and how Fitz is such a good person and such a good president, and it’s just scandalous how that committee treated him. A great man got dragged through the mud and yes, she’s mad about it.

Sally looks disappointed and more than a bit miffed that her golden opportunity to slime the president has come to naught. At the White House, there’s a different reaction. Cy sees enough of the interview to get the gist of what’s going on and rushes to the Oval. He walks in to see Liv and Fitz watching the TV calmly. They weren’t concerned, because they knew exactly what was coming. Cy wants to know what Fitz did to get Lizzie to cooperate. Fitz says he gave her a job. Liz is VP Susan’s new chief of staff.

And just like that, Fitz went back on the promise he made to Cy just a couple of episodes ago about Liz being gone from the administration for good. She’s back, and almost immediately, because Fitz wanted something and saw no reason to keep his word. That promise was made to ensure Cy’s silence on certain matters, but that doesn’t seem to concern Fitz. It looks like he’s just not afraid of Cy, a fact upon which Cy has seized, judging from the look on his face.

Dominatrix Two: The Lizzie. Liz has once again been summoned to David’s office and, of course, she’s not happy about it. But David just wants to return her laptop that was seized the other day. Then he insults her a bit, to return her previous gesture, and she insults him back. It looks like it’s going to get contentious, when it becomes evident there’s some sexual tension here. They continue to hurl insults at one another but get very close while doing so. Ick. Or is it the greatest thing ever? I can’t tell yet.

Liz is the first to stop with the trash talk and acknowledge what’s happening. She takes control, because she’s the alpha in this situation, and she knows it. David, despite his position as AG, the top legal dog in the country, has never been an alpha dog, and he knows it. So when Liz tells him to fess up to his attraction for her and tell her he likes her, he does. She orders him to sit, which he does. Then she whispers that she’s not wearing any panties and straddles him. Then they furiously make out.

Wow! That scene was so awful/awesome. Excuse me while I go scrub down my eyeballs with bleach and a wire brush. Then I need to rewind again. It’s like the proverbial traffic accident you can’t not watch…

But it’s not over. Outside David’s office, VP Susan arrives, wine coolers in hand, to speak with the AG. David’s secretary says he’s in a meeting, but she’ll let him know the Veep is here to see him. Susan says not to bother him, she’ll just wait. But after a few moments she changes her mind and tells the secretary she’s going but leaves the wine coolers. Poor Susie.

So it looks like David gets off on abuse and strong, assertive women. Come to think of it, Abby fits that mold, too. I can totally see Abby in spiky heels and leather, whip in hand, telling David he’d better be a good little boy, or else. I wouldn’t doubt that happened while they were together! But this could get messy if Susan really has set her sights on the AG. As inept as she’s been portrayed, she wouldn’t handle this Liz situation well. I can just see Susan getting obsessed with David and going all Fatal Attraction on him, showing up at his house, a wine cooler in one hand and Lizzie’s scalp in the other, muttering “I will not be ignored, David…”

Ok, I’ve given this way too much thought. But it will be interesting to see where the David and Lizzie (or Dizzy Bear, as Joshua Malina tweeted) pairing goes. This could be fun.

The monster lets loose. After witnessing Liv’s latest sleight of hand regarding Fitz and the presidency, Cy has reached the breaking point. He’s sitting outside the Oval when Liv finally emerges. He asks why she didn’t give him a heads-up on bringing Liz back. Liv tells him that she’s not trying to do his job, but Cy says she’s taken his place. Moreover, she’s made Fitz happy, and that’s not good, because happy men don’t run the world. And Fitz isn’t running the world, because he does what Liv tells him to. She’s staged a bloodless coup, and no one even knows she’s done it. Liv gets a bit insulting and tells him that she and Fitz are in a relationship, and this is what a relationship looks like, in case he didn’t recognize it. He says Fitz isn’t the president anymore, she is.

After this altercation, instead of leaving, Liv stalks back into the Oval and pours herself a drink. Fitz seems happy she’s back and starts bitching about all of the things he has to do. So many problems the president must deal with. Liv sips as she listens to him go on. Then he says the search for Pa isn’t going well. Nobody can find him. It looks like he’s disappeared, maybe for good.

That sparks something in Liv. She steels herself and begins rattling off solutions to all of the problems he was just bitching about. Yes, she was listening, and of course she knows what to do about everything. As the episode closes, Liv is barking out instructions as she’s standing on the presidential seal no less, while Fitz sits on the couch, on the sidelines, taking notes. It looks like instead of being insulted by Cy’s accusation of her usurping the presidency, Liv has decided to embrace it.

How long will this last? Probably only until Fitz finds out that Liv got Pa sprung, which can’t be too long, considering how many people already know. Some details on episode 05.08 “Rasputin” –

In the midst of Fitz negotiating a historic peace deal, Olivia must rely on her instincts when a guest of the White House discloses powerful intel. Meanwhile, Jake uses Huck’s help to get closer to his target, and Cyrus takes matters into his own hands when he realizes he’s been shut out of the inner circle.

I wonder if that ‘powerful intel’ has anything to do with Pa. Cy feeling cornered enough to take matters into his own hands could involve anything. And no mention of Dizzy Bear? I’m not sure whether to be disappointed or grateful.

 

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