Catch up on Scandal S7 Ep. 14 The List


L.T. Milroy

What to do about Cy? That seems to be the big question around Scandaland these days. The former political power player turned death row prisoner, who’s now the popular VP, is proving to be quite a handful in the waning days of this series. Cyrus Beene has sure worn many hats during its run. Where exactly he’ll end up has turned out to be a key question that’s affecting the fates of many of the other regulars. At the moment, he’s on top of the world and controlling his destiny, but we all know how fast things can change in Scandalverse. It’s been whiplash-inducing at times, and I expect nothing less as the program careens to its conclusion.

Case of the Week set-up. In the opening scene, we see a young woman in a store, talking on the phone to her father. She appears to be some sort of government worker and seems fine and happy until she says goodbye and hangs up with dad. That’s when she goes to the store’s gun department, wanting to buy a gun.

Meanwhile, Olivia shows up at Abby’s door. Abby, of course, says she doesn’t want to see her, so Liv gets to the point immediately and tells Abby she thinks the hacking of Air Force Two was done by Cyrus. That intrigues Abby enough to let her in. Once inside, Liv says “we” have to figure out what to do about the situation. Abby finds her word choice interesting; “‘We’ aren’t going to do anything,” she says, because the Gladiators have no intention of working with Liv. A contrite Liv says she’s not asking for their forgiveness, just for their help. Abby still looks doubtful but says she’ll think about it.

At the White House, Mellie is concerned about the new federal budget plan. She needs the votes to get it passed and asks Jake for help. She does this while lying on the floor of the Oval Office; her back has gone out, and apparently the doctor’s only advice for when this happens is to lie on the floor. She suggests enlisting Cy’s help with this task. He’s popular right now, after coming out of the AF2 incident, and should help rustle up votes for them. Jake isn’t happy about that idea, but agrees.

Jake then drops in on the B613 lair, where a computer nerd is working on finding out who hacked AF2. She’s studying the virus but hasn’t yet determined its origin.

Case of the Week. Liv visits Marcus at the Fitzgerald Grant Institute. She asks him out to dinner, and he says she must really have no friends. Hee! Liv smiles, but they’re quickly interrupted by a guy wanting to speak with Liv. He’s looking for his daughter who seems to have disappeared. He tells Liv about her, and it’s obvious she was the young woman buying a gun in the opening scene. He hasn’t heard from her, which is strange, because she keeps in regular touch. He wants help finding her.

Liv tells him she doesn’t do this kind of work, but the guy says his daughter, Alisha, came to Washington because of her. Alisha idolized Liv and wanted to work in DC to be like her. She’s an intern because of Liv, working in Congressman Beard’s office. He says he hasn’t heard from Alisha in a week, so something must be wrong. Liv and Marcus talk to Fitz about the case, and he agrees to take it.

At QPA, Abby tells the Gladiators about the theory of Cy being behind the AF2 hacking. Since she can’t tell them she got the idea from Liv, she says she heard the attorney general, aka her BF David, talking about it. They debate looking into it. Charlie says they shouldn’t rush into anything, and then speaks with Quinn alone. He seems a bit off-center, which is understandable, and says he’s still getting used to the fact that she’s still alive and around to speak to at all. He’s also concerned that she came back to work too quickly, but Quinn says she’s not the type to sit around at home. She has to stay active and wants to work this case.

Liv’s minions. Trying to track down some info on Alisha, Liv goes to her apartment. Alisha’s roommate, Megan, answers the door. She recognizes Liv immediately and gushes a bit before letting her in. They go to Alisha’s room, which has some pictures of Liv on the wall and looks vaguely stalkerish. Megan says Alisha’s been gone for a couple of days, ever since she lost her job. They were both interns in Congressman Beard’s office, but the internships recently ended. At that point, all the interns were either offered a fulltime position or told they could leave; Megan got the first option and Alisha the second. Megan then tells Liv she has to get to work. On the way out of Alisha’s room, Liv takes her laptop.

At FGI, Liv and Fitz are going through the laptop and find out about Alisha’s recent gun purchase. They also find a note Alisha wrote to her boss, a guy named Waterbend, just before she was fired. They’re reading it as Marcus walks in to inform them the police have been notified about the disappearance. In the note, Alisha says she won’t tell anyone ‘what happened’ and asks him not to ‘GFV’ her. Liv and Fitz are confused, so Marcus shows them a website dubbed “the fresh meat list”, which is The List of the episode’s title. It’s all about female interns on Capitol Hill and is as lurid as you’re probably thinking. Marcus says that GFV stands for gluten-free vegan, meaning Alisha was one of the interns who wouldn’t cooperate with the sexual requests of her boss. Once the list labeled Alisha as someone who wouldn’t ‘put out’, she not only wasn’t hired in Beard’s office, but couldn’t find a job anywhere on the Hill. She looked around, but no one in DC would hire her. Then she bought the gun.

Tracking Cy. Mel is meeting with Cy, telling him they have to get more votes for their budget. He says he’ll talk to some Democrats about it. Mel thanks him and adds that she’s so glad he’s okay. Then she starts to apologize for almost shooting down the plane and killing him, but he says it’s not necessary. He totally understands what she did, and he would have done the same thing. It’s hard to believe Mel is really sincere about this and believes Cy acted in a heroic and selfless fashion, but who knows what she suspects? At this moment, it appears she’s being honest. She also promises him they’ll find out who’s responsible for the hacking and hold them accountable.

At QPA, Huck and Charlie are doing their own work trying to crack the plane virus. Abby is watching Cy on TV being interviewed in his office about the federal budget, when she notices something and asks aloud where the Cezanne is, the painting Fenton Glackland gifted Cy. It was hanging in Cy’s office, and now she doesn’t see it. Abby says that it was worth enough to get a hacker to write a hijacking virus. That gets the attention of Huck and Charlie, since they hacked Cy’s bank accounts and were frustrated to find no big withdrawals had been made. Maybe this is how he raised the funds.

Then we see the man in question himself, as Cy enters a secure room. There awaits Lonnie, the hacker, with the Cezanne. I’m a bit confused by Lonnie, because the actor was a semi-regular on The West Wing and played a good guy, a Secret Service agent who served in close proximity to President Bartlet and once took a bullet meant for him. He’s working with the evil-these-days Cy here, so is decidedly not a good guy. He tells Cy he’s getting nervous. He knows Liv met with Abby about her suspicions, that all kinds of people are looking into the plane hacking, and he thinks it’s getting too dangerous. He loves the painting but says he won’t be able to enjoy it in prison. Cy tells him to calm down. Nothing can be traced to him. He was paid with the painting, so there’s no money trail. He just needs to keep doing his job, Cy says he’ll worry about Liv.

A piggish pol and a corpse. Liv and Marcus go to speak with the Waterbend guy, who’s responsible for having Alisha branded a GFV and ruining her life. He has this conversation while walking briskly, as if he’s just so busy he can’t keep from rushing around for two seconds to address the disappearance of a former congressional staffer. He’s also a huge turd and says it’s not his fault if Alisha didn’t want to ‘play the game’. She knew what DC was like, so he’s not responsible for her choices. What she did was up to her. This angers Liv, who starts laying into him as Marcus’s phone beeps. It’s the morgue calling to say Alisha’s body has been found. It was a suicide; she bought the gun to use on herself when she was distraught that the career she’d fantasized about was over before it began.

Alisha’s grieving father is brought in to identify her. Afterward, he has a few choice words for Liv. He says he knows who she really is and what she did to get there. She’s on top of the heap, but she screwed Fitz to get what she wanted, and who knows what else she’s done? Liv is someone who’s played the game to the hilt, while his daughter was a good person who just wanted to make an honest living. She didn’t stand a chance in this town. She idolized Liv, but Liv is not a role model, and Alisha couldn’t see that. He says she was just a nice person who’s dead before her time, because she looked up to Liv.

Liv takes all this in, a bit stunned at the outburst. She’s probably heard much of it before, but considering the source, it’s obvious she’s affected by it.

It leads her to visit FGI, where she’s spending quite a bit of time these days. She tells Fitz they can’t just let the case end here. They have to do something for Alisha and all the women on the list. She wants to bring down Waterbend. Fitz says the existence of the list should be enough to do that, but Liv thinks they need something more, so she pays Megan a return visit. Since Megan was classified by Waterbend as ‘prime rib’ and still has a job, it’s safe to assume she made a different decision than Alisha. Megan is uncomfortable but confirms it and says it was easier to just put up and shut up about it. She didn’t know Alisha had killed herself. Liv says they want to build a case against Waterbend using the website and asks if Megan can help. Megan looks hesitant.

Like old times. Marcus has a meeting with Mel in the White House and shows her the fresh meat list. It was apparent that Liv and Fitz didn’t know about the list, and now it seems Mel is surprised, too. Why is Marcus the only one in this circle of DC luminaries who knew this thing existed? That isn’t addressed. Mel is horrified and agrees that something should be done, but says for a variety of reasons, new legislation at this time would be impossible. Politically, it’s just not something she can do right now. She says she’s sorry she couldn’t give him what he came there for, and he answers that when it comes to her, he never gets what he wants. It was then that I remembered the torrid affair these two had. That was last season, after all, an eternity in Scadaltime. Marcus obviously remembers, and the two have a loaded moment staring at each other. I was thinking Mel might attack him, rip his clothes off, and they’d go at it right on the desk, like in their first hook-up, but no such luck. She says she’ll take his proposal for legislation into consideration and thanks him for coming.

Busted. Abby brings David dinner to his office. As she walks in, he’s texting with Cy, which concerns her. Are they buddies now? David says no, but they faced death together, so they have a bond. She starts talking about Cy and the plane hacking investigation, but David says he doesn’t know anything. He tells her that since he’s so close to the situation, he’s recused himself from the investigation.

Things get more complicated at QPA. Huck has found the Al Smith Dinner speech Cy wrote. He says it makes no sense that he was writing a speech for a dinner he knew he wouldn’t be going to. If he had planned the plane hacking in advance, he’d know he wasn’t going to the dinner. This seemed to be evidence that he was sent to the summit and put on AF2 at the last minute. Charlie says none of it adds up. Quinn agrees and asks Abby if David told her anything more. Abby hems and haws a bit before coming clean and telling them the theory about Cy masterminding the hacking didn’t come from David but from Liv. Quinn, as expected, doesn’t take that admission well. She doesn’t trust anything about Liv and shuts down the investigation immediately.

That night, Abby meets clandestinely with Liv. She tells her that Quinn found out the Cy intel came from Liv, and they’re no longer investigating the case. Liv is frustrated and insists that Cy is guilty of this. Abby says that might be true, but it can’t be QPA that proves it.

Really, Jake? In the Oval, Mel is also frustrated. Jake tells her he’s having trouble getting enough votes for the budget. Even though she shut Marcus down over it, she brings up sexual harassment legislation. Jake says to wait for the whole budget mess to be over. Until it’s passed, they really can’t concentrate on much else. Mel agrees, and in another callback to her past, she orders up some fried chicken while she and Jake burn the midnight oil discussing their options. Remember back when Mel was first lady and she’d deal with her problems with a mess of fried chicken from the White House kitchen? I love fried-chicken-eating Mel.

The POTUS and CoS have their pow wow on the floor, where Mel is still mostly confined after throwing out her back. Her prone position, though, doesn’t interfere with her ability to wolf down fried chicken, which I love and respect her for. They get a little silly after a while, and Mel admits that she hurt her back doing happy baby, a yoga pose. They laugh about that, and Jake says they make a good team. Then he puts his hand on hers and they have an intimately awkward moment as they look at each other. It doesn’t last very long. She says she thinks he should go, and he reluctantly does.

Ugh. I have to admit that Mel and Jake is new, if rather creepy. Is every possible combination going to be pimped out as a couple before this show is through? I mean, why didn’t they get Pa and Quinn together when they had the chance? Is it too early to pair Robin up with someone? (Where is Robin while Quinn and Charlie are working all the time, anyway? Should I even ask? Probably not.)

Bitter Chuck. At QPA, Huck is still working on tracing the plane virus. Charlie reminds him that Quinn told them to drop it, but Huck says it doesn’t feel right. So what if they’re following a lead provided by Liv? What if the lead is legit, and the old Liv is back? Charlie says that will never happen. Liv, now and forever, will be their adversary and is not to be trusted. He adds angrily that he won’t ever work for Liv or anyone in the White House ever again.

Like old times? Liv is meeting with Fitz at FGI and looks rather dejected. Fitz tells her that they’re not defeated; all they need is for one woman to come forward and help them. So far, that hasn’t happened, and Liv is thinking it’s not going to. This whole matter has also apparently gotten Fitz thinking. He asks Liv if in the past he was ever inappropriate with her. Wow, that’s quite a question to be asking, at this point. Liv says no, she doesn’t think he crossed a line but that they crossed it together. She also says she has no regrets about it and that she’d do it again. They’re kind of bonding for the first time in a long time, but before they get too close, and the thoughts and prayers of Olitz fans everywhere can be fulfilled, Megan appears in the doorway. It looks like prime rib gal isn’t happy wearing that moniker, and she’s decided to come forward and speak out.


The next day, Megan goes before the press. She looked kind of bubble-headed and willfully naive when we first saw her, but now she looks confident as she talks about the atmosphere in DC. It’s too late for her friend Alisha, she says, but she wants to do something in her memory. The reaction to her words is immediate, as others come forward to talk about how they were victimized by the list. Before long, an alternative list surfaces online of Washington’s worst predators.

It was a job well done for Liv. As she leaves FGI (for now), she thanks Fitz for all his help. They shake hands while inspirational music plays, and it’s hard not to see this as a redeeming undertaking for Liv, as well as a possible step toward an Olitz reunion. For the moment, however, a handshake is just a handshake.

Things aren’t going so well for the faux couple of the episode. Jake walks into the Oval. and Mel tells him about legislation she’s going to introduce on workplace harassment. He takes that as his cue to apologize for last night. She doesn’t mince words and says she has no interest in playing Liv and Fitz with him. Having lots of secret nookie with staff is not something on the agenda for her administration. He says he didn’t assume it was. What he did was the result of being attracted to her in that moment, nothing more. She says she thinks it might have been a power play on his part. He denies that and says again it was an honest reaction to the moment. Mel looks doubtful.

More old times. Liv is at home watching the news when Abby knocks at the door. She compliments Liv on Megan’s press conference. Liv accepts the compliment and asks her in. She tells Abby she doesn’t blame the Gladiators for not trusting her or wanting to work with her. She can understand that. Besides, she says, it’s not their fight in the first place. Liv says it’s all about the promise she made to Mel back when they first began working together, which was to do all she could to protect her from the men who want to take her power. Even after all that’s happened between her and the POTUS, Liv says she remembers making that promise, and she intends to keep it. Abby is impressed and won over. She doesn’t care what her coworkers think; she wants to be on Team Liv.

One last thing… At B613, Jake’s computer nerd says she’s tracked down who made the computer virus. At QPA, Huck has hacked into Charlie’s laptop and discovered something disturbing: the laptop had the virus the day before it infected AF2. Huck tells Quinn about it. He says it unfortunately kind of makes sense, with Charlie being so angry about anything government related lately. Quinn then confronts Charlie with the evidence, accusing him of working with Cy again and writing the virus. This was another callback, as I’d forgotten Charlie once worked for Cy; way back in the first couple of seasons, when Cy was Fitz’s CoS, Charlie did all his dirty work. Quinn says he’s back in cahoots with his old boss. Charlie denies this quite vigorously. He would never work with Cy again and says someone must have put the virus on his laptop. He’s so adamant that Quinn reconsiders and starts to look panicked. She tells Charlie to GTF out of there, but it’s too late. As he rushes toward the door, FBI agents burst in and put him under arrest.

Later, AG David makes an announcement to the press that an arrest has been made in the AF2 hacking. He says he’s had to recuse himself from the case, but an able and trustworthy person will be taking his place. Then he introduces this pillar of virtue who will be prosecuting Charlie for the hacking: none other than Lonnie the art lover! He’s apparently an underling of David’s in the AG’s office. David seems to genuinely trust the guy, but Davey also dated the obviously unwholesome Natasha last season, so his powers of judgment may be a bit skewed, Abby notwithstanding.

Cy watches this announcement on TV, happy with what he sees. At Liv’s place, there’s a knock on her door. It’s Quinn, looking desperate. With Charlie under arrest for a federal crime and things seeming hopeless, she has no one else to turn to but her old mentor, the one she threatened to kill just a couple of episodes ago. Things can change fast in Scandaland.

The clock is running out, though. There are only four episodes left in the series, the next being 07.15, “The Noise”. It airs on 3/29, as the show takes a break next week, and is directed by Darby Stanchfield, aka Gladiator Abby Whelan. Ms. Stanchfield putting on the director’s cap is a Scandal first, as the regulars continue to branch out. It looks like the remainder of the eps will be focused on the comeuppance of Cy. The CoS has, of course, behaved in a shoddy fashion many times in the past, but now, in the series’ final-stretch eps, he’s basically being portrayed as the evilest evil that ever eviled. He will have to be dealt with, and if Liv can atone for some of her recent bad behavior in the process, all the better.


Hard to believe the whole circus is winding down. C U in 2!


Catch up on Scandal S7 Ep.13 Air Force Two”


L.T. Milroy


Someone has taken control of Air Force Two, and some of our favorite denizens of Scandaland are in peril, both in the air and on the ground. How will they all fare during this hour? That’s the question that will be answered throughout the episode. And there’s also some technical cyber stuff I didn’t even come close to understanding. I don’t know if it all even makes sense. Is it accurate, or more like the lightning speed with which we saw Liv and friends get a case before the Supreme Court last week? That was entertaining but not very true to life. I’m not sure exactly where on the ridiculosity continuum this AF2 hacking falls, but I guess that’s not really the point. As always with this show, one shouldn’t try to analyze too closely; just try to relax and enjoy.

In that spirit, on to this week’s shenanigans.

Speechus interruptus. The episode opens to Cy laughing it up in his office. Whatever he’s reading has him highly amused. He’s cracking up so loud his assistant, Hannah, comes in to find out WTF is so funny. Turns out, he’s loving his own handiwork. He’s writing a speech for the upcoming Al Smith dinner, and has come up with some jokes he knows are going to kill, including one about Sally Langston, who still doesn’t make an appearance, but gets a mention, at least. Now what about Susan Ross? She remains MIA and is still apparently unmentionable. He can’t wait to entertain everyone with his rapier wit.

But he won’t get the chance. Cy is called into the Oval, where Mel informs him that she’s sending him to Lisbon for the digital piracy summit. He’s decidedly unhappy about that, as he is with the fact that Jake, Mel’s new chief of staff, is there and seems to be in on the decision. In fact, when Cy starts grousing about what a great speech he wrote, Mel suggests Cy gave it to Jake, who is going to the dinner in his place. Far from placating him, that makes Cy even more angry, as he calls Jake a hack and stalks out.

Abby’s dilemma. At Abby and David’s place, David, who’s also going to the summit, is finishing packing. He tells Abby on his way out the door that he’s making reservations for a fancy dinner on Thursday. That stresses Abby out. At QPA, she prattles on to Huck and Charlie about how she thinks David is going to propose and that she doesn’t know how to respond. If she really wants to know what he might be planning, Huck suggests hacking into David’s browser history.

On the plane. Cy is still bitter as he boards Air Force Two. Once in the air, David remarks about what a nice plane it is, but Cy hates everything today and calls it a dump. It’s a piece of garbage compared to Air Force One, he says. Then a staffer comes in to give them the news: they’ve lost control of the plane, which is on autopilot, controlled by an unknown source. They’ve also lost contact with the ground.

At QPA, Huck and Charlie have hacked David and are rummaging through what he’s been up to online. They find that he recently made a jewelry purchase and that he made and canceled six dinner reservations before settling on one. The two murderous spies seem to be enjoying their gossipy foray through Davey’s bidness a little too much for Abby, who gives them the side-eye. She says Huck and Charlie used to be dark and creepy, but now they’re all ‘fluffy’, which she finds even creepier. Hee! The light mood doesn’t last long, as a sober-looking Quinn walks in and tells Abby there’s something on TV she has to see. News of AF2 has broken, and the jewelry-buying dinner-crazy Davey is in mortal danger.

A visit with Ma. At the moment, Liv is far away from the political scene. She shows up at Ma’s place, which is the apartment where Ma is being held in custody. Ma Pope hasn’t been seen in a while, but she’s still around, still being held prisoner, albeit in a very lovely place, and still bitter and sarcastic about everything. Liv has brought French food and beverages to celebrate Ma’s birthday. She takes off her coat, and Ma is surprised, and a bit suspicious, that she’s actually going to stay for dinner. Liv says she just wants to spend some time with her mother on her birthday. Her phone rings, but she turns it off, not wanting to be disturbed.

Meanwhile at the White House, Mel huddles with her team. They’ve lost all contact with AF2. They don’t know who’s controlling it, but it’s been hacked and this is likely a hostage or kidnap situation. Mel tells Jake that there has to be some way to get in touch with those on the plane and tells him to find it.

Hacking and some other stuff. Back on AF2, Cy gathers everyone and tries to calm them down. That group includes people like Cy and David, as well as their staffs, but also several reporters who are along for the ride. They’re informed that the malware that hacked the plane was brought on-board unwittingly by one of them, so everyone is told to hand over their electronic devices to the Secret Service. Hearing this news, Cy’s assistant, Hannah, panics. She takes Cy aside and tells him she thinks this may be her fault. She gives him her laptop and tells him that the day before, it went missing, but she’s always misplacing things and didn’t think much of it. After it reappeared on her desk later, she basically forgot about the whole thing. She also says the laptop went missing right around the time Jake showed up.

As Cy is learning this bit of info, the plane suddenly lurches, sending him flying and opening a big, bloody gash in his face. AF2 has turned around and is now headed for Washington, DC.

Cy tells David he suspects Jake might be behind this. He takes out Hannah’s laptop and says he’s not turning it over to the Secret Service, because he doesn’t trust them, or any government official, for that matter. Jake has lots of contacts in the intelligence community, so who knows who’s been compromised? If they’re going to get out of this alive, Cy says, they’ll have to find a way to contact their friends, who care about them. The White House can’t be relied on and is useless to them. In the first bit of technical voodoo I don’t quite understand, a staffer is able to send the virus from the laptop to QPA. It contains a short message explaining that this is the virus controlling AF2, and that the Gladiators shouldn’t trust anyone in the government.

Creepy Jake shot down. Mel, huddled with her team in the Situation Room, has found out that the plane is headed for DC. Jake shares the opinion that it may have to be shot down, for security reasons. That makes Mel ask everyone to give them the room. Once alone, she tells Jake she can’t believe, with all the resources available to them, that shooting down AF2 would even be an option. It’s seeming like Mel might suspect Jake of nefarious intentions when she unleashes an unexpected full-out assault. She guesses this stunt with AF2 might be Jake’s way of “taking out the trash”. She knows he doesn’t like Cy, so maybe this is him getting the Veep out of his way, once and for all. It would sure be an effective way of getting the job done.

Jake disagrees and says this method is too messy; if he merely wanted Cy gone, there are much easier ways to do it, so why go to all this effort when he could just take Cy out quietly, without drawing so much attention? He certainly has the training to do that. But Mel isn’t convinced. She brings up the Rashad assassination and says maybe he just has a thing for planes. None of this looks good, and Mel says she needs some time to think, alone. She orders Jake out, telling him she’ll deal with him later.

A rude birthday party. The dinner of tension continues at Ma’s place. Liv is trying to ignore the awkwardness, and begins gushing about her recent court case with Annalise. Ma isn’t moved by Liv’s seeming attempts at bonding. She asks why Liv is there. Liv says she wants to celebrate her mother’s birthday. Ma says if that’s really the case, if she really wanted her to have a good birthday, Liv would let her out instead of continuing to hold her in custody. Then Ma, as is her wont, gets all snarky and abusive, culminating in her intimating that Liv was only there out of guilt brought on by her court case, and that it’s ironic Liv threw herself so enthusiastically into trying to get so many people of color out of prison, while she lets her own mother rot away under house arrest. Then she condescendingly accuses Liv of living in a fantasy world. Liv has heard enough. She rolls her eyes, gets up and walks across the room to her phone. She turns it back on, because she’s done listening to Ma’s BS, but is surprised when it beeps immediately.

Even stripped of much of her DC clout, when Olivia Pope goes AWOL for a couple of hours, the world is waiting when she returns. Her phone has a message from the POTUS, who’d been trying to reach her earlier. It’s unknown what exactly Mel would have said to Liv, had she gotten hold of her, but later, sitting alone in the Oval after throwing Jake out, she calls Fitz. He offers to tell her what he would do in this situation, but she turns him down. Mel wants to handle this on her own.

Trash talk everywhere. Cy and David are gossiping about Abby and marriage, and relationships, and whatever they can think of to take their minds off their current situation, when outside the window a couple of F-15 jets pull up alongside the plane. Cy gravely says this means Jake’s winning. Mel has decided to have the jets handy in case AF2 needs to be shot down. She hasn’t made any decisions yet and says no one is to pull the trigger without her go-ahead.

Back on the ground, they’re also using gossip to deal with the situation. At QPA, Abby and Huck are anxiously watching the news, and Abby is distraught. She thinks the White House has already made the decision to shoot down the plane. She faces losing David, but she says it’s basically just as well, because she was only going to break his heart, anyway. It looks like he was going to propose, and she says though she loves him, she doesn’t want to marry him. Huck says he thinks Abby’s bad first marriage is keeping her from being happy, and she shouldn’t let it. There goes Huck, being all ‘fluffy’ again.

A reckoning. On AF2, David tells Cy he thinks they should try to get a message to Mel that Jake may be behind this. Cy thinks it would do no good. If they mess with Mel’s head at this point, it could backfire, and the plane will just end up being a bomb aimed at DC. That’s the worst-case scenario. Better to be shot down.

Then there’s more technical mumbo jumbo. A reporter has caught onto the fact that the cockpit has access to Wifi and shows up there to ask them to share. It’s weird that a reporter would be allowed to just stroll into the cockpit of AF2, particularly during an emergency situation, but that’s what she does. She wants the world to see what’s going on as the plane looks like it’s about to be shot down, and asks them to give her access (on her phone that she kept, against orders). When she returns to her seat, she finds her phone is active.

It’s then that Cy seems to have accepted the inevitable and gets in front of everyone to address them. They’ve all seen the F-15’s outside, he says gravely, and they all know what it means. Their government is considering shooting them down, and though it’s a horrible thought, it’s better than the alternative. If some terrorist is trying to use AF2 as a missile, it’s best to remove that option, if possible. They’re headed for DC, and it’s looking like they’ll crash in a highly populated area, which means many casualties. Lots of dead bodies is what the terrorists want the world to see, so they can blame it on the US government. They’re in a position to prevent that. It’s an awful way to go, but they’ll go as heroes, Cy says. The world will know they gave their lives to keep America safe. They’ll die as patriots, and he’s proud to do that with them.

It’s a brave, inspired, and indeed, presidential speech. And one which Cy delivers looking bedraggled, his clothes still covered with the blood from his head wound. He looks strong and heroic and, coincidentally, the world got to see it. As soon as he started talking, our intrepid reporter, her phone service restored, started secretly live streaming. The Gladiators are seen silently watching, as are Liv, Fitz and Jake, in their respective locations.

An upset Liv, still ‘celebrating’ at Ma’s, starts panicking, and the ever-snarky Ma thinks she’s being foolish. Why does Liv care about those people on the plane, anyway? They’re not her friends. In fact, they’re the kind of DC insiders who brought her down. She should be celebrating their impending deaths. Ma delivers this with her customary irritating smugness, and when she starts in with the mind games, a disgusted Liv leaves. Happy birthday, Ma!

After delivering his inspirational speech, Cy walks through the plane, making reassuring eye contact with everyone. When he gets to the shutterbug reporter, he also gives her a little nod. It’s subtle, but unmistakable.

A sort-of resolution. At the White House, Mel has cooled off enough to speak with Jake. She asks him to tell her he had nothing to do with this, and he does. He doesn’t sound all that convincing, and Mel doesn’t look very convinced. Jake then basically says he serves at the pleasure of his president. Whatever she wants from him, she should tell him, and he’ll do it.

Things are tense on board AF2, and get even tenser as the F-15’s pull back to get in firing position. A decision has to be made whether to shoot the plane down before it’s too late. It’s something Mel still wants to avoid, so with the seconds ticking down, she tells her team to try one last time to make contact. At QPA, the Gladiators work furiously to try to shut the virus down. The cuts back and forth between AF2, the White House, and QPA during these last seconds are actually pretty exciting. Normally it wouldn’t be, but with the show ending soon, who knows what they have in store for the fates of these characters? Killing off Cy and David in this manner certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

But then, suddenly, it’s all over. We don’t get to see the resolution. The scene cuts away to Abby’s apartment. There’s a knock at the door, and she opens it to David. At this point, the transition was so jarring, I wasn’t sure whether this was supposed to be reality or fantasy. But then it slowly becomes apparent that it’s reality, it was just done in a really questionable fashion. She jumps into his arms and is so happy to see him that she forgets all about what she told Huck about breaking David’s heart. She knows he was planning to propose, and she tells him to just go ahead and do it. She’s ready. But he says she has it all wrong. The info they dug up had to do with his mother’s birthday; the jewelry and dinner reservations are for her. David says he knows Abby well enough to understand that he shouldn’t propose to her unless he wants to lose her. She looks so relieved and like she’s found her soulmate.

Can she do this? Liv is back at home after her fun little mother/daughter get-together. She watches news reports while she gets a package ready for delivery. Those news reports include clips of Mel, thanking everyone involved for all they did, and singling out Cy for his cool head and extraordinary bravery.

The package is seen being delivered to Ma. It contains a lovely coat, the likes of which Ma admired, but chided Liv for wearing. In a pocket is information about how to access a one-way ticket to Paris and a Swiss bank account. It leads Ma to give Liv a call. Liv says that she’s giving Ma what she wants and is cutting her loose. She tells Ma that she won and to take the ticket and the money and go live the life she wants. She’s free. So all this time, Ma was being held at Liv’s discretion? After all the many crimes Ma has committed, it wasn’t the federal government holding her, but Liv, and Liv has the power to just release her? Seems unlikely, but it’s happening.

Giving Ma what she wants, however, is apparently the best way to punish her. As she listens to Liv talk, she looks distressed, obviously unhappy with what she’s hearing. After all her carping about being held captive, it looks like she finds captivity preferable to being set free. Is it just all about the game for Ma? In the end, has it never been about convictions of any kind on any level on her part, but merely about the rush she gets out of playing cat and mouse with Liv and Pa? Judging by how stricken she’s looking in this scene, that appears to be the case.

As always, one last thing… After dealing with Ma, Liv stops by Cy’s place. He seems a bit jumpy but says he’s doing fine. Liv gets right to the point and asks himwhy AF2 and not AF1? Hacking AF1 would have been so much flashier. He just looks baffled and says he can’t explain the attack, he just survived it. She says it was a hell of a gamble, and he replies that gambling’s for fools. He slowly gets more revealing, and it becomes clear he was indeed somehow involved with this whole thing, though he won’t admit it outright to Liv. She tells him that his timing was off; he did this too soon into Mel’s presidency for it to have any lasting effect for him. It appears he’s not concerned about that. He says that the second Grant administration might not be around much longer, anyway.

So that’s how it ends this week, with Cy pretty blatantly threatening Mel to Liv’s face. The same Mel who we’d just seen a couple of minutes before praising Cy’s bravery and commending his authority in keeping an AF2 under attack under control. Mel has been shown to be pretty savvy, so it’s doubtful she doesn’t suspect Cy at all. She must know by now what she’s dealing with, in terms of both Cy and Jake. She called out Jake during this episode, so I don’t think she’s so obtuse about Cy’s ambitions and limits, but who knows? This show has dumbed down characters before.

With no one killed off, we plunge ahead to 07.14, “The List”. That’s a rather generic title, and I couldn’t track down a written preview. Judging from the short preview shown this week, it looks like next week, and the rest of the season, will be about who hacked the plane and why, and of course, about redemption. Where exactly will all the machinations of Liv and Cy and Jake…and everyone else over these years finally end up? With only five episodes left in the series, it’s all going to be resolved soon.

Catch up on Scandal S7 Ep. 12 Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself


L.T. Milroy


So this is the How To Get Away with Murder crossover edition of Scandal, and it’s not bad, as these sorts of gimmicks go. I tried HTGAWM when it first debuted, but it didn’t grab me. I haven’t been back since, so I can’t say I was looking forward to this as a fan. But Annalise Keating is a fun character to spend some time with, and she and Liv play off each other well here.

It’s also worth noting that Tony Goldwyn directed this episode. He’s been directing in addition to acting for years, so that’s not unusual. With the end of this show looming ever closer, though, it just seems like everyone’s keeping their options open.

Hot for teacher. So what has Olivia been up to since being asked to leave her job in the White House? We find out immediately, as she’s in front of a mirror getting dressed in a sensible suit, looking somewhat straight-laced but still very doable. Then at a blackboard, on which she writes How to Survive a Scandal and turns to face a roomful of students. She’s teaching a course at DeWitt University on her craft of being a fixer.

Sitting among the students is former law professor Annalise Keating, who introduces herself to Liv when the class is over. She says she’s representing a class action case that could reform the justice system. She represents a bunch of clients, mostly poor and mostly of color, who are being held in custody for long amounts of time, because there aren’t enough public defenders. She says she wants to get the case before the Supreme Court and asks for Liv’s help. Liv isn’t sure what she can do, but Annalise leaves her with a file and asks her to look through it.

QPA lives! Quinn is back from the not-quite dead and back to work at QPA. Abby and Huck are running down their cases and reviewing what’s been going on around the office, but Quinn is distracted. She’s looking up Liv online and has found out about the DeWitt position. Abby snarks about the ‘those who can’t do, teach’ thing, but Quinn is obviously still mighty bitter about Liv leaving her for dead.

One of the few still speaking with Liv is Marcus, who meets her in a bar. She tells him about Annalise, but not only does Marcus know who she is, he’s an admirer. Beyond that, though, he’s not much of a help and doesn’t give Liv any substantive guidance on what to do. She asks him why he sees her at all, after what’s happened, and he’s blunt: because she’s Black. He’ll always be there for her, and he’ll always root for her, simply for that reason, he says, intimating that she should do the same for Annalise.

Getting acquainted. At home, Liv flips through the case file. It gets her attention, so she goes online to find out what she can about Annalise. I’m not up on everything going on over at HTGAWM, but it seems that Ms. Keating is as dicey a character as Liv herself and has lost her prestigious job teaching law due to such dicey-ness, for starters.

It leads Liv to show up at Annalise’s hotel room door to tell her she has a strong case, but she also has a big problem, which is being the face of that case. She says Annalise just had too many problems, which, of course, is ironic coming from her. Annalise has been accused of murder and is a drunk, says Liv, someone who has killed in cold blood and likes to gulp wine from big-ass glasses. Annalise says she was wrongly accused and is sober now. Liv says it doesn’t matter; the press will focus on her colorful past instead of her case. Then she says to have a safe trip home to Philadelphia, and Annalise closes the door.

But if this matter were closed that quickly, there would be no episode. Liv starts to walk away, then reconsiders and goes back. She tells Annalise she’ll help out, but this is her town, she’s in charge and they need to follow her rules. Annalise agrees.

At FGI. Liv goes to see Fitz at the Fitzgerald Grant Institute. She gives him the file and asks for help. She says she knows he doesn’t like her right now, but this isn’t personal. It’s about doing the right thing.

Fitz must have been persuaded by what he read, because later, Liv and Annalise, along with bubbly assistant Michaela, are at FGI waiting for a meeting with Fitz. Marcus is also there and seems amused by Michaela’s enthusiasm. When Fitz arrives, he says Mellie has agreed to hear them out. Marcus says the Supreme Court is basically guaranteed to take the case if the White House gets involved.

A snarky meeting. The group goes to the White House, where Mel welcomes them to the Oval Office. Annalise lays out the facts of the case. Mel acknowledges that it’s an important issue but says this isn’t the right way of addressing it. She likes the case but not the court. The bench is much too conservative right now for them to have a chance at a win. David says some justices may retire in the not-too-distant future, so maybe in a year or so they could try the case. Fitz says that’s too long to wait, but Mel says they’ll lose right now, so it’s useless to try. At that point, Liv asks to speak with Mel privately. Everyone leaves the room.

Once they’re alone, Liv pulls no punches and asks Mel why she agreed to this meeting if she knew she was just going to say no. Mel answers that she did it as a favor to Fitz, and she didn’t say no, she just said not right now. Liv thinks Mel is doing this to punish her, and Mel counters that Liv is just taking up this case because she needs a win to stay relevant in DC. Liv brushes that off and says she’ll go forward with Mel’s support or without it. Mel says if she does, she’ll be considered an adversary of the White House.

Meanwhile, Jake drops in on Quinn at QPA. He requests the Gladiators’ assistance with Liv’s case. Quinn flatly says she has no interest in anything Olivia Pope, so Jake asks if that’s the case, why is Quinn Googling Liv all the time to find out what she’s up to? So, you’ve been doing some NSA work? Good for you, Jake! We still haven’t actually seen you on the job, but here’s a bit of evidence of it, so that’s something. Jake echoes Mel and tells Quinn that if Liv wins the case, she could well return to power in DC.

Liv meets with Annalise and breaks the news that Mel couldn’t be persuaded to back them. Annalise is bitterly disappointed and says Liv’s powerhouse reputation is apparently way overblown. But Liv blames everything on Annalise’s reputation; Mel knows all about it and would never consider getting involved with her. Later, Liv sounds off to Fitz. She complains about Mel, and then says maybe they really don’t need her and they can pressure the Supreme Court to take the case themselves, by going high profile. So Liv starts talking publicly about the case.

Here comes the judge. That gets the attention of QPA, which starts its own investigation to try to sidetrack Liv. The work of each team leads it to Supreme Court Justice Spivey, who it is determined is the swing vote. Marcus thinks Spivey can be swayed to their side, and Liv wants to do a TV interview about the case. Annalise says she’s the face of the case and she should be the one speaking about it. They butt heads over this for a couple of minutes, until peacekeeper Michaela suggests they do the interview together. They reluctantly agree.

The Gladiators are busy trying to dig up some dirt on Spivey to use against him, but it’s proving to be quite a task, as he looks squeaky clean. The deeply cynical Quinn says there’s got to be something somewhere. Abby says that if they can’t ‘hamstring’ Spivey, Liv will win. Quinn says no one is as clean as Spivey looks, so they’ve just got to keep digging, because something is out there.

Jake informs Mel that the Gladiators are coming up empty in their quest for dirt. QPA is working for the Grant administration on this one, but so far, nothing has been turned up. Jake says he’ll join the search and find something to get Spivey on their side. Mel says he better, or Liv wins. Then Mel starts saying how she regrets her handling of Liv’s departure from the White House. She never should have let Liv look good by allowing her to resign and should have just publicly fired her. Mel thinks that maybe the details of Liv’s departure should be leaked and asks Jake if one of the Gladiators might want to help do her dirty work. I think that’s a pretty safe bet.

At the hair salon. Liv and Annalise are getting their hair done in preparation for their TV interview. As they’re shooting the breeze with their stylists, a TV in the background has a report about how Liv getting involved in the case is a personal vendetta against Mel. A White House spokesperson gives a statement that while the president’s office has nothing official to say on whether Liv was fired as chief of staff, it does confirm that it will not be working with her in any capacity in the future. Wow, talk about bad timing. Liv gets uncomfortable watching this, as Annalise, like the public in general, thought Liv had left the White House of her own accord. Now here’s this report that the person Annalise had turned to thinking she was a DC insider is actually on the outs with the POTUS herself. Her shock is evident.

The hairdressers leave the two women alone to talk, and things go south pretty quickly. Annalise says Liv told her she’d left the White House on good terms. Liv says that the terms of her resignation were ‘complicated’. That kind of cautious, borderline-BS talk just angers Annalise. She lets loose, calling Liv an elite prep school girl who wouldn’t know anything but the phony Black bonding she’s displayed so far. Issues of class are touched upon, things that can be ‘complicated’ for Liv, former prep school girl that she decidedly is.

Annalise wants to know exactly why Liv left the White House. Liv doesn’t answer, and instead insults her, calling her a bully. She says she doesn’t have to explain herself to Annalise, or anyone.
At home with Abby and David. Abby and David are lounging around at home and obviously comfortable, so they’re presumably living together again. Just like back in season two or three…whatever it was…who remembers at this point? But they are one of the show’s original couples, and many fans have been clamoring for their return. So, your requests have been answered, Dabby fans. Here they are looking all domestic and happy. That’s fine and everything, though I admit I miss Leo. He was fun to have around. David’s last relationship was with the evil Natasha, the less said about which, the better.

The couple is watching a news report on Liv’s firing. Abby admits that she planted the story, with Quinn’s blessing. She says it had to be done for the nation. Liv can’t be allowed to keep playing by her own rules and benefiting from it. Abby is a bit too adamant about this, which leads David to remind her that it’s okay for her to miss Liv. They go back a long way and have a complicated relationship. Abby says she doesn’t miss her, she just doesn’t trust her.

In a parking garage. Liv is sufficiently wounded by the whole thing. She’s waiting when Quinn walks up to her car and asks what she thinks she’s going to get out of this. Quinn says it’s simply a good-old-fashioned battle: QPA is merely fighting for its client, and Liv is fighting for her political life. Liv doesn’t see it that way. She says Quinn is doing this solely out of revenge. Quinn says even if that were true, what’s wrong with it? Liv says that Quinn once wanted QPA to be about justice, not revenge. She adds that QPA will regret taking the case.

Redeeming Liv. At FGI, Fitz asks Liv if there’s anything she needs for the interview the next day. She says no, and then tells him that they’re not going to win this case, because Annalise has too many problems for them to overcome. Liv saying this is ironic, since Annalise isn’t guilty of murder, while Liv decidedly is. She seems to have forgotten that small detail, or maybe since she’s never been publicly accused, as Annalise has, she thinks it somehow doesn’t ‘count’. Who knows how Liv rationalizes her past abhorrent behavior to herself? I’m no shrink, and I have no desire to go spelunking in her psyche.

Fitz listens to what Liv has to say, but he notes that the problem isn’t Annalise; it’s Liv. More precisely, it’s that Olivia Pope has disappeared. Since when does she let people saying mean things about her stop her? Liv says she’s not that person anymore. She doesn’t have that fight in her. He asks why she took the case, and answers, glibly that it’s because she wants to change the world. He says that her giving that answer seriously proves that her old self is still there; she just has to find it.

Dirt, found. The Gladiators’ digging in the dirt has finally paid off. Charlie informs Quinn that he’s come up with something solid on Spivey. Quinn is excited, saying the case is done, as is Liv. Abby reminds her that they only play dirty for good reasons, and Quinn says this is a good reason. She meets with Jake and passes along the info. She asks him why the Grant administration is so against this case, and Jake says it isn’t; this isn’t about the case, it’s about stopping Liv.

More redemption. Liv and Annalise are doing their interview on a show called Focus on Washington. I miss The Liberty Report. I know that would be the wrong venue for this pair to make this appearance, but I still miss it. The interview goes well. The issue of Liv’s White House status is confronted right away, as she’s asked if Mel fired her. Liv says yes. She says she regrets having left a job she was so proud to have on such acrimonious terms. She talks about her respect for the White House and how hard it was to sever ties with so many people she loves and admires. What she doesn’t regret is being a fighter. It’s who she is, and it’s who Annalise is, too. She’s proud to be fighting alongside someone like her. Annalise takes it from there, talking about how important the case is and how all they’re asking for is an hour of the court’s time.

That night, Liv and Annalise are at Liv’s place, celebrating their successful appearance. Annalise is amused by Liv’s choice of celebratory food and drink: wine and popcorn. The media is giving the pair’s appearance nothing but positive notices, but the happy mood is tanked pretty quickly. Marcus calls, telling them Spivey hasn’t changed his mind, and the court won’t hear the case.

Marcus made the call from a bar, a regular haunt of his to which he’s introducing the energetic Michaela. The two get flirty and are about to go in for a kiss, when Michaela’s phone rings, and she makes a hasty exit.

Helping in Liv’s redemption. At this point, Liv gets help from an unexpected source. Later, at her home, she gets a visit from Quinn, who hands over the dirt QPA dug up on Spivey. She says this lust for justice has overtaken her feeling of being pissed off over Liv leaving her for dead. These are fun people.

In that spirit of generosity, Liv drops in on Spivey. He tells her he won’t change his mind, and she’s wasting her time. Then she hands him an envelope that contains evidence he once paid off a witness to a hit and run accident involving his son, in which someone was killed. Spivey looks stunned. He says his son was young and made a mistake, and he couldn’t bear to see his child’s life ruined. Liv then says she’s not there to blackmail him, if that’s what he’s thinking. She’s found that the witness he paid off died two years ago, so he’s basically in the clear. This secret can stay secret. All he needs is someone who can ‘bury’ the payment, which is the kind of thing that’s her specialty. All she asks is that he consider his son’s predicament in relation to her case. There are many people all over the country who are waiting for justice who don’t have well-off, well-connected daddies, like his son did, and doesn’t he think they deserve a chance?

It’s announced shortly afterward that the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case.

The episode ends on the courthouse steps, where Liv and Annalise are all smiles as they wear the hell out of fabulous coats as they congratulate each other. Annalise asks what’s next for Liv and if it’s back to the classroom. Not when the SCOTUS beckons. They agree that they’re actually a pretty good team and want to stick together a bit longer. Instead of going their separate ways, they descend the court steps side by side, ready to go to battle together.

This was a pretty good episode, but it was basically a stand-alone. It was fun hangin’ out with Annalise and all, but the outcome of that court case really has zero effect on Scandalverse. Next week, it’s merely a memory as we continue the march toward this show’s epic conclusion. At least, I’m expecting epicness. Shouldn’t I be?

Little info is available on 07.13, “Air Force Two”. The network is continuing its strategy of being tight-lipped with these last eps, but I managed to dig up this –

When Cyrus and David embark on a trip to Lisbon for the digital piracy summit, their plane is hacked, leaving their friends and colleagues on the ground little time to save them.

Interesting that it’s a hacking, not a hijacking. Cy and Davey, an odd coupling indeed, are stuck together in danger on Air Force Two. White hat David and all-manner-of-sleaze Cy. Sounds like a good time is in store for all!


Catch Up On Scandal S7 Ep. 11 Army of One


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!


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


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


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…