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Scandal - Episode 3.16 - The Fluffer - Review

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Welcome back Scandalites! I have so many things to say about last night's episode so let's just jump right in.

We open to Abby walking through the walls of the White House in a bad ass white coat. We soon learn that she is trying to channel her inner Olivia Pope because Liv is not showing up for work today. Cyrus appears at Abby's side and wants to know where Liv is and asks is she’s off licking her wounds since everyone verbally shat on her last episode. Abby tells him that Liv's busy elsewhere and will be taking over. “I almost feel sorry for what’s about to happen to you,” Cyrus says as they walk into the meeting. Abby tries to fill in for Liv in a briefing meeting with Fitz, Mellie, Andrew and some others and they’re all looking at her like: 

“Where’s Olivia?” Fitz asks. When Abby says she’s serving as Liv’s proxy everyone just walks out on her except for two wayward staffers. I know that they trust Liv and her expertise but they were being incredibly rude to my girl, Abby. 

We soon find out that Liv is actually meeting with Daddy Pope about taking down B6-13. She says before they start he has to promise not to hurt Fitz. “I won’t hurt a hair on his head,” He promises while probably crossing his fingers behind his back. If there’s anyone that Daddy Pope hates more than Jake, it’s Fitz. Once she believes that he’s telling the truth (eye roll…guess the baby in her oven is impeding her gut from telling when people are bullshitting her).  He says that the money for B6-13 is being funded by every government organization without the taxpayer’s knowledge and that they need to access the database to wipe out their funding.

Liv returns to the office to relay the message to her people and Huck wants to know where she got that information for. She tells him that she got it from her father and he storms out of the room.

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She runs after him and David quips, “I would have gone with anonymous former government employee”.  LOL 

Huck basically tells her that her father is playing her ass. "He’s playing you," he says, "he promised you something and that means he’s going to take something away from you." I'm pretty sure that Huck knows Daddy Pope's real character more than Liv but she is on the war path. Huck tries to say he wont hack into their accounts but she tells him that he is. "We’re all doing things we don’t want to do," she says. "This is what we’re doing." 

Back at the White House, Andrew tries to catch up with Mellie and ask why she’s dodging his phone calls. She tries to blow him off but he's not leaving without dropping some truth bombs. He says she deserves something real and not just someone who is playing the part of someone who loves her. I actually really want Mellie to be happy but Andrew is insane if he thinks he can keep having relations with Mellie in Fitz's house. I know it's a double standard and it sucks, but those are the facts** (More on this later)

Abby is still trying to keep her head above water as Proxy Liv but she ends up calling Liv and telling her to turn on the TV. Apparently, the woman that took the fall for being Fitz's mistress at the beginning of the season is back in the limelight. She's giving a press conference about a book she wrote called "Taken for Granted" (UGH) and how she wants the world to know that he's a strong and impressive man. 
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A reporter then asks if the President is a breadstick or a baguette? And I literally almost lost my mind at that question. But really, what kind of low grade back alley bullshit "journalist" would seriously ask a question like that? Good lord…anyways Jeanine coyly answers that the president is definitely a baguette.

I don't know whether to giggle or gag...

“Liv, I think the house is burning down,” Abby says. Looks like Liv has too put on her big girl panties, get over her grievances with the Grants and bring her ass to work.  Of course, everyone is freaking out over this development and Sally's hypocritical ass takes some air time to send her "prayers" to the Grant Family. Fitz just wants to turn the TV off and Mellie calls her “that bitch”. 

Cyrus starts barking orders about dealing with the situation but Fitz kicks everyone out so he can talk to Liv in private. “You sent Gabby in your place,” he says. “Abby!” Liv yells. He then goes into how he wants a new VP and wants Andrew off the ticket because he’s a sullen little teenager. “You’re not getting a new VP,” Liv replies. “You picked him, he’s your guy, so too bad for you he’s your guy. What else do you need?”

"What else do I NEED?” Fitz asks incredulously. “What else do you need? Do you need to me to stroke your ego? To be your cheerleader? Am I here to wipe your tears, am I your nanny? Or am I here to make you feel hot and manly because you’re jealous of your wife’s boyfriend?”

He says she’s being disgusting, jealous and petty. “What else do you want me to be?!” She yells. They go into about how their relationship has gone to shit and how he's made all these promises to her and she's pretty much gone against all of her beliefs to be with him. Oh Liv....

Fitz is annoyed at her insinuations that their love isn't the purest in the land (Eye roll) and says,  “This didn’t happen to you, I didn’t happen to you.” Before leaving she tells him to make nice with Andrew and Mellie or he can kiss a second term goodbye. 

Quinn and Charlie go to meet with Jake and Jake gives them a folder on Olivia’s mom and the surveillance team on her. He tells them that they are replacing the detail and Quinn is shocked to learn that Mama Pope is the target. Jake and Charlie are both suspicious of her reaction to the news and Jake asks if she's going to have an issue following his orders. She says no but looks uncomfortable.

Speaking of Mama Pope, she’s canoodling with Mikael (from The Vampire Diaries/The Originals) and asking him to bring her flowers. It's strange but there is never anything in this show without reason. I'm sure we'll learn more about this exchange later in the episode. Harrison is also meeting with an old college, really not sure who she is but apparently homegirl thinks Mama Pope is awesome and wants to be her mentee. He wants information on Mama Pope’s whereabouts but she’s not going to give up any information on her and leaves.

Later that evening, Liv is lying in bed contemplating the shit-tastic state of her love life (girl, you aren’t the only one!), when Jake calls her and asks her to come to the door. Turns out he’s drunk and wants to come in. She tells him she’s not going to let him in and he says “I could come in if I wanted to come in and we both know it.” He goes on to say that he misses her but she’s like no dude, you killed my friend. He’s like umm no James wasn’t your friend, I would never kill your friends. OK. “I wish you would’ve just stood in the sun with me,” he says. “Sometimes I wish that too.” But she still tells him to leave her alone and to go home.  “I don’t have a home,” he replies and then begins banging on the door and telling her to let him in!!

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“I asked you to save me,” he says to her door, “But you said no.” He walks away and Liv is still by the door stunned by what just happened. Despite my feelings towards Jake and his craziness, this part was incredibly sad to me. Once again, the writers are confusing me. I don't know what ship I ship anymore and it's too much too handle.

Liv is back at work the next day and Huck tells her that the account that Rowan gave her was empty. “He played us, he played you.”

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She goes to confront her dad and he’s upset that she’s questioning his loyalty. He actually uses some logic and suggests that Jake moved the money because Rowan knew about the old account. He tells her the only way to get in is to get to Jake and get the code to the new accounts from him. 

Abby calls with another urgent matter and it turns out that Sally’s THIRTEEN year old daughter had an abortion and has finally changed her mind on the issue. Cyrus and Liv are fighting over this new revelation and how Sally pretty much has captured the female vote. She tries to say it’s his fault and he turns it around on her pretty quickly. “You can’t just lie down on the job and send some amateur in here because your boyfriend was mean to you."

Cyrus goes on to say that she's pretty much sucking at her job and that no one is listening to her, especially Fitz since he’s meeting with some senator about the VP job. She quickly rushes into the Oval (which, how in the HELL are people able to just burst in and out like that? Much as I pity Lauren, homegirl might need to grow a pair or get fired, cuz she is SLACKING). Liv quickly dismisses the senator claiming there’s a national security issue and Fitz want’s to know why she was so rude to the Senator. 

“I told you, you are NOT replacing Andrew.” She yells and he screams right back, “You don’t tell me what to do” God these too, just stop with all the fighting! “I don’t want to fight with you,” Fitz says wearily. Liv doesn't want to fight either but she still wants to figure out what's really bothering Fitz. 
“What do you need?” Liv asks again. “I need Andrew gone,” he says and she shuts him down claiming that’s what he wants. He tries to say that he doesn’t love Mellie but it’s the sense of betrayal that’s killing him. Liv immediately calls him out on his bullshit and says that he needs to say what he wants aloud and he better not make her say it. He finally lets it out. “I need Andrew to stop screwing my wife."

“Consider it handled,” Liv says.  He tries to grab her hand as she walks away and she snatches it away.

And now it’s dream killin time. Andrew comes to a conference room and Liv is there waiting to lay into him. “Do you want to screw Mellie or be the Vice President of the US? I’m not going to allow to you have you both. He’s not going to allow to have both”  She tells him that he can either choose Fitz and she will be on his side or choose Mellie and she will be forced to destroy his public image and his career. "If you choose Mellie she’ll probably loose interest in you because she’s into the big dog type. You can either be VP for the next four years or keep sleeping with Mellie for the next month then she’ll loose interest after I destroy you. Screw Mellie, be VP. It’s your choice”

He tries to ask her if she enjoys ripping people apart for the sake of politics and says that he loves Mellie. The look she gives him is freaking priceless.

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“So choose Mellie. I wish you would," Liv says, "It would restore my faith in humanity. But if there’s one thing I know about men like you in power. You will always choose power over love”. “What did he do to you?” Andrew asks obviously referring to Fitz. She tells him to make his decision and walks out. 

After commercial break, Bergen and Cyrus are still at each other’s throats so they come to a decision to take out Reston together. They decide to go after his wife that’s currently in prison for his crimes. They give her the file about his true motives for killing her lover. (For those of you that might have forgotten, Reston’s wife was having an affair with their contractor and he killed him in cold blood and framed his wife).

Charlie and Quinn are on the stake out and Charlie asks that it must be really hard for her not to whip out her phone and call Liv to tell her where her mom is. Charlie says she’s pretty loyal to Liv and then asks about her exes. She tells them they’re all dead and now there’s you. Hello, foreshadowing. We then learn that  Harrison’s friend from earlier ( her name is Claire) is dropping off some forged documents to Mama Pope and Adnan. Then Mama Pope tells Claire get the hell out of town for good, once her job is finished. Hm…that’s not suspicious at all.

Back at Pope & Assoc., Huck is telling Liv that the only way to hack into B6-13’s accounts is through Command/Jake’s phone. Huck gives her a device and tells her it needs to be close to Jake’s phone for at least 30 seconds. She wants to know how she’s supposed to get anywhere near Jake’s phone and then she realizes she’ll have to do some real sketch shit to pull it off. She tries to say no and Huck tells her to:

"We do what we have to do. Do you know how many times you’ve asked me to do things for you? B6-13 took my family, my name and my life.”

SOOOO Liv decides to break into Jake’s apartment while he’s sleeping and he naturally pulls a gun on her while she pours a huge glass of wine. “Go on and shoot me. It’ll be the best thing that’s happened to me all day,” she says. They end up making out while we see Huck and Harrison waiting back at the office. “How do you think Liv’s going to get what we need,” Harrison asks and Huck gives him a pointed look. “OH…oh…Jake Ballard. Dude could probably kill you with a bendy straw but at the end of the day he’s just a normal day, put a fork in him” WOMEN. You’re lucky you’re not a normal man.” 

Back to Jake’s and him and Liv are getting in. But this moment does not deserve the Tay Tay Swift Dance treatment because these sexy times are under false pretenses and only bad things can come from this i.e. Jake going even MORE crazy if that’s possible. Anyways, Jake tells Liv that he missed her post sexy time and she says she’s missed him too but then waits for him to fall asleep so she can embed the software Huck gave her on his phone. 

I sat there watching the entire thing like this:

I was so sure that he was going to wake up, catch her, and kill her dead. Too nerve wracking. But no, Liv is safe and she returns the office silently and gives Huck what he needs. Thank God we are treated to a commercial break. I've never been so happy for some time to decompress in my life. 

After the commercial, we are treated to more of the terrible relationship between Mellie and Fitz. Mellie is trying to discuss wardrobe options with Fitz and he ends up throwing the ties she’s trying to give him on the floor.

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Fitz is once again being a douche and once again the writers are making me feel sympathetic towards Jake. PICK A SIDE DAMMIT! I can’t handle all these mental gymnastics.

Back at Pope & Assoc., everyone is waiting on information that can help their respective cases. Abby finally gets word that Reston went to visit his wife and she obviously confronts him about his treachery. Reston basically tells her that no one will believe her ass and that he’s about to become the most powerful man in the world and can ship her off to mental ward without lifting a finger.

Meanwhile, Harrison finally gets the call from Claire and she says that she will help him but she wants out (so finally figuring out your little mentor-to-be is cray?) He says that he will help but I can’t help but wonder if he’s being played again. Oh Harrison, so trusting of the damsels in distress.

Liv is at dinner with her dad and she’s telling him when she’s trying to figure out when she’s going to be done with the fixer life and walk into the light. She stops mid sentence and looks up like she’s seen a ghost. Turns out Mama Pope has turned up to join their dinner!!!!

She sits down and takes a sip a wine and talks about how she missed a good glass of wine while she was locked away for 20 years. Hmm…good priorities I suppose. Daddy Pope begins to reach for a steak knife like he’s going to cut a bitch down in front of everyone and she dares him to try it. “Which one of us do you think is faster,” she asks. Liv wants to know why she’s there running their good time and her mom tries to go the whole I’m your mom I love you route. But it’s obviously BS. “And because I love you, I want to warn you. You need to find yourself another line of work because what you do now is dangerous baby.”

Liv gets a call from Harrison and her mom says she should probably answer the phone. Liv answers and Harrison tells her that the girl from earlier—Claire is dead. We see her spread out on a park bench with her throat cut. 

Liv tells Harrison to get back to the office right away! She hangs up and turns to her mom, “You’re a monster,” she says. “You forced my hand by refusing to stay out of my affairs. I hope you’ve learned your lesson.” Mama Pope replies nonchalantly.  Well someone isn’t getting a Best Mom Ever coffee mug any time soon.

Mama Pope downs the glass of wine before getting up and Daddy Pope gets in her face first. EPIC SHOWDOWN OF THE POPES!! “I’m a patient man and a vengeful one,” He threatens, “and I have a very long memory.” Mama Pope just blows him off, thanks Liv for the wine and saunters off.

Abby is back at the White House and tells Bergen that the Reston problem has been handled. Apparently she uploaded a security video from the prison to the internet. It went viral in a matter of hours and Reston eventually had to bow out of the race. Now it’s just Fitz and Sally to fight it out. 

Meanwhile, Fitz and Mellie are at some press event with the “Warrior Women of America” and Mellie gives a pretty moving but obviously practiced speech. She’s good though and seems to win the crowd over. She goes back to the White House very happy with herself and catches Andrew in the hall. She asks if he saw her speech and eventually asks if he wants to have any “quality” time in between her busy schedule. And here it is ladies n gents, decision time. Who do you think Andrew is going to choose???

If you picked Power, 4 Years, and VP Job for $5,000. You are the winner! (unfortunately) He tells her that he doesn’t think meeting in private is a good idea. Mellie is obviously confused and wants to know what the deal is. “Well I’ve been thinking and uh, you and Fitz have been such good friends for so long.” he says. “Friends,” she mimics looking upset. Next thing we see, she is storming into the Oval (Dammit Lauren! You are FIRED). She slaps the everlasting shit out of Fitz and screams “YOU TAKE EVERYTHING FROM ME!”

Cyrus tries to rush everyone out of the room..oh yea there were like 5 or 6 people in the room to witness their latest lover’s quarrel. Seriously you guys, these people MUST be paid really really well not to leak any information because all the off the wall shit that’s happening in that house would be a freaking gold mine, but I digress. “No,” Mellie says, “I’ll go. You just keep on being President.” Man oh man, if looks could kill. And Fitz doesn’t even have the good sense to look guilty or shocked. Lawd. 

Liv is sitting at her life contemplating all the effed up things she did this episode, when Abby walks in and tells her that her job is the worst. Liv then tells her how her dad wanted to make her disappear and give her a new life and how she turned it down. Again, here’s another Liv Existential Crisis. Abby is basically like: 

But no, she actually says that Olivia Pope would say "that you’re a gladiator and gladiators don’t run. They patch up their wounds and they live to fight another day. you don’t get to run." Meanwhile, Huck is type typing away. Back at the swankiest hotel ever, Mikael is bring Mama Pope the roses she was asking for but it turns out there’s a scary looking bomb underneath the roses!! Charlie and Quinn are still watching the hotel room and Quinn is freaking out. At the same time, Huck has cracked his way into B6-13s lifeline…not only the budget but access to everything it takes to keep the agency running. 

Quinn is wondering why they haven’t run in and stopped the crazies from taking the bomb out of the hotel room and but Jake tells them to hold off and keep watching for a moment. Turns out he wants to see what she’s planning to do with it before they rush in, guns blazing. Quinn is still wary of the idea and Charlie calls her out saying she only wants to go in and save the day so she can go back to Liv with some collateral. Again, it makes sense. 

Back at Pope & Assoc., they’re still hovering over Huck’s computer and Huck asks Liv is she wants him to shut down B6-13 at that moment.  Mama Pope is starting to head out and Quinn wants to stop her before she can leave. Charlie tells her “WE WAIT FOR COMMAND” and Liv is still pondering whether to shut B6-13 down. A few long pointed glances here and there and she finally tells him, “Shut it down,”

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Liv obviously doesn’t know what is going on at this moment but her selfishness and anger over James’ death has completely clouded her freaking judgement. I get they are shadowy and crazy and all that but you can't just COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN A SECRET GOVERNMENT AGENCY THAT IS TASKED WITH PROTECTING NATIONAL SECURITY, THE REPUBLIC, ETC ETC. That’s like saying: "Oh hey secret extension of the CIA, like I totes get what you’re doing but you guys are super mean and should stop killing people. So we’re gonna shut you down! Kthxbye!” Life doesn’t work that way. Ok…rant over.

Adnan is on the phone with an unknown and they want to know if the package is going to the White House or to the campaign trail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quinn decides that they need to rush in there immediately or ish is going to get really bad. But of course, Huck disables them right at that moment and all communications are down. Jake is freaking out and is telling some poor guy to get them back online ASAP and Quinn says screw it and runs into the hotel room, guns blazing, with Charlie following close behind. They’re too late. “Now we know whose side you’re on,” Charlie says. “Just call Command,” Quinn replies. He tries but there is no answer. Ruh Roh.

The Gladiators are feeling awful great about themselves and are preparing a toast when Jake bursts in and CHOKES OLIVIA OUT!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

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Look I get that Jake is pissed but putting your hands on a lady is NEVER okay! 

He wants to know what the hell she’s done but can’t really reply since he’s clutching her throat. “I don’t know what you’re talking about?” she manages to say. “No?” He asks, “Then let me be the one who breaks it to you. You just killed the President.” She understandably looks stunned at the revelation. 

So I feel like Daddy Pope was playing Liv like a two string fiddle the entire freaking time. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Mama Pope was in on the whole thing. Puts a whole new meaning to your parents hating your boyfriend. So when you think you might have it bad, just think back to Olivia’s rents. At least your parentals aren’t trying to cap your boo!!


NEXT WEEK: Fitz is speaking at some campaign event and it’s made to seem like the bomb is at the event as well. Of course there are like 59 minutes on the clock which fits perfectly into the show’s timeframe. I see what you did there, Shonda. I’m honestly not sure if the bomb is going to go off or not, but it’s the second to the last episode of the season so something drastic is going to happen.

So what did you think of this week’s episode? It was definitely less racy than last week’s, but man were there a lot of twists and turns. Do you think Liv's dad knew what he was doing the entire time? And is Jake really going to try and kill Liv now? Sound off in the comments below!

About the Author - itsalanna
Alanna is Co-Founder/Co-Editor of Big Girls Don't Gossip along with fellow Spoilertv writer, Jasmine Alyce. Alanna works in the post-production industry by day is a full fledged TV-fiend by night. She also loves fashion, romantic comedies, and traveling.

Alanna graduated from Georgia State University with her Bachelors in Broadcast Journalism and Film.

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