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Scandal - Dead In The Water - Review: "Road to Redemption"

If this season of Scandal were to have a midseason finale, “Dead in the Water” would have been it. Holy moly! This show continues on its streak of bomb ass episodes and I have no idea what to do with myself because of it! What did I tell y’all last week? Run, don’t walk if you’ve been sleeping on the BESTEST SEASON OF SCANDAL THAT HAS COME TO BE IN QUITE SOME TIME!
Okay, I’m done. Let’s get into this.

In Crisis Mode

The episode kicks off by taking us back to where we left off with Huck at the end of 607 when he let Meg into Jennifer’s hotel room before Meg proceeded to kill Jennifer and pump three bullets into Huck. We don’t see the scene unfold, but we can hear it as the camera remains trained on the room door. Night turns to day and Jake shows up with a bag of food for Jennifer. Upon entering the room, he finds no sign of Jennifer.

Elsewhere, Meg has Huck’s body in the trunk of her car. His eyes are half open and staring out at nothing. He appears to be dead. Meg smiles to herself, pleased with herself at her handiwork. She then slams the trunk shut.

Over at OPA, Olivia is sharing with Quinn and Charlie the little that she knows of the mystery people as she places a video captured image of Mr. Android and Ponytail upon the conference room wall. Olivia doesn’t know anything about them other than the fact that they used her dad to kill Francisco Vargas. Their names, who they are and where they work are all a mystery.

Just then Jake comes strolling into the conference room asking of Jennifer’s whereabouts. He tells them that Jennifer is gone and the only people who knew where she was are the very people in the room. Olivia points out that Huck also knew and that he took Meg to go see Jennifer that morning. Olivia turns to Quinn who is pulling out her phone to call Huck. Charlie in turn asks if the rest of them are thinking what he is thinking. (That something bad has happened? Uh, yeah!)

Quinn’s call goes straight to voicemail, an unusual occurrence since Huck never turns off his phone and doesn’t allow it to die! Olivia remarks that Meg could be the mole and Quinn goes off about how Meg better not have harmed a hair on Huck’s head. Watch out, Becky 2.0. You don’t want to mess with Quinn on a rampage.

Olivia hands Jake the images of Mr. Android and Ponytail, and tells him that they are the people he is looking for. He is find out who those people are and bring Huck back to her. Olivia is very serious about this last part. Huck must be brought back.

We next see Quinn and Charlie arrive at Jennifer’s hotel room. After putting on gloves and shoe covers, they get to searching the room for any clues as to what has happened to Huck and Jennifer. They turn the place upside down but can find nothing. Quinn is slightly panicked by this and Charlie tells her that it is possible that they merely went out to get something to eat.

Quinn doesn’t believe that and she glances about the room, at a loss as to what else to do when one thing comes to mind. She digs into her backpack and pulls out spray bottles of Luminol. She hands one to Charlie and instructs him to get to spraying. They douse everything in the stuff and when they’re done, Quinn pulls shut the curtains and asks Charlie to turn off the lights. The sight they see is a fright. There is fluorescent blue EVERYWHERE! There is so much blood all over that room that you’d think someone conducted some kind of satanic ritual in there. Did Meg disembowel Jennifer and smear her guts about the furniture?

Now Quinn is freaking out. She questions what it is that Meg did to Huck given all of the blood on the floor. Charlie offers his condolences, but Quinn is not ready to believe that Huck is dead just yet. When she says that Huck is fine, Charlie goes, “I don’t think so.” (LOLOL!!) Quinn insists that Huck is not dead and Charlie says no more, even though there is evidence to the contrary.

While those two are at the hotel, Olivia has gone to the White House to get some help. She doesn’t go directly to the President, opting instead to turn to Abby. Abby is surprised to find Olivia waiting for her in her office and asks what she is doing there. Olivia doesn’t sound all together steady as she says to Abby that Huck is gone. She explains that there is this girl that Huck is dating and he took this girl to go see someone and now they are missing. (Could Olivia be any more vague? Haha!)

To afford them some privacy, Abby goes to close the door to her office while saying that Olivia knows how Huck can sometimes go dark and then show back up. Olivia dismisses Abby’s explanation and tries to get her to understand that this isn’t business as usual. Olivia goes on to hand Abby a folder, and when Abby opens it, she is stunned to find a still of Mr. Android and Ponytail. She quickly (and oddly) states that she doesn’t recognize them, something that momentarily throws Olivia off since she didn’t come there expecting Abby to know them.

What Olivia came for was Abby’s assistance in getting Angela Webster to help look into the mystery people. She’s hoping that the FBI can run their faces through their imaging software to see if they’ll get a hit that she and her crew can’t. Abby tells her that the FBI is currently busy investigating Vargas’s murder, but Olivia reminds her of whose behalf she is asking this for. She tells her that “our” Huck is missing and could be dying. At that, Abby agrees to help her by getting the photo to Angela. Relieved, Olivia gives Abby a hug and then departs.

You know Olivia is all kinds of discombobulated if she’s giving hugs.

Elsewhere in the DMV, a Toyota Camry is seen driving and Huck comes to in its trunk. He takes a deep breath and is immediately assaulted with pain. He turns about in there to find that Jennifer’s corpse is occupying the space with him. The Camry soon comes to a stop and Meg gets out. Preparing for her to open the trunk, Huck pulls off his belt and is prepared to use it against her, but the trunk doesn’t open. Instead, Meg starts to push the car towards the end of a cliff! By the time Huck realizes that Meg isn’t opening the trunk, the car goes lurching over the cliff and into the water below!! Eeek!

In the trunk, Huck is struggling as it quickly fills with water. He freaks out a bit in frustration but then calms down and takes a breath before slowly slipping beneath the surface of the water. This transitions him into a hallucination where he is sitting in the conference room at OPA. He is soaking wet and there is this constant banging sound coming from some unknown place. Glancing about in confusion, Quinn snaps him to attention and it is then that he sees that the banging he is hearing is actually the Head Gladiator in Charge Olivia Pope coming down the hall and directly at him in slow motion. She is decked out in her trademark gladiating white and glowing like an avenging angel. (OMG, it’s been so very long since we’ve seen Olivia in white! Bring it back, Shonda!)

Now at normal speed, Olivia asks Quinn how much time they have on the clock. Quinn says two and a half minutes, and Olivia addresses Huck directly to tell him that he ought to move. Charlie then shows up and incredulously asks if Huck is still in the trunk. Ha!

Olivia asks Huck what Meg was driving and when he doesn’t immediately answer, she calls out to him again and warns him not to give up on her. When he doesn’t respond, she asks if hears her. In the trunk, Huck emerges from the water and takes a deep breath. He does the same in his hallucination, startling both Olivia and Quinn.

Huck finally tells Olivia that he hears her and she again asks him what kind of car it is that Meg was driving. Huck believes that it is either a Camry or Corolla, and Quinn says that they’ll go with Camry from 2000. Huck agrees and Quinn places a picture of the Camry on the conference room wall. She does a quick rundown of all the features in a standard 2000 model Camry, and Olivia then turns to Huck to ask him if he can get to the windows from the trunk.

Huck is then seen struggling to exit the trunk in order to get to the inside of the car, but he’s having difficulty. He is finally able to get the back seats to give way and he makes his way into the interior of the car. He breaks the surface of the water to take a couple of breaths of the little bit of oxygen that is left in the vehicle before he takes in a chest full and dives back under to try the automatic windows. They don’t work.

Back in his hallucination, he tells the team that the electronic control units of the windows are sealed against moisture. Olivia asks Huck what his backup plan is, but he doesn’t have one. Olivia assures him that he does have a backup plan. Thinking hard on it, his lips are turning blue when Quinn slams on the table and orders him to take air. In the car, Huck once again breaks the surface of the water in order to breathe.

Fortified, Huck gets to running some calculations in his head. Back at OPA, he’s quickly scribbling numbers against the conference room wall and soon comes to an answer. Considering his injuries, he won’t be able to get the doors open given the pressure in the car that is keeping the doors closed. He’d have to wait until all the oxygen is out in the car and the pressure in and outside of the car to equalize before he’d be able to push open the door. (Oh, look, y’all! Physics!)

Olivia asks what if the door won’t open or his calculations are off or he runs out of air, but Huck is convinced that this will work. The math says that it will. Once there are no more air pockets in the car, he’ll make his move and get out!

Buoyed by this solution, Huck waits until the water displaces the air in the car and then makes a move for the door but he can’t get the door open! He informs the team that he’s stuck by rocks and mud. He can’t open the door!!

At this point, the glass conference room wall cracks from pressure and water starts to gush inside. Olivia, Quinn and Charlie quickly dash over to the wall to try to keep the water at bay with their hands. Olivia yells over at Huck that he has to do something! In the car, Huck tries to break the driver’s side window by kicking at it but it won’t budge.

In that moment, Rowan shows up and tells Huck that this was not the way that he saw his story ending. Huck tells him that it isn’t the end, but Rowan tells him that it it before stating that he refuses to believe that he wasted his time training Huck. Huck apologizes for failing Command, but Rowan wants to know what Huck intends to do. It is at this point that Meg shows up in the hallucination as the voice of negativity, referring to Huck as one who is pathetic.

If you have yet to figure it out, this hallucination featuring his OPA family is Huck having an inner dialogue with himself as he works to free himself from his predicament. It is interesting that his mind takes him here and that he specifically has Olivia cast in her gladiator white. She’s ever the slayer of dragons, hope to the hopeless. Also interesting is that Huck conjures up Rowan when he believes that he is absolutely out of options. Rowan symbolizes the last bit of fight that is left in him, while Meg is the doubt that is creeping to the forefront of his consciousness.

Huck is now repeatedly saying that he can’t find a way out and he’s starting to give up. Rowan instructs him to pay Meg no mind for she is only there to serve as a distraction, and she states that she is there to finish Huck off. She trains a gun on him and Olivia implores her father to do something. Rowan orders Huck to think, but Huck collapses to the floor. He’s in extreme pain as water starts to flood all around him. Olivia, Rowan and Meg quickly surround him. Rowan encourages Huck to fight while Meg states that he has at least 11 seconds of life left if he’s lucky and then adds that Huck isn’t very lucky. Rowan continues to speak to him, telling him that he has all the tools he needs to get himself out of the car. Huck says that all he wants to do is rest his head, and Rowan tells him to do just that. It is then that Huck finds another solution. The headrest!

Grabbing the one that his head was resting on, Huck gets to using it ram against the driver’s side window. Over and over again he rams it into the glass as Meg is preparing to end his life once and for all. Rowan watches him worriedly and Huck turns to Olivia and catches her face right as he shatters the glass. He finally breaks water to the open air! Yay!!

Huck looks over at Olivia again and she smiles at him like a proud mama. He did it. He set himself free!

His ordeal isn’t over, however. He still has to swim to shore. He tells Olivia that he can’t do it, but Olivia and everyone else is gone. He is on his own now.

This moment with Huck reminds me a lot of when Olivia was kidnapped and dreamed that she was in Vermont with Fitz. She was in a happy place...until Abby showed up to tell her that the life she had escaped to wasn’t real and that she was going to have to find some way to gladiate on her own behalf. Though the two circumstances are by no means the same, they both highlight how these two found a way out of no way.

Back at the White House, Abby gives Ponytail a call to find out what it is that she did with Huck. When Ponytail tells her that she’s asking the wrong question, Abby launches into a threat that gets cut off when Ponytail tells her simply that Huck is dead. Stunned momentarily silent, Abby asks Ponytail why and Ponytail points out to her that Abby’s job isn’t to understand why but to merely do as told or risk death. She goes on to say that Abby made a trade: Jennifer Fields for Cyrus Beene. If Abby wants them to fulfill their part, Abby will have to shut up and continue to be collaborative. Abby wants to know where Huck’s body is and Ponytail is done. She tells Abby, “You know what? Don’t call me again. I don’t like you. You’re annoying.”

Abby pleads with Ponytail but the woman hangs up on her.

My how things have spiraled out of control. Abby getting in bed with these people on some misguided belief that they were going to turn her into some Washington rockstar has led to an assassination, Cyrus’s imprisonment and now Huck’s death (for all she knows). How did things get this out of hand?

Left with no other choice, Abby is forced to now turn to the one person who is still out of the loop when it comes to the underpinning of the Vargas assassination. Knocking on the door of the Oval Office to let her presence be known, she remains by the entrance as she asks if Fitz would be able to not be her boss for a few minutes and be her friend because she is in desperate need of one and he’s the only real one that she has these days.

Damn. That’s sad.

Flashed over to Quinn and Charlie, they are now investigating Meg’s apartment. Charlie comments about how he thought Meg’s place was supposed to be protected by one of Huck’s security systems, and when they walk further inside, they see that Meg has cleared out. The place is completely empty. Charlie remarks that either Meg has been robbed and Quinn finishes that it’s possible that Meg is covering her tracks and is part of the whole set up with the mystery people. She then notices that Huck’s security system had been ripped out of the wall.

Quinn then proceeds to have a WWHD (What Would Huck Do) moment. Charlie asks about the “cloud” but Quinn waves that off, stating that the cloud is “crap.” She then says that if Huck was going to have a backup anywhere, it would be in the apartment. Going back to the wires for the alarm system, she pulls on it and when they won’t go any further, she goes to the other side of the wall and finds where Huck has an air gap laptop. Way better than a damn cloud!

Piecing Together the Puzzle

Back at OPA, Olivia is in her office with her four muted television screens on. Her focus isn’t on any of them, however. Matter of fact, she’s staring out into middle space. Her singular focus is broken when Marcus comes into her office and asks what it is that he can do. It takes her a moment to register his presence before she asks why he is there. He points out that Huck’s missing and he once again asks her how he could help. (Who told Marcus? I’m betting it was Quinn.) Olivia tells him that they’ve got things covered and that he should return to work. She adds that she’ll keep him posted.

Despite this obvious dismissal, Marcus has no plans to leave. He tells her that he’ll be sitting at the conference table until she hears something about Huck or she needs him for anything. Marcus then starts to head out of her office when she stops him and asks if he minds keeping her company. Marcus obliges and takes a seat on the sofa directly across from her desk.

Goodness. Olivia allowing Marcus to be there for her. That’s something you don’t see everyday.

Over at the quarry where the car was sent flying over a cliff, Huck has managed to swim is way to shore! Doing this was obviously taxing on his battered body and he is unable to move further up on shore. He instead collapses at the very edge. Not long after managing this feat, another voice comes to him. This time, it’s that of his “guy” who tells Huck that he has gone soft.

Glancing up at him, Huck sees himself but clean-shaven. Guy asks Huck if he wants to die. He says he’d be willing to help out but he has nothing to “slice and dice” with, so he’ll have to make do with watching Huck’s organs shut down from “lack of oxygen due to blood loss”. At this, Huck struggles ahead a few inches before stopping again. Guy continues to taunt Huck by telling him to not start believing in himself, and Huck orders him to shut up.

Guy crouches down to Huck then and asks him if he knows what the time is. He orders him to look at his watch, and Huck sees that the time is 7:52.

For those who are OG gladiators, you know that this number has significance to Huck. The first time we are introduced to it is in episode 219 which bares the same name (Seven Fifty-Two). This episode provided us with the genesis of Olivia and Huck’s relationship, and gave insight into Huck’s past. We saw that he had a family and how he was lured into B613. Huck was clean-shaven then, hence his “guy” being the same.

That episode was traumatic for both Olivia and Huck, with the former finding out that the man she had just slept with was spying on her at Fitz’s behest while the latter had just been rescued from having been tossed in a box that reminded him of the hole. Upon his return to OPA, all Huck would chant was “752” and none of the gladiators could get through to him to in order to get him to stop. No one except Olivia. It is in this scene that it is established that the two have a unique bond.

It is also in this episode that we learn that 7:52 is significant to Huck because it is the time that the train carrying his wife and son pulls into Union Station, the stop at which they offload daily. One can extrapolate that the number has come to signify family for Huck. But I digress.

Guy uses the number to taunt Huck, recalling him to when Huck chanted this number to himself when he was in despair. He tells him that he’ll end up coyote food since he can’t move much farther and adds that Huck would have been better off in the trunk. Huck counters by saying that his OPA family is going to find him, but Guy laughs at that and says that no one is looking for him. (I really don’t like Guy.)

Huck yells at Guy to go away until he finally does. Can’t have those nasty inner demons sucking the little bit of hope for survival that you have left in ya.

Back over at OPA, Olivia and Marcus are sitting in silence before Olivia poses Marcus with a question. She wants to know if she’s a good boss. (Man, she must really be questioning her very existence if she’s verbalizing this to the one person who she’s treated like a red-headed stepchild.) Marcus asks her if she’s trying to blame herself for what has happened, but she responds by repeating her question. Marcus says to her that three years ago he was at “whatever below rock bottom is” (Ha!) and he is where he is now because Olivia has always had his back. He goes on to add that Huck knows that she has his back, too.

Aww, that was such a nice thing for Marcus to say. It is the truth….except for the time that she sabotaged his relationship with Mellie, but we’re not going to quibble with the fine print. He’s White House Press Secretary now, right?

A moment that will forever be too soon, Jake pops into the office to tell Olivia that he has had no luck with the identities of Mr. Android and Ponytail but he did manage to get a hit on Meg. It’s showtime at the Apollo folks!

Later that evening, Abby shows up at OPA. She is on her way into the suite when Olivia comes out to meet her. She doesn’t look at all pleased to see her current/former/never again(?) bestie as she approaches her with the tablet that Jake gave her in hand. Abby is saying that she and Olivia need to talk when Olivia gives her a DETTY SLAP! HO MY GOD!

If you thought that caught Abby was off-guard, the second one came with just the same amount of fury as Olivia asks Abby to recall the warning she gave her.

Hearing the commotion, Marcus and Jake step out of Olivia’s office to see what was up. Jake calls out to Olivia, but she simply marches up to the door and shuts it before turning back to Abby and posing her question again, which was not to cross her again (517). She says this as she shoves the tablet at Abby to reveal the picture that Jake found of Abby meeting up with Ponytail and Meg.

Seeing the evidence of her betrayal in her hands, Abby apologizes, but all Olivia wants to know is where Huck is. When Abby tells her that she doesn’t know, Olivia gives her a THIRD DETTY SLAP!

Chile, this woman done lost what’s left of her damn mind to be slapping a grown ass woman the way that she just did. Who is she right now? Rowan? Ain’t no way on God’s green earth that Olivia’s hand would have caught me a second time, let alone a third. You must be outta your gatdamn mind. And Abigail? Girl, I don’t care how guilt-ridden you are feeling. You better throw some hands! Got the pygmy outchea slapping the taste out of your mouth like she Deebo.

Olivia sure does love giving somebody the open palm. How’s she just going to beat up on her friend who she knows is a domestic abuse survivor? How rude is that!? That fact aside, the whole thing was uncalled for. It seemed to me like Olivia was slapping Abby because she couldn’t slap herself. All of that guilt roiling about inside of her without an outlet until that very moment. The whole thing was rather problematic, but I ain’t gonna lie, y’all. I laughed...and still am.

Flashing over to elsewhere, we see Meg in some room at an undisclosed location and she has apparently dumped a gallon of peroxide on her head for she is now blonde. She is drying off her wet hair when she believes she hears something at her door. She immediately snatches up her gun and heads towards where she hears noise and shoots and a closed door before opening it to find nothing more than a rat. Turning around though, she is met by a gun to the face by Quinn and Charlie.

Back to OPA, Abby is explaining to Olivia that the only deal she made with the mystery people was Jennifer Fields for Cyrus and nothing more. (There is more, Abby. Come on.) Olivia wants to know what it was that Abby thought she was going to get in return for having Huck killed and framing Cyrus, and Abby tells her that she had no idea that they were going to do anything to Huck.

Abby then turns the tables on Olivia and says to her that she is just as much to blame for Cyrus rotting in jail as she does, and points out that she herself has done everything that she could to try to get him out while Olivia has done all that she can to keep Cyrus in. Abby says that Olivia has turned a blind eye to Cyrus’s innocence in order to protect her father and her place in the Oval Office.

I mean, where’s the lie? I’m not one of those who believes that Olivia doggedly set out to prove that Cyrus was guilty of Vargas’s murder because she felt it was her civic duty to see that justice is served. Olivia under usual circumstances would have endeavored to look beyond what they had before she launched an accusation. Instead, she went with what Rowan told her and unwittingly assisted the mystery people with their plot.

Good try deflecting though, Abby. Olivia wasn’t the one who was sitting on information that would have blown the case wide open. She didn’t know that Cyrus was being framed. She didn’t switch out the bullets to ensure that ballistics matched the gun with McClintock’s prints on them. She didn’t get Jennifer Fields killed and she most assuredly isn’t the reason why Huck is now fighting for his life no matter how responsible Olivia may be feeling now for having played into the hands of these people.

Also, before I move on, what did Abby mean with her remark about Rowan? Does she know that Rowan was the one who killed Vargas? If so, who would have filled her in on that? Jake?

Anyway, Olivia recalls Abby to the situation at hand, which is Huck may be dead. She asks Abby if now is the time that she thinks is appropriate to lecture her on her sins, and then she asks if Abby believes that she wouldn’t get a hold of a chair and “work it out” on her.

Olivia is seriously referencing her taking a chair to Andrew’s head right now? Yeah, Abby, I don’t think you want to trifle with Olivia when she’s in this mood. Nope. Just pull up. She has yet to seek therapy.

Abby changes her tone a bit at that threat as she tells Olivia that this isn’t her making excuses. What she is asking is for Olivia to forgive her just as she and everyone else have forgiven Olivia for her misdeeds over and over again. (This is true.) Abby then adds that Olivia can’t expect that she is the only one who gets to be forgiven. All she wants is for her to be afford the same grace.

Olivia isn’t even trying to hear any of that. She instead wants to know if Abby can help find Huck. When Abby says that she can’t, Olivia replies, “Then you’re worthless.”

If this woman doesn’t put Rowan Jr. on a leash right quick…

Olivia turns away from Abby to head back into the office, and she stops her entry when she notices Abby turning away to leave. She asks Abby where she thinks she’s going before informing her that she isn’t going anywhere, especially not to her “friends” to seek protection. Oh, no. Olivia orders her into the office to wait until Quinn returns and finds out what she did. She promises that she won’t save her from whatever Quinn chooses to do to her and will actually stand by and applaud. Olivia then adds that the only way that Abby will be saved is if Huck is alive, otherwise she will be going over whatever cliff it is that Quinn decides to go over.

Well. That’s ominous.

You done messed with the wrong gladiator!

Back over to Huck, he is seen pulling Jennifer’s body out of the water before he collapses on the sand and appears to pass out.

At Meg’s place, Quinn has her all wrapped up and her mouth taped shut. Her drill is out as are other tools of torture. Quinn has some sharp objected stuck into Meg’s thigh, which she pulls out with zero gentleness. She calls up to Meg’s face to ask if she is now ready to tell them where Huck is. Meg is stubborn, so Quinn takes up some pliers of some sort and cuts off one of Meg’s fingers! When the camera pans out, we see that this is at least the second of Meg’s fingers that Quinn has snipped.

Next Quinn pulls out this thing that looks like Freddy Krueger's claws. When Meg still refuses to talk, Quinn rakes the claws down the side of Meg’s face!

Did I mention that this episode had a viewer discretion warning at the beginning?

Quinn then decides that she’s going to take the tape off and instructs Meg that she is to tell her about Huck, but when the tape comes off, all Meg does is antagonize Quinn by saying that it was no wonder that Huck loved her instead of Quinn. Then she spits at Quinn!

That was exactly the wrong thing to say and Quinn gives in to her anger. Charlie tries to stop her but it’s too late. Quinn takes the knife she has in her hand and slashes Meg across the neck! Quinn is set to mete out even more hurt but Charlie grabs her and pulls her back. Meg is dead, and Quinn is quick to realize how much she has just screwed up.

Dim Light at the End of the Tunnel

Back at OPA, Jake has finally cracked the code that Huck uses to scramble the signal that his phone gives off, but doing so didn’t yield any useful information since the last ping that Huck’s phone produced was at the hotel where Jennifer was being kept. In the 7 hours since, there has been no signal. Marcus tries to come up with explanations as to why that may be and states that this may not necessarily be bad news.

It is then that Charlie and Quinn come into the room and Charlie announces that they have bad news. Everyone in the room turns to them, and Olivia asks if they had found Meg. Charlie says that they did but she won’t be talking. He turns to Quinn then who is literally wearing guilt and regret like it’s a second skin. She can’t quite keep eye contact with Olivia, so she looks away.

Deducing what had happened, Olivia walks up to Quinn and asks if what she did made her feel good. She says that she hopes that it did because now they have no leads on finding Huck alive. Olivia then leaves everybody to retreat to her office. A despondent Quinn heads off towards her office and a cloak of defeat hang upon everyone in the room but Marcus who wonders what the next step is. Jake’s response is that Huck is dead.

There’s always gotta be one who’s gotta state what everyone was already thinking, right?

Seeing how devastated Quinn is, Charlie ventures into the lion’s den and Olivia immediately orders him to get out as she is drowning her sorrow in wine. Charlie refuses and says to her that she has to do something for her team, especially Quinn. Olivia asks him what it is that he believes that she is supposed to do and he tells her that she needs to fix this somehow. He says that she needs to do whatever speechy Olivia Pope thing that she does where she gets in their faces and is “all serious and mean.” (Ha!) Olivia takes exception to him referring to her as being mean, and he stands by it, stating that he believes that she is mean and is sometimes not particularly nice to him.

Charlie goes on to say that she needs to do what she does with the stomping around and the opera gloves that he feels is a bit over-the-top, but it all works together for the “thing” that she does. (LOL!) The white-hat gladiator thing.

As he is saying this, it isn’t lost on me that Olivia’s white hat is hanging on her coat rack along with her black overcoat and black purse. Could that be a small signal that maybe some light is cracking through Olivia’s dark fortress? When was the last time we saw that hat? Rasputin (508)?

Anyway, Charlie is insistent that Olivia do something other than hole up in her office. She doesn’t see the point since Huck is dead, and she tells him that she can’t fix anyone. Following a moment’s pause, Charlie says to her that Quinn is going to want to see a body and she won’t be fine until she sees one, so either way, Olivia still has to find Huck.

Charlie goes on to say that Olivia can’t just give up. After all, giving up isn’t part of her gladiator persona. The “thing” requires her to perform miracles, he tells her, and she is a miracle worker. He uses himself as an example and says that he’s set to become a husband and may one day be a dad. He adds that he’s at OPA doing good deeds so it’s obvious that Olivia has made hell freeze over. Because of that, she can’t quit.  Miracle workers, he says, do not get to quit.

Well, look at Charlie of all people giving Olivia Pope a pep talk. First it was Marcus reminding her of how she lifted him up when he was down and now it’s Charlie sharing with her how he has become a different person because of her. Ties back to what Huck insisted to be true in 607, doesn’t it? People change, and as it turns out, Olivia inspires people to do and be better. Maybe these testimonies will inspire her in return?

As Olivia sits staring up at Charlie, he belatedly adds that the “thing” requires her to actually speak. Olivia gets up then and places her wine glass on the table. She pauses for a moment in front of Charlie before proceeding back out into the conference room. She calls for everyone to reconvene, and when they do, she tells them that they won’t stop looking for Huck. He belongs to them, so it is their duty to do everything that they can to find him alive or dead no matter what it takes. If that means that a miracle is required, then a miracle is what they’ll make happen.

The team is then seen getting to work as they try to piece together all that they know and figure out the things that they don’t. Despite the hostile glare that Olivia is still casting in her direction, Abby is even helping out, but she is sure to stand off to the side when everyone lines up in front of the wall to examine all that they have. As Olivia wonders aloud where Huck could be, it dawns on Quinn that they aren’t just looking for Huck. Jennifer is also with him. Find Jennifer and you find Huck.

It is at this moment that Jake recalls that he gave Jennifer a phone. He couldn’t have recalled this little detail when he was busy cracking the software that masked Huck’s phone signal? Come on, man.

We next see Olivia and Jake in the quarry. They both have flashlights as they hurriedly head in the direction of the area where Jennifer’s phone was when it stopped sending a signal. Back at OPA, Charlie, Quinn, Abby and Marcus sit in wait. Quinn is restless and makes to go after Olivia and Jake when Marcus says to Quinn and Charlie that Olivia told him before she left that they are supposed to keep an eye on Abby. When Charlie asks him what he means, Abby shifts uncomfortably in her seat. Quinn stops at the door to turn to look back at Abby just as Charlie asks Abby why in the world they’d have to watch her.

Quinn’s face reflects her confusion at such an order as she stares at Abby, but then realization hits. Quinn turns back into the room and asks Abby what she did when Abby offers an apology. Abby doesn’t get to explain herself for Quinn climbs onto the table and launches herself at Abby. The men are quick to get a hold of her before she can do any real damage. That doesn’t stop Quinn from promising to kill her.

Yikes. Forgiveness won’t be so easily forthcoming from Ms. Perkins.

At the quarry, Jake has finally spotted Huck and he and Olivia get to running. When they get to him, they try to determine if he is alive. They both try to rouse him but he is unresponsive.

Moving Forward

Now at the hospital, everyone is sitting down but Quinn who is pacing back and forth. When the surgeon comes out to the waiting room, they all rise and Quinn asks if Huck is okay. The doctor tells them that they were able to remove the bullets and stop the bleeding, and that he is presently stable. Quinn wants to know if Huck is okay as in whether he will emerge from this. The doctor offers that Huck had lost a lot of blood and as such he is at risk of permanent brain damage. She tells them that they should be prepared for him to wake up with severe deficits, that’s if he wakes up at all. The best thing for him at the moment is rest.

Damn. That’s crushing news.

The group is clearly dispirited, Quinn most of all.

Upon the departure of the doctor, Jake notices Secret Service coming down the hallway. He alerts Olivia to their presence as agents clear the path of medical staff. Fitz soon comes from around the corner and Olivia steps over to see him coming right at them. Her face is a mask of desolate resignation.

Stepping away from the others, Olivia and Fitz move to an isolate corner for some privacy. Once they are there, Olivia can’t yet turn around to face him for she’s working to school her emotions. Fitz asks her of Huck’s condition, and when she doesn’t respond, he closes the gap between them and places his hands on her shoulders in a comforting gesture.

After a moment, Olivia finally answers by stating that Huck might die. Her eyes are red with tears as she turns around and falls into Fitz’s embrace. He offers his condolence as Olivia allows herself a moment to be openly vulnerable and lean on someone else. Her team is depending on her to be a pillar of strength, but that expectation is absent with Fitz.

When she finally pulls away from him, Fitz asks her how her team is doing and if they need anything. Olivia tells him that they’ll find some way to deal should Huck die, that they’ll lean on each other. She can’t even look at Fitz as she verbalizes this very real possibility. Sadly, Olivia doesn’t include herself with the others.

I expected Fitz to follow up with asking her own she would manage, but he doesn’t. That could be because he already knew the answer. Maybe. With Huck being the closest thing Olivia has to a brother, his loss would be one that she couldn’t easily shake off.

Fitz instead asks about Abby and Olivia’s demeanor shifts. She looks directly at Fitz and asks, “What about Abby?” Fitz informs her that Abby has shared all with him regarding the mystery people, and Olivia considers that move selfish on Abby’s part, stating that one shouldn’t expect  the President to keep such a secret. (Of all the other secrets that Fitz is already keeping? Girl, if you don’t stop….)

Fitz then says that he knows Olivia doesn’t want to hear this bit, but he tells her that needs to forgive Abby. Olivia points out that someone put three bullets in Huck and left him for dead. He’s alive right now thanks to machines and Fitz is there telling her that she ought to forgive Abby for that. Olivia says that she doesn’t have to forgive Abby. When Fitz points out that Olivia forgave him his misdeeds, Olivia tells him that that was different. He then says to her that he forgave her, and Olivia appears somewhat startled by this.

Don’t get me to listing out the number of things that Olivia has done that Fitz has forgiven and vice versa. If ever there was an example of two people who knew how to move past something that one inflicted upon the other, it is these two.

Give me a second for my obligatory Olitz feels moment:

Fitz goes on to say the following to her:

“You know what happens to you when you’re in that Oval. You know what lengths you can find yourself going to in order to stay there. But you also know how to get out. She needs you. If anyone can pull her back, if anyone can save her, it’s the one person who got out. It’s Olivia Pope.” -- Fitzgerald Grant

Man, this speech he give her is rather ironic, given the fact that Olivia herself has been determined to a return to the Oval via Mellie. Also, Fitz was using no small amount of his experience with her in the White House to get her to see how and why Abby fell for the okie doke. Olivia had walked away from the White House (and him) several times, so she does indeed know how to step out and away from the shiny object.

Yet another recollection of Olivia being something of a superhero. She not only slays dragons and resurrect careers, she changes people, performs miracles and is even able to walk away from the magnet that is the White House!

Will Olivia be able to pull away from it again now that she knows that nefarious actors actually want Mellie in the Oval for some yet to be revealed reason? Will any of that matter to her anymore? Will her makeshift family prove to be more important to her?

Elsewhere in the hospital, Quinn is sitting by Huck’s side and she’s railing at him for not seeing when danger is staring him right in the face. She asks him why it is that he can’t see that the people who love him are those who are standing right next to him. Quinn then says to him that she recognizes that he has a blind spot and she promises that she will look out for him and cover that blind spot for him, but in order for her to do that, he isn’t allowed to die. She tells him that she will never forgive him if dies.

Apologizing to him, Quinn wipes away her tears and heads for the door when she hears him take in a swift breath. She turns around to find his eyes fluttering open. She returns to the bed and takes his hand as she climbs into the bed and lays right next to him.

Awww….this is giving me Olitz feels circa episode 210.

Charlie peeps this move by Quinn via a hallway window. It’s hard to gauge his reaction to it, but I can’t imagine that he’s not wondering about how deep his fiancee’s attachment is to Huck.

Meanwhile at the hospital’s entrance, Olivia is seen shoring up herself before he proceeds outside to find Abby who is sitting alone at a bench. Olivia takes up the seat next to her and it is then that Abby’s facade cracks. She goes full ugly cry when Olivia reaches out and takes a hold of her hand. As Abby cries it out, Olivia remains stoically by her side.

So both Charlie and Fitz managed to get Olivia to moving in a selfless direction. I suppose it wasn’t altogether selfless since the speech Olivia gave to the team was as much for her as it was for them, and in so allowing herself to move past Abby’s misdeeds, Olivia has opened the door to also granting herself forgiveness for the things that she has done. Will she finally give herself absolution? Will that only come after Cyrus is freed and the mystery people taken down?

With Huck rescued, the question has now shifted as to whether or not he will ever be the same. Now that Fitz is in the loop, what is set to happen now? Has Angela Webster already been asked to look into Mr. Android and Ponytail? Is she another one of their plants or someone that they blackmailed into assisting them? Where does Olivia and the gladiators go from here?

What did you guys and gals think of the episode? What questions do you have that still need answering?

Next week is Scandal’s 100th episode, so expect the unexpected. We won’t return to the present timeline until the episode that follows that one.

Well, that does it for me, folks! Another brilliant episode in the can. Thank you for reading this really long recap/review of Scandal episode 609! As usual, share your thoughts in the comment section below or holler at your girl on Twitter. See you next week!