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Scandal - Vampires and Bloodsuckers - Review: "Mission Critical"


Just when I thought last week’s episode had me seeing enough red, Shonda and company decide that with “Vampires and Bloodsuckers”, they were going to up the ante to the point where I would find myself briefly contemplating my continued investment in this series. What the $%!@ are they doing to Olivia Pope?! Or should I be asking what it is that they are making us think that they are doing to her? Should I take what they are presenting at face value or should I be looking at everything with a narrowed eye? Hmm.

"Vampires and Bloodsuckers" was fantastic for many a reason, the first being the execution of the script by the actors. My God, this ensemble is the bee's knees. The pacing of the episode, the continued tension throughout. My insides were clenched most of the time, and I blame that entirely on Olivia. I swear, this character will give you high blood pressure and gastric ulcers with the way she was going about in episode.

Is she or is she not a lost soul? That remains the question. What I can promise you is that she was nearly as dropkick worthy as she was in the last episode, but there are a few asterisks to this. I have since pulled back from wanting to hack her to pieces and feed her body parts to Jake before drowning him in a vat of acid and making Rowan drink it.

Needless to say, I was a little peeved. But I’m okay now. Kinda.

Where we left off: Olivia was doing everything in her power to send Fitz back to Vermont after she learned that her father had a hand in Fitz returning to D.C. in the first place. Fitz rats her out to Mellie re: Luna Vargas and B613, and while Mellie is initially incensed over it, she eventually comes around to using B613 to her advantage. Mellie bids President Rashad goodbye as it is now safe for him to return to Bashran, and as he and his niece are boarding a private jet the next day, the plane blows up.

The Deranged

The episode kicks off with Mellie on the Truman balcony when Olivia shows up with a red folder. The scene is juxtaposed with moments from the end of “Adventures in Babysitting” where Rashad and Yasmeen are boarding their plane, and Quinn and Charlie are waving goodbye. Mellie appears to be having a pleasant reverie when Olivia interrupts.

Upon turning towards her Chief of Staff, Mellie notes the red folder and her expression turns serious. Olivia steps up then to hand her the folder and Mellie quickly peruses its content. She is clearly shaken, but she manages to instruct Olivia to call the Secretary of State and others over to the White House. Olivia makes an attempt then to offer Mellie comfort, but Mellie orders her not to touch her. No doubt a comforting touch was going to send her right into a tailspin, the poor thing. Olivia looks almost as troubled as Mellie does.

After a moment, Mellie marches away and instructs Olivia to meet her in the Oval in 10 minutes.

It is at this point that we get a flash to a not so distant past of Olivia with Jake in their B613 lair. She is watching something on the screen when Jake informs her that the deed is done, that President Rashad and his niece are dead. (Wait…) Olivia takes in the news before shrugging nonchalantly and saying to Jake that they did the right thing. And he concurs.

Soooo….yeah. Olivia and Jake had President Rashad and Yasmeen killed. When I was watching this live (and for days afterwards), I was livid! When I tell you that I formulated so many ways by which Olivia could die… She was so dead to me that I consigned her to that ship that shall not be named, and did so only after I rid her partner of a particular extremity and cut out his tongue. Deal with that, you bitch!

I could not (and still do not) understand the rationale behind these killings. Was President Rashad or Yasmeen a threat to national security? Had they themselves killed anyone? How does this act make Olivia’s B613 different from Rowan’s if she’s out here blowing up innocent people? Who is this person?



Elsewhere in D.C., Cyrus is seen leaving Fenton’s place after having spent the night. He is rushing down the stairs while tucking his shirt into his pants and trying to coordinate with Hannah over the phone. Fenton invites him to sit and have brunch with, but Cyrus cannot stay because there’s a meet that he has to attend. Fenton wonders if it has anything to do with Rashad’s plane blowing up, but Cyrus can’t tell him. Fenton doesn’t have the clearance to know the details. “This is the United States of America, Fentsie. There are rules,” Cyrus tells him before he departs.

Back at the Oval, Olivia is walking Mellie through what’s going to happen the next day with regards to the remains of Rashad and Yasmeen, and the time that Mellie will arrive at Andrews Air Force Base to meet the bodies. (Such a local thing to still call it Andrew AFB even though it is now officially Joint Base Andrews.) Olivia hands over some remarks that she had drafted for Mellie to give at the ceremony, and she asks Mellie if she will be able to handle it.

Mellie is the picture of cool, calm and collected. She is in full presidential mode. There is no room for grief when there is work to do. She tells Olivia that she will be fine and that they can review the remarks on their way to the ceremony, but Olivia informs her that she won’t be there because Quinn is getting married. At this reminder, Mellie struggles a bit with her facade as she tells Olivia to give Quinn her best.She is not okay, but she’s managing her emotions the best she can.

Olivia watches Mellie for a long moment and then eventually leaves for her office. Upon entry to the anteroom, her assistant informs her that a package came for her from the Smithsonian that requires her signature. As Olivia claims the package and signs off on the paperwork, Lucy also tells her that Quinn has been trying to reach her and has called four times. Olivia assumes that it is wedding jitters and isn’t overly concerned.

Later that evening, Olivia meets up with Quinn at a memorial site. She gives Quinn a smile upon seeing her and then digs around in her purse to retrieve the item that she acquired from the Smithsonian. For her part, Quinn doesn’t look particular comfortable in her old boss’s presence. She is eying Olivia with caution and seems to be having some kind of internal war in her head.

Olivia excitedly steps forward with the small package extended, telling Quinn that it is “something borrowed” that is to be used for her wedding. It is a hairpin that was worn by Elizabeth “Bess” Wallace on the day that she married Harry S. Truman. Olivia launches into some background story about Bess and Harry, thinking that Quinn called her because she has doubts about marrying Charlie.

Quinn takes a few steps away from Olivia and then turns to look at her with suspicion as Olivia goes on about how she’s going to stay with Quinn and talk through her doubts even if it requires that they stay there all night.It is at this point that Quinn’s expression shifts into one of incredulity. She appears unsure as to what to say as Olivia goes on to say that she knows Charlie will be a great father.

When Quinn is finally able to speak, she asks Olivia how it is that she could do it. She wonders at how it is that Olivia can stand there talking about weddings and Harry Truman after what she has done. Confused by her outburst, Olivia asks her what is going on and Quinn tells her that their meeting isn’t about Charlie, that it is instead about Olivia and her blowing up the plane with Rashad and Yasmeen on it! (Whaaaa!) Quinn reveals that she has a witness and she knows that it is Olivia who had the bomb planted.

Olivia warns Quinn to be very careful about talking about things that she knows nothing about, but Quinn continues anyway. She is devastated as she points out that it was Olivia who asked her to watch Yasmeen, that Yasmeen was about to graduate from college and had been planning her future. Olivia tries to spin this as Quinn not thinking straight, but Quinn cuts her off to say that this moment isn’t about her feelings, but about Olivia herself. (This sounds an awful lot like what Curtis said to Olivia in the last episode.)

Quinn remarks on how Olivia had once been a woman that she admired, someone that she wanted to be. Olivia’s response to that is to say that sometimes being the woman that she is requires her to makes calls that “no one else can for reasons no one else can understand”. (Hmm.)



Quinn counters by saying that no one else could live with themselves doing the things that Olivia does, and an incensed Olivia yells that she does what she has to do! (Zzz...) Quinn just as forcefully reminds her that she killed a teenaged girl because it was convenient for her.

It is in this moment that Olivia shifts into her Darth Vaedra persona, the same one that we saw manifest in her last scene with Fitz. She has this smug smirk on her face as she steps closer to Quinn and says that she also happened to drag an unconscious 28-year-old lawyer across the country away from her family and left her in a hotel room with a false identity. She then adds that it is she, too, who had made that call, and asks Quinn how that decision turned out.

Ooooo...y’all just don’t know how much I wanted Quinn to attack her right then, but Quinn’s got precious cargo in tow, so there went that fantasy. I’d have clocked this bitch in the chest. I don’t know who she’s rewriting history for, but this shit ain’t cute. Is Quinn supposed to be scared of the bared teeth and flashing eyes?



Quinn claps back by saying that Olivia merely gave her a life that suited Olivia, and then she poses Olivia with a question: “What if what suited you was my death?” (Ooo!)

Olivia’s reaction here is interesting. She appears briefly troubled by the question, but she quickly recovers and asks Quinn what it is that she plans to do with her information. Quinn responds in a roundabout way by saying that Olivia’s OPA had never been about justice, but that QPA will be. (Ah snap!)

As Quinn starts to walk away, Olivia offers “condolences” regarding Yasmeen before she goes on to point out that Yasmeen wasn’t her family. She says that Charlie, herself, and Quinn’s unborn (which Olivia refers to as a “that”) are Quinn’s family, and she warns that if Quinn knows what is best for he family, she will go home, get married and move on. Olivia then departs on some “I’ll see you at the wedding.”



We soon see that Olivia is more concerned than she let on in front of Quinn for once she got back into the vehicle that brought her to the location, she appears openly worried. Her ass is grass should Quinn say anything to anybody and her options as to how to handle the situation are limited. What she going to do? Kill Quinn? Since they have her (supposedly) killing teenagers, why not a pregnant woman?

First Olivia turned super nasty with Fitz in the previous episode and here she is doing the same thing to Quinn. Who treats family this way? Rowan does with the not-so-veiled threats and intimidation tactics. Has Olivia turned into the very worst of her father or is something else going on?

The Derailment

The following morning, President Rashad and Yasmeen’s remains are being seen off by Mellie at Andrews AFB. The voice of a reporter overlays the scene, he explaining that they are going home three days after they were killed and that the Bashrani rebels are suspected of having planted the bomb. Quinn is in her wedding dress and watching the ceremony on television from her apartment. She appears anxious as she twists her engagement ring about on her finger.

Over at Olivia’s apartment, she is dressed for the wedding and she is heading towards the living room from her bedroom when we see that Jake is also present. (Why in God’s name…?!) He appears to have just arrived and has a beverage in hand as he states that Olivia shouldn’t allow the situation with Quinn to get to her, and Olivia assures him that she is not. He continues on by remarking on how it was that both of them had wanted to put Rashad back in power, but that it was too late. The only option that they had left to them was to negotiate with the rebels by offering Rashad’s life in exchange for nuclear disarmament.

Pause.


First of all, I didn’t need Jake to be at her apartment in order for the audience to learn the why of this bullshit that they pulled. Secondly, they did what so that they could have what now? What happened to their initial plan to have the rebel leaders take each other out? It was “too late” to put Rashad back in power or was it that the initial plan wasn’t expedient enough? So two innocent people were killed because Olivia wanted to salvage the nuclear treaty?!



I know that there is some shady things that government does under the radar in order to guarantee security for the many, but this here is ridiculous. Was it determined that Rashad would die regardless if sent back to Bashran so they figured they would beat the rebels to the punch? Why not wait until the plane was already off of American soil before blowing it up?

There has got to be more to this. There just has to be.

Olivia is gathering her things for departure as Jake goes on about how he thinks Rashad’s life in exchange for the treaty was a good trade, and that Quinn and Mellie (if she knew) couldn’t possibly see it in the same way. He goes on state that the call was the “right” and “gusty” one.

Can he shut his face already? I just cannot.

And forgive me for failing to take solace in Jake’s opinion of Olivia’s decisions. He’s the same guy who was impressed by her murdering Andrew and forcing Luna into suicide. As justified as those deaths may be, cheering on mayhem isn’t exactly high on my list of favorite things to do. Killing Rashad was “gutsy”, huh? Why doesn’t he mention Yasmeen? Or was he merely commenting on the political implications of their action?

Ugh! I hate this pairing like I hate a rusty nail shoved in between my toes. I smell an okie doke similar to the mess that was pulled in “Honor Thy Father” (418) when Huck and Quinn thought Jake was planning to kill Olivia, and in “They All Bow Down” (605) when we were led to believe that Jake killed Jennifer Fields, only for it to later be revealed that he didn’t. Snore.

So, yeah. Slap me on the ass and call me Suspicious.

Olivia, who is now standing by her door, turns to Jake to say that he is telling her things that she already knows. As he hands her the tea that he brought for her, he asks if she thinks that Quinn will talk, and Olivia replies that she believes Quinn will do as told. She will get married and have her baby. All of this, she says, will blow over. (Uh huh.)

Over at QPA, David is emerging from the elevator as Abby is approaching it. When asked where she is headed, Abby says that she is off to collect the bride. There is a moment’s pause before she starts to warn David about the day, and he already knows what she is going to say. He promises that he won’t be grabbing her hand, and Abby is glad to hear that, stating that mood will be pretty romantic and she doesn’t want him getting moved by it. David assures her that he understands, and she thanks him before hurrying off to get Quinn.

In QPA’s big office, all four televisions are on as Olivia watches news coverage of Rashad and Yasmeen’s death. The Bashrani rebels have denied involvement in the bombing and are asking that the United States recognize them as the new legitimate leaders of their country.

Huck enters the room then from the connecting office to ask Olivia if she has the poem that he emailed her the night before night. Olivia says that she doesn’t, that she must have missed it, and Huck remarks that she was supposed to memorize it for the ceremony. He is about to leave the room when Olivia asks if Quinn has arrived yet, and Huck replies that he just sent Abby to get her.

From the main office entrance, Marcus steps in to say that the caterer wants to know where to put the macarons, and when Huck snaps in response, Marcus with some amusement points out that he is merely the messenger. Huck explains that the macarons go on the macaron table, and he goes off to handle the situation. When Marcus looks over at Olivia, she explains that Huck is the best man. Marcus remarks that he thought Huck was the maid of honor, and Olivia replies that Huck is that, too, so he should cut him some slack. (LOL!)

Once Marcus departs from the room, the camera pans back to the news as the reporter shares that much of the outrage regarding the bombing revolves around the death of Rashad’s niece Yasmeen who had been attending Dartmouth under a pseudonym. As this is playing, Olivia dials up Quinn and gets her voicemail. She leaves a message, initially not sure of what to say, but then she goes into how she’s there if Quinn needs to talk. She then wishes her a happy wedding day.

Chile…



Over at the White House, Mellie is meeting with the Bashrani ambassador and Jake is standing by her left. Ambassador Marashi thanks Mellie for taking the meeting, stating that the time is difficult for everyone. Mellie replies that the difficulty would be more so for some, especially given the fact that Rashad is dead and Marashi is not. The ambassador replies that he doesn’t have the luxury of civil disobedience, that the only reason he is still alive is because he has value to the new regime. He is there to deliver a message.

When Jake asks what the message is, Marashi says that the new regime is prepared to agree to the nuclear treaty that was negotiated with President Rashad, but on two conditions. The first is the assurance that Dakal will hold up their end of the bargain and the other is that the United States will officially recognize the new regime as the legitimate leaders of Bashran.

Jake has now taken a seat on one of the sofas across from Mellie and he’s observing the exchange. When Marashi is done, Mellie wonders if there is anything else to the new regime’s conditions, and the ambassador says that there isn’t. He goes on to say that Mellie is welcome to take all the time she needs before providing him with an answer, but Mellie already has a response for him.

Jake stands up then and tries to interrupt before Mellie can say anything, but his attempt is futile. Mellie tells Marashi that the only reason why she agreed to the meeting in the first place was to have the ambassador deliver a message of her own to the new regime. Her message is that the rebels ought to run and hide because she is coming for all of them. She is going to “drop every last American bomb on their heads to make them pay for what they’ve done”.

Slow your roll there, Mellie. Sheesh. Crazy much? You don’t even have evidence that they are responsible for the bombing and you’re already promising Armageddon?



Back over at QPA, we get a flash of the various desserts that are available for the wedding, including a wedding cake with its topper being a man and woman posing with guns. (LOL! How fitting.) David goes over to take a closer look at the cake, and when Huck see him, he tells David that he ought to be going over his ceremony. David rhetorically asks Huck if he realizes how many ceremonies he has been forced to officiate, and Huck says that he doesn’t care, that this particular wedding is special. He works himself into a full on threat that promises hell if David even screws up a tiny bit of the ceremony, and David gets to backing away from Huckzilla. (Hahahaha!!) He is able to escape the promised wrath when he points out that the groom has arrived.

Sighting Huck, Charlie hurries over and asks for a moment of his time. He has gotten Huck a gift. He explains that he thought about going with either a knife or a hatchet, but Quinn had made him look up gifts to give the Best Man and he settled on some monogrammed cuff links. (Awww!) Huck is moved by the gift and tells Charlie that it wasn’t necessary, but Charlie disagrees. He relays that the day is the best of his life and that he partly owes it to him.

How adorbs. Who knew that Charlie and Huck would ever get to this point? I love them! It’s just too damn bad that Huck doesn’t have his own family, largely thanks to Charlie and B613, but whatever. It’s all in the past.

Just then, Huck’s phone rings and it’s Abby. He asks her if she is on her way with Quinn, but Abby tells him that Quinn is gone! (Ut oh.) Olivia emerges from the office then to catch Huck saying into the phone that something is very wrong, and she takes the phone from him to speak with Abby herself. Abby tells her that Quinn ran and that she left her engagement ring behind.

We next see that Olivia has escaped to the ladies room, where she locks herself inside and proceeds to have something of a panic attack. Hyperventilation, wringing of hands, unsteadiness. She stares at herself in the mirror and tries to put herself to rights before she heads back out, but she knows that Quinn’s disappearance does not bode well for her. Eek!

The Desperation

Abby is now back at QPA and she has presented Charlie with the evidence of Quinn’s ring. Charlie doesn’t believe that Quinn just up and left. He thinks that maybe she took off the ring because her fingers are bloated and that it’s a simple matter of her forgetting to put it back on. Abby wants him to consider the possibility that Quinn actually did leave and Marcus chimes in to say that grief does have a way with messing with people, but Charlie remains unswayed. He tells them that Quinn was on her computer working on her vows nonstop, that something else is up. Quinn, he says, did not get cold feet.

Huck is in the distance watching the exchange as the caterers continue to swirl about. Olivia emerges from the big office then, still unable to reach Quinn, and she asks Abby if there had been a note or anything left behind to explain Quinn’s absence, and Abby says that all that was there was the ring.

Charlie notices that the caterers are moving the food, and he orders them to leave everything as they were. He expects the bride to show up at any moment. Abby looks doubtful that this will happen. At this point, Marcus turns to Olivia to say that he’d love to stay but that it is a work day for him. (Soooo...does this mean that Fitzgerald is still in D.C. then?! Heh.) Olivia okays his departure, and has he is heading out, David comes over to inform Olivia and Abby that the DJ has to leave because he has another gig. Abby replies that the DJ is Huck’s guy, and both women turn to look for Huck, but the man has disappeared.

Huck has dashed over to Quinn’s apartment. He picks the locks and lets himself in. He has his back of tools with him, and he searches every inch of the apartment for clues as to what became of Quinn. After looking feeling through and around things, Huck goes for the luminol and liberally sprays it everywhere to check for blood splatter. There isn’t any. He is set to leave the apartment when he takes note of Quinn’s laptop sitting on a nearby table.

Upon his return to QPA with the laptop, Huck enters the conference room and demands to be given Quinn’s ring. He sets the laptop on the table and Abby gets to moving things out of the way to create space. She then requests that the caterers to give them the room for a moment.

Olivia asks Huck what it is that he has found, and he directs her to open Quinn’s laptop and click on the folder labelled “Vows”. Olivia does as told, and within are numerous photos from the tarmac at Andrews AFB. Quinn had been investigating Rashad’s death! (Dun, dun, dun!)



Olivia is set back on her heels a bit at this and she watches Huck as if she expects him to suddenly point the finger at her, but no one is paying her any attention. Their focus is on Huck as he directs a UV flashlight onto Quinn’s ring and there is a glow to it. Abby asks if they are looking at blood, and Huck explains that it is actually cleanser that is used to clean off blood. He concludes then that Quinn didn’t run, but was was actually taken! (Oh boy…)

Soon after, Olivia is meeting up with Jake in the QPA stairwell. (Can’t have your meetings out in the open now, can y’all?) He doesn’t believes that Quinn is actually missing. He thinks that this is all some ploy by Quinn to go off and build a case against them. When he asks what it is that the gladiators think, Olivia says that they believe that Quinn found the Bashranis who killed Rashad and got herself in trouble. Olivia tells him that she can keep crew on this path, but he is going to have to find Quinn and bring her directly to her.

Back in the office now, they are all looking over the documentation that Quinn was able to compile. Olivia asks if Huck found anything else like notes or a cell phone, and Huck shakes his head no. Charlie wonders why it is that Quinn would involve herself in something this dangerous, arguing that she would have told him about it, but Olivia counters by saying that Quinn may kept this from him if she thought that Charlie would stop her.

Everyone goes quiet for a moment at that before Huck pipes up to say that he can hack into Quinn’s phone and determine her last location. He also says that they’re going to need a timeline of everything that Quinn did from the moment the plane blew up to the moment that she disappeared. (Look at Huck taking charge of the situation. I see you, Huckster!)

A little time later, Charlie is seen out on the sofa in the hallway. When Abby approaches him, he directs her to send the caterers home. She is about to go off to do as he requested when he starts speaking again. He shares that he must have written 18 different versions of his vows, and he mentions some of what he included in them, including the first time she drugged or shot someone, the first time he bought her a gun, the custom machete with the stone that matched her eyes that he had gotten for her. (LOL!) He states that nothing he wrote ever seemed quite right or good enough.

When he finally stops speaking, Abby goes to sit at the other end of the sofa and she asks him what it was that he finally settled on, and he replies that he didn’t settle on anything. He instead decided that he was going to speak from the heart. He figured that he’d do what he does when he watches Quinn sleep, and that is to say what he wants to say without there being any interruption or disagreement. His vows would be no different. He decided that whatever he said to Quinn would be unrehearsed and true. (Aww...Charlie the romantic.)

Abby appears charmed by this, and Charlie assumes that she finds the idea of him watching Quinn sleep is weird. Abby replies that she said nothing of the sort, but Charlie goes on to point out that he’s a weird guy and that Quinn is a weird girl. He then asks what is wrong with two weird people being in love. At this, Abby’s focus drifts over to David where he is conversing in the distance with one of the vendors. She concedes that there is nothing wrong with Charlie’s statement, and then she tells him that Quinn is going to love the vows when he gets to recite them to her.

Moving back into the conference room, it is now time to build that timeline, and David is lending his assistance. They already have some details filled in and are working on others. Charlie recalls Quinn going for a walk the night before around 10:30. She went to the D.C. War Memorial to clear her head, he says. Olivia pipes up then to confirm that Quinn came home immediately after, and Charlie says that she did. Quinn had only been gone an hour, and they went to bed. The last that he saw of her was the morning of the present day.

Abby steps into the room then, and Olivia asks her if she had any luck with the traffic cameras. Abby didn’t, but she did print out all of the photos that was in the “Vows” folder and figured out that most of the people in them were all on the tarmac when the plane blew up. She states that this includes Air Force personnel, airplane mechanics, Rashad’s security detail. Abby concludes that any one of these people could have been hired to put a bomb on the plane.

Suggesting that they run the photos through some software, Olivia cuts in to say that the CIA has a database of known Bashrani terrorists that the photos can be run through instead. She tells them that she can come up with some excuse and have the CIA send the information directly over to Abby. Doing it this way would save time, she says. David turns away from the timeline then to remark that the other option is to have the FBI do the work instead, but when he is met with just stares, he states that he felt that he just had to put that out there.



While the others are in the conference room, Huck is typing away on his computer. There is a knock on his door, and he replies to it by saying that the phone is a dead end, that it is turned off. The last location that the phone pinged was her apartment. He continues by saying that he’s now hacking into her cloud to see if she saved her voicemails and text messages.

It is then that his visitor speaks and Huck looks over to find Curtis Pryce. (Oy!) Huck stands from his seat then to approach. Curtis greets him and offers Huck his hand, which Huck accepts. As Curtis introduces himself, he is cut off mid sentence by Huck saying “No comment.” Curtis points out that he hasn’t even asked a question. He says that he’s looking for Quinn, and wants to know if Huck may be able to tell him where to find her, but Huck sticks to his same response of no comment. Curtis adds that Quinn had left him a message the night before and that he is merely following up, but he gets the same answer from Huck. (LOL!)

From the conference room, Olivia spots Curtis and gets up to investigate why he’s there. She calls out to him, and when he sees her, he asks her what it is that she is doing there. (Dude, really? Ha!) Olivia scoffs and turns the question back on him. He replies that he’s apparently striking out, and he proceeds to excuse himself from Huck and head for the exit.

Having overheard what he said to Huck, Olivia follows Curtis out of the suite and she asks him about the message that Quinn left him. She wants to know what the message said, and Curtis ignores her as he heads for the elevator. Olivia begs him to share, stating that what she said may be important. Huck follows Olivia out of the office suite and stands by the door as Olivia tries to get Curtis to talk. (Ever her guard dog, that one.)

Olivia asks if Curtis is just going to ignore her from now on, and he replies that everything isn’t about her (ding!), that he is protecting a source. Olivia shares with him then that Quinn is missing. She plays the sympathy card of Quinn being her very pregnant friend who is now somewhere unknown. When a clearly desperate Olivia asks Curtis again of what it is that Quinn’s message said, relents and tells her that Quinn told him that she discovered something big about the Rashad assassination. She had relayed her certainty that the Bashranis were not behind the bombing, but that an American was responsible.

As he is speaking, Olivia’s eyes appear to widen. Playing it cool and innocent, Olivia asks if Quinn gave him a name and Curtis says that she hadn’t. He then continues past Olivia as he says that he’ll let her know if he finds anything. Taken by surprise by this statement, Olivia tries to discourage Curtis from looking further into the matter, but he’s shark who smells blood in the water. He says to her that his source with connections to the White House tells him that she has proof that the assassination of Rashad was an inside job, and now that source has gone missing. “You bet your ass I’m looking into this,” he tells her. (Welp.)

Olivia tries to get him to see things her way, arguing that an investigation by a high profile TV personality such as himself could only exacerbate the situation and that there is no telling what the kidnappers would do if they are put under such a spotlight. Curtis argues the opposite and says that he may be able to dig up something that could help bring Quinn home safely. Olivia pleads with him to let it go, but he shakes her off and tells her that there is a story here and he has every intention of getting to the bottom of it. He draws the elevator door shut then, effectively ending the conversation. (Womp, womp.)

The Deception

Shortly thereafter back in the conference room, Abby states that they now know that Quinn made a call to Curtis, but Huck argues that that fact doesn’t tell them much. He says that he was able to hack into her cloud and found all of her messages there, but that none of them were to Curtis. He speculates that she must have called him using a burner phone.

As Huck is going on about potentially hacking into Curtis’s phone, Abby instructs David to put on earmuffs. (Ha!) Huck figures that if he’s able to find the number that Quinn used to call Curtis, he may be able to find Quinn. His hope is that she still has the phone on her.

A little bit later, Olivia is in the big office talking to Mellie who isn’t at all happy that Olivia has not yet returned to the White House as promised. Olivia tells her that she requires a few more hours, insisting that the gladiators are important to her and she has to hang around to ensure that all is well with Quinn. (I know this is true, and yet…)

Mellie lets Olivia have that, and then she makes a comment about how Olivia should have seen the look on Ambassador Marashi’s face when she threatened Bashran with war. Olivia reminds her that they can’t go after anyone until they are sure of who is actually behind the bombing. When Mellie is silent, Olivia calls out to her and Mellie finally replies that she knows. Mellie then remarks on Olivia being absent on this day of all days. She tells Olivia to do what she has to in order to find Quinn and then return to the White House posthaste.

Back to the stairwell Olivia goes again and Jake still hasn’t found Quinn, but he was able to find out what it is that she knows. He hands over a folder and within are details about an Air Force Sergeant Brian Ladd who was on the tarmac when the plane blew up. He witnessed something and then he shared that something with Quinn. (How the hell did he know to reach out to Quinn??)

There is a flashback to Ladd calling Quinn and telling her that what is being reported on the news is incorrect about the bombing. He claims that he knows who really did it.

Back the present, Jake says that this finding is the bad news, but that the good news is that they can use this discovery to their advantage. The plan is to have Ladd serve as their patsy.

Olivia goes back to the gladiators with information about Ladd, stating that Jake ran the photos through “QR” and discovered this guy with the shady background. He had apparently served time in jail for conspiracy. (Is this even true?) As she is relaying this to the team, Jake has gone over to Ladd’s place and killed him, leaving it to look like a drug overdose. (Yay! More murder!)

Flashing back to the stairwell, Olivia is saying to Jake that framing Ladd will be insufficient, that they’ll have to connect him to a bigger fish. Jake apparently anticipated this and he presents Olivia with another folder. When she opens it and sees Jakes choice of fall guy, she forcibly exhales and appears reluctant. The scene flashes forward to Olivia continuing to outline Ladd’s background with the team, she stating that after his stint in jail, Ladd spent the following five years working for Fenton Glackland! (Lord...)

Flashing back to the stairwell yet again, Olivia has a problem with ruining an innocent man’s life. (Hmm.) Jake says that he doesn’t like the idea of doing this either (uh huh), but this is a story that they can make stick. As he is talking, Olivia is shaking her head in rejection. Jake argues that this could work because Fenton was present when the first attempt on Rashad’s life was made at the State Dinner, and because Fenton’s portfolio is so extensive that there is the possibility that he has some assets in Bashran. (Wow.)

Flashing forward once more, Olivia is instructing the gladiators that their job right then is to find Fenton Glackland. If they find Glackland, they’ll find Quinn. Everyone disperses except Charlie who rips Fenton’s picture from the wall.

Flashing back once more to the stairwell, Olivia is now alone and looking extremely troubled by her decision to tarnish Fenton.

Annnnd I have questions. Olivia is bothered by ruining Fenton because he is an innocent, and yet she had no problem with killing Rashad and Yasmeen? Something smells.



Later that evening at the White House, Abby has come to Cyrus with her suspicion about Fenton, and Cyrus is completely thrown for a loop. He doesn’t understand how Abby came to the conclusion that Fenton was behind Rashad’s murder, and he says as much to her. Abby in turn can’t understand his stammering as she tells him that she needs the White House to be on this situation. Cyrus is surprised that she is there due to his capacity as Vice President, having thought that Abby had came for a different reason altogether. When this dawns on Abby, she figures out that Cyrus is carrying on a relationship with Fenton.

Cyrus admits that he has indeed been sleeping with Fenton and that this is why he knows that the accusation is ridiculous. He goes on to tell her that Fenton “couldn’t find two matching socks under threat of decapitation”, and yet here Abby is believing that the man is capable of staging a Middle East coup, killing Rashad and kidnapping Quinn. (When outlined like that…)

Cyrus assures Abby that she is looking at the wrong guy, but Abby won’t let go, remarking that this wouldn’t be the first time that the enemy has slipped into Cyrus’s bed. Ouch, Abbs! (She’s talking about loony Tom Larsen, BTW.) Upon her uttering this, Cyrus rightfully dismisses her from his office.



Upon Abby’s departure, Cyrus is forced to reevaluate his last conversation with Fenton, wondering if maybe he is indeed being duped. Cyrus later shows up at QPA and he says to the group that he thinks that Fenton may have been using him to get security clearance. Olivia feigns surprise, and Cyrus states that he wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but given that Fenton has been so eager to learn about politics and with Abby putting the idea in his head of the possibility of Fenton being behind this, he cannot outright dismiss it. He goes on to say that Fenton had pushed him to vote against the war and that the man does have projects in that part of the world. (This is sad.)

Olivia steps up then to ask if Cyrus knows how they can find Fenton, and she instructs him to give the man a call. When he does, we see the phone ringing, but it is sitting next to some pliers. The phone is flipped over and we finally see that Charlie has Fenton!!



Charlie is dressed for torture and Fenton is wrapped up in cellophane and lying on a tarp. Charlie pulls out a bag of oranges and remarks on it being stated somewhere that if you hit a person with a bag of oranges, that it leaves no bruises. Fenton is pleading to be let go and he reiterates to Charlie that he doesn’t know any Kim, which prompts Charlie to come up to his face to inform him that the name is QUINN. (Eek!) Either way, Fenton maintains that he doesn’t know the person that Charlie is talking about.

Charlie goes on to say that he never bought into the whole oranges thing, and he asks for Fenton’s opinion on the matter. Fenton merely begs to be released, but Charlie wants an answer from the science guy. Fenton quickly mumbles some  answer and Charlie decides to test Fenton’s theory. He slams the oranges on Fenton’s chest several times, causing the man to groan in pain.

Yikes! Do not mess around with Charlie’s girl. Now the man has flipped back to the darkside in order to get answers. And this is all because Olivia is working to cover her behind. A shame.

Back at QPA, Olivia is going through a cabinet in the big office when David steps in and inquires as to what she is doing. She replies that she was hoping that she’d be able to find something that wasn’t on Quinn’s computer. She didn’t find anything, but David shares that he did. He looked into Brian Ladd and he learned that the man was found dead a few hours ago from an opioid overdose. David suspects that Fenton got to Brian and that this was him covering his tracks. Olivia hands the folder back to David and starts away as David says that the situation isn’t looking good for Quinn, and Olivia appears to share his concern.

Flashing over to the White House, Mellie is out on the Truman balcony when Jake arrives. She is quick to point out that she summoned him an hour ago before she instructs him to take a seat. Jake does as told, and it takes Mellie a moment to work around to why she had asked him to come. Alluding indirectly to his role in B613, she asks him if he’d be able to remove the leaders of the coup if this was something that she wanted to have happen, and Jake says that it is indeed something that he can handle if he is so ordered.

Before she can continue, Jake tells her that she shouldn’t be the one to give him that order because she can’t. Mellie is confused by this and she reminds the Admiral that he serves at her pleasure, and he counters by saying that she is correct, but that that is limited to his role as director of the NSA. When he is handling “off the clock” business, he doesn’t work for her.

Okay then. He isn’t wrong (bleh) and Mellie is stepping out of pocket.

The Dissolution

Elsewhere in DC, we see Marcus standing in some office space, and against one wall is a giant sign that reads “The Fitzgerald Grant Institute”. Marcus stands among yet to be unwrapped chairs that litter the two visible rooms of the space as he stares at the sign. The moment is interrupted when Secret Service agents emerge from the elevator and call for his attention.

A moment later, we see him climbing into the back of the Presidential limo. Mellie thanks him for coming down, and Marcus remarks that he didn’t think that he had a choice. When Mellie starts to say that he could have said no, he cuts her off and asks her what it is that he could do for her. He is formal and, frankly, rude, but what’s new?

Noting his mood, Mellie says to him that she needs his advice, and Marcus remarks snidely that he just happens to be there whenever she needs him. Mellie tells him that he is free to leave, but he tones down the attitude a bit and asks her of what it is that she needs help with.

Mellie admits that she doesn’t know what to do with the Bashran situation. She presents him with her dilemma: she can recognize the rebels who overthrew Rashad and bring peace to that region of the world, or she could stand up to them. Marcus asks what the benefit of the latter would be and Mellie replies that it would give her peace of mind. The latter option would allow her to honor the great man that Rashad was.

Um…



Marcus matter-of-factly points out that Rashad is dead and advises Mellie to move forward and get the treaty signed. Mellie wonders at why he is being callous, and Marcus asks her why it is that she is making the situation more complicated than it ought to be. He tells her that even though Rashad may have been a good person, he is but one man. Mellie right now has the chance to save the lives of millions with the treaty. He tells her that she could bear witness to the first generation of children to be raised without hatred of their neighbor before they have even met them. (Facts.)

Marcus then asks Mellie what the dilemma is other than her own ego, and he wonders why it is that people cannot simply do the right thing. He adds that Mellie knows what is right, yet she is here trying to find a reason to do the wrong thing.

Go right on ahead and preach, Brother Marcus X! Tell the truth and shame the devil!



Receiving that brutal bit of honesty, Mellie comes around to admitting that it’s lonely in the Oval. She says that even though she is always surrounded by people, she is still alone. Marcus doesn’t allow himself to be drawn in and he tells her bluntly that it is lonely at the top. (Well, damn. Stab her with a hot poker while you’re at it!) Mellie concedes the truth in that, and when it is clear that she needs nothing else from him, Marcus shoots out of the car as if he couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

Geez, what went and pissed in his Cheerios? He was as warm as a Siberian winter.

Back at QPA, Huck has discovered that Quinn made a second call yesterday evening and that it again was to Curtis Pryce. Huck tells the group that Quinn had called to tell him that she had just met up with whoever blew up the plane and that she secretly taped the whole meeting. At this point, Olivia is looking like a deer caught in the headlights as she asks Huck how it is that he knows this, and he confesses to hacking Curtis’s phone. (LOL!)

Abby asks when it was that Quinn made the call and Huck shares that it was at 10:19pm. According to the timeline, that places Quinn at the DC War Memorial. Olivia remarks then that Charlie’s assumption that Quinn had gone out to clear her head was incorrect, and Huck concurs, stating that Quinn was actually meeting up with Rashad’s killer. (The vise just got tighter.)

Abby concludes that Quinn was meeting up with Fenton, and Cyrus hops up from his seat then to clear the record. Fenton cannot be their guy because at that time of the evening yesterday, Fenton had been with him. They were together well into the morning.

With this blow to their theory (aka Olivia’s smokescreen), David suggests that they pull the security footage from the Memorial. He said he’ll have the National Park Service send over what the have from last night and confirm that what Cyrus says is indeed the truth.

Olivia is in agreement with this strategy, but then moments later, we see her in the big office whispering frantically into her phone. She is ordering Jake to destroy footage from the Memorial and to do so quickly. As soon as she hangs up, Olivia sways on her feet and again gets to hyperventilating. She is in the process of trying to calm herself when Abby steps into the office to tell her that Charlie is MIA.

Flip over to Charlie and he is still going at Fenton with that bag of oranges. Charlie decides to change strategy, and Fenton tries to convince Charlie that he isn’t the man he assumes him to be. He starts by telling a story about himself as a kid and how he had been afraid to climb the monkey bars. Charlie isn’t paying Fenton’s rambling any mind as he contemplates a claw-like implement and recalls fondly a moment when Quinn used it on someone’s face (509).

Fenton deems himself a coward because he was unable to conquer his fear despite his every intention of doing so by climbing up on the bars, and he goes on to tell Charlie that if he did indeed know where Quinn was, he would have since told him. Charlie decides that he’s going to test Fenton out and he opts for some shears and and a saw. He’s about to do major damage to one of Fenton’s hands when Huck shows up and pulls Charlie away, telling him that Fenton had not been the one that Quinn met up with that night, that the man is innocent!



Back over at the Oval, Mellie has summoned Ambassador Marashi once again, and she directs him to have a seat. Marashi apologizes as he tells Mellie that he hasn’t yet had the opportunity to deliver her message. He explains that he has family in Bashran, and Mellie holds up a hand to stay his further comment. She tells him that she actually has a new message. Marashi is to tell the new regime that they have a deal.

The ambassador is stunned by this turn about, but he is also outwardly grateful. He finally claims the seat that Mellie had offered and states that the new regime will be eager to start negotiations. Mellie informs him that there won’t be any negotiations. It will be her alone who shall set the terms of the treaty and the new regime will sign it. In return, she will recognize them as the legitimate leaders of Bashran. That’s the only deal that is on the table.

Well, would you look at that. Mellie coming around to a solution that gives the rebels no leeway while also preventing a nuclear apocalypse. May the gods be praised.



The ambassador accepts her conditions and thanks her. When Mellie shifts her eyes in Jake’s direction, he gives her a small nod of his approval. (Meh.)

Back over at QPA, Huck and Charlie are back in the mix. Huck and Abby are looking over some things on the computer while Olivia is sitting by Charlie and assuring him that Cyrus is going to smooth things over with Fenton. Charlie could care less about Fenton. He says that they still have no idea who has Quinn. Huck tells him that they are working on it, but Charlie points out that they are right back where they started.

Just then, David arrives with security footage from the Memorial on a flash drive. Huck snatches it out of his hand and immediately plugs it into his computer. Everyone gathers around to focus on the screen as the footage comes up. They soon enough see Quinn, and Olivia is sitting there nervous as hell. Right as the video is about to show who Quinn met with, the video cuts out. When Olivia asks what happened, Huck says that that is all there is to the video. Abby says that that is impossible since the recording goes all night, and Huck says then that it must have been erased.

Stepping away from the group, Charlie starts to freak out. He demands some assistance to help with removing all evidence of the planned wedding from the room and then he violently pulls a chair out from under the table, a move that certainly got everyone’s attention. He breaks some glass and is yelling at everyone about everything needing to have everything cleared away. Feeling his suffering, Huck finally responds that they will take care of everything.

Etta James’s “At Last” ironically starts to play at this point, and we next see Olivia squatting down by a sink in the bathroom. This woman has been on edge all episode with her intermittent private freak out moments. A knock comes at the door, and she jumps to her feet and stares at herself in the mirror. She’s still shaken, but she soon gathers herself before going to open the door to Abby. It’s hard to decipher is Olivia is being genuine in her display of worry here, but Abby reassures her that they will find Quinn and get to the bottom of the whole thing.

A series of different scenes are then shown. Cyrus tending to his new boo’s wounds. Mellie walking into the Residence and coming to a stop upon seeing an image of the late President Rashad on television. Charlie sitting alone in his office until Huck comes over with some scotch and keeps him company. Abby in grief over Quinn and David coming over to console her. Abby finally decides then to claim David by taking his hand and giving him a kiss before crying on his shoulder. (Awww…)

Olivia has returned to the White House and she makes her way into her sunken place after making certain that no one sees where she enters. She pours herself a drink and is taking a sip when Jake comes in and announces that he has found something. He pulls up the security footage of QPA and Olivia tells him that Huck already looked over all of the video. Jake says that he sent the footage over to his guys at the NSA for further analysis anyway, and as the video plays, there is section of it that appears to be static. Olivia asks him what it is that she is looking at and Jake replies that it is corrupted data from a previous recording. Someone taped over the original footage.

When Olivia asks if he was able to recover anything, he tells her that he was able to capture one frame. In that single frame, there is an image of Quinn in the QPA elevator and she is in her wedding dress! Olivia concludes then that Jake’s earlier suspicion about Quinn had been incorrect. She wasn’t out there building a case against them. Quinn had been actually taken from that elevator!



The biggest question now is: who took Quinn and why did they take her?

Man. That was one hell of an episode. With it now being absolutely clear that Quinn did not just run off, it now Olivia’s mission to find her. The gladiators will also be on this quest, but it is only Olivia (and her sidekick) who understand how high the stakes are if the recording Quinn made of her conversation with Olivia gets out. Whoo wee! Talk about a major scandal that could take out Mellie’s administration and land Olivia in jail!

How sloppy is this B613 anyway that you are unable to follow through on a bomb planting without getting caught? What is it that Brian Ladd saw and how was Quinn able to link it back to Olivia? Does she know that Olivia is B613?

Speaking of bombings, something about the whole thing doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe I’m trying to salvage my fave in my head because Shonda has lost her mind and turned Olivia into a conscienceless murderer, but the rationale behind the bombing makes little sense. Olivia killed a bunch of innocents, including a teenager, in order to secure a nuclear treaty? Is this where we are now with this character in Scandal’s final season?

These writers have been doing their damnedest to try to persuade us that Olivia had gone to the darkside, and I’m having a hard time believing it. I could be in denial, but since when does Olivia murder innocent people for what would be deemed a greater good? This coming from the same woman who helped with the “Lost Girls” case and who was having an attack of conscience over ruining Fenton?

Scandal is good with misdirections and something tells me that this may be one of them. I’ll probably end up being wrong and we’ll find out that Olivia really did have Rashad and Yasmeen killed, but I suspect that there is something more going on than meets the eye. Quinn stumbled upon something that she shouldn’t have, and her interpretation of that very thing could be why she is missing now.

Are Rashad and Yasmeen alive somewhere? If they are, why were their deaths faked? If they aren’t, when can we commit Olivia to an insane asylum? There’s a lot that I can tolerate with this show, but its lead killing off kids as step too damn far. Let’s leave that level of unconscionable foolishness to Rowan.

So what do you all think? Are we being misdirected or did Olivia truly kill off two innocents for the benefit of millions? Who has Quinn Perkins and why?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter!

This is concludes this recap/review for Scandal episode 706! Thank you for reading and see you next week!







 
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