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Scandal - The List - Review: "Time's Up, Creeps"


I’m terrible at rating episodes (as the past three seasons of me doing this has undoubtedly proven), but damn if Shonda Rhimes and company aren’t doing a hell of a job in incorporating present-day social justice issues into the overarching narrative of the Scandalverse! Social justice has always been part of the fabric of the show, but its presence in this final season has been remarkably well done, especially as Olivia Pope works her way out of the abyss into which she flung herself.

I cannot speak highly enough about what they did here with “The List” and its addressing of not only sexual harassment, but consent and what both can look like. It was an obvious nod to the “Me Too”/”Time’s Up” movement, which has opened up dialogue about the detrimental effects that harassment can have on its targets, most of whom are women. Its inclusion was organic and served to further propel Olivia’s journey forward while exposing the character strengths and flaws of others.

Without further ado, let’s get into “The List”.

State of Crisis

The episode opens up with a young woman speaking on the phone with her father as she walks down an aisle in a department store. From her side of the conversation, we know that she’s an intern and that her father has called to check up on her. He makes some remark (assumably) about her someday being President, and she dismisses this with an uncomfortable laugh and then an “I don’t know”.

She proceeds to hurriedly wrap up the phone call, telling her father that she will talk to him later and that she loves him. She hangs up just as she makes it to her destination in the store, and the woman behind the counter asks if she can help her. When the intern looks up from her phone, she tells the woman that she would like to purchase a gun. She presents her identification upon request, and when she is asked about what kind of gun she is looking for, she replies that she wants “one that works”.

If you have seen the episode and thought to yourself that the store looked familiar, it’s because it is! Pasted on the glass of a gun cabinet that sat behind the counter is a picture of Marvin Heward, the man who Rowan suckered into buying him a gun and who he later murdered (709). This was the store that ol’ Marv had worked in! (Is this in Virginia somewhere? Because ain’t no department stores in DC or Maryland selling guns in this manner.)



Next we see Abby opening the door to her apartment to find Olivia standing on the other side. She is none too happy to see her and tells her that she has nothing to say to her. Olivia replies that she came to talk to her about the plane hijacking and that Cyrus was the one behind the whole thing.

Skipping ahead a bit, Olivia is now standing with Abby within the apartment relaying her theory as to why Cyrus would stage the hijacking of Air Force Two. She says that he did it because he wants the presidency right now and is unwilling to wait the three to seven years to run for it. Olivia adds that they need to figure out how he intends to snatch the presidency and what that could mean for Mellie.

Sigh. I swear Olivia has more loyalty to Mellie Grant than Mellie Grant has ever had for her. Yeah, yeah. I suppose that one could argue that she’s protecting the first woman President to ensure that there are other such presidents in the future and whatever, but it chaps my hide nonetheless. Also, the irony of her wanting to stop Cyrus didn’t escape me, considering that she herself just some months ago was set to do the same thing by pairing up with Cyrus.


When Abby makes note of Olivia’s use of “we”, Olivia clarifies that she is referring to the team, and Abby reminds her that she no longer has a team and if Olivia understood this fact, she wouldn’t have come to her asking her for favors. Abby goes on to say that the gladiators would toss her out on her ass if she took this information to them and told them that it came from Olivia, that this is how much they do not wish to hear from their former leader. (Eek!)

Olivia says that she understands all of this, but that she wouldn’t have come to her if she had any other choice. She tells Abby that she isn’t asking for forgiveness, that she’s asking for help. She pleads with Abby for her help on this, and after a moment’s consideration, Abby says that she will see what she can do. She adds that if Olivia’s theory proves to be true, then it will be the team who decides if the cause is worth pursuing.

A few things of note: Olivia again repeats that she has come to another that she has wronged, not for forgiveness, but for help. The first time she makes this statement is to Fitz when she first approached him for assistance with the class action case (712). These Scandal writers tend to be deliberate with the things that they have these characters say and do, so this repeat could be a set up for something that could transpire in the next episode or two. Will she be asking for forgiveness in the near future? Could she possibly believe that she is undeserving of their forgiveness, hence her not asking for it?

The other thing here is Abby making explicitly clear that Olivia is not the one in control here, that if anything is to happen, that it will require a team agreement. This stands in contrast with how things have worked with Olivia in the past, where she would give an order and expect it to be followed through. No questions asked. We’re in a whole new territory here.

Flash over to the White House and Jake is seen coming into the East Wing looking for Mellie. He calls out for her, and when she responds, he proceeds further within the living area to find her laid out on the floor. She explains that she tweaked her back and all the doctor gave her to treat her pain is a tennis ball, some Tylenol, and a dose of “good luck”. Jake asks her how he can be of help, and she replies that she needs him to focus on the budget, adding that they will face a government shutdown if they cannot get the votes that they need in Congress. Jake asks if she wants B613 to dig up some dirt, and Mellie tells him that she does not, that “threatening people creates resentment”.

Sooo… instead of working to negotiate with those congresspersons who are reluctant to pass the budget, Jake’s solution is to use B613 to blackmail a vote out of them?


Mellie goes on to say that she wants not just their votes, but their support. She says that the easiest way for them to get these things is by involving Cyrus. At the mention of the Vice President’s name, Jake’s facial expression is one of disapproval. Mellie explains that Cyrus is currently dominating in the polls and that they would be foolish not to take advantage of it. Jake says that he prefers that they find another way, and Mellie tells him that she would also prefer to be on her feet, but that until a better opportunity presents itself, they are going to have to use Cyrus and Jake will have to let go of his “grudge match”.

Back in his B613 lair, Jake is briefed by his computer specialist about what she discovered about the virus used to hack Air Force Two. She explains that the virus’ code is a mess, stating that it is loaded with all kinds of syntax errors, etc. She says that she could cross reference the code with that of all known hackers, but she believes that this would be a waste of time since no self-respecting coder would create such a botch job. Her theory is that the responsible person is a new coder or that they are someone who intentionally made the code a mess so that it would be impenetrable.

Flash over to the Grant Institute. Marcus in his office working when Olivia surprises him with an unannounced visit. He remarks on the lateness of the evening, wondering why she stopped by, and Olivia says that she was thinking about grabbing dinner and wanted to know if he was interested in tagging along. Marcus quips that Olivia must not have any other friends, and she concurs that this is true. She then shares that she got to talk to Abby earlier and even got invited into her apartment, “so that’s something”. (At least she didn’t get levelled with a few justified detty slaps, right? Silver lining.)

When Marcus asks about what it is that she and Abby discussed, Olivia dismisses it as “nothing”, clearly not wanting to share her Cyrus suspicions with him. Just then, a gentleman appears outside of Marcus’s office. He knocks on the door before stepping into the office. He apologizes for interrupting and explains that he had waited in reception, but that there wasn’t anyone at the desk. Marcus starts to inform him that it is after hours, but his words are cut short when the visitor spies Olivia and says that it is she who he actually came to find. (I am tickled that this man figured that he could find Olivia at the Grant Institute.)

Jumping ahead a little, Olivia and Marcus are sitting with the man (Gary) in the FGI conference room as he explains that his 21-year-old daughter Alisha hasn’t been seen in days. He passes his phone to them to show them a picture of her, and we see that she is the intern who had purchased the gun in the opening scene. Gary explains that Alisha’s roommate doesn’t know anything and that the police told him that it is too soon for him to file a missing persons report.

Olivia says to Gary that his situation isn’t something that she takes on anymore, and as she is set to add something else, Gary cuts in to say that his daughter came to Washington because of Olivia. Olivia asks him to clarify his meaning, and Gary explains that Alisha idolizes her and has watched her for years on TV. She has seen Olivia--a woman who looked like her--speaking for members of Congress, for Senators, for Presidents. Gary shares that Olivia is the reason why Alisha fell in love with politics, why she came to D.C., why she became a Congressional intern. He expresses how proud he is of his daughter, and he says that if Olivia saw how hard Alisha worked and how smart she is, Olivia would also be proud to have Alisha following in her footsteps. (Keep this moment reserved in your minds for later.)

He says that he knows that something has happened to his child because she hasn’t called him in over a week and that that isn’t like her. He knows in his gut that something is wrong. He states that Alisha came to D.C. because of Olivia and now he has come to D.C. for the same reason, but a different purpose. He pleads with both Olivia and Marcus to help him with finding his daughter.

Getting to Work

The next morning, Olivia and Marcus are in a meeting with Fitz where Olivia is presenting details of the Alisha Francis case to him. She’s a Georgetown senior majoring in Government Affairs, and since the summer, she has been interning in the office of some Ohio Congressman. Marcus adds that Alisha’s father hasn’t heard from his daughter in a week. Fitz asks Olivia if she has spoken to anyone in the Congressman’s office, and Olivia says that she was given the runaround when he reached out to them. Fitz then asks if she believes there to be a case here, and when she nods her response, he looks over at Marcus who says that he knows that missing persons isn’t exactly in their wheelhouse, but that he thinks that they should assist.

Having received this feedback, Fitz turns back to Olivia and agrees to FGI helping her with the case. Olivia springs into action then, saying that she’ll head to Alisha’s apartment to see what she can find, and Marcus says that he’ll reach out to the Metropolitan Police. Marcus departs to handle that task while Olivia packs up her things. When she stands from her seat, Fitz follows suit and he watches her with a small smile as she puts her things in her purse. Once done, she thanks him for agreeing to help and then takes off to tackle her own task.

Over at QPA, Abby has presented Olivia’s suspicions about Cyrus to the gladiators, but she tells them that these thoughts were prompted by a discussion with David. She says that David told her that Cyrus had personally requested that he go on the trip to Lisbon with him, and then she shares how she finds it suspicious that Cyrus would sign up for a digital piracy summit when he still uses an AOL email account (Generation X level shade right here). She wonders why Cyrus would want to go to such a conference, and Huck speculates that it may have been because Cyrus wanted to be on Air Force Two.

Charlie pumps the brakes on the conspiracy theorizing at this point to remind them all of what happened the last time they got tangled up in a White House conspiracy that involved a plane. He’s recalling the situation with Rashad and Yasmeen and what subsequently happened with Quinn. When Quinn calls out his name in surprise, Charlie asks to speak with her alone.

Once in Quinn’s office, Charlie recalls what they all just went through, pointing out that he had lost her before to this kind of thing, and Quinn acknowledges his fear, but tells him that they have a job to do. Charlie is worried about going after Cyrus, but Quinn reminds him that handling situations like this is the kind of thing that they do. She explains that if Abby is right and Cyrus is up to no good, whatever happens next will be on them for opting to do nothing. She says that she didn’t return just to sit on the sidelines.

Flash over to elsewhere in DC and Olivia has arrived at Alisha’s apartment. She knocks on the door and it is opened by a young woman who is struggling with putting on her heels. The woman is shocked into momentary incomprehension upon finding the Olivia Pope standing at her door, and when asked of who she is, she introduces herself as Meghan Seeley. She inquires as to why Olivia is there, and Olivia tells her that she is looking for Alisha Francis.

Now inside of the apartment, Meghan shows Olivia Alisha’s vision board, which is largely populated with images of Olivia. It’s Olivia on the trail during the first Grant campaign (106); at the podium in the White House Briefing Room after Fitz was shot (208); representing a woman who had been sexually harassed by a congressman (401); on the cover of a magazine (509); and as White House Chief of Staff.

Meghan echoes what was said before about Olivia being Alisha’s hero, and Olivia steps further into the room to take a closer look at the board. She asks Meghan about how long Alisha has been missing, and Meghan says that Alisha had been down after losing her job and that she had moped around for a few days, but then after that she hadn’t seen her. She assumed that Alisha had gone home to her parents’ house to “lick her wounds”.

Olivia asks when it was that Alisha lost her job and Meghan shares that it had been last week. Olivia then wonders if Alisha wouldn’t have shared that she was leaving town with Meghan, and Meghan replies that she and Alisha weren’t close, that all they did really was share the rent. This prompts Olivia to conclude that their lack of closeness would have prevented Alisha from sharing why it is that she lost her job, and Meghan says that that conversation would have been awkward since they had both been interning for the same congressman and that she herself got hired full-time upon the completion of her internship while Alisha did not.

Meghan then recalls herself to the time and says that she must get ready for work. Olivia waves her off to do just that and she says that she’ll just follow her out when she leaves. As Meghan dashes from Alisha’s room, Olivia heads back over to the vision board and swipes Alisha’s laptop from the desk there, slipping it into her purse.

Back at FGI now, Olivia stands by as Fitz reads aloud an email that Alisha had sent to her boss just hours before she was fired. The email alludes to something having happened between Alisha and her boss, and her hoping that they can move past it. She expresses hope that she doesn’t get “GFV’d” over the matter, stating that she doesn’t believe that she deserves it after how hard she has worked to make it to Washington. Fitz has no idea what GFV means and neither does Olivia.

Marcus comes into the office then to inform them that he has been in touch with the Metropolitan Police and that they are now on the matter as well. He says that he gave them Alisha’s name and that when they ran a check on her, it was discovered that she had purchased a gun around the time that she disappeared. As he says that the gun purchase got the police’s attention, Olivia and Fitz look at each other in silent communication. Marcus notices the exchange and asks what it is that he is missing, and Olivia directs him to take a look at the email that Alisha had sent to her boss.

Marcus takes a quick glance at the email and then asks them if they noticed the part where Alisha is asking her boss not to “GFV” her. Olivia asks if the acronym means anything to him, and Marcus offers to show them something. He pulls his laptop out of his bag as he says that what they are about to see is the “fresh meat” list. He explains that the list is of all the attractive female interns on Capitol Hill. Fitz is familiar with such a list, referring to it instead as the “hot list”. This causes both Olivia and Marcus to look up at him in instant judgement, and in his defense, Fitz tells them that he didn’t invent the term, that it was what they called it when he was in college. Back in the bad old days before the proliferation of the Internet. (You’re dating yourself, Fitzgerald. LOL!)

Olivia and Marcus were like…



While Marcus returns his attention to his laptop and explains that a link to the list had been sent to him anonymously when he first started working at the White House, Olivia stares at Fitzgerald a moment longer over the whole “hot list” business. (LOL!) Marcus goes on to share that men go into the link and use their initials to log their “reviews” of the various interns that they’d like to get busy with. Olivia asks if Alisha’s name is on the list, and a quick search shows that it is. Right next to her name is “GFV”.

When Olivia says that she still doesn’t understand its meaning, Marcus explains that it stands for “gluten-free vegan” like on a restaurant menu. Fitz immediately gets the inference and is disgusted, but Olivia remains clueless. Marcus further elaborates for her, stating that “GFV” means that Alisha would not “put out”, i.e. not have sex with her boss. He says that it also means that if you are one of the men on this list and you come across Alisha’s resume, you won’t hire her.

Olivia notes that the initial next to Alisha’s name matches that of her boss Tim Waterbend. She then does a quick search and sees that Alisha sent her resume to 28 job opening via the internal government job listings, and notes that Alisha received zero responses. Marcus wonders then about why Alisha must have bought the gun, speculating that maybe she got it for revenge. Olivia says that there are only a handful of ways that this story could end and Fitz adds that none of them are good.

Over at the White House, Mellie is chatting with Cyrus about the budget and the Democrats giving her a hard time. As she reaches for something from the table, she flinches as pain radiates from her back injury. Cyrus asks her how she threw out her back while handing her the teacup that she had been reaching for, and Mellie says that she believes it to be stress-related. Cyrus then asks her if she would like for him to speak to some people, stating that he’d “be happy to whip some Dems into shape”, and Mellie is grateful for his offer (even though she was really finessing the offer out of him).

Mellie goes on to say that she is glad that he is all right and begins to offer an apology for almost shooting him and the others down, and Cyrus tells her that an apology isn’t necessary, that he would have made the same decision if he were in her shoes. She thanks him for his understanding, and Cyrus recommends that she get some rest as he stands up to leave. Before he steps out of the Oval, Mellie promises that they are going to find out who hijacked the plane and promises justice. (Heh. This should be interesting.)

Over at QPA, the gladiators are doing what they can to connect Cyrus to the Air Force Two hijacking. Huck is looking at the malware’s code and Charlie is looking through Cyrus’s bank accounts while Abby is watching an interview that Cyrus gave to a journalist in his office. Huck is perplexed by the messiness of the code and has doubts that the CIA or NSA had a hand in crafting it. He guesses that Cyrus likely contracted the job out. Quinn says then that if this is the case, then there must be a money trail. She tosses that over to Charlie, who says that he didn’t find any unusual activity in any of Cyrus’s accounts.

As Quinn suggests that Charlie look into Cyrus’s offshore accounts and Charlie argues against digging further into a pointless endeavor, Abby tells them all to shut up as her eyes widen over what she observes on the screen. She asks about the Cezanne that Fenton Glackland gave Cyrus, stating that it is missing from where it hung on Cyrus’s wall. She figures that the Cezanne is worth enough for Cyrus to hire a hacker who could write him a “special Air Force Two hijacking virus”, and Huck adds that Cyrus would have enough money left over to finance whatever is to come next. Quinn assigns Charlie the task of getting in touch with his contact in the art underworld to see if he’ll learn anything.

Elsewhere, Cyrus enters a vault-like room where another gentleman is standing and staring at the Cezanne. Cyrus remarks about the beauty of the painting, and the mystery man named Lonnie says that it is a shame that he won’t be able to enjoy it. Cyrus does not get his meaning, and the man hands Cyrus an envelope. When Cyrus pulls out its content, he finds that it is a surveillance photograph of Olivia! Lonnie says that Olivia just met with Abby Whelan and that she is having Abby investigate Cyrus. (Abby’s apartment is under surveillance!)

Lonnie is panicked over this development, stating that things are getting too dangerous. He worries that Olivia could find Cyrus’s hacker or even uncover his own involvement. Cyrus assures him that he has nothing to worry about since he hasn’t done anything wrong. Lonnie is certain that he has, pointing out the fact that Cyrus paid him with a Cezanne so that there won’t be a money trail connecting him back to the hijacking. At this point, Cyrus launches into some speech using the George Washington and John Adams as examples, going on about how no one sets out to be a revolutionary until they find themselves facing a corrupt system and are compelled to do something about it.

Pause for the cause. What corruption has Cyrus convinced this man that they are fighting against exactly, and how does using subterfuge to supplant Mellie and install him as President translate into them being patriots?



Cyrus tells him to remain focused on the task at hand and to leave the matter of Olivia Pope to him. Dun, dun, duuuuuuun!!!

Now at Capitol Hill, Olivia and Marcus have tracked down the douchebag Tim Waterbend who was Alisha’s boss. They are hurrying after him as he walks down the hall, claiming that he doesn’t know an “Allison Frank”. Marcus remarks that they asked about Alisha Francis, who had been an intern in his office. Tim finally stops moving and Olivia says to him that maybe he would better remember her if he saw Alisha’s name in print. Marcus pulls out a printout of that demeaning list and this gets Tim’s attention. He asks them where they got the list from, and Marcus says that that doesn’t matter. He tells him that what does matter is that he sees the name of a missing girl on the list with Tim’s initials stamped next to it.

Tim scoffs at the initials and says that the two don’t know what they are talking about, but Olivia says that Tim knows that they know what they are talking about hence the reason why he hasn’t glanced at his phone once despite the fact that it has been beeping non-stop. Tim steps back up to them then and claims that what happened regarding Alisha losing her job isn’t his fault. He says that it is on Alisha for not wanting to play the game, and then when he starts to absolve himself of responsibility, Olivia pounces on him. She states that he “ruined a woman’s life, destroyed her career because she wouldn’t sleep with [him]”, but Tim claims not to care about the rejected sex. He directs their attention to the list and says that he isn’t “exactly hurting” in the sex department. (Wow.) He says that there is a way that the game is played and that everyone is aware of the rules. He then states that he never told anybody not to hire her, but that if Alisha had made “better choices”...

UGH! Can I karate chop this man in the throat now?



Olivia cuts him off to ask him where Alisha is and Tim says that he told her that he doesn’t know. Olivia corrects him and says that he actually said never said that he didn’t know, that what he actually said was that he didn’t know Alisha. She then shifts into Scandal-pace Olivia Pope mode and throws out speculation as to what Alisha may have wanted to do with the gun that she purchased and where she may be now, alluding to the possibility that Tim may have done something to her. At a point, Olivia gets annoyed by the constant beeping of a phone and tells Tim to put his phone on vibrate “like a normal person!” and Marcus chimes in then to say that the phone going off was actually his own.

Oh.


In the following scene, we see an emotional Gary in the morgue as a sheet is lifted up from a body to reveal it to be his daughter Alisha. Olivia and Marcus are in an observation room with looks of devastation on their faces. Olivia remarks that Tim isn’t “just a sleaze, he’s a murderer”, but murder isn’t exactly what happened. Marcus informs her that Alisha actually committed suicide with the gun that she had purchased. (Damn, man….)

Gary is broken up as he sits with Olivia back at the Grant Institute, his voice breaking as he shares that his daughter never said anything about what she was going through. Olivia’s eyes are shiny with tears as he says that Alisha could have talked to him about her ordeal rather than to hurt herself in this way. He laments the culture of the town, referring to the people within it as “monsters”, and then he directs his ire to Olivia!

Olivia is confused by this shift as Gary remarks that Olivia must think that he doesn’t know who she really is. He says that he watches the news and knows all about her “relationship with Grant”. He tells Olivia that she is on the “top of the heap, and everyone knows who [she] screwed to get there”.

Oh, hold up there now, patnah! Ole Ashy Loud and Wrong. I know you’re grieving and all--and I feel your pain on that front--but Olivia Carolyn Pope ain’t have to screw NOBODY to get to where she is!! Well, at least not screw as in the f-u-seeee…kinda way, but since that is the kind of screw that you mean, I’ma need you to pull back, bruh.

(BTW, the actor playing this father is superb.)

Olivia starts to respond by saying that she understands that he is hurting, but Gary cuts her off. He reiterates again that Alisha came to Washington because of her, but that Olivia isn’t a role model. He says that Alisha couldn’t see the flawed parts of Olivia or how disgusting D.C. is because Olivia fits right in. He goes on to say that Alisha was a good person, that she was better than Olivia, that “she wouldn’t play this sick game”, and that she died because of it. He adds that Alisha followed Olivia into the swamp and the swamp sucked her under.

Daaaaaamn.



Aside from the assumption that Olivia slept her way to the top (she didn’t), Gary is right on the money about everything else and Olivia is clearly shaken by his words. When he had first sat down with Olivia, he couldn’t have been more laudatory as he shared with her how his daughter viewed her. Now that the help he sought did not pan out as he had hoped, he lashes out in a way that was intended to hurt, even though much of what he said was the truth. He lead with the positive, aspirational side of Olivia only to end up switching over to the dirty, unflattering, cynical side view.

There are a myriad of ways in which this interaction with the grieving father can be interpreted, but I thought it excellently juxtaposed the duality of Olivia or, at the very least, how she is perceived from the outside.

Another thing with this Gary Francis business is that he and Alisha served as a kind of counterpoint to the twisted relationship that Olivia has with her father. Gary leaves a state that he hasn’t stepped out of in a decade in order to come look for daughter when she goes MIA, but Rowan couldn’t have been bothered to search for Olivia when she was kidnapped! Then we see Gary expressing deep pride and affection for his kid and does so without reservation. I might be reaching here, but it made me wonder if this interaction will have any effect on Olivia when she next sees her father.

Anywho...

A Different Approach

Later in Fitz’s office, Olivia is going off about how they have to do something about Tim Waterbend. She says that he may not have been the one who killed Alisha, but that he is not innocent in this situation either. She states that they have to do something for every woman on the list. Fitz get up from behind his desk then to say that such behavior is allowed to fester because those in power allow it to. Olivia is like, yeah, and your point? Fitz then says that maybe he can talk to their bosses.

Um...

Olivia can’t believe that he’d offer talking to their bosses as a solution, pointing out that D.C. is “one, big endless frat party with zero accountability”. She says that he shouldn’t try to tell her that these men’s bosses, who happen to be men of Fitz’s generation, are any better than them. She then asks him rather harshly of what moral high ground he has to stand on with this matter anyway, and Fitz reacts as if she had slapped him.

Woo wee! Olivia is mad as hell over this case and Fitz just caught the ricochet of her frustration. She does make a valid point regarding his proposal though. I mean, the world knows that he had a years long affair with a subordinate and while he was married, so what ground did he really have to address anybody about inappropriate sexual behavior on the job?



Fitz shows no sign of having been offended by the passion behind her words, but he was caught off guard. As all of this is playing out, Marcus is in the corner trying to arrange a meeting with Mellie. Once he is off the phone, he informs Olivia and Fitz that he was successful in setting something up. He speaks about getting Mellie to consider legislation, but Olivia interjects to say that such would be helpful for the future, but that it won’t do much for the problem that they are dealing with at present. Fitz says then that their situation shouldn’t be a difficult one to handle, that they have a list that proves that these men abused their power. He wonders why the document cannot on its own be enough of a smoking gun, and Olivia replies that it should be, but that it isn’t. She plops down into one of the chairs in front of his desk in dejection.

It doesn’t take long for something to occur to Olivia and she is back on her feet and launching for the list. She flips through its pages in search of something. Or I should say someone.

We next see Olivia visiting with Meghan and she has brought a copy of the list with her. She shows the younger woman her name on this list and where Tim had ranked her as a “prime rib”. Olivia then asks her if Tim had made it explicit that she wouldn’t be hired unless she slept with him, and Meghan states that she had a couple of drinks in an effort to make it easier to get through and over the ordeal. She says that Olivia knows these guys, that if they are rejected that they get “butt-hurt” about it. (Or murderous.)

Olivia tells Meghan that she understands exactly what she means because Tim used the list to ensure that Alisha never gets to work in Washington. Meghan is shocked to learn of this, expressing outrage over her roommate being blackballed because she wouldn’t sleep with their boss. Olivia says that the good news is that the list can be used to build a case against Tim, but it would be helpful if some of the other women on the list would be willing to corroborate these details.

Meghan figures that Olivia wants her to out her boss and ruin his career, but she wonders about what would happen to her career. Olivia replies that she doesn’t know what would happen, and says that what she does know is that Meghan would still have her life, unlike Alisha. She adds that if nobody stands up to these men that they will continue to do as they have with no consequences.

The next day, Marcus is having his meeting with Mellie. He has come to her with documents relating to sexual harassment, some of which Mellie says she is already familiar with thanks to her time in the Senate. Marcus stresses that something must be done about the harassment, and Mellie proposes punitive clauses that could be put into every new bill. Marcus considers this a fine idea, but Mellie pulls back on it, saying that it would work theoretically, but that in reality, she would be punishing the very lawmakers that she would be asking to pass it. She states that they would pick through the bill and find enough flaws in it that it wouldn’t even make it to her desk.

Marcus wonders if she could so something via executive order, and Mellie replies that Congress would accuse her of abusing her power for a personal cause. She then sighs and concludes that she can’t do it.



Is there anything that Mellie can do? Something is proposed to her and she throws up roadblocks before giving it real consideration. First it was that she couldn’t help with the SCOTUS case (712) and now she can’t help with this.

Marcus calls her out on this, asking if it is that she can’t do it or that she doesn’t want to do it. He says that there has got to be a way to make this happen, and Mellie replies that she is sure that there is, but that this way may not be it. Marcus counters by arguing that maybe it’s because Mellie isn’t putting forth the effort to make it happen, and Mellie tells him not to accuse her of not putting in effort simply because he isn’t getting what he wants. Marcus loses his entire cool then and says that when it comes to Mellie, he never gets what he wants.



Both he and Mellie realize that he has said too much. After a tense stretch of silence, Mellie finally speaks, thanking him for coming by, and she says that she will take his proposal into consideration. Marcus watches her for a beat and then he turns to depart from the Oval. Once he is gone, Mellie lets out a sigh, and as she starts to sit back down into her seat, shooting pain has her gritting her teeth and clutching at her back.

Over at Justice, Abby has arrived at David’s office with lunch. She catches him laughing at something he is looking at in his phone and David explains that Cyrus had sent him a thing about Cyrus Beene bobbleheads. Abby is surprised to learn that they are texting one another and she asks if they are now friends, and David replies that they are “brothers in arms”, that they cheated death together.

As lunch is unpacked, David asks Abby if she is involved in the “pervy spreadsheet” that is making the rounds in Congress. Abby doesn’t know what he is referring to, so he goes on to explain that it is a list that ranks female interns on the Hill and that “some girl killed herself over it”. He adds that Olivia is working with the young woman’s father to sort the mess out.

Abby doesn’t respond to this information at all, instead going back to the subject of Cyrus Beene. She asks if Cyrus has been asking about the investigation, and David says that he hasn’t and that even if he had, there isn’t anything that he could tell him because as a witness to the hijacking, his involvement in its investigation would be a conflict of interest. Abby then asks if David recused himself and he replies that he had to.

Returning to QPA, Abby shares what she learned about Cyrus and David with the team. Abby speculates that getting David out of the way by way of conflict could have been part of Cyrus’s plan all along. Charlie returns from his art underworld excursion and comes up empty. Huck hasn’t had any luck finding something on the darknet and he also hasn’t been able to tie Cyrus back to the malware.

In continuing his search though Cyrus’s computer, Huck stumbles across the speech that Cyrus had written for the Al Smith dinner. Quinn remarks that the dinner took place on the same day that Air Force Two was hijacked, and Charlie then turns to Abby and recalls what she said about Cyrus requesting to go to Lisbon for the summit. He questions why Cyrus would bother writing the speech if he intended on being elsewhere. Huck chimes in to share that Cyrus’s calendar shows that he was scheduled to attend the dinner and that the summit was a last minute change. (Ut oh.)

Charlie wonders why the are wasting their time with all of this when they can’t prove that Cyrus sold the painting and they can they tie him to the virus, and now there is this new reveal that Cyrus wasn’t even supposed to be on the plane. Quinn agrees with Charlie and asks Abby if there is anything else that David may have said that could be helpful.

With her story hitting a snag, Abby finally admits that the case didn’t come to her through David, that it came from Olivia. Abby tries to explain what Olivia said about Cyrus all but admitting his involvement in the hijacking, but Quinn can’t hear anything beyond the mention of Olivia’s name. She orders the case shut down as Abby states that Quinn wouldn’t have bothered looking into it at all if she had known the truth of its source.

Quinn orders Charlie to immediately take down the board, and Abby continues to plead her case, saying that she knows that she messed up, but that this case isn’t about Olivia. She’s right, but Quinn doesn’t believe that. She replies that everything that Olivia does is about Olivia, and she tells Abby that she’s been used.

Quinn tries to power her way past Abby, but Red wouldn’t let her get beyond her. She reminds Quinn that David almost died on that plane, and Quinn counters that she almost died in a basement. She says that she isn’t going down another rabbit hole that could lead to one of them ending up dead for real, adding that she won’t be doing that for Olivia anymore.

Anger over what Olivia subjected Quinn to still burns hot, I see. Of them all in QPA, Quinn definitely has the most reasons to be incensed, especially when you consider how Olivia’s choices have impacted Quinn’s overall life. That said, I’m already emotionally past the whole thing and I’d like to get to the kissing and making up part of this tragedy now.

That evening at the White House, Jake comes into the Oval to give Mellie an update on Cyrus’s progress with Congress, but things are not looking good. He says that if they don’t make some changes to the budget, a shut down in inevitable. Mellie makes a sarcastic quip about how she considered calling it an early night, and as she reaches for a binder in front of her, her back acts up again, causing her to winces in pain.

Jake looks at her with some concern before he says that they can make figuring out their budget issue “fun”. Mellie is skeptical as he proposes having the kitchen make them some fried chicken and have a hot pad brought for Mellie’s back, and then they can “delve into the finer points of corporate tax law”. Mellie remarks that she and Jake have different ideas of what constitutes “fun”, and Jake laughs a bit before asking her what else she would rather focus on besides “exemptions and deductions and discretionary spending”.

Um, since when is Jake Ballard a policy wonk?



Mellie tells him that she would like to introduce legislation addressing how the country handles sexual harassment in the workplace and she would like to start with Capitol Hill. Jake considers her proposal and then calls it good and important. He says that the Democrats will vote for it, but that they will then turn around and hold that vote over her head when she tries to push through her budget. He states that they will force her to make all kinds of compromises because they went along with her bill.

Mellie interjects here in an attempt to offer a counterpoint against waiting, but Jake tells her that waiting would make this bill an “easy sell”. He advises that she tackle the matter in a few months after the budget has passed. Mellie sighs at this, and then hits the intercom button on her phone to tell her assistant Rachel that she and Jake are going to need some fried chicken.

Tsk. Within the context of a pending government shutdown, I suppose a harassment bill ranks low on the totem pole of priorities, but I do find it interesting how these cans get kicked down the road in order to deal with something that is deemed more pressing. Without outside pressure from the public, these cans will continue to be kicked and never get picked up.

Setbacks Sometimes Brings the Greatest Rewards

Elsewhere in D.C., Abby is seen waiting along a bridge where Olivia comes up and joins her. (O.G. gladiators will recall that this is the same bridge that Quinn met Huck on where she licked his face in “Mama Said Knock You Out” [315].) Upon coming closer, Olivia asks Abby if she has news, and Abby replies that she does, but that it isn’t about Cyrus. Her update concerns the team now being aware that it was Olivia who put her on the case, and she says that they are dropping the investigation as a result. Abby adds that she couldn’t keep lying to them, that they her friends. (Unintentional side jab. Welp.)

Olivia says nothing as she struggles to absorb this latest blow. Abby is empathetic as she asks about the harassment case that Olivia is working on. She wants to know how it is going, and Olivia replies that it is going as well as the Cyrus one. The two of them are silent for a moment before Olivia looks at Abby and says that Cyrus is guilty, that he is responsible for the hijacking. Abby replies that Olivia may be right, but that it can’t be QPA who proves it.

Damn. Life really sucks when you ain’t got no friends.



Sometime later at the White House, Mellie and Jake are on opposite sofas with binders in their laps. They have been working on this budget dilemma for some time, as evidenced by their leftover fried chicken meal that sat between them on the glass coffee table. Jake sighs as he rubs his eyes in exhaustion. Mellie turns to him then to ask if guaranteeing VA funding could do the trick, and Jake replies that it would definitely get on board two Senators who have been pushing for such funding for months.

Excited at having come up with a solution that could get those Senators on board, Mellie proposes that they celebrate with some of her hooch. She makes to get up as usual and her back seizes on her. Jake asks if she is okay as she lowers herself onto the carpet, and she points to her liquor in response. She also asks him to toss her her tennis ball. Jake hands her the ball and then proceeds to pour out some drink for both of them. He hands Mellie her glass and clinks his against hers before settling down on the floor with her.

Mellie chuckles painfully at her predicament as she attempts to sit up, but then she gives up on the endeavor. She is laid out on the Presidential seal and Jake is balanced up against his elbows beside her. He asks her if she is going to be in “fighting shape to celebrate” when they succeed in passing their budget, and Mellie says that she hopes so. She starts to say something about the press getting wind of her being laid out because of a “Happy Baby”, and Jake cuts in in confusion as to what she means. Mellie explains that Happy Baby it is a yoga pose and that it is responsible for how she threw her back out.

Ah, finally. An explanation. It would have been nice if she threw her back out some other way, but…



Jake laughs and agrees that they are definitely not telling the press about this. Mellie says then that Presidents aren’t supposed to be contorting themselves into pretzels, that running or playing tennis or partaking some other “Western accident-free activity” is more the thing to do. Jake proceeds then to list all the ways in which Western activity is not accident-free, and the two get to kee-keeing it up over the things that other Presidents experienced. Mellie is laughing so hard that she has to tell him not to share anything more because it hurts. Jake concludes by saying that she is doing just fine with her Happy Baby.

At this point in the scene, things get rather weird. Mellie’s laugh fades and she sets her hand down next to her on the floor. Jake is moved to drop his hand upon Mellie’s and rubs it a little, stating that the two of them make a good team. Mellie smiles and agrees with him. She chuckles a little and then things go silent for a beat. Jake still has his hand upon Mellie’s, and when she turns to look back over at him, something passes between them and Jake gives her a small smile. It is at this point that Mellie finally removes her hand from beneath his and the moment turns super awkward.

Neither know what to say over what just happened, both tripping over their own tongues to say something. Mellie manages to tell him that she thinks he should go. Jake finally gets up and then offers to help Mellie to her feet, but she waves him off and says that she is fine. She tries to sound light about it, but she is clearly uncomfortable now. She can’t even look at him as she speaks. Jake finally bids her good night and departs while Mellie remains on the floor in contemplation.

Sooo…



And excuse me for a moment.



Why, oh, Lawd? Whyyyyyyy?

To be honest, I was mildly surprised that Jake made this move. I’m tempted to say that this may have been out of character for him, but I’m not sure that I want to go there really. I instead wonder if this was a conglomeration of Jake’s various complexes/issues where he tends to assign significance to things that doesn’t require it and seeks to play hero to self-reliant women. Just going off of what we have observed between he and Olivia, and the very little that we know of his relationship with his first wife Elise, has Jake ever worked with a woman where the relationship didn’t become sexual?

Nevertheless, ew.

Flashing to QPA, Huck is working on something on his laptop when Charlie pops in to ask if he would like a sandwich from a deli that he is heading to, and Huck distractedly replies that he would. Charlie is about to head out the door when he catches some of what is on Huck’s screen. He asks him what he is working on, and Huck says that it is nothing, but Charlie knows that that’s not true. He recognizes the code of the malware, and he reminds Huck that Quinn had asked them to drop the whole thing. Huck replies that he is aware of Quinn’s directive, but that it feels wrong to abandon it. He follows this up by wondering if maybe the old Olivia was back, and Charlie scoffs at the idea. Huck points to the things that Olivia has done since she left the White House, and he says that maybe she really is coming back.

This sets Charlie off, who exclaims that the old Olivia is dead. He says that there isn’t any coming back after what she had done. Huck states that maybe Olivia is trying, but Charlie cuts him off to say that the only thing that matters to Olivia is the White House and getting back on Mellie’s good side, that she doesn’t care about justice. (Yeeeeah, you’d be really wrong about that there, Charlie, but I’ma let you finish.) He emphatically states that he won’t be working for Olivia and he most assuredly won’t be working for the White House. As far as he is concerned, the whole thing can burn.

Alrighty then. More righteous anger. It’s justified and I get it, but I’m over it. I’m with Huck now.

At the Grant Institute, Olivia is in Fitz’s office staring out of one of the windows in thought when Fitz comes by to ask if she is okay. Olivia turns towards him and nods, but it is clear that she isn’t all right. Fitz tells her that all they need is for one of the women to step forward, and Olivia tiredly says that she knows. Sighing, she settles down into one of the seats at the table.

Fitz watches her for a moment before calling for her attention with a “hey”. When she looks up, he lowers himself into the seat adjacent to hers as he asks if she recalls their first meeting on the campaign trail. Olivia wonders what it is about that meeting that he would he has a question about, and Fitz struggles with getting out what it is that he wants to say. When he finally forces the question forth, he asks Olivia if he had been inappropriate with her on the campaign trail. (Aww, Fitz… The question is a decade too late, but okaaay.)

Olivia is amused by this and a bit surprised that he was asking, but when she sees that he is quite serious, she sobers. He asks if he had crossed the line with her and she tells him that he hadn’t. She says that their situation was different, that they had “crossed that line together”. Fitz then asks if she regrets having done so, and it takes Olivia a moment, but she answers that she has no regrets and that she would “cross that line again”.

HO MY GAWD!





Y’all see what they did there, right? Rewind back to the earlier moment where Olivia was going off about how men of Fitz’s generation weren’t any better than the set who has come after them. Remember what Olivia said about him having no standing in being the one to address this matter with his contemporaries? That moment must have had Fitzgerald wondering about his own behavior, particularly as it applied to her..

I loved this moment not only because of how it tied back to the theme of the episode and how it contrasted with the weirdness that transpired between Mellie and Jake, but because of how it addresses this belief by some that Fitz insinuated himself upon Olivia. It reminds the audience that Olivia was a willing participant in their engagement, that there was consent on both sides of this thing.

Oh, and I didn’t miss the whole “cross the line again” bit. I. Peeped. That. Don’t think that I didn’t.



Fitz nods with relieved satisfaction at her response, and the spell that they had drifted into is broken when Marcus comes into the office with Meghan. The young woman has agreed to work with Olivia to take down her disgusting boss! Whoop!

Time’s Up, Creeps

The following morning (I presume), Meghan is standing at a podium set up in the hall of some unidentified government building and she is about to address the media. She is nervous as several eyes stare up at her and numerous microphones are pointed in her direction. Olivia is off to the side while Alisha’s father is positioned in the back behind the throng of reporters. Whitney Houston’s version of “I Believe in You and Me” starts to play just below the scene.

Meghan begins by saying that she is there on behalf of her friend and coworker Alisha Francis. She shares that Alisha had lost her job and then took her own life some days later. She goes on to say that before Alisha was fired, she “made a courageous, professional choice -- one, that for her, ended in tragedy”. She is looking directly at Gary as she says this, a hitch evident in her voice.

Meghan explains to her audience that Alisha’s choice had been to decline to perform sexual favors for a man who had the power to help or hurt her in her chosen career. Meghan says that this man punished Alisha for her choice with not only the loss of her job, but by also damaging Alisha’s professional reputation. Meghan says that she knows all of this because she was given the same choice and she made a different decision. She admits to having sex with her boss and says that she was rewarded with a permanent position just as the man had promised.

As Meghan speaks on, we see Abby watching the conference in her office, and she appears to be proud of what Olivia has managed to accomplish. Mellie is watching from a television in the East Wing, and a news reporter cuts away from the conference right after Meghan says that she doesn’t relish publicly discussing her sex life, but that she saw “no other way to expose a culture where women cannot succeed on their own merits, but are instead judged by their attractiveness and their sexual compliance”. (Preach, Meghan!)

The reporter states that Meghan’s statement has prompted an outpouring of other such statements from female staffers on the Hill, some of who date back to the 1980s. She adds that a group of these women have even gone so far as to create a counter-list that contains the names of the worst of these predatory men.



Back at the Grant Institute now, Olivia is packing up her things when Fitz steps into his office. He declares the press conference a huge success and Olivia credits Meghan for her bravery. When Fitz reminds Olivia that he had told her that all they needed was one woman to step forward, Olivia concedes that he is “smart” for that and jokingly asks if he would like to receive his gold star now. (Haha...y’all are cute.)

Fitz smiles at that and then steers the conversation in a serious direction, stating that he knows that there is a lot more that needs to be done and he says that he is willing to help in any way that he can. Olivia thanks him for the offer and tells him that she agrees.

There is a beat here as they stare at each other and Whitney’s voice reaches a crescendo. Olivia says that she will be in touch and she then professionally offers Fitz her hand. Fitz accepts it for a shake, but then he ends up just holding it. More staring ensues and Olivia looks like she’s been hit by a thunderbolt. Fitz, for his part, is looking at her like he’s seeing her again for the first time.

“I believe in you and me / I believe that we will be / In love eternally / Well as far as I can see / You will always be the one for me / Oh, yes you will

“And I believe in dreams again / I believe that love will never end  / And like the river finds the sea / I was lost, now I’m free / ‘Cause I believe in you and me ...

“Maybe I’m a fool to feel the way I do / I would play the fool forever / Just to be with with you forever

“I believe in miracles and love’s a miracle / And, yes, baby, you’re my dream come true / I was lost, now I’m free / Oh, baby, ‘cause I believe, I do believe in you and me

“See, I was lost, now I’m free / ‘Cause I believe in you and me…..”

Perfect song is perfect! And yes. I just transcribed the lyrics. Because I’m a sap.


Olivia soon pulls away and heads for the exit. Before she can get far, Fitz turns towards her and says to her that she shouldn’t be a stranger. She smiles distractedly and then nods in response. When she finally turns to leave, she gives herself a little shake as if trying to rid herself of the aftereffects of their little handshake.

And all I have to say to this is: GIVE ME OLITZ OR GIVE ME DEATH!

Flipping over to the White House, Mellie is now in the Oval and she is consulting with one of her staffers when Jake comes in. Once the woman departs, Mellie informs Jake that she will be announcing her intention that afternoon to pursue legislation that will tackle workplace harassment. Jake steps forward then to say that he thought that they had agreed on waiting, and Mellie snaps that they didn’t agree on anything.



Mellie states that Jake gave her his opinion and she has a different one. Her opinion is that he should do his job and help her get her budget and pass her legislation. When she asks him if these are things that he would be able of doing, I hollered! It’s too bad that it took the moment between her and Jake as well as seeing Meghan Seeley on television to get Mellie to decide to move forward with this. I guess some folks have to be directly affected by something before they feel compelled to do anything about it. Meh.

Sensing that she is upset, Jake apologizes for what transpired the previous evening. He says that he “clearly” misread the situation. Mellie cuts in then to say that there are two things at issue here. The first is that she isn’t “starting an affair in the Oval with a subordinate”, which, despite their friendship and their good working relationship, is exactly what Jake is. She then says that she will not be “another Fitzgerald Grant and Olivia Pope” nor is she interested in knocking boots with someone who has slept with Olivia. (Heh.)

As Mellie begins to add onto that statement, Jake interrupts to point out that she has already said her two things and wants to know if there is anything else. Annoyed now, Mellie says that there is actually more. She wonders if this business is some kind of “power hunt” by him, and Jake denies it, saying that he has plenty of power without having to resort to seduction. He states that he made an advance at Mellie because he was attracted to her, and then he asks her to forgive him for that.

So nothing in mind told him that making the moves on the most powerful (debatably) woman in the country, who also happens to be his BOSS, was a bad idea? He was attracted to her, so he acted on it!?



Mellie doesn’t allow him to get away with that explanation, stating that it isn’t lost on her that of all the weeks that they have known each other that this is the one where Jake suddenly finds himself attracted to her, a week where she needed a little extra help and was something of a damsel in distress. Jake says in reply that he was attracted because them working together felt good. (Uh, what?) Mellie easily turns this around on him and asks if he took to holding Fitz’s hand whenever the two of them had a great week working together, and of course, Jake fails to give her an answer because the answer is obvious. It’s a hell to the naw!

Idiot.

Down the way, Olivia is chilling in her apartment and watching a BNC news report where it is being said that Mellie has made a vow to address sexual misconduct nationwide. Olivia allows herself a slight smile at the development as the reporter goes on to say that analysts consider Mellie’s move to be a bold one and something that could lead to her losing the support she needs to push through her budget.

A knock at the door pulls Olivia’s attention away from the television, and when she opens it, she finds a smiling Abby standing on the other side. Olivia is surprised to see her, and she immediately invites her inside. As Olivia closes the door, Abby says that she came over to tell her that she saw the press conference and thought it was great. Olivia thanks her for the compliment and directs her further into the apartment. Abby sit on the sofa and Olivia claims a chair opposite her. Abby says that she could have called but that given all that has happened between them, she wasn’t sure if Olivia would have picked up, and Olivia tells her that she would have. Abby smiles at that and then says nothing more.

After a moment’s pause, Olivia says to her that she doesn’t blame the team for refusing the case because at the end of the day, the fight is hers to fight. She says that it is she who ought to step up because she made Mellie a promise that she would not let some man strip her of her power. Olivia says that it doesn’t matter how hard Cyrus tries to push back or the fall out that could come from this, that she can’t let Mellie stand alone.

And why is this? Why is this Olivia’s duty to protect Mellie from the vultures of Washington?

Again, I get it. First woman president. Men trying to reclaim their normal. Future women presidents will be harder to come by. Blah blah. I guess.

Having listened to this, Abby says that she is in with Olivia in working to protect Mellie. Olivia is stunned by this, asking “Really?” in total disbelief, and Abby confirms with another smile that she intends to help. She says that Olivia had her as “dismantling the patriarchy”. (LOL! Of course!)

Aww...I love them.

Down in his lair, Jake is pondering his life when his specialist comes in to announce that she knows who made the virus. Simultaneously, over at QPA, Huck has also discovered who has purportedly made the virus. He walks into Quinn’s office and presents her with his laptop. He explains that what is on the screen are the build time-stamps that are embedded in the code of the virus, and he says that the IP address is Charlie’s. Quinn dismisses this by saying that the virus was on all of their laptops, and Huck counters by saying that Charlie had the virus the day before it infected Air Force Two!



Quinn says that his involvement doesn’t make sense, but Huck reminds her that Charlie didn’t want them looking into this case at all and he assumes that it is because Charlie knew what they would find. He adds that Charlie has also been really angry.

Quinn goes to confront Charlie about this discovery, but he denies having anything to do with it. He says that he doesn’t need that life anymore now that he has her and baby Robin. Quinn asks him how it is that the virus ended up on his laptop then, and Charlie says that he doesn’t know, that someone probably put it on there.

As soon as those words escape his mouth, it dawns on Quinn that this might be a setup. Charlie comes to the same conclusion right as Quinn says that they need to get him out of there. They turn to rush out of the office, but they are too late. The federales are there! They burst into the QPA and arrest Charlie!

Lordt…


David is next seen giving a presser at the Justice Department, where he announces that a suspect in the hijacking has been arrested and that further details will be forthcoming. He goes on to say that as witness to the hijacking that he has recused himself from the investigation, so the Deputy Attorney General will be taking his place as Special Prosecutor. David announces him as the former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Lonnie Mencken!

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIT!!!!!

And onto the podium comes the dude who has been working with Cyrus! Biiiiiiitch!



David continues on by stating that “Lonnie’s reputation for results is matched only by his reputation for integrity” and that he has no doubt that the man will bring this matter to a “swift and just conclusion”. Cyrus is watching this unfold from his office and he toasts to the television.

Son of a hot pocket! Cyrus Beene really did think this all the way through. Abby was not far off when she speculated that David being on that trip was necessary in order for Cyrus to have him “conflicted out” of prosecuting the incident! Wooooooow.

There is an urgent knocking on Olivia’s door and she hurries over and takes a quick look through her peephole. She opens the door and standing on the other side is Quinn!

And the episode ends. ARGH!

Now THIS was classic Scandal. Yessssss!



Quinn seems to now believe that Olivia was right all along about Cyrus and the hijacking, huh? My guess is that this situation with Charlie is going to be the opportunity that Quinn gets to see that Olivia is no longer the monster that she last knew her to be. I’m expecting some major scene between them. It feels overdue. Olivia’s estrangement from her gladiator family needs to soon end, but not before she does what she can to make amends. She really screwed the pooch when she toyed with Quinn’s life and tossed her friends aside (among other things), so she may be working for the rest of her life to right all of her wrongs.

I thought it interesting that Olivia did not once mention her suspicions about Cyrus to either Fitzgerald or Marcus. With things having ratcheted up now, my guess is that they will be clued in soon. Whatever happens, it’s fitna be interesting. These remaining four episodes are going to be popping like hot buttered popcorn! Buckle. Your. Seatbelts.

So what did you guys think of this episode? Good, bad, in between? Share your thoughts in the Comment section below or hit me up on Twitter! I promise to play with y’all in the Comments. ;)

This is the conclusion of the recap/review of Scandal episode 715. We are down to the wire, people! Thank you as always for reading and I will see you in two weeks!

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