Oh Scandal, you tricky, emotionally manipulative, completely addictive series. There are times when I watch this show and feel like I can barely keep track of every fast-spoken detail-filled conversation that's happening. And then it all comes together and makes sense somehow, with at least a few unpredictable twists thrown in to keep us on the edge of our seats. (SPOILERS if you haven’t watched tonight’s episode “Everything’s Coming Up Mellie”!)
Some spoilers are more shocking than others. For example, is it that much of a shock that Olivia’s mother is still alive? Some people saw that coming a mile away. And I mean really, that sort of thing happens from time to time in primetime dramas. Still, the series gets points for that revelation. And Quinn’s induction into B613 didn’t exactly come out of left field either, as she's been inching closer and closer to that path for a while. But could anyone have possibly predicted that Mellie was raped by her father-in-law and that her and Fitz’s oldest child may actually be the son Fitz Sr.? Um, no, I didn’t see that coming.
Flashbacks of Fitz’s pre-Governor campaign launch took us back to the days when Mellie was actually kind of adorable, all wide-eyed and motivated, with a smile that looked genuine. And I don’t think I realized just how much I disliked her First Lady hair until I saw her with that bob. These were back in the days when Cyrus had a beard. Also a wife, apparently. Fitz and his father weren’t getting along so well, and Fitz was also refusing to campaign as a war hero. Shooting down a passenger jet may have soured him to the idea of boasting about his military days. Understandable. Later in a flashback, Fitz Sr. had a few drinks and admitted to Mellie that Fitz shot down a jet on military orders. He was told there was a dirty bomb on board and he did what he was told to do. So it seems Fitz really did take that plane down. Mellie was still trying to process this information when Fitz Sr. started to get handsy and then climbed on top of Mellie. She struggled up until he was pretty much on top of her, and when it was over, she went up to bed and didn't say a word about it to her husband.
At this point, I’m feeling pretty disgusted by Fitz’s father and very bad for Mellie. We’re seeing this woman as she was before she began to bear the weight of her husband’s political career. And then we see her in the present, jumping through hopes with a reporter, trying to regain the adoration of the American people after dropping in the polls over Fitz’s affair. Granted, it was Mellie who went public with that little tidbit about her marriage. But it was still his affair. How is it fair that she’s bearing the brunt of the country’s disapproval. It’s not, but like Cyrus said, that’s America.
Going back to the past and Fitz Sr.’s assault on Mellie, she found a way to use that to Fitz’s advantage, responding to Fitz Sr.’s morning-after apology by offering him forgiveness (or willingness to keep quiet about it) if he, in exchange, offers Fitz whatever words of support, encouragement, apology or anything else he needs. Fitz Sr. went along with it, and well, the rest is history. Fitz went on to run for Governor and Mellie was pregnant. Possibly with her father-in-law’s child. Disturbed is about where I am at this point. And the picture that is Mellie only seems to get blurrier to me instead of clearer. I want to feel bad for her for the things she’s been through, but then we see her making choices that benefit her husband’s political career at the cost of... well, whatever this is costing her inside. Is it out of love? Or is it just ambition and the need to win?
In the present, Fitz came through for Mellie with the press near the end of the episode. He defended his wife with the reporter pressed her about the public’s view of her since she came out about Fitz’s affair. Fitz took ownership of the affair and said they were moving on together, basically squashing the subject. Afterward, he admitted that he did that for her, not as some kind of power play. Mellie seems driven by ambition, Fitz by emotion. I don’t even know which is right or wrong. It’s just interesting to watch.
Less interesting to watch are Quinn and Charlie get aroused talking about killing or stalking or anything else that involves being violent. I don’t even know what to make of Quinn's arc this season. We knew it was coming since last season. She even referenced the time Huck let her torture someone. Charlie was at her side tonight, first at the shooting range, and later when she followed him on a job. I couldn’t tell if he was trying to manipulate her or set her up when he kissed her. It seemed like the latter when she walked into that lobby and stabbed that security guard, thinking she was sedating him and in actuality, killing him. She panicked when she saw the guy dying on the floor and took off to call Huck. And here I am thinking, what an idiot. Liv went to all that trouble to clear her name for a crime she didn’t commit and now here she is committing crimes and making out with a contract killer in his car.
And then Charlie showed up, showed Quinn a video of her killing the guy and told her she’s in B613. So I guess the video’s sort of like blackmail? A little dirty secret the organization can stash somewhere and hold over her head if she ever tries to leave?
I actually think it could be interesting seeing Quinn get sucked into B613. How she’s acting is annoying to me but I’m still curious to see where this goes. In the meantime, the guy she killed wasn’t some nobody in the wrong place at the wrong time. We should know better by now than to assume that. Another twist to the episode is that he was the guy who drove the stairs for the plane Olivia’s mother was on — the plane Fitz shot down. Olivia had her Gladiators trying to find any leads to help her figure out what happened on that plane. Turns out some guy named Omar Dresden was escorted off the plane while it was on the tarmac. This security guard Quinn killed saw him or had some connection to him that night and now he’s dead. So it seems B613 is a step ahead of Olivia, Jake and the Gladiators in covering the operations tracks.
And did we mention Olivia’s mother is alive? We did, yes. But after everything else in tonight’s episode it feels like unnecessary bomb to drop on us. Still, there are enough unanswered questions there to ponder over while we wait for the next new episode. With everything else that went on tonight, it feels like we barely saw Olivia, but something tells me she'll be back up front next week! And correct me if I'm wrong, but does Fitz not realize Rowan is Olivia's father? Was he brought up to speed on that by the end of the episode?
Also, almost forgot. Cyrus and Mellie just figured out that the Vice President’s husband Daniel Langston (or HRG, as I like to call him. Heroes nod!) might actually be gay. So they’ll most likely be shifting their approach to accusing him of getting handsy with an aid, now that they’re pretty sure they know his preference.
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