Scandal has proven to be the series that most often leaves me shouting expletives at my television set, alarming my husband, who sits in the other room more amused by my reaction than he is interested in the explanation for it. But you get it. You watched. And if you didn’t, well, read on at your own risk because we’re about to get detailed in discussing “YOLO.”
We’ll start with Olivia, but more to get it out of the way than because it was the most exciting plot of the episode. It really wasn’t. In fact, the only bonus to Olivia and her mother’s side of the story was that it gave me time to breathe between Cyrus’ mess and Huck playing dentist with Quinn. Olivia’s portion of the episode had her trying to deal with the fact that her mother was alive. She was freaking out, which is ok. I’d be freaking out too if I were in her shoes, and her going limp with shock over the reality that her mother has been alive and incarcerated for two decades was a lot more realistic than Quinn being able to make out with anyone after having at least one tooth pulled.
The problem with Olivia’s story was that the whole time she and her people were trying to get her mother out of the country, I was thinking, what if Maya’s really a terrorist and Rowan’s the good guy in this situation? Rowan acting displeased over Charlie’s celebration those guys getting killed during their "trap" only reaffirmed my theory. He’s a hard man and there are arguments to be made against his character, I'm sure, but if he was evil and Maya really was incarcerated simply because she dug up information on him and threatened to expose him as she claims, wouldn’t he have just killed her? Why keep her alive for twenty years? So the fact that Olivia managed to make the connection between a wrong number years ago and the truth about her mother wasn’t nearly as big a twist as it should have been. Maya’s apparently a terrorist, and she’s now on a plane to somewhere. That’s only part of the bad news. The other part is that Rowan might be moments away from getting killed by Quinn.
That brings us to one of the two major heart-pounding arcs of the episode. The Thanksgiving gap caused me to forget that when ”Vermont is for Lovers” wrapped up, Huck was at Quinn’s apartment with his torture tools ready to go. Tonight’s episode started with Huck on a major high as he planned to torture Quinn to find out what she’s been up to. He licked her face. Yeah, that’s how worked up he was at the thought of getting to do what he loves to do to one of his people. Quinn is soft and fresh and apparently lickable. She was also terrified, which came through loud and clear when she screamed through the title card. Chilling stuff.
Huck yanked one of Quinn’s teeth before having to rush off to help Olivia hide her mother. Then he returned to finish the job, which we didn’t see. I thought we were simply being spared the horror of whatever else he did to her. When we saw her next, she was alone in her apartment, still tied up. Charlie showed up, which was convenient for Quinn as it turned out she needed access to Rowan, but we didn't know that at the time. What we found out later was that she made a deal with Huck that she’d do something, and it looks like killing Rowan might be the plan. Or she’s sedating him. It’s hard to know what’s in those needles anymore, and Scandal’s not above messing with our heads. That’s the cliffhanger, especially since we just learned that — as it relates to Liv’s mother — Rowan’s not the bad guy. I’m sure Jake would be just fine with Rowan dying, and maybe Huck too. For them, it has less to do with Liv’s mother as it does to do with their own freedom.
On an aside, I’m wondering how legit Quinn’s advances toward Charlie were. In retrospect, sleeping with him might have been part of a ploy to get him to take her to Rowan. Then again, they were all over each other a couple episodes ago, so maybe it was just a bonus. As for the sex, well, as I mentioned, the believability factor went out the window the second time they kissed. I’ve had teeth pulled before, not under tortuous circumstances, but that’s even more reason to think it’s unlikely that Quinn would be able to speak clearly and without pain and swelling muddling up her words. Then again, I never used two fingers of straight vodka as a pain reliever so maybe that made all the difference in allowing her to not only speak but also passionately kiss Charlie hours after having at least one tooth brutally extracted from her mouth. They went at it and last we saw Quinn, she was in Rowan's office and once again clutching a needle.
Let’s move on to another bloody topic. Sally Langston, what have you done?! Are we all in agreement that the guy on the floor was her husband and that the implication was that she murdered him, possibly with a lamp? All signs point toward that being the case, and she called Cyrus to confess. Cyrus is indirectly to blame for this disaster. Sally owns her own actions, no doubt. And she’s proven to be a woman of weak character with a judgmental side, so it's not hard to buy this twist. But Cyrus got this ball rolling when he set James up with Daniel, Sally’s husband, after he and Mellie figured out that Daniel had a type, and that type was men. I think the original plan was really give Daniel the wrong impression about the meeting with James, have him make a pass at James and have James expose Daniel. Or maybe he just wanted photos of whatever awkward encounter took place. I’m not even entirely sure what Cyrus really wanted to happen, but it was evident that he didn’t want James to sleep with Daniel, which he did, seemingly out of spite when he and Daniel figured out that the situation was a set-up.
Cyrus and James had an amazing blow-up, which had me remembering why Dan Bucatinksy deserved the Emmy he won for his role in this series, and wondering how Jeff Perry hasn’t — at the very least — been nominated. And it seemed like James was on the verge of leaving for real this time. In fact, he had the bag packed, but it looked like he caved when Cyrus called him and apologized, then promised he wouldn’t show anyone the photos (after he showed them to Sally). So I think James will stay. And Cyrus will swallow over his sadness and take Mellie’s advice in being fine (or numb) to the situation. Speaking of Mellie, how fast did she shrink away from Cyrus the moment he started to break down in the oval office. This came after Fitz told Cyrus off for not dealing with the Sally situation. Little did Fitz know, Cyrus’ efforts to deal with the situation have virtually wrecked his marriage. Fitz stormed out and Cyrus started to cry, which had Mellie dodging for the door, and then she paused and gave him some suggestions on how to live in a loveless marriage.
I really hope Cyrus and James can get past this situation. As for Sally and Daniel, well that’s obviously a different story. We saw her politely guilting him without even realizing it earlier when she talked about how patient and disciplined he’s been through everything. It was probably that little expression of gratitude that caused Daniel to shamefully beg James not to say anything to anyone about what they did. Because he’s not “a gay.”
When Cyrus told Sally about her husband and his, his intention was to scare her away from the campaign. But she called his bluff, pointing out that he wouldn’t show anyone those pictures, especially considering the man her husband was with was the husband of the Chief of Staff. Good point. Maybe he should have showed her a photo that didn’t have James’ face in it. Sally’s ability to remain composed during that conversation is one more reason to see her as a threat. Another would be that she might have killed her husband. Did she confront him about the pictures? Did she completely lose it on him and kill him? Or did something else happen? You really can’t assume the obvious with Scandal, so we’ll have to wait and see where this picks up next week for the Scandal winter finale.
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