By Phil Andros
I have a confession gentle and not-so-gentle readers. I’m hungover. I almost never drink enough to make me hungover anymore, but here I am, hungover and supposed to be watching Scandal, which just sounds like a recipe for pain. So I ask myself, “Self, WWTamaraD?” Self replies “DUH,” and I pour myself a big glass of wine.
Oh god. It appears from the start that I should have gone for the scotch. THWACK! comes with VIOLENCE/GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNINGS. We’re going back to absolutely everything I hate about this show, aren’t we? Sigh. Glug.
But before we get to the THWACK! part of the show, we get super sleuth Abby who has figured out that Fitz’ girlfriend (when exactly did that happen ?) Lillian is preggers since she’s been seen going to a clinic with a lot of OB-GYNs. Abby may be the worst written character on this show – is she the poor man’s Olivia or the poor man’s Cyrus? Or some horrible amalgam of the two? Discuss.
Anyway, it turns out that Andrew (the Vice President who fucked Mellie and then had Olivia kidnapped to blackmail Fitz into starting a War in East Angola, who was then kidnapped by Huck wrapped in cellophane, tortured and made to stroke out) is back! And he’s going to use Lillian to get out the West Angola story. Uhoh! What’s more important than a military operation that the President took against the advice of his top military advisors with the sole purpose of getting his mistress back? A military operation that cost dozens of American soldiers lives? That’s right, the election! Oh, and potential jail time. I didn’t remember that Olivia had no idea that Huck induced the stroke in Andrew. But he has a pretty decent reason for wanting revenge – “I pee in a tube, I shit in a bag” and you did this to me (or something like that)
So Abby convenes a meeting, a veritable who’s who of crappy human beings – Fitz, Mellie, Olivia, Cyrus, Elizabeth and David. They bicker while Cyrus giggles, which makes me giggle. Turns out he has immunity from everything he ever did. Good to know! They talk about it and pretty much the only sure-fire answer is to kill him. I mean at this point, what’s another dead body on this show? Abby says NO, though, because, well, I’m not exactly sure. Something about ‘being better’ than he is while America’s collective eyes rolled. But, hey, it’s Scandal so whatever. Abby’s incredibly stupid plan is for Mellie to talk to Andrew to make sure all the evidence of West Angola is destroyed so that Lillian can’t corroborate his story! Yes! I wonder why nobody thought of this oh, say, while Andrew was in a coma! Everyone kind of looks at Abby like she’s nuts, and we all know eventually Andrew is going to die, but Shonda is letting her cling to the last vestiges of her white hat, which is already pretty much in tatters. Olivia throws some shade Fitz’ way and head back to OPA.
Olivia’s having all of these flashbacks of being kidnapped and she’s already figured out that Huck wrapped the guy in cellophane and give him a stroke, so her moralizing seems just a touch ridiculous. She screams into OPA and she tells Huck “DO NOT FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED” and of course the look on Huck’s face suggests he was already trying to figure out how to finish what he started. And the look on Quinn’s face is like “cool move, Huck with the needle.” Olivia is like “am I just surrounded by crappy people” and I’m like, “is there another bottle of wine I can open?” Marcus (I REMEMBERED THE BORING BLACK DUDE’S NAME!) gets sent off on some stupid plan to get Mellie a Catholic endorsement – because being divorced and most famous for filibustering the Senate in support of Planned Parenthood just seems like a natural for a Catholic endorsement as Mellie pointed out to Olivia. But really it’s just so that the crappy people can yell at each other.
Instead, Huck is supposed to use his mad cyber skillz to eliminate all of the evidence of West Angola. Because if all of the evidence is gone, the former Vice President actually saying it out loud won’t matter? Willing suspension of disbelief my ass, Shonda. But Huck is going to play along with Olivia’s delusions even after Elizabeth basically tells Huck where he can find Andrew and finish the job. THWACK! is the sound of my palm hitting my forehead at this point.
Now we’re back with the Hottie Governor from PA. I can’t remember if I mentioned this, but it’s always bugged me that there was no real investigation of the shooting. I mean, a national figure and you have this footage where the guy who supposedly did the shooting looks behind himself and looks kind of confused. Well, Cyrus successfully convinces the Governor not to use the footage for campaign ads (but to use it on social media instead!?!?!?!) and Alex, the hottie governor’s hotter younger brother smells a rat. And realizes that Cyrus’ odd friend Tom also appears in surveillance footage from that night. So he decides to do some digging – which probably means he’s going to die before the season is over but not before he’s finger-banged Olivia. At this point, I’d be happy if Shonda cut the cast in half. Too many damn characters with not enough to do. And she keeps recycling old characters too.
Mellie decides she’s going to try to sweet talk Andrew into backing down. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? At this point, I’m starting to appreciate commenter Carol’s views about Mellie. I mean, the acting is fabulous, on that I’ll never agree with Carol, but how many times can Mellie walk into a buzz saw and not see it coming? Andrew says some horrible, vile and lewd stuff to her, kind of like Hollis said some horrible, vile and lewd stuff to her two episodes ago and how Fitz, Cyrus, etc. have said some horrible, vile and occasionally lewd stuff to her in previous episodes and seasons. Nobody does sad face lip quiver like our Mellie though! Olivia tries to calm Mellie who is in full meltdown mode down (must be a day ending in ‘y’) and then has a few more flashbacks and by now I know where this epi is going and I’m simultaneously horrified and giggling to myself because only two episodes ago I wrote that “I can’t remember Olivia actually killing anyone which is a nice rarity for the show.” Ha fucking ha!
Olivia goes to see Poppa Pope (with Jake sitting there eating again, what’s up with that?) who predictably gives her the speech about how she works with ugly people in an ugly business. And then he casually offers to kill Andrew. LOL. Instead she asks him to keep tabs on Lillian using Jake’s NSA assets because “I’m not like you, Dad.” He then explains to her why it isn’t going to work and tells her that when she hits rock bottom, she should remember “I told you so” – in advance – which is fucking brilliant and so Eli. At this point, I’m pretty sure I am right about who does the THWACKING!
We then see Huck sticking another needle into Andrew’s neck and for a minute I think finally, they’ve come to their senses and are going to kill him. But no, he wakes up in the White House bunker and Olivia is there telling him that it is for his protection. Olivia negotiates a $10 million deal with him to make it all go away, and in exchange she’ll also have to do the PR for his memoire, Andrew Nichols: Battle Scars of An American Hero or something like that. Which made me LOL, but then again, Fitz downed a civilian jetliner and ordered american troops into harm’s way to save his mistress, so, maybe being a kidnapper/murderer/psycho frames up ok. Olivia gets the money from Fitz and Elizabeth and then Andrew decides he wants $20 billion instead. Well, really, he was never going to take the $10 million. He was just messing with them and maybe buying some time for Lillian who is just 48 hours away from publishing the story which she says has been rigorously checked. Huh? That said, how it has not occurred to Andrew that he is fucking with stone-cold killers and is more likely than not to end up dead is just one of those leaps of faith that Shonda asks us to take on a weekly basis. I mean, “stick a needle in my neck once, shame on you, stick a needle in my neck twice, shame on me,” right? The “warm apple pie” was a nice touch though; the horse was sort of stupid.
Fitz decides he’s going to be all Presidential and take the fall, which is moderately comical because he’s “taking the fall” for an illegal act he did that got American servicemen killed. How, um, noble? And the rationale is that he’s almost done with his presidency anyway, not that he should actually do the right thing regardless. But Abby is all “girl, no” to Fitz and “girl, hell no” to Olivia’s offer to come back to OPA if it all goes south when the President falls on his sword. But Abby isn’t having it. She’s tasted power and she wants MORE! Abby goes and “settles” it with Andrew herself by throwing Mellie under the bus. Again, what could possibly go wrong? Olivia finds out from Jake that Lillian’s story is now called “Mellie Grant: One Affair, Many Lies” and is convinced that it’s Elizabeth trying to fuck with Mellie to benefit Susan. But no! It’s Abby who gives a “I DON’T WORK FOR YOU, YOU WORK FOR ME” speech to Olivia and revokes all of her White House privileges. But even as she’s doing it, all of us watching are shaking our damn heads thinking Cyrus-light is never going to cut it. And the look on Olivia’s face says it all.
So here it comes…the THWACK!…you can see it a mile away. Olivia goes to ‘reason’ with Andrew who is still holed up in the bunker under the white house why exactly? He responds to her reason with slut shaming. Yay!
Olivia: “You think you can take us down without me burning everything to the ground?”
Andrew: I wonder what I could get for your ass in an auction now that you’re no longer the “President’s side piece.”
And a long speech about how she’s just a basic slut who isn’t worth more than an aging porn star.
LOL. As last word’s go, it ain’t bad.
Then Olivia grabs a metal chair and TWHACK! THWACK! THWACK!’s him to death. You don’t get to have vengence, etc. “THAT’S MINE.” Somewhere Poppa Pope is smiling. Fitz comes in to tell her it’s going to be ok and Abby comes in and realizes that basically she’s led Olivia to this, although let’s be honest, Andrew was going to die one way or the other.
HOLY SHIT – TOM AND CYRUS ARE FUCKING. Ha. Cool. Alex Vargas shows up to tell Cyrus’ whore about it and asks if ‘they can talk.’ If the next scene isn’t of them naked in bed, I’m done with you SHONDA! It isn’t.
The gang all rallies around Olivia predictably. Cut to scenes of Elizabeth, Mellie, Fitz all speaking nicely about Andrew. And it’s nice of everyone not to point out that all of this fuss could have been saved if they’d just killed him like they all wanted to in the first place. Last scene is of Olivia being “welcomed home” by Eli. Note the door of his house is read like the red door when she was kidnapped. Nice touch.
All in all, I liked this episode even though it probably lowered my IQ by 20 points.
Until next week!