By Phil Andros
CAN YOU FEEL THE EXCITEMENT!?!?!?!
It’s the season finale of Scandal and I’m already predicting major crappy behavior from Olivia just from the title – That’s My Girl. Safe to say it isn’t a riff on the Temptations. Let’s just hope she doesn’t murder someone else, right? I mean, it’s like they say about eating human flesh, “once you get the taste for it.” I may have gotten that wrong.
Anyway, I will say before we get to it that switching from Spy vs Spy to more politics has made for some better recent episodes, I mean apart from that total lemon Tamara got stuck re-capping for y’all. At least there’s something of a forward narrative even it if Shonda is completely the fuck over the top with the political caricatures. Kind of makes me wonder what the demographic actually is for this show. Which kind of makes me wonder what the hell I’m doing watching it. And what the hell are you people doing watching it?!?!?!
Anyway, on to the show!
Well, we are starting off with a bang. A majorly creepy as fuck bang, but a bang nonetheless. We’re introduced to Jake’s father-in-law who is talking about how Jake is the son he never knew he wanted…when he has a heart attack…because Jake poisons him…because Rowan needs the money….which actually makes absolutely no sense…. Jake is hella disturbing explaining to dying guy (a) that he’s going to die – because Jake poisoned him and isn’t calling 911 and (b) why he’s going to die – because Jake has daddy issues. Not bad, Shonda, a dead body and we haven’t even had the opening credits.
Ruh roh. Next scene is Tom telling Cyrus that he found Michael (formerly known as Cyrus’ whore). Michael is taking good care of Ella and Tom has a shit-eating-yay-I-get-to-kill-Cyrus’-whore look on his face. And I’m a nervousing. Because I would in fact kick Tom out of bed for eating crackers if I weren’t 99.9% sure he’d stab me in the eye after. Michael on the other hand – totally my cuppa. Anyway, Tom looks really disappointed when Cyrus doesn’t tell him to kill Michael. At least not yet.
First hint that this show is going to be all about picking the Veep. Which means that the fall season is going to be all about the election….UGH….anyone know how to pick the lock on handcuffs? If not I may have to gnaw my way through my hand to get out of this indentured servitude. Hello, I know Lincoln isn’t so popular down South, but really….
Back to the show….
You can always count on Sally Langston whose Liberty Report is going to be brought to you from the Republican Convention at the Grant Center – “Named for the General, not the manchild who’s been soiling his pants in the Oval Office for the past 8 years.” Brilliant.
Cyrus goes to see David Rosen to ask him if he wants to be Frankie “Hottie Governor” Vargas’ running mate. I have to say, as an aside, that if Mellie is our Hillary character, I guess I can only thank the lord that they picked Vargas to play the Bernie Sanders “lefty” Democrat (as Cyrus calls him). I mean, unless Larry David were available. That might have been funny. But I digress….once again I am wondering why David Rosen, who in the history of this show has pretty much been the flea on the tic on the hair on the boil on the ass of every character on this show. If you needed a picture in the Dictionary next to ‘beta male’ it’d be him, right? He does have a pretty good line asking Cyrus who he has to “imprison or kill for the Dark Lord Cyrus” in return? LOL. Funny, because it is completely not out of the question for this show. Cyrus explains that he is no longer ‘in darkness’ and the reason he is working with Frankie is because Frankie is going to change the world!!! So we all know something is up and that once again Rosen is going to get fucked – this time maybe with an actual penis instead of Liz’s strapon.
Of course over at OPA it’s time to hyper analyze the VP choices. They all have the 3 Ms – Married, Military and Male. First guy gets disqualified because he frequents gay bathhouses (he kind of had cocksucker lips, just my opinion), the second guy made $475,000 selling expired condoms and didn’t report the income to the IRS and the third guy was a coke dealer in college – even flew to Bogota a few times! We’re going with the coke dealer because, as Olivia put it, “aside from the cocaine he has everything we need.” And I’m now thinking of becoming a Republican! Between the cocaine, condoms and bathhouses they sound like a lot of fun.
Edison shows up to spoil the fun and tells Olivia that Jake wants to escape, which she kind of avoids. Because seriously, if nobody points out that Rowan may have put Jake up to it, I am throwing something at my teevee and Tamara is going to have to finish this. Good thing I’ve been drinking and my wine glass missed the screen. No, in fact, Huck decides they need to save Jake because Vanessa just inherited a cool half billion and “Jake is going to get dragged into it.” I’m not sure what to think now. I want Scott Foley to be good! But he did just murder his father-in-law! And even though Huck and Olivia know that, they still want to save him. And the race to the bottom in this show continues.
Awesome! Rowan shows up to Frankie Vargas’ office with an offer of $30 million. Cyrus asks him: “What do you want, you’re not welcome here.” Rowan: “If I only went where I was welcome I’d never leave the house.” Ha. Shonda may actually have finally figured out that her characters are so ridiculously reprehensible that they might as well have a sense of humor about themselves. Then Rowan pulls out the big guns. He basically threatens to expose Cyrus’ murder (of security guards) and fake attempted murder (of Hottie Governor) and all I can say is HOT DAMN, at least someone with a brain watched the video finally. All he wants in exchange for keeping his mouth shut is Jake Ballard on the ticket. Remember when we all sort of thought the whole Jake as VP thing wasn’t going to die when Edison left. Yeah. It isn’t.
Stupid scene of Quinn and Huck threatening some guy, which I’m not recapping. And do you know why? Because obviously they would just kill this guy. Plot failure.
Fitz is going to speak on the opening night of the convention and he talks to Abby about how he’ll be free in 5 months and maybe he’ll go to London…or Paris…or back to Santa Barbara…or…wait for it….VERMONT! For those of you fortunate enough to either not have watched this show from the beginning or to be better than me at blocking out shit, Fitz and Olivia were supposed to run away to Vermont together. That he doesn’t get that that is just so not going to happen makes me almost feel bad for the mass murderer.
Fabulous scene where Frankie asks Cyrus what he thinks of Admiral Jake Ballard for Veep and we get to hear what Cyrus is really thinking…that Jake is a monster who murdered his husband…that he is a Leviathan curled at the feet of Satan…and some more good stuff. Then Frankie snaps him out of it and Cyrus answers “I think he’d be great!” No doubt Cyrus is a very good actor.
You know, this episode is really just shaping up to be about the one-liners. I mean apart from Jake killing someone in the opening scene. Liz is trying to convince David that he should take the Veep slot because Frankie Vargas is going to win. She says even she is voting for him and “I have a golden retriever named Barry Goldwater.” Good stuff, Shonda. Might be dating yourself, but you’re dating me too and I think we now have the answer to who the demographic for this show is. Liz straddles David and he says “I don’t want to do this.” Her reply is pure gold: “I don’t want to do this either but we’re debasing ourselves so let’s go all the way.” And that, friends, is how I feel about watching this show. Like I need a shower after.
Abby tells Olivia that Fitz is on board with everything and then gets back to her office to find Fitz reading the medical records that Rowan gave Abby. Um, because that totally makes sense, right? That the most powerful person in the world has nothing better to do than snoop around his Chief of Staff’s office looking at files? That the Chief of Staff would leave what is probably the most toxic document on the planet out on her desk? Oh Shonda. We get it. Fitz had to find out about the abortion for some soap opera twist later in the epi, but you might have made it just a little believable. Fitz says “this is a lie” and storms off…except we know that it isn’t a lie. Did I mention there’s going to be NO BEN AND JERRY’S OR MAPLE SYRUP FOR YOU MR. PRESIDENT!
Haha. Cyrus goes to see Olivia to tell her that Rowan is hijacking his campaign and that he was going to put David Rosen on the ticket (still convinced that was a lie, but we’ll see). And then he has to confess Harrisburg to Olivia and she complains that “innocent people died.” HA FUCKING HA. Shonda, you are absolutely killing it with the intentionally and unintentionally funny lines this episode. I’m glad with all of the super serious music that this is descending into pure farce. Cyrus’ line of reasoning is that Olivia should want to help him because otherwise it isn’t going to be a fair fight – she’s already lost to her dad. The fact that no matter what happens she’s going to lose to her dad doesn’t seem to be relevant. I feel like it should be. Nor does it seem relevant that Jake is presumably a Republican, but whatever at this point.
Huge whine fest between Fitz and Mellie. Great acting but I don’t really want to recap it. Let’s just say Bellany crushed it. She basically calls him out on being a privileged man child (second time that’s come up) who didn’t earn anything but thinks his shit don’t stink.
So, just two scenes after Cyrus tells Olivia about Rowan’s plan, Olivia suddenly decides she needs to save Jake? Hmmmm. Shaking my head here. She catches up to him in a parking garage and tells him she’s going to save him and asks him to trust her completely. The look on his face is pure “yeah, whatever” which makes me think that everyone is still playing everyone on this show. Vipers who deserve each other. Although I also wonder whether Olivia actually ever believes what she says?
Someone sabotages Governor Wagner (Mellie’s cocaine dealing choice for VP) and nobody even tries to figure out who? Um, Rowan, that’s who. Who else? The lightbulb goes off in Olivia’s head and she goes to see Fitz to get his approval on a VP choice for Mellie. Has to be Jake I’m thinking. It is Jake! And Shonda scores once again: “You mean to tell me your ex-boyfriend is going to be on my ex-wife’s ticket and you won’t sit with me?” Delivered with a smile no less. And then “It’s a good choice. I think…What do I know about picking Vice Presidents.” Perfect. Fitz delivers a pretty good speech apologizing to Olivia for not being there and not listening more and by the end of it she’s figured out that he knows that she killed his kid. Or rather had an abortion. Technically Tom killed his kid. Of course, Shonda has to make it explicit at the end. “I support your choice, Liv, not that you needed it.” Which in context is about Jake but she knows and he knows we’re talking about the abortion. Too bad. I thought the scene was more powerful without the ham handed declaration.
Huck reminds Olivia that “You can’t take Command.” Then he tells her “You have to BECOME Command.” Sorry, not gonna happen, but it’ll be fun to watch her lose again.
Tom and Cyrus: “He’s an easy target Cy. I could be back with Ella in ½ an hour. All you have to do is say the word.” “Will he suffer?” “Depends, do you want him to suffer?” Then they start talking about Ella and how what Cy needs is a new Michael. Tom puts himself forward. Then Cy delivers a classic “The fact that we can sit here and talk about murder without blinking an eye. I’ve never had that with anyone. This is the truest most honest relationship I’ve had.” rut roh. I’ll miss Michael. :single tear
Showdown at Poppa Pope’s! Olivia walks in and tells Rowan and Jake that Jake is going to get up and leave with her and become Mellie’s Vice Presidential candidate. Jake starts to get up and Rowan puts a gun to his head and tells Olivia to “Advise him. To put his narrow ass back in the chair.” Now all I can picture is Scott Foley’s ass so this may be the best moment of the show. Rowan let’s Jake and Olivia leave. Honestly, I know we won’t find out anything until next season, but do any of you really think this is legit? I would guess Jake as Mellie’s VP is what Rowan wanted all along. I guess we’ll see.
Cyrus is loving Olivia’s move and says he knows the perfect person to be VP for Frankie. Next scene is David Rosen and I’m thinking “how could I have been so wrong about this doormat of a human being getting selected for VP.” I’m NOT! They decided “to go another way.” Honestly, I have zero idea who unless it’s Eli Pope himself. Liz to David: “How the hell did you mess this up?”
Flash to the convention where Fitz is delivering a barn burner. Marcus and Mellie get real close,
No idea what’s going on all of a sudden. Cyrus is breaking up with Tom saying that he and Michael are going to get back together. Is breaking up with a total psychotic mass murderer and child killer really a good idea? I mean, I’m sure the sex is crazy, but for real? Music does get a bit menacing…
Back at the convention, Jake wants out of the race. He wants to live a totally normal life with Liv in an ordinary house in the suburbs with ordinary kids and an ordinary job. Olivia blows up at him and “That’s My Girl” suddenly makes sense. Jake realizes that Olivia has become Command and that it “wasn’t about saving me, it was about saving your ticket.” Which is something Poppa Pope would totally do. And I’m still thinking he knew exactly how this was all going to go down. Jake: “I’ve gone from being his bitch, to yours.” Hey, Jake, if you’re looking for someone’s bitch to be, call me! Jake and Mellie take the stage. Um, Vanessa?!?!? He didn’t kill her too, did he? Nevermind. She is probably off mourning like normal people who aren’t serial killers do when family members die. I forget there aren’t that many non-mass-murderering sociopaths on the show sometimes.
And in easily the most implausible move in the entire show, Vargas picks Cyrus to be his running mate. At least that explains the whole breaking up with crazy Tom and getting back together with Michael thing. And the David Rosen thing. But let’s think about it. What does Cyrus add to the ticket. Gays are already voting for the Dem candidate. Old men? Former Republicans? He brings absolutely nothing to the ticket is the answer, but at least Shonda has her showdown for the election. And Cyrus beat Olivia.
I am pretty sure I’m right about Rowan. Great montage of him pushing her and pushing her and the last scene of him saying: “And all it took was a little nudge from your father.” Last scene is Rowan toasting the teevee coverage of the convention and saying “That’s My Girl.”
So what do you all think? Does Rowan still control Jake? I’m pretty sure yes. Who is going to win the Oval? My money is on Mellie since Rowan wants it to be Mellie. Will Olivia ever realize that she just can’t win? Is the show going to turn into non-stop unintentionally funny lines? I hope so!
Tune in this Fall. Unless I manage to pry the radiator loose….I’ll be recapping this shitshow wondering why I just can’t turn away…