Okay, so I had dinner with some dear friends, and got home just in time to sit down in front of the television. I barely went upstairs to kiss my sleeping kid good night. I need an intervention.
Our show opens with Huck in full-on batsh!t crazy mode. He's longingly gazing at his torture tools. Quinn is tied up on the floor, on plastic, and her eyes are transmitting the terror she cannot vocalize, because she also has duct tape on her mouth. He tells her that he's so sorry he has to do this to someone he loves, and worse, he's sorry he will enjoy this as much as he will. He calls it the friends and family discount. Now, honestly, I thought that Huck was teaching her a lesson about all of this B6-13'ing going on, but when he props her mouth open with a dental shield, I have to stop watching. Quinn's teeth are literally saved (for now) by the bell. A very freaked out Liv is calling to tell Huck her mother is alive. She has no idea what to do, but Huck does. He instructs her take the battery out of her phone, and to leave, knowing full well if she's alive, B6-13 is coming for her. You think Quinn is safe, because Huck says he's on his way, but Huck decides Liv can keep for one tooth, saying to Quinn - "what is it the kids say? YOLO!" And BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! You may only live once, but according to Dr. Seuss' The Tooth Book, once you get that second set of teeth? That's it.
Leo, the adorable *other* campaign manager is managing the VEEP's break from the Grant Presidency. He tells her he quite frankly doesn't give a damn about her beliefs, no Oval Office for her if she doesn't stop with this Anti-Choice nonsense. And she gets it. She wants the white house more than she thinks. This may be foreshadowing just how much like Fitz she is.
And speaking of Sally's issues with lifestyles, the next scene is Cyrus not being able to sleep for the mental images of his precious James butterball naked with the VP's husband. James says he can't sleep because he's wired from his interview with Daniel Douglas, and that he got him to go "deep". And ha. And Cyrus, James deserves this pound of flesh! There are so many shades of gray on this show, but Cy's treatment of James is wrong on every level.
Olivia, still freaked out, is sitting in a corner, rocking like Huck did in 752. And Girl? Right? Your dad is head spy and your mother has just materialized from the grave. And there's no wine in sight. Harrison and Abbey are just DONE. Abbey calls Jake and Huck out on being all Spy Bro and says they can't produce "Dead Mama Pope" and expect them to fall in line. Abby ain't having it, and basically asks Mama Pope, daf*q you been all these years, girl? Mama Pope says she found out Eli was Command and decided she was going to London to turn him in, but he found out about her plans and put her in jail for 22 years. When Ja-Huck realizes she escaped from Command, they go SpyBro again and realize she has a tracking device. And so they give her a towel on which to bite and cut it out. And I'm just putting it out here, since Khandi Alexander (Dead Mama Pope, DMP) came on the scene, Scandal has just been a bloody, gory, mess. And gosh.
Huck was 100% right - B613 is tracking her, and they track the device to the safe house, but they've already left (of course they have. Spy Bro - 1; B6-13 - 0). Eli is putting an APB out on them, tapping into the traffic cams with face recognition (is this a real thing?). The best part about having ex-B6-13 folk on your team is that JaHuck are ahead of the game, handing out burner phones and fogging windows to help with facial recognition. Olivia asks where Quinn is, and Huck says she's doing what she needs to do (which is probably a saline rinse), and offers to go check on her. Olivia can't part with Huck, so Huck needs to wait - but Quinn has a tooth OUTSIDE her body to remind her of what's coming. Harrison and Abby are back at their ransacked office, wondering how Olivia hasn't just broke down when Harrison's contact comes in, flirts a little, and tells Harrison Adnan Salif says hello. There's that name again, and likely the focus of the second half of the season.
If you read my recaps, you know I watch the episode a couple of times before I recap, which allows me to catch some things I don't catch the first viewing because I'm gasping for air. DMP is too comfortable with the man who cut her skin to remove a tracking device. She's too comfortable with a man who KNOWS THERE'S A TRACKING DEVICE. She (DMP) and Liv bond a bit - the momma knows her daughter, and calls her on the complete lack of laughter in her life. She appreciates her access to all the power, but feels like she's become her father. Obviously, Olivia takes total umbrage at this assumption. Ja-Huck doesn't want her to run and hide, as its shrinking Olivia, who is already not as sharp. Huck says they will need help, and Jake knows where he can get that level of help.
Of course he does - the White House has a revolving door here lately! [Editorial nitpick here: I asked my friend Tamara if Jake would be allowed to don his dress blues without shaving. She replied, quick as a flash, no. Not ever, but certainly not for a meeting at the oval. Somehow, I knew this. And while I get time is of the essence, why would Jake draw attention to himself by looking like that in his uniform? Oh, and Jake with a 5:00 shadow. YUM. I didn't say I didn't like it. I just said it rang a tiny bit false.]
Anyhoo - Jake wants Rowan/Eli gone. Fitz can't kill Olivia's father, but Jake says he can. Because he should finally have his back, that because of his "political destiny" that landed Jake a slave to B6-13. Jake dismisses Fitz as a useless FlyBoy, which pisses him off. He warns Jake that he just wants to be, not just any hero, but HER hero, and that Liv doesn't need another hero. My lyrical tourettes kicked in and I started singing Tina Turner, but not before Jake tells Fitz he's selfish and how nice it must be for him to have other people doing his dirty work. And of COURSE it is. You don't get to be president without side stepping a few land mines. Stop being a sore loser, Jake, and go find that builder in Vermont.
Meanwhile, back at the white house, Mellie wonders what's up with Daniel Douglas. Cyrus says he's holding, and Mellie's all...now's not the time to hold. Fix it. Because the Vice President is actively planning her defection from the Grant Party and she likes the idea of being her first lady president. She's sharing some scripture with her husband, who sees James in he hallway and has a FIT. He makes him promise he won't tell what happened. He wants a quick look at the article, because he's afraid James has written about he. He then loses his sh!t just a bit, swearing that had never happened before, and that "gay people think everybody is gay". To which James responds..."no, we think gay people are gay". And. Word. Daniel goes on to call his particular situation a sickness, and that he's a faithful man who's attracted to his wife despite his "despicable temptation". It's a really pathetic scene, to think a grown man can think so little of himself and live an ENTIRE life with so much self-hate. James gets it, and if he didn't hate Cyrus before for what he did, he surely does now. Up until now, I think James has been using this for a little get-back at Cyrus (even says that "Danny" is coming over to their house to finish the interview, and reminds Cyrus he won't be home that night), but in that moment, I think he realizes (and calls him out on it later) that what he's done is a lot bigger than their marriage.
So, left to his own devices, Jake gets has assassins headed to Rowan's office to kill him (Rowan). But the office is empty - it's a trap. B6-13 - 1; Spy Bro - 1. Cue Charlie being excited about blowing up the office. Rowan knows JaHuck is getting closer, and he wants Charlie to get Quinn back involved on the inside. He goes off to track her down, after telling Jake he's a fool to trust anyone in B6-13 himself included. He doesn't have to go far. She's still tied up on her floor, naked, and knocking a glass off to free herself. But Huck gets back to her, and goes all crazy eyed again. [side note - I read an interview with ShondaGirl and she said that she was very careful with these scenes - to have Guillermo Diaz and Katie Lowes run through them numerous times to make sure she was okay. And Katie Lowes was comfortable the entire time. And I thought wow. I don't care how great of an actress I am. The next day when Guil is all...Katie, wanna grab lunch? I don't think I'm speaking to him for a while. A long while. Just like if I were Kerry Washington, Mrs. Goldwyn would not be having me over for tea. Sorry. Still haven't forgotten last week's love scene] Anyway, crazy Huck scares the sh!t out of me. Quinn begs BEGS for mercy and Huck tells her no. Because if she had just betrayed him, that would be one thing, but betraying Olivia was, in his book, unforgivable. My ma had a lot of issues with these scenes, but I feel in the time it took him to deliver that line, he explained it all. Huck is loyal, above all, to Liv. That is the basis of his character; in that respect, these scene are very true to Huck's character.
Hey! Liv speaks Japanese. She really is awesome. Liv is trying to secure her Mom's passport to put her on the first flight to Hong Kong, and just when it seems like this will be okay, Eli has put her name and face out on the 'Do Not Fly' list under the alias of Marie Wallace. Abby tries to get David to get her off the no-fly list, to which David replies "normal girlfriends don't dabble in aiding and abetting". And. Ha.
When Sally takes Fitz up on his offer of a few weeks ago (when he thought he was going to get to go off and make jam) to resign and run against him as an independent. Sally calls him being so blind or self-involved that he can't see the "immeasurable destruction he's brought to the country, to the party, to his family". And you know - this show is bananas. Or I've lost my moral compass too because she's RIGHT. He has made a mess of things -- 2 sex scandals, a dead intern, the mole, and now assassins running crazy. But I still love him. He tries reasoning with her, to no avail, and then he goes all Carl Bruner on her -- you see his eyes change. He tells her she's making the biggest mistake of her life crossing him, and that he'd work "tirelessly" for the rest of his life to remind of her of that. He warns she will regret this day forever. And you know, it would be over the top, if we didn't know the last time he went Carl Bruner, a justice died. Sally is badASS too though, because she looks him smack in the eye and says "see you on the battlefield".
Cy rushes home from his meeting to find James just typing and wondering why he's so out of breath. Cy can't take it anymore, and calls James out on having sex with Daniel. James says he's confused since that's what he thought he wanted. James finally boils over, and in what is Dan Bucatinsky's emmy reel, he asks him why on EARTH he wouldn't hire a prostitute over pimping out his own husband. And because Shonda's words are better: "you used me like a cheap whore, and then you made me think you were doing me a favor. You are the devil. The devil is inside you right now. Do you not get what you've done here? You have ruined us, Cy. You have ruined everything, not to mention the fact you are a gay man who is going out of his way to shame another gay man for being in the closet. How could you?" It was powerful. And I got nothing. Over his tears, James tells Cy he wants a divorce. But Cy is clearly the bigger monster here, who tells James if he leaves he will go public with the pictures. James can't believe he took pictures, and Cy can't believe he didn't think he would. The devil inside, indeed. This is interrupted by Cy's phone. It's Fitz, and before he answers, he tell James he's not leaving, because he never does. And Cy, did we not learn about taking James for granted last week?
Fitz is still in Carl Bruner mode, and takes a huge chunk out of Cy's ass for not handling the Sally situation, and that he's too late because Sally is leaving the ticket. Fitz is otherworldly pissed off - that he's always bragging about doing the dirty work and now he's got a "Sally sized shiv" in his back. Mellie is all...I TOLD YOU, and that's just all Cy can take. He breaks down crying. Mellie has never seen a monster cry before and she decides to give him a moment. She knows what happened. In her own way, Mellie tries to comfort Cy telling him it will hurt until it doesn't. And maybe you won't sleep as well at night, but he'll be fine. "Numb. But numb and fine are the same." And ouch. [And Mellie is ROCKING the red suit]. She reminds Cy that you have to work through heartbreak sometimes and he needs to see through handling Sally being a "weed in their garden".
David can't help get DMP out of the country. She (DMP) tells Olivia he (Eli) always wins. She says her job is to fix things and she'll figure out a way. Her way is the Super Fitz Phone. He wants to fix it, but she knows he can't. She's says she's not calling to ask for help, but she wanted to hear his voice and talk about jam, Vermont, and kids. She just needed "one minute"...and my heart just soared. He tells her to consider it handled...and Lord I just love that man. She breaks down to thank him and he responds "I love you." HE then tells her to hang up because he has things to do. And I'm sorry Mrs. Goldwyn about my feelings for your husband.
Charlie tracks down Quinn (which wasn't hard. Still taped up, still naked). He unbinds her, she takes a shower, and when she comes out, he tells her to drink the vodka - it'll ward off infection as well as numb the pain (ER, B6-13 Style). When she breaks down in tears, he calls her on it. Crying is against the rules, and "big dogs get bit". And tells her to toss off that she won't be able to eat steak anymore. And that's a big deal. Quinn says Huck was her person and he hurt her, now she doesn't have anyone. Charlie says - " you have me" and you know what? I think he's sincere. This isn't a tact...but Quinn, hearing a little bit of approval drops her towel and they get down. And now I'm seeing why Quinn was such an easy mark last season...jeepers criminy Girl. Fresh off some loving from Charlie, she goes to see Eli. (B6-13 - 2; SpyBro 1. Or is it?)
Cyrus pays the Vice President a late night visit - and I had to wait until 50 minutes to get a line of the night:
Sally: Cyrus. I know why you're here, but you're too late. I'm afraid I've already stabbed the pig through its belly.
Cyrus: And I'm sure if I were from your neck of Hickland, that would make some semblance of sense.
These two are awesome adversaries. He shows her the pics of her husband getting all sorts of naughty with James. Check. She calls his bluff. She says there's NO WAY he'll release those pics because it implicates his husband too, and publishing those pics will ruin him (Cy) as well, as the ticket will bump him as Chief of Staff. Check mate.
Cyrus calls James, tell him he'd never show the pics, and that he's sorry, and wants to come home. I think he's sincere too. He tells him Sally will never see the pics, he's burned them, and wants his forgiveness. But James is sitting on the bed with his bag packed.
Olivia delivers DMP to the airport, and as she's saying goodbye. Abby reminds her this is no ordinary client, that its her mother and she's leaving and demands she go hug her mother. Olivia's cry of "Mom" along with Ben playing, brings tears spring to my eyes, and Olivia flashes back to the last day she saw her mom...when her Mom said she loved her. She also remembers a little more. It seems the phone rang after DMP left, and the person asked for Marie. Then, she dismissed it as a wrong number. NOW, she calls Huck and asks who that is on the Do Not Fly List...it all comes together. The wanted terrorist was Marie Wallace. In Liv's words "my father was trying to protect me. He's not the monster. She is." Huck says...then we have a problem...
...because NOW we know how Charlie came to find Quinn toothless, but very much alive. She offers to DO SOMETHING. And the something appears to be to kill command, as she's standing before him, demanding the tape of her killing the security guard, but hiding a needle.
And just when I thought I was ready for credits, the phone rings. It's Sally, calling Cyrus. She whispers she's committed a sin. The camera pans out to see her dead husband in the background. That's definitely worthy of confession.
Ya know, the episode where DMP chewed her arm off, I thought, what if she were the terrorist who put the bomb on the plane that Fitz shot down? And then I thought - nah - that's too bananas. Even for Scandal. I know Monday morning quarterbacking isn't allowed, but I wanted it on the record that I called this (then second guessed myself.)
I rewound the previews for next week about 5 times to make sure I was certain I saw it. Fitz looks like he's going to go Carl Bruner on Eli/Rowan. I think we will all need this winter break to get our blood pressure back to normal.
See you next week!