Oh, Scandal. You never fail to shock me and make me reach for my wine glass.Â As usual, this episode was intense and covered a lot of ground. What I want to focus on, though, are Abby and Oliviaâ€™s stories.
I love Abbyâ€™s character more and more. Sheâ€™s simply amazing. In this episode, her past comes back to haunt her. Her ex-husband, Charles (Michael Trucco), has been publicly endorsed by the president for an open Senate seat. When Abby first sees him, she holds it together long enough to get out of the room. But when she calls Olivia for help, Olivia arrives to find Abby hiding behind a desk, terrified and covered in puke. Charles used to beat her and it was Olivia who helped save her. Now Olivia will help her again.
Abby: You canâ€™t handle this.
Olivia: Watch me.
And you better believe that Olivia Pope has a plan. She visits the opposing candidate, Susan Ross, only to see a disaster of a campaign with signs that look like they were made by a five-year-old. Olivia stops everyone and tells the candidate she is willing to run her campaign for free.
Thereâ€™s really nothing quite like watching Olivia Pope in action. She could probably make anyone a senator if she tried. When Susan Ross proves to have a terrible camera presence, Olivia goes for an even better plan, having Susanâ€™s incredibly adorable daughter on-screen instead. It is the cutest political ad ever and goes viral almost immediately.
But that doesnâ€™t immediately solve Abbyâ€™s problem. She still finds herself running into Charles, whose sinister presence terrifies Abby and breaks her down in a way weâ€™ve never really seen before. And when she pulls a gun on him, I swore she was going to shoot him in the head right then and there. And honestly, in that moment, I wanted her to. But instead, she lets him walk away.
Even though Olivia wants Abby to tell her story publicly, Abby thinks it would only ruin her reputation. But later, when Leo brings some bad news about Susan Ross, Abby spills everything â€“ every brutal, awful detail.
By the way, Leo is played by Paul Adelstein, who I absolutely adore. You may know him as the endearing pediatrician, Dr. Cooper Freedman from Private Practice. And I was reminded of that character a bit as he talked to Abby, showing compassion that Leo has been hesitant to show in the past.
Later, Leo tells Abby itâ€™s time to celebrate, because Charles has withdrawn his candidacy. Leo leaked some devastating information about his own client and only for the purpose of protecting Abby. He takes the opportunity to kiss her and itâ€™s a sweet scene that makes me hope to see these two together in the future. Even better, is what he says after:
Abby: I canâ€™t believe I just let you kiss me.
Leo: Have some more bourbon. Iâ€™ll touch your boob.
Meanwhile, Olivia is busy with her own plans. She gets into Supermax, but it isnâ€™t to see Jake. Instead, she sees Tom Larsen, who is completely in awe at Oliviaâ€™s presence. He says heâ€™s never had the opportunity to look at her before now and compares to Helen of Troy, saying he understands why they â€œallâ€ love her. And though he doesnâ€™t tell the truth right away about who ordered him to kill Fitzâ€™s son, he does have some terrifying news for Olivia — that while she was gone, Fitz tried to commit suicide.
Tom: I could protect him from everyone. Except you. I could never protect him from you, Ms. Pope.
She leaves, angrily, but not before telling Tom to watch his back.
Later, Fitz calls Olivia with a full report on Jakeâ€™s well-being, down to the number of vegetables he is given each day. Olivia asks Fitz about what Tom told her and he tries changing the subject. Fitz takes a swig of his drink and tells Olivia he wants to talk about what â€œhopeâ€ means, since she told him last week that there was indeed hope for the two of them.
Fitz is obviously drunk and tells Olivia he wants her to come over. Then he describes in detail just what heâ€™d do to her if she did. And let me tell you, I blushed a little. This is probably one of the most sensual and provocative scenes weâ€™ve ever seen on the show and it relied almost completely on language alone. But too bad for Olivia, Fitz hangs up the phone when she asks what would be next, saying, â€œThat depends on how much hope there is.â€
Still, Olivia is getting things done, even if her methods mirror her fatherâ€™s. She has Tom stabbed in prison, so that heâ€™ll be frightened enough to tell Olivia the truth. Heâ€™s hurt pretty badly and does just that, finally admitting that it was Rowan Pope who gave the order.
Olivia: I handled him. Like my father would.
And thank goodness for that! I was getting worried that Jake would be in prison all season and that Olivia would believe he was the one who gave the order. Iâ€™m glad the jig is up. And what will happen next looks to be even more interesting. At the end of the episode, Jake is brought to a meeting with Olivia and Fitz and together, the three of them will work to take down Papa Pope. Thatâ€™s right, Olivia is going to take down her father with the help of her two boyfriends. I canâ€™t wait to see what happens next.
Scandal airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.
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