This week’s “Scandal” showed that, like the rest of us, Olivia Pope has seen “The Notebook.” It also highlights one of the show’s dominant themes: the fantasy of an idealized “Cosby Show” domesticity, which none of the characters have ever achieved. Every time one of them gets close, he or she consciously or unconsciously does something to wreck it. Rowan and Maya have taken this concept to the next level, going from seemingly happy family to prisoner and warden.
We picked up right where we left off, with Rowan (Joe Morton) visiting Maya’s (Khandi Alexander) cell to tell her he is taking her out of the country to another prison because Olivia was asking about her. Maya wanted to see Olivia once before she was shipped off the map. He told her that was impossible. So after he left, Maya went completely, disgustingly nuts. She chewed on her wrists until she started gushing blood, which she drank, like a vampire. Apparently, B613 secret prisons do have a medical staff, because the next time we saw her, she was unconscious in a hospital cubicle. A doctor told Rowan she was physically stable for transport but questioned her mental health. When Maya woke up, Rowan had returned with numerous articles about Olivia, complete with photos. She wonders why he didn’t have any candid pictures, questioning why they were no longer close. Rowan told her it was her fault that she was away from her daughter, which could mean that she planted the bomb on the plane. The doctor prepared to sedate Maya, per Rowan’s request, but when Rowan returned, she was gone and the doctor had the syringe in his neck.
Nothing Good Can Come From Having a Sister/Daughter
Josie’s (Lisa Kudrow) sister/daughter Candace discovered that her laptop, containing key campaign information, had been stolen. She publicly accused Reston, despite the advice of the gladiators to stay quiet. Harrison (Columbus Short) blasted her for going rogue. He is babysitting her now. Quinn traced the missing laptop to Reston headquarters. David (Josh Malina) told Abby that his computer guy found that Candace’s computer was almost empty and was wiped the day before the break-in. Abby told Harrison she thought Candace staged the theft. Unfortunately, Harrison slept with Candace. Olivia told Josie to fire Candace and spin it to make herself look strong. Instead, Josie claimed that she staged the break-in and withdrew from the election. Josie told Olivia she couldn’t throw her own daughter under the bus — what mother could? Thus, the one politician with integrity in the show’s history torpedoed her career.
Fitz Earns Olivia
Olivia (Kerry Washington) did not answer the Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) phone. He called again, claiming she owed him an hour of her time. She was like, “You killed my mom and 300 other people. I owe you nothing for the rest of my life.” Olivia then destroyed the phone, so Fitz sent a Secret Service agent with a helicopter and a photo of her and Rowan. She agreed to an hour at his Vermont retreat. When she arrived, he wanted to show off the house, while she got straight down to business, explaining why she couldn’t have told him about Rowan when they first met. He pointed out that once he became president, he had a right to know. He told her, “You know who I am and you’re just this bundle of dirty little secrets.” She says if he knew, he would have run in the other direction. He claimed he would have protected her, which was wishful thinking since the president has no power over B613. She said, “I don’t need protecting.” She pointed out the whole plane crash thing means he was the one in need of protection. She ruined him when she fixed the election. He played his trump card: He had the house built for them, like he’s Ryan Gosling in “The Notebook,” minus his construction skills. He wanted her to see it at least once before he sold it. It hearkened back to their earlier fantasies of a simple life in a small town. His game worked, and she ran into his arms for some presidential sex. An hour later, she heard the helicopter return. She told him, “I have to go. I have work. You have to go, you have a world to run.” He said he loved her, but he has to stop her father. He needs answers. She gave him permission, adding that she won’t stop until she has answers either. Her parting words were, “Don’t sell the house.”
When Fitz returned, Mellie (Bellamy Young), who figured out what was going on, suggested that Fitz ask Olivia to be his campaign manager again.
Olivia went home to find her mom standing on the street outside her building. Her jaw dropped as Maya said, “Hi, Livvie.”
Quinn Gets Busted
The gladiators were searching for Darden’s killer, which worried Quinn (Katie Lowes) since she was the one who offed the security guard. Charlie, now her official B613 handler, assigned her to tell him everything that happened at Pope & Associates. Huck worked on analyzing the security footage from the building across the street, which contained a glimpse of the killer’s reflection. She pointed a gun at Charlie, telling him she was about to be exposed. He told her that if she killed him, she’ll just get another handler, one she won’t like as much. Quinn comes home to find Huck with the enhanced photo of her saying she needs to talk about who she is working for.
Cyrus’s Plan Works Too Well
Cyrus (Jeff Perry) got James (Dan Bucatinsky) hired to write a profile of Sally’s husband Daniel Douglas for a Washington newspaper. He told Mellie his plan: Daniel would make a pass at James, who would rebuff him, then when James wants to write about it, Cyrus will tell Sally that if she goes through with her plan to run as an independent, her husband will be outed. Mellie “confided” to Daniel that James and Cyrus have an open marriage. When their initial interview at the White House was dull, Cyrus encouraged James to talk to him some place more casual. So they meet at Daniel Douglas’s man cave. The Second husband talked about his college football buddies and how it’s hard to form connections as a grown man. James could not relate since he was a Middlebury theater major, which explained so much. Daniel planted a kiss on James, who pushes him away. Daniel says he wouldn’t have tried anything if he hadn’t heard he was in an open marriage. James realizes Cyrus is behind this. James comes home and acts distant. Someone texted Cyrus photos of Daniel and James having sex. Cyrus was devastated. The question is whether James actually cheated out of spite, or teamed up with Daniel to fake the photos.
“Scandal” airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.