We finally have our answer to who got shot on Scandal . And can I just say that I was really rooting for James to survive. But no such luck. David survived, and Jake makes it very clear that he needs to keep quiet on the whole subject. And watching someone shoot three people in cold blood right in front of you is pretty good reason to fear for your life and go along with the plan to make the whole thing look like a car jacking gone wrong.
Meanwhile, everyone from Pope and Associates to the White House is left reeling from the murder and the power landscape of Washington D.C. may never be the same. So at least James's death was not totally in vain? No, it still sucked. Just look at all the fallout.
Cyrus Is... God, Poor Cyrus
Cyrus, predictably, does not take the news that the love of his life is dead all that well. It's Cyrus, so he copes best by working – and shouting at his assistant – which we can totally respect. People grieve in different ways. Throughout the episodes we see scenes from Cyrus and James's early relationship, which finally gave Cyrus the courage to come out of the closet. And by the end it's got our hearts breaking all over again.
Fitz Endorses Gun Control
Considering he's up against two pro-gun candidates, Cyrus's idea that Fitz should endorse gun control is a risky but brilliant political move. Also since they've now had two press secretaries get shot and killed, plus a presidential assassination attempt, gun control ought to just seem like common sense at this point.
Mellie and Andrew Get It On
Fitz's move may be brilliant, but since he did so without consulting Mellie while she and Andrew were off trying to court the gun lobby, it also provided a perfect reason for her to get drunk, argue with Andrew, and then sleep with him. Go, Mellie!
Huck and Quinn Make Out
Love is in the air, I guess? Or at least the weird kind you only find on Scandal. As Huck looks into James's death and his co-conspirators' disappearances, he realizes Quinn broke into the safe and gave B6-13 all the info on the Daniel Douglas murder and cover-up. But she didn't cover her tracks well enough so she wanted to find him? So she is still a gladiator? Or something? Anyway, she orders him out of her apartment, but not before they swap some spit.
Olivia and Jake
After Jake tell Olivia he's the one who killed James personally, their relationship – which had so much potential to be an antidote to Fitz – is pretty much dead. At least for the foreseeable future. Cause murdering your girlfriend's friends is bad.
David and Olivia Take on B6-13
David has some trouble resisting the siren's song that is his conscience and only avoids committing what amounts to suicide by Olivia's proposal: they take down B6-13. It's a sensible move, now that Olivia's decided it doesn't matter who is acting as Command – it's the organization that's awful. Let's just hope to God she's got better allies than David in mind for this venture because as has been established, David is awful at this stuff. He has lots of nice qualities, I'm sure, but trying to take down branches of the government really isn't one of them.
So does this mean Olivia's back? As in she's going to go back to being the fearless, take-no-shit gladiator we remember from previous seasons, the one who took charge instead of letting events knock her off axis all the time? God let's hope so. Becuase not only is Mama Pope negotiating with terrorists and even scaring Adnan Salif enough that she's looking for an out, but more importantly, Scandal cannot survive if Olivia Pope is going to keep letting events control her not the other way around. She is the heart of the show, and if she is weak, so is Scandal. So if James's death means anything, let it be that Olivia Pope as we remember her is back!