After last week’s stunning conclusion, there were a lot of expectations riding on this week’s Scandal, and it certainly delivered. For one thing, we got our first peek at Olivia’s mother, a brief and powerfully simple flashback that will hopefully be the first of many, many, many more, considering she’s played by the spectacular Khandi Alexander. In the meantime, Operation Remington is like the gift that keeps on giving, with the game that Olivia, Jake, and Huck are playing getting more and more treacherous.
But is all this getting to be too much for even Olivia Pope to handle? After all, Scandal started on the premise that Olivia Pope is the fixer who can handle anything. “It’s handled” came as easy to her lips as “I can do anything” came to Kim Possible. Except, with Olivia, it was way more impressive. But now? If this episode proves anything, it’s that things might have slipped well beyond Olivia’s ability to handle, at least not with the firm command she showed in Season 1. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Cyrus and Mellie Are A Team
In the scheme of things, this isn’t super alarming, and I actually enjoy it immensely when Cyrus and Mellie team up. But it does show that White House power dynamics are going on without her after Liv turns down the job running the president’s reelection campaign because he wouldn’t come clean about Operation Remington. They seem to be getting by fine without her — they certainly work out Sally's treacherous intentions pretty quickly. Who knows what the future will bring for the Grant Administration, but Olivia definitely has no control in it.
Josie Marcus is a Wild Card
Presidential hopeful Josie Marcus was slightly better about not treating Liv like the help in this episode (even if she did bark an order or two), but Olivia still had to resort to manipulation to get Josie to do what needed to be done. And even though the results were phenomenal, Josie’s little sister/daughter/person-who-seems-to-be-important-to-the-campaign-for-some-odd-reason was so pissed off that you just know this is all going to be trouble soon. My hope is that Liv still winds up running Fitz’s reelection somehow — this show has so many plot twists, you know it’s possible — because Olivia really shouldn’t have to work with someone she has to manipulate.
Harrison Is in Mortal Danger?
Harrison finally gets a plotline of his very own. It's about damn time. We don’t have many details, but it seems someone named Sharif is coming back to the country thanks to Cyrus, and Harrison tells Huck this means big trouble. Possibly fatal trouble. And the worst part? Olivia doesn’t even know. Needless to say, this is bad.
Operation Remington Investigation Gets Twisted
Even though the mystery behind Operation Remington seems to have been revealed — though we have no real confirmation yet — Huck and Jake are still digging at Olivia’s request. And this issue is not only taking up a lot of her attention and prompting her to make emotional calls to her father after a few late night glasses of wine, it’s also likely to get someone killed, a fate Jake narrowly escaped this week.
Quinn and Charlie?
Quinn not only owns a gun — she’s shooting the gun at the shooting range, where Charlie “runs into her” and starts giving her pointers. It turns out Eli Pope is behind this, and with Huck not talking to her and Charlie being charming, it looks like Quinn is getting mixed up in some B6-13 stuff on her own. Is Eli trying to recruit her? Interesting as that would be, I really hope not. Oh, where’s Olivia when you need her?
Fitz Grew a Backbone
Wouldn’t you know it, Fitz develops a spine — something always guaranteed to make me like him more — right when he and Olivia’s relationship seems unfixable. He refuses to answer her questions about Remington by playing the Commander-in-Chief card and playing it damn well. He deals with a Mellie meltdown, he talks firmly with Cyrus and Jake, and even in the final minutes when Olivia tells him that he killed her mother (assuming that is what he’s hiding her, though I can’t think of what could be worse), he doesn’t have a total mopey meltdown.
So can Olivia possibly deal with all this stuff? We remain glued to our televisions, waiting to find out.