This week’s episode of Scandal was one of those episodes during which the majority of time was simply spent positioning characters for what’s to come in future episodes. Here’s a quick recap of where everyone landed.
Olivia is on to Jake. While Olivia Pope has dessert at her father’s house with Jake Ballard and his new fiancee, Vanessa, Vanessa reveals that her cellphone is cracked because she dropped it when Jake bumped into her in line at the Shake Shack. Then he randomly bumped into her again a few days later, and that’s how they started dating. As soon as she said it, I remembered that that was exactly how Jake snaked his way into Olivia’s life when her father, Rowan, made Olivia Jake’s mission. This means that Rowan has assigned Jake to another mission, and Vanessa is his mark. Oooo!
Later, Olivia watches Jake and Vanessa have sex via a surveillance system that Huck and Quinn Perkins installed in his house, but Jake knows that the system is there, so he makes eerie eye contact with Olivia via the camera while he’s in the act. These two need to quit. He comes over and says some mean things to her about her going from being the smartest person in the room to being the biggest fool, yada, yada. I really don't like Mean Jake.
By the end of the episode, however, Olivia decides to apologize to Jake for being so stalky, and she’s about to chalk it all up to the fact that she misses him when Vanessa drops her cracked phone in front of her. Finally, Olivia remembers that Jake had met her in the same way that he met Vanessa. She was right all along. Jake is up to something. The question, now, is what? Hopefully, getting to the bottom of this will give Olivia something to do because she seems really bored these days.
Abby’s the captain now. Abby Whelan discovers that Cyrus Beene is secretly running Gov. Vargas’ presidential campaign, and she has the receipts to prove it. When she confronts Cyrus about it, he tries to deny it at first, but he confesses surprisingly quickly and begs her not to tell Fitz Grant. Abby has to figure out what to do with this information. Does she tell Fitz, fire Cyrus and take his job as Fitz’s chief of staff or … well, never mind or.
That’s exactly what she does. In a boss move, Abby convinces Fitz to hire her as his chief of staff with a speech about how she goes hard and she slays. (That’s a loose paraphrase.) Then Abby tells Cyrus to pack his bags and hand over his badge. He gots to go. Ouch. Cyrus doesn’t put up much of a fuss, but you know Cyrus has never let a bygone be a bygone. He’s not really the forgive-and-forget type.
Hollis Doyle has come back to “Make America great again.” Remember Hollis Doyle from season 1 and the whole “Defiance” scandal? In short, he’s an oil-and-gas tycoon who donated a lot of money to Fitz’s first presidential campaign and rigged the election to help Fitz get into the White House. Well, Mellie Grant dusts him off and brings him back to Washington to convince him to contribute to her campaign. Hollis is happy to help as long as Mellie promises to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, which she won’t agree to do. So Hollis tries his luck with presidential candidate Susan Ross, but Fitz shuts him down.
But Hollis knows that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. With his orange-tinted bouffant, Hollis and his money decide to run for president so we can “Embrace America’s tomorrow,” and he’s running on a platform of getting rid of “pesky border crossers” and “sad little refugees.” Sound familiar? Scandal has its very own Donald Trump to join its presidential election race! Hey, maybe the gladiators can give us some tips on how to derail Trump’s campaign.
Huck is finally moving on. Huck is watching his kid, Javi, play soccer via some surveillance cameras when Javi’s mom’s new boyfriend shows up to cheer him on. Huck suspects that the new boyfriend is some guy he used to torture named “Six Toes” who’s going to exact revenge on Huck by harming Huck’s family. So Huck kidnaps the guy and takes him to the woods to huck him up until he realizes that the guy has 10 toes, so he can’t be the guy Huck tortured. Fortunately, Huck figures this out before he kills “10 Toes,” who turns out to just be a nice guy who wants to marry Huck’s ex.
By the end of the episode, Huck resolves that he won’t be able to be a part of Kim and Javi’s life. Well, that’s too sad. My guess is that Huck is about to throw himself into his work to fill this void. Watch out, Jake … and Hollis … and Papa Pope.
Akilah Green is a recovering Washington, D.C., lawyer-lobbyist-politico turned TV and film writer and producer living in Los Angeles. She currently works for Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show, Chelsea. She has also worked as a staff writer for Kevin Hart’s production company, HartBeat Productions, and as a consultant for Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO. In addition, she co-wrote and is producing Scratch, an indie horror-comedy feature film, and is a regular contributor to The Root. Follow Green’s adventures in La La Land on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.