Scandal Recap: Of Monsters and Men

Bellamy Young as Mellie Grant in Scandal

Last night was so tantalizingly entertaining and fun to watch that I literally clapped my hands and squealed with delight while watching alone in my living room.

Remember when Beyoncé’s first single came out and we all thought, “This is really good, but she still could be a one-hit wonder”? Then she comes out with the Mrs. Carter tour and Blue Ivy, and now we bow our heads to bless her at the drop of her name. Well, last night’s episode, “We Do Not Touch the First Ladies,” was not Beyoncé (nothing can be Beyoncé but Beyoncé) but it was the Mrs. Carter tour—a reminder that this show is consistently good and just keeps getting better and better.


The episode opens normally enough with Olivia’s lips quivering while she has an emotionally charged fight with Fitz. But we quickly move on to the others and discover how deep Mellie’s relationship with Andrew goes, Cyrus orders another dead body from Charlie’s menu, Huck has been tortured this whole time and apologizes to Olivia, Abby says, “I love you” to David and gets crickets, Jake is Olivia’s “beard” and Olivia’s mom loves to hide in the dark. Everyone’s out and about pushing their own agenda and making big moves–-no rest for the weary.

I think the best thing about this show is that sometimes the bad people can be good and the good people can be bad. Everyone has a dual nature, like all good characters do. For example, we’re constantly reminded that even the obviously bad people like Cyrus, Papa Pope, Mama Pope, Sally, etc., are still human. They still want love. They still have a need to be understood. And even Olivia, our knight in shining armor in the shiny white hat, has aided in fixing an election and is sleeping with a married man. It’s a poignant reminder that as humans, even though we’re good, we can all be monsters, too. Here’s a list of the quotes that gave us a glimpse of someone’s humanity.

“I did not do this for you! I did this for me! So I could work on the campaign, so I could walk down the street and stop being whispered about. So I could stop being known as the person who screwed the president. So the scarlet A on my chest could be invisible. So I’m not a joke!” —Olivia to Fitz

I guess Fitz is in some sort of La-La land where having a mistress is totally cool and nobody cares about it, because he seems to be the only one who doesn’t realize how hard it is on Olivia. They could both make it easier on themselves and stop the madness, but then what would we watch?


“You actually think that we are the same.” —Mellie to Olivia

Ouch. Mellie, 10, Olivia, zero. How many times does Mellie have to check Olivia before she gets it? “Stop trying to relate to me. YOU. ARE. SLEEPING. WITH. MY. HUSBAND. TRICK” is what I imagine Mellie’s inner dialogue sounds like.


“You took in a wild monster, and you groomed me and petted me and trained me to sit at your feet. That doesn’t make me a puppy, Liv. That makes me a very loyal monster.” —Huck to Olivia

*Claps slowly. Drinks wine.* Huck is so crazy now that he looks like he’s always on the verge of crying. Guess that’s what Olivia shutting you out can do. 


“We do not touch the first ladies.” —Mellie to Andrew

The wordplay in this scene was so hot that I drank water instead of wine. Mellie says this right before planting a firm kiss on Andrew then running out all distraught like the perfect woman she is. I’m here for Mellie, though, and all I want is for her to get some McLuvin.


“Stock your damn fridge!” —Jake to Olivia

Damn Jake is fine. Like, he’s Old Spice, “I’m on a horse” fine. But aside from him being fine, it seems like it’s Olivia’s turn to not understand how hard it is for someone. Let’s face it, I get overwhelmed just watching her; I can’t imagine the stress of actually being within 100 feet of her, much less being Olivia’s boo.


“Get out or I’ll shoot you.” —Quinn to Olivia

This is the thanks Olivia gets after she tries to get Quinn back to OPA. This is the first time they’ve talked one-on-one in what seems like forever, and any relationship they could’ve had seems impossible now. Which is probably for the best since Quinn gon die.


“Does it feel good? Is it an amazing high? Or is it so intense that it actually hurts like a fire in your belly?” —Mellie to Fitz

Mellie says this to Fitz after he tells her to stay away from Olivia. After all she’s been through, I just want to take Mellie to church or on vacation or that place all guys go in movies to be alone and meditate, which always seems to be the top of a hill or something.


[Trigger warning] “Because my father-in-law forced himself on me, and I don’t know if my son is his and sometimes that makes me not want to be alive.” —Mellie to Andrew

Oompf. That was like a punch to the gut. Mellie finally lets someone in, and he doesn’t run away screaming from the pain she’s carrying. Instead he wants to save her. *Cue Rihanna’s “We All Want Love”.*


Charla Lauriston is a standup comedian and the creator of Clench & Release, a Web series about the frustrations of everyday life in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.

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