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Scandal Recap: Blood for Blood

SCANDAL - "Boom Goes the Dynamite" - Olivia and the team are hired by an up and coming politician, Peter Caldwell (Eric Mobias), but this time instead of fixing a scandal, they're playing high-powered matchmaker. Meanwhile, David is trying to leave the past behind him, but when he feels like he's being followed, he finally turns to the team at OPA for help. Back at the White House, Fitz is still struggling with whom to trust and how to handle a delicate hostage situation, and Jake just won't take no for an answer when it comes to dating Olivia, on ABC's "Scandal," THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET)

Goddamn it, Fitz! You cannot have it both ways! This week, he proves that presidential ego is not a good match with run-of-the-mill, controlling ex-boyfriend intensity, and that you probably shouldn’t hire your hot, available friend to spy on your equally hot, newly single mistress.

Are we feeling this stalking subplot? I keep reminding myself that getting shot in the dome has radically altered his personality, but as we get deeper into this season, I’m starting to think that Fitz is just a bastard. In a twist everyone saw coming from miles away, Captain Puppy Eyes Ballard has been hired by Fitz to spy on Olivia for reasons unbeknownst to him.

He pops by the White House after a stunted but adorable date with Olivia (in which the only action was a brief conversation about a mole named the Albatross), and wonders why they’ve made the jump to video surveillance, indicating that he’s been watching Olivia for a while. Fitz, you just made things weird. We want you to be the good guy! Or, if you’re going to be the bad guy, at LEAST don't be the every-breath-you-take, drunk, borderline sexually and mentally abusive dickhole. Captain Baby-Face Ballard watches Olivia for a while, still pestering her for dates and having cute conversations on the phone; when Fitz catches wind that Olivia has cracked a smile for the first time in weeks, he grills Captain Pretty-Princess Ballard about who she is seeing. When Ballard says “no one,” Fitz drunkenly stomps around demanding to be called Mr. President before a White House aide comes in with a blankie and a baa-baa to tuck him in for his nappy nap.

Meanwhile, David is suffering with some Jacob’s Ladder realness and freaking out about potentially being followed because of his involvement with Wendy’s flash drive, so he high tails it over to Pope & Associates for some help. Huck is working on encrypting the files, but Olivia puts him on bodyguard duty for David in the meantime. As it turns out, David WAS being followed by Wendy’s best friend Molly, who points to CIA Director Osborne as Wendy’s killer. Osborne is the mole! Osborne is the killer! But he’s also the top adviser for the president during this hostage crisis, even though Fitz doesn’t know that this guy is the reason American hostages are being decapitated and his approval rating is plummeting.

Pope & Associates had a case this week, too, where they tried to find a fake wife for a possibly gay gubernatorial candidate born into a political dynasty, but it turns out he was not gay — he was just boning his sister-in-law for the past decade. The fake wife worked out, so job well done, Pope & Co.

Mellie, bless her cold, dead heart, does Cyrus dirty by taking one of his ideas about sending in drones in reaction to the hostage crisis to the president as if it were her own idea. After Olivia assures him that the best way to deal with Mellie is to let her get in her own way, he gets revenge by sneaking a reporter onto a secret conference call Mellie sets up with the families of the hostages. Fitz, predictably pissed, gives Mellie the cold shoulder after shouting in her face for a while. Mellie is out! Cyrus is back in! You mess with the bull, you get the horns!

Most Egregious Case of Pot Calling the Kettle Rubbish
When Fitz told Ballard that “Olivia is not a good person, she’s not what you think,” I was surprised the floor beneath him didn’t crank open and swallow him whole.

Olivia Power Color of the Week
Surprisingly, it’s gray, including a pair of fierce elbow-length gray leather gloves.

Best Spot for a Change of Venue Halfway Through a Date
The Jefferson Memorial. Stealing Champagne glasses from a swank restaurant is a prerequisite.  

Greatest Grimace-Inspired Wardrobe
Mellie Grant, stop trying to make purple happen.

Most Painfully Heart-Cracking Subplot
Stinky Huck. At first it was an office joke, but when it was revealed that Huck had stopped showering as a result of his waterboarding-related PTSD, I wanted to leap through the screen and give him a hug. His crying through flashbacks in the car when it started to rain GUTTED me.

Best Way to Prove You are Not a Creepy Pervert After All
Thank you for turning the camera off when Olivia was getting dressed after the shower, Captain Bright-Eyes Ballard. Between this and the “What was his name — do you want me to beat him up?” line, I’m pulling for you to drop Fitz and cozy up with Olivia with a quickness.

Best Excuse for Boning Your Ex
“Huck is checking the car for bugs.” Abby and David, can you just get back together already? I love you guys.

Most Excited We Have Ever Seen Olivia Pope
“Gay I can work with, gay I can get elected; give me ten years and I can make a gay president!”

Best Fake Band Name to Come Out of This Episode
Secret Canadian Family.

Nicest Tin-Foil Dress
The woman who introduced Fitz at the Caldwell Gala.

Most Underutilized Character
Harrison Wright. Recruiting fake wives and talking to TMZ-like journalists? I know he’d do anything for Olivia, but someone has got to get him out of this purgatory and give him a good story line.

Most Tender Moment and Best Team
When Quinn told Huck she knew why he was not taking showers. It is always wonderful to see anyone from the team treat Huck with humanity, but there’s something between these two that runs deep and true.

Most Look-on-the-Bright-Side-iest Response
Huck saying, “He’s lived in a cardboard box and dismembered people for a living — when the rain stops, I’ll shower.”

That Time When We All Wanted to Punch Fitz in the Face
“I didn’t count on the isolation. It makes you do things, color inside the lines.” There’s a big difference between feeling lonely and being a sociopath, Fitz.

Snippiest Moments With David Rosen
When Olivia asked him to describe the person following him, and he said, “They’re very scary and invisible.” Mentally, David Rosen will always be in a basement spinning Smiths albums and wishing everyone were cooler. 

Best Conversation in Reverse
Even though the conversation Olivia had with Will Caldwell about secret trysts applied to his situation with his sister-in-law, they were really talking about Olivia and Fitz, too — it’s out of control, you have nothing but a pile of secrets and lies called love, your life is passing by while they have children, you’re a statue living for stolen moments that don’t add up to anything, you have nothing, you have no one. Maybe that’s why she finally agreed to a date with Ballard; is it possible she is finally ready to let go of Fitz?

Next week, Olivia struggles to figure out who she can trust, even though the answer is clearly NO ONE. See you then! 

Photo: Danny Feld/ABC