Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Scandal Recap: Set the Bones

SCANDAL

This one was a bit of a slow roller, but Harrison’s booty shake got it off to a good start. I know that Columbus Short is a choreographer, dancer, and, along with Party Down’s Ryan Hansen, a member of influential music group Boyz N Motion, but his dancing was the first time this season that anyone looked like they were having fun. If they’re going to waste his talent by giving him three lines a show and have him consistently stressed about money, at least throw in a little jeté.

We already knew he was filthy, but Puppy Eyes Ballard gave confirmation this week that Papa Pope is a mean motherfucker. In his "come to Jesus" talk with Olivia, he made sure to drive home how sadistic her father really is by recounting how he was dragged from the hole every two days just to be savagely beaten by two dudes while Papa Pope watched. They “set the bones, stitched the cuts,” and gave him a shot of penicillin to keep him alive, only to repeat the cycle of violence again. His face has healed so he’s back to looking like a J.Crew model again, which might have made the news that hey, your father is a ruthless, sadistic, killing machine a little easier to take. When Liv cried at the end of the episode and said she was scared, I’m sad to admit that she had every right to be.

Do you think Papa Pope would ever physically harm Olivia? There’s no doubt that he’d emotionally cripple her, and for all intents and purposes already has — her “I have to be a good girl” hyperventilation sure sounded like trauma to me — but I wonder if he’d ever be able to go through with physically harming her. I want to think that he wouldn’t, but the familial bond isn’t so strong for either of them.

I’ll miss his “so over it” asides brought on by her evasiveness, but I love that Abby and David are giving it another shot in a real way.  There’s obviously still work-related tension between them, and I think she’ll always prioritize her job over everything else in her life, but they’re really sweet together and I’m glad they had time to heal.

Did someone hear my plea last week? We got a little more information about Operation Remington, finally. Who or what was saved during this rescue mission?

I’m glad Huck finally called Quinn on her creepiness. His whole “you’re not worried, you’re interested” speech and “stop while you still can” admonishment was certainly damning, but I couldn’t tell whether or not it will sink in. Do you remember naïve, skittish Quinn from the first season? I was reminded of the evolution of her character during this episode when she flippantly announced that she hacked into Shelly’s e-mail like it was no big deal. She really came into her own as a code-breaking murderess, and she knows it, so I don’t think giving it up will be as easy as Huck thinks. Is Quinn too far gone? Or will this sensitive pep talk bring her back to a more centered, less violent place?

Finally, a guilt-ridden Fitz marched into Papa Pope’s office like a man whose ass is on fire, but what can possibly come of this meeting? Cyrus has already reminded us that B613 is off limits in terms of presidential influence, so what does Fitz hope to accomplish? Does he really think Papa Pope is going to fork over info about Remington, or his plans for the Remington squad? I don’t think so, but it will be fun to watch them fight it out, like watching Godzilla and Mechagodzilla in an eternal struggle to figure out who’s the bigger badass. My money is on Papa Pope — after decades of ruthlessness and emotional detachment from Olivia, he has nothing left to lose.

Leaderboard of Arbitrary Points, Week Four

+300 points to James for much-needed comic relief. “He took a picture of his wang, and then killed the woman he sent it to! This from a party that only has a wang problem because of your boss.”

–200 points to Abby for the very awkward “Slut shame a dead girl? All aboard!” enthusiasm.

+8,000 points to the David Rosen objection montage. I was SCREAMING with laughter. Rent — objection! Car payments — objection! Gym memberships — objection!

–50 points for the Anthony Weiner–ish subplot. I’m just sick of hearing about the guy, you know? I’ve got a little Weiner fatigue.

+5,000 points for guest appearances! I cannot wait to see more of Lisa Kudrow as Josephine Marcus, and I’m especially psyched to see her battle it out with Mellie in person. I have the feeling that despite her sweet exterior, Marcus isn’t going to put up with ANY of the Grant’s crap. It was also nice to see Melora Hardin, Jan from The Office, play someone a little sinister.

–100 points for Huck’s “I have appropriate emotional responses and I’m taking social cues for behavior” speech. You know what’s not normal? Saying any of that.

+7,500 points to Mellie for her microphone blunder and subsequent, “What, me worry?” attitude about it.  Looks like the “trailer trash with push-up bras” are going to give Fitz a run for his money during the next election, and we all know how well she handles defeat.

–500 points for the soundtrack again this week. Nina Simone’s “Wild Is the Wind” was such a terrible choice for that funeral scene — it should have been saved for some big Liv and Fitz I-love-you-but-I-can’t-have-you meltdown, not a final farewell to a stranger and his shell-shocked sister.

+100 points for Josephine Marcus telling Fitz to “tame the cobra.”

–400 points for Jake’s sloppy undercover work. B613 can pluck you out of civilization permanently — you think they can’t tell when you’re recording them with an iPad and a short-range mike?

… but +100 points for the return of the terrible Washington green screen.

+2,000 points for #melliehasabigfatmouth.

–550 points for poor, sad, oblivious Ethan, giving tribute to the Bush White House with those cowboy boots he got in Montana and having no idea he uncovered a potentially new scandal by finding out Josephine Marcus may have had an abortion or given a baby up for adoption when she was 15.

+150 points to David Rosen’s couch, which looked really cozy.

–10,000 points to Fitz for cock-blocking Olivia and Jake with a phone call, like a demented, psychic wet blanket.

+50,000 points to Jake for his ultimate baller move of shouting “More wine?!” so loudly that half of the eastern seaboard could hear him, causing Fitz to short circuit and hang up. You know I’m Team Puppy Eyes, so it was fun to see him get a rise out of Fitz.

See you guys next week!

Photo: Randy Holmes/ABC