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Scandal Recap: Window of Opportunity

SCANDAL - "YOLO" - As the team gets closer to the truth, loyalties are tested and relationships are pushed to the limit. Meanwhile, Cyrus has to deal with his own crisis and he realizes that he may have gone too far, on ABC's "Scandal," THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Richard Cartwright)GUILLERMO DIAZ, SCOTT FOLEY, COLUMBUS SHORT, KERRY WASHINGTON Guillermo Diaz, Scott Foley, Columbus Short and Kerry Washington in Scandal

The Fitz administration is comprised of the murderiest murderers who ever murdered. I guarantee no legislation is being passed, since they’re all too busy hiding bodies.

Right now I’m stressed about three things: I can’t believe I still have final exams as a Ph.D. student; I’ve been stuck on level 125 of Candy Crush for a week; and Scandal keeps finding new ways to inject a healthy amount of blood and torture into my life every week. What is this, American Horror Story? If you are able to watch the entire episode without throwing out a muscle in your back from jerking your face away from the screen, I salute you.

Huck used YOLO as a reason to rip some teeth out of Quinn’s skull, so congratulations, Drake! Your music and dumb slang are now the soundtrack to torture porn. The episode starts with Huck’s fast-paced, crazy-eyed ramblings: Imagine if Muttley learned how to talk while recovering from a psychotic break and you now have Huck’s voice down to the letter. Nothing turns him on like peeling the skin off a body — not in that fun, blistery, sunburned kind of way, but in the Willow goes berserker on Buffy kind of way. After he licks the side of Quinn’s face with his hot, thick tongue and an entire nation paused their DVRs to Clean n’ Clear their skulls from the inside out, he rips out what looks like a molar while Quinn lets out an ear-piercing scream. Where does she live that she can scream like that and no one calls the police or comes down to see if she’s okay? If the cats upstairs are pouncing around a little too loudly, I go up to make sure they’re not in the midst of a feeding frenzy on my neighbor’s newly dead face, so a Wilhelm scream rising up through the floorboards would definitely be cause for action.

Ooooooh, James was nonstop messing with Cyrus the entire episode and he absolutely deserved it. I think Cyrus is legitimately hurt by James’s actions, but, as James pointed out, he also pimped out his husband to serve his based god, so I’m conducting an orchestra of tiny violins for him. Watching Cyrus cry in the Oval Office was as uncomfortable and unnerving as seeing those mannequins at department stores with really erect nipples; who made this happen, and how can I get away from it? Cyrus’s great fallacy is underestimating everyone around him. Do you think he’s more upset that James had an affair with Daniel Douglas, or that he was wrong in thinking James wouldn’t do it? James threatened to divorce him in a manner befitting The Shining, but with Cyrus’s apology, he’ll probably stay. If I were him, I’d keep that go bag packed in the front closet, though.

Liv is appropriately freaked out that her mother is back from the dead, and her team remains skeptical about her involvement with B613 until they slam her onto a table and forcibly cut a tracking device out of her back. Welcome back to the world, this is how we greet people now! Liv has gone fetal in a corner while Mama Pope explains that she got Man in the Iron Mask–ed because her original plan was to expose Eli, but in the end we find out that she’s a liar and that Papa Pope was doing the right thing all along.

It’s been a while since Fitz pulled out his giant nutsack and used it as a bouncy ball, so he really relished the chance to do so when Jake came over and told him he wanted to take down Papa Pope once and for all. Jake, not one to be outdone, pulled out his giant nutsack, too, and they both bounced around the Oval Office, trying to gauge who loved Olivia more. Jake told Fitz he was privileged and selfish, Fitz told Jake he had a hero complex, and when their balls deflated they had grape juice and PB&Js on the presidential seal before nap time.

Quinn made a deal with Huck instead of having another tooth yanked out of her dome. I’m sure the deal was “I’ll bring you Command” but how will she get Charlie to help her? Maybe she’s going to jab Charlie with that needle she pulled out of her pocket and threaten Papa Pope into coming with her? Why am I even guessing — it’s Quinn, so somehow she’ll end up sticking herself with the needle and wake up strapped to a chair in Anchorage.

Liv gets vulnerable and calls Fitz when she can’t get Mama Pope out of the country, since Papa Pope has added her name to the No Fly List as Marie Wallace, a made-up spy wanted for espionage, treason, and being an enemy of the state. All Liv has to do now is say “jam” and Fitz will trip over his own dick trying to do something to prove how much he still loves her. Jam! Mount Rushmore now has your face carved into it. Jam! I invented a 24-hour wine delivery service. Jam! You can have babies now by dropping a fertilized egg in a glass of water and watching it expand like a sponge. I’ve started saying “I’m going to make jam in Vermont” whenever I have to take a dump, because much like the Liv and Fitz relationship terror cycle, pooping is boring and tedious. In this case, Fitz offers to get Mama Pope to Hong Kong, which is the cool part of being the president. Less pensive window gazing, more jetting your friends to Paris!

Olivia flashes back to her last moment with her mom, and a phone call asking for Marie. Suddenly it hits her: Mama Pope is the bad guy, Marie Wallace wasn’t an alias, and Papa Pope has been trying to protect Liv all along. I don’t think being right about Mama Pope makes him less of a monster — he does still throw people in holes for a living and tortured Huck into forgetting he ever had a family — but it at least reveals that his intentions where Mama Pope was concerned were spot-on. Did Papa Pope know she was a spy and married her anyway? Or did she turn into a spy sometime during their relationship?

Cyrus tries to shock Sally with the photos she has of Daniel Douglas with James, but she scoffs at him with a look that says, “You don’t think I know my husband is a power top? Move on, amateur hour.” She told Cyrus his plan backfired, but she must have wearing an invisibility cloak made of denial because in the end, a blood-spattered Sally calls Cyrus to tell him she murdered Daniel Douglas, which sets her up nicely to Liv’s client. 

If the first scene next week is not Fitz kneeling on the ground with a rocket launcher perched on his shoulder shooting Mama Pope’s plane out of the sky for the second time in their lives, I’m calling malarkey on the whole operation.

LEADERBOARD OF ARBITRARY POINTS, WEEK NINE:

+2,000 points to the mystery woman who locked eyes with Harrison and told him that Adnan Salif was back in town. Doesn’t this mean Harrison is a basically dead man? She was funny.

–500 points to Abby and David, who basically only exist this season to remind people that they are a couple. Abby at least gets some good one-liners, but David is basically on life support INSIDE an iron lung housed in the ICU of a hospital on the moon. They barely exist.

+300 points to Leo for sticking around. Do you think he’ll have to take part in the murder cover story?

8,593 points to Huck saying, “I like the feeling of a toe being separated from a foot.” Ewwwwww.

+10,000 points to James for driving Cyrus mad with his hints about boning Daniel Douglas. “I got him to do deep” and “shame — we could have been a threesome” had me rolling.

–25,000 points to Quinn for dropping that towel and Charlie for his aggressive kissing right after she cried about being tortured. When I had my wisdom teeth out, my mouth throbbed with pain if you even looked at me, so I’m calling quadruple bullshit on her wanting to get down within hours of being tortured.

+348 points to B613 for “pretty much running Venezuela.” Totally normal sentence.

–7,450 points to Mama Pope for telling Liv “I thought you’d be happier” and that Liv “didn’t have a lot of laughter in her life.” Her mom is a fresh zombie and Liv has spent her life feeling unloved — maybe give her a small break.

+500 points to Mellie’s power red suit. She pretty much showed up last night to air out her wig and give Cyrus the side eye, but that suit was on point.

+100 points to Abby for calling out Huck and Jake as “Spy Bros.” (Did I hear that right?)

+ 200 points to James for the “No, we think gay people are gay” retort to Daniel Douglas’s nervous tirade. James pretty much had all of the great lines this week, including, “You are a gay man going out of his way to shame another gay man for being in the closet!”

–300 points to Cyrus for sputtering like a broken robot when he finally confronted James. “You had sex with him you had sex with him you had sex with him!” Sorry, man, you can’t conniption-fit your way out of this one.

+50 points to Mellie for backing out of the room as soon as Cyrus’s waterworks started, just because it made me laugh.

As always, I don’t watch the previews, so what do you think is going to happen on the mid-season finale next week? Do you think Eli Pope is a good guy? How bad is Mama Pope? What kind of watercooler tension will Huck and Quinn have now that he’s tortured her? This show is the entire run of Passions x the last season of Lost + the movie Audition ÷ a Telemundo drama = MAXIMUM ABSURDITY, and I love every minute of it!

Photo: Richard Cartwright/ABC