The show is exciting again because people are getting shot! That is much more enthusiasm than I generally conjure up for murder. I’m relieved that the plot is spiraling away from Liv and Fitz’s doomed relationship and back to the realm of borderline exorcisms, ranting, unhinged jaws, and mur-dair we’ve been sorely lacking since the hiatus ended.
There’s a strange, underlying savior theme in this show — strange because we’re watching powerful, self-determining folks combust under the pressure of trying to hold it together. I wasn’t surprised last night to hear Jake say, “Run away with me, Liv. Save me.” How weird is it for Liv to be a fixer who can’t save people, to have those two things be mutually exclusive? Outwardly, they’re all fast-talking quip-makers and bossy administrators, but we’re seeing more of the burden that shapes their individual façades. The most important aspect of last night’s episode was finally seeing Liv and Jake ask, “How did we become these people?” and holding a mirror up to who they are now. Are they good people doing bad things, or are they actually just bad? Jake was bummed to realize that Olivia still (foolishly!) chooses Fitz to “stand in the sun” with her. Both Olivia and Jake are exhausted from the charade, but they also don’t want to be together, but they also can’t stop boning. It’s so much easier to just tell the truth, guys.
Actually, who am I kidding — the most important aspect of last night’s episode was Sally rolling so far off the rails that Secret Service/B613 double-agent Tom almost had to put a bullet in her head during a national debate to stop her from confessing to the murder of her husband in the midst of a mental collapse replete with demons, cloven beasts, and the absent voice of God. That was some wild shit. Her situational craziness stayed true to form, and only Fitz’s intentionally antagonistic prodding during the debate snapped her out of it. Has Fitz ever used his assholery for good, or was this a first? I love this Fitz, the one who uses his nut sack the way one would normally use a Pilates ball. I think he needs to throw his presidential weight around occasionally to remind us that he’s not just a love-sick teenager who can’t always get his way — Fitz is a really great, prototypical power-grabbing jerk at all the right moments. He learned from the best!
Quinn’s growing pains perfectly match the bratty teenage arc she’s on, and I’m glad Jake has been making her pay dues. She’s not even supposed to be there — she’s a gladiator! Huck and Harrison didn’t get any stories this week, Quinn is with B613 now, Abby is focusing her attention on being a girlfriend to recently neutered David Rosen — it’s no wonder Olivia is not quite herself lately. She has no people to wrangle, not in a real way, and she has no idea how to get the band back together.
Liv tried to be hands-off once she realized Daniel Douglas’s murder could compromise the fresh start she’s trying to give Fitz, but then she called Fitz and blurted out, “Sally killed Double D, Cyrus covered it up, I need you to throw the debate.” Sure, just confess your awareness of three major crimes on your cell phone; it’s not like anyone who comes in contact with Cyrus and the president are ever tapped. Cyrus finally found the wiretap James set up because it was buzzing like a cheap fluorescent light, but I wonder — did that wiretap pick up Olivia laughing about how all of the presidential candidates have committed murder? Because I’m pretty sure all of those murders are still secret murders.
The pissing match between Cyrus and Jake was cool, if for nothing else than to prove to Cyrus that he’s not Jake’s boss. What did he think would happen when he compared Jake to Papa Pope? That’s the same dude that threw Jake in a hole for months, man — his whole motive seems to be that he wants to as effective as possible while not being Papa Pope at all. Jake held his own, calling Cyrus a “mouse on a wheel” who doesn’t understand how the world works. He’s not wrong — Cyrus is used to being the center of a very small universe, and he has no idea how to treat people outside of its orbit.
That’s why I think James is the one who is going to get shot next week. James is already suspicious of Cyrus saying “I love you,” (“He said he loved me, so something bad is going to happen”), so his last weepy display served mostly to remind us that Cyrus is a sociopath. He loves James, but he loves protecting the secrets of the White House more. David has been pure exposition this season, and Jake connecting the dots that James is Publius doesn’t bode well. Then again, Jake didn’t cover his face (c’mon, that’s Killing People 101), so he might have to take them both out. If Cyrus actually goes through with having his husband killed, he’ll be unstoppable from now on.
Leaderboard of Arbitrary Points, Week 13
+ 4,310 points to Leo Bergen for “You fly in a private plane because God’s servant won’t fly coach.”
– 6,871 points for the shockingly sad story of Jake’s childhood. His Mom sounded like a QVC hoarder, and his dad was a drug addict who liked sex with underage girls and his sister, who is dead. This was a heavy way to start the show, man.
+ 200 points to Sally’s “Yum yum, crispy piggy, yum yum!” outburst when she was proselytizing to the corner of a room. I will probably say that for the rest of my life every single time I eat bacon.
– 500 points for how they’re hiding Liv’s belly now by just making her sit down a lot.
+ 350 points for the return of Gettysburger for yet another week. The Double Lincoln with bacon and the Mary Todd turkey burger sound tasty.
– 50 points for Liv’s strange cry-laugh when she realizes all of the debaters are murderers
+ 125 points for this exchange at Acme Ltd.:
Quinn: Where’s my mission? Where’s my gun?
Jake: You are welcome to kill anyone who walks in that door.
+ 500 points to Charlie: “We sell paper, for real?”
+ 7,000 points to David for suggesting a WWOPD (What Would Olivia Pope Do?) bracelet and then commenting on how Liv generally prevents him from experiencing any professional satisfaction because she’s always six chess moves ahead, all in the same conversation. Poor David. Liv has cock-blocked his life.
– 1,266 points to Cyrus for saying if Sally is outed as a murderer it would bring down the whole government and throw us into the Golden Age of Tea Party Ideas.
+ 250 points to Jake for telling Quinn they were starting to lose fake business because of her terrible phone etiquette.
– 6,000 points to Liv and Fitz for making out IN FRONT OF A WINDOW. You know that’s going to come back and bite them in the ass, and you’d think they’d know better by now.
+ 550 points to Carla Steele for getting the hosting job for the debates!
– 7,445 points to Jake for making Tom almost assassinate the vice president. Boo, Jake!
+ 3,500 points to Liv for asking Fitz to stop pretending and face up to the fact that they’re never going to be together, or have their Vermont. That’s cool — maybe they’ll stop talking about it and explore a different state for once?
– 10,000 to the entire show for making me wait to find out who gets shot. How rude!
So, what do you think? Who might get shot? Is there a chance no one will, that maybe Jake will fire between their heads as a warning? See you next week!