This is the saddest recap I’ll ever write, but only because it’s my last one. We’ll get to that right after we talk about the fact that I ripped the underwire out of all my bras last night trying to figure out how many weapons I’ve had hiding in my drawers all this time.
When we last left off, Olivia had been snatched out of her house, leaving only a disturbingly difficult-to-remove red-wine stain behind on her couch. If Shonda doesn’t eventually show us how they get that cushion clean, my OCD is going to kick into overdrive. Her kidnapping isn’t even the worst part — a series of flashbacks revealed three terrifying facts:
- Liv was snatched mere seconds before Jake came back in the room. If he had been even two seconds sooner, he would have seen her fingers still gripping the doorjamb, popped the guy with the terrifying mask in the face, and this entire episode would have been all about them having sex on that piano — but NOPE. She got snatched, and Jake then went running through the streets in his chonies trying to find her.
- How did they take her away so fast? The guy who took her dragged her next door. That’s right — the entire time Jake was running around outside trying to find her, Olivia was across the hall! The neighbor whose house was hijacked took a bullet to the heart while the six or seven blackface G.I. Joes staged it to look like Olivia had been put in the car Jake was chasing down.
- When Jake left, they whipped out gurneys and a body bag, and dragged Olivia out in an ambulance under the dead body of the woman they shot. JESUS, SHONDA.
Olivia is smart enough to know not to bargain with them, having already identified the leader as the guy holding her against the door, but they spike her neck with a needle and put her in an underground bunker with a shifty liar named Ian anyway. We all knew Ian was one of the bad guys from the second we saw him, right? His story was all over the place, and it was just way too convenient. Liv wakes up in a concrete room with the sounds of the Islamic call to prayer floating around her and no idea where she is, let alone what country she’s in, but she (and we) can reasonably guess it’s somewhere in Yourefuckedistan.
What’s wild is that she doesn’t believe his story from the jump, yet ignores her instinct. For a show that’s all about her gut, she sure has stopped paying any attention to it whatsoever. After Ian feels her up for tracking devices and she promises to take care of him, she casually reveals that the president will never stop looking for her. Why not just take out a full-page ad in The New Republic announcing your affair? I understand that prison makes people crazy sometimes, but you haven’t even been locked up for a full episode of Chopped at this point, Olivia! Keep some secrets, damn! The trips to the bathroom give her time to concoct an escape plan (she is the daughter of a wrist-chewing psychopath, so trust that she’s going to find a way out) while also giving us some sense of how long she’s been in there (either 20 days or 20 years). She fashions a hook out of the underwire of her bra in a MacGyver-esque attempt to open the bathroom window but gets caught, and the next time she goes in, the window is bricked over. To punish her, her blockheaded captors take Ian away and shoot him. RIP, Ian; you were shady as fuck.
I love that Abby is the one who comes to her rescue, at least in her dreams, by revealing the key to her escape. When she gets to go to the bathroom again and sees the walled-over window, she breaks down and cries, but being on the ground lets her see all the pipes under the sink. She loosens the ring and grabs one (thanks, Abby!), then uses it to beat her jailor in the goddamn head. Olivia just murdered a man with a pipe! Then she steals his gun and keys and books it down the hall like she’s running away from a hot comb or toward some coconut oil. When she Terminator 2s into one of her captors (I see you, douchey Dr. Percy from Grey’s Anatomy), he taunts her by saying a gun is a man’s tool, so she shoots him in the middle of his Cro-Magnon forehead, and then a glittery banner that says “MISANDRY” floats down behind her, carried by tiny cartoon birds, while uterus-shaped confetti falls from the sky around them, clogging up the hole in his head.
When she finally gets the doors unlocked, she runs not into the center of Saudi Arabia but a damn movie screen! What in the Truman Show hell is this? It’s Ian, alive and well — and turns out he’s the man in charge! Apparently he has been told to keep her in one piece, so he crafted all of this to “pop her cork” and extract information from her, knowing that her need to save everyone is her emotional linchpin. As she slumps back into her cell, it becomes clear that this is just the beginning.
Leaderboard of Arbitrary Points, Week 10
- Every point available on the planet for whoever manufactured those face masks. Nooooope. Just no.
- +87,933 points to Jake running around in his chonies. Plus an additional 4,000 points for DVRs.
- -3,299 points to Liv for not realizing that she was in the middle of a sham when she ate her rice lunch out of a $200 West Elm bowl.
- -100 points to Olivia for letting Ian feel her up for tracking devices and check her scoliosis. He don’t even know you like that!
- +10,600 points to Ian: “Who do you hope would put a tracking device in you other than your father?”
- 4,8921,300 to all of those jams in the fridge during Liv’s Inception-style dream within a dream. I thought we agreed to never talk about jam again! I did like the company name, “White Hot Jams.”
- +655 points to Abby: “Do you know how to turn on a Dutch oven? Do you know how to work a regular oven?”
- -8,322 points to Olivia’s nails for not even having one chip. How long was she really in there? Are those gels?
Friends, I cannot tell you how much I’ve loved recapping this show for Vulture. I’ll be starting a new job next week, and my employers are an ABC/Disney-owned company, so it’ll be a conflict of interest for me to keep recapping Scandal. The good news is I’ve left you in the very best hands, and I can’t wait for you to find out who will be taking my place.
We’ll always have Jake.