The “dark places” in this episode aren't just because of the deep, dark net where the auction for Olivia takes place. Which — let’s talk about for a little bit. Of all Scandal story lines, this is the one that has made me the most uncomfortable, because a black woman being auctioned off does not sit well with my spirit. I am curious where Shonda is going to take this, and I hope at the end of this story line, Liv is rebuilt and made whole again.
A lot of people descend to dark places they might not typically go this week. The auction for Olivia is so deep in the interwebs that the password changes every 8 seconds and you basically have to be Voldemort to access it. Even the U.S. government, which prides itself on not negotiating with terrorists, actually partners with them, just so they could be included in these Hunger Games. SHEESH. It’s so deep that Huck doesn’t even have a ticket and can’t get into it. He can bid on Liv, since he has that $2 billion he stashed away from when the team was trying to shut down B613, and he wants in.
When Olivia tells Ian that she won’t go for less than $1 billion, she unleashes the dark beast in the other henchmen, Gus. This guy ends up killing Ian, just so the money can now be split three ways instead of four. Next time, our girl should probably not floss her bawse bish status so much. She keeps writing all these checks that her mouth and the state of affairs can’t cash, and it is getting her in deeper trouble.
Speaking of dark places, when Olivia was kidnapped, why didn’t the Gladiators go to Mama Pope the Grand Goontress first? She is the right type of grimy that they’ve needed all along and they just realized that she could be of use because of the auction? BOOOOOO! She is looking good for an inmate who never sees sunlight, though. In fact, I want whatever gene the Pope women carry that allows for their hair to be forever LAID, even in the direst of situations. In exchange for a flat screen TV with cable, Marie Wallace agrees to connect them to someone who can lead them to the auction. David attempts to keep his white hat stain-free, but even he’s too involved for that now. You’re in the dark zone, sir.
Huck's mission is to kill the enemies of a man name Gustavo, which will indebt the man into doing the favor of leading them to the auction. What does our Gladiator do? He has a complete field day and not only kills the four men; he butchers them and severs some limbs, looking like a murderous child at kill-'em-all recess. He takes “ride or die” to levels previously unseen, all because he believes he's doing something that will bring Olivia back. There’s a black hole where Huck’s heart used to be: It’s so dark at this point that almost all light gets sucked in.
I blame Liv, the Billion Dollar Baby, for all this, because real Gs move in silence like ninjas, and she’s been running her mouth far too much! Loose lips sink ships, and seeing as how she has launched 1,000, her lips might as well be icebergs. Shhhhh.
VP Andrew has now lost complete control of every situation, but Cyrus fails at getting him to resign, because a scorned Andrew could blow the whistle on the fact that the war on West Angola was all about Olivia. This is why Beene activates his evil, pays a visit to Liz North and says she must be his bitch baby and rat on Andrew. Andrew then tells Mellie that if he goes down, he will sing like a bird to the public about all the 50 Shades of Grey things they’ve done together, and they side-eye each other for being disloyal hoes to Fitz.
Abby is the only person who doesn’t know that Liv has been kidnapped, but when Fitz finally tells her, she’s so hurt. Why didn’t anyone tell her? Well, because she’s not a Gladiator anymore, and it was none of her professional business. But seeing as this is her bestie, someone could have at least texted or something! Abby tells David that she would “go over a cliff for Liv” to save her.
One of the important things to note here is that possibly too many people might be willing to go over a cliff for Olivia, which is what makes her powerful enough to bring an entire nation to its knees. You get kidnapped, and the president starts a war to get you back. I’m just waiting for Liv’s webinar called “Secrets of the Universe 101,” and I, for one, am ready to pay my 5 installments of $49.99. Olivia is Helen: She has the face that could, and basically does, launch 1,000 ships (and the power to ruin one reformed B613 agent. RIP, Huck’s chill).
On the other side of all this is Mellie, whom I'm loving more every episode. She tells Fitz that what she wants the most is to become the president of the United States, and to do this, they have to let VP Andrew walk or he’ll squeal. And let’s face it: America will not forgive a woman for one cheat but men have a get-out-of-disloyal-penis-jail-free card. Which is so true that, when Mellie says it, the word “truth” should have flashed across the screen. I loved that Fitz is onboard with it, too: That's a feminist moment. Also, it's a chance for us to see that these two are still BFFs who got married and had kids, then drifted apart and out of love. But now, they’ve become BFFs again.
Quinn gives us some #ThrowbackThursday love when she mentions Steven (from season one, remember him?) and dearly departed Harrison. Jake says he’s all perturbed about Huck’s state of mind, but Baby Huck insists that he will be fine and he’s just temporarily in a dark place. I don’t know, man. That may be true, but without Olivia, what will pull him out of it?
The moment they finally get access to the auction, bidding is suspended. Why? Olivia has been sold to Iran. In the Situation Room, the head of the CIA recommends that they “neutralize the asset,” which is code for “kill Olivia” or “let her die,” and Fitz basically throws a tantrum telling them not to dare touch a hair on the head of his beloved.
Meanwhile at O.P.A., Huck gets sucked backward, deeper into his dark place by vividly describing all the things that could happen (or might be happening) to Olivia. Quinn tries to fight him to stop, and he declares, “Olivia Pope is dead,” as he walks out.
In the Oval Office, Fitz tells Cyrus that they must get Liv back, not just because he loves her and the inners of her Love Pocket. It’s because he’s started this dumb-ass war for her, and people have died — families have now lost sons, husbands, fathers. If they don’t get Liv back, those men will have died in vain, wouldn't that really suck to explain to his conscience? I cannot quite explain why this is the scene during which I felt all weepy, as they showed Mellie hugging the families of the casualties of war. Lest we forget, WAR FUCKING SUCKS.
In the desert somewhere, Liv is brought out of a car with a bag over her head. Gus removes it and they’re standing opposite of whoever bought her. Who shall it be? ...Well, we will find out next week. I want to make a wild guess here: Rowan Pope is behind all of this, and this is one very expensive lesson to Olivia on how important he is in her life. We shall see, though. I’m often wrong.
Favorite quotes of the episode:
"Be careful. I’m in shock. Put anything that close to my mouth I might bite it off.” — Liv to kidnapper dude
“You're gonna testify against your boyfriend, Andrew Nichols. In return, you won't have to spend the rest of your life in a federal prison. You will, however, be my bitch until the end of time.” — Cyrus to Liz
“Doesn’t matter how many times you re-invent your identity. Sallie Mae will find you.” — Quinn
"If we don't, he's going to tell the entire world that I was stupid enough to spread my legs for him … I’ll be ruined. America can forgive a man 100 infidelities but they will never forgive a woman for even one." — Mellie to Fitz
“Whatever country they represent. They bought a person in an auction to control a president, to control a nation. She is not a person to them, she is a tool. A very expensive tool…" — Huck