Love is awesome, but sometimes it makes you do stupid things. Other times, it makes you fight to see the truth come to light. Pride? Well, it comes before the fall, or keeps you from therapy even though you are clearly suffering from acute PTSD and no one wants to drag you to an intervention yet.
We see Susan Ross as Eliza Doolittle, getting the Pygmalion treatment because she was not ready to be presented as the candidate for vice-president, without lots of fixing. After flubbing her announcement speech by cackling goofily (and becoming a ringtone sensation), Susan became the project of Abby Whelan and Leo Bergen, charged to make her seem fit for the job so she could get the Senate confirmation.
The reason Leo is called in to fix, is that Olivia is spending her days sitting on the floor of her apartment using wine to numb the aftershocks of her kidnapping ordeal. The worst part is that someone else died because of her; her neighbor, Lois, was shot in the chest. The lady’s belongings are about to be tossed out, but Rose stands in the way of the landlord. That is what a ride-or-die friend looks like, and everyone needs one. Rose tells Olivia she knew something was wrong because it had been three weeks since she’d heard from Lois. If you don’t see me post a status on Facebook for three days, come looking for me. Send help!
Just like Defiance in season two, B613 will not die. Kim Muñoz, Huck’s wife, goes to see David Rosen and tells him she has files proving the existence of a top secret government agency, which “Diego Muñoz,” had told her about. Rosen is spooked because this means disaster for all of them, he rushes to the Pope and Associates office to tell Jake and Huck. Jake, by the way, seems to have pitched a tent at the gladiators’ office because he is always there now! He’s turned it into his co-working space. Anyway, Jake is ready to go kill whomever Diego Muñoz is when Huck confesses that it’s him, and by the way that’s his wife, and he’ll handle it. Yeah, he’d better, before she ends up missing so hard that Huck might think he hallucinated her very existence.
Unfortunately, Kim is all noble and ready to take down B613, so Jake convinces Huck to testify and lie that he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Too bad Huck starts to sing like a canary, spilling all the beans about the Hole. Poor David looks like he might just collapse on the spot because this is not how it was supposed to go. Huck got all 752 on us because he remembered what it was like to have a family, and you can tell he wants it back. Love is going to get all of them six feet under.
Meanwhile, back with Our Fair Lady Susan, things aren’t going so well. Leo keeps yelling at her to get her to think like a tea party candidate (more racism, less tolerance) and she is frazzled. Finally, she quits, telling him that politics is clearly not about helping the people because it is all a performance. I realize that she might just be TOO good and sensible for the office they want her to have. It’s not her fault she’s not a prejudiced asshole, but that’s what they need her to be in order to get confirmed. We should all be sad for the republic. Abby fires her buckfuddy Leo (I am still rooting for her and David) for failing, and she runs to Liv, who now walks around her own apartment holding a gun. Even at her worst, she’s better than Leo at fixing things. Abby convinces Liv to help them get Susan back, and one pep talk is all she needs. Susan goes to the Senate confirmation hearing and rocks it out! She’s one step closer to being vice-president. However, because Fitz played table tennis with the West Angolan war, the Senate is giving him epic side eye, and unless he goes to play nice with them, no dice for Susan. Liv gives him one of her signature stern talking-to things, and he snaps to action. She told him he made a mockery of democracy, and I wanted her to send stickers with that phrase to the current U.S. Congress. Because reasons. Short story short, Susan is confirmed as vice-president, and she takes her oath. Mellie is pleased because the plan is going well. For now.
One of my favorite things about Scandal is that every episode has that character or that story or that line that touches you all deep, and makes you want to cry in your tea. I was completely in my feelings about Rose and Lois. After Rose kept coming back to Olivia, determined to find out what happened to her, we find out it’s not just because they were friends. They’ve known each other since they were 16, and when Lois’s parents realized that the two of them were definitely more than friends, they moved her out of state. Sixty years ago, “It was hard enough being black. Let alone black and gay.” It took 40 more years before they reconnected, and they were inseparable since. So she isn’t just looking for her bestie, she’s looking for her lover. I may or may not have said one of those sitcom laugh track AAAWWWWWs.
It made Olivia understand how much Lois meant to Rose, and she wants to find a way to get the lady the closure she needs. The gladiators track Lois’s body down based on the hip replacement serial number Rose provides. She was dumped in a state park, but at least she was found. Liv broke the news to the older lady by trying to give her lover dignity in death, minimizing her suffering if possible. She cited an aneurysm as the cause of Lois’s death, and remembering her own moment in the sun from earlier in the season, Olivia says it was like “she just fell asleep on a warm beautiful day with the sun on her face, listening to the sound of the river.” Rose, overcome with grief, sobs, and laments that she is now alone and nothing will ever be the same. And I’m sitting on my couch all teary-eyed, remembering my great aunt saying almost the same thing when my grandmother died.
DAMN YOU, SCANDAL! Why must you always place me in a glass case of emotions?
Giving Rose closure might have given Liv some of the closure she needed, too. She gets home and trashes the wine-stained couch cushion that was taunting her from the night she was kidnapped. In the beginning of the episode, Liv was sitting on the floor of her apartment in all black, drinking white wine from the bottle. At the end, she’s sitting on her couch, in black lounge clothes and a sweater with white trim. There’s popcorn in a bowl in front of her and red wine in a glass. She’s on the road to healing and normalcy, whatever that looks like. And the white in her clothes is certainly a sign of some light peeking out from all the dark that has surrounded her.
Still, there is no “normal” and now that David will be going forward with Kim to bring down B613 legally, I expect the shit to hit the fan. As the episode winds down, “Things Are Gonna Get Easier” plays, mocking the truth, because from here, things can only get worse. How long can Susan Ross maintain this fake version of herself that they created to win the confirmation? How long before Huck’s family is destroyed again, and this time permanently, because he chose to blow the whistle on the most off-the-books, uncontrollable and most powerful government spy agency? I doubt this good deed will go unpunished, so I wonder who will suffer first and most. Also, with David pursuing it further, I guarantee there will be a series of unfortunate events. The dude has the worst luck, and whatever he touches will turn to dust. It’s just a matter of how much, how fast, and how bad.
I just wonder whose funeral I might need to plan next. It will need to rival the homegoing celebration for Harrison (a.k.a Brolivia Pope).
Leo: “You need to believe what the core believes. You need to be one with the core conservative base. Okay, let’s start with gay marriage?”
Susan: “That’s easy. Who doesn’t love a gay wedding?”
Leo: “YOU, Susan. YOU.”
“This isn’t about good governance or the will of the people or solving problems that need to be solved. This is just theater. This is play acting.” — Susan Ross
“Sometimes, fear keeps us safe. Sometimes, it holds us back.” — Olivia to Susan
“I waited over 40 years for my Lois … Believe me, I can wait a bit longer.” — Rose