Scandal Season 4, Episode 5 Recap: Let’s Get Drunk


The Key
Season 4 Episode 5
Editor’s Rating 2 stars


The Key
Season 4 Episode 5
Editor’s Rating 2 stars
Photo: Mitchell Haaseth/ABC

Everyone forced into an underground bunker is contractually obligated to talk about what it’s like to have sex with Olivia. Last night, it was Jake’s turn, and he decided that the best moment to bring up “being inside” (fuckin’ BARF) Olivia was when Fitz was roundhouse-punching him in his face.

Did you like that? Did you enjoy watching Fitz punch Jake in the mug? Well, I didn’t, not one bit, and it’s not because I think Scott Foley has the dewy eyes of tiny puppy or a jawline I’d like to use to cut delicate curls of artisan cheese. I’m over the Olivia-Fitz-Jake love triangle because I no longer know what Olivia wants. What does Olivia want? That’s really the only question that matters, and the only thing I was thinking of while these two were swinging their dicks around a militarized tomb. When Jake was a solid side-piece, I was all aboard the S.S. Get Some. I’ve never really felt the Olivia/Fitz dynamic, but I watched enough “burn all of his shit in the driveway” news reports when I was younger to know that love makes some people truly insane, and the heart wants what it wants. But it’s hard to tell what Olivia wants — is Fitz just familiar enough for her to keep going back? Is Jake the human vibrator she needs, but she can’t stomach his murder, murder, torture, murder business? I’m not sure Olivia even knows what she wants, but at the very least, she should have gone to the island with Abby and Quinn while she figured it out.

Olivia doesn’t even know where Jake is until Huck locates his last cell-phone signal at the White House, and Cyrus comes over and soberly tells her that Jake is in the “bowels of the Pentagon,” but it’s clear that her gut is broken again. Earlier, she told Rowan (busy pretending not to know anything about it) that she felt like she should be saving him right now, and he placates her by basically saying Jake can take care of himself. That’s not entirely true — Jake did flip Bill the interrogator out of his chair, but he’s spending most of his time in lockup, fasting and flashing back to his sexual highlight reel with Liv. It’s not until he gets an audience with Fitz that he starts telling him the truth — he didn’t kill Jerry, but Rowan absolutely did — but by then, it’s too late. He realizes he’s completely screwed as soon as Fitz brings up Olivia’s name; he might be an assassin, but the crime he’s currently being persecuted for is being with Liv, and he’s going to be killed for it.

If you did a shot every time someone onscreen was drinking, you would have been drunk within 20 minutes, but David had the best drunken revelation. After drunk-dialing Abby, he just decided to hang out in her office (a stalker-y move that I do not recommend), carrying only his deep well of sadness and a hip flask full of whiskey. He can’t handle the fact that his B613 files drove Judge Sparks to suicide, but he’s contemplative about his role. “I was trying to be Olivia Pope and I killed him. Why are we all trying to be Olivia Pope?” God, this was such a ray-of-light moment. He’s not asking why are we trying to be the good guys, or why are we trying to defend morally reprehensible people, but why are we trying to be her? Part of Olivia’s mystique is that the white hat, aggressive, get-it-done-at-any-cost thing works for her because she has to shut part of herself down to do it, which clearly doesn’t work for everyone. That’s why she’s chosen to surround herself with people who excel where she falls short — the emotional Abby, hyperfocused Huck, smooth-talking Harrison, and (at least, at the beginning) naïve Quinn all bolster the parts of Olivia that have shriveled up. You can’t just put on the Olivia costume and play the part.

Quinn might be taking on more of a senior role now that she’s one-third of the associates and Pope and Associates, but she still got to relive the glory days of being a super spy by ripping a key out of the fetid intestines of a fresh cadaver. After Catherine I.D.ed corrupt cop Dan Kubiak as the man who attacked her daughter Caitlin in an elevator before she died, Liv and Quinn set out to catch both him and Jeremy, Catherine’s husband, in cahoots. What they saw instead was Kubiak murdering Faith, Caitlin’s best friend, leaving them to figure out both why she was there and what she was telling him. Quinn eventually pieced it together — Faith swallowed the key right before Kubiak shot her — and hopped over to the morgue to retrieve it. Now that they have the key, they just have to figure out which locker it opens. 

I’m sure Huck could lick the key and tell you exactly which bus terminal or train station to look in as well as what time of day it was originally manufactured, but he’s too busy stalking his old family with a parabolic microphone. Kim, his ex-wife, keeps charging out of the house to his car and asking him to leave, and they eventually make a deal that he can come and see his son if it means he’ll go away forever. When he shows up, though, his son isn’t there, and a lame-ass doctor is there instead. Um, Kim, you should have at least called a social worker, and at best, hired your own tactical unit. That became clear when Huck got the doctor in a chokehold, but he left, totally disturbed that Kim doesn’t believe his insane but true story about B613 and basically his whole career.

In the end, Abby and Liv sort of make up when Liv breaks down about Jake and his involvement in killing Jerry and Harrison, and Mellie decides to take a shower after Fitz tells her he’s captured Jerry’s killer. Don’t get that wig wet, girl!


+488,999 points to Mellie for her revelatory, impassioned speech about Jerry’s death being meaningful. So much of her pain was wrapped up in not knowing what really happened to her kid, and Fitz flipped the script by telling her that Jerry was murdered as an act of terrorism. “He was a soldier; he died for us, he died for our sins.” Brutal. 

+8,455 points for everyone falling off the wagon. No one is going to get through this stuff sober!

–2,000 points to Liv and Rowan for laughing and acting … chummy? Like, just because it was really bizarre to watch, given their relationship.

–10,822 points to Rowan for acting coy about talking about sex with Olivia. Hello, you sat in a chair and let the president of the United States talk about what it was like to spread your daughter’s legs, so don’t act like a priest now that she’s the one bringing it up.

+400 points: “Handcuffs are a suggestion for me.” Tell them, Jake.

+17,255 points to drunk David for calling Abby “Abbs.”

+6,800 points to Lauren: “I can read, ma’am.” LAUREN. YOU LONG-SUFFERING SWEETHEART. I want you to get another job immediately, but you definitely held it down in the midst of Mellie’s craziness.

–7,110 points to the very maudlin way Fitz said, “We have to stop doing this to each other” during his fight with Mellie in the Oval.

+933 points: “Many of my predecessors were esteemed alcoholics.”

+8,227 points: “She’s probably drunk and in a food coma from too much fried chicken.” What a lovely way to go!

So, is Fitz going to kill Jake with his bare hands? Is Catherine going to get out of jail? What’s in the locker? 

See you next week!

Scandal Season 4, Ep 5 Recap: Let’s Get Drunk