Thank the lord.
Scandal is the kind of show that needs to have guts. It can’t throw a doozy of a cliffhanger (like last week’s shooting) and not follow up on it with a risk-taking resolution. I’m beyond pleased to report that Shonda and her terrific team of writers did not disappoint, because this week’s explosive hour of Scandal featured a major death within the first 30 seconds. Simply jawdropping.
I honestly never liked James. He was always much too whiny for my taste, but there’s no denying that his final hour was a powerful, harrowing affair. Dan Bucatinsky delivered an astounding performance, particularly in the episode’s final moments as he gasped for his very last breath. In fact, that sequence was one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever witnessed on television, as a remorseful Jake sat by his side and promised to sit by his side until he passed. It was a gut-wrenching moment, and it further cemented Jake’s transformation into Daddy Pope 2.0.
In addition, we got a ton of compelling flashbacks tracing James and Cyrus’ relationship through the years. From their initial meeting, to Cyrus finally giving in to his impulses and passionately making out with James, all of these sequences supplied the hour with a ton of heart. The highlight for me was Cyrus struggling to come out to Fitz – who obviously knew the truth, but still did his friend a favor by never explicitly discussing his sexuality. That’s real brotherhood right there people.
Thankfully, unlike last week, Adnan Salif and Mama Pope got some screentime and it was glorious. I can’t stress how creepy Liv’s mommy is, and it was thrilling to watch her casually shoot a thug during her terrorist interview (yup, apparently that’s a thing). But is Adnan really having second thoughts? My money’s definitely on her playing a long-term con on Harrison; she can’t possibly be such a softie.
And what the hell is up with Quin and Huck? For a second there, it looked like Huck was going to sexually assault Quin, only for the two to make out like wild animals. I have absolutely no idea where Shonda is going with this twisted subplot, but I’ll reserve judgment until the endgame is revealed. I’ve learned to put my faith in the church of Shondaland, that’s for sure.
Again, I have to praise the show for following through on that enormous cliffhanger. So many shows drop the ball and fail to provide satisfying resolutions. Scandal, you never cease to amaze me.
– The visual of Jake burying the bodies really hit home; can he ever come back from this? So darn vicious.
– Andrew and Mellie didn’t get too much screentime, but I love watching them target practicing, and I freakin’ adored them finally having sex. They’re definitely my favorite couple on the show by far.
– Mama Pope IS Irina Derevko. Alias fans, I’m sure you can’t deny the similarities.
– Although I sometimes get tired of the show’s repetitive monologues (Grey’s Anatomy is also guilty of this), I liked Rowans’ speech to Liv about saving everyone. Plus there was some gorgeous visual symbolism with her wearing white and his wearing black.
– I was so pleased that David told Abby the truth. Even Olivia discovered Jake’s actions and confronted him pretty fast. Other shows would have dragged these developments out for a season and a half.
– Brilliant little moment with Olivia telling David that they have a war to win.
– Scene of the week: Cyrus breaking down in front of the press as Fitz consoled him. It was such a majestic moment, and the emotion was on-point. The sounds and growls emitted by Jeff Perry… just awe-inspiring.
Adnan: So, where do we go from here?
Mama: We find ourselves a terrorist.
Adnan: I thought that’s what you are.
Mama: No not at all.
Adnan: You blew up a plane.
Mama: That was personal.
Cyrus: I don’t indulge very often.
James: Indulge? Cyrus I’m not a dessert.
Rowan: If everyone you love is a monster, there is in fact someone worth saving.
Rowan: Everyone. Everyone is worth saving. Even the monsters, even the demons, everyone is worth saving. In the face of darkness, you drag everyone into the light. That is the point. At least I like to think that is the point of you..
Rowan: Am I finished being dad now? Are we done?
(She nods. He walks away.)
A mesmerizing and riveting hour of Scandal.