Now that’s what I’m talking about.
Maybe Inside The Bubble should have been our season premiere because I wasn’t a fan of the season’s two opening hours. But this, this was much closer to Scandal knocking it out the park (like it used to do on a weekly basis in season two). In fact, this was the strongest episode since Kiss Kiss Bang Bang way back in March. Imagine that.
I think the reason this episode was so effective is the fact that it focused on the characters instead of the outrageous twists. I love a good bombshell, but Scandal was starting to drown in them while losing sight of its characters in the process.
This week’s case-of-the-week was a riveting one, with an intriguing guest-star turn by none other than Lost‘s Sonya Walger as one of Olivia’s oldest law friends. The twist with the supposedly innocent housewife sleeping with her daughter’s boyfriend was a highly effective one, and her arrest at the end promises great things for the future. I do hope we follow this case’s developments for a while, because I already feel like I’m invested in it.
Another week, another phenomenal hour for Mellie. I’m glad that the writers are making her proactive again before her grief becomes too emotionally draining. Her dedication to solving the Killer Cliff Bride case through immaculate research and a presentation was perfect. Naturally, all her efforts ended up being too little too late, but it was worth the admission just to see the heartbreaking glances she shared with Fitz in front of the boardroom. I’ve seriously started to root for these two again. In other words, go away Olivia.
Much like Mellie, Abby has been spectacular this season – a fact that was made even more prominent this week. I absolutely loved watching her juggle the President and The First Lady, culminating in that captivating final scene with Fitz (where he finally learned her name). Scandal would really benefit from pairing up characters who previously haven’t interacted with one another – that way it can explore previously unseen dimensions.
Even Jake had a magnificent hour. After stumbling around aimlessly for quite a while, it was extremely satisfying to see him put Papa Pope in his place (with an unknowing Olivia close by). It’s no secret that I’m sick of B613 and all the convoluted conspiracy crap, so maybe now that the war has escalated, we’ll finally get some closure and move on. Can this storyline please end with both Pope and Jake’s deaths? I’m fine with losing both characters as the writers have seemingly exhausted all their possibilities.
– Surprisingly badass Jake moment: smashing Charlie’s head into the vending machine and then casually munching on his chocolate bar.
– Olivia shoving Walger against the wall was a thrilling little moment.
– Fitz’s happiness at Mellie not wanting to go to the cemetery for the first time. Perfect!
– Huck reading hashtags was priceless.
– Rosen’s new role is fascinating, and I’m eager to see him handle the aftermath of the judge he blackmailed killing himself.
– Jake slamming the door in Olivia’s face was so very gratifying.
– It was quite rape-y of Jake to trap Quinn with Charlie in the room. Of course she eventually kissed the superspy (although kicking his ass before that was pretty cool).
– Quinn’s “unacceptable” speech to Liv and Huck was pretty great. It’s seriously sad that no one noticed she was gone.
– Fitz asking “Gaby” about Olivia totally ruined the scene for me. I did like her offering to call the Queen through.
– Pope almost stabbing Jack had me on the edge of my seat. Why is Olivia a bimbo?
– So Cyrus did end up sleeping with Michael. Honestly, I don’t buy it; Cyrus is too smart to give in to temptations which would surely jeopardize his career.
– Lizzie began and ended the hour at the playground with her kid. I’m still unsure how I feel about the character.
Rowan: Re-entry is always hard. You emerged from deep cover. I mean, it wasn’t covert ops. You weren’t a spy. But I know the feeling. I know it very well. You come back, you re-enter to find the world kept spinning without you. You go to the places you used to go and you see the people you used to see and it’s like something is missing. But really, everything is missing. Somehow everything is different. Everything is…
Olivia: Colder. Everything is colder.
Jake: (to Olivia) Call me later if you want me to do that thing to you.
Girl: Totally had to tell her that the Robinson twins Snapchatted me their abs. Major lady wood.
Olivia: But Catherine was my client, so ethically…
Abby: Ethically? You… rigger of elections?
Abby: I’m not what, a gladiator anymore? Running around doing your bidding like some mindless soldier in the Olivia Pope army?
Jake: Shut up. Just shut your stubborn, old-man mouth up. You’re done giving orders.
Quin: Did you two seriously not notice that I have been gone for the last 24 hours? I spent three whole months keeping tabs on this office. I went to see you every day at the computer store. I constantly checked in with Abby at the White House. I found you halfway across the world. I’m the one who made sure this place didn’t die. And I go M.I.A. for a whole day and no one even bats an eye. That is unacceptable. That is how Harrison died. We weren’t vigilant. We didn’t pay attention. So when one of us goes missing for 24 hours the other ones freakin’ look for them.
What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye
Inside The Bubble is Scandal’s best episode in a long while. Well done show.