A very uneven hour.
Papa Pope is back and I just cringe at the thought. It’s no secret that I went from loving the character when he was first introduced (way back in the season two finale), to absolutely despising every moment of screen-time he received over the past year. Predictably, I’m Just A Bill featured more of his tiresome, long-winded, and repetitive monologues that made me want to gouge my eyes out with a hot poker. At least the twist with Russel being his lackey proved mildly effective, although I seriously doubt Jake is really dead (I guess 50 stabs aren’t enough to ensure a fatality).
Let’s discuss Olivia’s boytoy for a minute. While I would love for Shonda to take a risk and kill him off, we all know she can’t survive without the show’s irritating love triangle taking center stage. That’s unfortunate; the drive and rage that his murder would unlock within Olivia would certainly be a great move for her development as a character. The love triangle on the other hand is zero kinds of absorbing, as we all know Liv will always fall back on her unhealthy obsession with Fitz.
Thankfully Susan Ross was around to pick up the slack. The character is still an absolute hoot, and I genuinely loved watching her stand up to Fitz and force him to take another look at his bill. Even more impressive was her knowledge of Mellie’s Senate plans. If the show can pair Suz and Mellie up more often, I would be extremely delighted.
I’m Just A Bill also featured the return of Marcus Ross from The Lawn Chair. I can’t say the murder case with the Mayor’s wife was particularly thrilling, but it did allow Liv to enlighten us with her views on morality and doing the “right” thing. In addition, it provided us with one standout scene: Olivia completely decimating the police captain (see below) in glorious fashion before his entire staff. It’s moments like when the Olivia Pope swagger makes an appearance that I remember why Scandal can be so special.
– Funny reveal: a sedated Russell on Liv’s floor as she plays drunk and tries to cover up what Papa did.
– The scene with Quinn and Huck chopping up the body to upbeat music didn’t really work for me. The show’s done this kind of contrast quite a few times, and it’s starting to get tacky.
– Marcus’ grin after Olivia dealt with the police captain – priceless.
– Loved Jake admitting in his testimony that Fitz shot down the plane. I can’t wait for the day when Fitz has to deal with the ramifications of this act.
– Nifty slo-mo walk by Liv as she flashed back to the famous red door of captivity. I’m glad to see the aftermath of her trauma still surfaces from time to time.
– Micky and the ears – ha!
– Badass moment with Marcus telling the truth during the press conference and bringing his political future to a halt.
– Hilarious moment: Susan putting deodorant on as Fitz walks in.
Olivia: There’s always another move.
Quinn: I think my next move’s to throw up.
Marcus: I didn’t know you got paid to ruin people’s careers.
Olivia: Justice or your career. I can only get you one.
Olivia: Do you see this man standing here?
Olivia: Wrong answer. You do not see him standing here because if you did see him standing here, then I would want to know how he got here. Was he arrested? Were you arrested?
Olivia: Ah. He wasn’t. Well, then why was he taken off the street, put in a patrol car, and brought to a police station? Because that sounds like an arrest. Except an arrest would mean that you read him his Miranda rights. And you didn’t read him his Miranda rights. Did they read you your Miranda rights?
Olivia: You didn’t read him his Miranda rights. So now I’m confused. Are you confused?
Marcus: Well, I’m not here, but I would be if I was.
Olivia: Do you see the kinds of questions I would have if he was here? And I probably wouldn’t be the only one with questions. I think the United States Department of Justice, which is already investigating your department because of the Brandon Parker shooting, would have questions, too. So, I don’t think he’s here. And I don’t think anybody is ever going to think that he was here. And if it ever gets out that he was here, if it ever turns up on the news or online or anywhere ever, that Marcus Walker, candidate for mayor, was here, then I’m going to ask my questions, and I will get answers, because I am someone who gets answers to my questions. Am I someone who gets answers to my questions?
Olivia: See? So, let me ask you this question again. Do you see this man standing here?
(The captain doesn’t answer)
Olivia: Right answer.
Fitz: (to Susan) You don’t know anything. You just got here. You are a fetus in the world of Washington politics.
Marcus: I mean, I get to tell people I did the right thing. That’s something.
Olivia: That’s more than something. That’s everything. That’s what saves you in the end. You do the wrong thing, then you’re done. Not at first. It only feels like a misstep at first, a compromise, a concession to reality, a bad move well-played. But at some point, you’re only going in that direction. By the time you realize how far down that path you are, you’re lost. Everything is unrecognizable. You are unrecognizable to yourself. You find yourself doing things you never thought you’d do in ways you never thought you’d do them to save things you’re not even sure you want to save, but you can’t help it. That’s when you’re done. You are not done. You did the right thing here. I know it hurt.
It had its memorable moments, but this wasn’t as powerful as I would have liked.