Scandal 5×13 – The Fish Rots From The Head

"Let's just cut through the hay and talk horses."


The great thing about The Fish Rots From The Head is that almost everything in it worked.

The material with Fitz has been surprisingly great in recent weeks. It’s such a breath of fresh air to see him actually have some fun, and you can just tell that Tony Goldwyn is relishing the adventures of bachelor Fitz. The teaser was particularly hysterical with Abby basically running a whorehouse as she made all his ladies sign disclosure agreements while escorting them in and out of The White House.

It’s had been a while since we had a proper case of the week, so it was certainly entertaining to see Liv and her team handle the secret service / dead hooker debacle. The fact that the plot dovetailed with Fitz’s reckless behaviour was even better, further illuminating his recent transformation and the fact that his subordinates have lost a sense of right and wrong in the process.

Also important to note, Cyrus stooped even lower this week by inventing a traumatic story regarding his imaginary little brother in his bid to push Vargas to run for President. It’s predictably despicable and nasty behaviour, but watching him play both Vargas and the President is an undeniable treat.

Even the Jake stuff was intriguing, with Olivia’s suspicions of his new girlfriend Vanessa culminating in the engagement reveal in the episode’s final moments. Even better was the uber-sexual scene in Liv’s bedroom as Jakes paid her a visit and began to pleasure her. It’s probably the single naughtiest thing Scandal’s ever done; Shonda sure loves to test the boundaries of network television huh?

Scandalous Bits

– Loved Quinn taking charge and handling the hooker situation by barking out orders. Also, is it wrong that I always forget Marcus’ name? He’s such a forgettable character.

– The fact that Liv doesn’t want to investigate the dead hooker at first proves how jaded and cynical she’s become; love it!

– Amazing scene with Mellie meeting Lisa (from treasury) in Fitz’ bedroom and subsequently grabbing her son and threatening Fitz.

– Mellie and Liv bonding over Fitz’s latest one night stand was too good. Do I need to keep repeating how much I adore their dynamic?

– Can we mention Liv’s red gloves? Wayyyyyy too distracting.

– One of the show’s best moments ever: Liv’s speech to Fitz about turning into his father. Read it in its entirety below.

– The look on Abby’s face (as well as the secret service guy) when the elevator doors opened and Susan was standing there (instead of a random bootycall) was epic.

– Fitz telling Susan that he wants to earn her endorsement was pretty cheesy.


Cyrus: No one believes more strongly that the success of Sally Langston is a harbinger of cosmic doom.

Marcus: I think she’s bored.
Huck: What?
Marcus: Olivia… I think she’s bored. With the job, with her life. And not just a little bored… A lot bored. I mean, did you see her in that hotel suite? She couldn’t wait to get out of there.
Huck: Yeah, there was a dead body. She doesn’t like dead bodies. She’s not like us.
Marcus: No, the woman lived in the White House. She got to run the country, and now she’s back to stepping over dead hookers in a hotel room.

Mellie: Screw as many whores as you want, Fitz. I wouldn’t expect anything less. But you sure as hell better keep them away from my children.

Olivia: A bathrobe?
Mellie: Yes! And she was just reeking of sex. I mean, I had to tell poor Teddy she had spilled something on herself, which, come to think of it, she probably did. Apparently, this is his thing now. He sees a woman, nods to one of his agents, and the next thing you know, she is in the Residence with His Hornyship slobbering all over her.

Mellie: I mean, I’m used to him being a cad. It’s the last six years of my life. I’m immune to it. But considering it used to be you wearing the bathrobe…

Assistant: Ma’am, if you could just take one step back from the monitor…
Liz: I will literally murder you.

Fitz: Do not tell me what I have to do. You don’t get to do that anymore.
Olivia: The fish rots from the head.
Fitz: What?
Olivia: Your boys in the Secret Service, they’re taking their cues from you because you’re the head of the fish… Reckless, negligent, selfish. You’re letting things get out of hand, and your boys are following. What kind of example are you setting for the people who work for you, for the country, for your son? He looked up and saw his dad with some woman he didn’t know, some woman in a bathrobe. What is that? A Grant family tradition? You basically saw your own father do the same thing, right? Is that who you are now? Are you your father now? Are you Big Jerry now? I don’t care what you do in your spare time. I really don’t. But you… you better think, and you better ask yourself, is this really who you want to be? Good to see you, Fitz.

An engaging hour of Scandal with sharp dialogue and lots of forward momentum.

Nad Rating

1 comment

  1. I think Marcus kind of stood out this episode by standing up for what's right during the dead hooker situation and refusing to let things go just because Olivia told him to. I think the only reason Olivia went forward with digging into the matter is to get back at Fitz out of jealousy.

    I hate Jake and knew what he was trying to do with Olivia in the bedroom. Distracting her with sex to get her back off investigating him and it almost worked. But, in the end, Olivia refuse to let go of her suspicions and I was proud of her in that moment.

    Cyrus continues to be a manipulative bastard, caring more about his political legacy than family matters. I wonder how long it will be until Vargas sees his true colors.

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