Scandal 5×20 – Trump Card

"It's like being a 40-year-old woman without a husband. You don't say you're desperate, but you are."


Still on a roll, but with a show this inconsistent, it’s anybody’s guess if the season goes out on top next week.

The thing is, I keep wishing for Scandal to do away with all the Rowan Pope/Jake Ballard nonsense. Unfortunately, Shonda Rhimes obviously loves both characters so they’re certainly here to stay for the long run. But hey, any forward momentum is good, and the episode’s final moments with Jake attacking Edison then whispering for help definitely sets all the chess pieces in place for the finale.

Trump Card was excellent in that it finally united Liv and Abby in their quest to take down Scandal‘s very own Donald Trump: Hollis Doyle. I enjoyed everything about this storyline – from Liv catching Hollis on tape, to Susan’s eventual stepping down from the race. There’s no denying that the presidential elections have supplied the show with a great deal of suspense and a genuine sense of urgency, and I for one can not wait to see if Mellie finally becomes Commander in Chief. Perhaps we can have a nice time jump in next week’s finale so we can fully enjoy Mellie in power? A guy can hope!

Also, how phenomenal was Susan Ross this week? Although she dropped out of the race after discovering the truth about David’s deal, she got to dish out that incredible and tremendously empowering monologue (see below in its entirety). It reminded me a great deal of Grey’s Anatomy‘s Cristina Yang, another Shonda Rhimes heroine who was unapologetic and kickass in her views. I can’t wait to see what the show does next with good ol’ Susan. Maybe she can be Mellie’s VP?

Scandalous Bits

– Olivia’s shirt in the teaser with the bright green sleeve – way too distracting.

– Pretty stupid move: Liv telling Cyrus that Rowan is behind Edison; she’s usually smarter than that. Plot contrivance if you ask me.

– Great continuity with Jake telling Edison that he caused his accident.

– The brilliant thing about Liv’s meeting with Hollis is that it felt likes Shonda Rhimes actually meeting Donald Trump. And the fact that Liv sends the tape to Sally and destroys Hollis in the process? Perfection.

– Even more Shonda projection: Ellis’ crazy-long speech about race to the reporters. Fantastic!

– My favorite scene in the entire episode: Liv and Abby revealing the “dirt” in the Oval office with practically the whole cast gathered. The moment where Abby decided to use Mellie’s psychic scandal instead of Liv’s abortion was just wonderful. I never loved her more.

– Does anyone else hate David Rosen? So pathetic.

– Susan breaking down after kicking David out just broke my heart.

– Even more Cristina Yang parallels: Liv’s unapologetic reaction after Abby reveals that she knows about the abortion. So refreshing. Well done Shonda!

– Mellie’s childlike “I won” to Marcus was too good. And that hug actually made me root for them anymore. The most unlikely (yet most awesome couple ever).


Cyrus: When people hand him their babies to hold, his face actually lights up. Not that politician grin everyone gets. His face fills with human joy because he likes holding people’s babies.

Hollis: Look, ol’ Fitzy’s part of what I call the lucky sperm club. Never worked a day in his life. Looks down on us hardworking new-money folks. Still. He’s welcome on my island anytime so long as he keeps his drawers on. I don’t want him waving his tiny flag around, scaring all the natives.

Rowan: You need to cease talking. “Race is a social construct.” You’re speaking to a man from the ghetto. You have no idea what you’re talking about, you privileged, little Ink Well prep school Ivy League doctor’s son. You ain’t no Jesse Jackson. You ain’t got nothing to preach. You ain’t got nothing to say. You don’t have a dream, and you have not been to the mountaintop. Which is why I chose you. You gon’ be our first black president. And you’re gonna get there by making everyone forget that you are black. You’re going to wait. Your time will come. When you are in the Oval, you can say whatever you want. Until then, stand still and hope nobody notices that this ain’t no tan.

Jake: I am your Vice President. And Eli and I will drag your tired ass to the White House, and you will smile and wave and wait for us to turn you on and off and changes your batteries.

Rowan: I thought I told you to put the fear of God, the fear of me in him.

Cyrus: I don’t know what that means, but may I say how glad I am that you have chosen to never go to therapy? It has served us so well.

Susan: I didn’t want to do this… Me run for President. Sounded… ridiculous. But you convinced me. It took you months, but you convinced me. You made me want it, and then you took it away.

David: Susan, please, I love you. I think you’re amazing.
Susan: I know that! I know I’m amazing. I’m witty and cute and funny and smarter than you. I’m incredible, David. I’m gonna change the damn world, which is why this is over. I know, but you don’t. I can’t be with someone who doesn’t believe in me. Whether I’m the President of the United States or some substitute teacher in suburbia somewhere, I believe in myself, and I need to be with someone who feels the same way. You can go now. ‘Cause guess what? You just got dumped by the Vice President of the United States of America, and she has work to do.
Abby: Liv, I don’t think he’s done with you yet.

Another standout hour from Scandal. Here’s hoping the show doesn’t drop the ball in the finale.

Nad Rating


  1. I hope Susan ends up as Mellie's VP too. I like her, more so after her monologue this episode, and I would hate for her to go back into the shadows once Fitz's term is at the end. She deserves to grow more as a character, leaving the drama with David far behind her.

    A time jump at the end of the season with Mellie as President would be a great move for the show. I hope that does happen as well as an end to Olivia's father in the season finale. I've been saying it for a long time now: this bastard got to go.

  2. So glad this show keeps bouncing back! I'm very optimistic about a game-changing, awesome finale!!

    Really hoping Mellie becomes president and Susan as her VP – and I DEFINITELY noticed the Cristina parallels! Especially in her speech about knowing that she's great and awesome.

    Great review as always. Bring on the finale!

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