Scandal – Head Games
By: Nicole Dintelman
Last week on “Scandal” our crew proved that they could once again be team badass when they took down team bad guys. Peus had taken the nation hostage with drones across the country that were strapped with bombs set to blow up on his command if they didn’t return Mellie (Bellamy Young) and Samantha Ruland (Zoe Perry). When Olivia (Kerry Washington) made the mistake of calling his bluff one too many times he made good on his promises and detonated the bombs in Dallas and Indianapolis, resulting in several casualties. They were able to beat Peus (David Warshofsky) at his own game when Rowan (Joe Morton) decided to work with Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and stage an escape to fool Peus. Once Peus granted Rowan his freedom for delivering Samantha back to him, Jake (Scott Foley) followed him back to his lair and took him out. Rowan had the pleasure of helping Samantha meet her demise. All in a day’s work.
This week’s episode starts off very steamy with Olivia and Fitz getting their groove back. Have we mentioned how excited we are that they’re back together? Well, at least we think they are. David Rosen (Joshua Malina), on the other hand, was obsessed with finding out who Samantha Ruland really is so he pays Rowan a visit. Rowan gives David a mystery box and sends him on his way. Marcus (Cornelius Smith Jr.) is giving a press conference assuring everyone that that future of the country is bright and the transition of power is going to go seamlessly. Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Charlie (George Newbern) are actually getting married or at least it seems that way since Quinn is trying on wedding dresses and Quinn asked Huck (Guillermo Diaz) to be her man of honor.
Fitz has pardon petitions to go through to decide who he should pardon before he is out of office. Olivia tells Fitz that he really needs to get Abby’s help, but Fitz still isn’t ready to let Abby back in. Olivia tells Fitz that he needs to forgive Abby or let her go. When Abby gives Fitz his daily schedule she tells him that she’d be glad to help with the pardons, but he tells her to go ahead and work from home. Abby tells him that he has to let her back in, but Fitz says nothing. She tells him fine she will go work from home.
David shows up at Abby’s (Darby Stanchfield) house with the box and says he needs a fridge or a freezer. He’s rambling incoherently and Abby is trying to get him to tell her what is in the box. He just keeps rambling. Finally, Abby takes the box and opens it. Abby asks him if it’s some kind of joke, continuing to look in the box. Finally, she says, “David is this…a…human head?” Abby then screams. Yes, David brought Samantha Ruland’s head in a box to Abby’s apartment. Rowan gave David Samantha’s head. Apparently, Jake can get DNA from the head to find out who Samantha really is so they can figure out who was really trying to hurt them. Still, ew!
Olivia takes the pardon files to Pope & Associates and tells the team to find one that is a slam dunk and will make the President look good. Charlie is convinced that Olivia has one foot out the door, but Quinn feels that this just proves him wrong. She brought them a new case after all. Marcus is helping Fitz decide what he wants his legacy of his presidency to be. Fitz wants it to be The Brandon Bill. but Marcus is telling him that it’s not enough and this is something that Marcus knows about. Marcus tells the President that when he feels that he may be on the right track to come tell him.
Quinn chooses the toughest case that Olivia brings them. An African American man was lynched a White supremacist. The man in jail was charged with a hate crime due to the nature of the act. When Quinn is presenting the case to the team, Olivia isn’t even paying attention. She is on her phone the whole time. Olivia tells them they are on their own as she has to vet Mellie’s cabinet picks. Jake stops by Abby’s to get the DNA from the head and lets her know that he may have to come back and get teeth impressions. Again, ew!
Quinn, Charlie and Huck go to the bar to interview only witness Donnie Logan (Shane Johnson) to the murder of Bobby Barnes. Donnie swears that Bobby didn’t belong in the bar because he was black so Shawn (McKinley Freeman) was justified. Huck figures it out on the spot. He tells Donnie that he was the one that killed Bobby and only said it was Shawn and everyone believed him because of the racism in the town. Donnie then admits his involvement and pulls a gun. Well, that escalated quickly. Thankfully, Charlie tagged along and the team was able to leave the bar without further incident.
Rowan and Olivia are having dinner and Rowan is telling her that she’s on the cusp of power and he’s leaving. She tells him he’ll last three weeks on vacation and then he’ll be back. Rowan tells Olivia that he’s proud of her. Wonder if that hurt him? He again tells Olivia that this is goodbye, that he has to leave. She may be smarter, but he’s wiser. David is staying at Abby’s because there is a head in the freezer. He sneaks upstairs because he can’t sleep downstairs with the head. Abby lets him sleep in bed with her, but puts a pillow between them.
Quinn tries to talk to Olivia about the pardon,but all Olivia wants to know is why Quinn is in her office. Olivia tells Quinn that she can’t take a racially charged case to the president without proof. Quinn asks her when she stopped caring about helping people, but when did she start only caring about what circle of power she needs to stand in? Olivia doesn’t take that well. She tells Quinn that she doesn’t get to come into her office and yell at her when she has her own office and it’s down the hall. She also tells her to shut the case down immediately.
Charlie drives Quinn to the prison to tell Shawn that they can’t help him, but before Quinn goes in she changes her mind. She decides to go see Fitz instead. Quinn tells Fitz that he needs to pardon Shawn and initially Fitz says no, but then Quinn demands that he sign it. Fitz mentions Quinn’s boss, which Quinn interrupts and says that Olivia is not her boss anymore. Her boss would have stood up for what’s right, she would have marched in and shoved that petition down his throat. Her Olivia is gone and she is the one that is there now.
Mellie asks Marcus to stay on as Communications Director, but he declines. He tells her that Fitz has asked him to run his Foundation. Does Fitz have a foundation now? New development! Mellie asks him to reconsider, but Marcus tells her that he got into politics to make a real difference and he can’t do that as the Communications Director. Jake has figured out who Samantha is, her real name is Gertrude. He also learned that Peus and Samantha were working for someone else. Not really surprising, we think they kind of all figured that.
Fitz gives a final interview to the press and talks about the pardon of Shawn Campbell. He knows that people are going to be upset about it, but he feels it’s the right thing to do. Quinn gets to tell Shawn that he’s getting out of prison. Fitz also tells everyone about his Foundation that will help others like Shawn or families that have family members that are incarcerated. Fitz says he wants people to say “he’s just getting started.”
It seems Olivia wasn’t being a hardass like we all thought. She was testing Quinn this entire episode. She says she wanted to see if she was able to lead the firm. Olivia is leaving. She will be Mellie’s Chief of Staff so she needs someone to take over for her at OPA. Olivia tells Quinn that the big office is hers now. David is finally able to get rid of the head and Abby gets her apartment back. Jake figures out who the bigger bad is by security footage of Samantha’s apartment.
Olivia stops Rowan from leaving, again. Poor guy can’t catch a break. Olivia tells him that Peus was taking orders from someone else. They show him a file and he says no, he’s out. Olivia tells him that he promised that she’d be safer with him gone, but he also told her no family. Rowan agreed so Olivia asks him: “so who’s going to protect me from her?” The picture in the file is none other than Mama Pope (Khandi Alexander)! The big bad is Olivia’s mother! Rowan agrees to help and we’re again left with our mouths hanging open.
Things are heating up! Join us next week for double the fun. It’s time for the epic two hour season finale!