Scandal – The Box
By: Nicole Dinelman
When we last left our scandalous crew they had taken Samantha Ruland (Zoe Perry) prisoner and Mellie (Bellamy Young) had named Luna Vargas (Tessie Santiago) as her pick for Vice President. Rowan Pope (Joe Morton) was still in the basement and still wasn’t talking. We’re starting to see where Olivia (Kerry Washington) gets her stubbornness from and Jake (Scott Foley) found out that Olivia and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) were once again knocking boots. Abby (Darby Stanchfield) has moved back over on team good guys for the time being, which is great because once Theodore Peus (David Warshofsky) finds out that he’s not going to be VP the stuff is really going to hit the fan.
This week’s episode of “Scandal” picks right up at the press conference where Luna Vargas is giving her acceptance speech as Mellie’s right-hand gal. She said that she almost said no, but only because she didn’t think Mellie was serious. There are also more drones. First there were eight, then nine. This time they’re not Olivia’s. Olivia receives a call from Peus, letting her know that she has something that belongs to him. He’s referring to Mellie. Peus then takes responsibility for the drones. Peus tells Olivia they’re strapped with bombs and he will detonate them at random intervals until his demands are met.
We all know Olivia doesn’t negotiate with terrorists so she calls his bluff and when she does he blows up one of the drones, in Dallas. The blast hit several buildings and there are several casualties. Olivia is with Rowan and he wants to drink instead of helping her, he said he’s made his peace with his life and he wants to run. He tells her that if she doesn’t leave with him she will die. She tells him she’ll have him send down some better wine for him but she’s not going to leave with him.
Mellie says that she will hand over herself to Peus so no more bombs are detonated, but Fitz says absolutely not. Olivia reminds them that they do still have an asset in their possession, Samantha Ruland. Jake goes to question Samantha and offers her freedom to hand over Peus, but she’s not buying. She says that she can’t just disappear. Peus will hunt her down and kill her. Jake then takes a knife and cuts a chip out of her neck. He then tells her someone will bring her a band-aid. Oh Jake, you’re so hot when you’re bad!
Abby has been shut out of the Oval as Fitz isn’t communicating with her. Cyrus (Jeff Perry) finds this a good time to insert himself into her spot, of course. Marcus (Cornelius Smith Jr.) is fielding questions from the press or at least trying to do so. Most of the answers he’s giving at this point are worse than the ones we hear from Sean Spicer in his press briefings. Huck (Guillermo Diaz) is attempting to hack into the drones using the chip Jake removed from Samantha’s neck and it’s working until it’s not. Something begins shutting Huck out of the system and Olivia’s phone begins to ring, it’s Peus. Peus tells her that she’s bothering him and asks her when is the last time she’d visited the city of brotherly love. In the SIT room a General lets Fitz know that the heat sensor is elevated in Philly and a moment later it detonated. There are fifty-eight more casualties from the second bomb and Fitz tells Olivia that it’s time for Rowan to start talking.
Rowan tells them both that he has no help to give and no desire to give it. Rowan says that he just wants to run. Rowan tells them it’s every man for himself and he intends to save himself, it is his only concern. He says that the Republic has crumbled, gone and on Fitz’s watch. Olivia asks Rowan what they did to him and he tells her to leave. Rowan has totally shut down to everyone, including his own daughter.
Abby and Cyrus are updating Luna when Fitz comes in and asks Abby if she has sent FEMA to Philly and Dallas. Abby tells Fitz that she assumed that he was doing that from the SIT room and he is upset with her because she assumed something. Abby tells Fitz that since she’s being shut out so she can only assume what he’s doing, but she will get right on it. Cyrus says that he wouldn’t do that just in case another bomb goes off in another city. Fitz agrees with Cyrus and asks him to go with him, basically to take Abby’s place. Cyrus, of course, is delighted.
David Rosen (Joshua Malina) asks Olivia about packages that her dad received from Peus over several weeks – all weighing the same amount and all the same size. Olivia keeps the files so she can investigate. Cyrus asks if Samantha is talking yet, Jake says no. Cyrus says it may be time to get creative. Fitz says he doesn’t want to get the kind of creative he thinks that Cy is talking about. Cyrus asks if she has a TV and when they say no, he says they can tell her anything and she has no way to confirm if it’s true or not.
Jake goes to Samantha and tells her that they have Peus and they don’t need her. Jake tells her that she’s screwed basically and he wanted to be the one to tell her that. Samantha doesn’t believe him at first, but when Jake starts to leave she tells him to wait. Samantha says that he’s better off giving her the deal because she can give him more. She can give him names, account numbers, addresses, etc. and Peus can’t give him that.
Olivia finds Huck and asks him if he still has the surveillance footage of her dad’s dinosaur lab. He doe, but asks her why she needs it. Olivia tells Huck about the packages. All of the footage shows Rowan opening a package and getting really freaked out by what’s inside, but you can’t see what is in there. What’s in the box? We’re dying to know! Rowan even tries to refuse the box, but the delivery person just leaves it anyway. One of the boxes got knocked over and inside was a brick. Olivia asks why Peus would send a brick and Huck explains it was for the weight.
Jake tells David that Samantha has agreed to sign the immunity deal, but she’s demanded that David delivers it. David delivers it and tells her she signs it so she will go free. He tells her to hurry up or they may change their mind. When he calls her Samantha, she tells him her real name is Grace Dennis. Samantha, or Grace, asks David if they can have a do-over and he tells her that he hates her and she makes him want to puke. She then tears up the agreement, noting that he twitches when he lies; however, when he told her that he hated her he didn’t twitch at all. That shows he’s lying about them having Peus. David then punches her in the face! We don’t advocate for guys hitting ladies at all but Samantha, well, she’s earned it.
Olivia tells Fitz about the boxes with the bricks. Fitz tells Olivia that he needs to talk to Rowan again. Fitz must know something we all do not. Fitz asks Rowan if he thinks about his legacy much and tells him that he does worry about his own. Fitz says that he’s worried about the body count that’s happening right now. Rowan explains to Fitz they’ll also remember him for his sex scandal as well. Fitz tells Rowan that he knows about the boxes, Rowan tells Fitz that he knows nothing so he needs to stop speaking.
Fitz tells Rowan that he’s never been in control of his own life. He’s right, he never has as someone has always pulled his strings. Fitz tells Rowan he admires him. Rowan tells Fitz that no one has never oppressed him, broken him or kept him in chains. Finally, Rowan tells Fitz about the boxes. They came on random days, always 9-13 pounds, a brick inside every time. He says the day he stopped cooperating there would be a severed head in the box. The human head weighs 9-13 pounds. The severed head that would be in that box would be his daughter’s. It would be Olivia’s.
Rowan tells his story of when he joined the CIA in the 70’s. He tells Fitz that they hated to see a black man rise, but he still rose. He went through the ranks and rose to power. Fitz tells Rowan that Olivia is his Republic and asked Rowan how he wanted history to remember her. Rowan tells Fitz thank you for the drink and that was his queue to leave. Fits heads back to the SIT room to check on the status of the drones. They’ve moved closer to buildings and it’s not safe to take them out. Fitz tells them to let him know when it is safe and heads back to the Oval.
Fitz asks Olivia if he should hand over Mellie and Olivia tells him absolutely not. He shares that when it was her he gave them whatever they wanted. Then, they’re just a couple on the couch holding hands. Rowan then comes and asks to speak to Fitz alone. Well, this is shady. Fitz asks Rowan if he wants another drink and Rowan tells him he wants to apologize (say whaaa?) and to help. Olivia takes Rowan down to see Samantha because he said he could make her talk and before the door is opened he tells her he’s sorry.
Olivia can’t figure out what he was sorry for, but just then he grabs the guard’s gun and busts through the door. Rowan tells Samantha if she can grant him his freedom he will take her with him. She says she can’t, but she will find someone who can. Rowan asks the guard for the code for the tunnels and the guard tells him there are no tunnels so Rowan shoots him in the leg. That’s one way to get what you want. The guard gives up the information and Rowan and Samantha take off, locking Olivia and the guard in the room behind them.
Abby is still trying to get back in Fitz’s good graces by asking Cyrus to let her come to the Oval with him and Cyrus tells her you don’t ask to go to the Oval, you demand it. Mellie tells Olivia she’s just going to turn herself over to Peus so she can stop all of this. Olivia tells her they’ve come too far for her to give up. She is going to be the first female President of the United States and Olivia will be damned if anyone will use Mellie as a figurehead.
Rowan has brought Samantha back to his dinosaur lab to meet Peus and he tells Peus that he’s done. Once he’s gone the boxes stop and he wants nothing more to do with them. Peus grants his freedom. He tells Samantha to make the arrangements. Rowan calls Jake to tell them that Peus is on the move. See, Rowan and Fitz hatched a plan that no one knew about. Those two can work together, imagine that. Rowan gained Samantha’s trust to lead them to Peus so he would lead them to the drones. Jake then swoops in and kills Peus. Rowan takes care of Samantha himself, not by gun, but by dinosaur tooth.
Once Ruland and Peus are out of the picture, Fitz let Olivia and Mellie know that it was over and Rowan put the dinosaur tooth in place. It all seems a bit too easy almost, doesn’t it? Team bad guys are just gone now? Were they working for anyone else or was Peus top dog? Hopefully, we’ll find out more next week as to why team bad guys wanted to rig the election and take control of the White House!