It’s been two weeks since we had a plot-centric episode of Scandal, and honestly, I needed the break. I can only take so much Fitz-Olivia intrigue before I have to sit in silence with a Diet Coke for a while to quell my irritation with Fitz’s entire existence, and it’s nice to go two weeks without the necessity of anti-murderous meditation.

We jumped straight back in with the only plot that was advanced last week: Senator Susan Ross, who Fitz was set to nominate to replace the vice president. Remember her being a little, shall we say, kooky? Turns out she’s still kooky! Except now she’s kooky in front of every single member of the national political media, and it’s hard to look vice presidential at a podium in the Rose Garden and also snort when you laugh.

While all that was going on, the lady who came into Olivia’s office looking for “the black lady” a few weeks ago resurfaced, still looking for her friend and Liv’s neighbor. She snapped Liv out of her post-kidnapping routine, which seems to consist mostly of drinking straight from the bottle in her darkened apartment (but somehow does not include searching for an apartment with a doorman). The kidnappers used the neighbor’s body to obscure Liv while they got her out of the building and then carted it to environs unknown, and now Liv wants to find the body to give her Rose friend some closure.

The episode also had a call-back to another previous plot string that was left hanging: Huck’s ex-wife, who had come into possession of a bunch of his B-613 files and went straight to David Rosen with them. (How one schedules an office visit with the US District Attorney, I do not know.) She told him that her ex-husband Diego Muñoz had given them to her, and eventually, Huck fessed up to being Diego Muñoz. He said he’d “take care of it.” Rosen looked like he might wet his pants. (That’s always how Rosen looks.) Jake looked like he wanted to take off his shirt. (That’s how Jake always looks.)

Huck’s way of “taking care” of the situation thankfully didn’t involve him marching straight over to kill his ex-wife. Instead, he had a stern talk with her that did not dissuade her in the least, which is far less effective than Huck’s normal methods, even if it creates less of a mess to clean up.

A whole bunch of machinations with the prospective vice president and Red’s boyfriend went on, but since Darth Vader could be the new VP and I wouldn’t care, I mostly tuned out until Liv was back onscreen, having a sit-down with her missing neighbor’s friend. As it turned out, they were a little bit more than “friends;” they had met as teenagers and finally reunited as partners in their retirement. It was the first storyline that made me have feelings on Scandal in a long time; I wanted to hug everyone and help that lady get her lady back.

In less heartrending environs, Olivia marched into the Oval Office with Red to tell Fitz that he was the reason Susan Ross wasn’t going to get confirmed. Apparently the Senate hates him, which means that the Senate and I have at least one important thing in common. My rage was especially strong after he got all up in Olivia’s personal space to tell her that she knew why he had totally wrecked the very concept of democracy and alienated the affections of the Senate. He’s going to be holding that over her head forever. “I don’t think I want to order pizza tonight.” “OH YEAH? WELL I WENT TO WAR FOR YOU AND MAYBE VIOLATED THE CONSTITUTION SO WE’RE HAVING PIZZA.”

Somehow, though, this episode of Scandal managed to do what few have done in the past: end on a cautiously positive note. Huck went in to testify about B-613, and although he started out doing what Jake had advised him to do (deny everything, admit nothing, destroy the records), he couldn’t keep quiet. Instead, he got emotional talking about the ways that he tried to maintain his mind while trapped in the hole that the spy agency kept him in, and at the end, Rosen made that look like he was going to wet his pants again.

Rosen composed himself quickly, though, and he found that white hat that Olivia’s people talked about so much in the show’s first season. Instead of running and hiding, he would pursue legal action against whoever or whatever pulls the strings at B-613; we might finally figure out who created Rowan and get some movement on a large narrative arc that had, until last night, totally stalled. Success! Small success, but I’ll take it.

Olivia’s progress, on the other hand, didn’t stall for nearly as long. After locating her neighbor’s body and having it brought back for a proper funeral with her partner, Olivia watched her mourn and apparently decided that it was time she get on with her life as best she could. She’s still hauling her gun around her apartment with her, but last we saw, she also had a glass of wine and bowl of popcorn. If only this whole fiasco could have motivated her to move into a building with even a modicum of security.

Although this episode wasn’t a barn-burner in the way that Scandal can sometimes be, I left it feeling like the remaining episodes of the season would be very much worth watching. We’re finally seeing some hints of movements in plots that have been chasing their tails forever, and our contact with Fitz was relatively limited. My only request for next week? More Mellie.

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