Foxtail. Do you remember “Foxtail” being mentioned on any previous episode of Scandal? I do not, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The shady B-613 project was eventually revealed, but we’ll have to wait until next week to see if it comes to fruition. Last night’s episode was mostly just putting things in place for a finale that ABC’s previews swear will be “insane.”
We rejoined Scandal with Jake in Olivia’s bed, continuing to miraculously recover from his many stab wounds that were treated in a warehouse with sanitation levels most recently seen in Civil War amputations. Olivia might want to quit being a fixer and go into medicine.
Elsewhere, Olivia’s suitors were faring worse. Her gun-to-the-head sex maneuver was apparently sufficient to take Russell the Boytoy into torturous custody; Quinn and Huck were ripping his fingernails off to find out what Foxtail was, and quite honestly, I don’t remember Rowan ever saying “Foxtail” to anyone, and I don’t know why we’re supposed to care about it. Add it to the list of things I’m not sure why I care about, right after B-613. I spent the entire episode trying to remember when it came up two weeks ago, to no avail. The episode did not bother to jog my memory.
While Quinn and Huck were perfecting the art of the waterboard, Vice President Crazypants was on a boat for a Navy photo-op, during which she stole a servicewoman because she saw a bruise on her wrist and decided that meant she had been raped. She took the servicewoman directly to the Oval Office, where Fitz and Cyrus yelled at her for stealing a member of the military who hadn’t actually said she had been assaulted. Being VP Crazypants is very complicated but very empathetic.
Ensign Martin had been assaulted, of course, and it was by an admiral. The VP sent Olivia to get to the bottom of it, and when cursory efforts to attract the help of the Grant administration failed, Olivia went straight for the media to try and force the president to intervene on the servicewoman’s behalf to get the trial moved from military tribunal to civilian court. That meant people were asking questions of Mellie mid-campaign as well, and when she went to ask Fitz to do the right thing, he said no. That hit Mellie particularly hard, considering that both of them know what Fitz’s dad did to her. Later, Mellie was told to “lean in” to her image has a grieving mother. I want to take Mellie with me to happy hour tonight.
The military did decide to make an official inquiry into the accusations, but the Navy sent a JAG who worshipped the admiral and was so fresh out of law school that he had never tried any kind of rape case before. His name was Virgil and everything! The official questioning did not go well, and immediately afterward, Olivia was summoned to the ensign’s ship because she had discovered she was pregnant. While there, it became clear to Olivia that her superior officers were not prepared to treat her fairly while the investigation ran its course, so they devised a way to get her out of there.
Olivia, never one to let an investigation run its course, enlisted Abby’s help, called in a back-room favor to the president and got the documentation she needed to track the admiral’s whereabouts on the night in question. After the military found a video of the admiral dragging the young ensign into his office, he was forced to confess.
Back at the ranch, Jake’s pain meds had loosened him up just enough to remind Olivia that he and Russell stalked and studied Olivia in exactly the same way, and the only difference in the outcome is that Jake fell in love with her. The purpose of the speech seemed to be that Jake was encouraging Olivia to kill Russell, which is a reasonable thing to advocate when you remember Russell stabbed him a bunch of times.
For reasons that weren’t quite clear even to him, one of Jake’s first post-miraculous recovery (seriously, he got stabbed repeatedly by an assassin two weeks ago) outings was to chit chat with Russell over beers about how Rowan intended Olivia to catch both of them. He did, of course; Rowan needs to control Olivia, and for her to know that she can be controlled, and that doesn’t work if Olivia never figures out that he’s the one sending spies with rippling abs into her life. Try to ignore that it’s super creepy that Rowan has trained a small army of men to seduce his daughter; at least he has chosen attractive ones.
Scandal is like Law & Order in one very particular way: when it feels over and you look at the lock and there’s still ten minutes left, you know that some kind of big twist is about to happen. Usually I can feel this show’s manipulation coming, but when sweet, dopey JAG Virgil was revealed to be another of Rowan’s embedded B-613 agents, I felt genuine surprise, because yo, I got swindled by a bro named Virgil.
The ending left me feeling at least a little energized, even if the show that preceded it hadn’t; Virgil knocked out Huck and freed Russell, Mellie used her campaign pulpit to go after Fitz over his inaction in the military rape case and Shonda revealed that MELLIE IS FOXTAIL. If they kill Mellie next week, I’m going to be so mad. But also kind of happy for her, because everyone around Mellie is a stupid garbage monster, and at least when she’s dead, she’ll get some peace. At a certain point, being dead sounds better than being married to Fitz.
My enthusiasm is somewhat limited, though, because the odds that Mellie will die next week seem ultra slim. We don’t even know why Rowan would want her dead, first of all; she and Olivia don’t even get along, and if he wanted to really crush his daughter, Rowan could just kill Fitz. One would think the potential consequences would be similar, and it’d be a more striking demonstration of power. Seeing the Mellie/Fitz storyline rejoin the B-613 storyline is a good thing for the show, but I’m not entirely sure I’m buying the fear Shonda’s trying to sell. Although we all know what happened a couple weeks ago on Grey’s Anatomy, though; I guess we shouldn’t entirely write off the possibility.