When we left off on the last episode of Scandal, Liv had a gun to Russell’s head, wanting to find out what Operation Foxtail is. Let’s talk about it!
Near Death – Jake is recovering from his injury and near death experience in Liv’s bed, and he is having nightmares before he wakes up in a jolt. I do wonder if he hasn’t come near death before, seeing as how he’s B613 and they were forever doing something dangerous. Across the hall, the Gladiators have turned Sister Alma Mae Jenkins’ (aka Lois. May she rest) apartment into a torture chamber, where they’re having a good time making Russell bleed. They want to find out about Foxtail but the dude ain’t giving them a damb thing, even when Liv ensures him that he won’t die, because that would be far too kind. Welp.
Assault Bloodhound – VP Susan Ross is doing one of her duties and shaking the hands of sailors on a boat. A female Naval officer salutes her and she notices a bruise on her wrist. Susan gets her alone and realizes that the woman has been raped. Next thing we know, Ross the Boss is getting yelled at in the Oval Office by Cyrus and Fitz for stepping outside her jurisdiction and pulling an officer off her base. The guys are all “this ain’t your business and it’s ain’t ours either” but she lets them know that 1 in 3 women in the military are subjected to sexual assault. Those women do not get protection, but persecution. This ain’t no game! Beene lets her HAVE IT, doe. “You, the largely powerless figurehead of the United States are some sort of sexual assault bloodhound in your spare time?” She has to take Ensign Amy Martin back and she does, but then she goes to see Olivia. Fix it, Liv.
In the torture chamber, Papa Pope calls Liv’s phone and Huck tells Quinn to pick it up because if they have him on the phone for 12 seconds, they can track his location. AND THEN DO WHAT WITH THAT??? Well, he hangs up after 11.54 seconds, and they realize he’s on to them. DUH, NUMBNUTS! When will y’all know that Command knows everything? Of course he knows you got his boy. Smdh.
Rape was the case – Liv goes to the base to speak with Amy, who is clearly afraid but she admits that her rapist is Admiral John Hawley. He’s a 4-star, celebrated, powerful dude who is basically untouchable. Since the White House isn’t touching it, Liv does a press conference where she calls for non-military investigation into Amy’s case. “How can Amy Martin expect fairness from a military judicial system in which everyone. From the investigators, to the judges, to the jury all salute and take orders from the man she’s accusing of a crime.”
Of course it’s illegal because of old ass laws so it does have to be tried within the military. Still, President Ghost is still not trying to touch it. Until Mellie (in this bad ass purple blazer) stomps into the Oval Office and insists that he ensures it’s investigated.
Jake 2.0 – The Gladiators catch Russell just as he’s about to take a kill pill because he is that much of a Rowan soldier that he’d rather die than spill any tea about his boss or this Foxtail mission. Liv has to hold him down for Huck as they fish it out, and when she gets back to her apartment, her usually spotless white has some red on it. Jake figures it’s Russell’s blood, because he be knowing. He proceeds to open a library of truth on Liv, telling her that they are all wasting their time because that dude ain’t gon never tell them about Foxtail. He is a Rowan Robot, just like he was, and he is all part of Papa Pope’s pattern of planning.
“A guy runs into you in a public place. It seems random, casual. He flirts a little. And then, what a surprise? You run into him again. You’d be bothered by the coincidence except he says all the right things. He’s nice but with a bit of an arrogant edge… persistent but aloof. It’s all just enough to pique your interest and you don’t even think about the fact that he’s been studying you for months, surveilling your every move, listening to your every call, getting a PhD in Olivia Pope because your father told him to. He’s been hand-picked, groomed, trained. He’s exactly like me. Your father made Russell and he made me. We both came off the same assembly line. The only difference is I’m in love with you! Command would call that a defect. Russell does not have that defect. With Russell, Rowan built a better me.”
WELP. He is nothing if not self-aware. Knowing that Russell is a better version of Jake makes me think if he wanted Jake dead, he would have killed him the 1st time. Hmmmm…
JAG Sabotage – The Navy sends some wack ass weak ass young lawyer named Virgil to serve as Amy’s attorney in a meeting with the Admiral and his peeps. Liv is present, and if not for her, Virgil woulda just spent the whole time bumbling because he was sitting across from his hero. Talk abut being set up to fail. Liv literally puts words in his mouth to ask Admiral Hawley if he slept with Amy, but of course he denies it. He popped off on our girl too. “This country has a lot of enemies. Most of them are overseas, but some of them are right here on our own shores. And that woman sitting next to you, counselor, is one of them. A barnacle on the ass of every loser with a mouth big enough to say boo hoo.”
With no due respect, watch your gahtdamb mouth, sir! Right after the meeting, Liv gets a call and it’s from Amy, who wants to see her immediately. She’s pregnant with Hawley’s baby and needs to get off the ship to get an abortion immediately. The Gladiators (with no real help form useless ass Virgil) get her off with the excuse of a relative who is in dire health.
Red Hot – Lizzie is trying to make Mellie go to Springfield to regain some points in her campaign but the FLOTUS is not trying to hear it. That is where her son Jerry was killed a year before, and going there for political gain is making her stabby. So when Liz tells her to “lean in” and go, like this is some job negotiation, she tells her to GTFO her face with gritted teeth.
Rowan’s Robots – Anywho, Jake rolls up to the torture chamber and excuses Huck. I’m thinking he wants to get a piece of Russell himself. Instead, he unties one of his hands, removes the duct tape from his mouth and hands him a bottle of beer. He is there to get tea, not about Foxtail, but about how it is to be another one of Rowan’s minions. Russell tells him that Papa Pope is actually quite fond of his prodigal Ballard and talked about him all the time. WORD? They both do Rowan impressions that are spot-on and hilarious, as they share their common ground as robots for the devil himself.
But they both know good and damb well that if he were to walk in right there, they woulda pissed their pants. So Jake hips Russell up on Rowan’s game with Olivia. She’s basically his play-doh and she has never stood a chance at a normal life.
Occupational Hazard – Amy is at Liv’s place when they find out that their request for the Naval base’s security logs have been denied. They needed evidence to see where Admiral Hawley was on the night he assaulted her, and of course they aren’t given access to it. What now? Pull out the big jokes. Olivia calls President Bae and tells him to do something. “What do you think about a system of justice that doesn’t allow the defense to see the evidence? If you aw this kind of blatant disregard for the truth in any other country in the world, you would condemn it out of hand…” True tea.
And then the fact she dropped that made me gasp. “Do you know that if you’re a member of the military, you can’t sue the U.S. government if you’re raped because it is considered the same as an injury on the battlefield?” Rape is basically considered an occupational hazard in the military, as if penises just accidentally fall into non-consenting vaginas or other orifices. Chile, I can’t even.
Pro-Amy – Amy gets her abortion, as Olivia holds her hand. I appreciated how Scandal handled this sans judgment, not making her defend herself or making people try to convince her otherwise. The show made a strong pro-choice statement, and one that shows women supporting other women when they make tough decisions. I hella respect it.
Grant Love – President Ghost gets to bed late and when Mellie asks what he’s been up to, he says Liv called and she was basically like “cool.” Talk about an evolution in their dynamic. He notices that she’s kinda down and asks why. The 1st anniversary of Jerry’s death is coming up and she will be going to Springfield afterall.
He offers to clear his schedule for her, while holding her to his chest and she says she has to do it by herself. AAWWW. Can I just say how I love their partnership right now? They’re as supportive of each other as ever, and they are showing that they genuinely care about each others’ growth. They’ve come such a long way that Fitz even advises her to get on the stage and throw him under the bus to get women on her side. Re: how he’s handled the rape case.
Evidence – Fitz made the right move and had the White House request the security logs, which Abby hands to Olivia. Admiral Hawley has an alibi but come to find out, his second-in-command was just covering for him, because security tapes exist and they show him dragging Amy into his office. He is forced to confess and Amy is affirmed and her clearance is restored. The White house promises to look into overhauling the system of reporting in the military. I cheered, because once again, Scandal gives us the justice we don’t typically get in real life.
One Year – Mellie dons a dope ass cobalt blue suit as she takes the podium on the exact place where her son died the year before. But instead of talking about the painful episode, she uses it the opportunity to talk about how rape in the military is handled poorly, pointing out that she disagrees with how her husband, the President, did it. “What I believe is that our daughters and our sons deserve better than the way the military treats them when they’ve been assaulted. When I am senator, I am going to make it my mission to create an independent judicial body devoted exclusively to sexual assault claims. It’s wrong that members of our military can’t seek justice without fear of persecution.” PREACH, MELODY GRANT! The crowd goes wild.
Foxtail – As Liv and Quinn escort Amy out, they peep a picture of a Naval officer, with the name Virgil Plunkett. But that picture doesn’t match the attorney they’ve been working with all along. “Virgil” knocks on the apartment door torture chamber and tells Huck he needs to be let into Liv’s apartment because he left files in there. After a quick pause, Huck turns his back to go get the key and gets stabbed in the neck with a syringe. He falls down and we see that this guy has killed the real Virgil (his body is in the trunk of a car). FIRGIL (fake Virgil) goes over to Russell and removes his duct tape. Another one of Rowan’s minions! He asks him if he mentioned anything about Foxtail and Russell says he didn’t.
The Gladiators hightail it back to the apartment and Jake is already there, assuring them that Huck isn’t dead. Russell is gone, of course.
The crowd is chanting for Mellie as she exits the stage and Liv tells her there’s a big donor she’d like her to meet. As she enters a room, a secret service agent says “Foxtail is secure.” In that room is Rowan Pope, who shakes her hands while grinning like a fool.
LAWDDDDDT. MELLIE, YOU IN DANGER, GIRL! Rowan don’t give nary a fuck who he takes out on his way to getting whatever he wants so this is just not good news. And Mrs. Grant has no idea that this is the conniving bastard who killed her son to get his job back, because keep in mind that they haven’t even given her like half of the truth.
Meanwhile, Huck is slipping so hard. Why would he be so sloppy as to turn his back on some dude? He coulda just closed the door and said he’d be right back but NAWL! His ass got knocked the fugg out like a punk. He coulda died so I’m shaking my head at him. The Gladiators gotta tighten up operations, man. They’re making far too many mistakes.
Also, when Quinn said that they might never know what Foxtail is, the camera panned to Jake who looked like he might know something. I wonder if Russell gave him some tea. He might have.
Now on to Liv. She is a PRO at spotting patterns but she never quite figures out her father’s. She shoulda BEEN KNOWN Russell was sent by him. Rowan Pope is a spider for real and the dude got arms and legs EVERYWHERE. For her to be so sloppy when it comes to (un)dear old dad after all the trifling things he’s done is weak on her part.
Anywho, next week is the season 4 finale of Scandal. What is gonna go down? Gladiators ROAR in the comments!