I was gone last week so I’m just getting a chance to catch up with Scandal. Here’s the recap. Better late than never!
Victory Short Lived – President Ghost does a press conference to apologize to parents about his personal business during this whole impeachment ordeal. He tells America he gon do better. Afterwards, he takes a toast with the White house staff and Abby sees Olivia and asks how she blackmailed the entire Senate Judiciary Committee. What voodoo did she do? Chile, Liv tells her friend she ain’t tryna tell her no lies so she’s just gon plead the fif.
VP Susan offers David Rosen a ride to their speaking engagement the next day and I think she has a crush because she’s giggling like a little schoolgirl. Right then, Cyrus shows up talmbout SOS to Fitz. In front of Abby, Cyrus tells Fitz that Papa Pope and SSA Tom have been sprung free, legally. Abby gets an epiphany and knows her friend gotta be behind this. Acting ass Liv walks up right then and uses puppy dog eyes and quivering lips, as if she has no idea. As POTUS hugs her, she locks eyes with Red who looks horrified.
Rowan’s Achievement – Liv gets home and Jake is sitting in the dark waiting for her because he knows her father is out. How? His wife is dead. He tells her that he’s killed his legal bae but since she’s the one who freed him, Elise’s blood is on her hands. She’s sitting there looking all sad. He made some good ass points. She’s talmbout she didn’t think he’d do that. Girl, bye. “How does someone as brilliant and accomplished as you not know what you are? Who you are?… You are Rowan’s greatest achievement. You have become exactly the woman he raised you to be… the beauty of it is you don’t even know it.”
She ain’t even sorry. She kicks him out her place because the truth hurts like a bitch. He kisses her before he walks out. Because Jake from State Farm can’t win no matter what he does.
Medal of Freedom – Liv is in the Oval Office day-drinking and rocking a chevron black and white blazer. This pattern definitely shows she’s in some turmoil. All those zig zags. Cy walks in and tells Fitz they need to reset his image. Sure they do but instead of Beene’s suggestions, he takes Olivia’s and the Chief of Staff realizes that he ain’t running shit. Small victories to make him look good, including giving someone the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Olivia is called to OPA offices and told they have a client but when she shows up, she sees the scowling Gladiators who are pissed that she let Rowan Pope free. Huck is pissed because B613 is gonna be back but Liv insists that will not happen. HOW YOU KNOW? Anywho, the client is Hannah Taylor, a lady who was raped 2 years before. She wants POTUS to know about her rape because her rapist is Frank Holland, the man who is about to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. AND the kicker is he is a prolific writer who focuses on feminism and the empowerment of women. Ain’t that about a hypocritical bitch???
The Gladiators take on Hannah’s case and dig into her background and Holland’s. The guy is admired by millions and his writing is beloved. Even Abby says it gave her the courage to leave her abusive husband. Hannah was one of his students and she went to his home and passed out. When she woke up, he was on top of her. When she reported it to her school, she was basically kicked out.
Abby meets up with Liz North and gives her a signed copy of one of Holland’s books. Women swoon over the guy. She cuts to the chase, though. TMZ Sally Langston wants interview Liz to get tea about when she worked at the White House. Liz tells Abby in exchange for her rejecting the opportunity, she wants a job back in the President’s inner circle. She’d even go for “Head Bitch in Charge.”
Oval in Circles – Liv tells Fitz that his new Medal of Freedom honoree is an accused rapist. In walks Jake Ballard, though. He’s been put on the job of finding Rowan Pope. LAWDDDD. This tangled ass web. Jake said he ain’t got no leads, and he asks President Ghost what gave Command the chance to get free.
FriendZoned Jake faces her and says when he finds Papa Pope, he will shoot him SO HARD. Oop.
Abby tells Cyrus about Liz’s ultimatum and he is unbothered because he says he got dirt on her too. He calls David Rosen and the next thing we know, Liz is being escorted into the Attorney General’s office. He tells her to “take a damn seat” and I’m all “has he been reading my blog?” If only. She was picked up because they told him that she might be discussing some Top Flight National Security shit with Sally the Gossip so here she is being detained.
Meeting with Holland – Olivia and Quinn go to Frank Holland’s home and hand him a pic of Hannah Taylor. He doesn’t really remember her until his wife says she came over one night after she plagiarized an essay. Liv says what Hannah told her and he, of course, says that’s nuts. Back at OPA office, they tell Hannah that unless they find other women who Frank has raped, there’s no weight to her story.
Quinn and Marcus talk to different women he’s mentored who he used his power to groom. His technique with all of them was the same. They were invited to his house. He offered them a drink (coffee, iced tea, wine). And then next thing they remember is waking up with him on top of them. Each one reported to the school and they were diagnosed with some sort of illness (anxiety disorder, eating disorder) and they failed the class. Whatever drug he used to have them faint has to be prescription, though so the Gladiators set out to find a trail.
Can’t Stop This – David tells Liz that she gotta STFU and he can make her, but she doesn’t take that shit easily. She figures out that Cyrus put him up to this. “You’re just doing the bidding of that sweaty, red-faced monster who stole my job.” You are correct! She takes her bag and walks out, ready to give Sally the interview. Nobody shows David any respect.
David rolls into Beene’s office and says he is not gon be his lackey on this mission because that would be an unconstitutional detainment. I SEE YOU GETTING A BACKBONE, ROSEN! Hey now!
Protector – At OPA, Liv is in black when Huck says Janice Holland, Frank’s wife has a prescription under her name for oxycodone. She summons the couple to her office and tells them that Frank’s been stealing her pills to rape his students but seeing the woman shut her husband up lets Liv know that she has known all along. Janice tells Liv that Frank is saver of women and he was able to see her for the intellectual being she was back in 1973 when women couldn’t even get a credit card if they were single. GIRL AND?? In 2015, he’s raping women. “My husband has created quite a legacy and it is my job to protect it.”
Liv is sitting on Fitz’s desk telling him all this when Cyrus walks in to tell him about Liz North about to squawk to Sally. He recommends that President Ghost call her and try to charm her. Fitz looks at Liv to see what she thinks before dismissing Beene. who looks irritated as hell because the person making the decisions is not the person behind the desk. When the door closes, Olivia tells Fitz to just let Liz do the interview.
Liberty Liz – Sally is geeked to have Liz North on her show. But the interview goes awry immediately as the ex-Chief of Staff condemns the impeachment proceedings and says they tried to drag a “good man’s name through the mud.” Afterwards, Fitz tells Cyrus that he did it by giving Liz a job as the Chief of Staff of VP Susan. Olivia is sitting right next to him and Cy is looking like WTF. Yeah, man. She’s laying with him every night and she got all the pull she needs.
I Don’t Like You – Liz goes to David’s office to pick up her laptop which was confiscated when she was picked up and he goes IN on her. She sold her soul to go tell lies on TV because she got a job with Susan Ross, an actual white hat. “Everything about you feels alpine and pointy and wrong.” The 2 get all close and he admits that he likes her and they kiss and I’m all EW EW EWWWW. She demands he take a seat and whispers that she ain’t got no panny drawls on as she straddles him. LAWDT.
Susan Ross shows up holding a 4-pack of wine coolers, and David’s secretary says he’s in a meeting. Our girl parks herself there and says she’ll wait for him to finish. OH GIRL. ARE YOU SURE?? No, she isn’t. She decides she doesn’t wanna wait and leaves the coolers for him. Aawww she totally has a crush.
Speaking Truth – Olivia is in the OPA conference room when Marcus walks in. He thinks Hannah should tell her story but she makes the very valid point that it’s her word against the word of an icon. She will get re-victimized by a media that will destroy her. “The system is set up to silence women like Hannah and protect men like Holland.”
Liv tells Marcus to find out where Frank Holland is at that moment. He is on a stage reading to an audience from one of his books. Women start entering the auditorium, led by Hannah Taylor. They are all of his victims from the past. They stand in front of the stage, all 22 of them, ready to speak their truth.
The media picks it up, and the college cut ties with the professor. Abby throws his book into the trashcan.
Olivia is leaving the Oval Office and Cyrus confronts her. Why didn’t she give him a heads up about Liz North’s new job as Chief of Staff of the VP? “I’m the guy behind the girl. Fitz isn’t even in the picture. He’s happy. He’s content. He was never meant to be happy. Happy, content men don’t run the world. Which is why he is not running the world… You have pulled off a clean, bloodless coup in the United States and no one is the wiser… He’s not the President anymore, Olivia. You are.”
She walks into the Oval Office and Fitz gives her a rundown of all he’s working on. Then says her father is probably never gonna be found. She takes a swig of her scotch and then tells him what to do about all the conflict on his plate. YUP. She is clearly embracing the fact that she has the power and is running the free world.
As the camera pans out, Olivia is standing in the middle of the Oval Office, on the official seal of the United States of America. You MINUSWELL call her Madame President. Meanwhile, Fitz is over there taking notes as she tells him what to do. Ok den.
The READ that Jake gave Liv was true because she has absolutely become power hungry, and she is very comfortable wearing navy and black lately. She can no longer insist on even trying on a white hat, let alone wearing it and although she is still a Good Guy, she has allowed a lot of bad to alter her judgment.
Fitz has just given up any semblance of control, which is fine. Ain’t no point in fighting against something he never had, anyway. He’s just “Yes, Dear”ing his way to glory. The less decisions he has to make, the better for him. I just wonder what he’s going to do once he finds out that Liv is behind the release of Papa Pope, with a signature from ex-wife Mellie. He is going to blow a gasket, and Cyrus will use it to get back in Fitz’s ears. He might even be the one who ends up spilling that tea once he finds out.
Meanwhile, Frank Holland is clearly the white, professor version of Bill Cosby. What you did there, Shondaland. I see it. Esteemed, beloved by millions, awarded for decades for it. Protected by public praise. But also a serial rapist and the strength of one woman’s story won’t bring him down. It takes over 20 (or 40) for people to stop defending him with everything they got. Shonda went there and back, y’all. And Janice? Well, she’s Camille, standing by her man through it. Whew. I was watching it like:
Man… so much to pull from the headlines.
Anywho, so the devil who deserves the second chance is who? Is it Liz North? IDK. I can’t figure that out. Let me know whatcha think, Gladiators! ROAR in the comments!