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“YOLO” was the episode of everyone sucks.

Granted this recap is more for posterity’s sake since so much time has passed since the episode aired but re-watching the episode, I was struck by the absolute suckiness that all the storylines have devolved into.

Of course, that doesn’t mean this wasn’t a fantastic episode. Once things started veering into the land of chaos, I just got on board and have been enjoying the ride.

I’m not even going to try and keep the storylines organized. Well, I’ll try, but no promises.

The episode opens with Huck extolling the joys of peeling off skin and severing digits. Quinn is naked and duct taped on plastic sheeting on the floor.


Huck apologizes:

But not for torturing her… rather because he’s going to enjoy it. He’s really going to enjoy it.

Huck gets kinda super creepy talking about how much he’s going to love ‘doing it’ because Quinn is ‘fresh’ and ‘soft’ and he’s never done it with someone ‘in the family’.

The show really brings the torture home for the audience:

It was like Maya gobbling away at her wrists, I was disgusted yet riveted. Huck has lost his ever-lovin’ mind and clearly, torture and death are his erotic fetishes. Can I get a resounding ‘EW!’??

Does this permanently remove Huck from the potential relationship pool on the show? I’m thinking not. There are just too many screwed up people running around for him to not find his bliss with one of them.

After Huck lovingly licks Quinn’s tear away, he gives her some tender words of comfort:

Aww… He’s so sweet to her. Maybe there is hope for them after all?

Then the obvious occurs when the tape comes off:



Begging. Pleading. But Huck gently admonishes Quinn. Torture first, then talking- she knows how it works. Huck inserts his fun dental torture device:

And scream Quinn did. I wanted to, as well.

Then, damn, the phone rings. It’s Liv, all whispery and freaked out, cause guess what?

She is referring, of course, to Maya Pope- her mother. Huck relays some urgent instructions to Liv to ditch her cell and get out of her apartment in case B6-13 is already on their way. Huck’s torture session has to be put on hold so he can go help deal with the reappearance of the long-dead Maya Pope.

But wait, not so fast! Maybe he can show Quinn some love real quick like:

He loves one fat molar out of her then assures her he’ll be back and to wait for him. Mmm. Yeah. Loving this storyline.
(Does that make me mental? Probably.)


Cyrus is still tiptoeing around James while James is making every effort to needle Cyrus with the fact he had I-Hate-Cyrus-Sex with Daniel Douglas.



James is just too wired from his interview with Daniel Douglas:

Er. Ouch. Don’t pull any punches there, James.

Later in the West Wing, Mellie is getting impatient:

Cyrus is ‘holding’. Yeah, he’s not quite sure yet how he’s going to pull this one out of the ditch.

James pays Cyrus a surprise visit at the White House to let him know he’s meeting up with Daniel Douglas again. The double entendre just keeps coming.
James taunts Cy with a supposed continuation of the ‘interview’ back at their place that evening. James, of course, wants to confirm that Cyrus will be out at an event.



James! So cold!

I’m wondering how much longer Cy can keep his cool before he has another heart attack.

Not sure if I like James all passive-aggressive like this. I think I’d like him to just stand up to Cyrus rather than play this cat-and-mouse game. Of course, it is Washington.

The Cy-and-James storyline begins to converge with Sally-for-President.

Sally has met with Leo Bergen and agreed to go to the ‘dark side’ by flip-flopping on the abortion issue after using the Christian Right to get on the ballot. Leo leaves her with resignation papers, candidacy papers and her shattered integrity.

Pause.

So with Sally jumping on the Scandalwagon, is this the end of the last ethical holdout on the show? Is there anyone who wouldn’t sell their soul for a leg up on the political ladder? Thinking… thinking… Ooo… Could Jake Ballard be the last man standing?

(I’m not saying Jake has been good, per se, just not leveraging everything in sight for his own gain. He’s even done some brave/stupid stuff trying to protect Olivia- but maybe that counts as selfish?)

Back to Ms. Langston… We see her meet with her beloved husband to let him know that all their hard work has paid off, that his righteous living and self-denial has paid off:



My guess is that Daniel Douglas has that nasty sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.



Daniel runs into James in the West Wing(after James’ visit with Cy) and he does the whole homophobic, closeted denial thing:



Daniel, news flash, you are SO gay!

If you click your heels together three times while wearing a pair of ruby slippers, I hear you can actually be cured of your homosexuality. No, really. You should try it Daniel Douglas.

Poor James.

I really feel for James here. I’m not sure what’s worse- that he ended up here in large part of his own divining or that he is actually sympathetic to Daniel Douglas’ whole scourge-of-unholy-temptation rhetoric even while being the focus of his vitriol? Does James have to be everyone’s punching bag?


Sally delivers her news and papers to Fitz:



Not well met, not AT ALL.

Sally gives a righteous little speech calling out Fitz’s hypocrisy. He did, after all, tell her to climb through the window that his failure to ‘be his best’ would open.

Fitz tries a brief bit of bargaining before going straight to threatening her but she ain’t having any of it:



War is declared:


Cy rushes home, hoping to preempt? catch James in the act? with Daniel Douglas. Instead, he finds James waiting calmly, tapping away at his computer.

Cyrus comes bursting in, sounding like he’s about to have that heart attack and finally reveals he knows. He KNOWS!



But, but…



Yes, yes, he did. And James can’t resist poking Cy with the Daniel Douglas ‘stick’ just a little bit more before telling him:



James lets Cy have it. How dare he pimp him out? And how dare he shame another gay man who is stuck in the closet?

Shame abounds and finally, finally James is letting Cy know just how much he thinks he sucks. He’s taking the kid and he’s outta there.

Cyrus, even in the face of total destruction, manages to manage the situation. Sorry James, no judge is going to give you that baby after they see those pictures of you with Daniel Douglas.

That’s right, pictures!

Saved by the bell, or not, Cy is summoned to the White House.

Cyrus gets a little punching bag treatment in this episode. Fitz and Mellie are nothing short of pissed off at Cyrus:

Fitz really goes off (and looks like a total ass, imho).



Starting to feel a little sorry for Cy here. Fitz tantrums out of the Oval with Mellie trailing behind. She turns to scold Cyrus and he finally breaks down.

Good lord, there may be a human being in there after all. At first, it looks like Mellie is out of here. She is, after all, a cold bitch. Right?

Mellie manages to summon a little empathy, for about a millisecond- just long enough to impart the wisdom gleaned from her whacked out, dysfunctional marriage:


What Mellie really wants to say: "Buck up, Cy! At least you didn't have to screw your father-in-law!" AND "I told you so!"
Then it is back to business and Mellie reiterates that Cy needs to get his shit done already.


Cyrus pays Sally a visit in her office. He hands her the photos. She look none too pleased:




Sally pulls it together. She calmly points to the fact that this would be mutually assured destruction were it to get out.



Cyrus retreats but we see Sally left at her big desk not looking so chipper.


Cyrus apparently decides to try and salvage what he can through further deceit:



James looks sad but says nothing as Cyrus continues to plead.



We’re left hanging as James drops the phone, never answering Cy.
Looks like he’s ready to leave:

But will he? Cyrus did say that he never does…


Team Pope which now including Jake, are assembling to crisis-manage the appearance of Olivia’s long-dead mother.

Olivia is freaking out (which does not go unnoticed by her Gladiators):


Abby is losing her shit and shouting at Harrison and, rather offhandedly, Maya.

Maya calmly (like wrist-munching-psychopath calmly) explains that she discovered who Olivia’s father really was, planned to out him to a reporter and was going to take Olivia and run. Before she could make her break, Rowan locked her away and threw away the key.



Jake and Huck are on their feet and all chaos breaks out because:



They pin Maya to a table and rip her shirt off. Apparently, she has a tracking chip that needs to come out post haste.

Yes, please, more gore needed. Nom!

What puzzles me in this scene is that just an episode prior, Maya was chewing through her own arm ALL THE WAY TO HER ARTERY without a peep(sorry I keep harping on this but it kinda stuck with me). Now, Jake is popping a little tracking chip out of her shoulder with a knife and she is squealing like a pig? Suspicious much?

The Gladiators clear out, knowing that B6-13 will be hot on their tail. There is a flurry of super-spy vs. B6-13 activity. Rowan is barking out orders to track down Team Pope while Huck and Jake are distributing burner phones, replacing license plates and spraying windshields with hair gel? to screw with the traffic cameras.



Gladiators: 1
B6-13: 0

(Charlie seems to waffle a lot between Super Spy and Bumbling Spy.)

Ensconced in some seedy motel, they decide to send Maya to Hong Kong. Plans are made to secure a passport. Huck wants to ‘go check on Quinn’ but Olivia asks him to stay. Huck is bummed.

Quinn is still naked, duct taped and now bloody, as well. She apparently passed out and is coming to… a glance to the plastic sheet she’s laying on shows she is now missing one of her large molars. Ugh. She breaks a glass and starts trying to saw her way to freedom.

Duct tape sucks. Clearly.

Abby and Harrison go back to headquarters to find the place has been ransacked, safe has been cracked and the evidence board raided.




Harrison meets up with his contact to get papers for Maya. Another allusion is made to some scary, life-threatening backstory surrounding Harrison. Harrison def. looks worried. Looks like Harrison is going to have a big storyline coming up? ‘Bout time!

Back at the ranch seedy motel, the race against B6-13 continues. Liv is making arrangements for Mommy Dearest to escape to Hong Kong. Is there anything she doesn’t do?

Like not speak Chinese? Apparently, not.

While Daniel-Douglas-gate continues, Liv is bringing Maya some breakfast and doing her best robot imitation. Liv, after all is a smart woman known for acting on her instincts, and shock aside, it’s easy to see she doesn’t know what to make of it all.



Maya rambles on and on about her dreams for Olivia, you know, during her incarceration. In her mind Olivia married a doctor, had a son named Sam(er, creepy) and, apparently, spends her days making jam. But… now she’s met Livvie and sees the life she’s made:



Really? Really, Maya? Gonna be the jilted ex-wife cliché and bash the father that raised your daughter? Then you're going to dis her life and accomplishments that happen while you weren't around? (Yeah, okay, supposedly he is Eeeeevil and kept her in a dungeon, but come on!) I smell manipulation.

Not to mention, not the fastest way to Olivia’s heart…

Liv is struggling to fix her mother’s situation without getting everyone killed. All Liv’s interactions with Maya are interspersed with flashbacks to the day Maya left for the flight she was supposedly killed on. All these memories are set to the strains of ‘Ben’, a song creepily featured in a horror story about rats. Hmm…



Liv asks Maya about the reporter she spoke with before leaving for the airport that day.
Why can’t they just track down that reporter to corroborate Maya’s story? Maya protests. She just wants to get the hell out of dodge and not, you know, put anyone else in danger. She’s seen Livvie and can die happy now.



Liv is frustrated. She’s a fixer! She can fix it! She will handle it! This is what she does! And why doesn't her mom seem to want to cooperate?

Huck & Jake are busy being Spy Boys…



Jake decides to take matters into his own hand. He’s gonna save the day. He’s got a friend in a high place. Jake goes to the Oval and tells Fitz that Olivia’s mom is still alive. Fitz’s wants to get Maya and Liv to safety.

Jake points out that it would be better to just eliminate the source of the danger. Too bad Fitz isn’t on board with taking out Rowan at this point. After all, Rowan is Liv’s father, they can’t just kill him.

Jake goes to leave in frustration but Fitz won’t let it drop.



Jake: “Remington. Remington is my problem, just for being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Doing my duty, serving my country, I end up getting sucked into the wake your political destiny and end up enslaved to B6-13, to Rowan for the past 22 years.”



“Meanwhile, you shake a few hands, say a few words and become governor and then President. You didn’t have my back on that mission and you still don’t have it, because for you there’re only two people who matter in this world: Olivia and yourself. The rest of us, we’re just on our own.




Jake: “So get off your ass and give me the assets I need!”
Fitz: “Now is not the time! They’re on guard!”
Jake: Over it.



Fitz: “Hey! You wanna be a hero? You wanna save the day? You wanna help me dismantle B6-13? Stick around. We’ll figure out a plan. You don’t want that. You don’t want to be a hero! You want to be her hero…

Somehow, I’m not buying Fitz’s line here. Come on, Fitz, we know YOU want to be her hero. I do like Jake getting all up in the Presidents face. “Flyboy”! Superb!

Jake decides to go after Rowan on his own. He puts together a team.



They supposedly track down Rowan and his men. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a trap and some of his team get blown up.


Rowan, driving away, claims he dislikes taking life, that yes, it is sometimes a necessity but he never enjoys it.

He tells Charlie to find Quinn and get his asset ‘activated’.

Jake is back at the hotel after his failed mission. He tells Huck what went down and Huck hightails it out of there.

Huck returns to the object of his desire. She hasn’t quite managed to get free.



Huck tells her that she was supposed to wait for him, straddles her and tapes her up some more. He rips the tape off her mouth.



What’s the arrangement, Quinn?


Um. Ow.



Charlie has gone in search of his asset. He pops in to Quinn’s place saying she better have a good excuse for not showing up.




Charlie frees her, lets her shower then plies her with alcohol.



Quinn starts to cry.



Quinn gibbers about how Huck was all she had and he hurt her.



Charlie can’t resist a damsel in distress.





Quinn hesitates briefly after Charlie’s impassioned kiss but then drops her towel and throws herself at him.

I’m having a feeling here because they are both just SO broken.


Bad news. Rowan has gotten Maya put on the FBI’s most Wanted List under a fake name with trumped up charges.

Looks like a commercial flight to Hong Kong is out.

Abby goes to David for a little-itty-bitty favor.

Sure, David, just remove a most wanted person from the no fly list. Yeah, good idea.

David comes back later to tell Abby in person that it is a no go. Pulling Maya’s profile would set off all kinds of Homeland Security alarms and stuff.

Abby and David have now fulfilled their filler-quota for this episode.

Liv has exhausted her options. She can’t figure it out and time is running out. Who ya gonna call? That’s right.



Fitz offers to save the day.


Despite the threat of treasonous disaster that could befall the President, he simply cannot resist the opportunity to be Olivia’s white knight. Heh.

Guess Fitz wins the Hero hat, after all.

Team Pope takes Maya to an airfield to get on a Fitz-provided military jet.
Abby urges Olivia to finally have a feeling.


(Even Harrison and Jake are like 'Shut your annoying hole, Abby'.)



And looks like Maya is safe from the clutches of Rowan and B6-13.

All’s well that ends well!

Except… Olivia has a memory.


Liv calls Huck to find out what name was listed for her mother on the No Fly List.
"What was that so-called alias?"


Finally, the pieces slide into place. Liv’s mom really is a wanted terrorist who they all just helped flee the country.

And Rowan? He’s been trying to protect Liv all these years…

Little problem…

Wondering why Quinn was left so conveniently for Charlie to find, mostly intact?
During one of Huck and Quinn’s talk-a-little sessions, she makes him an offer.



Quinn is now with her new BFF/boyfriend/lover Charlie telling him how she can track down Team Pope for B6-13.



And it appears, they are about to enter the lion’s den.


Charlie and Quinn pop in for a visit with Rowan.



Quinn has a little surprise waiting for Rowan. She’s hoping to keep her teeth, yeah, but it’s personal, too.


Will Quinn be the one to finally take down Rowan?

Back at the White House, Cyrus gets a late night call from the Vice President.

“I have committed a sin, Cyrus.”
Ya think, Sally?


Is it weird to ask questions when the next episode has already been out for a while?
Yeah, thought so.

But…

What did people think of the Huck/Quinn/Charlie outcome? (thus far)
Anyone NOT see the Maya-Pope-Terrorist thing coming?
Anyone else glad to see Jake finally stand up to Fitz?
And how about that Fitz? Felt like we were seeing a little uglier side to him. (Haters feeling vindicated?)
Cy and James? Any hope? Sad? Not sad?
Harrison and Abby need some real storylines maybe?
David and James seem to suffer from the same disease but at least maybe they both know they have it now?

Sally? Holy cow! I did not see that coming. NOT AT ALL!!

So, really, what about Huck? Way over the top? So, yeah, the IDEA of pulling teeth was enough to creep me out but in reality there wasn’t a whole lot of actual torture-torture. Huck was spot-on creepy, especially in that first sequence about how he was gonna be lovin’ it. The most disturbing thing to me was Quinn’s absolute lack of power and the fact she is being mercilessly used by both Huck and B6-13.

Kinda makes me wonder how Quinn is going to fare down the line, ya know?
And I'd hate to be Fitz when Mellie and Cy find out what he did...

The chaos continues on “A Door Marked Exit”.
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