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Although quite a few scandalous things happened in this episode, it didn't quite work for me. I found the pacing erratic, the scenes felt patched up together rather than blending smoothly in a narrative flow. I don't know. It wasn't bad, there were some great moments even, but it feels like Scandal is going to end its mid season finale with a whimper rather than a bang, if I am to judge by the below par quality of the last two episodes. I hope I'm wrong.

Let's start with huck and Quinn. Some people were shocked and bewildered by Huck's actions. I'm not. Of course he doesn't *have * to torture Quinn. She's so scared in this first scene that it is likely she would have fessed up everything on the spot if she didn't have a mouthful of duct tape. But Huck is an addict. His particular brand of craving is inflicting pain on others, and I guess the way this works is: the closer the emotional bond, the sweeter the torture. Huck loves Quinn in his own whackjob way, so the opportunity to torture her... it's the jackpot for him. She's his blue meth: pure and extremely potent “You're so fresh, so new.” There is no way in Hell he can resist this.

Before the episode I thought maybe Huck would be torturing Quinn to freak her out, to put her off her psychopathic tendencies, but after seeing this scene I think whatever motives Huck may have had went through the windows the minute he was presented with the opportunity to give in to his addiction. Quinn's betrayal of Olivia is, at this stage, just another excuse.

YOLO indeed.

I am not entirely put off by the Quinn/Charlie relationship. Yeah, it's sick and twisted and yet strangely sweet.

James playing a delightful game of innuendo laden cat and mouse with Cyrus was a delight to watch. It isn't often that we see the White House Chief of Staff caught at his own game. You go James!

I felt almost sorry for poor cluelessly offensive Daniel Douglas.

Almost.

James' increasingly steely yet pitying stare while having to listen to DD's freaked out rant on the “sickness” and “despicable temptation” of being gay was very nicely acted. In S1 I used to find James annoying and whiny, but he's really grown on me since. He is one the rare character with true compassion on this show. We see a proof of this when he tells Cyrus just how vile he is for wanting to publicly shame a fellow gay man for being in the closet. James might not care for DD's 'moral' values, but he cares for the man who suffers.

I think maybe next time, we should make a game plan about what type of rent boy I'm supposed to play...”

This scene where Cyrus finally blows up and James calls him out on what he's done was brilliant. I'm glad they gave old Cy a human weakness rather than let him be the guy able to have his husband assassinated if it served his political agenda - as it nearly happened in S2.

James goes all The Shining on Cyrus and asks for a divorce. Are you happy now Cy? Obviously not, and he breaks down in the Oval in front of Mellie, who at first can't leave quickly enough in front of all this yucky display of emotions.

Our Mellie: not a hugger.

But she stops herself long enough to impart a very personal piece of wisdom:

It hurts until it doesn't. You think what he did will break you, but... It won't. You may not sleep as well at night, but you will be fine. Numb. But... numb and fine are the same.”

S3 Mellie is gonna cost me a bypass surgery, I kid you not.



The safe house scenes are strangely uninspired. Olivia spends a while in a corner in a catatonic funk, before getting busy with trying to get her mother out of the country to protect her. Maya says all the things we expect her to, which means it has to be a bunch of lies. OPA are being hunted down by Papa Pope and that is to be expected too. I didn't feel much of a motherly vibe going on between Olivia and her mother, in spite off Mama Pope's story about the fantasy life she'd imagined for her daughter. I don't know if it was a lack of chemistry between the two actresses or if the writers felt that there should be a distance between the two women because of the time spent apart. Or if they didn't want Olivia to be able to get solace from any of her parent. In any case, something felt off.

Guess I was hoping you'd have more of me in you and less of your father. But Eli raised you in his image. ”

You can say one thing about the Pope parents: they both know exactly how to hurt their daughter. Maya and Eli deserve each other if you ask me.

There are some issues with getting Mama Pope out of the country as she's been put with a fake name on the FBI most wanted list. Abby tries to get David Rosen to get Maya off the no fly list but he can't do jack. There is a nice shippy "Jam & One Minute" (howzat for a band name?) phone call between Liv and Fitz who comes to the rescue by calling a Pentagon general who gives him a plane. Tis nice to be the Prez.

OPA's offices have been thrashed, most likely by B613, and a pretty friend of Harrison shows up to help him forge ID papers for Maya. They have eye-sex before she tells him that Adnan Salif sends his regards, and Harrison makes a face like he's just swallowed a hornet nest. See I talked about Harrison! There you go. :)

Jake kicks some presidential ass in the Oval:

Must be nice, letting other people fight your battles.”

Watch Jake sum up three seasons of Fitzgerald Grant in a nutshell.

It pushes Fitz to finally do something useful. Except that it isn't in the end. I can't wait to see the PR nightmare of having the White House aiding and abetting the escape of a known terrorist. Talking about PR, this show is missing a C.J. Cregg. Don't you think the job of Press Secretary for this White House has tons of potential? (What I wouldn't give to see C.J. and Mellie lip syncing The Jackal together). Maybe the current ones are dying of exhaustion at such a rate that we never get to see them. Or getting killed in freak accidents like Spinal Taps drummers.

Jake then tries to take Papa Pope down himself and fails because this is not the season finale yet.

Cyrus tries to blackmail Sally but it doesn't work because:

- Sally knows much he cares for James. She knows Cy won't release the pictures.
- She points out how bad it would look for the party if it were found out that the Chief of Staff's husband had an affair with a married man.

It looks like Sally is scoring on every front during the episode. Bending her convictions for her political career, giving Fitz a well deserved piece of her mind, scoffing at Cyrus' pathetic attempts at blackmail. Yeah, our Sally is way ahead of the game, bless her little homophobic, Bible thumping but now pro-choice little heart.

Until...

Repeat after me Sally: “political manoeuvring: good”, “sharp objects in your husband's back: bad”.

I guess this is going to give Liv something to take her mind off Mommie Dearest.

I found what went on with Sally a much more satisfying plot twist than finding out that Liv's mum was “the monster”. Methinks the writers got themselves some cheap Alias scripts on Ebay so they could have more free time to do their Christmas shopping.

And that's all I have to say about that.

~Fish~

PS: next episode we are going to find Quinn in Da Hole. You mark my words.




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