This episode was the first to be shown in America after the mid-season hiatus, and it was undoubtedly a brave choice: ‘Run’ was unlike anything else Scandal has ever done. By the standards of a show which generally tries to cram as much action as it can into an episode, it was more or less plot-free. And while it was always watchable and occasionally thrilling, it wasn’t wholly successful. We start by revisiting the end of last week’s episode: Jake away to get props to make the forthcoming piano-sex a little more comfortable; Olivia meantime vanishing from her apartment. It’s then rerun showing how Olivia was abducted, and it’s a detailed and intricate plan which the writers are clearly pleased with, because it takes several minutes of screen-time.
Olivia is sedated, and wakes up incarcerated in a grimy prison in an unspecified Middle Eastern country, sharing a cell with a journalist named Ian McLeod. Which is where we’ll stay for just about all of the rest of the episode. There’s a dream sequence which started off irritating – as, to me, just about all dream sequences are – but then became funny (the jam!), touching, and sinister; she tries to escape but is caught, and Ian is shot as a punishment. The whole thing leads to a shocking end, which I freely concede I didn’t see coming at all.
The problem, though, is that – admittedly on the basis of the facts as they presently appear – the episode made no sense. If Olivia has been kidnapped on the say-so of VPOTUS and his team, in order to be used as leverage with Fitz, they already know that she’s incredibly important to him. So why spend time and money – and possibly human lives, although I wouldn’t discount another fakeout – in order to find that out? (And why did Olivia put the gun down?) I know – and expect – that this show won’t be in any way realistic, but I would quite like it to adhere to its own internal logic. Perhaps, this being Scandal, there are more reveals to come.