Scandal s5 ep 14

Wild guess here. I’m thinking that in the Scandal writers’ room there must have been a degree of disquiet about the show’s election storyline, in which the show’s candidates – a decent but unknown Hispanic Governor, a sitting Vice-President, and a freshman Senator – are being rendered irrelevant and somewhat dull by the lunacy of what’s happening in the actual election. Step forward, then, our old friend Hollis Doyle, who starts the episode with a barrage of crude sexual metaphors, meant to make the point that he’s prepared to offer vast sums of money to whichever candidate is prepared to go along with his crackpot ideas on the environment. But why would you do that, when you could just run for office yourself? Which he does, and all of a sudden Scandal has its Trump. And since – unlike the Donald – Hollis isn’t actually standing for election in the real world, this might be fun rather than frightening.

What else? Oh yeah. Huck and Olivia are both stalkers, and in neither case is it really surprising. Huck is watching his son’s football games online, and notices a new man in his ex-wife’s life. He and Charlie think he might be someone they’ve crossed paths with before – Six-Toes, they call him, in reference to the consequences of enhanced interrogation technique they adopted with him – and are worried that he might be infiltrating his family life for unpleasant purposes, this being the usual m.o. of everyone in Huck’s world.

And Olivia has installed cameras in Ava Crowder from Justified’s apartment, the better to monitor her developing relationship with Jake. On one level this is a nice inversion of the way in which we first got to know Jake; on another, of course, it’s creepy, and the creepiness is ratcheted up when it becomes clear that Jake knows the cameras are there. As you’d expect, him being the director of the NSA and former B-613, if there is such a thing as former B-613. Quinn calls her out for her behaviour, and Olivia blames it on the kid****ing, which I thought we’d heard the last of. But Olivia just knows that Jake and Rowan are up to something, and she’s right. Meantime Marcus watches on with (somewhat amusing) horror: instead of the tony Beltway political consultancy firm he thought he was joining, he’s thrown his lot in with a group of sociopaths.

And, at long last, a big week for Abby: she’s found out that Cyrus is working for Gov. Vargas. What to do? Rat him out to Fitz or keep his secret for a few months and allow him to depart with dignity? Tricky one, I’d have thought. “I want”, she declares, “to slit his throat and bathe in his blood”. OK, maybe not so tricky. While Huck would have literally done just that, of course, Abby contents herself with getting Cyrus sacked and taking over as Chief of Staff. If she’s not going to return to OPA – and clearly she isn’t any time soon – this is probably the best I could hope for. A solid episode.

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