Scandal s5 ep 16

Bit late with this. Anyway, in ‘The Miseducation of Susan Ross’ we start with the Republican presidential debate, which is – like a courtroom scene – the sort of thing which is actually quite hard to get wrong on TV. This one is pretty good: Mellie is combative, intelligent, and unlikeable; (Donald Trump) is on-message – huge cyber-fences and the like – to the point where the real Donald Trump might well want to think about suing for plagiarism; and Susan, still brooding over David’s infidelity, is flailing, until she comes up with the best answer of the night, referencing her dead war hero husband, and is generally agreed to be the winner.

Except… Olivia has the dirt on Susan which was provided by Alex Vargas, in return for info about Edison’s spell in rehab. And the dirt is that she wasn’t actually married to her “husband”. This isn’t so terrible in itself, but a little more digging reveals that he wasn’t the father of Susan’s child either; the babydaddy is Ronnie, a convicted felon, and Susan’s high school sweetheart, who she hooked up with while her husband was serving overseas.

Now, this is dynamite. But, hereabouts, something a little odd happens: Olivia starts plotting how best to use this information, but Huck and Quinn try to discourage her, to the point of staging an intervention, on the somewhat flimsy grounds that Susan’s daughter will be hurt. Given what the three of them have done before now, individually and collectively, it’s perhaps a little late to be developing scruples. On the other hand, if Huck and Quinn think you’re going too far, you almost certainly are.

Elsewhere on the GOP side, Mellie is desperately trying to make herself seem likeable, so does Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets bit, accompanied by Marcus, who might conceivably hit that before the campaign is over. Or am I imagining that they have a spark?

As for the Dems: over at Team Vargas, Alex wants to use the information about Edison and his time in rehab; Frankie, the candidate, doesn’t, and nor does Cyrus. But it gets out there, and Frankie makes an ill-advised remark about it. What he doesn’t know is that Cyrus is plotting to supplant Alex as his chief campaign adviser, and that if Cyrus suggests a certain course of action it’s wise to give it careful consideration. And Rowan delivers one of his scenery-chewing rants – the first one I’ve enjoyed in ages, as it happens – when Edison finds out about the rehab leak and blames Olivia, telling Rowan to “rein (her) in”. Edison’s impudence does not go down well with Rowan, who makes it clear that he, Rowan, is the #bawse. And, by implication, sets the clock running on Edison’s time on the planet. All of a sudden I can’t see him getting out of this alive.

Meantime poor old Susan is required, for electoral purposes, to pretend that she and David are a thing, and poor old David unsuccessfully begs for forgiveness. My guess is that Susan will relent and take him back, and will then discover who David’s sidepiece was. Not as good as last week, but not at all bad.

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