Another week, another Scandal episode to complain about. I think I’ve at least gotten past the angry stage and I mostly just laugh about it. They have three more episodes to fix it before I join the millions of viewers they’ve already succeeded in losing!
This episode could have been a call back to the classic Scandal episode formula with lots happening, interrelated story lines, and a big twist at the end, but the production side of things made a big mess which ended up being even more interesting than the show. More about that soon. First, the plot.
Susan Ross Is Smart. The administration is trying to pass a bill requiring body cameras on police officers in order to prevent police shootings in the future. They have secured a win for the passage of the bill when one of the senators goes into labor. Therefore, Susan, who was formerly the Senator from Virginia and is now the Vice President, is asked to vote on the bill. However, she won’t vote on it without reading it – all 1200 pages of it. Because she holds up the vote, Mellie’s impending announcement of her run for Susan’s Senate seat is delayed. Susan talks to Mellie about the bill and suggests that Mellie is so smart, she should be able to discuss the bill with her, and yet Mellie hasn’t bothered to read it. Susan has questions about the bill and it’s implementation and she eventually convinces Fitz to go over it with her and change it so that it works. In order to give the press another story to discuss, Mellie is able to go ahead with her Senate run announcement. Hopefully, Mellie will decide to actually read things before voting on them if she becomes an elected official.
Marcus For Mayor. In other election news, Marcus Walker, the community organizer who accused Olivia of not being “black enough” in a previous episode, was leading the race for Mayor against the current incumbent. Also, he was sleeping with his opponent’s wife. Marcus was present when a staged robbery took place and the Mayor’s wife was murdered. Because he hoped to continue his career, Marcus agreed to having Olivia’s people cover up the murder. However, Marcus was still in trouble because his email was hacked and emails were sent threatening the Mayor’s wife from his account. It was uncovered that the Mayor had set up the whole thing – in that way he could get rid of his cheating wife and insure a mayoral win against Marcus. Olivia convinces the Mayor to drop out and endorse Marcus, but Marcus decides he wants to pursue justice and he comes clean about the whole situation. His career is over, and somehow Olivia’s team gets away with trying to cover up the murder in the first place.
Papa Pope Is Back. Olivia has messed up parents, especially her father, who last season put out the order to kill the President’s son because by loving Olivia, the President had apparently stolen Olivia from her father. He also (way back in Season 2) hired Jake to sleep with Olivia in order to get her to move on from Fitz. Now, he returned to Olivia’s apartment along side of Russell, her newest boy toy (who she uses to escape the reality of her complicated life). He drugged Russell, who was tied up on the floor, while he told Olivia that she should stop the investigation into B613, the organization he was in charge of whose sole purpose seemed to be hiding government scandals in any way possible. Olivia ultimately decides to go ahead with the plan for pursuing justice (not for Fitz’s son who was killed, but for Jake and Huck who had been previously tortured by the agency). In order to bring down the agency, Jake has to testify, and he has to expose Operation Remington, which viewers already knew involved Fitz having been ordered to shoot down a passenger plane. Apparently, even though he did this under order by none other than Papa Pope, it is a huge betrayal on Olivia’s part to allow Jake to reveal that Fitz was involved. Now, because Papa Pope can’t allow Jake to go ahead with this testimony, he has Jake attacked – by none other than Russell, who has apparently been working for Papa all along. The episode ends with it looking a lot like Jake is dead.
But the production team made a mess – SPOILERS ahead! Not only were promotional photos released for this episode which never happened in the show itself, prior to the show airing, photos of the episode that will air in two weeks were released showing Jake as very much alive and recovering in Olivia’s bed. Before we even knew that Jake would be stabbed or suspected to be dead, we knew he would survive! At the end of the episode though, Scott Foley tweeted as if he was off the show and the Scandal twitter account did as well. Various articles have surfaced mourning his loss. The photos confirming his survival were then removed from the ABC media site. I have two theories on this mess – first, they could have released the photos in order to preserve Scott Foley’s ego and lessen the need for him to see as many “thank God he’s dead” tweets and articles. Or they could have been released by someone on the inside hoping to sabotage things for the show. I suppose it could also be a ploy to bring everyone back to watching – those who think he’s dead and are happy about it so they choose to ignore the photos and those who don’t want him to die and therefore believe the photos showing him as alive. I’m having more fun laughing at the production team than I am thinking about the plot of the show! I wonder how long they will keep pretending that Jake is dead. (See Also: BuzzFeed, Hypable).
Three more episodes to go.