I was expecting an Olivitz love/hate-fest after last episode’s ‘Jake knows!’ revelation. We got some of that, but there’s no denying that this was Huck’s episode. Flashback-heavy episodes are where this show really shines. Season 1’s “The Trail” has, until now, been my favorite episode of the series. “Seven Fifty-Two” might just have dethroned it. Scandal stepped out of its soap opera box this week. It got dark. Way dark, like premium cable dark.
Huck certainly got his Dexter on. He even tied his victims down in a similar fashion. For me, the creepiest part of Huck’s descent into psychopathy was the juxtaposition of B6-13 Huck and family man Huck. I never would have guessed he had a wife or a child. It made the situation about a thousand times more tragic. When Huck first appeared behind Kim at the library, I almost cried. Clean cut Huck, with a big smile and a loving girlfriend? It would have been sweet, if we didn’t know what Huck would eventually become.
Watching him become that person made me extremely uncomfortable. My notes from the episode include: “I hate this, but in a good way.” It was good, but I love Huck just too much to be able to see him torturing and murdering people and be okay with it. This episode really cemented the idea that, to Huck, torture is a drug. He was acting high as a kite while doing his job and the way he talked about the feeling it gives him with Charlie thoroughly creeped me out.
I was terrified Kim and Javi were going to die. Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t. Charlie showed uncharacteristic sympathy for his...‘friend?’ He let Huck live when he foundered on the job and only threatened to kill his family.
Guillermo Díaz gave an absolutely fabulous performance throughout the episode, but his shining moment had to be his conversation with Olivia at the end. The range that man has to go from badass torturer to vulnerable, emotional mess is truly impressive. He made me cry when he asked Olivia if his family was real. It won’t happen, but I’m hoping this gets remembered around Emmy nomination time.
As each member of Pope & Associates tried to snap Huck out of his trance, we got some nice character beats. Each character assumed that what bothers them the most is what had finally gotten to Huck. Abby loves Olivia and understands that she owes her friend everything, but is nonetheless frustrated that she had to sacrifice her relationship with David for her. She assumes “752” is the number of favors Huck has done for Liv. Harrison, so recently confronted with the knowledge that his boss is sleeping with the president, talks to Huck about all he has seen in life and how that must weigh on him. Harrison is now burdened with a piece of knowledge that few others have. He guesses that everything Huck has seen has finally gotten to him, that knowing things that shouldn’t be known have made him snap. It is Quinn who comes the closest, which is fitting as she is the one (besides Olivia) closest to Huck. Quinn talks about the life she should have had, would have had with Jesse if fate (a.k.a. Hollis Doyle) hadn’t intervened. They would’ve gotten married, bought a house, and had children. Huck really did have all that until fate (a.k.a B6-13) intervened.
On the Olivitz drama front, Fitz apologized for being horrible to Liv and told her he loved her (because saying “I love you” in a slow, sexy voice fixes everything). Liv announced she couldn’t trust Fitz ever again and then they kissed. Plus, Mellie threatened to leave Fitz if he doesn’t choose once and for all. I loved every minute of the scenes between Fitz and Liv, but there’s no point in denying that we’ve been here before. Several times. I’m hoping Shonda Rhimes switches things up soon, because even I’m getting bored of the constant on again off again.
In major conspiracy news, Jake, it turns out, is working for B6-13, not Albatross. Is it really better, though? Both are pretty darn evil. B6-13 is attempting to learn who Albatross is and apparently killed poor Osborne just to give the real Albatross a false sense of security. Brutal, eh?
My big question is who is Charlie working for? Cyrus? B6-13? Was he the one who broke into Liv’s apartment in the previous episode? If so, why? Why trap Huck in a box in a storage unit? My half-baked theory is that he was trying to keep Huck out of the way of Jake’s bosses. Surely if B6-13 knew Huck was alive, they’d want to take him out (and probably Charlie, too). I’m convinced Charlie didn’t go to the hospital to hurt Liv. It seemed he did that, at least, on Cyrus’ orders. If Cyrus wanted to hurt Olivia, I’m sure there are easier ways for him to do that. She is his late night popcorn and wine buddy, after all.
Finally, who is Albatross? I feel like the writers are trying to make us think it’s Cyrus, but there’s just no way it could be. First of all, it’s the most obvious twist. Secondly, if you think about it for more than a few seconds it’s completely ridiculous. Cyrus wouldn’t sacrifice a single bit of the power he’s amassed for money. A friend of mine thought it might be Mellie, which makes more sense than it being Cyrus, but not by a lot. It has to be a recurring character, right? They’re not just going to drop in a random person in the finale and be all “Ooh, it was that guy!”
Bits & Pieces:
I’m sure it doesn’t matter to B6-13, but the CIA is really, really not supposed to be operating on American soil.
What sort of mother lets her young child go up to a crazy looking homeless man by himself?
“Seven Fifty-Two” ended up being the last time (literally) Huck saw his son. I was terrified it would be the number of watches he had collected. That would be a huge number.
Speaking of the watches, we saw Huck’s collection previously in “Hunting Season.” Good continuity there.
We still don’t get Huck’s real name, but we do learn his wife’s name (Kim) and his son’s name (Javi). From this information, I’ve deduced that Javi grows up to be a NYC detective. C’mon, it fits, right? Espo was special forces before he became a cop. He could totally be Huck’s son, provided you suspend the rules of time.
(minimal funny this week, which is totally not my fault)
“You know what happens when a bored nurse or an arrogant doctor tweets that the president, the same one who was shot in the head ten months ago, is in the hospital in the middle of the night? Markets panic, reporters swarm, DEFCON levels change.”
“Cats and dogs will finally get along?”
“If someone punches you enough times and tells you that you’re worthless, if the man who’s supposed to love you, your husband, does that enough, you stop thinking you can be right about anything.”
“She saves you. She saves you and she turns you into a gladiator, a soldier and then we live and die for her. We are blindly loyal. No questions asked, morals be damned, because she loves us and this becomes who we are: gladiators. And it’s amazing and it’s wonderful and it ruins everything.”
“This past year, I have only learned one thing: that I cannot exist without you, that I cannot breathe without you, that the man I am without you is...I’m nothing. I’m nothing. And you are everything and I need you to give me another chance.”
First of all, that’s five things. Second of all, how many chances have you had already, Fitz?
“You know I killed a king once? With a crown and everything. Those were the days.”
“You had the saddest eyes. They were sadder than mine.”
“I didn’t save you in that metro station. You saved me.”
“I think I used to have a family. But I don’t remember if they were real or I imagined them.”
four out of four watches