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Scandal: Snake in the Garden

"Why not help the murderer you rigged an election with? It's the Christian thing to do."

And just like that, we’re back. After a rather lackluster return last week, Scandal is back to spectacular form, mostly.

The Hollis storyline never really clicked for me. It was hard to sympathize with any party involved. We know Hollis to be a monster and he came across as just that, refusing to pay the ransom until he was sure his daughter had actually been kidnapped and not blinking even when he got an ear in the mail. And the girl? What kind of a person fakes their own kidnapping and cuts off their ear for money? As for the former Mrs. Doyle, we might be inclined to pity her, but what kind of person marries Hollis Doyle? Really now.

This got me thinking, why do I hate Hollis so much? Sure, he rigged the election, but so did Verna, Mellie, Cyrus, and Olivia. Sure, he killed a bunch of people, but so has Huck, Cyrus, and even Fitz. The cast is full of villainous characters we love to root for, so why is Hollis still a villain for me?

The spoiled rich kid selfnap is a crime procedural staple verging on cliché. Andrea Bowen did a great job (although I was not loving red hair on her for whatever reason), but it was still obvious from jump street she was the culprit. Her answers during the hostage negotiation came way too quickly to be coming from someone else. I would have thought Huck would have checked the ear for hesitation marks first thing and immediately discovered the sawing, but that would have obliterated the third act I suppose.

What really worked this episode was the progress made in the Albatross arc. And boy was there a lot of it. Osborne is dead, killed by Jake in a fake suicide. I’m sorry to lose Kurt Fuller so soon. He did a great job with the character. Just because you’re an ass and a bully, doesn’t mean you’re guilty of being the mole. So who is it? Clearly Jake works for whoever it is. My first thought was Cyrus because the confrontation between him and Osborne was such an interesting scene. But Cyrus didn’t know who Jake was when he discovered he was spending time with Fitz. Hmmm.

Is Jake a black hat? Even after killing a man in cold blood and framing him for his boss’s heinous crimes, I still like him. I still get a ‘good guy’ vibe from him. Is that just Scott Foley’s inherent good guyittude?

So Cyrus knows that Jake is spending time with Fitz for some mysterious reason and Olivia came thisclose to learning it too. I can’t wait to see the scene where she realizes there’s more to her latest love interest than meets the eye. She is not going to be happy with either Fitz or Jake. Hell hath no fury like the wrath of an Olivia manipulated.

That leads us neatly to Fitz, who really pissed me off this week. The scene where Mellie confronted him about his blowful parenting was well written and beautifully acted but I hated it. Hated it. I don’t like thinking of Fitz as a bad father. He is our romantic lead after all and I don’t like imagining him yelling at his kids. What does it say about this family that MELLIE is the responsible, reliable parent? Hopefully this will be enough to get Fitz back to the Fitz we know and love.

In a truly Scandal twist, Quinn has actually become one of my favorite characters. Who could have predicted it? I really felt for her when she couldn’t get her dad on the phone. Poor girl. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Hollis did more than kill her boyfriend, he deprived her of the only real family she has left.

I love her apprenticeship with Huck. The sweetest moment in the episode, possibly in the entire season, was Huck finding her a family. I actually cried. Who would have thought stalking could be so tender? Huck set her up with a family that mimicked her own, real life family. Does that mean that Huck’s families mimic his own? Did he have sisters and a dog and a picket fence in his childhood?

Bits and Pieces:

(almost exclusively questions this week)

Why did Jake’s surveillance equipment go down when Osborne was in Liv’s apartment? It didn’t happen right when he walked in, which means it probably wasn’t any sort of bug killer he was carrying.

I loved Liv’s confrontation with Osborne. That girl is tough.

Did Hollis not recognize Quinn when he asked her for coffee or was he just being horrible?

Huck and Quinn figured out where Maybelle was being held by looking and listening for clues in the tape, but how did they know she was still in DC?

Cyrus mentioned one of Fitz’s military missions. Was he just trying to convince Fitz that good people can do bad things for good reasons or was the mission important? Did it have something to do with Jake, who served with Fitz?

Why did Maybelle blame Justin? Wouldn’t it have been easier to invent a gang of large, masked men?

Who was the guy Jake met on the bench? Have we seen him before?


“You’re having me followed. Unless you have a crush on me, I assume there’s a reason.”

“Imagine a pretty, young, spoiled Hollis Doyle on pills and coke and speed.”

“You look at the ex-boyfriend? This sort of crime’s always the ex-boyfriend.”
“Thanks for the head’s up.”

“You don’t know me. I might be the worst guy in the world. Or I might be the best. Whoever I am, I like you. I like you a lot. I like how you say ‘What?’ when you answer the phone, how you always seem to be wearing white, how wine seems to be a food group for you. I like that you know who you are and that you fix everyone around you, but you you seem...sad to me, Olivia. I like you, but you seem sad.”
Very When Harry Met Sally.

“Poor little rich girl. What was it? He worked late, she missed your dance recitals, they threw you in reform school, rehab, they tried to buy your love instead of earning it? Whatever they told you in therapy, whatever sad cliché you’re still holding on to after all these years, it doesn’t matter. No one feels sorry for you, not anymore.”

three and a half out of four ears


  1. Why did Jake’s surveillance equipment go down when Osborne was in Liv’s apartment? I never know the answers to this stuff, but I think I have this one! Olivia dropped a bug killer in a vase on her bookcase. Right?

    Terrific review, Sunbunny. I also knew from the beginning that Maybelle had kidnapped herself, although the ear thing made me wonder. What sort of human being is capable of cutting off her own ear? Isn't it, like, horrendously, horribly painful, even for twenty mil?

  2. Billie, I don't know why I assumed that the thing she dropped in the vase was a USB with secret files that Jake later broke in and stole. Or was it a bug killer? I'm confused! I think you might be right.

  3. I'm never right, though. :) Maybe it was a USB *and* a bug killer!

  4. At first I thought it was the bug killer too, but it was the USB drive that Jake broke in, stole, and delivered to Fitz. Liv's gonna be pissed when she realizes it's gone.

  5. I love the photo you chose. Everyone is looking in a different direction. :)

  6. I love this show. This week was stunning, but the highlight for me was Mellie. Since Fitz has left Olivia and Cyrus out in the cold, no one has been there to bring him back from the dark side and he needed bringing back. Mellie knows how to hit below the belt and did so, but I think Fitz needed to hear it and I admired her for not backing down from him.

    I'm also really enjoying the Huck/Quinn duo. They have a great chemistry together and I love how he leads her to the answers without actually giving them to her. He's a great teacher.


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