Last week on Twitter, Kerry Washington promised that Scandal‘s holiday-break finale would be “bananas.” “Where the Sun Don’t Shine,” though, was also a kind of recap of the entire season so far, boiled down into one hour. There were some twists and turns and some dancing, and a good set up for the next half of this season, but was it completely bananas? Hit the jump for why “I’m marrying a whore, but at least I know what I’m paying for.”
Mama’s back! And meaner than ever. As I mentioned last week, if you think your family is crazy when you go home for Thanksgiving, think again. The Pope’s have you beat every. day. of. the. week. Yet after all was said and done, Olivia finally broke free, seemingly, by taking the step to actually kill her father (who, oddly, was walking around with an unloaded weapon), causing him to really leave this time. No really. Seriously this time! Last time he was just testing her, but this time he means it! “You’re going to miss me” … right???
While Liv “handled” her father, she also channeled some of his crazy into a pep talk for Cyrus in the wake of his scandal with Michael. How many times did they use the word “bitch baby,” though? Was the word “bitch” really necessary? Are babies bitchy? Anyway, it worked, and after several drawn-out sequences where Cyrus refused to marry Michael, and was ready to run away and hide after resigning, everything was reversed and put back where it belongs, with Cyrus back telling Fitz exactly what to do. You know Fitz was terrified at the thought of Cyrus leaving him — who would tell him how to act on foreign policy issues?!
The whole “Andrew is evil and Mellie isn’t even affected by him screwing around with Liz” thing rang really false, though. Andrew is now working with a group to plant car bombs so that he and his cronies can war profiteer? And why play your hand now, when most of them are dead? To snatch Olivia, though, has to be the dumbest move ever. They do realize her father is/was Command, right? And that her other boyfriend is/was also? She’s surrounded by well-trained assassins (Huck, Quinn) who will ran hell-fire down on anyone who touches her. Not the smartest idea.
To be honest, maybe Liv will enjoy the break. She was about to crack, anyway, dancing along while telling Jake she isn’t choosing anyone but herself, and he can do an awkward white man dance around her if he wants, but otherwise, shut the hell up (also, work on the logistics of piano sex when you get a minute).
Ultimately, though, most of the plots in “Where the Sun Don’t Shine” felt like they just petered out. The “kill cards” turned out to not really be a very big deal, as Jake easily killed his only attacker, and Charlie told Quinn he was never going to kill her (of course not). Andrew suddenly becoming fully evil and trying to blackmail Fitz doesn’t seem to fit his character at all, and all of Olivia’s posturing with Rowan ended up being the same as last week: she tries to kill him, fails, and he leaves really upset that she would dare try. All of Cyrus’ scandal amounted to nothing in the end, easily fixed by Liv, while Huck’s family issues seem all tied up in the file boxes Charlie left for his ex-wife.
One of Scandal‘s major problems has always been relying too much on the B6-13 crazy. But with Rowan in the wind and the program set to self-destruct, we can only hope that it starts to fall away in this last half of the season, and return to some of the better character moments that have helped define this season as one of Scandal’s better runs. So in 2015, we’ll come back to Scandal to find out how Liv will be saved, by whom, and with what consequences. Meanwhile, there’s always wine and dancing.
Episode Rating: B-
Musings and Miscellanea:
— “Murder, terrorism, treason to start” – Liv, not giving her mother any leeway.
— I still don’t understand why not one Gladiator tried to talk to Huck’s ex-wife about the truth of his circumstances. She could easily think those documents were faked at this point.
— So is Michael now going to be a father to Cyrus’ absentee kid? James is spinning in his grave.
— And Fitz remains a wide-eyed puppet.
— “Everything at a law firm is billed of to clients, paper, pencils, air” – Quinn. This truth.
— “You have a Ph.D. in his crazy!!” – Liv.
— “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women” – Liz, channelling Taylor Swift, and getting a swift verbal beatdown from Liv about it. The shade!
— “You could play yourself in the porn version, ‘Inside Cyrus Bean'” – Cyrus to Michael.
— “It’s sweet, it’s life affirming” – Charlie, on Quinn warning him about the kill cards. Their rough sex stuff is so tired, but I did like the conversation where he says his Granny died, and she agrees she should call him more often.
— “You will miss me when I’m gone” – Rowan. Well go already, or we’ll never know!