The phrase “You had me at hello” is a perfect way to describe this week’s Scandal because it was rich with both kinds of hellos – salutations and discoveries.
Let’s start with the episode’s painful and awkward greetings. The most agonizing was when Abby came in contact with her abusive ex-husband Chip Putney (Michael Trucco, Battlestar Galactica), not once but twice. Chip, as it turns out, was Fitz’s first choice as a replacement for Senator Dirty Diaper Pants.
The latter’s leaked sex tape opened the door for Chip to ascend the political ladder but after Abby talked to Olivia, faithful Gladiators everywhere knew good old Chip didn’t have a chance. This is especially true when the full extent of Chip’s abuse played out over the episode – a pin in Abby’s jaw, two fake front teeth and a still not-quite-right collarbone. Yahtzee indeed, Leo.
While it was awesome seeing Abby (Darby Stanchfield delivered an Emmy-worthy performance) put Chip in his place with a loaded glock, it’s clear that Chip is a vicious and cocky bully to have cornered his battered ex-wife in an isolated parking garage in the first place.
Back to the hellos. Another notable one was when Olivia greeted Tom (Brian Letscher) at the prison. See, it seemed like O.P. was there to see Jake but she had bigger fish to fry. And while Olivia let Tom go on and on and talk just like her father – don’t you just love the speechified speak on Scandal?! – it seemed like she was looking through him and his Helen of Troy comparisons until he revealed that her main man Fitz attempted suicide when she took an indefinite leave of absence.
Oh, and we weren’t the only ones to notice that Tom was channeling his best Rowan Pope.
Rowan and Tom bout to monologue in Iambic Pentameter... #Scandal
Speaking of Rowan, his hello was super creepy as he lied in wait in Olivia’s apartment when she wasn’t home. Man, does everyone know how to sneak up in this woman’s apartment? Does she have an alarm system? If so, it doesn’t work.
Anyway, Papa Pope’s visits are never simple and he wasted no time reading his daughter the riot act about staying out of his business. But in an episode where it seemed like everyone from Fitz to Abby was rendering poor Olivia speechless – more on that later – Olivia proved that not only did she hear what her father did and didn’t say (that other kind of hello!) – her look let us know she knew her dad gave Tom the command. And that’s when she finally delivered the retort we’d been waiting for all night.
“What’s clear is that you seem to have wasted a lifetime doing all the wrong things.”
This of course caused daddy Pope to raise his hands. At first it looked like he might slap or strangle his only child. Instead, he embraced her face in a menacing way. Shudder.
Thankfully, there were some fun hello moments. Olivia meeting underdog candidate Susan Ross (Artemis Pebdani, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) for the first time was pretty funny. Her inability to shoot a campaign ad and her daughter doing a better job? Hilarious.
Then there was that steamy connection during Olivia and Fitz’s phone sex session aka the scene that got more than a few fans hot and bothered.
Sexy Fitz trumps suicidal, whiny Fitz every time. Another fun Fitz is one that’s been put in his place. While it seemed like Olivia might do the honors, Mellie came through when she basically told Fitz Old Mellie was back and that he needed to stay out of her way. She even looked great in a red dress as she announced her return. Good for her. Smelly Mellie no more.
Yeah, Mellie. Let him have it. #Scandal
Two more introductions of significance were when Huck’s son tracked him down for the installment’s most touching moment and when Olivia, Fitz and Jake all said hello before plotting Rowan’s demise.
What an irresistible juxtaposition. In one scene, a tragically torn apart father and son are reunited through technology and in another, a daughter used prison-guard violence and anything else she had to to reveal her own father as the monster he really is.
A few stray notes:
- Cyrus is so unlucky in love it’s sad but his comment about his prostate? Yuck!
- Where is that baby girl Cyrus and James adopted anyway?
- Abby’s Anita Hill shoutout was brilliant and true.
- Mellie and Lizzie should talk once an episode because their rapport is perfection.
- And Abby and Leo, huh? OK.
What did you think of this week’s episode?