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'Scandal' Chat: 'The Fluffer' Was A Little Bit Of Fluff And A Whole Lot Of Drama

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A few weeks ago, the two of us looked around and realized that HuffPost didn't have anybody recapping "Scandal." We are here to rectify that horrible error, just as the third season enters its wild and crazy homestretch. Today, we're chatting about last night's super-wild episode, "The Fluffer." Click here to read our thoughts on last week's episode. Also, duh, don't read this if you don't want the plot spoiled!

DANIELLE:

Jack,

I have to admit, I don't even know where to start. I feel like there are so many story lines going on in "Scandal" now that's it's hard for me to keep up with. But I'm gonna give it my best shot.

Ok so Abby donning her little white coat and trying to pretend to be Olivia cracked me up in the beginning, and Cy unapologetically calling her Gabby cracked me up even more. The tension between Fitz, Mellie and Andrew was sort of hilarious too and I'm glad Shonda jumped right in rather than avoiding the topic. But I have to say, I was disappointed in Olivia for sending an understudy. It was pretty petty -- and I'm glad Cy made that clear later.

I'm really wondering where Olivia and FItz's relationship is gonna go from here. I love that 'Liv forced him to be honest about what happened with Mellie, and I'm glad she's not being stupid and naive. I'm not surprised Fitz got all bent out of shape about Mellie sleeping with Andrew, but I think it was really interesting how Olivia decided to deal with it. I wonder if it makes her feel any better to grab Andrew by the balls and essentially take away Mellie's happiness.

Speaking of Mellie's happiness. Her scenes were epic last night! From the way she picked up Fitz's ties from the floor to the way she stormed in, slapped him across the face and yelled "YOU TAKE EVERYTHING FROM ME!" I was absolutely loving Mellie last night. She has proved to be so strong and resilient and I really respect that. But I wonder if she loves Andrew the way he loves her, or if she's just using him for sex. Which ironically is the same question I guess Olivia must have asked herself about Fitz last week.

Who the hell did Jake get drunk with?? Does he have any friends?? His super emo "I'm gonna show up at your door drunk and ask you to save me" scene made me uncomfortable. Just like Huck and Harrison said, he's just a normal guy. Which is why it frustrates me that he tries to put on this B613 front as command. Like Pape Pope said, he's a bad master who has left the dog of B613 malnourished. Side note, how is it that 'Liv all of a sudden can't date men who killed her friends?? Didn't Fitz choke a woman with cancer??

Which brings me to the whole bring down B613 thing. To be honest, I think the whole thing is stupid. I think it's stupid for 'Liv to try to take on the super secret, super evil organization that does things like keep the president from getting blown up into a bajillion bits (albeit while violating human rights and stuff). But I just knew their stupid little plan was gonna blow up in their faces.

My final questions: Why is Harrison friends with all these assassins and junior assassins? I really want to know what he was up to before joining Pope & Associates. Per usual, the Quinn scenes make me gag. As if we didn't know she was still gonna be loyal to Olivia... DUH! Where the hell did the random fake mistress come from with her "Taken For Granted" book? And the whole baguette thing? I died. Just died.

Handing it off to you now...

JACK:

Danielle—
I share your bewilderment at the craziness going on in this episode, and this show! And I must say that I found "The Fluffer" to be a most dispiriting and poisonous hour of television.

Shonda Rhimes has often said that you're not supposed to like the characters on "Scandal," and, after watching last night, it's clear that she wanted the audience to be reminded that, essentially, everyone on the show is pretty terrible. Fitz and Olivia's terrible relationship? Check. Olivia's straight-out-of-a-fairy-tale horrible parents? Check. (Seriously, I hope Olivia's got a high-quality shrink on standby, since the scene in the restaurant with Mom and Dad was the most traumatic thing in history.) Mellie's bitter unhappiness at Fitz's awfulness? Check. Olivia's oh-so-cold dispatching of a problem—in this case, both Andrew AND Jake—to get what she needs, and her subsequent feelings of complete hideousness? Check. Huck's insanity? Check. And on and on and on and on.

In the past, the show's unwillingness to divide its characters into heroes and villains has been one of its greatest strengths. The audacity of Rhimes's plotting—her constant testing of our loyalties to people who keep doing the most insanely terrible things—is what makes "Scandal" "Scandal," after all.

But I feel like, as this season has gone on, the writers have worked themselves into a corner. We're watching a series of completely destructive relationships that don't ever seem to end and continually trap their participants in the same cycles. It's never less than gripping, but it's also incredibly repetitive. "The Fluffer" was the biggest evidence yet to me that Rhimes and Co. desperately need to make some big changes to get "Scandal" out of its current hole. Maybe, just maybe, Fitz and Olivia could more firmly break apart, for instance? Or B613 could fade into the background? Just some thoughts!

Anyway, rant over. Even though I had a lot of problems with this episode, there was still, as ever, a whole boatload of crazy to unpack.

I so, so, so agree with you that the B613 stuff is really stupid! First of all, I don't understand how Mama Pope is supposedly the world's most devious and wanted terrorist, and yet she's carrying out a presidential assassination plot in what appears to be a very swanky hotel, and casually dropping by at high-end restaurants. That's not terrorist behavior! That's idiot behavior! Where's her underground bunker?

And while we're at it, does B613 have only three employees? Jake appears to do nothing but sit by himself in his cheaply decorated office and order Quinn and Charlie around. Were there some budget cuts we didn't hear about? How in the world is B613's entire operation compromised because Jake can't resist Olivia? Surely B613 has an army of hackers and cyberspecialists monitoring all of this stuff.

But no matter—Mama Pope gets away, and Jake turns truly terrible at the end, choking Olivia and telling her she'd killed the president. Yikes! Who knows where that awful scene will lead to—but Jake probably sealed his fate with that act. I have my doubts that Papa Pope is going to let that act of violence stand.

Now for some of the other 25 subplots:

Mellie, of course, remains heartbreaking in every way. Someday, she will leave Fitz, and run for president, and all will be right with the world.

I, too, am astonished at Harrison's seemingly endless array of connections with fabulously dressed and styled female assassins and criminals. Though, really, we shouldn't be astonished—he's now with Olivia, after all, isn't he? Clearly he's got a type.

The return of Abby to a place of even minor prominence was my favorite part of this episode. She's brilliant! Hey Olivia, maybe you could remember that once in a while?

Oh, and that sex scene with Olivia and Jake was hi-LARIOUS. Never have I seen such an example of "the woman in the bed is super-pregnant, so it's just gonna be lots of face shots, people!" in my life.

Until next week!

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“I am not the bad guy.”—Fitz