Last week, 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-OMG episode, "No Sun on the Horizon." Also, duh, don't read this if you don't want the plot spoiled!
First of all, how were we not doing this for the entire season??? Oh well. No time for regrets. There is an insane episode in front of us to discuss!
Of course, at the very end, I just went "WHAT?! WHAAAAAAT????" over and over again, since Jake's shooting of...someone was one of those deliciously shocking TV cliffhanging moments that leave you reeling on your couch, gasping for breath with your world spinning. Obviously I will be waiting very anxiously to see who Jake actually did shoot (my guess is David, for some reason I can't quite explain). I will also note that there is a definite possibility that nobody got killed. The promos just after the show ended were all emphasizing that Jake "shot" someone, so perhaps we're looking at a serious wounding and not a murder.
With the benefit of a few hours' sleep, though, I must confess I had my...issues with that ending. The biggest one is, why is Jake doing this himself? He is, as he emphasized in his artsy-for-Scandal monologue, the head of a crazed shadow government with seemingly endless resources and networks of skullduggery at its disposal. Why wouldn't Jake just pick up the phone and send one of his many minions on the mission?
It felt like a particularly heavy-handed way to emphasize the fact that Jake Has Changed, and, after an episode in which everyone kept sitting around and spelling out just how much they'd changed, it struck me as slightly cheap. Extremely exciting from a soapy plot perspective, but cheap nevertheless.
And that's a shame, because this episode was actually a rather interesting examination of the ways in which everyone's years of villainy has caught up to them. There were lots of plot machinations--I found Sally's struggle to contain her growing, erm, "mental difficulties" the most intriguing--but the overwhelming feeling I got was one of sadness. It is just really sad that these people are so helplessly trapped in one destructive cycle after another. Yes, it's true that maybe if they'd stuck more to paperwork and tax policies and less to murder, election-rigging, adultery, torture, hacking, spying, lying and unhealthy wine-consumption, they might all be in a better place with themselves. But then it wouldn't be "Scandal," would it? It wouldn't be a show in which, as Olivia somewhat hysterically points out, literally every presidential candidate is a murderer. The hour was filled with conversations between people who envisioned a more normal life for themselves, and then had to accept that, because they were all monstrous nutjobs, maybe that kind of life wasn't for them. Which is...sad!
Before I cede the stage to you, a couple of points.
First point: I remain convinced that they are going to write Kerry Washington's pregnancy into the show, if for no other reason than the fact that their attempts to cover it up with all of those billowing shirts and coats are becoming increasingly futile.
Second point: Sally's insane "piggy piggy" line was one of the best things in history.
Third point: Why couldn't Jake have shot Quinn? I am so, so, so very sick of her.
OK. What did you think???
OMG! We're TOTALLY on the same page!
Ok so starting from the end. I was reeling, because I honestly was waiting for Cyrus to keep apologizing to James and then stick a knife in him the way Sally did her husband. So when it shifted to the final scene and Jake ends up shooting... someone, I found myself gasping for breath because, in the words of Kevin Hart, I WASN'T READY!
This episode seemed to be about everybody's declaration of independence. Sally asserted her independence from her vice-presidential responsibility -- and overemphasized her dependence on God -- Fitz asserted his independence over his puppet string holders (namely Cy, Mellie and Liv) and Jake, oh Jake. Jake Ballard had to prove himself as a man both capable of winning Olivia's heart and running the country's most lowdown, but absolutely necessary organization of illegal activity.
But Jake is permanently in someone's shadow. He's in Fitz's shadow with Olivia, and he's, without a doubt, in Papa Pope's shadow as command of B613. Despite his little monologue in the beginning of how one must psychologically change themselves to be in B613, and despite Quinn's weird boyfriend shutting down Cy's request because of the "boss's orders," Jake is still an understudy struggling to fill his predecessor's shoes -- Cy made this painfully obvious when he basically told Jake "Eli Pope would've had this Sally thing handled yesterday, boo."
Sally's story line in this episode was nothing short of fascinating. The display of the torment she was experiencing from losing her relationship with God was so enticing. And I absolutely died when she threw shade and scripture at Olivia because, well you know, Liv "is not a woman of God." The presidential debate scene made my blood pressure go up so high, I made a doctors appointment. And who the hell thought good ol' Tom would pop up as a B613 agent when all these episodes I just thought he was the homey?
My last thoughts: James' admission that he just wanted an apology was like watching a person in an abusive relationship say he's staying because his boyfriend said sorry. I found myself really sad watching that, although I must admit I'm mad at James for going behind Cy's back -- which is so sick because what Cy did was DEPLORABLE. But in this weird way I feel so sorry that he's trapped in his web of betrayal and evil.
When Olivia schooled Fitz about what it really takes to get him into the White House, I was happier than Sally Langston in church. Like, c'mon, get with the program Fitz! This is a dirty game. And her "there is no Vermont" remark was sad but SO NECESSARY. Everyone please stop living in a fantasy world. Your dirt will come back to haunt you, and you can't run away when it's all said and done, because -- if this episode proved anything -- it will never be all said and done.
Finally, go away Quinn. Just go away and never return.
Ok that's it. LAWD.
Watch Scandal every Thursday at 10 PM/9 Central on ABC.
Follow Jack Mirkinson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jackmirkinson