Scandal Review: Going To Extremes

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Desperate times called for desperate measures tonight on Scandal. And for some of the characters, those measures weren't just desperate. They were also extremely gruesome.

"Crash and Burn," while dealing with several tangential story lines, could really be called "All About Huck."

Olivia Takes The Case of an Airline Pilot

We've spent the last several weeks learning the histories of the members of Team Olivia. Last week, through Cyrus' investigation into Olivia and her team, we discovered more about everyone - except Huck - than we had in the prior three episodes. The loyal, gun-owning, computer genius has been something of a mystery until tonight.

Then, we got Huck's story. And what a story it is.

First, the squad discovers that Amanda Tanner is missing and Huck clues Olivia in to the fact that she's being watched. From there, he details how Amanda was likely stolen from the apartment. When questioned about how he could possibly know this, he says he knows because that's how he would do it. When he discovers that he knows Amanda's abductor, he sets up a meeting with the assassin and learns that Amanda is dead.

It's been clear that Huck is fiercely loyal to and protective of Olivia for quite some time, but what hasn't been clear is why. Huck, after suffering a mental breakdown because of the work he was required to do as a member of a Black Ops team for the CIA, was unceremoniously dumped on the street in such a manner that prevented him from contacting his friends or family again and left him homeless and living in the subway. That is, until Olivia came along and cleaned him up and got him "sober," where "sober" means he no longer enjoyed torturing and killing people for information.

Watching him torture his former colleague for information on the whereabouts of Amanda Tanner's body, at Olivia's request no less, was chilling. Watching him pull away from her as if he's in pain later in the episode was kind of heartbreaking.

He has followed her over his own cliff all for the sake of knowing what happened to this girl. Because of the subtleties in his character, the way he portrays his brokenness when the others seem so put together, he's fast becoming one of my favorites of Team Olivia.

Other points of note from this episode:

  • The President and Cyrus differ in their reactions to Amanda Tanner's death. President Grant seems somewhat shaken, or at least saddened by the news. Cyrus, however, has a complete disregard for her death.
  • Cyrus and the President learn that Olivia wasn't the one who sent the tape. They know there's someone else within their protected circle who knows of the President's indiscretions. How much did I love that the blackmail tape was a recording of Nixon's resignation speech? My money's now on the Vice President for being the blackmailer, or someone in her camp at least.
  • Speaking of the V.P., she certainly seemed like a snake in the grass. A snake whose politics seem vastly different from that of the President's and who did not like being forced to vote against her personal desires in the Senate. I don't think I'd trust her any farther than I can throw her.
  • Stephen couldn't cheat on his fiancee' to get the mechanic's report for the airplane crash, but could cheat on his fiancee' to get the coroner's report for Amanda Tanner. While I hate that he cheated, though, monogamy doesn't seem like his M.O., I'm glad Team Olivia got the information first. Amanda Tanner's baby wasn't the President's.
  • It wouldn't be awesome to be the President given how impossible it seemed for him to leave the White House without alerting the press corps he planned to leave. Does he have to alert someone when he wants to go to the restroom, too? However, the fact that he made it happen and went straight to Olivia certainly heats things up next week.
  • The plane crash subplot served only as a way for Harrison and Abby to have something to do, like be a savant with sound recordings and look uncomfortable when other women cry in front of you. That's why it's not mentioned very much in this week's review.

What did you think of Huck's story? And what did you think of the Vice President?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (184 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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This show is sizzzzling hott! I love every sec of it - I usually dvr it so I can replay the scenes over and over again. Olivia Pope is smart and spunky as hell. I have to agree with another reviewer when she said she cried during the scence of the forbidden love b/w Ms Pope and Mr Prez - great writing. so proud of S. Rhimes!! Cyrus is definitely a pitt bull..... character development evolved nicely - I love the fact that O. Pope has such a gutsy, smart, and creative team. This is real prime time adult tv - I wish the show all the luck and pray there are many seasons to come. haters.... step back!


I LOVE this show!
Shondra Rimes is an incredible talent- she has a knack for brining to service the fragile human element within her characters regardless of the circumstance. The plot lines are amazing and I love that we get to ongoing one and a new one every show. I would have called the show OLIVA POPE instead of scandal.. much cooler but hey that's just me!
I actually cried during the scene between the president and Olivia in her apartment. THe intensity of the forbidden love, so beautiful and so said... flawlessly portrayed by both actors.
I am truly hooked@


I love Scandal!!! Love Colombus Short!! And of course Ms. Kerry Baby!!!


I really am enjoying Scandal. The people are great and the story is exciting and fun. Since I was afraid that it would be kind of boring, like Private Practice (which can be a bit boring despite my love of Amy Brenneman and Kate Walsh), or disjointed like Off the Map, the fact that it is rocking the mystery really works for me.


My daughter and I are totally hooked on Scandal. This only proves that creator Shonda Rhimes is super talented The cast lead by Kelly Washington is superb, and are really developing their characters and personalities.We can hardly wait for the next episode. I haven,t burned like this with anticipation in quite a while. However, I must admit there is so much passion between Olivia and the pres whenever, you actually feel the torture they are suffering. I'm relieved but not surprised Amanda's baby was not Fitz,s baby. I believed the pres when said it was not his baby. I think he was set up. Who is behind the big picture here keeps mu buzzing and waiting for Thursday. Please let show be in the fall line-up.


I've been hooked on Scandal since the first episode. Placing this show after Grey's Anatomy next season will be a double hit.


Oh yeah, I think the culprit is the first lady with the help of the president's righthand man.


I absolutely love this show. Both the plots and subplots keeps me on edge in every episode. Olivia is exceptional in portraying a woman at the top of her game yet also showing her vulnerability to love. It has been interesting learning a little more about each individual team's history with each episode. It is disappointing to find out there are only 2 more episodes left. This series must be extended because it is great! Keep up the good work everyone involved in writing and producing this amazing show.


The guy playing Huck was good. VP is the blackmailer, FL killed Amanda are my guesses.

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Scandal Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

There isn't a person in this building who isn't willing to go to extremes for you.

First Lady

David: So, who do you think killed her? See, I've got this nagging feeling you've got a pretty good idea. I know I give you a long leash on a lot of things and I like to because, despite my better judgment and all my protests to the contrary, I really do consider you a friend. But I can't look the other way here, not on this...I prosecute crime. I get the bad guys. So at some point, even with you I gotta draw the line. I've gotta do my job. I've gotta be the sheriff.
Olivia: The white hat looks good on you.