Scandal is one intensely riveting hour of television. Really, if you listen closely enough, you can hear my jaw dropping all the way from my living room. "Blown Away?" Well, it just blew me away.
We can all breathe again now that we know that Huck was not the shooter, but that's far from all we learned. Seriously. We have so much to talk about, TV Fanatics and Gladiators, so let's get to it...
The biggest reveal of tonight, just as Jim predicted in the "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" Round Table, is that Huck was not the shooter but was actually cleaning up after the shooter. The shooter who lured him to the hotel for the purposes of framing him for the assassination of Fitzgerald Grant.
The shooter who just so happens to be his girlfriend from AA, Becky. Who is actually a trained spy just like Huck.
BOOM. That was my head exploding. It may or may not happen 10 more times during this review.
Becky is the assassin.
She's also in the wind, but before leaving, she took out Huck's "family" as payback for trying to turn her in. She hoped they would ride off into the super-spy sunset together, becoming a "for hire Bonnie and Clyde." And Huck wanted to go with her. He agreed to go with her. He loves her. But he loves his country more, I think, and that's what ultimately tipped him in the direction of giving her up.
Oh, Huck. I wanted there to be a happy ending for him here. And not just the kind of happy ending that happened in Becky's living room.
In my recent interview with Guillermo Diaz, he talked about how Huck is this tortured soul who, at his core, just wants to be accepted and not have to think about his past. I think that family he watched is one of the keys to Huck's past. He didn't choose that family at random to observe in that depth.
I knew Huck would turn Becky in when he told Olivia not to tell him who to love. But he knew she was right. He knew that he and Becky were doomed and that relationship wasn't healthy. It was in his body language and his face. Their exchange when he came to tell her goodbye, just like he promised, may be the first indicator we've gotten that Huck does know about Olivia and Fitz's relationship. He's not judging her and wishes she wouldn't judge him. Neither of them wants what they can have.
Diaz was brilliant tonight. He couldn't make eye contact with anyone and the little things like the way he grasped at his chest and wouldn't look Olivia in the eyes when he was worried about Becky were so perfect. His reaction to the family's brutal murder, particularly the little girl, was chilling and heartbreaking.
And speaking of brilliant performances, Kerry Washington played Olivia as so vulnerable and emotional. Her face when she saw the gun that had been used to shoot Fitz was a mix of horror, sadness, pain and grief and no words were needed to know exactly what she must have been thinking. Her nearly silent "yes" to Cyrus when he told her not to give up on Fitz was sad and beautiful. Her resolve when she handed Sally Langston the funeral plans and commented on the small details she'd added that she knew Fitz would have wanted was excellent.
But brilliant performances aside, tonight was about putting together the pieces of this puzzle and revealed that ultimately, everyone is in this for him or herself, everyone else be damned.
Hollis Doyle is oilier than the crude he wants to pump straight across the nation's heartland. For helping Olivia give Lindsey Dwyer a new life, Hollis gave up Verna's secret battle with cancer to Sally Langston. And Sally Langston isn't above blackmail to get what she wants, which is the Supreme Court Justice nomination she was promised when she agreed to be Fitz's running mate.
Sally Langston is a seriously formidable opponent in this arena right now. But perhaps not as formidable as Verna Thornton, who gave up Huck's name just so she could stay on the bench.
Is her desire for the power being a Supreme Court Justice gives her worth all of that?
I can understand why Sally would use blackmail to get Verna to resign. Sally wants the Supreme Court to reflect her values as a politician. But I can't necessarily wrap my head around why Verna would be so hellbent on keeping her place when she knows that the entire house of cards could come crashing down around her at any moment. In that event, she would spend the rest of her life behind bars instead of with her family and at her leisure. An individual's motivations and desires are tricky, tricky things.
Verna handing Huck over was a serious betrayal of her friendship with Olivia, and it's intriguing to think about how that particular revelation will play out when the show returns.
The list of people Olivia can count on is dwindling. Seeing that Cyrus is in regular, contractual contact with Charlie has me uneasy for Olivia. She can't trust Cyrus, but she doesn't seem to know that she can't trust him.
As it turns out, the question in the last Round Table about whether or not James would finally get that baby - which was thrown in solely to lighten the tone of the discussion and meant as a joke - was actually a relevant and important one. James is getting his baby. But only because Cyrus is trying to keep him from figuring out the truth about the voter fraud.
Cyrus knows that James is on the story's trail, but I don't think he knows just how much James was able to uncover with his jaunt to Defiance, Ohio. James, however, isn't stupid. He knows that if Cyrus is giving him a baby, it's because Cyrus knows that James knows something. And now James knows that this information he's hiding is monumental.
But the question is, did James know that he was being followed? Did Charlie's spying reveal that James met with David Rosen in the baby store? I want to think that the secret that David is holding the smoking memory card is safe for now, but with Scandal, we can never be too sure.
As for the rest of Pope & Associates, Harrison's resolve to hide the truth from Abby about David actually being a good guy is dwindling. I give it two or three episodes, tops, before he confesses or she finds out that the abused ex-girlfriend story was a setup. She just can't stay away from David.
And of course, now that David and James are working together, it won't be long before there's a target on David's back.
"Blown Away" has to be my favorite episode to date, though I feel like I say that after every episode. Scandal ups the ante week after week after week delivering powerhouse performances and fantastic storytelling making this one amazing ride.
I feel like I archived half the script on the Scandal quotes page, but even so I'm sure I'm forgetting something here. Probably multiple somethings. But so much was revealed and so many more questions were raised that it would be impossible for me to review every detail. That's what the comments are for, after all. So, let's talk.
What was your favorite part of "Blown Away?" What stood out to you that I didn't include here?
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.