Scandal did the time warp this week, propelling the story 10 months from the end of the previous episode. Olivia's hair is straight and she's wading back into the dating pool. And the regular pool. She also looks fantastic for having not slept at all. Maybe it's the coffee. Or the red wine.
Fitz, however, is deteriorating under the weight of the world that rests on his shoulders without his trusty sidekicks to help him shoulder the load.
Yes, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" was another sold episode of this breakout hit. One that, while a little sleepy at times, had a jaw-dropping, and creepy, ending. WTF, indeed, Scott Foley!
Poor David Rosen. The guy cannot catch a break. First he loses the Lindsey Dwyer case. Then he's made to look foolish in front of the Grand Jury and loses his job. And then he can't find a job at any law firm in D.C. and decides to build his own. But the clients don't come. So he ends up teaching civics and government classes.
And then he winds up with a dead girl in his bed and calls Olivia Pope for help.
Olivia and the team decide to move the body, with David's approval, and Huck teaches Quinn about clean-up, calling her a "natural" at stabbing corpses.
Sidenote: I'm not alone in thinking an interoffice romance between those two could be interesting, am I? Quck? Hinn? Quick? Okay, I'll stop.
If I have one criticism of Scandal over the past few weeks, it's that it got bogged down in the election rigging and everyone trying to cover their own tails. This was sort of a return to the case-of-the-week format. Sort of.
As it turns out, the dead girl in David Rosen's bed was actually after information on Defiance. Defiance will not die.
After talking his own way out of his own office while Harrison watched with his jaw on the floor, and after (rightfully) accusing Olivia of everything bad that has ever happened to him, David finds the dead girl's jump drive and takes it to Olivia. On it they find highly classified information that no civilian should have in his or her possession and now David absolutely needs Olivia's help if he wants to stay alive and out of prison.
Captain James Ballard, Olivia's new love interest, played by Scott Foley, had been in contact with the dead girl in David's apartment the day she died. His story is that she had been trying to sell him secrets. Top secret secrets. But after that scene in his living room at the end of the episode, I believe exactly nothing that he says.
He has cameras inside Olivia's apartment and who knows how long they've been there.
I should have put it together faster: them meeting in the coffee shop followed by the fact that he was the person she had to visit with at the Pentagon. His rather cocky insistence that they go out to dinner. There were warning signs that their chance encounters weren't so random. But I think I want Olivia to find happiness away from Fitz so badly that I was too eager for this to be someone to do that to stop and see the red flags that he's creepy.
And that TV monitor spy-cam setup he has is creepy. And intriguing. In true Scandal fashion, I have lots of questions.
I want to know his connection to Defiance. Did he kill Wendy or know who does? Is there someone in the Pentagon who suspects something happened with the election? Is this guy going rogue? Why the fascination with Olivia? Is he the mole connected to the White House?
Yes, there's a mole in the White House.
Fitz is growing increasingly paranoid about who he can trust after Verna's deathbed reveal. He knows Mellie and Cyrus enough to know that they're both animals who will stop at almost nothing to get whatever it is they want. His anger and distrust of them isn't misdirected or misguided at all.
For that matter, his anger and feelings of betrayal that are directed at Olivia aren't misguided either. Of the three of them, her betrayal hurts most, which is why their server-room sex and the following conversation was so hard to watch.
These two have certainly had their steamy moments. Tonight just felt angry, without the passion that usually causes me to want these two to be together against all the odds. (I'm not saying they weren't on fire, but angry sex is not as hot as Oval Office sex, right?)
But even the angsty tryst in the server room was more inspired than Fitz and Mellie in the shower. Maybe it was all the scotch.
Time jumps are always risky in television shows. They're an effective way to speed along a story that seems to be dragging, and Defiance and the election scandal were certainly dragging along. While we're not beyond that story by any means, at least now there are new avenues being opened up. There are new places for these characters to go and new stories to be told.
For instance, what will happen when Huck finds out about the cameras in Olivia's apartment?
What did you think of "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot"? What do you think of Captain James Ballard? Do you think the time jump worked? Be sure to check out the Scandal quotes page where you can rate the existing quotes and add your favorites!
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.