Scandal Review: A Family Affair

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Maybe it was all the revelations. Maybe it was all the confrontations. Maybe it was HuckleberryQuinn.

Whatever it was Scandal Season 3 Episode 15, might be going down in the books as my favorite installment of the series to date. Maybe. I think.

I've had a lot of favorite episodes over the past three seasons, but tonight? Tonight took the proverbial cake. There's nothing like the introduction of a couple of moody teenagers to make things go absolutely ape.

Let's just jump right into the Grant family dynamic. And by "dynamic," I mean "stuffed to the brim with dynamite and ready to explode." Or implode. 

This family is seriously screwed up. Not that they're not screwed up for good reason, but they're seriously screwed up.

Jerry and Karen arrive from their boarding school and Olivia's gut tells her something's just not right with the two of them. As it turns out, Jerry planned to tank the interview by wearing a Reston for President shirt and had started an Anti-Grant Twitter account.

Ahhhh, teenage rebellion. 

Karen, however, was united with Mellie in an act of female solidarity against Fitz for his philandering. That is until she found her mother diddling "Uncle Andrew." 

Kids really know how to shake things up!

Andrew and Mellie's kiss on the trip to the gun range turned into something a little more upon their return. A full-blown affair.

The irony of Olivia leaving an encounter with Fitz, discovering Andrew and Mellie's tryst, and then telling Andrew that the campaign didn't need another sex scandal was excellent. Even better was his response to her.

Olivia: Andrew, the last thing this campaign needs is another sex scandal. Stay away from her.
Andrew: Glass houses, Olivia.

She doesn't have any room to throw stones, and neither does Fitz. Not really. Not when it comes right down to it. 

He can't blame Mellie's lack of interest in sex with him as his reason for cheating. He can't blame Mellie for cheating. (Mellie can't use "well Fitz did it!" as an excuse to cheat either, so I'm not giving that to her.)

Punching Andrew in the face was a low-blow and one of the things that frustrates me about Fitz while simultaneously proving previous points that Fitz and Mellie didn't always hate each other. Theirs was not strictly a marriage of convenience.

Decking Andrew was Fitz' way of laying claim to Mellie, either because somewhere deep down he loves her or because he just doesn't want anyone else to have her. I can't seem to decide which story I want to be true.

During Fitz and Mellie's fight tonight, I just kept chanting "TELL HIM THE TRUTH! TELL HIM THE TRUTH!" And yes, I might have been on the verge of actually shouting. She was so close to telling him that the reason she turned away from him all those years ago was because his father raped her and their son might be Fitz' brother. So very close! And yet she couldn't do it. 

She couldn't bring herself to utter those words which really makes me sad for her. She's carried the weight of that around sharing it with only one other person and not the man who most deserves to know. 

I found myself wondering what would happen if Mellie told him the truth about the rape tonight. 

Where would the story go from here? Would that lead to some sort of reconciliation between Mellie and Fitz, sending Olivia back to Jake?

Would we have a Mellie-Fitz-Olivia-Andrew square with Andrew sure he wants Mellie and Olivia sure she wants Fitz but with Mellie and Fitz not sure if they want their old partners or their new?

But she didn't tell him. She couldn't. 

I don't blame her for not being able to tell him. I can't. I can't get inside the mind of a rape victim and wouldn't deign to tell one what to do and how to respond and react, fictional or otherwise. (Suggest counseling? Sure. But throw out a "you should really..."? No.)

Not only did I feel sad for Mellie tonight, but also for Olivia.

Her realization that she's splitting both worlds when she's in the White House but that ultimately she's the help was poignant.

She's a hired hand around there, which is evident from the way absolutely everyone speaks to her, Fitz included. Thanks to Cyrus, she realized the truth in her mother's words, even if her mother was quite menacing during that phone call.

(Was that phone call a ruse to throw Olivia and OPA off Adnan's scent? Clearly her quest for immunity was a decoy planned...when, exactly, I have no idea. But Harrison!!! Don't trust the pretty women who seduce you in the office!)

I really felt the sense of Olivia's being torn tonight, and her resolve to tell Fitz to fix his own family was excellent. She knows it's something that he has to do even if it means she loses him in the process. It's her job. 

Olivia is trying her best to get back to being the white hat by focusing on the tasks at hand and bringing down B613, but will that be enough? Will that fix the fact that the White House is full of murderers and she is in love with one? Or two? 

Rowan and Jake's showdown was incredible. Coming off Jake's quiet moment next to James in last week's episode, coupled with Rowan's rant last week that he made the tough calls, tonight really drove home the point that while both men share the same position, they're not the same kind of man. Or perhaps they're more alike than they think.

Personally, I don't think they're alike. I think being Command will break Jake in a different way than it broke Rowan, and to be clear, it broke him. Making those decisions day in and day out broke Rowan Pope. But they were different men before assuming the office and that makes the difference. 

Jake doesn't want to lose himself in the office of Command (evidenced by his plea to Olivia to save him) which says that's what's going to happen, and Rowan is going to make sure it does.

Throwing in with Olivia and offering up the information about the B-613 funding source was a self-serving move in more ways than one. First, it endears Olivia to him again making her affections and loyalties a pawn in his game with Jake. Second, it gives Olivia the ammunition she needs to begin disassembling B-613, which will further alienate her from Jake. 

Rowan Pope has become the character I love to hate. He's so good at being bad.

And speaking of good at being bad, Quinn, Charlie, and Huck and their little love triangle is bizarre and weird and I'm totally all in. Whatever the writers have in store for this, I'm in. 

I suspect we're building up to a moment where Huck and Charlie face off and Huck doesn't hold back this time. This time Charlie dies. Maybe Quinn kills him to save Huck. That'd be interesting.

Finally, major, major props to Jeff Perry for continuing to play the grieving husband so beautifully. His rage at Jake and then his confession to Fitz that James died to save the Republic, just in a different way than he'd planned, made James' death even more real and gutwrenching. Ugh. And then Ella dancing around.

Brokenhearted, party of one.

What did you think of Scandal Season 3 Episode 15? How screwed up IS the Grant family? Should Mellie have told Fitz the truth tonight?

Here is your first look at Scandal Season 3 Episode 16, "The Fluffer."

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (90 Votes)

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

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Scandal Season 3 Episode 15 Quotes

Olivia: Andrew, the last thing this campaign needs is another sex scandal. Stay away from her.
Andrew: Glass houses, Olivia.

You don't take down B613. You run, you hide, or you die.

Huck