Scandal is on FIRE this season. Seriously. Red hot! This week may not have been full of mind-blowing revelations about Olivia's life, but that doesn't matter. Scandal kicked up the heat and delivered an intense and emotional hour in "Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington."
It was one that had me trying to fast forward through commercials while watching in real time. (Don't pretend you've never done that. You know you've done that.)
First of all, everyone at OPA needs a day off. And not a day spent hunting down the head of a super secret spy group. A day where they do the opposite of work and almost get blown up.
Olivia's the heroine of the series so it was clear that she wouldn't actually get blown up in the Congressman's office. Just as it was clear that the mother wouldn't make it out of the office alive whether she died by her own hand or someone else's. But that was one anxiety-riddled day spent inside that office and I wouldn't blame Olivia if she booked herself a tropical vacation somewhere out of the country and just went away for a day or two.
I was stressed out and it wasn't even really happening.
What made it so stressful was not knowing whether or not the son was truly innocent. The back and forth of that and then finding out the real truth - that the son was an American hero whose death was accidental but his mother cannot ever know that - was crazy good and thought provoking. I have a love-hate relationship with shows when they make me think "what if that really happened?"
The fact that either way Olivia would have to let that mother down was intense. She could tell the mother that her son was a hero and risk the woman blowing up the room because of grief or she could tell the mother her son was in fact a terrorist and still risk being blown to bits. There wasn't a good answer there, but Olivia chose the latter.
We all knew the end was coming and that said end wouldn't be her walking out of the office to have her bomb diffused by a professional. It's still hard to know what's coming and prepare yourself for it when there's really no way to prepare for that.
Olivia knew that same ending was coming, too, even though she had hope that the woman would walk out alive and face the courts for her punishment.
In the middle of the crisis, Olivia called on Jake to help her out. Jake called the President. Fitz was kind of a jealous jerk because Jake called him for Olivia instead of Olivia calling herself. Fitz makes no sense sometimes. He had just gotten an admonishment from Cyrus about how the two of them need to stay very far away from each other at the moment!
They cannot talk to each other right now. It just can't happen.
They cannot be together right now.
I, for one, am okay with that because I like the idea of her with Jake. Maybe not forever. Jake isn't her end game. But I like Jake. He's one of the good guys even if he did do some crazy spying on her last season. Tonight's episode sort of explained why he would go to that length to spy on her in a way that made Jake seem less like a creeper and more like a vicim of circumstance.
Essentially, when Papa Pope says jump, you jump.
Huck tracked him all day, and he wasn't neat about his tracking. Finally seizing his chance to kill Command, Huck killed for Eli in order to clean up after someone who knew something about Operation Remington. An operation which is quickly becoming Scandal season 3's Defiance and which might tank the episodes in the middle if we don't get some answers soon.
Huck, once again, is a broken man, all because of Eli Pope. And Olivia and Jake are broken too.
Olivia realizes that she can't trust anything in her life, or at least not most of it, because she has no idea where her father's hands reach. If his former people are alive, it's because they're still of value to him.
Huck kept her safe. Jake's purpose for Olivia's life has yet to be determined but it's likely to distract her from wanting to continue an affair with the POTUS. If it means more Scott Foley on this awesome cast, I'm game for that.
It's also worth noting that Jake's presence offered a much needed lightness to an otherwise dark and heavy episode. Even though the end was also dark and heavy, his small kiss on Olivia's cheek and asking about Gettysburger and saying that she kept him alive helped us all exhale after holding our breath for so long in the office. It was a nice balance to the night.
Other random moments to mention:
- Abby calling Quinn Baby Huck and Quinn's "I hacked into her bank account because I can" were both great lines. (There are more great lines on the Scandal quotes page, by the way.)
- David Rosen is so completely Team OPA. He's so, so good at wearing the white hat.
- Mellie's drunken celebration was brilliantly written and acted. Bravo, Bellamy Young!
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.