Scandal Round Table: "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"

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Rest in peace, James Novak.

Scandal Season 3 Episode 14 wasted no time in revealing who Jake gunned down, leaving viewers shocked and character reeling.

In this edition of the TV Fanatic Round Table, our panelists break down the best scene; debate the latest flashbacks; and react to Mellie's infidelity.

Gather around and join the discussion now!

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What was your favorite scene or quote from the episode?

Christine: The final scene of Jake sitting with James as he died...apologizing to him and telling him his daughter would be OK. Just when I thought this episode couldn't make me shed any more tears it proved me wrong. It was an absolutely heart wrenching way to say goodbye to a character I've really grown to care about.

Jim: Fitz going up and getting Cyrus from the press podium. While he did it to support his friend, I suspect it's going to improve people's opinion and raise his rating.

Emily: Completely in agreement with both Jim and Christine!! Both scenes were totally heartbreaking!! Jeff Perry, Scott Foley and Dan Bucatinsky were incredible.

Leigh: That scene was amazing so I will go with a quote on this one. Olivia going to David Rosen and telling him to "lose the battle, win the war." Olivia has a plan and she is back!

How shocked were you about #WhoGotShot, 1-10?

Christine: I didn't want to see either of them die but I expected that at least one of them would so the shock value was only about a 5.  I'll admit I'm a big Josh Malina (David Rosen) fan so I'm glad he was spared but what shocked me was the emotional toll this entire episode took. That gets a 10 because I never expected that.

Jim: Eh, about a 2. James has always been a secondary character, where David is a primary, and I pretty much figured out how Jake was going to use David in exchange for letting him live. 

Emily: About a 5. Not so much shocked about #WhoGotShot, but more so that there was a death. You come to expect so many crazy twists and turns that part of me was really hoping that this would be another one and we wouldn't have to say goodbye to either character. However, I agree with Jim that James was the more likely victim.

Leigh: Maybe a 6. I saw it going both ways, but I thought it would be easier for Jake to be able to control James and get him to do whatever. I also felt like that scene with Cyrus was kind of saying goodbye.

How did you feel about the flashbacks of James and Cyrus? Did it help humanize Cyrus a little?

Christine: I LOVED them. They were so darn cute together. It made me even more of a fan of them as a couple only to know that it all got ripped away. It also gave Cyrus' breakdown in front of the press all the more weight. The truth in his agonizing grief as it really sunk in that James was gone was painful to watch. Kudos to Jeff Perry for taking us from the joy of love to utter despair all in one hour.

Jim: It was a nice way to round out the story with James. It didn't humanize him as much as his tears and crying in front of the press did.

Emily: I always love the flashback scenes simply because we get a chance to learn more about the characters' paths. With this episode though, I was glad to see more of the James/Cyrus early days, but at the same time it really brought home the impact of James' death and Cyrus' loss.

Leigh: I have to say that the one that really got me was when Cyrus danced with him at the ball and didn't care what anyone thought. It was such a momentous moment.

Mellie finally gave in and cheated. React!

Christine: You know, I'm normally very against cheating but when Mellie launched herself at Andrew, all I could think was You Go Girl! Fitz has been cheating for years and no longer bothers to hide it. He has so little respect for his marriage, that I can't even say Mellie's doing anything wrong.

Jim: OMG, I'm so happy for her! First, she deserves someone who loves her for her. Second, maybe she will relax now that she's getting some! Like Christine, I really don't think she is doing much wrong.

Emily: Its about damn time!!! Like Christine said, I'm not one for condoning cheating, but the way the show constantly lives in the gray areas in this situation I was happy for Mellie to take something for herself.

Leigh: With Mellie it kind of feels like "damned if you do, damned if you don't." Her marriage to Fitz is a loveless sham, she might as well get something that will keep her happy.

Huckleberry Quinn moment: expected or totally shocked?

Christine: Eww! I hated that scene. That kiss completely squicked me out. Also, Huck kept talking about how Quinn needed to be put down and I'm sorry to say that I feel the same way about Huck. Maybe Quinn can be redeemed but I think something is broken in Huck that can't be fixed.

Jim: Huck has loved Quinn from afar for a long time. And now that she has slipped into being more damaged and confused, they are more right for each other (as strange as that sounds) than before. Look at the only other woman we've seen Huck be attracted too; she was a hitman who tried to set him up. Maybe we could get lucky and Quinn and Huck would balance each other out some. Then again, maybe I'm die-hard romantic.

Emily: A little of both! The spitting definitely had me reacting!! I didn't expect the "reveal" of that to come when it did simply because Huck has made it crystal clear that he wouldn't stand for Quinn's betrayal. I totally think they can balance each other out, like Jim said, but there's still a lot of trust to rebuild there. 

Leigh: I actually gasped and yelped "ew!" Sorry, but I always got more of a demented sibling vibe than anything sexual.

Who has a better approach to being Command: Jake or Rowan?

Christine: I'm not sure there is a better. Rowan is colder but he'd done the job for years. Jake is more hands on but in some ways that made me like Jake more. That he knows the toll that those actions take and he doesn't want to subject someone else to it, is admirable in its own warped way. I also appreciate how he sat with James so he wouldn't die alone. I'm not sure I could picture Rowan doing something like that.

Jim: Right now, I'm reserving judgement. They are different, but I have yet to see anything that says one is better or worse than the other.

Emily: The biggest difference I see this far is that Jake seems to show his emotions/regret more than Rowan. Is that just because Jake hasn't been Command long enough for the job to take its toll on him yet or is it that he isn't as cold-hearted as Rowan comes across? I think time will tell and like always with Scandal, I'm sure there's definitely more back story to come.

Leigh: I think at this point while Jake may not be putting people in holes, he might be too emotional to be Command. You have to be cold and hard to be Command and Rowan had that down pat. Just look how he treated his own daughter! That man is heartless.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Scandal Season 3 Episode 14 Quotes

Jake: It's unfortunate. Life is unfortunate. Random. Coincidental. Bad things happen to good people all the time.
Olivia: No, you make bad things happen to good people.

[to Adnan] I don't make bombs. I make money.