Rarely does one word so incredibly describe an episode of any television show (except in the case of Revenge where the single word thing is kind of the theme).
The word for Scandal Season 4 Episode 2? Summoning. (FYI: I've only written this word three times and it no longer looks like a real word. This is about to get interesting.)
It seems that in this political world, when one gets a summons--from anyone--it absolutely must be answered.
Cyrus summons Olivia. Olivia summons the couple who have previously been summoned by Cyrus and the President. Everyone is summoning someone and all the people receiving said summons are responding in the affirmative.
Unless you're Jake Ballard.
Y'all, I promise I'm trying to reign in the relationship-shipping that happens with this show to focus on the bigger picture, but tonight Jake earned some major points from me for one simple reason.
Olivia summoned him and he said no.
One does not simply say "no" to Olivia Pope.
Jake Ballard does.
I appreciate that he calls her on her ish in a way that isn't over the top hurtful or unnecessarily mean and cruel. He doesn't (typically) attempt to hurt her with the words he uses. He puts the ball back in her court, says "your move" and goes back to sleuthing on his computer like the less-damaged Huck he is.
That doesn't suck to watch, you guys.
Then it gives us the payoff of her going to him, owning her sexuality and stating what she wants from him plain as the day she was born. I really liked that side of her because 1) she owned her power and 2) she went after Jake.
It also doesn't suck to watch Fitz need Olivia on a friend level instead of a romantic one. It's not like the man has many of those, you know? That's the sweet spot for Fitz and Olivia for me.
Watching them interact as two people and not just two people who have hot sex on the President's desk in the Oval Office makes me wish life were different for the two of them. THOSE moments are the moments when we're given a glimpse of what a real relationship between the two of them could be.
We see those moments with Jake, where he orders her a turkey burger and knows the little things. Until Fitz is no longer President, it's those moments between Fitz and Olivia and Olivia and Jake which keep us wondering where and with whom she'll eventually end up.
For now it wouldn't suck to see her with neither of them, taking care of things without a man or the trappings of romantic entanglements. She's supposed to be a strong woman. Let her be strong. There are enough secondary characters to put into and pull out of relationships.
Like Huck and Quinn.
HOW BIZARRE ARE THEY?? And yet I can't help being oddly interested in the two of them as a couple. It's so weird but so...weird.
The entire time Cyrus was interacting with Michael, I smelled that it was a setup. Cyrus out-kicked his coverage once with James. That he would get lucky like that a second time is unlikely. Cyrus cannot travel down the road of hooking up with a sex worker, and thankfully, so far, he hasn't.
For the non-relationship portion of the evening, Mellie Grant's meltdowns continue to break my heart into tiny little pieces. Her grief is so apparent and devastating.
Abby was right, however, in that Mellie's not the only person who has ever lost a child. Thousands of other parents are in her same place. Perhaps we'll see Mellie get her groove back by channeling her grief into a platform of some sort, but if not, I'll continue to watch her and Fitz grieve together and separately.
Sidenote: Did anyone else sort of maybe want her to say she wore the red dress because she ate too much fried chicken and the blue one didn't fit? Not sure why my mind went there, but it did. Her actual reason was better and Bellamy Young looks amazing in red.
As for David Rosen, GOOD ON HIM for standing up for himself and "winning" even if he did it by blackmailing the senator. Somewhere down the line that will cost him, but for now, he's playing the game for the sake of what he believes to be the greater good and that is elevating himself to a position of power.
But what will happen to him once people find out he has that storage shed full of documents and he's been helping Jake? Guess we'll have to watch Scandal online in the coming weeks to find out.
What did you think of Scandal Season 4 Episode 2? Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts on Jake and Liv, Liv and Fitz, Cyrus and the sex worker, or whatever you felt needs to be said about "State of the Union," then check back for the Scandal Round Table!
Here's your look ahead to Scandal Season 4 Episode 3, "Inside the Bubble."
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.