Scandal Season 4 Episode 12 Review: A Price on Her Head

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A continuation of the #SaveOlivia storyline, Scandal Season 4 Episode 12 was infinitely better than last week's abysmal bending of the space-time continuum.

At the very least, it contained a reasonable amount of suspension of disbelief as far as time is concerned and didn't erase a previous episode's worth of plot and character development. Whew.

Fitz kicked off the episode by firing the entire Secret Service with an Executive Order (wonder how many of those he's signed...) and assembling his security team in the Sit room to begin Operation Save Olivia. Or Operation Buy Olivia if we're being real about what was supposed to have happened.

It's very unclear why he needed Jake to be there since Jake did very little in that meeting and then left the White House having decided that if they were going to get Olivia back they needed to do it themselves because the White House, who does not negotiate with terrorists, had contracted with terrorists to negotiate with terrorists on their behalf. And that was apparently a very bad idea. 

(I mean, yes, okay, it wasn't a great idea. But they were working on the fly!)

Jake's idea? They'll just bid on her themselves. He has $2 million in a Swiss account and Quinn has...student loans!

Who has money? All I have is student loans! It doesn't matter how many times you reinvent your identity, Sallie Mae will find you.


Huck, however, has $2 BILLION, his payment for the years spent in the B613 hole, stolen from the organization when he helped Olivia take them down. While he should probably put some of that aside in an account for Javi's therapy, that money would have come in very handy if their plan had worked. 

Their plan was to find a way into the Dark Net site where the auction was being hosted. To do so they needed an international terrorist to bid for them. As it happens, Olivia's mother is a well known international terrorist. How convenient!

In exchange for a TV with basic cable, Maya Pope gave Jake and Quinn the name of one of her known associates who would assist them in gaining access to the auction for the small, small price of a massacre of his enemies. How Huck was able to kill what appeared to be five men before any of them could get a shot off at him I'm unsure but that's why he's a fake TV spy and I'm just a TV critic.

After proving to Gustavo that his enemies were dead by literally delivering their heads to him, Huck began the arduous task of creating an online profile for Marie Wallace so that they could bid on Olivia. 

The White House, meanwhile, was busy doing...nothing? Waiting? They had terrorists on it and we all know that terrorists who usually hate you are the most reliable people you can probably get in a pinch. 

(Did I say this episode was better than last week's? It's sort of not sounding like it, right?)

In the end, neither of their plans work and Gus, who shot Ian, spattering Ian's brains all over Olivia's freshly blown-out hair and usual gray-white duds, sold her to Iran. Or maybe not. The previews for Scandal Season 4 Episode 13 foreshadowed a shocking twist forthcoming regarding who bought Olivia Pope.

Clearly, the worst parts of the episode were the actual Saving Olivia parts. The best moments were the in-between.

Huck is clearly not okay. He was for a time, but Olivia leaving has left him in a place where he's on the verge of losing himself to everything she was able to help him overcome, if he was even okay before that. Jake calling him an "animal," while brutal to hear, wasn't far off the mark. It's not clear what Jake's solution was when he told Quinn that he couldn't just leave Huck "out there," but Jake was a part of B613 too. He knows things. Hopefully some of his training also included de-programming a broken and dangerous former spy.

Quinn was completely on Team Huck until Huck started speaking the truth about what could happen to Olivia now that she's been sold. Whatever country has her will use her for leverage to get the President to do what they want, whether it's bombing another country, money, release of prisoners, whatever. They'll dismember her, piece by piece, until they get what they want. (Assuming it's actually a country that bought her.)

Huck needs help and Olivia might not be in any shape to help him whenever she's finally returned to her people.

Abby still considers herself Olivia's people even if Quinn and Huck do not. Abby's eventual return to the Gladiator's arena known as OPA has been coming. While it may still be a minute before she's commanding the conference room table instead of carrying a clipboard, that day is coming. 

Abby's speech to David wins her the Episode MVP award from me. 

This huge, dangerous thing happened to her best friend--her only friend--and no one told her. That sense of betrayal wouldn't be easily overcome. It would actually be amazing if Abby's the one to rescue her and not Fitz OR Jake.

Fitz and Mellie are in a weird, honest place and it's sort of refreshing to see them not throwing pointed barbs at one another right now. Just live out your days in the White House as the POTUS and First Lady, cite irreconcilable differences in the aftermath of your son's death, a statistic which is unfortunate and well recognized, and get a divorce. 

Fitz moves to Vermont to make jam and Mellie moves into the Oval. (Come on, it's not like that's not what will happen in the next season or two.)

Somehow, someway, they have to find a way to make Andrew pay for what he did. No, life isn't fair, but it's incredibly unfair that he's the one responsible for the dead soldiers in West Angola and Fitz will take the heat for the loss of 43 American lives. Maybe they can give Andrew a heart attack or something. Aconite poisoning. Ricin. Something. 

He's a disloyal snake and he doesn't deserve to walk away from this. Brenda Lee Johnson would never allow it.

What did you think of "Gladiators Don't Run"? Do you agree with letting Andrew walk? How are you feeling about Fitz and Mellie being in the friend zone? Remember you can watch Scandal online so you never have to miss an episode.

Scandal Season 4 Episode 13 will be titled "No More Blood" and air on Thursday, February 19.

Gladiators Don't Run Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (37 Votes)

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

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Scandal Season 4 Episode 12 Quotes

Who has money? All I have is student loans! It doesn't matter how many times you reinvent your identity, Sallie Mae will find you.


[to Abby] You are not a gladiator anymore.