Olivia Pope may not be standing in the sun right now but after Scandal Season 4 Episode 15, she's slowly stepping out from the shadows of her kidnapping debacle.
Her cure? Getting back to business, even when she doesn't want to.
I've started and stopped this review four times now and I honestly have no idea how to feel about tonight's episode. On the one hand, there were some great twists and reveals tucked away inside the hour, but on the other hand? Too much filler. I just don't know how I'm supposed to feel right now.
Personally, I could have done without Olivia on the quest to find her neighbor's body for Rose, but then again, that brought closure to her kidnapping chapter. Lois has been laid to rest. Olivia alone holds the secret to her death so long as Rose never gets her hands on an actual medical report and reads "gunshot" instead of "aneurysm."
Sure, Olivia watching Rose mourn the loss of her lover and best friend gave us some great flashes to Olivia's memories of Jake and Fitz and spurned her on toward finally throwing out that stained couch cushion, symbolically putting that experience behind her.
But we shouldn't let that final scene of Olivia sitting on her couch with a glass of red wine and a bowl of popcorn fool us. This Olivia Pope is different. She's more scared, more vulnerable, and she's packing heat. She's desperately trying to get back into the sun, but she's terrified.
We've watched for four seasons now as Olivia Pope has seemed too good. We've seen the cracks in her armor and her broken moments, but with her fast-talking, can't-lose mannerisms, she seemed a little too cocky. I'm not saying people who are too cocky need to be kidnapped and made to fear for their lives in order to be brought down to reality, but this is television so pretty much anything goes.
Plus, that kidnapping story was so horribly botched I'd like to forget it ever existed in the first place.
While I like this vulnerable and scared Olivia, it's clear that it's probably not going to last. Her return to the White House was all but made clear by her insistence that she would not be returning to work at the White House, and her success at seeing Susan Ross appointed VP by being right about what both Susan and Fitz needed to do to make it happen was proof that our old Olivia Pope is still in there.
When Abby needed her, she was there. When Fitz needed her, she was there. It wasn't romantic, but he needed to hear that he screwed up and that his screw up might cost him his choice of VP unless he ate some crow and apologized and begged for forgiveness. No one but Olivia could have made that happen because Fitz doesn't listen to anyone but her.
Next week, she'll be taking down guest star Lena Dunham's character on Scandal Season 4 Episode 16, all so she can protect the White House.
When it comes to work, she's damn good at her job. That's where she feels most herself. I wish this were giving us more of Olivia working cases for clients not involved with the White House like Scandal Season 1, but I'm hopeful that what we'll get now is more of Olivia trying too hard to be on her own and realizing that she needs her people. She can trust them and lean on them like they've leaned on her, even if it's out of her nature to do so.
They would, for the most part, choose her.
Huck tried to choose Olivia. He tried and then realizing that doing so meant giving up his family all over again was just too much. Huck's parts were my favorites and left me very scared for what's coming now that Jake knows David is going to move forward with a case against B613, even though B613 doesn't exist anymore.
I don't read spoilers for these shows, and for the most part that means cast lists for episodes. I didn't know that Kim would be the one to show up in David's office with information about B613 and her husband Diego Munoz.
Diego Munoz. That's Huck's real identity. After four seasons, we finally know his name.
Once again, Huck broke my heart into a thousand pieces as he described what the hole was like and what he did while there. I'm glad he didn't choose Olivia over his family. He deserves to have his family back after all he's lost. It was a little weird that Javi was totally unphased by watching his dad kill a man, but hey, TV.
The beauty of that scene came from David's reaction. He sat down, took off his glasses, wiped his eyes, and then opened up his notes, knowing that this case is one which deserves to be brought to light. He couldn't look at what B613 had done to Huck and not try to find justice.
David really does wear a White Hat. Jake? Not so much. A Jake-Huck showdown is probably coming. We'll see.
P.S. Abby and Leo are adorable.
What did you think of "The Testimony of Diego Munoz"? Will Jake and Huck face off as they both try to protect Olivia from the B613 fallout? How do you feel about Olivia returning to work?
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Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.