Scandal Review: “Flesh and Blood”

(Episode 3.17)

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<i>Scandal</i> Review: &#8220;Flesh and Blood&#8221;

It wasn’t the series finale, but it damn sure felt like it! Last night’s Scandal also felt like one of those Thanksgiving episode. All sorts of family and friend drama begins to unfold as estranged mothers and Gladiators, old enemies, and former Commands all show up to play—often in the same room, just for additional fun. “Flesh and Blood” was a great set-up for next week’s season finale, which looks like it’s going to be a blast. Literally.

Since Olivia made a big whoopsie last week when she shut down B613, everyone arrives at Olivia Pope & Associates to give her a hard time, and to start a frantic search for the bad guys (AKA her mom). “Everyone” included the President, Cyrus, former Command Papa Pope, current Command Jake, former Gladiator Quinn, and Charlie. It was awkward for a lot of reasons—Jake not-so-casually mentions in front of Fitz that Olivia slept with him to get access to his phone. We know all Fitz hears is “sex sex sex she had sex with him sex sex sex.” Additional awkwardness ensues when Olivia kicks Jake out of her office (and, therefore, the plan) because her Daddy tells her to do it. And then we see Quinn caught between Charlie and Huck (George Newbern told us it was going to be a bad time for her). The scenes between these three were especially hilarious, as Huck and Charlie keep trying to out-CIA each other with conflicting plans of action. Quinn is stuck in the middle à la Peggy Olson betwixt Don Draper and Ted Chaough on Mad Men. It was great.

As everyone tries to track down Mama Pope and her co-conspirator/longtime lover Dominic, Fitz is put on lockdown at The White House, six days before the election. Not a good look for someone trying to win the Presidency. They decide to make these totally wack, PSA-type videos instead of campaigning, but Ohio, Florida, and the other key states aren’t feeling it. Mellie and Cyrus try to do their part on the campaign phone lines, but Mellie’s drunk in love/angry over being forced to break up with Andrew, and Cyrus is Cyrus. In the end, Fitz decides he must return to Defiance, Ohio. It’s where they stole the election for him in the last campaign, and it matters to him that he wins this time around for real, for real.

Let’s discuss the look on Quinn’s face when Huck won the proverbial B613 arm wrestling contest with Charlie and found Dominic on his own. That body duct-taped to all hell, bound and gagged got her so hot … it was only a matter of time before she gave in. Dominic eventually gets them on the phone with Maya, who could care less that there is a gun to his head. She politely say “Bye,” to the so-called love of her life, gives no information to Rowan, and goes about her bomb-planning business.

Mellie was a wreck for the entire episode. Drinking, ordering paternity tests, drinking some more. It was amazing. Unfortunately, Sally’s people get a hold of the news about the test, and they go after little Jerry’s DNA via his girlfriend. Nothing like a bag full of prophylactic to help you win an election. But the Gladiators are on the case and manage to fudge the final results. Fitz, you are not the father. You are the brother. And that is horrifyingly horrible. Luckily, nobody knows other than Mellie. If she can hold it together (and, no, she probably can’t), maybe Fitz can still win the election.

Speaking of paternity tests, Huckleberry Quinn might need one, too! Because they got it on the parking lot in a way that no two people have probably ever got it on in the parking lot. It was intense. And a little bit violent. And if you enjoyed that scene at all, you’re probably not willing to admit it in a public forum, but let’s just say I may have a friend who maybe enjoyed it, too, and she’s feeling really awkward about it.

But seriously. The way Huck tore off those fishnets (because Quinn is violent now and wears fishnets)? Madness.

In addition to learning more about Quinn’s new fashion sensibilities, we learn that angry Papa Pope is really just a lover scorned. He kills Mama Pope’s man because Dominic won’t “tell them about the bomb,” but it was clearly a “this is what you get for having her marry me just so you both could pull off your terrorist plots, all the while making a cuckold of me and a mockery of my family” kind of murder. Jake had warned Olivia not to call him when things went bad (i.e. when her Dad started killing people in her office), so naturally she calls him. But what they really discuss is the fact that the other night when they made sweet love down by the fire and Olivia hacked into his phone, it wasn’t all business. Olivia loves Fitz, but she’s not over Jake. She says she’s going to do the right thing and stand by Fitz (while his wife does the same … because this is Scandal), but we know better. Let the love triangle continue!

The episode ended perfectly. It was like old times on Scandal. Fitz goes to give his speech in Defiance, but it doesn’t matter because they were wrong about the location of the bomb. They learn that the bomb will go off at the high-profile Senator’s funeral. (In fact, Maya had him killed for the sole purpose of this plan.) Jake tells Cyrus to make sure the President doesn’t show up, and to clear out the church so that nobody else gets hurt. Now Cyrus could do that. Sure! Or. He could tell no one the truth, stall Fitz so that he doesn’t get to the church on time, and let Vice President Sally Langston walk right into the trap (all to the tune of the epic ’70s jam “Smiling Faces”). We all know Cyrus well enough to know that he’s a political monster. Now, he’s a political monster who just buried his husband. So, yes. People will probably have to die.

Stray Observations/All The People Who Could Die in the Season Finale of Scandal:

—All of the innocent people in the church could die.
—Sally Langston and her slimy, hilarious campaign manager could die.
—Papa Pope could die since Mama Pope’s parting gift to him was, well, to try and kill him. Just like an old school horror movie, pre-marital sex = death. While Huck and Quinn were getting it on, Maya waltzed right past them and left Rowan a bloody mess.
—Quinn could die, because if Charlie finds out about Huck, it’s completely feasible that he might kill her.

Favorite Quote of the Episode: “Papa Pope! It’s okay, right, if I call you Papa Pope?” (Harrison)

Shannon M. Houston is a New York-based freelance writer, regular contributor to Paste, and occasional contributor to the human race via little squishy babies. You can follow her on Twitter.