'Scandal' 3.17 Recap: Power Rankings For 'Flesh and Blood'


(ABC)

It’s six days to the election, in Scandal world, anyway, and the clock’s tick, tick, ticking away (and so is Maya Pope’s bomb). So who’s got the most power as we head to the ballot box and the season finale?

1. Cyrus: So we thought it was going to be a slow week for Cyrus, just lots of trying to get Fitz to campaign and being shut down by Liv because of the bomb threat, and then he went and pulled one of the biggest power moves ever (one that, it should be noted, is absolutely despicable). Jake and David figure out that Maya killed Senator Hightower to ensure there’d be a funeral, an event that Fitz couldn’t miss (all the better to bomb him). They tell Cy, who turns to call the FBI, etc., before realizing that VP Sally Langston is already at the funeral. So Cyrus, with a sly smile on his face, hangs up the phone and strolls through the halls of the White House to stall Fitz with some lies about Hightower’s widow wanting more time with the body. By doing nothing, he’s practically guaranteeing that Sally (among others) will die and therefore Fitz will win the election. Cyrus, you evil, evil, evil mastermind.

2. Jake Ballard: Jake is livid for most of his time on screen this week, first furious that he and Liv’s, um, reunion was just a ploy for her to hack his phone (though he’s not too angry to drop that little tidbit for Fitz’s sake), then spitting mad that Liv kicks him out in favor of Papa Pope running the outfit. Later, Jake shows back up to bully David Rosen into tracing Maya Pope via the city’s security cams, and even though we love Jake, bullying David Rosen is kind of a low blow, ya know? He’s an easy mark. We are a sucker for a “Jake loves Liv” scene, though, and we totally get one via a late-night phone call (though we haven’t forgotten the choking scene from last week, JAKE, and though Liv tells JB that she loves Fitz). Jake ends the episode on a high note, figuring out Maya’s plan with David’s help and then reporting it to Cyrus. Well done, Jake Ballard.

3. Maya Pope: We still really have no idea what her endgame is (dead prez = chaos?), but she seems to be executing it (or paying others to execute it) very well. She’s also ice cold beyond ice cold, like, colder than the Arctic, when it comes to the people she “loves,” like her boyfriend/former handler/bomb-maker-for-hire Dominic. She doesn’t even blink before simply telling Dom goodbye on the phone when Rowan’s threatening to kill him. Homegirl is cold. Later, we find out that Maya killed Senator Hightower in order to secure a state funeral to blow up. And then she stabs her ex-husband and the father of her child and leaves his dying(?) body for her daughter to find. Like we said: cold.

4. David Rosen: Poor David. He’s the king of the one-liners, but he gets stuck being pushed into corners by people more powerful than he is. Jake makes him look through every security camera in DC for Maya Pope. In doing this, though, David finds that Maya was in Senator Hightower’s building the day he died, meaning she more than definitely offed him to secure a funeral to blow up. Point, Rosen.

5. Olivia: It’s a Grand Old Party (pun intended) at OPA. Fitz, Jake, Quinn, Charlie, David Rosen, all of the Gladiators, Cyrus, and Rowan are at the office trying to figure out just what to do about this “Marie Wallace/Maya Pope has a bomb” thing. Liv has a pretty good week, power move wise: she gets Fitz to safety (even though there really wasn’t a threat in Ohio), she fixes things for Mellie, she sets Jake straight re: emotions, and she beats her father in the war for Huck’s soul. Unfortunately, she also had to hear her dad kill a man, tarnishing the nice hardwood floors of her office, she has to come to terms with the fact that her mother only loves her and therefore she’s a pawn, and she has to mop up her father’s blood with her own two hands when she finds him shaking and bleeding all over the floor (again ruining the nice OPA hardwood!).

6. Fitz: Another day, another pouty fit by Fitz. First he’s not really that happy that he could be blown up, and then he’s not happy that Liv slept with Jake to get intel, and then he’s not happy that Liv wants him stuck in the White House until this all goes over. What a BABY. He finds his cohones somewhere between Ohio and Florida, though, and demands that he, Cy, and Mellie make the scheduled campaign visit to Defiance, OH. Um, that’s probably going to bring up some awkward voter fraud memories, no? But Fitz wants to WIN (without rigging the election), so he doesn’t care that he could get blown to smithereens in Ohio. Would you really want to die in Ohio though?

7. Mellie: Anyone else think Mellie has gin (or moonshine) in that coffee mug she totes around? Like a good Southern WASP woman, she does. And it’s giving her more sass than ever, if the giant eye roll she pairs with an acidic “Yay, I get to stand by my man” barb to Fitz and Cyrus is any indication. She is the drunkest we’ve seen her, and we sort of love it. Turns out that she wants a paternity test done on Jerry (her oldest son, for those of you playing at home), and she is descending into wig-bouncing madness, saying that she wants to watch Fitz burn (when he finds out his son isn’t his, presumably). She tells Liv to make it happen, that she doesn’t want to be “attached to Big Jerry anymore,” and that Liv owes her. Well, that’s true. Liv fixes the paternity sitch for Mellie and then gets her the real test, the results of which we don’t know yet (but Mellie does).

8. Quinn: Quinn’s torn between Huck and Charlie, which is super-awkward since the former B613 and OPA are working together this week. This means we get to see these three in the same room more than once, and we’re just scared that they’re going to engage in a three-way-face-licking. Luckily, Quinn gets sick of the posturing/bickering and leaves the two guys in the dust. Quinn, that’s the first thing you’ve done in forever that we agree with. But then she ruins it by licking, slapping, kissing, and straight up sexing Huck in the OPA parking lot. Can you imagine the 50 shades of gross sex they would have if this continued? We’re thinking about installing one of those eye washes you had in seventh grade science glass to cleanse ourselves after the Huck/Quinn scenes.

9. Leo Bergen: Leo is pulling some weird stuff, much like Leo does. He bribes a girl in Jerry Fitz’s class to procure some DNA from the presidential spawn so he can do a paternity test and presumably release all of the results to the public. The girl wants to get into Harvard. At least this is an even exchange? Leo Bergen is in the church that is about to get blown up, though, so he also cannot win this week. Plus, he’s a douche.

10. Rowan: You know that any dude who gets to walk into the room to James Brown’s “Super Bad” is off to a good start for the day. He’s in charge of the OPA/B613 operation to find the bomb, and even gets Liv to kick Jake out, but then he and Olivia are locked in a pissing contest for control of the crew. Rowan wants Liv to torture Dominic, Liv doesn’t. Liv wins. But then Rowan executes Dominic, who turned out to be Maya’s lover. So, that happened. Then Rowan lets Liv know that he’s been working with Leo and Leo is currently holding a used Jerry Grant condom (ew ew ew) thanks to a brewing paternity scandal in the White House. Good on Rowan for fully committing to Team OPA…for the moment. He even gets Abby to pay off the DNA doc to ensure that Leo’s results say that Jerry is 100% Fitz’s kid. Later, Maya pays Rowan a visit at OPA and stabs him in the chest. Seriously, she’s cold. We end Rowan’s saga with Liv crying over his body, begging for an ambulance. Does he live? Does he die? All we know is, he can’t win this week (and we hope he lives).

You guys, this episode was really, really funny. Dark humor, obviously, but we were chuckling all the way through. BUT THIS EPISODE WAS ALSO SUPER INTENSE. As the promo for next week says, watch it live on Thursday so you don’t hate yourself on Friday. We’re going to amend that to watch it live on Thursday and read our recap on Friday morning so you can freak the freak out with us. Scandal is almost over, sports fans, and its shaping up to be a doozy. See you next week for the finale!
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