‘Scandal’: The Plane Truth

Kerry Washington, left, and Darby Stanchfield on "Scandal" (Photo: ABC)

This week’s “Scandal” finally introduced Olivia’s mother played by Khandi Alexander, who no one anticipated would be cast in the pivotal role. She said about three words, in a flashback. The show is still pretending that she is dead, instead of in hiding from B613 or running a small island nation. Also, Kerry Washington officially looks pregnant. This week, Olivia spends the episode wearing baggy coats and holding a binder in front of her stomach. By the end of the season, Olivia may have to run for office so she can spend all of her time standing behind a podium.

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Operation Flashback

We opened with a flashback to a tween Olivia with curly hair and glasses eating breakfast as her mother says goodbye to her before leaving to take the fatal flight. Verdict: It was hard to tell in such a short amount of screen time, but Alexander seems like a terrific choice for the role. In the present, Olivia told Jake (Scott Foley) and Huck (Guillermo Diaz) that the Operation Remington files might have been forged. So she’s going to ask Fitz if he shot down a plane full of people. Hey, maybe it will all turn out to be a big misunderstanding and Olivia’s Mom took Oceanic Air and is wandering around “Lost” island.

Cyrus (Jeff Perry) pointed out to Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) that hiring Liv is a Greek tragedy waiting to happen, using the unfortunately apt metaphor of Icarus. She showed up at the Ova Office in a baggy baby bump hiding coat and interrupted Fitz’s babbling gratitude about her running his campaign to ask if he flew air support for Operation Remington. He told her on this she’s talking to the Commander in Chief which means that Remington does not exist. She told him she couldn’t work for him. Fitz told Cyrus that Olivia knows everything now. Cyrus, in turn, informed Rowan (Joe Morton), who decided that he would take care of Jake if Cyrus shut down Josie.

Olivia, twisting herself in knots to give Fitz the benefit of the doubt, told Jake she needs more proof about Remington. Jake was so determined to beat Fitz that he was willing to risk being thrown in a hole again to get her even more classified information. Jake chatted up a woman named Kate who had security clearance and asked her for the cockpit recording. A creepy man eavesdropped. When Kate was about to give Jake the files, the creepy man shot her dead. She actually had come to kill Jake. Fitz gave Jake a security detail for protection from B613. Jake, who seemingly can stroll into the White House at will, thanked Fitz. Fitz advised him to walk away from Remington. Jake claimed that the truth would give him leverage and let him sleep with both eyes closed. Fitz accurately retorted, “Or it’s your only chance of sleeping with her again.” Fitz dropped by Olivia’s place, which, given his current pubic relations problems, seemed like an unlikely risk, and made a pitch for her joining his campaign. He manipulatively claimed he’d always forgive her no matter what she did, seemingly forgetting how he treated her after he learned about Defiance. She finally revealed that she was so obsessed with Operation Remington because her mother was a casualty. He still stuck to the party line, claiming not to know what she was talking about.

Watch Thursday’s Episode of “Scandal” Below:

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The Obligatory Wine Drinking

Olivia drank her weekly Big Gulp of wine as she watches news footage of the plane crash and recalled her father delivering the bad news. She phoned Rowan and asked him what the last thing he said to her mother was. He claimed it was, “I love you.” She asked if he really loved her, then drunkenly blurted, “I have so many questions I want to ask you but I’m cared you’ll kill my friends if I do.” He told her she could ask one question without penalty. She chose, “Did you give the order to have my mother killed.” He denied it. Then she asked  what should have been her leading question, whether Fitz shot the plane down, but he refused to answer a second question.

Josie is Every Feminist’s Dream Candidate

Olivia tells the gladiators that they are representing Josie because she has a shot at becoming the first female president. Josie is every feminist’s dream candidate. She seems to have Hilary’s intellect, Wendy Davids’s humble upbringing and Sarah Palin’s folksy charm. Unfortunately, her determination to run a positive campaign is hurting her, Major donors regard her as too much of a longshot compared to the experienced Reston. When they realized that Josie has a bit of a temper, Olivia and Abby showed her a Reston ad which implied via sexist imagery that she was too weak to lead the country right before she had an interview with James. A fired up Josie attacked James for his own sexism, such as not mentioning her military experience and suggesting they conduct the interview in her kitchen. Her strong performance inspired some rich lobbyists to write her checks. Josie’s sister/daughter realized that Olivia and Abby made a fake ad to get Josie riled up.

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Sally Has a Tea Party

Leo plotted a strategy for Sally’s (Kate Burton) independent presidential campaign. He would get evangelical leaders to publicly express anger at Fitz’s man whoring. Then Sally would be sent on a tour to ostensibly shore up Fitz’s conservative support while actually laying the groundwork for her own run. Sure enough. after a minister went on TV to complain about Fitz,  Cyrus asked Sally to talk to him. Sally and her husband had dinner had dinner with the Grants. Her husband checks out Mellie (Bellamy Young) while he says grace. Sally told the minister about her presidential ambitions, but he was actually Cyrus’s mole. The evil genius Chief of Staff already suspected she wanted to run. Mellie suggested to Cyrus that Sally’s discomfort with her husband’s wandering eye was her Achilles heel. A quibble: the minister was referred to as a member of the Tea Party. If, in this show’s universe, Fitz was elected instead of Obama, why would there be a Tea Party? The movement began in 2009.

Harrison Finally Gets a Storyline

Cyrus asked Harrison (Columbus Short) to get Olivia to drop Josie as a client, and mentions a man named Salif is requesting a travel Visa. Harrison was terrified that he was finally getting a storyline. He asked Huck to use his hacking skills to get the visa request cancelled, believing if the guy set foot on U.S. soil that he was a dead man. But Cyrus reinstated the Visa.

Quinn Is Not a Straight Shooter

Quinn (Katie Lowe) started going to a firing range. She was a lousy shot. Charlie shows up, seemingly random, and taught her how to hit the target. He was befriending her at Rowan’s request.

“Scandal” airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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