Scandal Season 5, Episode 8 Recap: "Rasputin"

Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless
At the end of last week we saw Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) take her rightful place as HBIC...yet, I wasn't a fan. Seeing her manipulate President Grant (Tony Goldwyn), lie to protect her father, and nary a White Hat in sight felt wrong. It was the first episode of Scandal in five seasons where I just plain didn't like Liv. Cyrus (Jeff Perry) said it best, "Olivia Pope is judge, jury and executioner."

In this new world order, Olivia is leading peace talks, flirting publicly with her boyfriend, and leading her team in a new case. She seems in control — until her dad appears. Papa Pope (Joe Morton) said he was scared because,"My sons have turned against me." I have some questions: Who are these sons? Is he really scared, or is this a trap? He also tells Olivia, "In the event of my death, I've already given you everything you need to survive." What has he given her? I don't know if it was the background music choice, but I really felt for Papa Pope in this scene. Maybe his death is imminent?

While Olivia tries to figure out who is attempting to murder her father, Jake is trying to murder her father, and Fitz, Cyrus, and David (Joshua Malina) are trying to do anything they can to find who released her father a.k.a. the sociopathic mass murderer Liv released from jail. The clock is ticking on Olitz's happily ever after. They were finally getting closer to Vermont, but some things just weren't meant to be. I always thought it would be Fitz's fault they ended. Nope. This is squarely on Liv's shoulders. Letting the man who murdered your boyfriend's son out of jail? Bad. And lying about it when his ex-wife and your ex-boyfriend know what you did? Worse.

David figured out it was Olivia in less than 24 hours, and Liv was promptly arrested. We didn't get to actually hear any of Liv and Fitz's fight, which I was OK with. Watching the silent drama unfold with "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" playing in the background was 100% a better option. (The person in charge of music for tonight was playing to win). The answer to Carole King's question? No. Fitz will probably not love Liv tomorrow...or maybe he will? Fitz asks Cyrus to release Olivia from custody and to the White House quarters right away, and confesses his love. What?

Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless

This isn't a happily ever after though. All kinds of sketchy things are happening. He tells Jake to go kill Rowan, and in the next scene he tells Liv, "I called off Jake, he's not going to kill your father." This is only half a lie, since Jake is too late. Huck (Guillermo Diaz) is the one who finds Rowan first. Fitz also moves all of Liv's belongings into the White House without asking her. He tells that she's moving in, that he is going to keep her safe, that she gets security detail, that he loves her. He kisses her. Yet, not one part of it felt romantic. Pretty sure Olivia is officially kidnapped inside the White House. Liv should be afraid. Heck, I'm afraid.

The only good thing? At the end we see the White Hat being moved into the closet. It's about time for some foreshadowing that the Olivia Pope we all know and love is returning.

The other storylines:

The Translator: Fitz is in talks to sign a historic nuclear arms agreement. But the translator says there is an extra nuclear plant that hasn't been acknowledged. Olivia Pope & Associates take the case. His information leads to a...soda factory. A soda factory that actually houses servers being used to execute cyber attacks against Western countries. Awful? Yes. But, it doesn't quite feel OPA-worthy. Then we learn the translator wants asylum because he's gay and in his country, "Being born different is punishable by death." Now that we have an underdog, this case feels better for OPA-treatment.

Love Triangles: It seems that Liv, Fitz, and Jake will never end. Jake and Liv's fight about if she was dumb for releasing her father from prison (yes, she was) ended up with a very dramatic, very Jake and Liv-esque love confession, "You were supposed to be too good for me, it never crossed my mind that I would be too good for you." Oh, and David continued having sex with Elizabeth (Portia de Rossi) in the White House — the same place his ex-girlfriend, Abby (Darby Stanchfield) and the woman who loves him, Susan Ross (Artemis Pebdani) both work.

Star Wars Moment: I would be remiss if I never talked about the Star Wars promotional feature starring the cast of Scandal that aired in the commercials comparing the two with hilarious lines like, "The Jedi are similar to Scandal and the Gladiators," and "I love that Olivia has collected this band of heroes, that reminds me of the Rebels that together try to fight the dark side." Nope. Just nope.

Random Questions: The White House is decorated for Christmas in the show, do we think the real White House is already decorated? Does even the White House not wait for Thanksgiving, a.k.a. one of the most patriotic holidays? What is Huck going to do with Rowan? Are we going to end up with sociopath-murderous-Huck as soon as Rowan is dead? Will David ever realize that Susan is in love with him? What is creepy-Fitz going to do now that he has stealthily kidnapped Liv? And why did he release Liv from jail, if he wanted her to be his prisoner? Guess we'll have to wait until next week to find out. In the meantime, Gladiators, let me know what you thought about this week's episode.

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