Scandal Season 5, Episode 14 Recap: Trump Has Arrived

Photo: ABC/Jordin Althaus.
Liv (Kerry Washington) said it best: "I'm selfish because I can be." It doesn't quite qualify as a positive affirmation (although I would prefer to meditate to that sentence than some cheesy flowery line), but it it was definitely the mantra of tonight's episode of Scandal.
The characters on Scandal are always selfish, or as people like to say, real, but this week addressed it head on. Starting with an extreme invasion of privacy. We all like to believe that our personal information is safe. But is it? In the real world, probably not. In Scandal's world, definitely not. Tonight alone, Liv had the home of Jake's (Scott Foley) new fiancé , Vanessa, set up with hidden cameras and bugs. Abby (Darby Stanchfield) looked into Cyrus' (Jeff Perry) phone records. And, perhaps most extreme of all, Huck (Guillermo Diaz) watched some magical stream of his son's soccer games, where he can also caught glimpses of his ex-wife and her new boyfriend.
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I was worried we were going to spend the whole episode watching Liv watch Jake and Vanessa, the only thing worse than watching Liv stalk them in person last week. But, Huck's stalking took a dark turn fast. When Huck saw his ex-wife's new boyfriend, he wanted to play "the hero." He went down and kidnapped the man, causing The Gladiators to chase after him.
The search for Huck, allowed OPA to air their dirty laundry and attempt to be a family again. Quinn (Katie Lowes) got to yell at Liv the way that we all wish we could. She called her selfish. She screamed at her for abandoning The White Hat. She told her to stop picking the men in her life over everything else. And, she reminded her that there are clients with things that need to be handled. Liv wasn't entirely receptive, but did apologize to Quinn and complimented her for running OPA. Maybe this means we will start to see more Gladiators in action in upcoming episodes?
It turns out Huck's ex-wife's new boyfriend, Sean, is a nice guy. He's a stable man, who doesn't have to lie about his identity or his job. He's someone who can watch soccer games without hacking into security cameras, and he has bought an engagement ring. Watching Huck realize his proclivity to violence keeps him from being a good husband and father, and this man could be that for his family was heartbreaking.
Huck's storyline gets lost sometimes, when the writers go too far into the sadistic urges he has. Yet, every once in a while, we get to see the Huck we cared about before the B6-13 mess. The loyal man with a big heart. It is this Huck who said goodbye to his family, who drove home with tears in his eyes, and who shut the security footage of his son's soccer games for good. Maybe this will be the resolution he needed with his past, and Huck and Quinn will become an item again?
As Huck's heart broke, the ambitions of three characters grew. The hustle and manipulation was basically tangible even through the TV screen for Abby, Liv, and Hollis Doyle (Gregg Henry).
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Abby ignored Liv's advice to be the better person, and without a second thought fired Cyrus and replaced him as Chief of Staff. Personally, I'm not so sure how Abby is going to fare in a battle against Cyrus, but she seems confident.
Liv realized that not only is Jake definitely playing the new girl, but Liv, herself, was also only a pawn in his game. You would think someone like Jake would have a few different pick-up strategies in his arsenal, but he used the same one on Vanessa and Liv. 1. Run into identified target woman in a coffee shop, and knock her phone out of her hands. 2. Bump into her days later, where she will be so charmed to see you again that she asks you out. I like Liv's chances against Jake a bit better than Abby's chances against Cyrus, but this will definitely be the next moral war of the show.
Finally, we have Hollis Doyle. We haven't seen him in a while, but on tonight's episode he managed to annoy us all and then announce his run for President. He's a rich man from a rich family that likes to say he made his fortune. He's a business man. He's someone with deep pockets that has given money to plenty of campaigns. He is known as argumentative, slightly erratic, and anything but politically correct.
Sound familiar? Right as Donald Trump is proving himself to be the Republican's party strongest candidate, winning enough primaries and earning enough praise and criticism to get people talking about a brokered convention, Scandal get it's own Trump-esque candidate.
If we needed prof that Hollis was going to be around a while, we got it when Fitz said, "Hollis is a joke, no one will take him seriously." That sounds an awful like the rhetoric around Trump a few months ago, and if anything that means there will be some amazing political commentary in our future TGIT lineup. At this point, that is what Shonda Rhimes and team is doing best this season — speaking out about our current political landscape each week through the fictional election mirroring the best and worst of our current politics.
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