Scandal has been known for its OMG moments for six seasons now — you'd think it would start to get old or that maybe Shonda Rhimes and Co. wouldn't be able to keep surprising us.
You'd be wrong. Because the last two minutes of Thursday's (March 23) episode left my jaw flat on the floor. Kudos, Scandal. You've done it again.
The setup this week is that Olivia (Kerry Washington) is convinced her father (Joe Morton) killed Frankie Vargas (Ricardo Chavira) to put her and Mellie (Bellamy Young) in the White House — which he technically did, though she doesn't know the whole story. So she dispatches Huck (Guillermo Díaz) to kill Rowan, something Huck doesn't want to do at all but will do because of his unwavering loyalty to Olivia.
However, Huck needs to know that Rowan is 100% guilty, so he engages with Papa Pope long enough to figure out there's something else at play here. He eventually figures out Rowan did kill Vargas, but only because Olivia's life is being threatened by this unnamed mysterious group led by "Sarah" (Zoe Perry) — we'll call her Sarah for lack of anything better, since that's how she herself to Rowan when she was posing as a researcher.
Huck eventually convinces Olivia of why Rowan did what he did and she calls off her hit on him. But the big twist comes in the form of Meg (Phoebe Neidhardt), Huck's girlfriend, who has a sudden interest in Olivia.
Quinn (Katie Lowes) plants it in his head that Meg seems suspicious, so he thinks she's working for Sarah. But he decides he's wrong about her after confronting her, and he and Olivia set her up to briefly see her BFF Jennifer Fields (Chelsea Kurtz).
Except Quinn was right all along. Meg shoots Jennifer dead and turns the gun on Huck, then meets up with Sarah...and Abby (Darby Stanchfield). DUN DUN DUN.
Seriously, though, we all should have seen that coming a mile away because Abby perked right up when Huck told her Jennifer Fields was still alive. But did anybody call that one? I definitely didn’t. Well done, Shonda.
So Abby is in cahoots with this mysterious cabal whose only endgame we yet know about is to put Mellie Grant in the Oval Office. Does that smell like Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) is behind it all? Would he go to these kind of lengths to get Mellie elected? That seems farfetched even for Fitz, but he does kind of owe Mellie big time, so maybe? It still feels like he’d go about it differently, though. That’s going to be a hard twist to make work, if it does turn out to be Fitz.
What is also a tough pill to swallow is that Abby would go so far beyond the pale, even if the end game is a favorable outcome. Olivia would never kill a good man like Frankie Vargas, even it meant elevating her teammate. I didn't think Abby was capable of something like this either, but here we are. Hmm.
Do you think Abby's been in on this from the beginning? Or has she been brought in post-assassination, by someone who has something to hold over her, the way Sarah and Co. did with Papa Pope?
Knowing Rhimes, there are like a dozen more layers to get to before we know the real answer. But hats off on the twist this week, because that was an exceptionally well done episode. It was tightly written, action packed and featured a Rhimes twist that was both surprising but not too outrageous, which is the best kind of Rhimes twist.
By the way, I didn’t make any mention of Huck possibly being dead, because he’s not and we all know it. He was shot three times, yes, but not anywhere important. If the show wanted to kill him, he would have been shot on the left side of the chest or in the head. And chances are we would have heard long before now that Guillermo Díaz was leaving the show. So, never fear, Huck fans. That Gladiator is not going anywhere.
But speaking of Huck, episodes that revolve around him are always a treat, because Guillermo Díaz absolutely knocks the material out of the park. Acting-wise, he's right up there with Jeff Perry as one of the shining stars in a cast full of solid actors. It's incredible to watch Díaz's work on this show.
Chekhov's Becky was pretty great — Quinn brings her up in the first act and then we actually get to see Becky in federal prison in act two. Great surprise callback to season 2.
"Meg reads books about math. She squeezes my arm during horror movies. She's still on Pinterest! She's not a mole. Or a psycho." Um, isn't still being on Pinterest like a dead giveaway that she's both a mole and a psychopath?
"I'm not the one with the blindspot when it comes to your father. I am not the one that is broken. That is you." Huck dropping truth-bombs left and right on Olivia. Not that she doesn't have reasons for her blind rage at her father, but in this case, Huck is right and Olivia is wrong.
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