‘Scandal’ recap: Season 3, Episode 16, ‘The Fluffer’

 

DARBY STANCHFIELD, KERRY WASHINGTON

Another episode, another opportunity for Scandal to suggest why DC has such a high murder rate.  Let’s recap.

Stop the presses: The President has a baguette in his pants. This we learn from Jeanine Locke, former White House aide who never actually slept with the president but took the fall when Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) did, and is now publishing a tell all about it, that no one knows is fake. Pope and Associates learns of the book on the news — I guess B613 doesn’t haven’t a mole inside Random House — and hears a female reporter ask Locke, “Is he a dinner roll or a baguette?” And Locke says, “The President of the United States is definitely a baguette.” The reporter used this metaphor because bread is sexy. And a baguette is preferable to a dinner roll because its French.

Even though Jeanine totally made up the baguette thing, every woman in America knows it’s true anyway, because Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) is a fictional character, which means we all get to choose. So, actually, I guess for some women, he’s a dinner roll: each to her own.

Pot, meet kettle

Back at the White House it’s awwwkwaaard. Andrew (more or less) tells Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) that he loves her, but she runs away. And Fitz is still way pissed about the whole affair. Liv talks him out of jettisoning Andrew for a new running mate. But she’s still pretty pissed too, and asks/monologues what she is to him. Potential options include: a bodyguard protecting him from bullies, a dealer giving him his fix, and a fluffer getting him all hot and bothered. I hope it’s not the latter, as that would be exhausting: baguettes are enormous. Come to think of it, so are dinner rolls. Has that reporter ever had sex? Or seen bread?

Then she forces him to say what he wants. Devastatingly, his answer was not “You”, but rather “For Andrew to stop screwing my wife.”

So Liv shows her nasty side, threatening Andrew that if he chooses Mellie, she’ll have to ruin him so Fitz will have a public reason to drop him, and that in such a case, Mellie will probably drop him too, but I ain’t saying she a gold digger. Then Andrew asks Liv how she got this way, and huffs out of the room.

But by the end of the episode, when Mellie comes around and wants Andrew back, he rebuffs her, just like at the end of that same Kanye song. So she storms into the Oval Office, slaps Fitz hard, and says, “You take everything away from me!”, a line which will later appear in a Kanye track after he and Kim inevitably divorce.

Mission possible

Meanwhile, Liv still wants to take down B613. Her Dad says the secret organization is funded by all other government organizations, a little at a time, but when they find the account, it’s empty. So they’ll have to go through Jake Ballard (Scott Foley). Huck needs Liv to covertly place a device on Jake’s phone for 30 seconds, which will only happen if she sleeps with him or drugs him, which, let’s be honest, is kind of the same thing.

She chooses the former, and the betrayal especially stings because the night before, Jake appeared at her doorway, drunk, vulnerable, and asking to be saved, but Liv turned him away. Then again, the sex was way too hot for her to be in it just for the takedown. So maybe she did save him after all, wink wink nudge nudge. Do you think she has a croissant or a ciabatta?

Three’s a crowd

Mama Pope (Khandi Alexander) enjoys fine wine! She crashes Liv and her Dad’s fancy dinner, drinks their wine, and tells Liv to back off. She knew that Harrison had been trying to flip one of her minions, so she killed the girl, which, just at that moment, Harrison calls to explain. Basically she’s like, I don’t want to kill you, because I love you; okay, I’m off to meet a man about a bomb.

Fortunately, Jake is still spying on Mama Pope’s hotel room, and sees the enormous and possibly nuclear bomb she’s just received from an old fling (why hasn’t my husband ever given me a bomb?!). Quinn and Charlie are ready to storm in at his command, and everything’s about to go down, when Bam! Huck and Liv use the info from Jake’s phone to shut down the Internet, electricity, and phones at B613. Scandal! It’s handled! Except not really because Quinn and Charlie miss their window and Mama gets away with a big ass bomb she plans to use to kill the president. Naturally, Jake shows up to strangle Liv into knowing it’s all her fault.

What else?

Chief of Staff Cyrus leaks that VP Sally’s daughter had an abortion. Reston admitted to murder and threatened his wife on camera. And everyone at the White House thinks Abby’s name is Gabby.

Episode grade: A-

Follow Jane Borden on Twitter @JaneBorden



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