Shh...shh, it's OK. It's just television. It's just a show!
OH MY GOD, EVERYONE IS HORRIBLE.
The previews suggested tonight's episode would be all about First Lady Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young): her background and motivations, what she went through to get here, where she finds her strength. The only problem is that Mellie is a selfish, frigid bitch. So, in order to build sympathy for her, the writers had to make everyone around her even nastier. In this week's "Scandal" recap, we present a rogues gallery.
Wow. Really, just, wow. We already knew he was a jerk (cruel to his son, cheated on his wife) but last night, Barry Bostwick found himself far from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Actually, that's wrong. The character Jerry Grant might not be anything like Brad Majors, the do-gooder hero Bostwick played in the 1975 film. But Rocky Horror is full of rape. Did that analogy feel abrupt and unearned? Kind of like the plot line?
In a series of flashbacks, we learn that Grant Senior was also involved with Operation Remington (really, at this point, who isn't). He helped cover up the mission in which his son, now president Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn), shot down a commercial jetliner carrying 329 people. Then, drunk, Daddy Grant tells Mellie about the mission in great detail. This is a devastating and thoughtless thing to do, but it's not as scummy as raping her, which is what he did — totally out of the blue — next.
By morning, Mellie has synthesized the experience into a blackmail scheme, forcing Grant Senior to support his son's campaign for governor, so Fitz won't drop out. I would not call this lemonade.
Are we sure she passed her bar examination? Last week we learned B613 wants to trap Quinn into joining its secret cadre of CIA assassins. This week, thanks to creepy lollipop-sucking Charlie, they got her. Based on how easy it was, though, superspy Charlie must've been bored.
Basically, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) told the gladiators their new client is her mother, who was killed on the flight Fitz shot down. The team gets to work, discovering that one passenger was taken off the plane by an air marshal right before it took off, and that the only person still alive who saw this happen was the air-traffic controller. Quinn is working with the gang on the case, and also working on Creepy Charlie's lollipop lips, because she actually thinks he likes her, and not that he is merely a highly trained government operative who has never known a heart as anything other than the fastest way to kill someone. Quinn: You've literally seen him use a woman this way before! Why am I yelling at a fictional character!
He takes her on a date, which turns out to be a job — she is still not suspicious — and lets her participate by injecting a guard with a tranquilizer. Surprise! She actually killed the guy, and it's on tape, so B613 owns her. Surprise! The guard was the former air-traffic controller Pope and Associates sought. OK, that second part actually was a surprise.
The vice president (Kate Burton) is still planning to backstab Fitz and steal the presidency. She's asking her husband to stay in the closet (turns out his catting-around is more like bearing-around). And she continues to insult the entire Southeast with that accent.
No, he didn't rape anyone, but he did kill 330 people — 329 on the airplane plus that old woman undergoing chemo.
Seems like giving an important first-lady interview to a different reporter contributed to his journalist husband James getting fired. Also, before he was the White House chief of staff, Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) had a really weird beard (I know I made a double entendre on "bears" earlier, but here I am actually talking about facial hair).
She must've done something pretty terrible for her husband to save her life only to lock her in a prison cell for the remainder of it. Oh, right: the passenger removed from the doomed jetliner was Olivia's mother, Maya Lewis (Khandi Alexander) — she is alive, and in a prison cell somewhere, looking like a vampire.
In all of this madness, you know who is a good person? That bitch Mellie. She hasn't even told anyone yet that Fitz's first child is also his sibling!
Episode grade: B-
Next week, presumably, Liv will find out her mom is alive — and the air-traffic controller still had to die.