‘Scandal’ recap: Season 3, Episode 8, ‘Vermont is for Lovers Too’

Our hero, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), after riding into the sunset.
Our hero, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), after riding into the sunset.

R.I.P., Fitz Phone. I didn’t know you personally, but you touched me just the same. God speed you to secret-mobile-phone heaven.

And now, on to this week’s “Scandal” recap, titled, “Everyone is someone’s bitch, Bitch!” These characters philander, rig elections, steal evidence, torture, and suffocate elderly women who are about to die anyway from cancer — no surprise they’ll also sell each other out for personal gain. Below, the latest episode’s dirty details are broken down into the four archetypal prostitute categories.

The Shakespearean Strumpet

…in which Cyrus whores out his own husband.

Vice President Sally plans to campaign against President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) — and Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) knows. So he’ll publicly drag her husband out of the closet, and use his own husband as bait.

Cyrus gets journalist-hubby James an exclusive interview with Daniel Douglas Langston (he has two first names because that’s how you know he’s Southern), in the hopes that DD will hit on James while Cyrus’ photographer catches it all on film. He even whispers in James’ ear to “make it casual … have a drink or two.”

DD does make a pass, at which point James deduces the ruse, and, for revenge, gives the photog what he wants. It’s still unclear if James actually slept with DD, but he did feed Cyrus some stunning double entendres: “It’s good to be back in the saddle,” and “You were right, a couple of glasses of wine and he opened right up.”

 

The Traditional Street Pimp

…in which Quinn can’t quit Charlie.

Now that secret CIA outfit B613 is forcing gladiator Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowes) to spy on Pope and Associates, creepy assassin Charlie gets to boss her around. A summary of his opening remarks: “You’ll come home and tell me everything you saw at work because if you don’t I’ll kill you. But it will be more fun to pretend you’re telling me because I’m your boyfriend.” So much more fun.

BTW, they want the intel because B613′s leader, the father of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), knows that Liv is close to figuring out her mother is still alive. Except then Mama Pope almost for-real dies: Daddy Pope says she can’t see Liv, so she slits her wrists by gnawing them with her teeth. Everyone: Tell your moms you’re coming home for Thanksgiving.

Quinn knows Charlie will kill her if the gladiators find out she’s working for him, so she tries to kill Charlie instead — but then she can’t because he says, “You’ll never leave me because you love me and I own you and you love that I own you: I am your pimp.” (I paraphrased.)

 

The Stripper Who Steals Your Wallet

…in which Harrison the player, gets played.

For the record, it’s merely a coincidence that the main character in the stripper storyline is named Candy. Unless — you’ll have to ask the writers — it isn’t.

Josie Marcus (Lisa Kudrow) is robbed, but the thief only took a laptop, so everyone assumes it was orchestrated, Watergate style, by the campaign staff of Marcus’ primary opponent, Reston. Liv tells Josie to sit tight, but Josie’s sister/daughter, Candy, goes to the press, leading gladiator Harrison to yell, more or less, “Don’t even, you only talk when I tell you to, recognize, etc.” But then the FBI finds the laptop at Reston’s campaign headquarters. Harrison reacts to being wrong by sleeping with Candy, which is the equivalent of a Teen Scream Queen running upstairs in a slasher movie instead of calling the cops.

Turns out: Candy set up the whole charade, stealing her own laptop and planting the evidence. Now Harrison’s only choice is to go on a crime spree and drive over a cliff while holding his best friend’s hand…wait, wrong screenplay.

 

The Pretty Woman

…in which bow-chicka-bow-pow.

Fitz calls Liv; she ignores him. He calls again; she smashes the Fitz phone. Jake says that won’t work: If the president wants her, he’ll find her, because he’s the president/that enormous eye in “Lord of the Rings.” And Fitz does convince her to talk: by delivering a picture of her with her father, meaning Fitz knows that her dad is evil-B613-guy, meaning OK, she’ll get on that plane he sent.

The writers wanted us to think Fitz has Liv on a string. But they also knew that if we had to wait one more week for sexy-president-makeout time, we’d gnaw our own wrists.

The plane takes her to some random house in Vermont, where they air their grievances by pausing dramatically between yelling. Then he says he built this house for the two of them… for the life they could have had… for the bam! Makeout! Hot no-shirt presidential handsy touchy-touch time in the dark with Bill Withers there too. You’re right, Bill: There ain’t no sunshine, because we’re in the bedroom having, unlike last week, totally consensual sex.

This is all any of us wanted. I guess, ultimately, we’re all just Shonda’s bitches.

Let’s see, what else? Josie Marcus dropped out of the race. Mama Pope escaped from her prison cell and snuck up on Olivia in the street. Huck is on to Quinn. And, on the morning after that totally consensual sex, the president still had his shirt off.

Episode grade: A

Follow Jane Borden on Twitter @JaneBorden


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