‘Scandal’ recap: Season 3, Episode 17, ‘Flesh and Blood’
Mellie’s drunk again. Mama Pope is more evil than ever. And #HuckQuinn is ruining Mark Twain for me. It’s Scandal Thursday. Let’s recap.
Ok, so Mama Pope (Khandi Alexander) has a President-seeking bomb and knows how to use it. B613 was on to her, but Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) shut down the spy organization. And they can’t call for a public manhunt since it’s their fault Mama Pope’s on the loose in the first place. So pretty much the entire cast of the show, including President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn), gathers in Liv’s office to brainstorm. This gives Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) the chance to announce exactly how Liv shut down B613 — by seducing him — which was really just his way of saying, “Bam, I did your girl, Fitz.”
Fitz promises to cancel his campaign trail and stay at the White House until the bomb is found. And Papa Pope (Joe Morton) promises that if they find the bomb maker, Dominic, he’ll lead them to Mama Pope. Charlie and Quinn (Katie Lowe) spend a day searching for Dominic and come up dry. Then Huck walks into the office carrying him bound-and-gagged, and Quinn is visibly turned on — not by the bound-and-gagged part, which would be more normal than what did turn her on, namely the similarities between Huck and a hunting dog.
Papa explains that Dominic is the only man Mama Pope ever loved, so he plays Russian Roulette with Dominic while on the phone with her. But she’s all, “Yeah, I don’t care about him; nice try, but I’m hanging up before you trace me.” Papa kills him anyway, for old time’s sake, which angers Liv because this is the reason she shut down B613, and also because gross.
A decent proposal
Speaking of gross, VP Sally’s campaign manager, Leo, is meeting with a highschool girl under the bleachers. She says she’ll get him what he wants but only if he gets her into Harvard, which sounds like she’s trading sex for college admission, but is really just…never mind, that’s exactly what it is. The sex isn’t with Leo, though, but with Fitz and Mellie’s son. Then she delivers a sperm sample to Leo, who calls Papa Pope, who confesses to Liv what’s happening: Leo heard that Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) was seeking a paternity test, and wants to beat her to the punch.
Liv confronts Mellie, who’s pounding something clear — gin? moonshine? bleach? — and is totally wasted. Liv assumes Andrew is the potential Dad, and Mellie shouts an angry diatribe about giving up her life for Fitz. But then she’s so drunk, she lets slip about Fitz’s dad and begs Liv to keep the secret.
Abby bribes the DNA lab guy and sends fixed results to Leo: Bam! Scandal! It’s handled! But Liv also sends real results to Mellie, who opens them at the end of the episode but reveals nothing with her gaze.
Tick, tick, tick
A senator dies — of natural causes, which made me wonder if I was watching PBS — and Fitz wants to give the eulogy at his funeral. He liked the guy. Plus it would be good campaigning. Also, he’s dropping in the polls. To hell with staying alive, Fitz is back on the trail!
When Liv catches wind of the plan, she goes to her dad for help. He says that even if her mother didn’t love him or this Dominic guy, she definitely loves her daughter. So he sends her on the trail with Fitz as collateral. Liv shows up on camera with Fitz and, on cue, Mama shows up in Liv’s office, telling Papa to bring Liv home. So Liv whispers something to Fitz at the microphone, and he announces a bomb threat. Everyone comes home, where Liv finds her Dad’s been shivved by her Mom. So I guess they now have their Christmas card photo.
Meanwhile, David’s been using facial-recognition software to look for Mama Pope on all of DC’s surveillance cameras. And he finds her exiting that senator’s place the day he died. Jake deduces that actually she killed him (I knew I wasn’t watching PBS) so that there’d be a funeral, which Fitz would attend — the bomb is at the funeral. He tells Cyrus the news, and to evacuate the church. But Cyrus learns that Fitz hasn’t left for the service yet, but Sally has. He gets a wicked glint in his eye, and a bounce in his step. And he tells Fitz he got word that the funeral is starting late, and makes no call to save the hundreds of politicians, staffers, and civilians at the funeral.
Huck and Quinn totally did it. In a parking lot. And she slapped him in the face a lot as foreplay. It was pretty traumatizing. Also the reason Mama Pope was able to enter Pope & Associates undetected and shiv Papa Pope is because Huck and Quinn didn’t see her on account of said slappy parking-lot doing-it party. So there’s a whole slasher-film aesthetic going on as well. Which means they might both be killed in the finale, most likely, while doing it. I never thought I’d feel bad for Charlie.
Episode grade: B-
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