‘Scandal’ recap: Season 3, Episode 5, ‘More Cattle, Less Bull’

Josephine Marcus (Lisa Kudrow) says what Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) tells her to. Credit: ABC
Josephine Marcus (Lisa Kudrow) says what Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) tells her to.
Credit: ABC

Clear the room! It’s Scandal recap time.

In D.C. politics, information is currency. It’s all what you know about who, who knows what about you, and about what knows who you…what? I’m confused. But you won’t be.

This week, “5 Truths and 1 Lie.” You guess which of these 6 statements is untrue. (Think it’ll be easy? “President Fitz isn’t dreamy” is not on the list.)

 

1) America knows Fitz needs sex.

Cyrus Bean (Jeff Perry) and Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) try to hire a Washington player named Leo to manage the reelection campaign of President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn), but Leo says the president has problems, including a “wife-is-a-frigid-shrew problem.” Then he adds that Fitz “looks like he hasn’t had a good screw,” which is maybe why he killed that old lady in chemo last season (drink!). Regardless, Leo implies that America likes to imagine it’s candidates being sexually sated, which makes George H. Bush’s win puzzling indeed.

 

2) Huck and Jake know what the president did last summer.

After weeks of ABC telling us to #OperationRemington, they finally reveal what that means. Agents-gone-rogue Huck (Guillermo Diaz) and Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) aim to take down Eli Pope, head of the government’s secret-assassin program B613. So they break into his house and download computer files, which is easy because apparently heads of secret government agencies don’t have great security (FYI: lies told by the writers or producers are not eligible choices in this quiz).

They discover that, on a night he was supposedly flying a mission, then soldier and now President Fitz was actually in Iceland, close to the scene of a 747 crash that killed 329 people and was attributed to mechanical failure. But Huck suspects foul play, because one of the passengers was Pope’s wife, and because mechanical failure is boring.

 

3) Voters knows Lisa Kudrow had a baby.

Congresswoman Josephine Marcus (Lisa Kudrow) hires Olivia to keep her teen pregnancy a secret, so Liv sends her gladiators to Montana, but Cyrus’s lapdog gets to the baby-daddy first and convinces him to spill the beans in a television interview. But wait! Huck pulls up dirt on the baby-daddy, who then backs out, which leads the lapdog to call Cyrus and say, “We got Pope’d” — a line of dialogue simultaneously ridiculous and very satisfying.

No matter, though, as Cyrus simply leaks the information to Marcus’s opponent in the Democratic primary, who puts her on the spot during a debate. Marcus, as Liv had suggested from the start, confesses and wins America’s hearts. Phoebe Buffay for president!

 

4) Everyone knows Quinn is going crazy.

She follows Huck around, asking creepy questions, betraying a growing obsession with torture and murder. So the gladiators tell her she’s grounded, while they’re in Montana, to keep her safe. But before they leave, she returns the electronic equipment they picked up, learns she’ll only get store credit, and spies a bunch of guns for sale. Presumably she won’t have trouble passing the background check since she has one identity that was accused of murdering seven people, and another that is totally fabricated. Sadly, that isn’t sarcasm.

 

5) Liv knows Fitz can’t tell a joke. 

Liv, your trashcan is ringing! As a gesture to Jake, our hero Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) threw her secret-Fitz phone in the trash, but when Fitz calls that night, she totally recycles it. Then she feeds him jokes for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, because he’s not funny, and he knows it, and we believe it because please give him a flaw so we can reenter society after each episode. Honestly, she’s not that funny either, which is also a relief, but then again, he’s the President: Why isn’t he calling Jon Stewart’s trashcan?

Whoah. More important question: Did he just say, “I love you”? Yes! I love you too, Fitz.

 

6) Mellie hires a prostitute. 

Liv attends the dinner, and when she sees the Secret Service agent approach her table and stare like Lenny in the “Grapes of Wrath,” she recognizes the signal and thinks she’s about to have sexy president time, but it turns out she’s been beckoned by Mellie. The First Lady would rather have Fitz in the White House than in his wife’s bed, so she begs Olivia to come onboard as his campaign manager, saying, “He’s not alive when you’re not here” and you complete him and you had him at hello and he needs to get his ticket punched.

 

Let’s see, what else?

Fitz and Captain Jake Ballard played a “Top Gun”-style homoerotic game of basketball which was obviously superfluous and totally appreciated. Vice President Sally also plans to run against Fitz, and is not afraid to enter a men’s bathroom to announce it. And Lisa Kudrow’s daughter is actually her sister: her daughter, her sister, her daughter, her sister.

Episode grade: B+
See you next week!

—Jane Borden
@JaneBorden

Answer: 4) It is incorrect to say that “everyone” knows Quinn is going crazy, when Quinn clearly does not know — did you see the way she eyed that gun? Like it was a lollipop. Like it was a slightly arousing lollipop. Huh, “a slightly arousing lollipop”: maybe that was the attraction to George H. Bush.


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