Some important stuff happened in last week’s episode of “Scandal,” “Ride, Sally, Ride.” Jake Ballard started his run as the new head of super-spy agency B-613. President Fitzgerald Grant chose a vice presidential running mate for his campaign — his former lieutenant governor Andrew Guy-Who-They-Never-Gave-A-Last-Name — who it turns out also had a thing with the president’s wife, Mellie. And Harrison Wright finally came face-to-face with a woman he was worried would kill him and … had sex with her. Which I know sounds ridiculous, but you have to understand, this woman is hot and foreign so it actually makes total sense. Also, Harrison, despite being one of the best-looking characters on the show, never gets laid. Ever. So, this is also one of those beggars and choosers things.
But that’s how “Scandal” works. Sometimes ridiculous stuff happens. And last night’s episode, “We Do Not Touch the First Ladies,” followed suit. Here’s a few things it left me shouting at the television.
HOW IS HE ONLY SEEING THIS NOW?
Jake Ballard is sitting in his office when two men enter, explaining that as the new head of B-613, he has to take this briefcase from them. A briefcase full of documents detailing every current B-613 operation.
This is information central to Jake doing his incredibly important job, and he has already had this position for what must be several weeks by now. I mean, shouldn’t this briefcase have gotten to him sooner? This is not the book you ordered rushed from Amazon but you understand it won’t arrive until the next business day. These are the files of EVERY ONGOING OPERATION FOR THE HEAD OF THE MOST POWERFUL SPY AGENCY IN THE WORLD.
Also, if this is the first time he is learning about all this, what has he been doing since he took over? Just checking Facebook all day?
The last piece of information we are left with is that there is a B-613 source working in the White House who will reveal himself to Jake shortly. They say shortly, but you know that means in the final minute of the episode and it’s supposed to be a bit of a mystery. Personally, I think it’s that secret service guy with the good hair.
Again with the discussing private stuff in public spaces– I can’t even. I give up.
I’ve addressed before how characters on “Scandal” discuss incredibly secret stuff in incredibly public spaces, so I was hesitant to revisit that this week. But in this episode, it’s just out of control. The following are all delicate conversations that happen within earshot of others:
Mellie confronts Andrew Something-or-Other about a drug scandal they are desperately trying to cover up in … the crowded halls of the White House.
Cyrus talks to James about the need to shut down a reporter who’s looking into Daniel Douglas’ mysterious death by saying, “If this Daniel Douglas thing comes out, it’s the election” (because if you refer to the incident where a public figure died mysteriously as “This Daniel Douglas thing,” then that’s vague enough that no one will ask questions) in … the crowded halls of the White House.
James calls David to say he’s worried Cyrus is catching on that James is the one who’s been leaking information about the Douglas murder to the press. James spends the entire episode being the world’s biggest pussy about how paranoid he is of being found out. Yet even he makes this call from (you guessed it) the crowded halls of the White House.
Olivia confronts her father, Eli, saying that she thinks he’s angry about being deposed as head of B-613 and is now trying to sabotage the president’s campaign as an act of revenge. She discusses his identity as the former head of a spy agency — actually, not in the crowded halls of the White House, but rather in a crowded restaurant. In fairness to her, Olivia has the confrontation while whispering. Having said that, she is Olivia Pope, so even her whispers are shouted and over-articulated.
Really? You’re going with, “He licked my face”?
Olivia catches former-employee-gone-rogue Quinn Perkins spying on Olivia and her father. She tells Quinn to come back to her team, but Quinn says she can’t. Huck doesn’t want her back. To prove this point, Quinn explains, “He licked my face. Did he tell you that? He licked my face like I was a piece of meat, like I wasn’t human to him.” Personally, if I was trying to demonstrate that Huck didn’t want me there, I would have gone with him ripping my tooth out with a set of pliers, but sure, he licked your face. That sounds bad too.
I understand nothing.
As the episode nears the end, the President confronts Olivia. “Do you have feelings for Jake?” He asks.
“That’s none of your business,” she answers.
“I know,” he says. Wait. Isn’t that exactly his business? I thought Fitz and Olivia were involved again. And now she’s pretending to be in a relationship with Jake to divert the media from thinking she’s banging the president. So, yeah, if the girl I was in a relationship with was pretending to be dating someone else, I would think it would be my business whether or not she has feelings for that guy.
So maybe Olivia and Fitz are not dating? I don’t know. They don’t actually have sex in this episode, but they do argue a lot, which as far as I can tell is most of what they do when they’re in a relationship anyway. They also were together last episode, and at the beginning of this episode they were in a room together buttoning up their shirts which is TV code for “We just had sex.” But then every time Fitz tried to do romantic things with Olivia, she — oh, I just don’t know. Fuck it. I give up.
As the episode nears a close, it’s time to reveal who the guy is in the White House that’s working for B-613.
And Jake’s inside man is the secret service guy with good hair.
Good Hair Guy comes in and hands Jake a flash drive, saying, “This is everything from today. I’ll be making nightly deliveries from now on.” So, this is the inside mole at the White House whose role is so important that he has to make nightly deliveries, and he doesn’t start with these deliveries until Jake has had the job for several weeks? I mean, seriously, what has Jake been doing with his time before now?