Last night’s episode of “Scandal” (“A Door Marked Exit”) was a masterpiece. It was exciting, it was human, it was well-edited, it was even well-titled. I know well-titled might not seem impressive, but the previous week’s episode was called “YOLO.” Trust me, it’s impressive. It was the kind of episode that made me regret the fact that my job is to write snarky comments about the show.
But it’s 2013, and this is the Internet. So snarky comments I must write. Here’s a few things last night’s episode of Scandal left me shouting at the television.
Warning: Spoilers galore.
“Always with the letter opener!”
The show opens with a flashback to the fight Vice President Sally Langston had with her husband, Daniel Douglas, moments before murdering him with a letter opener. This officially marked the 10,000th time a letter opener has been used to kill someone in a fictional universe, adding to the letter opener’s already overwhelming résumé as “the murder weapon used on TV shows at a rate that most outpaces its use as a murder weapon in real life.” Have you ever heard of someone being killed with a letter opener in the real world? Actually, scratch that. Have you ever heard of someone owning a letter opener in the real world?
“How does no one see the needle?!”
Meanwhile, Quinn Perkins had been sent on a mission to kill Eli Pope — the head of the most powerful spy agency on the planet — by injecting him with a needle loaded with some kind of poisonous agent. As the two talked, she slowly pulled the needle from her purse, searching for a moment to strike. Meanwhile, Eli’s underling, Charlie (also a super spy), stood off to the side.
Yet somehow, in a room with two people trained to see even the faintest of malicious movements, no one saw the needle. In fairness, she held it slightly to her right with her body shielding it from Charlie’s view. So if he only saw the world in two dimensions instead of three, this made total sense.
But the attempt was thwarted when A THIRD SUPER SPY walked into the room to tell Eli it was time to leave. He also missed the would-be murder weapon, even as he stood DIRECTLY FACING THE NEEDLE.
I think she could have pulled it off if she had used a letter opener.
“Damn, the President is a pussy.”
Not long after narrowly escaping death, Eli was kidnapped on orders of the president and brought to a gray, windowless room for a face-to-face meeting. If the president was ever going to have the upper hand in a confrontation with Eli, it was here. But, as always, we were reminded that President Fitzgerald Grant (a.k.a. Fitz) is a total loser face.
Eli launched into a vicious verbal assault, calling the president a little boy who mopes about the fact that Daddy never loved him and who never worked for anything he got. And when Fitz said that he loves Olivia Pope (Eli’s daughter), Eli responded that Fitz just loves the idea that she is a way out of this life as president that he never wanted. As Eli put it, “You love that she is a door marked exit.”
Fitz’s response to all this was to fire back with perhaps the most emo line you could imagine: “You don’t know anything about me.”
“Oh my God they’re creepy.”
Meanwhile, Quinn and Charlie continued their reign as world’s creepiest on-air couple, with Charlie serving as the answer to the question, “What would it look like if Hannibal Lecter tried dating?” At one point, Quinn sat on a bed looking completely traumatized. An unfazed Charlie asked, “What’s wrong Robsies?” (Robsies is a an abbreviation of a nickname he gave her that’s so gross that it alone would be justification for Quinn leaving him.) She wistfully recalled a simpler time last week, before her world got flipped turned upside down, when she considered getting highlights.
And if you’re like me, all you could think was how terrible Quinn would look with highlights. In an episode with murder-by-letter-opener and the lethal needle no one sees, the idea that Quinn would get highlights seemed a little unrealistic.
Charlie talked her off the ledge, then wrapped his arm around her and smelled her head while saying, “Don’t change your hair, I like it.” That line would be cute if it was delivered by a regular boyfriend, but with Charlie, it just feels like it’s what he says before he peels her skin off and hangs it from his basement wall.
“Lexington! No, Concord! Wait, is Lexington-Concord a place?”
As for the aforementioned death of Daniel Douglas, Sally had solicited the president’s chief of staff, Cyrus Beane, to help clean up the mess and get the coroner to rule the death a heart attack. A plan that threatened to be toppled by Cyrus’ husband James Novak, who visited US Attorney David Rosen to share his suspicions that either Cyrus or Sally was behind Daniel’s death.
But David responded that he couldn’t look into it. It would ruffle the wrong feathers and he’d lose his job, then have to go back to substitute teaching. To prove just how miserable being a substitute is (something that requires no proof, by the way), David pulled a quiz from his desk that he once gave one of his students and asked James to read the first question.
“In what town was the shot heard round the world fired?” James read.
“Lexington!” I shouted at the TV. “No Concord! Wait, is Lexington-Concord a place?” And I realized that my entire high school education was a waste of time. I couldn’t even answer a question asked on a fictional quiz meant to prove how dumb high school students are. I should also mention that I grew up in Massachusetts and just last week went to a Revolutionary War museum.
“And what was the student’s answer?” David asked.
“He drew a picture of a penis.”
“And his answer to the rest of the questions?”
For emphasis, David gently repeated James’ answer. “All penises.”
I actually have no snarky follow-up comment, I just wanted to share my favorite moment in last night’s episode.
“Wait, why didn’t he just do that 10 episodes ago?!”
As the show wrapped up, Olivia called Eli. As they talked, you could tell she wanted desperately to live in a world where she could love her father, not hate him. And he wanted to give her that world. But they couldn’t. He is the head of B-613, the aforementioned super spy agency, and things don’t work that way.
Eli hung up, then walked into his office where Jake Ballard sat in his chair. Jake explained that Eli’s time as head of B-613 was over and we soon learned that the decision to displace Eli and replace him with Jake came straight from the president.
This is after an entire fucking season of being told that B-613 is outside the president’s jurisdiction. After an entire season of people pondering what to do about this organization and no one coming up with anything. I’m just gonna throw this out there: If simply removing Eli from his post was an option, Fitz probably should have played that card several ruined lives ago.
After a mild protest, Eli nodded and headed for the door. It was the kind of moment that made you want to scream at the television, “That’s it?! You’re going to give up everything you’ve worked for just like that?!” But then you realize it doesn’t matter. That Eli wanted to go. That he wanted to be Olivia’s dad, not the head of B-613.
That for Eli, Jake taking over was a door marked exit.