Scandal Season 2 Review “Boom Goes the Dynamite”

Scandal Season 2 Episode 15 Boom Goes the Dynamite (5)

One of the themes of tonight’s Scandal was moving on. Sometimes you have to move on from a relationship that meant a lot to you. Sometimes you have to move on from bad memories. Sometimes you just have to let the past go and move forward. Oftentimes, that is a whole lot easier said than done. You don’t want to let go of that person that means so much to you. Sometimes memories haunt you and have kept you standing still. But until you forgive yourself and let go of the past, you cannot move into your future.

A few thoughts about “Boom Goes the Dynamite”:

This case of the week marks the first time that I’ve actually been able to call it on this show. Olivia is approached by Senator Caldwell because he needs Olivia’s help to get his little brother Peter elected as governor of Virginia. The problem is that everyone thinks that Peter is gay. He hasn’t dated in ten years, and Olivia points out that’s a problem for voters. So, Pope and Associates became political matchmakers. Basically, they went on the hunt for the perfect woman to fake a relationship with Peter so he could get elected governor. As it turns out, Peter was in love with (and had been sleeping with) his brother’s wife for the better part of ten years. That’s why he wasn’t dating anyone. The only thing that was mildly surprising about any of that was the husband knew his brother was having an affair with his wife. He just didn’t seem to care. It seemed that he was willing to sacrifice his happiness, his wife’s happiness, and his brother’s happiness to maintain the family’s political standing. It’s quite tragic really.

I was right about the case of the week, but wrong about Commander Ballard. I have never been more happy to be wrong. It turns out that Jake isn’t Commander Creepy McCreeperson. He’s just an officer following orders. He has video surveillance on Olivia at the direction of Fitz. I have a few problems with that, but I’ll discuss Fitz in a minute. Right now let’s focus on Jake. I said last week that it would be nice if Jake were to become legitimate competition for Fitz, and it looks like that might be the case. Judging by what we learned about Jake this week, he and Fitz served together and are friends. Jake also seems to be able to read people fairly well (not really a shocker since he does work in intelligence) and spending all this time watching Olivia has made him interested in her. It also seems that Jake has some misgivings about why Fitz has ordered him to spy on Olivia. He hasn’t been given any specific instructions of what to look for. He hasn’t been told why they’ve gone from photographs to video surveillance. And from what he’s seen of her, she doesn’t look like a threat. When he goes to Fitz for answers, Fitz is very vague. Jake seemed to pick up pretty quickly that this wasn’t just a national security issue.

Now that we know Jake isn’t a Creeper, I’d like to see more of him and Olivia. Maybe not jump into anything too fast, but certainly somewhere down the road. The time away from Fitz (minus that one thing in the computer room) seems to have opened her eyes to the truth. She and Fitz can’t go anywhere. For the last 3 or 4 years she has been in a holding pattern because she’s in love with a man who is unavailable. Her speech to Peter about stolen moments in coat rooms and hallways, wasn’t really about him so much as it was her seeing herself in him. She is Peter. She was overly harsh with him because looking at him, she got a good look at herself and she did not like what she saw. She was angry, hurt, humiliated, and heartbroken. She can say it wasn’t love between her and Fitz all she wants, but deep down she knows that’s not true. She loves Fitz and Fitz loves her. But Fitz’s stubborn refusal to talk to Olivia may cost him in the end. Jake makes Olivia smile. That’s a very important first step. If Olivia gives herself a chance, she may be able to actually be happy with Jake. Even if just for a little while. Scott Foley and Kerry Washington have a very easy on-screen chemistry and their scenes together were very cute. Like I said before, I like Scott Foley, so I’m not going to complain if TPTB decide to keep him around.

Fitz is going farther and farther off the deep end. He’s completely shut Cyrus out, he’s spying on Olivia, and he’s taking advice from Mellie. Let’s take those things one at the time. First, I laid out last week some of my problems with Fitz keeping Cyrus out of the loop. It’s bad business to shun the guy that has been giving you good advice for 3 years. If Fitz has a problem with what Cyrus did in Defiance, then he should man up and confront Cyrus with it. Fitz has every right to be angry with Cyrus, but his temper tantrum is harming the country.

Second, Fitz is using the power of his office to spy on Olivia. Not only is that very wrong and very illegal, but why is he spying? He already knows about Defiance. What else could he possibly be hoping to gain from having her watched? When Jake confronted him about the surveillance, Fitz claimed that it wasn’t personal and that Olivia was a bad person. I call BS on that one, Fitz. He knows good and well it’s personal. He claims that they are done, but he’s not done. He claims he doesn’t want her anymore, but he does. And he doesn’t want her to move on. What exactly is he expecting? Is she supposed to sit and pine for him for the rest of her life? I think his surveillance of her will inadvertently reveal who the mole is, but Fitz is spying on Olivia because he misses her.

Finally, I really want Mellie to get hit by a meteor or something. No, seriously. Meteor. BOOM! Squishes her flat on the South Lawn. Mellie is such a lying liar. And that’s what bothers me about Fitz seeking her counsel. Fitz knows that Mellie is a liar. He knows that she’s only in it for herself. He knows that she is cruel, selfish, and vindictive. She has never given him good counsel. She has never put him or the country before herself. Why on God’s green earth would he trust her? Everything she’s ever done has been to deceive and manipulate him and anyone else who was in her way. Does Fitz think he’s exempt from her machinations? He should know better. It certainly looks like Cyrus has figured out Mellie’s game. Now that Olivia has told him how to handle her, it’ll be interesting to see just how far they take this war. And make no mistake about it. They have silently declared war. And neither of them fights fair. This is probably going to get very ugly.

Poor Huck is suffering from PTSD. After what the Scary Men in Black Suits did to him, I can’t blame the guy. I found it very interesting that Quinn was the one that ultimately confronted Huck about his extremely offensive body odor. She had done research on the PTSD waterboarded people suffer, and she was ready and willing to help Huck get through it. I thought that was interesting because no one else seemed to take time out other than to talk behind his back about how much Huck stank. Not even Olivia could really be bothered to give more than a passing ‘Are you ok?’ to Huck. I’m kind of liking the way the relationship is developing between Huck and Quinn. At first, she was suspicious of him because she figured he was the one who drugged her and moved her to DC. Then she was angry when she found out everything he did. But now, I think she understands. She’s accepted that what happened, happened and she’s decided to move on with her life. Huck is the one who helped her get to this point, and I hope we continue to see their relationship grow into real friendship.

Despite an uncharacteristically predictable case of the week, I enjoyed this episode. I’m still trying to figure out why David was always the last one to leave the building if he thought someone was after him. If I thought I was being followed, you wouldn’t catch me wandering around dark hallways at night by myself. I’m also interested to find out why exactly one of the President’s top advisers is working with the enemy. I’m also interested to see whether this is going to be another blow to Fitz’s confidence when he figures out he’s been trusting the wrong person again. And please, for the love of God, stop with the David/Abby sex. That is permanently seared into my brain and I really wish it wasn’t. So what did y’all think of this week’s Scandal?