Scandal Season 2 Review “Snake in the Garden”

This week’s Scandal was about family. There are very few relationships more complicated than family and dealing with them can be absolutely maddening. But when it gets right down to it, you’d do things for family that you would never do for anyone else. Brace yourselves. This might get a little long.

A few thoughts about “Snake in the Garden”:

I really wasn’t looking forward to the case of the week because I knew that meant we were going to be subjected to a whole lot of Hollis Doyle. But because I love Scandal so much, I just gritted my teeth and bore it. Hollis and one of his ex-wives (the 4th one I think) went to Olivia and Co. because their youngest daughter, Maybelle, was kidnapped. The kidnapper demanded $20 million dollars wire to an account or he would kill her. Naturally, her mother was absolutely horrified but Hollis didn’t take the kidnapping seriously. He figured that it was just Maybelle trying to swindle him out of his money because he’d cut her off a few months earlier. He strutted around Olivia’s office, tossing out his ridiculous Texasisms, and refusing to pay any money until they had proof that it was actually Maybelle and that she’d actually been kidnapped. In response, the kidnapper sent them Maybelle’s ear. After confirming that it was indeed Maybelle’s ear, Olivia agreed to wire half the money immediately and the other half they would exchange only if they could get Maybelle. They got Maybelle back and everything seemed to be over, but Huck wasn’t entirely convinced. He discovered that Maybelle had kidnapped herself. She’d cut off her own ear and it really was all a ploy to get money from Hollis. Hollis gave Maybelle a choice: she could choose her family or she could have the $20 million, but it also meant that she could never come back. She chose the money.

I guess I was supposed to feel sympathy for Maybelle, but I really didn’t. She was exactly what Olivia called her; a spoiled, selfish little rich girl. She never learned that no one owes you anything in this life. She wanted all the benefits of being an adult without any of the responsibility that comes along with it. Grow up. Although she may feel like she’s won for now, I think Maybelle will eventually regret that she chose $20 million dollars (which she’s going to spend up in no time) over her family. Life is hard enough, but it’s doubly hard when you have to make the journey all alone.

I suppose this episode was supposed to soften Hollis for me, but it didn’t. Not really. But despite him being a pompus, narcissistic jerk who steps on people to get what he wants, he revealed that he’s not entirely heartless. He came off not as a sinister, manipulative bastard but as a father who loved his daughter. But he was tired. She’d been drinking and partying her life away; she’d been in and out of rehab; and she didn’t show any signs of wanting to change. Judging by what Hollis said, he’s been there through it all. He supported her when she got kicked out of school. He’s paid for all the rehab and so forth, but at some point he just had to decide that enough was enough. And as much as I hate to say it, I agree with Hollis. You cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped and Maybelle didn’t want to be helped. Hollis was firm, but at the same time I believe he really wanted her to choose family over money because he really did love Maybelle. As much as he was able anyway. She was his daughter after all.

Fitz was also confronted about his faults as a father. It can be hard to look in the mirror and see yourself for what you really are. You can almost always justify what you’ve become by blaming others or blaming circumstances, but the truth is we are not who we are because of what has been done to us. We are who we are by how we choose to respond to it. Fitz chose to respond to his anger, hurt, and feelings of betrayal by being mean, drinking too much, and pushing everyone who cares about him away. Since Olivia is no longer in Fitz’s life, there was really no one that would step up and tell Fitz what he needed to hear. Enter Mellie. For the first time ever Mellie did something that was worthwhile. She stepped up and confronted Fitz about his behavior, putting him in his place as only a wife can. Mellie very bluntly pointed out that Fitz’s worst nightmare had come true: he had turned into his father. And once again, as much as I hate to admit it, I agree with Mellie.

Fitz changed after he found out the truth about Defiance and the change wasn’t good. Part of the reason Fitz hasn’t really been able to deal with Defiance is because he’s absolutely refused to talk about it. He just shut everyone out and bottled all of those feelings up inside him. That never leads to good things. This was the first time that Fitz had even let Cy begin to attempt to explain why he did what he did in Defiance. Admittedly, Cy’s version of patriotism is quite warped, but I really believe that his heart (or what’s supposed to be his heart) is in the right place. But in truth, Mellie hit the nail on the head when she said that Fitz wasn’t hurt so much by the fact that she and Cy had lied to him. The core of his problem is that Olivia broke his heart. I think he probably expected Mellie and Cy to lie to him. But not Olivia.

I was really, REALLY hoping Jake wouldn’t be a creeper, but alas, it looks like he’s the snake in the garden. And it looks like he’s also a traitor. He broke into Olivia’s apartment after CIA director Osborne showed up threatening her. Jake saw where Olivia had hidden Wendy’s flash drive, which he made a copy of, and he went through some of her other things to find out what she knows about the mole. Then a little while later he showed up for a date like he hadn’t done anything. Dang it. I’m really very bummed about Jake being a bad guy because under different circumstances Jake and Olivia would be a really cute couple. He was probably lying when he said that he’s actually interested in her, but it would’ve been nice for them to be able to pursue a relationship. The moment in Olivia’s apartment when Jake tells her why he’s interested in her and then they kiss for the first time was actually a beautiful moment. If only Jake weren’t a creeper! But I think Olivia’s gut is probably telling her not to trust Jake. It might have to do with the fact that she’s not over Fitz yet. But I think it has more to do with the fact that she doesn’t really trust herself anymore. I want to know why Jake is betraying the country and who the guy was he was talking to on the park bench. Does Jake know about Defiance? Are they trying to bring down the Grant administration because of it? Who are they? How many of them are there? So many questions!

I am really loving watching Huck train Quinn on surveillance. She’s not quite there yet, but it seems that she’s learning. But even more than just the technical aspect of surveillance, she’s learning about Huck. Huck didn’t really open up to people before he met Becky, and that didn’t end so well. But he seems to be trying to open up to Quinn. I’m not saying that his guard is completely down because I don’t think his guard will ever be completely down, but he is letting her in a bit. I am really enjoying watching their relationship unfold. I guess it’s because their relationship feels more earned than some of the others. I can’t really verbalize specifically why, but it just does.

Despite so much Hollis, this was still a really solid episode. The conversations between Mellie and Fitz and Cy and Fitz were some of the best scenes of the episode. Everything they said needed to be said, and Fitz needed to listen. It’ll be interesting to see how they move forward now that they’ve gotten a lot out in the open. The previews for next week look like it’s going to be a nail-biter. So what did y’all think of this week’s Scandal?

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