Scandal Season 3 Review “More Cattle, Less Bull”

Scandal Season 3 Episode 5 More Cattle, Less Bull (10)

This plot has so many twists and turns it’s practically a pretzel. I don’t know how Scandal does it. Olivia is getting back into the groove with campaign season kicking into gear. Jake and Huck are on a mission to discover exactly what happened with Operation Remington. Mellie was uncharacteristically honest, and Quinn is going farther and farther off the deep end. That’s not even the half of it.

Congresswoman Josie Marcus sought out Olivia’s help in her primary bid. She wasn’t looking for a campaign manager so much as she was looking for a secret-keeper. Apparently, when the Congresswoman was 15 years old, she had a baby that she gave up for adoption. She hired Olivia because she didn’t want that information to get out. It wasn’t so much to protect herself as it was to protect the baby girl. After a little bit of digging though, Olivia’s team found out that the baby was never actually given up for adoption. The Congresswoman’s mother had kept the child and the Congresswoman’s sister was actually her daughter. Olivia told her to get in front of it and use it to her political advantage. Otherwise, the White House would ambush her with the information, but the Congresswoman refused. She believed that if her sister ever found out, it would destroy her. Naturally, Olivia was right and the White House made sure to leak the information. Congresswoman Marcus addressed the issue head on and handled the ambush beautifully, but her sister did figure out the truth. Initially, the Congresswoman was angry at Olivia and fired her, but then she came to realize that Olivia was right. Olivia had told her the truth. The Congresswoman came back and asked Olivia to run her campaign. But Congresswoman Marcus wasn’t the only one seeking Olivia’s services.

In an extremely uncharacteristic moment of honesty and humility, Mellie made an impassioned plea to Olivia for her to come back and run Fitz’s re-election campaign. She admitted that Fitz needed Olivia. Even more than that, she admitted that Olivia could give Fitz something that she couldn’t. She admitted that Fitz is happier and better when Olivia is around. Basically, she admitted that Fitz is in love with Olivia. It’s not so surprising that she admitted all of that. What’s surprising is that she admitted it to Olivia. Mellie is desperate for Fitz to win the presidency again, but if she was being honest (and let’s face it, you can never be sure with Mellie) then she wants Fitz to win because she feels guilty about rigging it for him the first time. She wants Fitz to win so that he knows that he can. She wants him to get this on his own, and she knows that he cannot do that without Olivia. Mellie was practically begging Olivia to take Fitz back, and I must say that it was disconcerting for her to be that sincere. I don’t know how long it will last and I’m sure that Mellie will be back to her old manipulative, conniving self very soon. But in that brief moment with Olivia Mellie was actually, well, human. I didn’t know she had it in her.

While Olivia was dealing with Congresswoman Marcus and Mellie, Jake and Huck worked together to find out what the big secret is about Operation Remington. They broke into Eli’s house and downloaded some information from his computer. That information led them to discover that Fitz was in Iceland during Operation Remington, and while Fitz was there a commercial airliner was shot down killing 300 people. One of the people on that plane was Olivia’s mother. Now, this information leads to one of two conclusions. One: Fitz was acting on orders from his superior officer (who had to have been Eli) to shoot down the plane. Fitz didn’t know the plane was a commercial plane filled with innocent people and he was just following orders. Or two: Fitz knew the plane was a commercial plane and he helped Eli Pope murder his wife and hundreds of other innocent people. I’m thinking it was more the latter. It would explain why Eli is so desperate to make sure that the information doesn’t get out. He’s supposed to be in the shadows and he believes that he’s the puppeteer pulling all the strings. However, if this information were to get out, Eli would lose everything. He also doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy that will go down in flames alone either. I have a feeling if he goes down, he’s planning to take Fitz with him. This development raises a whole slew of questions, but there are two primary ones that need to be answered: (1) Why did Eli want his wife killed and (2) why did Fitz agree to it?

On the subject of Jake, I felt really bad for him. He’s obviously in love with Olivia, but she is so wrapped up in Fitz that she can’t see Jake at all. Jake wants to be the one for Olivia. He wants to be the one she’s desperate to hear from. He wants to be the one who makes her smile. Olivia asked Jake to be her date for the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, and he agreed even though he knew that she was only going there to see Fitz. He did that for her because he knew that she needed it. I know that Jake’s introduction into Olivia’s life was creepy at best, but he’s proven himself to be a decent guy. One thing that’s true of Jake (and most of the characters on Scandal) is that he wasn’t exactly what he seemed. He’s risked his life for Olivia. He’s still risking his life for her. Yes, finding out what Operation Remington is will get Eli Pope out of his life, but it’s not just about him. He wants Olivia to be free too. I like Jake and he deserves better than what Olivia is doing to him.

Eli Pope is a stone cold monster. He’s so very cavalier about other people’s lives. He takes great pride in the fact that he’s able to control and manipulate Olivia. He’s also drunk with power. He claims that his responsibility and all the actions he’s take are to protect the Republic, but he prides himself on being completely autonomous. How does a quasi-governmental agency answerable to no one constitute protecting the Republic? Fitz called Eli and told him to back off of Jake, and Eli basically told Fitz to shove it. Fitz wanted Cyrus to help him figure out how to dismantle B613, but Cyrus immediately shut him down. Eli has Cyrus and the rest of the government running scared because anyone who tries to mess with B613 mysteriously commits suicide. That is really not a good thing. I don’t know whether Eli dismissed Fitz so easily because he’s holding Operation Remington over his head or whether he actually believes that he’s more powerful than the President and Congress. Whatever his reasons are though, I hope that Jake and Huck succeed in taking Eli down because monsters like Eli have no place in the Republic.

Huck’s conversation with Quinn doesn’t seem to have dissuaded her bloodlust in the least. While Olivia had the team out in Montana handling Congresswoman Marcus’ issue, Quinn bought herself a gun. The look on her face when she held it in her hands for the first time let me know that Quinn is pretty far gone. She might be too far gone. She looked like a woman possessed. She is desperate to find out what it feels like to kill someone, and I’m afraid that if an opportunity doesn’t present itself, she’ll create one. It looks like Olivia and Co. need to stage a full scale intervention sooner rather than later.

All in all, solid episode. There was a lot of information packed into this hour, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to be slowing down any time soon. Olivia and Fitz might be headed for a final breakup. If Fitz did what I think he did, I don’t know that Olivia would ever be able to forgive him for it. Their confrontation is going to be explosive. I liked watching Jake and Huck work together. They were both trained in B613, but they are such different personalities and have such different approaches to everything. One thing they do have in common though is that they both love Olivia. I want to know who Abby’s ex-husband is and why he was at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. How did David know who he is, and does David know what he did to Abby? I’m still moderately creeped out by the whole David/Abby thing, but I’m working through it. It’s a process. So what did y’all think of this week’s Scandal?

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