Scandal Season 3 Review “The Fluffer”

Scandal Season 3 Episode 16 The Fluffer (2)

I have to admit that I was, for the most part, underwhelmed by this week’s Scandal. I’m not saying that it was a bad episode because it wasn’t. I’m not saying it was a completely unengaging hour of television because it wasn’t. There were several scenes that really packed some punch. It just felt like the story was spinning off in a lot of different directions and the threads tying them together weren’t as secure as they usually tend to be on this show.

There wasn’t so much a case of the week as we were following Olivia around as she put out fires. Fitz, Mellie, and Andrew were still ticked off with each other and not speaking at the White House. Olivia was avoiding Fitz, so she sent Abby in to cover for her. That didn’t go so well. Olivia still had to go to the White House and handle things though. When she finally got there, she was in damage control mode. She tried to avoid being alone with Fitz, but that didn’t last long. When Fitz finally got her in the room with just the two of them, Olivia was all business. When Ftiz wanted to talk about them, Olivia basically told him there wasn’t a “them.” Not really. She admitted that she’s jealous, but she said that like she’s got a right to be. She doesn’t. Fitz pointed out that Olivia started this relationship with her eyes wide open. She knew that he was married. She knew the likelihood of them ever truly being together was very slim. Olivia chose to pursue the relationship anyway. Admittedly, love can (and often does) blindside you, but Olivia chose to pursue a relationship with an unavailable man. This is what happens when you make that choice.

Fitz has a lot of nerve. He told Olivia that he wants Andrew off the ticket because Andrew was sleeping with Mellie. But in the very same breath, he said that he doesn’t love Mellie. He doesn’t like her even, and he’s actually hovering right at indifference. He doesn’t want her, but he doesn’t seem to want anyone else to want her either. Talk about a hypocrite. I get that his pride is probably hurt because Mellie is being with another man. I get that he’s angry at her because he feels like she broke their relationship. I also most certainly do not condone extramarital affairs. That being said, when is the last time Fitz even tried to touch Mellie? He’s already said that he doesn’t want her around, so what’s his problem? His problem is that he’s a selfish, spoiled brat. He’s perfectly fine making Mellie suck it up that he’s having an affair with Olivia, but he’s not willing to do the same about Andrew. That is typical childish behavior.

Mellie seems like she’s had enough too. She was doing her best to say all the right things and do all the right things, but Fitz refused to even engage her in conversation. He didn’t seem interested in trying to fix what is broke in their relationship. He didn’t even seem interested in talking about why Mellie was sleeping with Andrew. She kept her public face on for as long as she could, but she snapped after it became clear to her that Fitz gave Andrew an ultimatum. This is going to taste like vinegar coming out of my mouth, but I agree with Mellie. Eww. Now I feel dirty. For the past several years, Mellie has (not so quietly) tolerated Fitz’s affair with Olivia. She even asked Olivia to come back and run the campaighn knowing that Olivia and Fitz were probably not going to be able to keep their hands off each other. She has silently borne she shame and pain of being raped and the uncertainty of her eldest child’s paternity. She has endured years of cruelty, or worse indifference, from Fitz. And all the while she’s put on a happy face, smiled for the camera, and tried to make Fitz look good. It looks like she’s done being the good wife though. I don’t know what she’s got cooking in that twisted mind of hers, but whatever it is, I can guarantee it’s not good.

While all of that was being played out at the White House and on the campaign trail, Team Pope was working to bring down B613. Eli explained how he had obtained funding for B613 (which is highly illegal by the way) and gave Olivia the algorithm to get to the account. Unfortunately, Jake had already moved all the money, but Huck came up with a way to get the information off of Jake’s phone. All they had to do was get close enough. So, Olivia took one for the team (or for herself; I’m not really sure which) and slept with Jake. While he was sleeping, she retrieved all the information they needed. With it, Huck was able to get into B613’s system and shut everything down. Win right? Wrong! Olivia and Co. shut down B613 right as Jake was about to find out where Maya Pope was planning to put the bomb she paid for. Let’s just say that he wasn’t too happy about Olivia’s interruption. Jake burst into Olivia’s office, grabbed her by the throat, and told her that she was responsible for the President’s death. I’m quite certain that’s not how Olivia and her team imagined their day ending.

“I asked you to save me, but you said no.” That sentence. Such a short, almost insignificant-sounding sentence. Who would think that such a sentence could carry so much weight? With that one little sentence Jake boiled down everything. The burden he carries as Command. The sheer terror of watching himself be slowly drowned by the monster he must become to function as Command. The feelings of helplessness, loneliness and weakness coming from knowing that he no longer recognizes himself when he looks in the mirror. “I asked you to save me, but you said no.” That one little sentence being simultaneously desperate and accusatory. It’s desperate in Jake’s desire for salvation. He wants to stand in the light. He wants to be the good man he was before B613 broke him. He wants to be free. It’s accusatory in the way Jake essentially blames Olivia for denying him salvation. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Jake had options. He had choices. Or did he? Was there ever any way for Jake to be free of B613’s clutches? Was there ever any way for him to be saved? Honestly, I don’t know. It seems that once B613 gets a hold of you, they never let you go. Whether you’re sitting in the big chair as Command, locked in the hole, or walking unencumbered through the city, B613 owns you. It owns your soul. That’s really what Jake was asking Olivia to save. His soul. But she said no.

Like I said, I was pretty much underwhelmed overall. There was movement on all of the major storylines for the season, but the whole just wasn’t greater than the sum of its parts. Quinn is in deep trouble with Charlie. That dude is a psycho. Aside from the fact that he just up and moved into her apartment, he’s now started harassing her about past boyfriends. He wants to know who she’s with all the time and where she goes. Basically, Charlie is a psychotic, possessive stalker. And it has not escaped me that Charlie calls her Robyn. That dude is a creeper, and I have a feeling that Quinn bit off more than she can chew with him. Olivia had the most awkward family dinner ever when her mother decided to intrude upon Olivia’s regular dinner night with Eli. It’s always so uncomfortable when your parents try to kill each other at the dinner table. It was also kind of sad because one thing that’s abundantly clear is that neither of Olivia’s parents really love her. Not the kind of healthy, supportive love a parent should have for their child anyway. I also thoroughly enjoyed Gov. Reston getting what he deserved. I never liked that guy, and it always made me mad that he used Olivia and her team to get away with murder. It bothered me even more that he set his wife up to take the fall and then has been visiting her weekly like a dutiful husband. That dude is garbage. Next week looks like it could be interesting. I’m interested to know how Olivia is going to repair the damage she’s done by shutting down B613 and what Mellie’s next move with be with regard to Fitz. Because you know she’s got to be planning something nefarious in retaliation. And around and around we go. So what did y’all think of this week’s Scandal?