Scandal Season 4 Review “The Key”

Scandal Season 4 Episode 5 The Key (5)

I’m having a difficult time working through how I feel about this week’s Scandal. On the one hand, there were a few story points that I really enjoyed and feel like moved some of the characters in interesting directions. On the other hand, I was literally rolling my eyes a few times. That’s never a good thing.

Let me start with something I liked. All of the scenes between Jake and Fitz were very well done. I was very concerned for Jake after Tom (that lying child killer) set him up to take the fall for Gerry’s death. It looks like those concerns weren’t completely unfounded. Fitz had interrogators trying to make Jake confess for the better part of three days before he went down to the Pentagon himself to question Jake. Jake tried to explain that the only thing that makes sense is Eli Pope set the whole thing up. However, Fitz absolutely refused to accept anything Jake had to say. Fitz is so blinded by jealousy that he just wants, no, needs for Jake to confess so that he can feel justified in getting rid of him. Jake, for his part, can clearly see that Fitz’s desire to see him punished has nothing to do with Gerry’s death and everything to do with the fact that Jake and Olivia are together. Which is why Jake realized immediately that he’s screwed. Jake’s passionate appeal to the better part of Fitz’s character fell on deaf ears, and I have to wonder whether that’s because Fitz doesn’t have any good character left. I do believe that at one point very early on, Fitz was a good man. He wanted to do the right thing and he wanted to make a positive difference in the world. However, somewhere along the way, that good man was swallowed up by the selfish, jealous, bitter, and angry man Fitz has become. It’s not something that happened overnight and it’s not even something Fitz would probably recognize as happening. It was a painfully slow process that happened little by little with every lie; every half-truth; every deception. I’m not saying that Fitz is evil on the level of say Eli or Cyrus, but if he doesn’t watch out he’s well on his way to Eviltown too. What was most interesting about Jake and Fitz’s initial confrontation is that Jake considers them both White Hats. Both Fitz and Jake have done some pretty horrible things. At the very least they’re both murderers and liars. But despite their multitude of sins, Jake still feels like they’re good guys. What does that say about the lives they lead that a couple of murderers are the good guys? It remains to be seen whether Fitz will finally remove his head from his rear end and listen to what Jake is saying. I think a part of him possibly has a feeling that Jake is telling the truth, but Fitz is so consumed by jealousy and anger that I don’t know whether he’ll listen to that little voice in his head. I truly hope he does because if not, Fitz will have crossed a line that there’s no coming back from.

Cyrus also has a vested interest in Jake confessing to Gerry’s murder. Cyrus knows Jake is the one who pulled the trigger on James, and he also knows that Jake will never be held accountable for James’s death. Although, as long as Jake gets the death penalty, I don’t think Cyrus cares where the conviction comes from. It’s not that I don’t understand Cyrus’s anger. I do. The problem is, Cyrus set in motion all of the events leading up to James’s death, and although he may not have pulled the trigger, he might as well have. I know it’s harsh, and feel free to disagree with me, but James’s death is really on Cyrus’s head. And I think Cyrus is all too aware of that fact. Yes, Jake pulled the trigger and he was wrong for that, but Cyrus loaded the gun.

Something else I liked but was heartbreaking was Huck’s attempt to see his son. Huck has apparently been spying on his ex-wife ever since Quinn found the information about his family. He also attempted to approach his wife and explain things to her. Naturally, she dismissed him as being crazy, and I just want to go on record that she was wrong for what she did to him. Also, I don’t understand why she’s having such a hard time buying that there’s a secret quasi-governmental agency that trains people to become assassins. Does she not watch the news at all? Every other day there’s a new revelation about the NSA spying on American citizens, CIA operatives doing shady things in the name of American security, and all sorts of other general government shadiness. Either that chick is really dumb or she’s seriously just that clueless. However that coin falls, I still don’t understand her absolute refusal to even give Huck the benefit of the doubt. I’m not saying she should’ve immediately let her son go spend the weekend with Huck, but she could’ve at least listened objectively to what he had to say instead of immediately dismissing it and him. I felt so bad for Huck throughout all of this. He never opens himself up to anyone, and for him to put himself out there was a major deal. The way this turned out, I don’t see him doing that again any time in the near future.

The thing that bothered me the most had to be Olivia’s confrontation with Eli. After she found out what Fitz had done, she stormed into Eli’s office and accused him of orchestrating the whole situation. Naturally, Eli lied and otherwise twisted the truth to make it seem like Jake did what he did for Olivia. What bothered me about that confrontation was how Olivia just accepted Eli’s explanation even though it made absolutely no sense at all. Jake made it very clear to Olivia while he was Command that his duty was to the Union and not to her. So, why would he help Fitz win the election just to please Olivia? Furthermore, when Harrison was killed, Jake was no longer Command and he was on a plane with Olivia. So explain to me again how Jake killed Harrison? Also, when has Eli Pope ever done anything other than tell Olivia lies and half-truths? He professes to love her and perhaps he does. But only so far as it doesn’t interfere with his plans or with what he wants. He doesn’t care about Olivia’s ultimate happiness. He only peripherally cares about Olivia at best. He went over to her apartment not because he wanted to spend time with his daughter. He went over to her apartment to see what she knew about Jake’s sudden absence and to plant seeds of doubt in her mind. Yet no red flags went up with Olivia when he wanted to be all fatherly? All of this bothered me because Olivia knows he’s a snake and she keeps letting him right back into the garden. When is Olivia going to realize that Eli hasn’t had her best interest at heart (or rather the spot where his heart should be) for a very long time? How many times is Eli going to have to burn Olivia before she opens her eyes to the truth? That whole conversation just left me rolling my eyes and sighing heavily.

I am done with Abby. I am just done. After David went to Abby’s office and admitted that he’s responsible for the judge’s death, Abby stormed over to Olivia’s place and accused her of being poison and ruining David. Um, last time I checked, David is a grown man. David made the decision to not only accept the B613 files but to use them to gain political advantages. Those were not Olivia’s choices and she is not to blame for the repercussions of David’s actions. Furthermore, not all of the bad things that happen to people in D.C. are Olivia’s fault. I have really been done with Abby since the beginning of the season because she is selfish, jealous, insecure and downright mean. Abby has been placing the blame for every bad thing that happened after Olivia left squarely on Olivia’s shoulders, but you know what, shut up Abby. Last I checked, everyone involved is an adult. The fact that they choose to act like children doesn’t mean they actually are. I’m done with Abby, and I’m pretty sure I would be ok if she just disappeared somewhere and never came back.

I’m having a hard time getting back into the excitement I once had for Scandal. More and more the episodes seem to have bits and pieces that I like, but as a whole they all seem fairly lackluster. That’s a shame because I fell in love with this show due to the interesting plot twists and interesting yet very flawed characters. They’re trying to create a bit of a mystery with the missing file folder and the storage locker, but I’m going to have to wait until that plays out a little bit more. As it stands, I’m only mildly interested in that story. I am hoping against hope that Scandal finds its groove again because I want to fall in love with this show again.