Scandal Season 4 Review “An Innocent Man”

Scandal Season 4 Episode 6 An Innocent Man (25)

Love triangles are never a good thing. No matter what choice you make, someone is going to end up hurt. A love triangle which includes the leader of the free world makes things even more complicated. Of course, it wouldn’t be Scandal if things weren’t complicated.

The case of the week centered on a man who had been serving a prison term for attempted assassination of ex-president Cooper about 20 years previously. President Cooper died of a stroke and was set to be buried at Arlington, but the assassin called Olivia to beg for her help. He said that he wasn’t the one who attempted to assassinate President Cooper, but at his first trial they wouldn’t remove the bullet from Cooper’s head so that they could compare it to the prisoner’s gun. Olivia took the case and got the man charged with murder so that they could force an autopsy and retrieve the bullet. As it turns out, the prisoner is a crazy person who was angry that he was known as the man who “attempted” an assassination instead of the man who “assassinated” the President. Basically, he duped Olivia into helping him prove that he was the shooter so he could go down in the history books along Lee Harvey Oswald. Ok, crazy dude. I don’t really like cases where the team gets played like that, but the crazy assassin dude being guilty was a perfect ying to Jake’s yang. Unlike crazy assassin, Jake is actually an innocent man.

Jake just broke my heart. I mean seriously. When Olivia was finally allowed to see him, she found Jake beaten and bloody. But more than that, he had given up. He knew that Fitz was going to kill him, and he had resigned himself to that fact. When he saw Olivia, he didn’t even bother trying to convince her of the truth. He simply asked her to take care of his mother and sister. As if that weren’t enough, he then twisted the knife by absolving Olivia and letting her go. I know Jake’s entrance into Olivia’s life wasn’t conventional and their relationship has been rocky at best. However, it’s pretty clear that Jake has fallen deeply in love with Olivia. He has risked his life for her. He has killed to protect her. He has given up everything for her. All he asked was for her love in return. But that is the one thing Olivia is either unable or unwilling to give him. Until this moment, Jake has been unwilling to accept that Olivia will never truly love him. Now, things have changed. Jake knows that Fitz has already condemned him to death. He knows that there’s no escaping his fate, and he’s accepted things as they are instead of how he wishes them to be. He’s decided that although Olivia doesn’t love him back, he loves her and that’s enough. The thing is, I think he may be mistaken about Olivia. I don’t think she’s as unaffected by him as he thinks. I wouldn’t say that she’s completely in love with him, but I get the sense that she’s headed there. Just as an aside, however you may feel about Jake as a character, let’s all just agree that Scott Foley played the heck out of the Jake/Olivia scene. He put so much emotion into what he said to Olivia while at the same time allowing his body language to convey the resignation he felt. His performance in that scene was so nuanced and so perfect. Excellent work.

Olivia’s conversation with Fitz after she saw Jake was…interesting. Obviously Olivia cares for Jake, and she was distressed to see him in such a poor state. She was furious with Fitz after she found out that he had removed Jake from DOJ custody and transferred him over to B613. Both Fitz and Olivia knew that giving him over to Eli meant that Fitz had given Jake a death sentence. Olivia tried to plead with Fitz, but Fitz is determined to keep his blinders on. And that’s when things got interesting. Olivia did the only thing she could do. She used the tools at her disposal to get what she wanted. I don’t think Olivia was necessarily lying when she said that there was still hope for her and Fitz, but I don’t think she was necessarily telling the truth either. I think a part of her will always hope that she and Fitz can somehow be together. She is, after all, in love with him. However, a part of her now also loves Jake and she doesn’t want to lose him either. I don’t think she believes that Jake did the things he’s been accused of, but right now her mind is so clouded by her emotions that she can’t work through a way to bring the truth to light just yet. She bought herself some time by telling Fitz there was hope for them if he spared Jake’s life, but she’s going to have to work quick since she’s messed up Eli’s plans.

Fitz is being a colossal jerk and acting like a spoiled, petulant child. It’s clear as day that if Jake hadn’t been with Olivia, Fitz wouldn’t be so dead set on seeing him executed. Fitz’s refusal to believe Jake about Eli and Tom makes no sense considering Fitz and Jake’s history. Fitz hasn’t even given Jake the benefit of the doubt. I don’t feel sorry for Fitz at all anymore because he wants to kill a man simply because that man dared fall in love with the same woman that Fitz loves. But you know what, Fitz? Grow up. Fitz is unavailable, and it’s wrong of him to demand that Olivia fly in a holding pattern waiting for it to be the “right time” for him to choose her. Whatever Fitz may feel for Olivia, whenever he’s been given the opportunity, he’s chosen himself over Olivia. Now, when it appears that Olivia is moving on with her life, he wants to kill the man she’s moving on with. Fitz is wrong for that and he needs to stop acting like a child.

It looks like Cyrus may be on the path to figuring out that his new lover isn’t who he claims to be. I don’t know that the email leak is necessarily going to be enough for Cyrus to put two and two together, but I do think it’s going to put him on the right track. At least I hope it does. I don’t often feel sorry for Cyrus because he’s such a monster, but I did feel sorry for him after James’s death. Cyrus has been lonely and grieving, and Michael seemed to be the answer to his problems. It’s going to be devastating for Cyrus to realize that Michael was just using him. It’s not going to be pretty when Cyrus finally realizes what Michael and the Dragon Lady have been up to.

Mellie seems to have found herself a new bosom buddy. President Cooper’s widow showed up to the White House to help Mellie plan his funeral, and Bitsy was a hoot. She is basically an older version of Mellie, and I think that’s what Mellie latched on to. Bitsy was every bit the first lady that she was supposed to be in front of the cameras, but when the cameras were gone, Bitsy was a firecracker of a woman. Apparently, Bitsy was running the presidency while her husband slept around, but as is too often the case, men took credit for all of the work she had done. The Mellie/Bitsy aspect of the story was basically to reinforce the underlying theme of the inequality women face in society. And as much as I enjoyed the Mellie/Bitsy parts of the episode, the way the show bashed me over the head with their views on inequality weren’t as pleasant. Although I wholeheartedly agree with the show’s sentiments regarding how women are treated in the workplace and in society in general, I would much rather the show not drop quite so many anvils about it. Allowing Bitsy to tell her story and watching how it affected Mellie was a very effective way of getting their point across. But the confrontation between Fitz and Olivia in which Olivia went off on Fitz for calling Abby a bitch didn’t work nearly as well. It’s like the show stepped out of the storyline to preach to the audience for a minute.

All in all, not a bad episode. As a matter of fact, it was probably the most engaging episode of the season thus far. I didn’t like the fact that Olivia and Co. got played by the crazy assassin, but I do appreciate the show trying to get back to a case of the week format. Perhaps that will do more to get the show back into its groove. I was actually talking with someone a few days ago about why the show has felt so off when something occurred to me. Since the show had to work around Kerry Washington’s pregnancy last season, they had to write a lot of story that only marginally involved Olivia. Now, they’re having to figure out how to make Olivia central to the story again, and that’s what’s causing the show to feel off balance. It’s not exactly scientific proof, but that’s the best I got for now. I’m interested to find out who is stalking Olivia and why and whether she’s going to figure out the truth about what happened to Gerry. We’ve only got a couple more episodes until winter break, so we’ll have to see what happens. So what did y’all think of this week’s Scandal?