Scandal “No More Blood” Review (Season 4, Episode 13)

Scandal Season 4 Episode 5 The Key (4)

Things continue to unravel in the most bizarre ways on Scandal. It’s starting to get to the point where I can’t figure out what’s going to happen so easily and I’m very grateful for that. The primary focus of this episode was determining Olivia’s fate. Using some quick thinking and foreign language skills, Olivia was able to convince the Iranian buyers that the meet was a set-up and thereby buy herself a little more time. After her captors reopened the auction, Huck and Co. were able to get back in the game. The bidding ended with a tie between a Russian gang and Team Pope back in DC. This is where things went slightly off the rails for me. When the bad guys realized that there was a tie between Russia and Marie Wallace, the head bad guy turned to Olivia to make her choose who would get her. Olivia immediately recognized that “Marie” was her people trying to get her back. When that guy turned and asked her who should get her, I just knew she was going to say Russia because that was the only way to make sure she went to Marie. However, I was shocked to hear Olivia say to give her to Marie. WHAT?! Why was that so frustrating? Because it was a stupid, amateur move that was guaranteed to assure that she DIDN’T get to Marie. Maybe it was done to show just how off her game Olivia is. Or maybe it was done to show just how traumatized she is by the whole situation. It makes sense that she’s traumatized. However, it felt more like that was done just to move the plot to a point where Stephen could suddenly swoop in a save her.

I always like when characters from earlier seasons make a re-appearance on the show. Especially when they are characters that I really enjoyed like Stephen. It’s been so long since he was on the show most people have probably forgotten about him, but I hadn’t. He and Olivia had an interesting dynamic and (until Jake) he was the only person in Olivia’s life that she saw as her equal. They were actually partners and although they were loyal to each other, he didn’t just follow her orders like a good little soldier. I was pretty bummed to see him go because whether or not she admitted it, Olivia needed him. Thus, it was pretty awesome that he was able to step in and save Olivia the way he did. Their reunion was brief but it’s still clear just how much they care for each other. Plus, it was pretty satisfying when Olivia grabbed Stephen’s gun and shot crazy dude in the leg because he definitely had it coming. So even though I wish they could’ve come up with a way for Stephen to show up without making Olivia look like an idiot, it was still good to see him.

Cyrus showed (once again) that with friends like him, you don’t need enemies. After Fitz refused to even consider the CIA director’s objection to extracting Olivia, Cyrus went behind Fitz’s back and made a plan to kill Olivia (and everyone else) once the buyers showed up at the exchange. Admittedly, Cyrus was in a difficult position. On the one hand, he’s the chief of staff. It is his responsibility to provide Fitz with good counsel when it comes to the safety and security of the nation. It is his responsibility to keep his head when the President is being guided by his heart (or other body parts) in certain situations. For the most part, Cyrus has done his job well. I don’t necessarily approve of the way he’s done it, but he has done it. On the other hand, Cyrus is Fitz’s friend so he knows how much Olivia means to Fitz. He knows how devastated Fitz would be if they had to eliminate Olivia rather than let her be taken by a foreign power. The truth is, Cyrus didn’t even try to come up with an alternative to help Olivia once it became clear that safely extracting her probably wasn’t going to happen. I get that Cyrus’s first responsibility is to the millions of American citizens. I get that he doesn’t believe one life is worth risking national security. That’s a completely valid position. But at the same time, all it took was a few calls to Interpol for Abbie to locate Stephen and come up with an alternative plan that simultaneously protected national security and didn’t involve Olivia dying. What if Cyrus had done that? What if Cyrus had just taken a few minutes to actually try to help his friend? Like I said, with friends like Cyrus, you really don’t need enemies.

When it looked like Team Pope had lost the auction, Jake went in search of Eli to try and get him to help them get Olivia back. I can’t say I was surprised by his reaction. He’s still smarting from the fact that Olivia tried to shoot him and he also likes being able to show everyone else that he’s superior to them. So I would’ve been surprised if his response was anything other than what it was. I’m quite certain that he knew before Jake even got there what was going on with Olivia, but he was trying to prove a point. He believes that they won’t be able to function without him, but I get the sense he’s about to be proven wrong because this ordeal has changed Olivia. I still don’t like the way Eli was able to cause so much death and destruction then just walk off to Canada to go fishing though. He’s done so many horrible things and I really want him to answer for them.

The conversation between Jake and Huck was one of the best moments of the episode. In many ways, Jake and Huck are exactly alike and Jake acknowledged that. One of the reasons Eli and B613 used the methods they used is that they were effective. So naturally everything that Huck went through, Jake went through as well. Some could argue that Huck lost more than Jake because Huck lost his wife and son as well as himself, but I don’t know that that’s true. We don’t know very much about Jake’s past, but we know that he’s got a sister he rarely mentions and a mother he never visits. I would bet B613 had something to do with that. But the truth is, loss is loss whether it’s your wife and kid or your mother and sister. So Jake can identify with Huck in a way that no one else really can. That went to an even deeper level when Jake talked about the beast he has to keep locked up inside. It was kind of starling, but not all that surprising, to know that Jake is just as twisted in the head as Huck is. The only difference between them being Jake had learned to lock his darkness away. Huck explained that Olivia locks up his beast, but Jake was right that Huck needs to figure out how to do it for himself. Life is very rarely a straight road. It’s filled with twists and turns and no one knows what the next day will bring. There may come a day when Olivia is no longer a part of Huck’s life, and that’s why he’s got to learn to lock it up on his own. He seemed to take some steps in that direction when he didn’t kill Andrew.

The other great moment of the show was Fitz going to see Olivia after she got home. I wasn’t shocked by her response, but it looks like Fitz was. The thing is, I don’t get why. What made him think that Olivia was going to react with anything other than anger when she saw that he went to war to save her? Does he know Olivia at all? As flawed as she may be, she’s always had a pretty strong sense of right and wrong when it comes to sacrificing others’ lives. The reason she left the White House in the first place was that Hollis Doyle killed an innocent man and set Quinn up to take the fall. I don’t know what made Fitz think that Olivia would be ok with what he’s done especially considering that all those soldiers died for nothing. Going to war didn’t save her. Not really. It may have bought her some more time, but Olivia mostly saved herself. With some help from Abbie and the rest of Team Pope. Olivia isn’t just angry at Fitz, she’s extremely disappointed in him. Olivia has sacrificed a lot and compromised her principles so that Fitz could be President. He basically threw away his opportunity for greatness when he went into an unnecessary war and that means everything Olivia has given up has been for nothing. It was pretty much the same diatribe Cyrus (silently) went on in the Oval, but instead of just seething in private and then making plans behind Fitz’s back, Olivia just came out and told Fitz the truth. It was something that needed to be said and I’m glad Olivia didn’t beat around the bush with it. The question now is what next? Olivia and Fitz have broken up before, but she always gives in eventually. I don’t know that she’s going to do that this time.

All in all, this was a very solid episode. I’m glad Olivia is back home safe and sound, but she’s going to need some professional help to get through the trauma of her ordeal. I doubt she’s going to seek it until she has no other choice, but maybe she’ll surprise me. It looks like Andrew has been dealt with for moment. I don’t know whether the effects of that drug are permanent or not, but I have zero sympathy for him. He made a series of poor decisions that led him to his current predicament, and in all likelihood he would be dead right now if Huck hadn’t promised Quinn he would stop killing. I still wish the show would’ve done more to work up to Andrew’s betrayal instead of having it be so abrupt, but maybe that will be one of the things it goes back and deals with later. This show is notorious for doing things like that. We’ve got a two week break then Olivia tries to get back into the game. We’ll have to see how that goes. So what did y’all think of this week’s Scandal?