Scandal “Even the Devil Deserves a Second Chance” Review (Season 5, Episode 7)

When I was in college, I read a short story titled ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ by W. W. Jacobs. In the story, a man obtains a monkey’s paw which is said to have wish-granting powers. The wishes are granted, but at a terrible price. The man wished for money, and the next day his son was killed and the money the man wished for was given to him as compensation for his son’s death. The moral of the story: don’t mess with fate. Judging from some of the developments in this week’s Scandal, I have a feeling Olivia’s been wishing upon her very own monkey’s paw.

I’m still not sure why the powers that be are writing Olivia the way they’re writing her. I spent a lot of time in my review of last week’s episode discussing the problems with Olivia’s character, so I’m not going to belabor that point again this week. However, having Olivia be unlikeable is one thing, but having her be stupid is beyond frustrating. Of course, I’m not entirely sure that’s what this is. Perhaps that’s the way she’s playing it, but maybe Jake is right. Maybe Olivia knows she isn’t the white hat she pretends to be. I postulated a while back that depending on how you look at it, Olivia could be considered a villain instead of a hero. The way things are looking now, she’s definitely leaning more toward the former than the latter. When Jake confronted Olivia about letting Eli out of prison, Olivia’s response was that she never thought Eli would hurt anyone. What planet have you been living on, Olivia? Have you ever actually met your father? It’s not that she didn’t think Eli would hurt anyone. It’s that she didn’t care whether he hurt anyone. She wanted what she wanted and screw the consequences. Then to top it off, when Huck confronted her about it and warned her that Eli was going to rebuild B613, Olivia was adamant that Eli wouldn’t do that. Uh…what? The first thing he did after he got out of prison was to go get his faithful puppy Tom out of prison as well. The next thing he did was dig up some old skeletons and deliver them to the senate judiciary committee. Then he dropped off the radar to finish regrouping. Not to mention that Eli already flat out told Olivia that all the B613 files that she thinks were destroyed are stored in his head. That’s as close to saying he’s going to start over as just coming out and saying it. So either Olivia is too stupid or too delusional to see that Eli has already rebuilt B613. Jake was absolutely right that whatever Eli does next, Olivia is also responsible because she helped him get free to do it.

Jake wasn’t the only one to confront Olivia either. Cyrus called Olivia out after he noticed Fitz completely deferring to everything Olivia said. She’s running things just like she ran OPA, and the trip about it is I don’t know whether Fitz has even noticed. Cyrus did though, and Olivia’s response to him was that she and Fitz are functioning the way a couple in a healthy relationship functions. No, Olivia. No you’re not. When you’re in a healthy relationship, there’s give and take. When you’re in a healthy relationship both partners respect each other. As it is, Olivia snaps her fingers and Fitz hops to. Olivia hasn’t given up anything. Olivia may love Fitz, but it certainly doesn’t appear that she respects him. I’ve said many times that Olivia refuses to completely commit to Fitz because she doesn’t want to give up her career and her life, and as Cyrus pointed out, she hasn’t had to. Cyrus may be a monster, but one of the things I’ve always appreciated about him is the fact that he calls a spade a spade. When he confronted Olivia, he told her exactly what she was and it didn’t look like she was surprised by his revelation. She looked more surprised that anyone noticed. I don’t believe everything Olivia has done was a power play just so she could run the country. If it were Mellie, I could totally buy it. But this seems more like an unexpected yet welcome consequence on Olivia’s part. I don’t buy the fact that she didn’t recognize what had happened before Cyrus shined a spotlight on it though. She probably realized it almost immediately, but she was willing to continue feigning ignorance if no one called her on it. What’s even more ironic is the fact that this situation is exactly what the Senate judiciary committee was investigating before Eli put the kibosh on it. The last shot of the episode was actually a pretty nice visual representation of the current power dynamics between Olivia and Fitz.

Olivia’s decision not to tell Fitz about her involvement in Eli’s release is going to come back and bite her. I mean seriously. Hasn’t Olivia realized that nothing ever stays secret? Aparently, she never learned her lesson after Defiance. Aside from Eli being dangerous in general, he is the man responsible for Fitz’s son’s death. Even if Fitz were able to forgive Olivia for letting out a dangerous criminal, he won’t be able to forgive her the dangerous criminal in question to be Eli Pope. Fitz trusts and relies on Olivia more than anyone else. Because he trusts her implicitly, he’s been compliant up to this point, but when Olivia’s deception comes to light, Fitz isn’t going to take it well. Olivia must not have been listening when Mellie said that the reason Fitz kicked her out was the fact that she worked with Eli without telling Fitz. It seems a bit thin to me considering all the horrible things Fitz and Mellie have done to each other, but I suppose everyone has their limit. Apparently, that was his. It’s also not smart for Olivia to keep this from Fitz because it gives Mellie something to hold over her head. It would be one thing if Mellie weren’t as vindictive as she is, but we all know that Mellie takes whatever advantage she can get. Especially when it comes to ruining Olivia.

This episode was ok. I’m not thrilled about B613 coming back into play, but hopefully it won’t be such a major aspect of the overall story. The show actually went back to its roots in terms of format this week, and I appreciated it. However, that whole David/Elizabeth thing? No. Just no. I think that might be worse than the Huck/Quinn thing. I was really hoping we were pretty much done with Elizabeth North once Cyrus came back, but alas, it looks like she’s going to be sticking around for the moment. If Elizabeth were a more engaging character perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad, but since she’s as interesting as watching paint dry, I’m not anxious to have her stick around. Scandal still isn’t on solid footing, and this episode didn’t really help move them in that direction. They need to get it together. Quickly. So what did y’all think of this week’s Scandal?