Scandal “Rasputin” Review (Season 5, Episode 8)

SCANDAL - "Rasputin"

What a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive. Olivia is certainly tangled up in a complicated web that is mostly of her own making. Olivia’s dirty deeds finally came to light, and Fitz saw her for what she is. Olivia kept saying that she was going to tell Fitz, but she knew it would be over when she did and she didn’t want it to be over yet. Well, she and Fitz are over. When she finally admitted what she’d done, the look on Fitz’s face pretty much said it all. He thought that she was the one person in his life who wouldn’t manipulate him, and that’s part of the reason he’s always put so much trust in her. When he realized that she was willing to use him just like pretty much everyone else in his life, it hurt him but it also made him angry. I’m not fooled by the fact that Fitz seems to have forgiven Olivia and moved on. Not that quickly at least and not that easily. It’s not all that scary when a person is yelling or lashing out in anger. What’s really scary is when a person goes quiet and calm. That’s when there’s true danger, and I’m pretty sure Olivia is in danger now. That’s what I kept thinking as Fitz calmly told Olivia that he had all of her things brought over to the residence so he could “keep her safe.” Everything that Olivia wanted to hold on to so badly is gone now. She’s never going to be outside of Fitz’s sight or control. She’s never going to be free to maneuver the way she’s been free to maneuver. But mostly, Fitz is never going to implicitly trust her the way he had in the past. Basically, Olivia is now prisoner in that guilded cage she was trying so desperately to avoid.

It would be nice if I could say I felt sorry for Olivia, but I don’t. Not even a little. Everything that happens going forward is a consequence of the choices Olivia made. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if Olivia would accept responsibility for what she’s done, but she hasn’t. Every time she’s been confronted with her bad behavior, she’s tried to turn it around on the person confronting her. For instance, when she summoned Jake to the White House to tell him about Eli contacting her, Jake tried to make her see that Eli was playing her. When she refused to see it, Jake basically washed his hands of the situation, but Olivia tried to turn it around and act as if Jake was just lashing out at her because she didn’t choose him. Maybe that’s the way things are in Olivia’s pretend world, but reality is much more complicated. Jake is angry because Olivia let one of the most dangerous people in the world out of prison because it served her purposes. Jake is angry because Olivia is responsible for his wife’s death. And yes, Jake is angry because Olivia has constantly used him but that’s kind of way down on the list right now. Granted, it’s not like Jake went into this situation blind. He knew Olivia was in love with another man before she hooked up with him. However, that doesn’t excuse the way Olivia exploits that fact to satisfy her own needs with no regard for Jake at all. I literally laughed out loud when Olivia started trying to list out all the horrible things she’s forgiven Jake for. Whatever wrong Jake may have done towards Olivia doesn’t excuse Olivia’s behavior. That Olivia is either oblivious or willfully blind to that fact is disturbing to say the least.

Cyrus has slowly been going crazy since Fitz and Olivia publicly hooked up because Fitz hasn’t been letting Cyrus do his job. More accurately, it’s not possible for Cyrus to do his job when Fitz defers to Olivia for everything, and the fact that Cyrus and Olivia have very different problem-solving methods doesn’t help matters any. So Cyrus has been trying to figure out a way to unseat Olivia so he can get back to being “the guy behind the guy.” I don’t know whether Cyrus figured out Olivia was responsible for Eli’s release prior to involving David, but he was thrilled to finally have something that could loosen Olivia’s grip on Fitz. Or at least he thought it would until Fitz didn’t seem the least bit phased by Olivia’s deception. Fitz’s response left Cyrus completely off balance, and Cyrus doesn’t respond well to being outside the loop. The way Fitz has been treating Cyrus, though, I have to wonder why Fitz brought him back at all. I understand why he needed to keep Cyrus’s mouth shut about the West Angola business, but why keep him out of the loop now? Whatever else Cyrus may be, he’s always been an excellent chief of staff and he’s always given Fitz good advice. Fitz claims it was because Olivia was right about the soda factory, but that doesn’t make any sense. She wasn’t right about the soda factory, and if Huck hadn’t figured out that something was off, they were going to send that poor man back to his country and they wouldn’t have been the wiser about the cyber attacks. It seems that Cyrus has come to realize that he’s back as chief of staff in name only since Fitz doesn’t seem to want his counsel anymore. He wants to help Fitz. He wants to do his job. He wants the power he had before. I have a feeling Cyrus is on the verge of doing something uncharacteristically stupid because he’s becoming more and more exasperated and desperate.

I enjoyed this episode marginally more than the last few, but honestly, that’s not saying much. I’m a kind of concerned about Jake’s “guy” getting out because if his guy is anything like Huck’s guy, it’s not going to be pretty. Speaking of which, I thought Huck was going to stay out of it since he had to work so hard to put his guy back in the cage. How did he find Eli before Jake and why didn’t he just give Jake the location? Maybe Huck’s guy isn’t as back in the cage as he thinks. To that point, it looks like Eli was right to be afraid. Not that I entirely believe that he was scared when he went to Olivia. He may have been, but he lies so much and so easily, it’s just always a safe bet to assume he’s lying. And just as an aside, it’s not a compliment when Eli Pope tells you that he’s proud of the woman you’ve become. That should horrify Olivia. It looks like Mellie is pretty much screwed. She no longer has anything to use as leverage against Olivia, she’s probably not going to get re-elected to the Senate, and she’s also partially responsible for letting her son’s murderer out of prison. So basically, not good times for Mellie. It also looks like Susan Ross is setting herself up to get hurt. It’s pretty clear that she’s got a bit of a crush on David, and it’s going to be awkward when she realizes David is hooking up with Elizabeth. Which still, no. Just no. So what did y’all think of this week’s Scandal?