Scandal “Pencil’s Down” Review (Season 5, Episode 15)

Olivia and Mellie are going to kill each other before the campaign is over. Both of them are strong willed know-it-alls, but even more than that, they both have something to prove. Mellie needs to prove that she’s more than just a disgraced ex-first lady, and Olivia needs to prove that she’s still got game. Putting that kind of pressure on themselves and on each other makes for a pretty volatile situation. But I suspect that at the end of the day, both of them realize that they need each other in order to accomplish their goals. So they’ll suck it up and do what they’ve got to do. But I suspect there will be a lot of ripping at each other before all is said and done. The hardest part for Olivia, aside from working for the ex-wife of her ex-boyfriend, is going to be trying to make Mellie into a “woman of the people.” That’s just not who Mellie is. Mellie is a horrible person, and she’s only going to be able to fake it for so long. I must admit that I literally laughed out loud when Mellie got caught in a lie about Gettysburger. I mean, if you’re going to lie, wouldn’t you at least check the store hours and locations?

While Mellie was dealing with “Gettysburger Gate,” Susan Ross was preparing for her first debate. She was actually doing a pretty fantastic job until she found out that David was cheating on her. Needless to say, she was devastated. Susan really does love David, and she thought they really had something. The sad part about it is, they probably could’ve had something special if David weren’t such a schmuck. Out of all the people on Scandal, Susan is the one I feel the most sorry for. Not just because of what Fitz and Mellie did, and not just because she’s found out that her boyfriend is a cheater and a Liar McLiarson. It hurt my heart to watch Susan try so desperately to believe David when he said he wasn’t cheating on her even though a part of her knew he was. The saddest thing about all of this is that Susan is slowly losing herself to the darkness of DC and I don’t think she realizes it. Because these kinds of things rarely happen all at once. Usually one day you just wake up, look in the mirror, and you don’t recognize the person looking back at you. That’s what I’m afraid is going to happen to Susan, and I really don’t want it to. She’s such a good person, and I just don’t want her to become corrupted.

In another blast from the past, Edison Davis has decided to throw his hat in the ring as a Democratic presidential candidate. I always felt kind of bad for Edison. Partially because he seems like a good man who is sincerely trying to do good things in the Senate. But mostly because Olivia treated him so badly. She didn’t love him, but she kept him around because it served her purposes. It’s not that he didn’t know she didn’t love him. He did, but it always seemed like he thought if he loved her enough for the both of them. I honestly don’t know what he thought, but it seems like his time and experience with Olivia has changed him. Olivia thought that him agreeing to vouch for her meant that he forgave her for the way she treated him, but apparently, he’s still got some anger issues. So much so that he’s willing to work with Eli. I don’t think Edison understands just what kind of monster he’s getting into bed with, but he’ll find out soon enough. Finding out that Edison is working with Eli also sheds some light on what Eli and Jake are trying to accomplish. Eli wants the White House, and Edison is his way to get it. But I have no doubt it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

All is not well in Frankie Vargas’s campaign. Due mostly to the appearance of Frankie’s brother Alex. Cyrus is bad, but Alex seems worse. He seems like he’s basically the worst parts of Cyrus and Olivia put into one person. That’s not good. Because in addition to being cutthroat and ruthless, he’s also apparently violent which makes him even more dangerous. Which is why it struck me as odd that he would show up to Olivia’s office to deliver dirt on Susan Ross. Well, it’s not so much that I was surprised he would do that. He seems like a slimeball, and that move is exactly the kind of slimy move I expected from him. My question is why? Probably because he thinks Mellie would be an easier target than Susan if she gets the Republican nomination. Whatever the reason, I think it was really just Alex’s attempt to get a feel for Olivia. I’m sure he’s heard of her, but I don’t think he’s really dealt with her before. Giving her the dirt on Susan Ross was about Alex testing Olivia’s limits. I have no doubt those two are going to butt heads before all is said and done. I also have to wonder just how much Frankie knows about what Alex is doing in the name of getting Frankie elected. I don’t think Frankie necessarily knows what lengths his brother has gone to, but I’m sure he suspects. He just might not deal with it because as long as he doesn’t actually get involved, then he’s got plausible deniability.

All in all, this was a decent episode. The story is much more interesting now that campaign season is in full swing and the list of candidates has started to fill out. Things aren’t working out as well as Cyrus had hoped, and he’s not going to stop until he gets Alex out of the picture. That’s probably going to be easier said than done though because he’s right. Family is different, so he’s got to tread very carefully. I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on between Cyrus and Tom, but I have a pretty good idea. It’s weird though because I never got the sense that Tom is into guys. Anyways. Now that David’s secret is out, I’m thinking he’s going to have two very angry women to deal with. Susan has every right to punch David right in the nads, but I don’t get Elizabeth. It seems like they were trying to act like Elizabeth actually has feelings for David, but I don’t buy it. Olivia is on to Jake, but what she knows is probably only the tip of the iceberg. He and Eli have more plans for Vanessa than just secretly funding Edison’s campaign. So what did y’all think of this week’s Scandal?