Scandal “Thwack!” Review (Season 5, Episode 17)

Scandal Season 4 Episode 4 Like Father, Like Daughter (4)

I’ve been away for a while, so I’ve just now been able to catch up on what I missed. So, a few thoughts about Scandal:

I’d kind of forgotten all about Andrew, but I’m glad the show decided to deal with him. I can’t say I’m shocked about his demise, but I was kind of surprised that Olivia was the one to do it. Honestly, I didn’t even feel sorry for him. This is the guy who orchestrated the kidnapping and sale of another human being; blackmailed the President into starting an unnecessary war; and attempted a coup of the Presidency. Basically, he’s a wiener of the highest order and, even prior to his behavior in this episode, he didn’t really have any redeeming qualities. His attempts to extort Fitz and crew in this episode simply solidified it. Andrew blamed them for his condition, but the truth of the matter is, his situation was of his own making. If he hadn’t tried to steal the Presidency and had Olivia kidnapped, then no one would’ve injected him with the stroke serum. It’s not that I condone murder as a reasonable solution to a persistent problem. I don’t. But at the same time, the only way to ensure Andrew’s silence was his death. No matter how much money Fitz and the rest paid him, he was going to hold the information he had over their heads. I don’t even think their imprisonment would’ve been enough to satisfy his need for revenge.

All of that being said, I didn’t expect Olivia to beat Andrew to death. I mean, it wasn’t exactly shocking given all the horrible stuff he was spewing at her. That didn’t make it any less disturbing though. It seemed to shock Olivia too, and I have no doubt she’s going to suffer some serious repercussions from it. Olivia never really dealt with her kidnapping, but she especially never got the chance to confront Andrew about his part in her ordeal. Keeping all of that stuff bottled up inside isn’t healthy, and Olivia’s refusal to deal with all of it slowly over an extended period of time caused her to be unable to cope effectively when she had to come face to face with him again. I applaud her efforts to keep things relatively civil, but Olivia is a monster. As much as I hate to agree with Eli about anything, he was absolutely correct that there is really no difference between “his world” and “her world.” I said a while ago that Olivia is just as much a monster as Eli, and one of the reasons she keeps him in her life is so she can compare herself to him and tell herself that at least she’s not as bad as him. But it seems she’s finally accepted who and what she really is. Killing Andrew is a turning point for Olivia. It will cause her to admit that she’s no better than Eli and either choose to be a better person or embrace being a monster. Going back to Eli doesn’t seem like a good sign, but hopefully she went there because she’s in shock over what she’s done.

It looks like Olivia has burned another bridge. This time with Abby. First of all, it was the height of arrogance for Olivia to suggest that Abby come back and work for her. Abby has grown beyond Olivia, and if Olivia weren’t so into herself, she could see that. Secondly, Olivia couldn’t have been more patronizing when she sent Abby off with the equivalent of an ‘oh, that’s so cute; you think you’re good enough to play with the big dogs’ pat on the head. I’ve said before that Olivia doesn’t really have friends. If she were really friends with Abby, she wouldn’t continually underestimate her and cut her legs out from under her in front of Fitz. I get that Olivia’s feelings about Fitz and the White House are complicated, but the fact of the matter is, she walked away. The White House is Abby’s playground now, and Olivia being a jerk about it only makes her look bad. Abby was right. As long as Fitz is President, it’s her job to give him good advice, protect him, and do what needs to be done for him. That’s not Olivia’s focus anymore, and her acting as if Abby’s actions violated some code of ethics was ridiculous. I’m kind of hoping this doesn’t turn Abby into more of Olivia. I haven’t always been an Abby fan because I find her personality kind of grating, but over the last season or so I’ve come to appreciate her a little more. She’s been through a lot in her life, and despite how abrasive she can be sometimes, at her core she seems to be a pretty decent person. Yes, she’s ambitious. There’s nothing wrong with that, but up until recently her ambition was tempered by her desire to be able to look herself in the mirror and not hate what she saw. Cutting Cyrus out and taking his place wasn’t an unexpected move, but it was one of the most brutal things we’ve seen Abby do. I’m hoping Olivia’s pushback will cause Abby to think long and hard about the person she wants to become. Because if she’s been trying to become Olivia, I would definitely rethink that decision.

One thing I will agree with Olivia about is the fact that Fitz was very Presidential. A lot of people have sacrificed a great deal so that Fitz can be President, and it’s not until recently that he’s come to appreciate just what that means. Everyone around him his been beaten, battered, and bruised all in the name of protecting him. Admittedly, some of those situations were situations of their own making, but for the most part, most of what Olivia, Mellie, and Cyrus have done was to help Fitz get (and keep) the Oval. Fitz stepping up to take responsibility for his actions was not only a very Presidential thing to do, it was the right thing to do. It would’ve cost him everything, but he was still prepared to do it. I must say, I’m liking this Fitz so much better than the Fitz of the past. He’s got more backbone. I dig it.

All in all, pretty good episode. I knew Alex wasn’t going to go away quietly, and it looks like he’s trying to make trouble for Cyrus. I don’t think Michael is all that surprised that Cyrus is sleeping around, but I am interested to see how he decides to handle it. Will he tell Cyrus that Alex has been following him or will he play the wronged husband? I’m not entirely sure where this Cyrus/Tom relationship came from though. It seems completely out of the blue and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. Marcus looks like he’s on the verge of walking out, and I don’t blame him. He’s still not truly a part of the team, but truth be told, he should just cut his losses and leave now. Even though I didn’t approve of Marcus’s methods at first, I do believe that he really does want to make a positive difference. He’s not going to be able to do that working for Olivia. He should get out while he’s still got most of his soul in tact. The upcoming episode looks like Olivia will have to deal with what she did to Andrew. Could be interesting.