Scandal 3.5 Review - 'More Cattle, Less Bull'

More Cat Less Bull

rating: 3.5

Welcome to another episode of 'Scandal' where political manoeuvres and dangerous liaisons are the show's bread and butter. Let's see what happened this week, shall we? Olivia and her dad Rowan are having possibly the awkward, most stilted conversation between a father and daughter, Liv vocally admitting that she's just being silent to get through the dinner so that Rowan won't start performing more power plays against his outspoken daughter and be more like her outspoken mother. Rowan disagrees. At the same time, Jake and Huck are breaking into Rowan's home, the man himself entering just as Jake sneaks out with all of Rowan's files on a memory stick. Nice job, boys! At the White House, Mellie and Cyrus are trying to charm Leo Bergen in order to get him to run the re-election campaign for Fitz. Bergen is brutally honest about Fitz's chances, citing Fitz's many problems and Mellie's 'frigid' appearance as reasons why he won't support a campaign destined to lose. Olivia is seeing Senator Josephine Marcus who wants Pope & Associates to run her own election campaign. Marcus hires her on the spot, and admits that she needs Liv as a fixer, rather than a campaign manager. Marcus wants her past as a teenage mother to be covered up and so the team journey to Redwood, Montana. In the car drive to the crappy motel, Abby is revealed to be getting serious with David and the team split up. Huck checks on the feed in Rowan's office, revealing the talk between Rowan and Fitz about Pete Foster's death and the fact that is someone is out there and looking into Operation: Remington. Huck calls into Jake, informing him of the situation, and soon Jake is snatched by men in black suits. Scandal 305 1 Jake is taken to see Fitz on the basketball court and soon the pair are 'sparring' in a little one-on-one with the baskets. Soon it becomes less amicable and the pair are fighting over Olivia and their respective relationships with her. Jake checks in later with Huck over his confrontation with Fitz and soon he's in the offices. Back in DC, Olivia gets a call from Cyrus who tries to get her to join the team that will attack Marcus. Liv refuses, informs the team that a White House team is also in Montana, and soon Harrison and Abby are rushing around with damage control. Soon, Cyrus' eager intern Ethan is being thwarted by Abby and Cyrus is pissed as hell that Olivia Pope is in town. Sally Langston is annoyed by the loss of Bergen and soon plots to bring him back on the campaign. Meanwhile, Fitz and Rowan argue over the phone over Jake, leading to a threatening tete-a-tete and Cyrus and Mellie join forces to try and squash Marcus' good name as an election candidate. Later, Fitz tells Cyrus that he wants B613 gone but Cyrus tells him its impossible, that people have died trying to do so (including a hinted JFK). At the offices, Jake and Olivia have a discussion about the White House Correspondents Dinner and her past as Fitz's 'person' (yes, that's a Shonda Rhimes term I'm totally stealing) and soon they head off for a late night burger together. In Montana, Abby and Harrison learn from the nurse that Marcus' baby was raised by Marcus' mother and that Josephine's sister and manager Candy is in fact her daughter! Liv challenges Josephine who admits the truth and considers dropping out so that Candy won't be hurt by the truth should it leak. Meanwhile, Quinn trades in her used drills and tools for a gun. Uh-oh! Scandal 305 2 At Marcus' Democratic conference, Liv twigs that something is wrong and realises that they will spring the news on her. Marcus stays strong despite Olivia's concerns. Governor Rastin catches her out, but Marcus' largely honest and heartfelt speech about the baby wins hearts and keeps Candy's real identity a secret. Lisa Kudrow sells this beautifully and the approval ratings soar for Josephine Marcus. However, Candy soon intimates that she is the daughter and an angry Josephine fires Olivia and her team. Later, a downbeat Liv is contemplating everything and soon desperately answers a call from Fitz. They discuss the upcoming dinner and Fitz's terrible taste in jokes. She advises for him to laugh at himself and neutralise any hostility in the room. Outside, a sad Mellie watches her husband light up thanks to another woman. While Abby and David's relationship hits a rough patch after she lies to him, Huck and Jake realise that for some reason, Fitz was in Iceland. After Liv invites Jake to the Correspondents Dinner, Huck and Jake discuss. At the actual dinner, Liv (in a killer black and white gown that Cruella DeVil would kill for her and some fierce Rihanna-slicked-style hair) and Jake rock up, looking dapper and cute as hell. Meanwhile Sally traps Bergen in the men's bathroom and asks for him to help her run as a candidate for President herself. Liv is approached for a private meeting, only to find that the person behind it is Mellie. Mellie asks Liv to run Fitz's re-election campaign. Mellie is sad and defeated, admitting that Liv inspires Fitz like she never can. Liv means the world to Fitz and so Mellie needs her. Scandal 305 3 Afterwards, Abby greets David in his apartment, all glammed up and beautiful and they discuss the real reason why she couldn't go - her abusive ex-husband was attending. They reunite. After Liv is dismissed by an angry Jake after the dinner, Liv meets Harrison and Marcus at her offices and asks for Liv back on her campaign. Liv declines but agrees to sleep on it. Huck and Jake talk and Huck reveals that over twenty years ago, a passenger plane crashed down over Iceland and Huck suspects Fitz shot down the plane for the US government. The reason why? Maya Lewis - aka Maya Pope, Olivia's mother - was on the plane! Jake and Huck race to Olivia's apartment to tell her the news Thank goodness that was a largely solid episode. Admittedly, a lot of the Josephine Marcus felt like an excuse to put the rest of the team away from the political hub that is D.C., but with some fantastic guest stars (Jack Coleman appeared briefly as a right-hand man of Sally Langston's and I'm very excited to see him reappear) and a stirring, unexpected performance from Lisa Kudrow, it raised the level of the show. The exploration of the Pope family is extremely welcome this season and the idea that Maya, Liv's mother, was shot down on the orders of the US government, is a brilliant twist. I can only hope that Maya somehow survived, got into hiding, and then comes back with a vengeance to mess with Mr Pope and destroy B613 somehow. I can but hope, right? Fantastic performances all around but I hope the Quinn/Huck feud or whatever resolves itself pretty soon. Quinn better start some kind of redemption arc soon, because Dark Quinn has gone from entertaining to be a bit... well, dull. Hopefully the new Pope family developments will give us a new and exciting storyline. Til next week, Gladiators, and feel free to offer your thoughts below and whether Maya Pope/Lewis is alive, whether Jake and Olivia might actually have a future together, or anything else you want to discuss about this week's episode. Bye!

Leeds native, film fanatic, TV obsessive and relentless pop music fan. Sings off-key at any chance.