Scandal 3.8 Review - 'Vermont Is For Lovers Too'


rating: 4

Last week's episode was stunning with Bellamy Young pulling possibly the best performance of her career and doing the impossible - making people actually like Mellie. This week we're busy dealing with the storylines in both wider DC and the White House so let's jump right in. In a link to last week's show, the episode begins with Rowan approaching Maya Pope in her cell and telling her that he's moving her to protect their secret and that of Maya's survival. Maya bargains with Rowan - she wants to see Olivia before she goes. She's been in the cell for twenty years. Rowan - or 'Eli' as she calls him - disagrees. She later bites her own wrists as a cry for help, threatening to bleed out! Charlie drives Quinn to work, telling her to leak information on the Pope & Associates team as a member of the B613 team. She's horrified, realising how far down the rabbit hole she's gone by killing an asset. I'm glad Quinn's finding her way out of the darkness. The team are entrusted into finding the security guard's killer - Quinn! - while Olivia deals with a crisis in the Josie Marcus camp when an important laptop of Candice's is stolen and the camp blames Democrat hopeful rival Reston. Scandal 308 1 While investigating the murder CCTV footage, Quinn is nearly outed as a double agent by a chance encounter with Ballard but she pulls it off, however reluctantly. Abby and David have it out about the Josie Marucs situation just before Candice throws a spanner in the works by half-accusing Reston in public. Liv takes out her anger on Fitz who demands to speak to her. Liv refuses and smashes her special, Fitz-only phone. Ballard tells her Fitz will get to speak to her, one way or another. Harrison chastises Candice, comparing her to a child he needs to babysit, while Ballard and Huck look into the footage while a terrified Quinn watches. Quinn later finds the location of the missing laptop and it's recovered by David in Reston's political headquarters. The Marcus camp celebrates while Charlie talks to Rowan about Quinn's progress. Rowan visits the recovering Maya in the infirmary after looking over images of Olivia to bring to Maya. Scandal 308 2 Olivia is approached by Secret Service agent Tom who brings her to a private retreat in Vermont where Fitz is staying, and agrees to speak to him for an hour. They have it out over Liv's dad and their respective secrets. Fitz reveals that the house was made for him and Liv when they were together, and wanted her to see all that could have been had fate been different. It's a heartbreaking moment, particularly when Fitz and Olivia share a passionate kiss and end up having sex while Mellie tries to track him down and putting two and two together to her dismay. I keep yo-yo-ing between loving and loathing Fitzlivia, I swear. The pair later team up to take down her father and learn the truth, while Liv provides hope for their future by telling him to not sell the house. Quinn remains torn and stuck in a terrible position - Huck is close to finding that she was the killer of the security guard and she threatens Charlie who deflects the situation. Meanwhile David and Abby are interrupted from a bedtime convo when they learn that the stolen Marcus laptop was wiped of all useful data before the crime, implying a Marcus staff member was behind the whole thing. Abby tells Harrison that she suspects Candice - as he's in bed with her! Candice is confronted by Josie and the Pope & Associates team and Liv tells Josie to fire Candice as her campaign manager. However, Josie later throws herself under the bus and removes herself as a Democratic candidate to protect Candice. Josie protects her daughter and leaves the team as a shamed but ultimately good person, something very nice to see in the 'Scandal' world. I'll miss Josie. Scanal Vermonl Meanwhile in all things White House-related, Cyrus and James share an awkward conversation in bed where James is annoyed with his dull domestic life, only to be elated when Cyrus gives James the opportunity to interview Daniel Douglas, VP Sally Langston's husband as part of a secret honey trap. Cyrus and Mellie's plan to ensnare Daniel goes ahead with both manipulating the parties but all Daniel wants to talk about is football. Cyrus suggests James meet Daniel in a more casual environment to get him to open up more. Meanwhile Mellie warns Cyrus about messing with peoples' marriages as he plots the Daniel/James honey trap, and she later confronts Fitz about lying to her about Olivia. In the evening, James and Daniel talk about college and soon Daniel makes a move, startling James who puts the pieces together and realises Cyrus has been setting them both up. Cyrus waits at home as the hours tick by, rapidly becoming more worried about what has happened. James returns, having apparently had a great interview, and soon Cyrus receives pictures of James and Daniel in a sexual tryst. Cyrus is heartbroken but those pictures totally have to be faked. There's no way James would cheat. In the end, a string of cliffhangers set up the next episode - Maya breaks free from her cell just as she's being moved, Huck confronts Quinn at her apartment with torture tools to find out who she's working for, Cyrus is left heartbroken, and Maya runs into Liv in the street, introducing herself to Liv's utter shock. A fantastic episode and while it may lack the depth of last week's Mellie-centric outing, it's just as entertaining and keeps pushing the plot forward in interesting new ways. Katie Lowes' Quinn gets some great screentime here as she finds herself caught in a desperate situation and the Fitz/Liv relationship turns sweet once more. Best of all might be the James/Cyrus B-plot which is heartbreaking and a testament to Cyrus' loves for power, control, and James. I also think the photos were faked 100% to make Cyrus pay. In fact the only damp squib of the episode was the resolution of the Josie Marcus storyline which weakened more in recent weeks and seemed a bit pointless. Fortunately Josie's final actions are extremely admirable and Lisa Kudrow pulls out a solid performance that sells it. Until next week, gladiators!

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