Scandal 2.06: Striving for Normal*

Did you guys catch the line Mellie said that wasn’t in All Roads Lead to Fitz? “Who the hell is David Rosen, and why do we have a problem?” That wasn’t in last week’s episode, which strongly suggest that Mellie is new to the group and Cyrus recently invited her.

This episode’s case centered around Huck and his fellow ex-spies. One of them was squealing about a program that they were a part of, called B-613, because he wanted someone to recognize what he went through because of the government as well as what he did. See, they’ve all settled down into Normal, including Huck who has an actual identity instead of a nickname, a job with a paycheck where he’s appreciated by his coworkers and boss, and he’s even met someone special. While Normal is great because it comes with more security than being a spy, these people all spent years as killers and they were all very good, and they all still have it. We already know that Huck is spiraling down a hole, but we saw that the rest were all ready to draw their guns; they were all ready to shoot each other and get shot; the soccer mom wasn’t moved by Huck’s speech and killed the traitor; and they all cleaned up the scene. From what they said about their current lives, they’ve been out of the spy business for a while, but, like Harrison said, once a spy, always a spy.

Who was Charlie speaking to at the end there? Hmm? Hollis?

Huck and Huck/Olivia

I love people who are here for and support Olivia. It’s what she does for everyone else, all of her clients, and we’ve seen it take emotional tolls on her, so it makes me happy when she gets back the same. In Huck’s case, he was ready to leave and go into hiding in order to protect Olivia (and the other associates). He was ready to throw everything away. He was ready, in a way, to be a soldier.

Huck is probably the associate that Olivia worries about the most. She’s very sensitive to his moods and the things he does. He, in turn, looks out for her. He can see when she needs space. He’ll create a one-person wall to separate her from everyone else when she needs a moment (like the time she said she needed a minute, and he stood outside of her door). Huck was, I believe, the first associate to say (to Quinn) that Olivia rescued them all, that they all needed fixing and that Liv fixed him (mostly. It’s an ongoing process).

Harrison told Huck to be a leader, and he took on the role when he did his best to keep the other spies from killing the doctor. I don’t think he had any idea how they were going to fix the situation, since they had no idea where the leak’s contact was, but he didn’t feel that the doctor should be killed. Since Huck is currently spiraling, he understood the doctor’s need to have his old life recognized, to have it matter. The difference between the doctor and Huck, however, is that the  doctor’s desire to have his past life matter would’ve lead to the ruination of five lives (plus the people they’ve connected with in their Normal).

I think it was good for Huck to hear from Olivia that he’s important to her. I think that is the kind of thing, plus his shaky desire not to return to that life, that keeps him tethered.

Huck is starting to like Becky, so he thinks that means he can do the most: run background checks, check her credit, install surveillance equipment, etc. Chill, Huck.

I loved it when he lifted his gun to defend Harrison.

I’m worried about him listening to that radio. I half expected a reveal that he was the real leak. Do you think we’re going to come back to this later, and someone will give Huck an order?

Olivia

I said at one point while watching the episode that I wouldn’t be surprised if Olivia collapsed from stress and ended up at the hospital. I think her jumping Edison at the end was the equivalent of that. Girlfriend spent the whole episode on the verge of a meltdown (figuratively speaking). I think Kerry Washington does a “stressed” face so well. It never feels to make me feel tense.

Olivia did Abby dirty. She didn’t look happy about it, but that doesn’t do much to make up for the fact that…she did it anyways. It is what she does on a regular basis. It’s just that she’s usually doing it to the designated bad guys. Recently, however, she turned her skill on David Rosen, and in this episode she turned it on Abby. Olivia’s hat isn’t pure white. In her quest to not let the “bad guys” win, she will get her hands almost as dirty as they will.

I think Huck is the one person in Pope and Associates who most brings out Olivia’s, how do I say, protective nature? What’s a better way to phrase that? For example, she told Harrison that she was simply doing her job when she sat in the jail cell with him and Harrison called her out on that lie. Olivia’s comportment with Huck, not just in this episode but in the episodes prior, shows how much of a lie that was. She isn’t simply doing her job; it’s personal every time, every time, even when it doesn’t start out that way. Remember when her client was the dictator who wanted to find his missing wife? Olivia sided with her client; she only wanted to do the job, but Abby made it personal.

Olivia’s Play With Abby

Last week, I was excited for Olivia to come for Abby’s wig. When she actually did? I was a nervous wreck! I was so nervous when she told Harrison about Abby’s past and told him to use that against her. I was expecting the worse. I thought, somehow, that Abby was going to end the episode physically bruised and battered. My stomach knotted up the moment Olivia said those parting words to Harrison. It was heartbreaking to watch Abby take Harrison’s words to heart, knowing that he was setting her up.

Needless to say, the actual dirty deed did not live up to my expectations. Thank goodness, because I did not want Abby to go through that, nor did I want Olivia and Harrison to go that far. Abby was triggered by what Olivia did. She was sent to a bad place, emotionally, and she was crying. She felt like a fool, like she was gipped, and like she made a mistake in judgment. It was a cruel place for Olivia to send her to. And then Liv comforted her about it. Dirty! Now I have to look forward to Abby losing all of her ish when she finds out what Liv did. That’s the kind of thing that calls for a resignation letter, in my opinion. And while I am looking forward to Abby telling Olivia about herself, it doesn’t excite me or make me as nervous as the thought of Liv coming for Abby did, simply because…..I mean it’s Abby. And then it’s Olivia. You know? Different personality types; different get ish done mentalities, etc.

Not only did the scene where Abby found out about David not live up to my expectations (and I’m thankful for that), I also wasn’t moved by it. I felt bad for Abby because of her past. However, I wasn’t feeling her sense of betrayal over David, because despite David offering Abby a drawer, I failed to connect with the depth of their relationship. Edit David out and insert any Tom, Dick, or Harry off the street, and the end result would have been the same for me. David fell flat in the confrontation scene. I didn’t care about him at all: didn’t care that his name was being smeared, didn’t care that Abby was thinking the wrong things about him; I just didn’t care about him. At one point I contemplated my invisible watch and wondered for how long the scene was going to continue. The actress did well with the material, but she might as well have been acting opposite a brick wall, for all I cared about the person she was talking to.

I thought David was going to realize that Olivia had set him up, but instead he brought up the stupid drawer.

Abby said she didn’t tell Liv that she was going out with David because she knew Liv would get mad. Either Abby flat out lied to Olivia or the writers forgot that Abby was frustrated with Liv and that’s why she kept her relationship a secret. I think it’s the latter.

Harrison and Harrison/Olivia

Harrison emerged as a leader in this episode. I think he’s officially replaced Stephen as the head Associate in Pope and Associates. He even got Stephen’s office! His screen time increased as well! I’m ready for more Harrison.

He displayed a cool head during a very dangerous situation, and I love the moment when they revealed just how shaken he actually was by the confrontation.

I said at one point that I wouldn’t be surprised if Liv opened up to Harrison before she did to Abby, and that’s what happened in this episode. Like Huck’s spiel about Olivia fixing people, Harrison was the one to describe Olivia and the Associates as gladiators in suits, and in this episode he put his money where his mouth was and stood as Olivia’s gladiator after he’d spent days watching her, same as Abby and Quinn, hold everything in, take secret calls, and close herself in her office. Harrison recently told Quinn that if a good person has to do something bad for a good end, then he was for that. Again, he put his money where his mouth was and played Abby for Olivia.

I think it takes a lot of trust for Harrison to offer to do whatever Olivia asks, no questions. He has to truly believe that she won’t lead him down the wrong path. Abby said she would follow Olivia off a cliff, and I think Harrison pretty much did that in this episode. Turning against a fellow Associate? There may not be a more important cliff off of which to jump.

“What do you need?” “Don’t insult me by calling me your job, ’cause I’m not your job. I’m your family; I’m your gladiator, and that is not a job to me.”

Hearts in my eyes!!! I had hearts in my eyes! This was my favorite scene.

Cyrus’s Play With James

I love Cyrus/James, but I don’t like how condescending Cyrus can be to James. I detested him yelling at James about the article. Yes, James went too far and did a sneaky thing, but if Cyrus was, I don’t know, calmer and more respectful, he wouldn’t be screaming at the top of his lungs because of that article. He is entirely too quick to go off on James.

While Cyrus was worried about James hating him when he spoke on the phone to Liv, he was cool as a cucumber by the time he did the deed. Oh Cyrus. Does anyone do cold resolve like you? He produced tears and everything. I felt so bad for James! ;(. Like Abby with Liv, I want James to figure out that Cyrus played him good, because I am always here for James giving Cyrus hell.

I like the way the man who plays Hollis read his lines in the office scene. That said, Hollis is uber disgusting. He told Cyrus to put his wife on a leash. Well gee, aren’t those the words Cyrus used when he  told Fitz to control Mellie? I kind of went, “Sure,” when the pot Cyrus called the kettle Hollis black sexist.

Edison/Olivia

I don’t think this relationship stands a chance. Fitz is Olivia’s main love interest for now, no matter how ratchet he acts, and it seems Shonda has a lot in store for them, too much for Olivia and Edison to stand a chance at this moment. If Fitz does indeed get shot in next week’s episode, then I think that will be the end of Liv trying to have Normal with Edison.

She deserves Normal, just like they all do, and, unlike those spies, Normal is easier to achieve for Olivia. And Harrison. And Abby. I don’t know about Quinn. And even if Normal isn’t in the cards for Olivia, does that mean she needs to go so far on the Abnormal side of the spectrum that she’s stays mired with Fitz? I want the writers to go back to the Fitz that I cared for, but it seems he’ll be looking at another picture of Olivia’s private life. A more recent picture then the one he had before. -_____-.

Some people feel iffy about Edison sleeping with Olivia when she was obviously at her lowest, but Olivia kissed him. She initiated that collapse. I’m sure Edison could’ve gone, “No wait, Liv, there’s obviously something wrong. Maybe we should just talk,” but that was not what Olivia needed or wanted. She wanted a distraction. She wanted to forget. Because of that, I don’t feel iffy about the situation at all. Edison didn’t do anything, in more than one way, but that moment was about Olivia.

“It’s time. Because I am a man, and I don’t play games.” I cringed. Do better, Edison. Why did it take him so long to realize something was wrong with Liv? Smh. Pay attention.

I enjoyed watching them discuss past presidents. Olivia saying that Nixon opened China pleased me especially because we talked about that in my American Foreign Policy class.

“I’ve watched you press your hair.” I loved this line. My favorite line of the episode.

A couple of basic questions were asked in this episode, and a couple of basic things happened:

  • Quinn: “So all these other names, are they also killer spies?” The answer was obviously yes, Quinn. Especially since Huck said beforehand that the names on the music sheet were those of spies. :/
  • Quinn dropping her coffee because the spies pulled guns on each other. I found that unnecessary.
  • Abby’s skepticism about Huck being a spy grates on the second watch.

*Episode Title: Spies Like Us

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One thought on “Scandal 2.06: Striving for Normal*

  1. Since Huck is currently spiraling, he understood the doctor’s need to have his old life recognized, to have it matter. The difference between the doctor and Huck, however, is that the doctor’s desire to have his past life matter would’ve lead to the ruination of five lives (plus the people they’ve connected with in their Normal).

    I thought it was about taking responsibility for the wrongs he has done which is why Huck identified with him. The doctor wanted salvation. Huck and dead doctor guy were the only ones who seemed to realize the enormity of crap they have done and had done to them. From what we saw, they were the only ones still struggling with it. That is why I kinda don’t care about the ruined lives of the other former assassins. 3 of them have already proven that the damage done to their psyche is too severe to get over. Huck has killed and tortured. Soccer mom killed someone at the drop of a hat. And that white dude Huck tortured is back to being a hired killer. I think Olivia just wanted to save Huck because she is emotionally dependent on him and rationalized her actions as ‘right’ so she can still feel like a white hat. That is what makes Olivia interesting. Her power comes from her ability to create myths and tell stories. When Huck tried to talk down the assassins, it seemed like he was trying to emulate Olivia. Harrison told him to be a leader and Olivia is his idea of a good leader I guess. Harrison talked down the assassins by using Olivia’s name – by evoking the myth of the great Olivia Pope. Speaking of which, this ep really got me interested in Harrison. Mellie might have competition for the spot of my second fave character.

    ok, i will read the rest tomorrow and ramble further. rl drama has cut down on my nonsensical tv rambling. 😦

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