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'Scandal' recap: 'The Key'

Recently, "Scandal" has strayed further from its original case-of-the-week style, meaning the show’s signature shockers aren’t coming at their usual breakneck speed.

Instead, this season feels more like a slow build, which is refreshing and makes for richer, more natural storytelling.

For example, Liv’s friend Catherine is still in jail after having been arrested for the murder of her teenage daughter, Caitlin. OPA is looking into a dirty former D.C. police captain named Dan Kubiak who works security at the firm where Jeremy, Catherine’s husband, works. Kubiak was the man caught on an elevator security cam trying to snatch a mysterious folder from Caitlin.

Cool story, but what is really interesting is the fact that Olivia actually joins them on the stakeout.

Olivia. At a stakeout. In her designer clothes.

Quinn knows that something must be up. Shockingly, Liv opens up about what’s wrong. She thinks her “boyfriend” is avoiding her. No, honey. It’s so much worse than that.

But back to...

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20 area Halloween events for every taste

Why waste a great Halloween costume on just one night of fun? With these 20 exciting Halloween events including creepy-crawly creatures, scary-good performances and kooky costume parties for a variety of tastes and ages, you're sure to have a goulish good time this Halloween season.

1. 'Cabaret Macabre' at Theatre Project

Venture into the dark, odd mind of artist Edward Gorey, who inspired this story of gothic romance presented by Happenstance Theater. If you're in need of a departure from all the Halloween costume parties, enjoy theatrical amusement instead. On stage now through Nov. 2. 45 W. Preston St. $12-$22.

2. Happy Healthy Halloween at the Y of Central Maryland

For tips on keeping it healthful when tempted by all that Halloween candy (hey, give it a shot), Family Center YMCA locations are hosting events promoting happy, not-as-sugary fun. Among the offerings: games, nutritious snacks and costume contests. Running Friday and Saturday (Oct. 24 and 25); times...

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'American Horror Story' recap: 'Edward Mordrake, Part I'

"American Horror Story" gets into the spooky spirit this week with the start of its annual Halloween two-parter. Over the past few years, we’ve had zombies and ghosts and Anne Frank, but this year's installment revolves around a very strange and very specific story.

The World Building Continues

Two more “AHS” regulars arrive this week: Emma Roberts and Denis O’Hare play a con artist couple selling “fake” relics to places like the American Morbidity Museum, which apparently exists. They’re caught out as frauds, but rather than having them arrested, the museum curator just complains about how the ease of free entertainment at home means times are tough for her establishment, too. She says that should the fraudsters manage to stumble upon something real, she’d pay them for it, and sends them off to see the freak show in Florida. Apparently, television really has been ruining people’s lives in literally every way possible.

Meanwhile, in Jupiter, we learn that the carnies are taking the...

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Relationships column: After a breakup, an immediate emotional swell

I finally felt good.

My arduous work week was ushered out by a picturesque Saturday. The sun's steady beam managed to ease my overactive mind and place positivity in my soul.

I walked out of the mall, several bags in hand, glowing naturally. I wasn't sure if I was happy about the weather, or the fact that Call It Spring still had a sale on accessories. Whatever the case, Round 1 of retail therapy was complete.

Walking through the parking lot, it felt like all eyes were on me. My aura that day was so strong. At last, my internal conditions were mirroring my outside appearance.

Just as I walked up to my car, my phone rang. I looked like a crazy woman, fumbling between bags and contorting my body, just to grab it from my back pocket. It was my best friend.

"Hey girl!" I answered.

"Girl, I have something to tell you about T," she said.

My heart sank to my soles. My stomach ignited with anxiety. All I could do was let out a colossal sigh of frustration.

T was my boyfriend and at that moment...

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'Top Chef' recap, 'Boston's Bravest and Finest'

All eyes are on Mei Lin.

She whooped everyone and won the first elimination challenge last week with a bowl of rice porridge. Rice porridge, people!

In the stew room over empty bottles of beer and wine, one of the brunette cheftestants felt the need to raise her glass to toast Mei Lin. The rest of the chefs muster weak and insincere applause.

I don’t blame them. It’s a big deal to win the first elimination challenge. In 11 seasons of “Top Chef,” eight of the chefs who won the first challenge have gone on to either winning the whole thing or came in as runner up. 

So yeah, I wouldn’t be cheering too hard either.

Afterwards comes the gratuitous post-mortem. Katsuji Tanabe is embarrassed his “petroleum” taco landed on the bottom. He should be; that thing had more ingredients than Katusji has nationalities. Also, it’s always a good idea to name your dish after crude oil. Not.

Aaron Grissom, who came across as a jerk last week by making fun of Katie Weinner’s “tossed salad,” picks a fight...

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'Survivor' recap, 'Blood is Blood'

Back from last week’s Tribal Council, where Drew effectively engineered his own ousting. Jon is madly trying to do damage control (since he just lost his closest ally), but Jeremy sees right through it. If his eyes rolled any harder, they’d fall out of his head.

Over at Coyopa, they are relishing the fact that they aren’t the tribe doing the ‘walk of shame’ into the reward challenge for once. Alec is gobsmacked that his brother got voted out and thinks it must have been because he was a huge threat. Or because no one could stand him.

Enough of that, because Jeff announces that it’s time for everyone to drop their buffs. But it’s not a merger, it’s time to mix up the tribes.

New Coyopa is Kelley and Dale, Missy and Baylor, Jaclyn and Jon and Keith.

New Hunahpu is Josh and Reed, Wes, Alec, Jeremy, Julie and Natalie.

This really doesn’t look good for Keith, but at least he has a hidden Immunity Idol. Jon is super-relieved, because he knows that he wasn’t in the best position in his old...

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