First off, wow. These past couple episodes have really been the best from this half of the season.At first, we were kind of meandering in Olitz drama, and it was getting kind of stale, because most of us kinda hate Fitz and hate Olivia when she was with him. But this episode was all about family, and what happens when you’re stuck between, say, a high-ranking, government-sanctioned assassin and a terrorist or a publicly unfaithful dad and a privately unfaithful mom. As we learned last week, Mellie and Fitz’s teenaged kids, Jerry and Karen, are in town from boarding school. It’s for a sit-down interview with a “very important journalist.” We’d never met Jerry and Karen up until this point, and now it’s clear why not: They absolutely despise their dad. P&A and David Rosen are trying to look into B613 funding, to get it cut off at the knees. But they are a coming up short. It’s not on any congressional budgets, so Liv tells everyone to tap their contacts at the CIA, Justice Department, etc. But Huck is apprehensive, because he has common sense. With B613, he says, “Uou hide, or you die.” Of course, he’s also concerned about Quinn’s safety, because he’s on a one-man mission to annoy me. He wants Liv to pull Quinn out before they take down B613, but Liv isn’t for it, mainly because Quinn pulled a gun on her the last time they spoke. Valid. Meanwhile, Quinn and Charlie are discussing her little run-in with Huck. Charlie keeps making her run through the scenario, because obviously, she left out that kiss. She’s not stupid. Just annoying. Quinn tells him that she came home and found Huck lurking in the shadows, he pushed her against a wall, they argued and he left. Obviously, Charlie isn’t letting this go, and keeps making her repeat her story over and over again. He also offers to kill Huck, but Quinn declines. They’ve got work to do: torturing Dmitri (Ivan’s under-terrorist from last week), who’s busy being tied up in the trunk. The White House is also looking for Dmitri, who’s been off the grid since 2012, after killing some British tourists. Fitz wants him found, ASAP. He also takes the time to welcome Cyrus back to the WH, and tells him that James’s funeral was lovely. All I have to say is, thank you Shonda Rhimes and the rest of the “Scandal” writing crew from sparing us the sadness of watching James Novak’s funeral. Thank you. Neither Mellie/Andrew (Meldrew? Meldrew.) or Olitz have stopped having sex since the teen Grants are in the West Wing, which is foolish, to say the least. Right now, their client’s main problem is his kids. While meeting with them, Liv has a gut feeling that Jerry is up to something, and has Abby look to him. Along the way out of the White House, she stumbles on a disheveled Mellie leaving a room and Andrew leaving moments after. Liv, having been the Fitz’s mistress for like 185 years, knows the signs and orders Andrew to put an end to it, because how many sex scandals can one presidential campaign withstand? Of course, Andrew knows about Liv and Fitz, so he’s all “Glass Houses!” and Liv clutches her pearls. P&A’s investigation into the oldest Grant kids is coming up dry, but their look into B613 isn’t going unnoticed. Rowan calls Liv to warn her to stop digging. He was only able to save her life because she talked to agents/assets/whatever who are still more loyal to Rowan than Jake. Mellie’s busy trying to help Karen pick out a dress for the interview, but Karen is more concerned with asking her mother why she’s still with Fitz. Of course, this is way deeper than a teenager could understand, but more on that later. Mama Pope’s having a few problems with whatever scheme she and Adnan are working on. Seems like Ivan is getting cold feet, what with Dmitri having gone missing and all. Adnan’s looking for an out, too, having finally realized that Marie is actually evil. But, of course, Marie isn’t letting anyone off the hook, unless it’s on her terms. Charlie also isn’t letting Quinn off the hook. They are still arguing about Huck’s house visit, even as they torture Dmitri for info on Ivan. It’s one thing to drill holes into a man. It’s another to do it while having the most annoying relationship argument, ever. Meanwhile, Abby’s found Jerry’s anonymous, anti-Grant Twitter account, where he’s compared his father to Hitler, accused him of being a war criminal, etc. Fortunately, Huck was able to shut the Twitter account down, and make it so no one will notice. He also found out that Jerry just bought a Reston campaign t-shirt. When Fitz finds it, and confronts them, Jerry literally says, “You went through my stuff? What is this, North Korea?” and Karen runs off to tattle to Mellie that Fitz went into Jerry’s room without asking. (That’s when I realized that I hate these kids. Yes, your parents are awful and you are going through a lot, but seriously?) Of course, Karen runs right into Meldrew’s sex having and understandably freaks out. So much therapy needed after that, I’m sure. Olivia’s trying to find a way to fix it, but Mellie doesn’t want her help for obvious, pride-filled reasons. Harrison calls Liv back to the office because Adnan is there with word on Marie’s plans. She wants immunity in exchange for info on Marie’s scheme. Liv doesn’t want to help her, but Harrison insists because of his Dark Past. Mellie’s busy trying to talk to Karen, but she’s freaked and disgusted, and justifiably so, but I’m still shocked that Mellie allowed her to talk to her like that. She literally told her mother to “Shut up and stop lying and get out of my room.” My backside would still be sore. Fitz questions Jake (IN A SUIT!) about Dmitri’s whereabouts, but Jake isn’t budging just so Fitz can have something to brag about during his campaign stops. Jake’s just been busy reading people left and right these past few weeks. He tells Fitz that Command has all the real power. The president is just a figurehead to make the public feel better. Different Command, same disrespect. That’s when Cyrus walks in, and immediately tries to bludgeon Jake with a vase. Jake, of course, is able to put Cyrus in a hold until he calms down, but THEN CYRUS LUNGES AGAIN and the President of the United States steps in to hold him back. This is the craziest show on television. Jake leaves after apologizing for Cyrus’s loss, and Cyrus and Fitz have a heart-to-heart about James. Cyrus is starting to accept the fact that James poked the bear, and Jake was just doing his job. It’s all very sad and he seems hopeless, but…didn’t Cyrus tell Jake to look into Publius? Marie calls Olivia to get Adnan back. She promises Olivia that she’s not on the right side of this. But Olivia reminds Marie that she’s an actual terrorist. Of course, Marie spins it, telling Liv that she’d rather be a terrorist than a maid, fixing their messes. Adnan and Harrison argue about his Dark Past and how he left her when they could have started over, together. She suggests they try to make it work out since she’ll have immunity, but Harrison insists that this just means they are even. Of course, it leads to them having sex. Mellie’s busy drinking and wants Olivia to cancel the interview. While Liv’s discussing it with Fitz and the kids, Karen drops the bomb about Mellie and Andrew. Of course, Fitz is upset, but the fact that actually punches Andrew in the face was amazing. Olivia tells Andrew to start his campaign tour early, and Fitz is busy grilling Mellie about the affair. He’s hurt because she turned him away after Jerry was born, telling him that she wasn’t a “sexual person anymore.” Of course, it’s because Big Jerry raped her, but she can’t bring herself to tell Fitz that, even now. It’s painful to watch her take it in when he blames her for ruining their marriage. I really do hope she tells him about Big Jerry one day. Not out of revenge, but so she can heal and he can understand. At some point, Liv comes in to remind them about the interview and Fitz orders her to leave because he was talking to his wife. He instantly regrets it, but it snaps her out of it and reminds her that she has a job to do. After a pep talk from a now-wizened Cyrus, she reminds Fitz that this is her job. Their relationship has nothing to do with it. It’s not her place to fix his family. Fitz goes to forgive Mellie and they go to talk to the kids, hand-in-hand, salvaging the interview, in the process. Meanwhile, Charlie has broken into Quinn’s apartment to “protect” her and Adnan has drugged Harrison and left to deliver intel to Marie and Ivan, so there’s that. Quick Hits: All of the ‘"candal" babies made a cameo this week. “America’s Baby” in the family photo, and Cyrus and James’s adopted daughter is a full-blown toddler.Huck’s trying to get in touch with Jake by beating up B613 assets in alleys. Eventually, he gets what he wants and he and Quinn have a one-on-one that ends in a French kiss, after she licks his face and they discuss him ripping out her molars. What is life?Rowan actually has a job at the Smithsonian, which is amazing. Jake drops by to “confront” Rowan about interfering in B613 matters, but really, he just wants some comfort, which Rowan isn’t giving. I really just want a reunion of all the current and forming Commands, like that time Leslie Knope reunited all the Parks Dept. directors.Jake knows that Ivan, Marie and Adnan are working together, but decides to “let this play out.” Interesting.Turns out B613 is funded by everybody, everywhere, according to Rowan. How do you stop an org with that much reach? Next week: Things get ugly. Talk of Fitz’s legacy, Jake banging on Liv’s door, Fitz yelling at Liv.
Lauren McEwenFor The Baltimore Sun