Scandal: Sex, Lies and Duct Tape (and a Moment With Olivia Pope)

This season it's been really hard to pull out an Olivia Pope Moment of the Week. And this week it's even harder to justify an Olivia Pope Moment of the Week because Sally Langston and James Novak stole the show.


The speech campaign consultant Leo Bergen delivered to VP Sally Langston — who wants to run against Fitz and be the first female president — was so incredibly on-point. "You will become pro-choice or you won't win," he explained. "You cannot win women, and so you will lose, lose lose. Unless you drop your allegiance to Jesus and pledge it to politics." Hey, it's just like real life! GOP, are you listening? Of course, Sally wants to be in charge so badly it only takes her a few seconds to come up with a pro-choice soundbite. The woman is a pro.

Unfortunately, Sally got… emotional when she saw the pictures of her husband in a lively homosexual sex romp. Will voters accept a woman who literally stabs a man in the back? Probably not. Will Sally become Olivia Pope's next client?

Even better: The epic showcase showdown between Cyrus and James. This scene was some truly delectable next-level Telenovela shit. Have you ever seen a scripted televised gay marriage implode so spectacularly? Is there an Emmy Award category for this kind of monumentally entertaining teardown in which someone gets READ TO FILTH? Get ready, the library is open.

Important moments:

  • "You had sex with him you had sex with him"
  • "Rentboy"
  • "I can't figure out why you just wouldn't hire a hooker" (He did! She was the wrong kind.)
  • "You used me like a cheap whore!"
  • "You're the devil. The devil is in front of me right now!"
  • "You are a gay man going out of his way to shame another gay man for being in the closet!"

Is it wrong that I never wanted it to end?

Oh yeah: Huck duct-taped Quinn and tortured her, but she quickly recovered and got laid. We're supposed to believe Mama Pope is actually a baddie, making Papa Pope look like the hero. And some other stuff happened with Jake, I couldn't concentrate on the words coming out of his mouth because he looks so good in uniform.

Finally, here is your Olivia Pope moment of the week. I know this season is all about her Buffy the Vampire Slayer-style exhaustion; who do the strong turn to when they need to be weak, etc, BUT. Questions for Olivia: WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

(By the by, Deadline is reporting that since Kerry Washington is pregnant, this season, which is supposed to have 22 episodes, will only have 18. Savor every drop!)


Flame Princess, Garbage-Monger

I didn't say this last night, primarily because I was watching the show and not reacting on a second screen, but all of you who were cheering because Quinn got her teeth pulled out?

There's a certain amount of "Yeah, put that overreaching stupid girl in her place!" behind that sentiment, and it's gross.

I kind of love what Quinn is supposed to represent, in theory. On TV, the heroes we always love are the people who make the smart decisions, the masterminds who make the decisions we, as smart TV viewers, would like to think we'd make. Quinn represents the decision you'd actually make if you had decisions taken away from you, and were panicked, freaked out, smeared on the national stage, and trying to get some of your agency back without much chance to do so. Let's not forget in seasons 1 and 2:

  • Quinn's longtime boyfriend was killed in a bombing plot
  • She got fingered as a suspect
  • She got kidnapped and hauled cross-country and woke up with a new identity, thanks to Huck's actions in service of the Defiance conspiracy
  • She finally lets her new-identity guard down enough to sleep with a new guy
  • He gets stabbed in the neck with a pair of scissors not 2 hours after she slept with him, while she's out on a morning coffee run for the both of them
  • She gets hauled up on the Cytron bombing charges, and given the ensuing media circus (which, isn't managing that sort of stuff supposed to be Liv's entire deal? Why is anyone still hiring Pope and Associates, if they couldn't even protect one of their own in the media?), literally everyone, even her dad, thinks she did it.
  • She actually gets pretty darn good at doing the things Huck does, because that's what the plot needs her to do while Huck's doing a visiting professorship at the Department of Backstory,
  • Until she gets too good at them and becomes an overreaching harridan who needs to be put in her place.

It wasn't a coincidence that the moaning noises Quinn was making while she was trying to escape from being stripped down and taped up were exactly the same sounds she was making while letting Charlie have sex with her. (It obviously wasn't for her pleasure, but it was in exchange for intel she wanted.) It wasn't by accident that Quinn's humiliation included depriving her of her clothes, which I didn't think was part of the B613 torture package before this point. That's sexualized violence against women, and it's something I can't cheer for, even when it's visited on a character who makes annoying decisions.