Scandal recap: SCOTUS Erectus

President Grant makes an attempt to rescue the Kashfari hostages; Olivia takes the side of a Supreme Court nominee's mistress
Ep. 16 | Aired Mar 21, 2013

ONE BIG UNHAPPY FAMILY Fitz continues shutting out Mellie after her disastrous conference call with the families of the hostages. Can babies sense marital strife? Poor adorable baby Teddy. 

Randy Holmes/ABC

Sarah's brilliant lawyer advices her to call Olivia, who arrives promptly, staging her entrance to the house at the top of the hour, when the cameras start rolling and the reporters start talking, so that no one will notice her, Harrison, and Abby when they beeline to the Stanner residence.

The poor Stanner family is put through the ringer. It takes a couple of rounds to get the full story, which doesn't help matters. At first it's an ancient affair. Then it's discovered that it's more recent. And finally, the paternity of their eldest child is called into question. All the predictable phases are here. First the husband stands by his wife, then he can't take it anymore, and finally he comes to the conclusion that he will stick up for his family regardless of the truth. The kids don't have it easy either - especially the pre-teen who answered the door and who understands enough to be upset when she sees reports on the news about how her mother is a harlot and a skank.

After receiving a heartbreakingly emotional call from Fitz, Olivia uses the situation to make another revelation about herself. When she tells Sarah "betrayal always has a price," and "you did what you thought was best at the time," she's really talking about herself, and Defiance.

Though this was all great, the most interesting part to me, was Sarah's company's attempt to fire her under the "Morality Clause" and how Harrison and Abby use the hypocrisy of Washington to make the all-male board back off. Essentially, in Scandal's world (and let's face it probably pretty often in real life too) Washington is all scandals all the time -- affairs, closed-door deals -- you name it, it's probably happening. And even though affairs seem to be a dime a dozen, when they go public, they're treated as the most shocking and egregious of moral failures. And for the most part, it's all a bunch of BS posturing. So when this board of directors decides to invoke their company's "Morality Clause," Abby and Harrison hedge their bets that someone on that board has a secret that would violate the clause too. And all they have to do is threaten the group that they're going to expose dirt on all of them. Of course, Abby and Harrison didn't have any dirt. They just understand that humans aren't perfect -- even when beholden to a Morality Clause -- and that someone would break.

Now, the Albatross situation is getting tricky. Huck found his way into Wendy's flash drive to discover that "Albatross," (aka CIA Director Osbourne) leaked the names to the terrorists. Olivia, who continues her cute/creepy flirtation with Captain Jake Ballard, decides to give up the files thinking that it may help the intelligence department to get to the bottom of the Kashfari hostage situation. She tells Jake that he can't bring it to the CIA, and that she can't bring it to the White House.

After he figures out that the information is pretty explosive, he meets her outside of the Emmett house to try to find out where she got it and whether or not it's legit intelligence. Annnnd a paparazzo sneaks through a gate and snaps a photo of them. We know why this would be a big deal for Jake - the President could find out that they're in contact with one another. But what doesn't seem to make much sense is how cavalier Olivia is about the whole thing. "Oh it happens all the time," she says to a senior intelligence officer about the guy who just snapped a photo of them discussing the files that he is holding in his hand in a suspicious, blank manilla envelope. And whhhhhy would Jake bring the files to meet with Olivia? Why wouldn't they meet in some shady parking lot or alley like most people do when they're discussing illegally-obtained military intelligence. This isn't his first rodeo!

NEXT: A beating and a rescue...

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