Scandal recap: The Severed Ear

Olivia Pope takes on Hollis Doyle as a client; Cyrus does some digging into Fitz's past
Ep. 17 | Aired Mar 28, 2013

THE EYE ROLL Olivia does her best Liz Lemon impersonation -- she's clearly unhappy about what might be her least awesome outfit in all of Scandal history. Don't worry, Liv, sometimes all you have left in your closet are ill-fitting grey pants and a matronly, ladies-who-lunch jacquard blazer.

ABC

Osborne was a pawn!? This arc, this security breach, this mole, is bigger than we thought, and goes much deeper than just a power-hungry CIA Director. And Captain Ballard isn't what he seems, either. Scandal pulled the rug out and chopped an ear off and now we're left scrambling to put the pieces together again.

In Scandal, everyone is a snake in someone's garden. That's just the nature of DC politics, or at least how they're played in this world. If last week's episode was about betrayal, this week's dealt with the aftermath -- trust, and whether or not it's possible to get it back, whether it's between a father and a fallen daughter, lovers, or colleagues. In this episode we were treated to a scandal of the week that may have actually humanized Hollis Doyle, further developments in the burgeoning relationship between Huck and Quinn, the creepiest first kiss in the history of consensual first kisses, and Fitz's realization that perhaps he is just as morally complex as all those he's been punishing.

So, fellow Scandalites. Let's dig in.

We didn't talk much about the Mellie, Cyrus, and Fitz relationship last week because it seemed to be treading water. They've been going back and forth for quite some time now, trying to figure out the best way to get back into his circle. They tried teaming up, they tried stabbing the other in the back, they tried groveling, and nothing has stuck. While it's been fun to watch some of the west wing's most devious schemers try and fail so, so many times, it was getting a little tiresome. Thankfully, when Mellie discovered that Fitz's private meetings were not in fact with Olivia, but with Captain Jake Ballard, the stakes were raised sufficiently for Cyrus to get his head on straight and do something. So, he calls Charlie. They meet in a parking lot -- where ALL secret information exchanges should take place (ahem, Olivia and Jake) -- and Cyrus tells Charlie to put Ballard under the microscope. Charlie, hilariously, is sucking on a red lollipop, and asks if Ballard is sleeping with his husband. "In a manner, yes," Cyrus replies.

Last week it seemed like Mellie was being a little overdramatic by saying that Fitz was cheating on Cyrus. As far as she knew, it was true, but from an audience standpoint, Ballard is most useful to Fitz as a ghost. Fitz has enough people working for him in an official capacity, and Ballard can move behind the scenes and outside of the bureaucracy to get stuff done -- whether it's spying on an ex-mistress or figuring out how to bypass the CIA. Sure, this is the stuff that Cyrus loves, but Cyrus also wants the name and the power. So, I wasn't exactly ready to get defensive about his job. But, less than three minutes into this week's episode, Fitz told Ballard that he'd try to find a place in the administration for him. It turns out Mellie's suspicions were right.

NEXT: The return of Hollis Doyle...


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