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

As for Albatross, last week we saw that Osborne had identified Quinn. But instead of going after her, he goes straight to her boss to find out who hired her. Smart fellow. The confrontation scene was a masterpiece. Huck warns Olivia via text that Osborne's on his way to see her, he bursts into Liv's apartment, and Jake's security cameras go blank. But Liv has her game face on (and some awesome silk pajama pants and a cable knit sweater) and threatens him right back, reminding him that her clients have higher pay grades (and security clearances) than he does, and basically that he should think twice before challenging her. Was anyone disappointed that it took Huck so long to get up there to check on her? And what was up with the Ballard security camera blackout?

But before the cameras went black, Jake spotted Olivia dropping Wendy's thumb drive into a bronze vase. Like the good, creepy, intelligence officer that he is, he goes to find out what it is. And while all this is going on, he continues to court her! Is he somehow simultaneously the charming romantic hero who's going to lift Olivia out of her funk, AND an evil, conniving snake? When she tries to cancel on their date (because of an ill-timed phone call with Cyrus and a Fitz mention), he shows up at her place anyway and gives her one of those grand romantic speeches that only exist in our dreams. He tells her how he likes her white clothes, and how she answers the phone with a "what?" He tells her he likes that she considers wine to be a major food group and that she is always fixing things. It's a good speech. But THEN, he kisses her and...it was bad! The camera stayed static. The clothes didn't immediately start coming off. If past Scandal kisses have taught us anything, this was not a good one.

Anyway, after Jake breaks into Oliva's apartment to get the thumb drive and to fix his surveillance equipment,  he turns the files over to Fitz and lets him know in no uncertain terms that the files must have belonged to Osborne who must have been the mole. At the end of the episode, Osborne is found dead in his car in Rock Creek Park of a presumed-to-be-self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

But then we cut to Ballard on a park bench looking out in the distance at the Washington Monument with someone we haven't met yet and they're making small talk about the weather. But no one hangs out in mid-town DC on a park bench at that hour to talk pleasantries about the weather. They're talking about Osborne. Mystery man says "I have to say, it was staged perfectly." Ballard agrees, adding that it's perfect that everyone thinks that Osborne is the mole, "or was." The original albatross conspiracy has actually come true. Albatross is always just a pawn -- it's whoever they need it to be. In reality, conspiracies take an army. But the public likes a fall guy.

NEXT: Have a seat, Cy...

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