Saturday, March 19, 2016

Scandal 5x14 Review “I See You” (Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

"I See You"
Original Airdate: March 17, 2016

Olivia is spying on Jake, Huck is spying on his son, Abby is spying on Cyrus, and no one’s getting much accomplished except Hollis Doyle in the latest episode of Scandal.


Olivia has become borderline obsessed with Jake and his motives as of late. He’s living in Papa Pope’s house, killed a woman so he could become director of the CIA, and has just proposed to Vanessa Moss, a woman he’s been dating for just a few short months. She’s beautiful, intelligent, well-connected, and just another mark, if Olivia’s suspicions are correct.

Olivia distracts her father, Jake, and Vanessa with a lovely dinner, so Charlie and Quinn can install surveillance equipment in Jake’s apartment, allowing Olivia to take her stalking — I mean, sleuthing — to the next level.

It doesn’t take Jake long to figure out where the hidden cameras are. I don’t know what Olivia was expecting. He is a super spy, after all. They have it out: he accuses her of being jealous and says some truly terrible things, and for half a second she thinks maybe he’s telling the truth. Maybe he is really in love with Vanessa. Olivia really needs to go back to the days where she trusted her gut, when she’d proclaim that her gut is always right, because it was right back then and it still is. By the episode’s end, she’s back to believing Jake is up to no good, and vows to take her spying to an even higher level. I don’t think this will end well for her. Again, Jake is the expert when it comes to the spy game, and Olivia is in over her head.


Cyrus’ faithful but naïve assistant lets it slip to Abby that Cyrus is running Vargas’ presidential campaign, putting Abby on the hunt to find answers. After all, Cyrus is the current president’s Chief of Staff, in a Republican White House, and Vargas was a previously unknown democratic governor.

Abby has learned a thing or two in her time at the White House, and she confronts Cyrus with all the evidence: cell phone records, photos of secret meetings, etc. Cyrus tries lying to Abby but she’s a smart cookie and calls him on it.

Cyrus begs Abby not to tell Fitz that he’s stepping out on him and, miraculously, Abby agrees. But Abby has her eye on Cyrus’ job. She wants the Chief of Staff position and she sees exactly how she can leverage this information to her advantage. The problem is, Abby’s a good person so the idea of throwing Cyrus under the bus, despite the fact that he deserves it ten times over, makes her feel guilty.

Despite the guilt, Abby decides to put her career goals first and foremost, and tells Fitz exactly what Cyrus has been up to, laying the game plan for exactly how he can manage this fiasco, and making her bid for Chief of Staff in the process. Fitz agrees and Abby is crowned the new Chief of Staff. I would think that at this point, no one should even blink at the idea of another new Chief of Staff. That position has been a revolving door in Fitz’s administration.


Ever since Huck’s ex, Kim, moved herself and their son, Javi, far, far away from Huck, he’s taken it upon himself to spy on them (naturally). He tunes in to every one of Javi’s soccer games, hacking into various cameras around the field to do so. Marcus caught Huck at this a few episodes ago, and being the sweet innocent he is, has no idea of the full story behind Huck or why Huck’s family is no longer in the picture. Marcus doesn’t seem all that concerned at all by Huck’s spying, and we see this episode he’s been tuning in with Huck to catch the soccer games. Which isn’t weird. At all.

When Huck spies a new man in Kim and Javi’s life, you know he’s gonna have to get a better look at this guy. Huck’s convinced the man is a fellow spy nicknamed Six Toes, and thinks he remembers torturing him back in the day. So naturally, he stages an elaborate kidnapping scheme.

Unfortunately, this guy is actually just a random normal guy named Shawn. Oh, poor unsuspecting Shawn. Fortunately, Huck doesn’t kill him — which is a shock to pretty much everyone — and he delivers Shawn safe and sound back to his car, with hopefully no memory of the events of the last few hours.

Olivia and Huck end up having a heart-to-heart, which is long overdue. Olivia’s the only one Huck’s ever really been able to talk to about Kim and Javi. And with Olivia wrapped up in her own issues this season, she really hasn’t been there for Huck like he needs her to. But she came to his rescue this time, and listened as he realized he has to let Kim and Javi go. That’s a start.


Hollis Doyle, the disreputable good ‘ol boy who unfortunately hasn’t been killed off yet in five seasons, spends the better part of the episode offering up his money to Susan and Mellie. ... Or at least, whichever one agrees to his terms first. Neither Mellie nor Susan take the bait, so in true fashion, Hollis decides to run for President, too, stealing Mellie’s planned campaign slogan in the process. I think throwing Hollis into the mix is pretty fantastic. Shonda Rhimes is obviously setting him up as a Donald Trump-esque candidate, and I’m sure she’ll have fun with this storyline, as will the viewers.

Overall, Scandal has been feeling very hit or miss lately. I didn’t like Olivia and Fitz together in the White House at the beginning of the season. I wanted her with Jake. But now Jake’s turned all twisty and evil and Olivia’s turned desperate and weak in his midst. Quinn has taken over running OPA so Olivia can sit in her darkened apartment obsessing over Jake. Everything feels off-kilter.

This episode did bring what I’m hoping will be a turning point to getting OPA back to its former greatness. Quinn and Olivia had it out, with Quinn reminding her how OPA used to mean family, how they used to be there for each other. And Olivia, it’s clear, is still not recovered from being kidnapped last season, or from giving up running the country at Fitz’s side earlier this season. She went through a horribly traumatic event, and then was thrust into the national spotlight, and given the keys to the kingdom, and she is not coping well at all with being back to normalcy. Which is totally understandable.

I’m glad she was able to admit this all to Quinn, and they were able to get all their feelings out there in the open. Hopefully now everyone at OPA can band together with Olivia at the helm and return to being a force to be reckoned with.

Gladiator Gems:
  • “That’s gotta turn your world upside down. To go from the smartest person in the room, to the biggest fool.”
  • “It’s Cyrus. When he’s breathing, he’s lying.”
  • For a former spy, Huck’s really fallen down on his disguise abilities. Donning a pair of glasses and calling yourself “Harold” does not a new identity make.
  • “I thought he was Six Toes. But he’s just Shawn.”
  • Was the usual hair stylist sick this episode? Everyone’s hair looked lackluster and badly styled, except Abby. Abby’s hair is always #flawless. 


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