Scandal Season 5 Episode 10 recap

You know, when we left Scandal, there was a feeling that nothing could ever be the same. And, true to the show’s promise, nothing is. In fact they want to show you just how topsy-turvy everything is. Abby’s out of the loop, but is also the President’s right-hand-woman! Olivia can’t get Fitz on the phone, and she’s a step behind her clients instead of ahead. Quinn and Huck…well, they’re the same except maybe Huck is being mean to be nice, instead of …no, that’s still the same.

In fact, a lot of things are going to be still the same on this show, because that’s what makes it tick. Like Rowan is still going to chew the scenery, and Jake is still going to be inscrutable, and Mellie’s still going to be amazingly earnest and make us cheer every day that she left that dirtbag of a presidential husband.

But wait, let’s go back to Jake for a second. So he’s f*cking Olivia and keeping secrets from her and giving the president and Rowan the eye that says ‘you don’t know who you’re dealing with’, and I applaud this because you gotta have a new bad guy every time, but…do we buy this? Does Jake seem to you like the type? Like sure, on the one hand we got to hear from the president what a badass he was, but then again, he almost died with his spleen in a bowl last season, remember?

I think the thing is, he’s not that different after what we’ve seen him go through. For that matter, neither are Liv or Fitz or Abby. I found myself getting frustrated with the Abby storyline because, okay, you don’t want to be the president’s work wife, but…she’s just the same old person. None of these people are changing after all these endless scandals.

None except for the people of the week – see ya, head of the NSA – and the glorious Mellie Grant. Mellie grows and changes, and she’s so naked about her ambition that you know she can make stuff happen, because she’s completely guileless. She is ready and willing to be formed, not least because she wants so badly.

The other thing is, the truest moments on this show are between Mellie and Olivia, every time. Whatever makes them opposites, whatever puts them on two different sides of the coin, the thing that makes them revile and respect each other that’s way more than just Fitzgerald Grant is also the thing that makes them understand each other and propel each other further.

It’s great to see the prospect of Olivia on the outs for real, and the idea that Mellie’s ascendency is imminent is great. I’m hoping for more to stretch us across the rest of the season, though, because watching Abby phone Cyrus at home to have him end on lines like “I’m not interested anymore” are not going to sustain us.

Oh, and another legitimate love interest for Olivia any time now, please.

Attached - Kerry Washington at the NAACP Image Awards last week.