Scandal Season 5 Episode 12 recap

No, really. Stop sleeping with him then.

One of the things that’s great about this show is that they’re very straightforward about sex-is-power, and this episode had that well-underlined. Everyone is sleeping with someone else for power, to get them where they need to go. If you’re not, well, then, you’re an idiot—Lillian and Quinn fall into this category, because they’re sleeping with people for, if not love, then for no other reason.

But what the hell is Olivia doing? Sex is great, but she’s acting like she can’t tear herself away from Jake’s dick. Like it’s that good. Like she couldn’t get fifty other guys down the street. The truth is, of course, she doesn’t want fifty other guys, because there’s no connection there. I’m not accusing Olivia of being a Cosmo girl, and wanting ‘feelings’ involved, but there’s something to be said for the truth here—she likes to f*ck men who are in her life otherwise. In fact, she’s turned on by the workday, and the men who are in it.

It also helps her feel in control of the powerful men she’s with. If she sees them during sex, if her face makes them, presumably, vulnerable, then she has some control. This theory, which I don’t mind, actually, comes to a screeching halt when you confront the fact that she can’t sleep with her father. I wouldn’t put it past this show, on one level, but it’s not who she is or what she wants. Olivia’s fatal flaw is that she still believes him to be a daddy, a good guy. Remember when she used to talk about White Hats? She got that from somewhere…she really still believes in redemption, and given that she can’t sleep with her father to feel some level of authenticity or control, she sleeps with the people closest to him.

Which…why is Jake living in his house?

Why is Tom hiding in Cyrus Beene’s bathroom? If I knew that Cyrus and Tom were sleeping together before (which is certainly what we’re meant to believe here), I didn’t retain it. But as I watched Cyrus’ plot play out—getting  Vargas the ‘hero moment’ in the most horrifying way possible is the most back-to-form Cyrus has been in about a year—I realized that’s why he’s so obsessed with the bad stuff. The dirt. Unlike Liv, Cyrus can’t control people through sex or just his general beauty or captivatingness (and you know the show has made her out to be Helen of Troy, and she kind of is. How about her face in that flashback from the beginning of Season 3? Flawless.), he controls them with dirt. Finds the place they’re insecure and makes them need him. Which makes me wonder how his erstwhile husband is doing lately….

And also makes me think about Susan Ross, and how I’m not sure why this story is happening through David Rosen’s eyes. Sure, he’s caught between two women, I guess, but…so what?! Nothing happens. He passively bangs them both, and he’s Elizabeth’s puppet, and…  and? I’m not saying it’s without its amusements. David Rosen is concerned about his insufficient refractory period, and I am happy to mention that phrase for the first time since Lainey wrote about Katy Perry learning from Russell Brand. But where are we going here? Sure, Susan will find out and be upset, and so then I guess we’ll have a woman scorned, but…over David Rosen? He hasn’t done anything illegal beyond bang in his office since, like, October?

Strange bedfellows and all that, like I said last week. But I understand how Olivia’s libido, or bids for power, or ‘sipping from the chalice’ can get in her way and change who she is. Did you see her wear a wrap with colours on it this week? Twice? But isn’t this someone who should be a little more in tune to her own failings? Or is Olivia back to believing that she’s infallible?

Attached - Shonda Rhimes at the Essence Black Women In Hollywood event last night.