Scandal (S05E16): “The Miseducation of Susan Ross”

Review: Are you ready for the big debate? Hollis Doyle, Mellie Grand and Susan Ross are. Or perhaps they are as ready as they could be. We see Mellie and Hollis debating each other. Susan Ross is mostly just standing there barely saying anything except for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to certain statements. It looks like she’s stroking out. Elizabeth blames David of course. And during the break the President gives Susan a call for some moral support. He’s convinced she can still win this. All she need is one good one. I don’t know about that. For a moment there it seems like Mellie Grand takes it away by stating “we are not our husband’s keepers”. Sally Langston shifts the attention to Susan. And yes… all she needed was one good one.  Susan agrees with Mellie, that we are not our husband’s keepers, but that we maybe should be? She gives a great speech about how her husband took a bullet in Afghanistan, while he was protecting the build of an oil pipe line (for a company in name of Hollis Doyle). If she had been her husband’s keeper and spoke up, he may have not been there. She’s given a standing ovation. Susan wins the debate.

For Mellie this is a big surprise and so she is having a mental breakdown as she realizes the American people just don’t like her. Olivia has a plan though (she always has) and assures Mellie that she will give her the oval. Whatever it takes. Hm. That sounds a bit Rowan-like. We then see Olivia storming out of the office with the yellow envelope she took from Vargas’ brother last week when they exchanged dirty intel about their candidates, meaning she has already got something on Susan. The whole speech about Susan’s dead husband? A lie, because Susan was never married to her supposed to be husband and instead had an affair with a man who’s in jail  for nearly ten years and who’s the actual father of her child. Pope and associates are going to find out how, when and why. Mellie is send off to Los Angeles to go on Jimmy Kimmel to read “hate tweets”. Yes, hate tweets.  And Marcus is fortunate enough to escort her there. He doesn’t really look forward to it and can’t keep his opinion on Mellie to himself for too long. He snaps at her and tells her the truth about what people think of her and that she needs to become more relaxed. Hearing the truth is not easy for Mellie, but somehow she manages to loosen up a little and read mean tweets about herself, while smiling, although it’s still hard to tell if she is really enjoying it.

In the meantime we see that team Vargas has leaked the intel Olivia gave them on Edison Davis last week to the press. Edison immediately accuses Olivia, since she was the only one who knew he went to a rehab facility for his addiction to painkillers. Not the smartest move when you are standing in front of Jake and papa Pope. Papa pope doesn’t handle critique on his daughter very well, so he’s giving Edison a speech to make it perfectly clear who the boss is. It’s not Edison. And Jake? Well, Jake was just sitting at the table, eating a chicken sandwich (like a boss). Luckily for Edison, Cyrus intervened. Cyrus got to the key witness first and made her turn her story and hereby making Olivia’s intel useless.  Now Alex Vargas blames Olivia for giving out false information and Cyrus wins, because he is finally getting on the good side of Frankie Vargas, since he was the one to warn Frankie not to go public with it until the story was confirmed.

Olivia on the other hand is getting a bit out of control, because she is going after this former flame of Susan Ross to prove she is a liar. Huck and Quinn are worried of Olivia crossing a line. Huck isn’t agreeing with Olivia’s approach and doesn’t want to tear a family apart just because there is an election going on. And if Huck isn’t agreeing with something it must really be serious. Quinn goes to Abby for help. They set up an intervention where Fitz is supposed to get Olivia to keep it real and play fair. Olivia isn’t really in the mood for taking any of his advice. She is following through with her plan. And so she pressures Susan’s ex into a paternity test to confirm he is the father of Susan’s child and wants him to give a public statement. In return she will get him out of jail “free”. As a result the man hangs himself in his cell. So, I guess it’s safe to say Olivia did cross the line and has blood on her hands. It does make her decide that playing fair and square should be her top priority from now on. I really hope she is putting the white hat back on and keeps it on. And Susan and Olivia may play fair. I don’t think we can say the same for Hollis Doyle. But we will have to see about that.