I don’t even know where to begin! It’s amazing how you can guess certain plot points (and plan to *finally* try to write spec scripts based on them) and STILL be shocked when they actually occur on the show.
Mellie has long been the underdog of Scandal since the beginning. People fight over #TeamFitz vs #TeamJake for Olivia’s affections, but rarely is anyone on Mellie’s team. This season we’ve seen a different side to Mellie’s character (including the ever memorable Drunk!Mellie scene–we’ll all have to go back and watch that for hints!), but tonight’s episode takes the cake!
We flashback 15 years to before Fitz was in the political eye. His father is awful as usual and Fitz doesn’t want to run because of what he did as a marine/Operation Remington. “Big Jerry” continues to berate him and take the credit for everything he is (“That’s all you are is my son…not as smart…I made you…I can destroy you.” ), leaving Fitz unwilling to run for office, despite Mellie and a bearded (in more ways than one) Cryus’ pleas for him to do so. Mellie tries to talk to Big Jerry, but in his drunken state, he rapes her. It’s awful and Bellamy Young pulls off the horror of the act and walking back into her and Fitz’ bedroom just right. The choice of her full length clothing, turtleneck included, and no makeup is a classic but heartbreaking choice. But Mellie soldiers on, dedicated to the cause of getting Fitz elected. Weeks later, Mellie tells Fitz–who’s decided to run for office after Mellie gets Jerry to back him up–that’s she’s pregnant. Fitz knows his father’s going to make them name a boy after him. And the entire audience shudders.
I had a theory that Teddy wasn’t Fitz’ kid (which is still a valid theory, not yet proven), but as @DetroitDelta15 on Twitter thought–what if Fitz is infertile? None of those Grant children could be his. This certainly explains why they have been shipped off to boarding school all this time; Mellie must have a hard time looking at them.
Mellie’s portion of the episode was about sacrifice. She says to Fitz, that he doesn’t understand what she’s given up for him, given away. (Again, I need to rewatch the drunk!Mellie scene for clues in that speech.) What has Fitz given up? For Mellie? For Liv, even? He “threatens” to give it all up for Liv all the time, but he hasn’t. He’s still the president, they are not in Vermont making jam. He’s still married. He still calls Liv. He has it all. Liv gave up her relationship with Edison and is not fully committed to the one she kinda has with Jake right now, because she’s still hung up on Fitz. We see what Mellie gave up for him. When will Fitz have to sacrifice anything?
As if this wasn’t enough for one episode, Shonda Rhimes pulls another one on us in the other half of the episode. While Quinn tries to get down with Charlie from B6-13, the Pope and Associates gang look into Maya Lewis’ death. They determine that someone was brought off the aircraft before it took off; everyone goes looking. They track down someone who might’ve seen the passenger who was taken away, but Quinn kills him because she was distracted by Charlie’s lips. He told her she was drugging the guard, but the poison kills him instead. Quinn has been initiated into B6-13. Clearly by her reaction after the man dies, she isn’t ready, but we’ll see what Rowan’s plan for her is.
Speaking of Papa Pope, he goes to a prison looking for the passenger who got let off the plane. Shoddy prison blanket unrolls and it’s none other than Maya Lewis! Who has been alive this WHOLE TIME! Many fans knew it, but why is she in jail? Why is she under the name Omar Dresden? Why didn’t she seem too surprised to see Eli?
Going back to the theme of sacrifice, I’m sure it will be explored more next week, but it is clear Maya Lewis-Pope sacrificed something. Eli did too, if he loves her. If he doesn’t, he still gave up Olivia, who he clearly loves. They both sacrificed their happy family–for what? Hopefully we’ll find out next week.
“How am I? I’m surrounded by murderers. That’s how I am.”
“I’m standing in a graveyard made by people I thought I loved.”
“I love you.” “So what?”
“The pieces of myself I have given away.”
“Our daughter has been asking about you.”
We’ll have plenty of time to discuss Mama Pope’s survival next week. This week I want to know: Are you #TeamMellie? What convinced you? Was it her revealing past in this episode? Or are you yet convinced she deserves our sympathy?
sidenote: I really did think about writing a Scandal spec today and was legit thinking of 1. Quinn trying to kill someone and either doing it and freaking out or killing the wrong person. Either way, she is and will always be in over her head. It also featured Liv discovering Fitz wasn’t Teddy’s dad and Mellie needing Liv to “fix” it for her. That’s as far as I got. Crazy how it just got shot down basically. #sigh #tvspecwriterproblems