By Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor
Scandal continued its wild season four ride with the penultimate episode entitled “A Few Good Women.” The episode picked up right after Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Pope & Associates successfully saved Jake (Scott Foley), and Mellie’s (Bellamy Young) campaign is in full-swing.
This episode started with Olivia and Jake playing house and Olivia nursing him back to health. Foley and Washington have amazing chemistry and with a season that has been pushing them together, fans have started to see their undeniable chemistry. This episode of Scandal featured a major moment in the estranged couples journey. With a season that started with Jake and Olivia sitting on a beach, enjoying life, and completely in love, they seemed to become the main couple of Scandal. They had several key moments this episode and one of them involved Russell (Brian White), who was being tortured across the hall by Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Huck (Guillermo Diaz). Jake reveals to Olivia he knows what she’s doing because he was Russell at one point. They were both trained specifically by Command/Papa Pope (Joe Morton) for the sole purpose to get close to Olivia. In a heartfelt moment, Jake says “We both came off the same assembly line but, the only difference is that I’m in love with you.” Foley and Washington have incredible chemistry and this small scene further proves that Foley is the heart and soul of Scandal.
Even though Pope & Associates was dealing with torturing Russell and figuring out what Foxtail is, Olivia and Quinn work with Vice President Susan Ross (Artemis Pebdani) to uncover a rape case within the United States Navy. A sensitive subject, Susan enlists Olivia Pope to help uncover the culprit and raise awareness for female rape cases within the Armed Forces. This is one of several touchy, socially relevant topics Scandal has tackled this season and they continue to do it with grace. Not only are they dealing with reprimanding the commanding officer but, The Grant Administration has to take a controversial stand. Mellie and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) share one of the best exchanges involving this. Fitz says, “I can’t intervene it would send the wrong message.” Mellie replies with the best response, “It would tell the world we don’t condone rape.” And with that swift blow, Mellie leaves Fitz hanging in the silence of his decision. Young and Goldwyn continue to be the shining moments of Scandal this week and all of their scenes together create some of the most memorable moments.
Olivia helps Amy Martin (Emily Rios), the rape victim, by getting her a hearing and trying to fight the opposing forces to let this case come to light. Washington is the greatest portion of this storyline. She has the amazing ability to create emotional, uplifting moments with just a simple word or line. One of her most memorable moments with this storyline comes when she goes on the ship to see Amy. In a heartbreaking scene, Amy asks Olivia to sneak her off the ship in order to get an abortion. This adds yet another layer to the emotional and sensitive subject. Shondaland doesn’t stop with one socially relevant topic, they must include another. Washington is the reason a lot of these topics can be tackled because of her amazing decorum and ability to tug on the heartstrings of millions of fans.
Scandal continues to do an amazing job at weaving moments of heart-pounding drama with moments of comedy. With Russell being tortured by Huck and Quinn fans anxiously awaited for the brutal torturing to be broken up with a lighthearted moment. It took a while but eventually Jake goes to confront Russell. In a scene that is set up like a major confrontation, the duo end up sharing a beer and sharing some laughs about Command and B-613. This was an awesome scene that broke up the episode’s heavy-hearted storylines. Russell and Jake chat about going through the B-613 system and being Command’s right hand man. The best part was having Russell and Jake discuss Olivia Pope. Russell tells Jake, “She never had a chance did she?” With a father like Papa Pope, Olivia has had to go through a lot. Russell ends this amazing, friendship-like scene by saying “You’ll look out for her. Keep her safe.” This scene was a classic way to breakup the drama in this penultimate episode and gave a softer side to both Jake and Russell’s characters.
On the other front, Scandal continued the amazing, empowering storyline of Mellie running for Senator of Virginia. This storyline has caused Young to come to the forefront of Scandal this year and no fan in sight is complaining. She went from the annoying first lady to a strong, empowering woman. Part of this is thanks to Shonda Rhimes and the incredible creative team but a large portion is due to Young and her ability to create a role-model for women everywhere. This week Elizabeth (Portia de Rossi) tells Mellie that she is losing the election by a minuscule amount however, if she goes to Springfield and campaigns she can win the women’s vote. Springfield was featured on Scandal last season when Jerry, Fitz and Mellie’s son, was brutally murdered by B-613. This causes some old wounds to open up for Mellie and creates a truly heartfelt moment between her and Fitz when she can’t decide what her speech should be about. Goldwyn and Young continue to have unmatchable, friendship on this show.
By episode’s end Russell has been sprung free by a B-613 agent, who also was Olivia’s lawyer for the rape trial, Mellie makes an empowering speech about rape in the Armed Forces and fans figure out what Foxtail is. It turns out that Papa Pope is Mellie’s number one backer for her campaign for Senator. Crazy stuff. If Kerry Washington’s interview on Jimmy Fallon is any indication, the Scandal finale next week will be an insane ride and fans should buckle up.
Scandal’s season four finale airs next Thursday at 9/8c on ABC
Overall Grade: A-