‘Scandal’ Review/Recap: “I’m Just a Bill”

By Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor

Kerry Washington and Scott Foley in the Scandal episode "I'm Just A Bill." Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/ABC
Kerry Washington and Scott Foley in the Scandal episode “I’m Just A Bill.” Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/ABC

Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and her father, Rowan Pope (Joe Morton) go head to head in the latest Scandal episode entitled “I’m Just a Bill.” This episode of Scandal set up the final three episodes of season four in a major, major way!

This week Papa Pope returns and gives Olivia an ultimatum dealing with the B-613 trial. Her hatred for her father is put to the test when it begins to endanger Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) reputation and presidency. Joe Morton continues to astound in this role. His presence was definitely missed in these last several episodes. Morton’s ability to create a character that sends chills down fans spines with a single world is astounding. This is a testament to Morton and the superb writing skills by the Shondaland team. Papa Pope gives Olivia 48 hours to decide whose side she is on.

David Rosen (Joshua Malina) continues to go full steam ahead with the B-613 trial. With Quinn (Katie Lowes), Huck (Guillermo Diaz) and Jake (Scott Foley) fully invested in taking B-613 down, things start to come together. In one of the big revelations of the night, David is interviewing Jake with Olivia in the room. David does what he does best and squeezes informations out of Jake. It’s finally revealed to David that Operation Remington, a B-613 operation to take down a commercial airliner thus killing 329 innocent people, was accomplished by the pilot, President Fitz. Fans can tell from this simple exchange that Olivia doesn’t mind taking down Fitz in order to put her father away. By episode’s end, Papa Pope visits Olivia and is truly proud of his daughter. She may not have chosen him but at least now she will make a worthy opponent. Morton and Washington have created two of the greatest characters on television and their ability to keep surprising fans is astounding. Morton brings a whole new life to Scandal and here’s hoping he sticks around to cause trouble forever.

Tony Goldwyn and Darby Stanchfield in the Scandal episode "I'm Just A Bill." Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/ABC
Tony Goldwyn and Darby Stanchfield in the Scandal episode “I’m Just A Bill.” Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/ABC

B-613 can’t take up all of Pope & Associates time though. Olivia, Huck and Quinn still need to deal with the insanity that happens around D.C on a daily basis. This time they have to clean up the mess of Mayoral candidate Marcus Walker (Cornelius Smith Jr.), who is found with the current Mayor’s dead wife. What ensues is a classic Pope & Associates clean up where they are trying to figure out who killed the mayors wife. It would be nice to have Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) from How to Get Away with Murder on the scene for this one! Washington delivers some classic Olivia Pope moments during this case. She brings out her white hat once again and gets the police off of Marcus in an amazing and powerful exchange. Olivia Pope is back and better than ever. Of course, it’s later revealed that the Mayor himself had his own wife killed, no surprise there. Just when fans think Scandal has lost it’s touch, it sucks them back in with amazing monologues for Washington to slay every time.

Meanwhile, with David and Jake heavily invested in taking down B-613 and Olivia dealing with Marcus Walker, the Grant Administration is getting ready to pass an instrumental bill. The Brandon Bill focuses on the events that happened in the episode “The Lawn Chair.” That emotional episode focused on the innocent shooting of Brandon Parker, a young black teenager, by a Washington D.C, white police officer. The episode was one of Scandal’s most challenging and moving episodes to date and having it continuously be part of this universe is amazing. With the Senate voting on the bill at any moment, the final vote is left up to VP Susan Ross (Artemis Pebdani).

With Susan not being a trained lawyer, although it’s hard to believe she got this far in the political system without picking up a law textbook at least once, she is having trouble with the 1200 page bill. In comes Mellie (Bellamy Young) to save the day and dole out some hard, but loving advice. She tells Susan, “We are running out of time the country needs this bill now. The President needs this bill now.” With Susan still unable to make up her mind, Mellie and Fitz need something to distract the Senate. In a big reveal, Mellie officially announces that she is running for Senator of Virginia. Mellie has become a major fan-favorite character and she has been through a lot. Between constantly dealing with a cheating husband, losing her only son and being raped by Fitz’s father, she doesn’t seem to catch a break. It’s about time she got a main storyline, that is sure to be interesting, fun and stressful . Young continues to astound as Mellie and this Senate storyline will continue to show off her growth as an actor.

Kerry Washington and Scott Foley in the Scandal episode "I'm Just A Bill." Photo Credit: ABC
Kerry Washington and Scott Foley in the Scandal episode “I’m Just A Bill.” Photo Credit: ABC

Scandal wouldn’t be Scandal without some sort of heart-stopping, jaw-dropping, out of this world twist. In the last scene of the episode Jake shows up at Pope & Associates and with Papa Pope reciting a voice over about how Olivia will lose everyone she holds dear, fans began to prepare for the worst. Out of nowhere, someone jumps Jake and they begin to fight. With Jake clearly losing this battle, the man takes off his mask to reveal that it’s Russell (Brian White), Olivia’s current boy-toy. With several swift motions, Jake is stabbed several times by Russell, who is working for Papa Pope. Everyone’s favorite B-613 agent is left lying in a pool of his own blood, bleeding out! Could this really be the end of Jake? If next weeks promos are any indication, Jake Ballard appears to be dead. Scandal continues to deliver killer twists and turns and this death might be the most shocking.

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC

Overall Grade: B+


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