Things to Do

WashingTelevision: Scandal Recap, Season Three, Episode Four, “Say Hello to My Little Friend”

The latest installment features a ripped-from-the-headlines case of the week plus some new characters.

Olivia spins to reporters while her “pervy perv” client and his wife observe. Photograph by Randy Holmes for ABC.

This ickily titled episode of Scandal borrows from the trials and tribulations of Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner by introducing a sexting senator (Hey, it’s Professor Landry from Veronica Mars!) who lands in even hotter water after the recipient of his dick pics turns up dead. (His sexting name is Redwood Johnson, which Huck deems “gross” but isn’t nearly as awful as Law and Order: SVU’s “Enrique Trouble.”

Senator Pervy Perv’s wife is supporting him, and tells Olivia that everyone deserves a second chance, which Olivia should understand more than anyone. “He made one mistake,” she says. But of course it’s not just one mistake—as the trial proceeds, more women come forward to reveal the truly perverted texts he sent them, causing his wife to flee. The media delights in the new twists in the case, pointing out he’s Olivia’s client and that her name, which used to mean so much in town, is now almost a punchline. But Olivia refuses to drop the case, and tracks the wife to a hotel where she is getting drunk and talking self-pityingly about how her husband made a fool of her. She says she can’t lie that she’s a loving wife, so instead Olivia tells her to tell the truth. At the trial, David Rosen, acting as prosecutor, tries to discredit her testimony by saying she would say anything to keep her husband out of jail; instead she says she would love to see him behind bars, “but you don’t go to jail for being a cheating, lying bastard. You go to jail for being a murderer—which he’s not.” Senator Pervy Perv gets off (no pun intended) and then tells Olivia his wife lied about them being together that night. Olivia figures out the wife was the one who actually killed the girl, and confronts her. The wife is like, “You said we all deserve second chances,” and walks away, and it’s somehow not a major plot point that Olivia JUST LET A MURDERER WALK AWAY FREE. Boy are her instincts off these days. 

Olivia has also finally told Ballard he needs to leave her apartment, but he says she’s safer if he’s there. He asks if El Prez knows her father is Command. She says no, and that her father wouldn’t hurt her. He counters that Papa Pope “would slit your throat and drink your blood if it served the Republic.” She starts to freak out like a Stepford wife with faulty wiring, saying she can’t be involved, she’s never heard of B613, and that she needs to be a good girl and go to Sunday dinners. He tries to kiss her, but she shies away from him so he leaves. 

Huck goes to an AA meeting and talks about how he fell off the wagon and “drank whiskey” (a.k.a. killed someone), but this time the decision was made for him. Quinn is spying on him, as she does, but then her phone goes off and Huck sees her. Later, at HQ, she says she’s worried about him, but he says he goes to work and shows “appropriate emotional responses,” and she doesn’t get to fix him. Quinn wants him to talk to her, but he leaves, heading for the parking lot, where Ballard has come to find him. El Capitan wants to try to take down Command, but Huck tells him to stay away from both him and Olivia. 

El Prez and FLOTUS are eating breakfast and watching a morning talk show, where Montana Democrat Josephine Marcus (hi, Lisa Kudrow!) is talking about how El Prez should “tame his cobra.” FLOTUS is disgusted, but El Prez is amused. Then he picks up the paper and sees a blurb about the death of the guy Huck killed in the last episode, whose name was Peter Foster. He asks Tom the Secret Service guy to look into Foster, and Tom tells him he’d had bad luck with jobs and his sister had no money to bury him. So El Prez, unbeknownst to Cyrus, arranges for Foster to be buried in Arlington Cemetery and attends the service to give condolences to Foster’s sister, telling her Foster was an American hero. Huck lurks behind a tree, watching.

FLOTUS is presiding at a press conference (or something) and a female reporter asks her what she thinks of Senator Josephine Marcus’s remarks about her husband. Mellie says some very PC things about how it’s great to see another woman leader, even a Democrat, because they all have to break through the same glass ceiling; then as soon as she’s out of the room she trashes Marcus—into her companion’s still-on microphone. The press has a field day with headlines like “Worst Lady,” and FLOTUS’s faux pas takes Marcus from flavor of the week to legitimate presidential candidate. Cyrus lays into FLOTUS until El Prez comes to her defense. She thanks him, and he takes her hand and says, “We all make mistakes.” They hold hands for a minute, and she looks happy and hopeful—then realism kicks in and she jerks her hand out of his and stalks out of the room. Cyrus dispatches White House lackey Ethan to Montana to dig up dirt on Senator Marcus. Ethan hilariously comes back with cowboy boots (“This isn’t the Bush White House!” says Cyrus) and the factoid that Marcus had a baby at 15 and gave it up. 

Ira Glass Lite gets mad at Cyrus that he had to find out about El Prez attending a veteran’s funeral through “the gravedigger’s Instagram account,” but Cyrus is all, “I didn’t know he was doing that and also did you say Peter Foster?” He meets with Papa Pope and says Foster didn’t need to be killed, but Papa Pope says he was too much of a risk, because he had the original flight plan from Operation Remington. Ballard is on a bench nearby recording the conversation, which is somewhat garbled by the distance. He shows up at HQ with a list of Foster’s flight missions and says one is missing, but Olivia says she doesn’t want to be involved and sends him away. Before he leaves, he throws the file on her desk, and Huck, who is lurking in the shadows (he does a lot of lurking in this episode) picks it up when Olivia is gone and starts looking at it. His research efforts are interspersed with flashbacks to him killing Foster, and it’s very creepy. 

He and Ballard go to Olivia and tell her Foster had a tattoo on his body saying he was the pilot on a mission that El Prez actually flew, but they’re not sure why. Later Ballard is still at Olivia’s house, and Olivia is chugging wine. She says she’s scared, and Ballard holds her and then they make out for a bit—until the phone rings. It’s El Prez, calling from a limo, and he wants to talk, which Olivia is all about—but Ballard deliberately speaks so El Prez will hear him, and El Prez says, “You have company,” and gets off the phone, leaving Olivia looking resentful. Quinn has been hanging around HQ waiting for Huck like a jealous wife. She says again that she’s worried about him, but Huck sees right through her BS. “You’re not worried, you’re interested,” he yells. “You want to know what it feels like to do the things I do.” Quinn at least has the good grace not to deny it.

And where was El Prez headed in that limo? Straight to Command’s office. Papa Pope was not expecting him, but El Prez says, “This is a reunion—one that’s long overdue.” 

Some thoughts: 

So El Prez and Papa Pope are in cahoots? This does not bode well for Olivia—both men still have such a strong hold over her.

Speaking of Olivia, I like the idea that she’s slowly becoming unhinged, but bookending the episode with that and having her act basically normal in the middle wasn’t quite enough. 

Hey, David and Abby are dating again! Also when did Harrison get so obsessed with money? 

More Lisa Kudrow, please! I can’t wait until she and FLOTUS get in a cat fight and then decide to team up and take over the world.

What did you think of last night’s Scandal? Let us know in the comments.