If “Scandal” wanted to complicate almost every single facet of its show with Thursday night’s new episode entitled “The Fish Rots from the Head,” we come bearing news that they certainly succeeded and then some. This episode was dramatic, eventful, hopeful at times, and depressing at others.
Let’s start here with what we’d consider to be the night’s biggest reveal: Jake’s getting married already! There is clearly quite a bit more that is going on here than we know, but something we clearly off the moment that Olivia surprised Rowan at the house for Sunday dinner, arguably the one time in which Rowan has ever been surprised by anything. Also, should it be noted that Olivia is still having Sunday dinner with this man? We’re not sure we’d want to sit down for any meal with him.
Jake’s impromptu engagement came after an especially tense scene for him and Olivia earlier, but nothing in this episode convinced us that either Jake or Rowan is altogether necessary to the show at this point. We’d rather focus on the politics of it all, even if they are not as dramatic as the actual Presidential election seems to be right now. Here is where we stand: Mellie is still running and in need of Fitz not giving Susan Ross an endorsement. The funny thing is that she doesn’t want to get one from him given his recent philandering, which he claims he’s going to get under control after his Secret Service killed a prostitute. (A little too close to real-life scandals here, no?) Meanwhile, Governor Vargas is running and wants the help of Cyrus to do so. Given his recent hero status, he’s got a great angle.
Meanwhile in going back to the Secret Service, we’d call this Marcus’ coming-out party as he encouraged Quinn and Olivia to do the right thing and get justice, rather than just giving into whatever the client wanted in this particular situation. Could this be a new way of thinking for OPA, or just a temporary move designed to placate?
In the end, “The Fish Rots from the Head” was, other than Jake’s storyline, a nice return to form for “Scandal” given how unhappy we’ve been with some stories as of late. We could deal with a Presidential election the entirety of the series’ run and be happy. Grade: B.
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