Scandal's Presidential Candidates Scramble To Find the Perfect VP Pick
But since political parties mean nothing on this show, both are drawing from the same pool.
Meet The Parents
Situation: Jake is having a drink with his new father-in-law, who confesses that he always wanted a son and now he's got one in Jake.
What makes it awkward? Jake just slipped a mickey into his father-in-law's drink, causing a heart attack, and then Jake explains that Rowan thinks they need access to Vanessa's huge inheritance. Jake at least looks sad and calmly talks the guy through his death, similar to what he did when he killed James. But he still killed a guy.
How is order restored? The father-in-law dies. Jake finally dials 911. Vanessa inherits a shit-ton of money.
They're Under Contract, So We Might As Well Use Them
Because Portia de Rossi and Joshua Malina are under contract, they have a minor storyline this week that leads to nothing important happening, so here we go. Cyrus claims he wants David Rosen to be Frankie's VP. Rosen hems and haws over accepting, but Lizzie pressures him to accept and also pressures him to accept her mouth on his mouth (and probably other places, sorry). She wants to be a part of his campaign. His Democratic campaign. Ho-kay. Anyway, Rosen doesn't end up getting the gig, so every scene of them arguing/canoodling/celebrating was for naught.
The Lesser Of Three Evils
Name: Governor Bill Wagner Age: Early 50s. Occupation: Governor and potential Republican VP candidate. Also, in college: cocaine dealer. Goal: To cover up his college coke-dealing work so that he can join Mellie's ticket, but that means getting rid of his former coke-dealing partner, now a bank manager. Sample Dialogue: "I used the money to pay off my student loans. Even flew to Bogota a couple of times."
Plot Lightning Round
Edison comes to OPA and delivers Jake's message: he wants Liv to get him out. Liv is like, "Noted, and you're excused. Boy, bye." Huck reveals that Vanessa just inherited $500 million from her dead father so Rowan must be still planning something with that money, even though Edison is out of the race. Liv reminds him that Rowan said he'd kill Jake if she got involved.
Cyrus finds Vargas meeting with Rowan, his new financial backer, and basically tells Rowan to GTFO. Rowan reveals that he knows Cyrus engineered the hostage thing and Cyrus knows he's screwed. Rowan wants Jake to be Frankie's VP. (Good to know that, in this universe, everyone can just cross party lines willy-nilly.) Once Rowan's gone, Vargas asks Cyrus what he thinks about Jake, and Cyrus imagines telling the truth: that Jake killed James and is a horrible person. But in reality, he tells Frankie that Jake's a good choice.
Abby calls Liv to tell her that Fitz is cool with their suggestions about his role in the convention. As she talks, Abby walks into her office and finds Fitz reading Liv's medical file. First, can Fitz just waltz into any office and start rooting around? Second, why would Abby leave the most secret information she has just lying on her desk? Get a desk drawer with a lock, at the very least. Anyway, Abby stammers that she got it from Rowan, to use as political ammunition, and Fitz gets angry and says the abortion didn't happen.
Who called the meeting? Cyrus.
What's it about? Cyrus wants Liv's help to get Rowan out of his business, explaining that he can't do it because Rowan knows about the fake hostage situation.
How'd it go? Liv is appalled that Cyrus caused the deaths of innocent people (something Liv has never done? REALLY?), but Cyrus points out that if Rowan takes over Frankie's campaign, Liv and Mellie will certainly lose. Cyrus wants to go head-to-head with Liv for the Oval Office. I wonder how their candidates would feel to know that they're considered pawns in this power game.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Grant Vs. Grant, Round 347
Mellie shows up at Fitz's convention speech rehearsal to lambaste him for making his speech about himself instead of praising her, the nominee. Fitz explains that he can't praise her in his speech, because everyone knows they're divorced and he didn't endorse her candidacy, so it will be disingenuous. But what he can do is try to pump up the Grant name, which will help her. Mellie gives him a sickly smile like, "Isn't that cute!," and then lays into him. At first, it's more of the usual about how he's entitled, presumptuous, spoiled, etc. and I'm kind of bored. But then she shifts into how he's only President because he stood on the backs of others: her, Liv, Cyrus, and his father. And he STILL has the temerity to bitch and moan about the job. She is running because she actually wants the job, and she won't squander the opportunity like he has done. Fitz just looks bemused by all this, which is out of character; the Fitz we know would have interrupted her to yell at least ten times by now.
Parking Garage Meetings Are Never Good
Liv sneaks up on Jake in a parking garage and is it ever a good idea to sneak up on a trained assassin who is also head of the NSA? Anyway, it works out for her, since he wants to know the plan for getting him out. Liv confesses that she doesn't have a plan, exactly. Jake is annoyed, but Liv tries to impress upon him the idea that, once she gets a plan, he has to trust her completely and be able to go along with whatever she proposes, no matter what. This seems like a strange thing to propose when there's no plan yet, but it helps explain Jake's choices later. Also, I have a plan for them: KILL ROWAN. Problem solved.
Afterward, Liv goes to OPA and confesses to Huck that she doesn't know how to get Jake away from Rowan. Huck reminds her that Rowan always said you can't take Command. Huck thinks Liv should become Command. I don't know what that means. I hope it means she should murder Command.
How Do You Solve A Problem Like A Coke Dealer?
Alert Type: Disappear/Appear Alert.
Issue: Quinn and Huck have to get rid of the one dude (played by Andy Garvey from Little House!) who could put Mellie's VP pick, Wagner, on blast for his college coke-dealing shizz.
Complicating Factors: Once they relocate the guy to Albuquerque (where he may plan to get into the blue meth business, who knows?), Liv gets the bright idea to leak the whole coke thing to the press anyway.
Resolution: Mellie now needs a VP again, with the convention only days away. Liv is definitely in a position to judge Cyrus for killing innocent people, since she just ruined the lives of two guys who made bad decisions in college -- and their entire families besides -- on what was essentially a whim.
Spoiler: Liv already knows who the new VP is going to be.
Oh, By "Choice," He Meant THAT Choice
Who called the meeting? Liv.
What's it about? She wants Fitz's blessing to install Jake as Mellie's VP candidate.
How'd it go? Fitz quickly agrees, and then sits Liv down and tells her that he misses her, and he's also worried that when they were together, he didn't really listen to her, and he's sorry about that. Is Fitz having a feminist awakening? Is he the new Matt McGorry? Anyway, as Liv leaves, Fitz pointedly tells her, "I support your choice, Liv. Not that you needed it." Guys, I don't think he's talking about her VP choice anymore. And it's a nice moment between them, but as with Mellie at the convention rehearsal, I don't buy Fitz's sudden turnaround. Not that this show does anything gradually, but still.
Wrap It Up
Cyrus and Tom are living together now, and Tom is willing and able to kill Michael and rescue Ella as soon as Cyrus gives him the word. Cyrus notes that if he gets Ella back, he needs another Michael, since he doesn't know how to care for a kid or tell a nanny how to do so. What he needs to do is let Michael have Ella because Cyrus never wanted a kid in the first place and I don't know why he's pretending to now. Anyway, Tom took care of a baby for a few hours once so he thinks maybe he can do it, but Cyrus tells him he's read Of Mice and Men, so he knows how that would end. Tom is upset, but Cyrus says that this is the first honest relationship he's had, the one where he can talk openly about murder targets. This whole Tom/Cyrus thing is so weird.
Just as Rowan is congratulating Jake on his VP spot with Frankie, Liv rolls in and says she's taking Jake and he's going to be Mellie's VP. Rowan responds by pressing a gun to Jake's head and saying he'll pull the trigger like he promised. After a lot of meaningful eye contact by Liv and speechifying by Rowan, Jake just walks away and Rowan doesn’t pull the trigger after all. Liv knew he wouldn't and called his bluff.
Cyrus finds out Jake is going to be Mellie's VP on the news. Frankie is upset, but Cyrus has a backup plan that apparently takes like three minutes to enact becase next thing you know, Cyrus is backstage at the Democratic Convention (which takes place at the same time as the Republican Convention in this universe, like the two parties would ever agree to compete for the news cycle), breaking up with a sad, lonely Tom. Seems Michael and Ella are back and they're all going to be a family again. Gee, I wonder what Cyrus's motivation is for that? The optics? Because he's about to become a much more public figure? Also, I think Tom might go on a murder spree although I'm not sure if he's able to murder people without an order since he's kind of a robot.
As Fitz gives his speech, Jake waits in the wings. Liv finds him and tells him to put his tie on because he's about to go out on stage. Jake has been thinking (dangerous) and doesn't understand why he even needs to be VP now that he's free from Rowan. He could do anything! He and Liv could buy a shitty house and have boring kids! Liv is like, "Bitch, please, as if I would do anything shitty or boring. I am Rowan Pope's daughter." Jake realizes that Liv's been programmed by her father to stop at nothing to get power, and puts his tie on, because he realizes that now he's Liv's bitch.
As Jake takes the stage with Mellie, Liv fields a call from Cyrus, who announces that he's going to be Frankie's VP candidate. Liv wants to stop this for some reason? Are tons of people really going to vote for a gay former Republican with probably minimal name recognition? Anyway, Liv reminds Cyrus that she knows about Harrisburg, and Cyrus reminds Liv that he knows about former VP Andrew Nichols and the chairing.
Rowan watches the conventions from home while drinking wine and reminisces about all of the ways in which he has manipulated Liv to stop at nothing to get power. He chuckles and says, "That's my girl." And that's the season finale? This show has conditioned me to expect blockbusters in the season finale: a shooting, an assassination attempt, something! This was underwhelming to say the least. I'm glad the show has a reduced episode order next season and hope they make the most of those episodes and then maybe call it quits? Like go through the election and a brief aftermath and then call it a day. They won't, because they are still making tons of money for ABC, but I think this show's pretty much done.