Scandal Recap: That’s Why Her Hair Is So Big. It’s Full of Secrets.

(To be clear, the recap title refers to the following characters’ hair, in this order: Olivia’s natural beach tresses, Cyrus’ aggravated mourning hair, Lindsay Bluth Funke’s pompadour, Mellie’s loose sad hair.)

Well, not only is (Pop) Culturally Informed back from a weird, slightly accidental hiatus, but praise Shonda, SCANDAL IS BACK. Like, aggressively back. Nothing terribly huge happened except for Columbus Short’s inevitable, dramatic and immediate exit from the show, but regardless, Scandal is always a ridiculous hour of television. Just like I do with all my recaps, I will be culling from my slightly drunken notes to write this, so it should be kind of a wild ride. I was also tripping pretty hard on Sudafed for this one, so let’s go!

Where in the world is Olivia Pope? Well, she’s presumably vacationing on the other side of Carmen Sandiego’s private island, where she is, naturally, wearing a white swimsuit, reading Gone Girl, and rocking a killer pair of presumably expensive sunglasses. For a second, it seems like she might be alone, but LOL, of course she isn’t, because Aggressively Hot Scott Foley is there to fondle and fingerblast the crap out of her (HEYOOOO) before letting her know she has a weird mysterious letter along with her very conspicuous shipment of (what else?) red wine. (Who gets red wine shipped to a private island?! Nevermind. That’s a stupid question. ***Flawless people do that.)

Legitimately no one is surprised by the information in the letter, which is a news story about Harrison’s body being found in the desert. (That’s not phrased quite right – I mean, the characters are pretty surprised, but since everyone in the audience knows that Columbus Short is a gross wife abuser, we were not.) Luckily, this gives her a convenient excuse to return to DC; even though I would TOTALLY watch a show called Olivia’s Island Sex Adventures (featuring Aggressively Hot Scott Foley), it would probably lose steam pretty quickly.

Upon her arrival in our nation’s great and (according to this show + House of Cards) very murdery capital, Olivia straightens her hair, so you know shit is SURRIOUS, and then sets out to find the rest of her Motley Crue. The first stop is OPA HQ, where I think Quinn has been living this whole time, with that one flannel shirt and leather jacket (and a curling iron, obvi), only to find out that Quinn was the one who tracked her down because NO ONE ELSE ORDERS WINE TO BE SENT TO SECRET ISLANDS OFF OF ZANZIBAR. NO ONE DOES THAT. Way to be sneaky, Liv. Anyway, Quinn has stuck around waiting because that’s not even her real name and she doesn’t have much of a life, but the rest of the OPA gang has scattered a bit – Abby’s excellent hair is doing an even more excellent C.J. Cregg impression as the new White House Press Secretary, and Huck is ominously grunt-talking at customers at some sort of tech-help place that’s a pretty obvious Genius Bar knockoff. (His name is also Randy now, which is hilarious.) Because Olivia is Olivia, she needs to get the gang back together, but she does not need to do any maintenance in her empty apartment, because that place still looks perfect. Who’s been taking care of that? Is HuckRandy sneaking in and rage-Swiffing or something?!

What’s going on at the Fitz White House, you ask? Well, Fitz is sober and working a lot, which means he’s pretty boring in this episode. Cyrus’ hair is ENORMOUS – maybe James’ ashes are in there? (Ugh, too soon.) Portia de Rossi is playing a character that I don’t quite understand yet, but basically seems like Smart Lindsay Bluth, because I remember her saying the phrase “grief money” while referring to the dead First Son. (Cyrus also sneaks a sick burn in here: “Oh, do you need parking validation for your broomstick?”) Oh, did I forget someone? No. No, I did not. I just saved her for last, because OH, MELLIE. Mellie Grant is in full #NoFucks mode. The woman is wandering the halls of the West Wing in a bathrobe and Uggs, eating off-brand Fruit Loops straight from the box, and screaming about bowling. In case you need a visual to go with this, here is a screencap of Mellie from last night’s premiere.

Also, once Fitz hears that his Livvy is back in town, he totally goes from six to midnight. Tony Goldwyn has gotten so good at playing Fitz that you can see when the POTUS gets a semi.

Minor plot things go here: Jake is mad at David Rosen for not destroying B613 and also David Rosen is going to be the Attorney General because approximately six people work in Washington. Olivia takes on a case for That Girl From The Newsroom and The Office and Nan Flanagan from True Blood that seems like it’s about an almost-murdered senator but turns out to be about rampant sexual harassment, which allows Olivia the opportunity to give a million speeches about women’s consent, all of which are heavy-handed but also incredible. Abby’s hair is mad at David for I don’t know why, but also delivers a killer monologue to him about him being drunk on power. Olivia is mean to Papa Pope (SHOCKER). Randy is the world’s worst Genius. Harrison’s funeral is awkwardly weepy considering the real world pretty uniformly hates Columbus Short, but Olivia is wearing a super-cinched black pantsuit and it’s awesome. Olivia gets distracted when she’s supposed to be banging Aggressively Hot Scott Foley, and he gets understandably annoyed and gives her an INCREDIBLY hot speech about how great he is at sex that’s much more clearly about how, this one time, he saw Fitz’s peen and his own is WAY bigger.

(But seriously, can ANYONE tell me when Scott Foley got SO AGGRESSIVELY HOT?! Like, I was kind of menaced by how sexy he was in this episode. My notes actually read, at one point, “I feel personally victimized by Scott Foley’s hotness.”)

Let’s just get to the end of the episode, because plot details are tedious. Mellie and Fitz have a classic First Couple showdown on some White House balcony that has the WORST CGI-ed DC background in the world, but more importantly, Mellie says the following things: Fitz tried to kill himself after their son died; she knows he and Olivia will get back together; and she doesn’t wax anymore, so it’s “like 1976 down there.” I think what I’m trying to say here is that every single thing Mellie does in this episode is outstanding.

And, she’s usually right, because after putting her career ahead of Sex God Scott Foley (because she is an idiot), Olivia and Fitz pass each other in a hallway, in a manner that I can definitively say is the most sexual way any two people have ever crossed paths in a hall before. And that’s it, so basically, the entire next episode will be a sweaty Fitz/Liv bangfest. (I will take Scott Foley off your hands if you don’t want him, you fool.)

My notes also say “fuck yeah Perd Hapley” and “literally a whole season of Liv and Fitz eye fucking” at the end, so there’s that.

See you next week for the most Ludachristmas show on television, when hopefully they’ll kill off someone else! I’m really pulling for an entire season of Scandal where someone dies every week until the show is just Cyrus, sitting on the floor and tearing out chunks of his hair helmet. Maybe not the most marketable idea, but you have to admit that has SOME potential!

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