Scandal: Rasputin Review

Here’s our review of last night’s Scandal...

This Scandal review contains spoilers.

Scandal: Season 5, Episode 8

Last night could not have been the first night Olivia was referenced as “Helen of Troy,” because I couldn’t have said it better myself.

While the episode began with Olivia in cuffs, it quickly went 48 hours early where Olivia continued her newly established reign in the White House while negotiating peace talks beside the president. However, the translator was able to clandestinely sneak in a plea for Olivia’s help, sending her back to her Gladiators and digging deep into Naveed’s claims.

While this storyline played out across the hour, the episode soon became very focused on figuring out who was responsible for Rowan’s escape and what the fallout would be when Fitz realized that it was Olivia who let him go.

Ad – content continues below

Even though Jake awkwardly kissed Olivia last week, their scene together this week had absolutely no TLC. Jake is done being her shoulder to cry on. While everything he said was true, Olivia also made a good point about how if she can forgive him for all the senseless crimes he has committed, then he should forgive her too.

That’s fair. He was, you know…an assassin after all.

However, something I really want to talk about from last night’s episode is the genius music supervision that was going on. Alexandra Patsavas has been music supervisor for a number of movies and television shows that have been noted for their music, from Gossip Girl and The O.C. to franchises like Twilight and The Hunger Games. Not to mention she works on all three of Shonda Rhimes’ Thrusday night shows, making for episodes strengthened by the songs that carefully and seamlessly set the tone of a scene.

“A Song For You”

Donny Hathaways’s “A Song For You” chillingly echoes in the background as Rowan’s bodyguard cornered Liv in the elevator of her offices and took her to a different floor where her father waited for her. It was an unexpected reunion, allowing viewers to see a whole new side of Rowan: fear.

Olivia too made note of this later in the episode. Rowan was finally expressing fear for his own life and maybe even Olivia’s.

Ad – content continues below

Lazarus One still hasn’t had any more revelation other than Rowan is terrified if they were ever to find him. “Song For You” created a haunting ambience for this father and daughter, with its warmth and beauty juxtaposed with a poisonous, bitter relationship.


“Will You Love Me Tomorrow”

Such a fitting song for the moment at the end of the episode that reached back to that first scene 48 hours later when Fitz finds out about Olivia. Cyrus worked his devilish magic and got David Rosen to look into Eli Pope’s escape who quickly learned Olivia was the prime suspect and her arrested. When Fitz comes to her rescue, he instantly uncuffs her and assures her he doesn’t believe it’s true. But as Olivia’s face turns from upset to shame and Fitz lets the realization sink in, Carole King’s song slowly takes over the scene. Soon, Olivia and Fitz can’t even be heard as the song bellowed over them as Olivia tried to explain herself.

The scene was very poetically done as we watched Olivia desperately trying to win Fitz back and he grows farther and farther away from her. It was even more powerful than hearing the words to go along with it. Both Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn shined in this scene, letting their emotions be so vivid and meaningful, shown only through their expression and body language.

Fitz quickly forgave her, demanding Cyrus to release Olivia and move her into the White House. Whoever says Fitz can’t bounce right back needs to take a look at this episode. However, while he told Olivia that he told Jake to back off from finding and killing Rowan, that definitely was not the case.

Ad – content continues below

Oh great…more lies.

But, when Jake finally went to “finish the job” as Fitz had actually instructed him, he only found Fitz’s ex-bodyguard dead and Rowan nowhere to be found.

However, we are treated to the image of Rowan tied up and helpless. But, who is Rowan’s captor?

None other than the seemingly born again assassin, Huck. I actually believed Huck when Jake sought him out for help in killing Rowan and Huck refused him, claiming that his ruthless murdering days were over. I believed it! Even though I have learned my lesson that no one can be trusted. It’s like on Game of Thrones: You can tell me a million times not to get attached to any characters because they will probably die, but I still do. With Shonda Rhimes’ shows, it’s about not getting too attached to characters because they are probably more corrupt than you think and always will be. I can’t help it! I have hope!

But, I guess once an assassin, always an assassin in Huck’s case.

Well, next week is the winter finale and as always, I’m anticipating Scandal going out with a bang and making us wait months to see the result of a classic Shonda Rhimes cliff hanger.

Ad – content continues below

Can’t wait!


3.5 out of 5