Scandal: The Fish Rots From the Head Review

Our favorite Scandal showrunners were quick to fall back to their tasteless old habits.

This Scandal review contains spoilers.

Scandal: Season 5, Episode 13

Our favorite Scandal showrunners were quick to fall back to their tasteless old habits. But maybe one or two of them have started to learn a new way of doing things. 

Bill Withers’ “Use Me” was the theme of the episode and played humbly in the background of one of tonight’s opening scenes: Fitz eyeing potential one night stands. I guess Fitz wasn’t just stopping at the reporter from the last episode but has moved on to other reporters or anyone who catches his eye. Abby is still leading damage control…but, for how much longer she will deal with it, I don’t know.

At the center of the episode was a new case for OPA. Abby summoned the team when some of the secret service detail for the president had a party which they claimed had gotten out of hand, leading to one of the hookers they had hired ending up dead. While they were told she just partied too hard with drugs and danced her way off a glass table ultimately killing her, Marcus began to realize some pieces of the puzzle didn’t fit. However, Olivia shut down his desire to investigate further since Megan, the hooker, was not the client. It was a low moment for Olivia and Quinn who readily backed her up.

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Shockingly, Huck was more intrigued by Marcus’ discoveries. Finally, a softer side of Huck has come back into our graces and I am loving it. While Huck and Marcus have had tension in the past because he didn’t want to corrupt Marcus, I am beginning to think Huck is realizing just maybe Marcus won’t be corrupted by him or Quinn. That maybe Marcus is the one influencing, Huck?

Olivia eventually saw the light and sought justice for Megan, even if it meant confronting the president herself.

A less awkward, obsessive, tense meeting happened between the two of them and it was much appreciated. There was a twinge of bitterness after Olivia made a snide remark about his series of mistresses. However, her best moment and maybe the best moment of the night was Olivia saying the secret service were just following the example Fitz was setting for them. A simple life lesson, but nonetheless true. It looked like Fitz took it to heart and may start to shape up in his final stretch as president…hopefully.

The secret service using their power to cover up the truth. Fitz using women to avoid his real problems…seeing the theme here anyone? Oh, and these aren’t the only examples.

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David Rosen and Elizabeth continue to totally play Susan and it is working. Due to David’s influence (because of Elizabeth’s coercion) Susan is persuaded to go on the Sally Langston show and deny her support for Governor Vargas’ Education bill, despite being totally for it. This would gain her Fitz’s endorsement, something she never wanted.

For some reason that song keeps popping up in my head. “All you want to do is use me…”

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I can’t wait for the moment this backfires on David and Elizabeth. David still acts like the wounded puppy, playing innocent in the scheming even though he is just as guilty if not more so than Elizabeth. He was supposed to be Susan’s friend or, at the least, her confidant. The moment she sees through him is the moment she is fictionally endorsed by me — even though Governor Vargas has my vote too.

While on the topic of being used, Cyrus spent the episode conniving his way into Vargas’ good graces. He even had me fooled, sharing a story about his paralyzed brother who wanted him to go to Harvard instead of stay home and help him heal. Of course, it was all an act to relate to Vargas after finding out he has a sick daughter and using it to get him to run for president. I wouldn’t have known if Cyrus’ husband (who we have barely seen at all this season) didn’t come out and remind us and Cyrus that he is an only child.

What a piece of work.

So while Fitz and Oliva may have had a change of heart, the rest of these Scandal villains — I mean characters — are up to their old ways. Jake is most definitely using his new fiancé, but we are not sure exactly what he is using her for. It’s clear part of it has to do with making Liv jealous…but there is more than that. Papa Pope has to be in on this. Olivia spying on him didn’t seem to pay off, but it is clear Jake has more manipulative motives going on here, and not all are Olivia related…or, so I think.

Until next week!


3 out of 5