I went into this episode of Scandal expecting a Mellie-centric narrative. What I got, was a Big Gerry tragedy. And I'll be honest -- I'm still not sure how to feel about it.
While what transpired between those two inadvertently sets the path for every single character on the show for years to come, it accounts for only a fraction of the twists that were revealed in this week's episode entitled "Everything's Coming Up Mellie."
We go back and forth between flashbacks of our first lady hosting a news crew at the White House and Fitz and Mellie in the pre-political days of their marriage. The flashbacks are set 15 years ago. Before any of their kids were born and before Mellie quit her prestigious lawyer job to become a dutiful, calculating political wife. They were happy. Really, really happy. Until, Fitz's dad, Big Gerry, comes and messes everything up with his badgering Fitz into running for Governor of California.
We're introduced to Cyrus Beene who has a wife, and a lot more hair. He is brought in to assess Fitz, correct his flaws and make him electable. He sees Mellie as an asset. We see Mellie was on board from the beginning. Only back then, she was trying to keep the peace between Fitz and his dad while bargaining with Cyrus not to jump ship.
One night while Big Gerry is belligerently drunk, he shares with Mellie, that Fitz shot down a passenger plane because a dirty bomb was on board. Presumably, this was the plane that Olivia's mom was supposed to have been in. She is in disbelief but takes it in stride. Big Gerry continues babbling about nonsense and makes an aggressive pass at his son's wife. Things progressively get worse and Mellie is unable to fight him off. In a horrifying scene, Mellie is overpowered and raped by her father in law. Incredibly hard to watch. What happens next is just mind boggling. During breakfast the next morning, Big Gerry begins to explain his repulsive actions and Mellie cuts him off. She tells him she will mention it, provided he apologizes to Fitz and builds up his self-esteem enough for him to believe that he can win. He does, and so does Fitz. During his victory party we learn that Mellie is pregnant. But the look on her face suggests, there's a good chance it's not the President's baby.
Back in the present at OPA, they have decided to not to heed multiple warnings to stop looking into the flight that we all were told Olivia's mom died on. This, of course, can only mean bad things will happen from here on out. Beginning with Quinn. Dear, sweet, stupid, Quinn. While secretly hanging out with super assassin Charlie, she allows herself to be the vessel that delivers death to an unsuspecting former airline worker that may have seen something suspicious before that ill-fated flight. After she runs away, Charlie tracks her down and politely informs her that the murder is on surveillance video and that she is now the property of B-613. Which is actually pretty funny considering how she is constantly pestering Huck about them.
Oh, one more thing: Olivia's mom is alive and well. Granted, she's in a cell, but she's certainly not in the watery grave that we and Olivia were lead to believe she perished in.
Notes and Observations:
-Big Gerry's assault of Mellie makes you look at every relationship on the show differently. Does Fitz know? Would he be a better husband if he did? Would that knowledge finally break him of Olivia? So many unresolved things with this news.
-No wonder Mellie is so invested in Fitz's career. She gave a lot up for it.
-How is no one at OPA keeping track of Quinn? They all know she is prone to idiocy.
-How am I supposed to know it's a flashback with no Olivia bangs??? Unacceptable.
-Cyrus was fabulous, even way back when.
-So... Olivia's mom is a terrorist?