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when you cannot even trust yourself

Who do you trust, when you shouldn’t trust anyone? Better yet, who do trust when you can’t trust yourself?

When the foundation of your world is shaken – you lose your job, your identity, or the love of your life – it changes a person. Essentially, you feel alone. Suddenly, you don’t know what’s right, anymore. Up looks like down, and down is sideways. It is a dangerous thing, when you cannot trust yourself, because you are hurting, and betrayed, and feeling off-kilter. In Thursday’s Scandal (Boom Goes the Dynamite), everyone is unsure of who to trust, and because of that, possibly trusting the wrong people.

Huck is suffering from the aftereffects of his waterboarding. It is revealed that his trauma has left him unable to shower in the rain. Quinn confronts him about the fact that he smells, and it’s revealed that he’s been having panic attacks. He assures her that he’ll be fine — after the rain stops. And who, in that moment, didn’t want to hug him? Huck can’t trust himself not to freak out, so he avoids the situation – the shower – that would trigger it. Damaged as he is, that is a sound logic.

We come to discover that a panicked David Rosen is relying heavily on Olivia Pope and Associates. He has no one else. They uncover a mole in the CIA, possibly something/someone called Albatross, and a random friend of Wendy’s appears to assure David that she knows he didn’t her. (Not entirely sure I trust random, crazy-eyed lady. But we’ll see.) Fitz is relying on Jake to monitor (STALK) Olivia, claiming that she is not what she seems. Jake and Fitz clearly have a personal relationship, initially talking and drinking like two old friend do. This is the man who took surveillance photos of Olivia and Edison. The trouble is that Jake seems to be inexplicably drawn to Liv. Liv, despite her best efforts and protestations, appears to be warming up to him. This is a serious breach of trust on all fronts. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

In the White House, we find that Fitz is still behaving like a directionless moron, taking Mellie’s advice – which we come to find out is not actually her advice at all. She’s been using Cyrus as an idea farm, pleading with him about not knowing how to handle Fitz, only to take Cyrus’s idea and pass them off as her own. Mellie is shred as hell, but a political animal is no match for a political monster. Cyrus takes Olivia’s advice and lets Mellie figurative hang herself, because she a) has no idea how to really HANDLE Fitz, b) always oversteps boundaries and her duties, and c) has all the political savvy of a parking meter. In one deft scene, Fitz finds out Mellie went behind his back, breached his trust (tenuous as it may be), and fumbled the political ball with ardent fervor. Mellie realized that Cyrus knows what she’s been doing, and that he hand a hand in her own undoing. But it’s too late. Fitz gives her a “That will be all” brush off (BOOM). From here on out, we expect that Fitz will again rely on Cyrus, and hopefully, equilibrium is not far behind. 

Additionally, a well-established political family, the Caldwells, hires OPA to get one of them elected Governor; rumor has it that Will is gay, so Olivia is tasked to arrange a political marriage. Conveniently, and probably not accidental on Fitz’s part, the President is the keynote speaker at a Caldwell fundraiser, which had Olivia in attendance. While the two of them did not cross paths, Fitz’s face crumbled when he spied her on the phone with Jake, smiling and blushing (BOOM). Jealousy contorted his features into a shocking picture of disbelief. Fitz is the epitome of horrible, insane jealousy. He may say that he doesn’t want her. He may say that her actions were unforgivable, but he’s only letting her go in name – not in reality. He needs to know what she’s doing, and how she is, despite their strange separation. He claims not to want her, and yet…he’s doing the Presidential version of driving by your ex’s house at 3am, hoping to glimpse a silhouette. Honestly, the video surveillance is creeptastic and not cool at all. And yet, as Fitz mentioned, he didn’t count on the isolation of the White House and his position. In the past ten months, his whole world fell down around him, he’s drinking in the shower, and he’s separated – by his choice – from the love of his life. These kind of soul-shaking tragedies make people stupid. He has a hell of a lot of power and authority. Jealousy does not mix well with that kind of thing. I can’t imagine what Liv is going to do when she finds out what he’s done – and that Jake has been watching her.

During the fundraiser, something interesting comes to light. The would-be governor is not, in fact, gay – he’s having an affair with his brother’s wife. They are in love, and Olivia stumbles across them kissing in a rose garden, not unlike her and Fitz’s special spot. (Hi, symbolism. Thanks for beating us over the head.) Furiously, Liv unleashes a tirade at him, one that unmistakably applies/parallels her relationship to Fitz.

BOOM. You have nothing. And it’s achingly, horribly true in that moment. Liv sees herself in this, and she was the statue – willing to wait for something that may never have materialized. She put her life on hold for a man she loved, and it blew up in her face. In that moment, Liv is bitter. She is angry. She is mad at herself.

Incidentally, the last interesting piece of this episode was a second meeting between Jake and Fitz, after the fundraiser. Fitz, seething like the green eye’d monster, wants to know who the guy is. He saw Liv on the phone. He knows that look. And he’s way past ticking; the time bomb in a teddy bear is in pieces.

Jake lies to Fitz, claiming that there is no guy, because HE is the guy. And it would a serious breach is security etiquette to reveal that he’s trying to woo his target. Jake, for all intents and purposes, is not a bad guy. He’s doing a job. Who hasn’t accidentally fallen in love (or infatuation) with someone they work with? Yes, the circumstances are messed up, and I am by no means Team Jake/Liv – but I like Jake. He’s got a heart. He turns off the cameras when Liv gets undressed. He’s not a creepy stalker asshole looking to get cheap thrills. Needless to say, Fitz is abusing his power, because he can’t control his erections or his heart. It’s wrong. It’s bad. It’s fifty different kinds of fucked and ridiculous. But it’s not a boiled bunny. Not yet, at least. But this is, unquestionably, CRAZYPANTS.

Trust is a funny thing. Liv broke Fitz’s trust with Defiance. Now, Fitz is breaking hers with this whole stalker by proxy thing. I wonder how this will explode, and it will explode. They’ll either forgive each other the stupid wrongs they’ve rendered – or they will continue to widen the physical chasm between themselves. This, folks, is what happens when you have a failure to communicate. You get stupid. This is what happens when you don’t know who you should trust, and you can’t trust yourself. You get crazy. Most people have enough common sense not to semi-stalk their exs. But when you’re having the worst time of your life, you have no one to learn on, your wife is Lady Macbeth and Iago rolled into one, and you’re in charge of running a country (hello, stress!) – normal goes out the window. Personally, someone or something needs to slap some sense into Fitz. Because he doesn’t have any. And neither does Liv, because she agreed to a second date with a guy who’s watching her, and her gut hasn’t whispered a hint of danger. Cyrus was foolishly trusting Mellie to return him to Fitz’s good graces, until he had proof that she was full-on Machiavelli-ing him.

Nothing is what it seems. No one is what they seem. There are good intentions and malicious ones. The reasons are there, clearly marked. But the end does not always justify the means. The episode is titled boom goes the dynamite, but I can’t even begin to imagine the aftershocks of all the various explosions. The truth remains that when you cannot trust yourself, all bets are off. And everything is a lit match held in front of a fuse.

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  1. February 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Wonderfully written! Easy funny read! Thank u! Found u courtesy of @Scandal411 post on twitter. Full on belly LOL with “the Presidential version of driving by your ex’s house at 3am” and “boiled bunny” loved it!

  2. Anonymous
    February 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Absolutely brilliant!!!! 👏👏👏👏
    Loved every word 💜

  3. As Told By Erin
    February 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Reblogged this on As Told By Erin.

  4. February 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Reblogged this on THE Humanist Exec and commented:
    This could NOT be anymore beautiful or anymore REAL. About as true as it gets!!!

  5. hlh70
    February 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    very insightful!

  6. sunshine1
    February 24, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I love reading your blogs after every scandal episode you so eloquently detail the happenings of each episode better than any blog or article i’ve seen so far. Keep up the good work and i’ll see you again in 3 weeks.

  7. Sandra
    February 24, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Excellent review as usual. I love your writing and insight.

  8. Anonymous
    February 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Love this!! Great read and truth!!!

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