‘Scandal’ Recap – “Pencils Down” (S5:E15)

(1) Episode opens with “The Liberty Report” and a good ole fashioned “Yee-Haw” from former VP Sally Langston. She makes me grin, such a legit caricature of the thoroughly one-sided BS political talk shows in real life. Info we get from Sally: (a) it’s debate time and (b) she’s hosting the first one. This ought to be very very interesting…


(2) Liv, Liz, Hollis Doyle and some other dude who I’ve seen in other shows (I like him, just can’t remember his name) are on the debate stage arguing about details: (a) whether or not an ad for Hollis’ super PAC can run during the debate (shady), (b) podiums (solid vs clear), (c) a terrible polling process (BNC – Scandal’s “CNN” – needs to do better), (d) Liv wants a red light and a buzzer to indicate when time is up and (e) Hollis is repeatedly talking BIG sh*t (great to have a fictional Trump character – NOT) #Sigh

(3) BNC dude, Richard is his character’s name, tells Liv no buzzers, no lights. Liv goes gangsta, threatens to not only yank Mellie from the debate but also auction off an exclusive interview to BNC’s competitors and then have that interview run during the debate. Ummm can Liv run Hillary’s campaign?

(4) VP Susan is debate prepping at the White House and kicking a*s! Ethan still has a job. He must be related to someone. Abby calls Liv to gloat about Susan and to try and get Liv on their team. Liv admits that Mellie is “stubborn, arrogant and a giant pain in the a*s” but damnit she believes she’ll make a great president. She also knows this is crazy. I appreciate honest assessments so good job Liv. Their call ends with the foreshadowing of another candidate…

(5) Well hot damn, it’s Edison. Y’all ‘member Edison right?? They used to date, he called her all kinds of names when he found out about Fitz, later he vouched for her on national TV about that very same issue (funny how life works – on a scripted show 😉 ). ANYway, yep he’s running too! He’s concerned about “Meridian Terrace” coming to light. I don’t know what that is – are we supposed to know?? Hmmmmm.

Continuing, Liv assures him that his secret is safe with her (now I’m really curious) and tells him he’ll be a great candidate. Let me repeat that, a great “CANDIDATE.” HA! He says thanks and that he believes it’s time for a black president while Liv says she thinks it’s time for a woman president. This is soooooooooo weird to watch right now!

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(5.1) Btw, I have NEVER liked Edison. Not ever. Not once. I’m still convinced Shonda deliberately cast him as unlikable so we would never actually root for him and Liv to work out – CONVINCED!

(6) So now we have two women (one is currently the VP and the other is a former First Lady) and one man (a rich ahole) running in the Republican primary and thus far two men (one is black, the other latino) running in the Democratic primary. Well alright Scandal, let the election insanity officially kick off!

(7) Speaking of insanity, David Rosen is insane. He is in Abby’s office still trying to talk to her about his sex life. Abby is still like “Ewwwww, GROSS!” David categorizes Susan as “good” and Lizzie as “nasty” – this is a mess. HE is a mess! Appropriately Abby kicks his ridiculous a*s out of her office. Smdh.

(8) David leaves Abby’s office and immediately runs into Lizzie in the hallway. They go into an office but it’s not for more kinky or as David calls it “vile” sex (complete with biting), just more political scheming. She wants Susan and David to go public. Wants David to come up on stage after the debate and hug Susan. WOW! Liz is a BEAST! Trifling as fck but still a beast.

(9) Cyrus is fully ensconced at Gov Frankie’s campaign headquarters, holding court like he LOVES to do when a new face pops up. New character alert!! Love fresh blood on this show!!! Alex Vargas, the Gov’s brother, shows up and tap dances all over Cy’s meeting. Apparently HE’S been the guy running his brother’s campaigns thus far. He interrupted Cy, fired up the troops and THEN he introduced himself to Cy #GangstaBro

This much is absolutely clear – Cy has competition. Hope the Gov’s brother makes it to the end of this season. Y’all know how Cyrus does… Cy goes to whine/complain to Frankie. Why he do that? The Gov gives Cy that one face – y’all know it, that incredulous look that says (a) is this really an issue? And (b) are you really talking to me about this right now as if it IS an issue??? Gov to Cy: “He’s my brother. You really have a problem with my brother?” Cy properly answers “No.” Gov: “Good, glad we’re on the same page.” I don’t know WHAT Cy is about to do. #Nervous

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(10) Lawd, OPA arranged a “Mellie Grant For President” focus group. Not positive. Re Mels: “Don’t like her” / “smug” / “smug and arrogant” / don’t like her vocabulary, she used the word “divisive” which is apparently an inside the beltway term / “that hair” / “can she not talk?” / “too smart” #Ugh

Mellie of course calls them stupid. Huck tells her they are not as stupid as you think they are, “perhaps they sense your “disdain”? Mellie tells Huck to shut up. Liv tells Mellie she comes off as “aloof”, “out of touch”. Mellie correctly answers the average cost of gas question and then she keeps going, gas tax should be higher, etc. Liv calls her a know-it-all. Mellie: “So?” I HEAR YOU MELLIE! But yet there IS a way to deliver all that info in a non-condescending, alienating manner, ahem…

Mellie: “I’m a Rhodes Scholar, they are benefiting from how smart I am.” That made me laugh and clap. TELL ‘EM GIRL! Mellie is aghast at having to “dumb herself” down – which is not really what she needs to do, just needs to tweak her tone and vocab. U got this girl!! Umm we are all rooting for Mellie right? I mean I LIKE Susan and all but… #MellieForPresident!

(11) Geezus this is SO much like real life right now – ARGH!!! This is legit so weird to watch. House of Cards is covering this topic as well – IT’S TOO MUCH!!

(12) Quinn shows up with surveillance updates on Jake. They are using city cameras to keep track of his whereabouts. Liv is still convinced Jake is using Blondie for something. Quinn is wearing a black shirt with red skulls on it. Interesting choice. Anyway, it’s not enough info so time for “Plan B.”

(13) Ahhh Plan B involves Quinn in pearls (haven’t seen that since season 1, maybe 2, basically well before she became an assassin) and rolling up on Blondie/Vanessa with some tale about them being former classmates at Smith. Quinn throws herself all up in Vanessa’s wedding plans and schedules a time for them to get together later that week. Quinn is good y’all.


(14) Susan stops by Abby’s office. And – oh shit – Abby just super causally blew up David’s whole situation. David’s dumb a*s left his portfolio on Abby’s desk. Susan notices it. Abby’s all like ‘oh yeah that belongs to David, he keeps trying to talk to me bout his two women,’ yada yada. Abby ain’t even know. Just keeps rambling on. Susan is CRUSHED! She goes back to debate prep but for why? Her mind is GONE! She can’t focus. She’s a mess. Damn.

(15) Oh hell. Hollis is at a gun range talking about debate prep is for “ninnies” and good grief he’s doing the Ted Cruz cooking bacon using a gun thing. ARGH!! This is just great. Hollis Doyle is a Cruz/Trump mashup. “Truz” or “Crump” or “Tedold” – one of those.

(16) Armed with the knowledge that she needs A LOT of improvement, Mellie is debate prepping in Liv’s office. First comment from Liv: “Lose the bitch face.” OUCH! Liv says she wants filibuster Mellie. Mellie notes that she was on her feet all day, starving and she needed to pee: “I was practically feral.” Me: LOL!! Liv: ‘heffa you were human, also you need to watch your arms.” #PoorMellie


(17) Meanwhile Hollis is feeding the press bacon cooked by his gun, “smoky” he says. Lawd, I can’t!!

(18) AND Susan is still fcking up. Liz calls David to ask him if he broke Susan #DeathSpiral

(19) Alejandro “Alex” Vargas pays Liv a visit. He has dirt on Susan. Wait, word? Like how is that even remotely possible??? In exchange he wants dirt on Edison. Alex is like look we’re cool now cause we have our own primaries to worry about, after we both get our people nominated THEN we’ll be enemies. He also does one of those insufferable tech things and air dropped Liv his info. Ain’t nobody ask you to do that Alex. That ish is intrusive! Danny Pino is cute tho.

(19.1) Q. Can’t OPA dig up their own dirt on Susan??? Why would they need Alex’s intel? They have Huck and Quinn AND they need to give Marcus something to do. You know you were thinking it too.

(20) Apparently Alex is Frankie’s attack dog. Duh. But Huck spelled it out for us. He hit a councilman on his brother’s behalf. Hmmm, I’m almost not mad at that AND this means that Cyrus just may have his work cut out for him. I CAN’T WAIT!! #ByAnyMeansNecessary!

(21) Huck & Liv decide to send Mellie to Gettysburger wearing casual clothes. This seemed like a good idea until it was discovered that Mellie has NEVAH been to a Gettysburger before – talking all this dumb ish about coming every Sunday after service and the place ain’t even open on Sundays!! Sloppy Mellie, SLOPPY! But really OPA should have prepped her better for this BS. That was hard to watch. #BurgerGate #BurgerBundle Although I do agree with Liv, Mellie shouldn’t have lied. Called herself improvising. Sigh.

(22) One win in this scene is me seeing someone I know. YOU BETTA WERK TAMI JORDAN!!!!!


(23) Continuing, Cyrus goes to tell Gov Frankie that Edison is running, turns out Alex is already on it. Cyrus is not happy. Trouble is brewing…

(24) Susan is still stuck. David comes in to check on her. Susan flat out asked him: “Are you cheating on me?” Come on David come clean!! But of course he lies. F*cker! Susan please do NOT believe his BS!! You’re too smart for that!!

(25) Oh no. Liv sent for her father. Good Lord why? Ahh because she is feeling desperate after Mellie’s burger debacle and is trying to decide whether or not she should throw Edison under the bus. Tells Papa Pope to tell her what she needs to hear about power and self-loyalty, etc. Interestingly enough PP does not do that, instead he points out that her conflict is because she would be hurting someone who has never hurt her and has only come to her aid. Ummm who is this man? And again I have to ask, why can’t OPA collect their own Susan dirt??? Also Abby is gonna be MAD! Oh this is gonna get SUPER messy!

Anyway, PP is basically like you’re bothered because you would no longer be Robin Hood… Liv cuts him off and says “I would be you.” His reaction, his face when she said that tho!!! PRICELESS!! But y’all know PP gots to get the last word in: “The reason Mellie imploded today is because you were trying to make her into something she wasn’t, I’d hate to see you make the same mistake with yourself.” #AndScene!! LOVED this exchange with Joe and Kerry #SubtleBrilliance


(26) Quinn meets up with Vanessa again apparently Jake hasn’t figured out that Quinn is all up in Vanessa’s sh*t yet. Just a matter of time…

(27) Tom meets up with Cy to give him an update on Edison dirt. He’s coming up empty. Cy is like you’re not trying. But that’s not even what’s remotely interesting about this scene. What IS interesting is that they meet in Cy’s hotel room and Tom – in a very intimate voice – says “do you need to get home?” Cy says no and Tom starts to take off his jacket. Cy tells him to put his coat back on and to get back to work. So Cy and Tom ARE sleeping together! Stop playing with me Shonda! PLEASE CONFIRM ALREADY!!

(28) David breaks up with Liz. Initially she totally ignores him, starts unbuttoning her blouse, says she is going to sit on top of him and move up and down until his eyes roll back into his head (well alrighty then Liz). Then she asked if he wanted her heels on or off? David stays strong and declares that he is in love with Susan. Whatever David. Anyway, needless to say THAT didn’t go over well. Liz makes her own incredulous face and calls Susan a Muppet (again) but like not even one of the main Muppets. Said she would be waaaaaaay in the back in their little Muppet band. DAYUM LIZ! David got all caveman and basically told Liz to shut her face talking about Susan like that. Liz: “I wasn’t sleeping with anyone else this entire time!” Comedy!

(29) Quinn figures out why Blondie got picked. Jake is using Vanessa’s money to fund a super PAC. Wait is it for Jake? IS JAKE GOING TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT?? Oh. Nah, it’s for Edison. Great. So Papa Pope is ALL UP in this #OfCourse

(30) On cue, Liv goes to try and warn Edison about her father. Too late, Eli has already hit him up. Edison is smug about his decision making. Fool. Eli has clearly given him the power speech. Liv still tries to get through to him: “You’re getting into bed with a monster.” Edison: “Correction – I’m getting into bed with a monster’s father.” Me: “Oooooooh sh*t! Well fck you too Edison! You just wait playboy you’ll see!” Also, this is real short-sighted of him considering Meridian Terrace – whatever that means.

(31) Susan chats with Fitz about cheating. He tells her “if you feel like he’s cheating then he probably is.” Sound advice Fitz. Sound advice. Random observation: Susan really is quite short isn’t she?


(32) Jake meets Vanessa for dinner. He gets a msg. Turns out it’s Liv who is posted up in the hallway. What is about to happen?? She takes Jake into the bathroom and pounces on him, tonguing him down, etc. Ooookaaaaaay… Ahhh, she casually drops the money laundering thing when he starts to (feebly) protest. She throws his commentary about him wanting “normal love” and her being a selfish “sociopath” in his face while she’s unbuckling his pants and feeling all on his manhood. Liv: “You are the one I like to ride, but nobody will ever ride you like I do.” Maaaaan, mofos are wildin’ out in this episode! She still has her hands all over him when she tells him to tell Papa Pope “game on and I’m gonna win” and then this heffa WALKS out! WORD LIV? WORD??? I’ll say this much I definitely prefer THIS Liv over whomever I’ve seen the last few episodes. Banish THAT heffa for good.

(32.1) Soundtrack: In case you were curious, the song playing during that scene was ” ‘Round Midnight” by Bettye LaVette.

(33) Debate Night. Former VP Sally has rollers in hair and is pacing back and forth with her notes screaming at underlings. Crazy AF and I LOVE HER!!!

(34) Susan is outside the debate venue smoking a cigarette. A little clichéd but whatever. She tells David she is dumping his a*s and he knows why. He FINALLY comes clean, tells her he’s done with the other woman and that he loves her, only her, blah blah blah. That look she gave him – EXACTLY! Tells him he still needs to bring his a*s on stage after the debate because the press have already been told. #Appearances


(35) Mellie is dealing with her own woes back stage, it’s been 24 hours of “Burgergate” and y’all know Liv has been busy attending to other matters. Mellie is like “wtf yo??” Liv tells Mellie to just do her best and leave the rest to her. Liv: “Trust me, I’ve got this, everything is going to be fine.” #UnOH!

(36) Susan tells Liz about David. Liz fumbles for a minute thinking that she’s been outed as well. Nah, not yet. Susan starts crying. Liz is also visibly upset, they have a moment. Susan: “Sometimes you can seem really mean but you care don’t you?” Cue extreme eye-roll from me. I hope Susan hangs that heffa out a White House window by her toe nails when she finds out.

(37) Liv meets with Alex to exchange dirt. Meridian Terrace is a rehab facility where Edison spent a month kicking an addiction to pain meds. So Edison just needs to drop that info before the opposition does. That’s easy. From Liv’s face and the trailer for next week’s episode the info on Susan is GOOD!

NOOOOOOO I DON’T WANT THIS EPISODE TO END!! I CAN’T WAIT TO WATCH THIS DEBATE!! Can Sally moderate one of the real life Republican debates? PLEASE???


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