If you haven’t seen this week’s episode of SCANDAL, avert your eyes. Otherwise, dive in as we get to know more about Huck’s past… and find out why Fitz may not have much of a future in politics!
Starting Point: We open five years ago and see Olivia’s first meeting with Huck when he was a bum hanging out at Union Station. Back in the present, a still hospitalized Olivia has a few… questions for Fitz. You know, like “Why did you break my heart?” and “Why are you spying on me?” Fitz declares his love repeatedly, but Liv ain’t buying what he’s trying to sell. As for Huck, he’s balled up in a corner muttering seven fifty-two again and again. Flashing back to 14 years ago, we find out that the government cut short Huck’s tour of duty in Kosovo and basically gave him the option of taking a job with an organization known as B613 or be killed by “the guy behind me with a bulge in his pocket that I’m pretty sure isn’t there because he’s happy to see me, I’m pretty sure it’s a gun.” That guy? Turns out it’s Charlie, aka Baseball Cap Guy.
Lesson Learned: Both Harrison and Charlie try getting in to see Olivia – the former to check on her, the latter, likely, to kill her – but both are waylaid by the CIA officers. This tips Harrison in to the fact that Olivia has a VIP visitor… as in Very Infatuated President. While the Gladiators try and figure out there next step, we flash back to Charlie teaching a course that might be known as Torture & Killing 101, and his only student is Huck. In one session, Charlie offers the following useful tip: “Always do your job on trash day. That way, after they’re dead, you put ‘em in plastic, roll ‘em in a rug, shove ‘em in a dumpster and you’re good to go!” Who says SCANDAL ain’t an educational show?
The Odd Couple: Harrison manages to call Olivia, but she’s not much help in dealing with Huck’s sudden transformation into Rainman. A wildly awkward silence clues Liv in to the fact that Harrison knows her dirty little secret. Told by Liv that they should all talk to Huck even if he can’t respond to them, Quindsay – always only too happy to babble – goes on and on about the dream wedding she never got. She manages to reach him for a hot second, and it becomes increasingly clear these two are destined to become the weirdest couple on television.
Happy Days: Flashing back again, we find out that Huck proposed to his girlfriend, Kim, after she revealed her pregnancy. This development leaves Huck so happy that he’s whistling while he works… and by works, I mean snipping off a dude’s toes. We cut between shots of Huck’s wedding to him collecting watches as trophies from each of his victims. He’s gone from reluctant killer to quipping that the great thing about his job is “getting to see what people are made of… literally.” You kinda suspect he and Showtimes serial-killing detective, Dexter, would amuse one another. Kim goes into labor and gives Huck a bouncing baby boy.
Family Guy: At the hospital, Cyrus tells Fitz he’s having a tough time keeping it under wraps that “the President of the United States is here on a late-night booty call.” But Fitz insists he ain’t going anywhere until Liv is discharged. Meanwhile, Abby takes her turn chatting up a non-responsive Huck, opening up about her relationship with David and how Olivia saved her. “She rescued me from my husband… so David might love me, but I owe Olivia my life. That’s how she gets you. She saves you… and then turns you into a Gladiator… we are blindly loyal, no questions asked, morals be damned, because she loves us and this becomes who we are. Gladiators. And it’s amazing and wonderful and it ruins everything.” And then we flash back to the moment that changed everything: Charlie finding out that Huck has a wife and kid, which is strictly against “company” policy. “Get rid of them!” he orders. Huck plans to spirit his family away, but first he has to run to the bank. And we just know that Something Very Bad is going to happen. Sure enough, he winds up being taken to a cell with a hole in the floor and we begin to see why being shoved into that box last week turned him into a headcase…
Past Imperfect: Harrison takes his shot at literally talking some sense into Huck, admitting that all he’s ever been is talk. “You be as full-on crazy as you want for as long as you need,” says Harrison. “I’m going to be right here with you.” Flashing back, we see that Huck is being kept in a sensory deprivation chamber and asked periodically if he has a wife and child. Each time, he says yes, and each time, the door is closed, once again plunging him into darkness.
Fixer Upper: The First Bitch is updated on the fact that her husband hasn’t left Olivia’s side. And at the hospital, Olivia and Fitz are finally having the long-awaited conversation about Defiance and what it meant. She insists she was trying to help, but he calls it what it was. “I’m angry that you fixed the election, but I’m even angrier that you thought you were fixing me!” But damnit, he loves her and insists she still loves him. Try as she might, Liv can’t deny her feelings anymore than we can deny loving them. She tries walking away, but is stopped by his words. “This past year, I have learned only one thing,” he admits. “That I cannot live without you. That I cannot breath without you. That the man I am without you is… I’m nothing. I’m nothing, and you are everything. And I need you to give me another chance. I demand another chance!” His pretty talk earns him a steamy kiss… after which Liv declares “I can’t!” and walks out.
Dead Marriage Walking: The First Bitch announces that she’s had about as much as she can take. She’s leaving Fitz and moving across the street. Of course, she’ll keep up public appearances by taking the tunnel connecting the two residences, and, oh, by the way, she’s taking their son. Fitz’ reaction to this: As if! Oh, he has no problem with Mellie leaving him… but he ain’t about to let her take Teddy! “You wanna shack up with Olivia Pope, fine, have at her. But the clock is ticking. And when the alarm rings, I will be… holding a press conference to discuss my husband, who can’t keep his pants zipped, and the whore who has him on a leash!” With that, she picks up the baby, urges Fitz to choose family and, in true First Bitch family, exits with a threat: “Good luck getting re-elected once I start talking!”
Connecting The Dots: Cyrus calls Charlie, ordering him to find out the nature of Olivia and Jake’s relationship. Jake tries getting the mystery man to let him off the case due to his pretty obvious conflict of interest only to be reminded “there’s no such thing as out.” And when we flash back to an imprisoned Huck one last time, it’s to hear him deny that he has a wife and child. Released from the cell, he’s given an assignment… which he fails to carry out. Although ordered to kill Huck, Charlie instead tells him to run, warning that he’s now a ghost and if he ever contacts his wife or child, they’ll be murdered. Going back to the agency head – aka mystery man — Charlie reports that Huck has been terminated. Finally released from the hospital, it is, of course Liv who is able to reach Huck by saying of the other Gladiators, “They don’t live on the dark side of the moon. They are different.” More importantly, she says, “You are all I have, you are everything. I didn’t save you in that metro station… you saved me.” Huck admits he used to have a family… unless he imagined the whole thing. And we finally see that, as seemed obvious from the beginning of the episode, 7:52 is a time. Specifically, it was the time each morning when a down-and-out Huck saw his wife and child getting off a train!
So what did you think of this week’s episode? Do you think Mellie will really destroy her husband’s political career? Should Huck and Quindsay hook up? Sound off in the comments section below!
Richard Simms is the Executive Editor of Soaps In Depth magazine and the author of Crimes Against Civility, which is available on Amazon.com.