Review: ‘Scandal’ Episode 4.11 “Where’s the Black Lady?”

**Spoiler Alert** Don’t read this unless you like ruining everything for yourself.

Last week’s episode proved that Olivia Pope can hold her own, but the realization that she may never get out has left her feeling hopeless. This week we get to see what everyone in the Scandal universe, including Olivia, is willing to do for her safe return.

Fitz attempts to get his most powerful people to handle the Olivia situation, except there is a tiny hitch in his plan. He no longer has power. He is confronted by a group from Secret Service who tell him that he has no other options than to do what “the party” asks of him. Which includes starting a war with West Angola. They warn him that they have eyes and ears everywhere, leaving him feeling paranoid. Before he can tell Mellie what is happening, she tells him that she had slept with Andrew. Later, he demands Andrew give “proof of life.” Olivia is forced to read off cue cards to say that she is alive and not being harmed. Andrew gives Fitz 48 hours to declare war or they will kill Olivia.

Meanwhile, Huck has decided to do things his way (yay! Torture.) and threaten Elizabeth North and her daughter. Unfortunately she has no clue what Andrew has done, but promises to find out. She confronts Andrew who compares the whole situation to a game and suggestions that she cant just quite because “you don’t like the play calling.” Fitz is distracted by his everyday duties as President. He does come back to earth when Cyrus mentions Tom Larson’s pardon petition. He decides to go talk to his son’s killer in person. Talk about uncomfortable. He isn’t there to talk about the pardon, but instead asks Larson where he can speak freely in the White House. Larson reminds him of the only place that he can, Olivia’s apartment. He meets Jake there and gives him the copy of Olivia’s videotape.

Jake, Quinn, and Huck try to decipher the video and look for clues. Huck notices that when Olivia takes a long drink of her water she is actually trying to show them a reflection of Ian. She is attempting to leave breadcrumbs for her people to find. Olivia finds out that Ian is actually more of freelancer who is only in it for the money. Another Olivia speech ensues where she calls Ian a pawn and a puppet. Back at the office, an older woman named Rose comes in looking for “the black lady” and refuses to talk to anyone but. Random. Cyrus grows suspicious when Fitz starts listening to Andrew.

Since he couldn’t find anything from the glass reflection, Huck returns to Elizabeth’s house and decides to punish. In the one of the most uncomfortable close conversations ever, Fitz draws Mellie close to tell her that he is going to let Olivia die. She reminds him that Olivia means more and he should do what he needs to do. Soon after, he holds a press conference to announce their plan to attack West Angola, but that isn’t enough to get Olivia released. Rose comes back looking for “the black lady.” Quinn finds out that Rose is looking for her friend Lois who just happens to be Olivia’s neighbor. Poor Lois. Along with Jake and Huck, Quinn goes to the apartment and quickly finds the ring Olivia left under the rug. They take the Internet modem from the apartment in hopes to find a clue. Huck finds that the last person to log into the network was ‘Funny/Creepy Guy. When searching for more information, Ian comes up as a known associate. Cyrus questions Fitz on his motives for the unnecessary war. Fitz, angry, demands that he read the NSA report. Olivia tells Ian to shoot her in the head after requesting that her last meal is beef stew and an orange creamsicle. Ian tells her that looking after her is a “long term gig” and that she shouldn’t have killed Otto (Funny guy has…I mean HAD a name). Apparently he was the chef.

Elizabeth goes to Mellie to admit that she had no part in Olivia’s kidnapping. She shows what Huck has done to her and it is not pretty. It is actually a very disturbing image. She decides to help Mellie and Fitz because she is scared of what Huck will do to her in the future. Cyrus starts to look at the report only to find that Fitz has put a note that says “They have Olivia.”

Olivia uses her own powers of persuasion to convince Ian that she is more profitable on the black market. Asking him, “Do you want to be a babysitter or do you want to be a boss?” Ian actually falls for it, proving that he may not be as smart as he thinks he is. Mellie uses her relationship with Andrew to get access to his two phones, she gives them to Elizabeth who immediately takes them to Huck. The extra burner phone leads them to an abandoned airport hanger. Not being about to call Fitz, Jake calls on David to help. He reluctantly does it, even though he is not on good terms with Olivia. Jake goes in to the hanger with a team of armed men, only to find it empty. While looking at the destruction to the first wave of attacks on West Angola, Fitz receives a call from Olivia. She is all cleaned up and ready for auction. Ian tells the President about his plan to sell her and suggests that he get in on the bid.

Some of the things that stuck with me this episode including the disturbing image of Elizabeth North’s back and Huck’s intense look on his face right before he is going to torture her. As a self-described addict, he no longer seems to feel guilty for enjoying the act. (Side note: One of my favorite scenes of all time is Huck talking about his addiction at an AA meeting.) Fitz seemed like he was willing to let Olivia die, but I get it. Olivia would respect that decision, but I am glad Mellie knocked some sense into him. By the way, how great is Mellie. I remember a time when I wasn’t a fan, but over the years she has really proven herself to be strong, savvy, and hilarious. My only real knock on the episode was that there wasn’t even Jake.  I am sorry, but I am a Jake fan.  Also, can someone please tell Abby that her friend is missing.  As for the whole selling herself on the black market thing, I am not quite sure what Olivia is thinking. Honestly, the only reason I believe she did it was to get a long awaited shower.

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