Scandal, Season 3, Episode 16, “The Fluffer”
Written by Chris Van Dusen and Raamla Mohamed
Directed by Jeannot Szwarc
Airs Thursdays at 10pm EST on ABC
On this week’s Scandal, Abby works at the White House as Olivia’s proxy, Olivia seduces B613 secrets out of Jake, Charlie and Quinn watch Mama Pope, and Rowan aids Olivia.
Stepping away from last week’s foray into humor, “The Fluffer” delivers an episode of pure Scandal intensity and jaw-dropping shockers. Oh, and it helps that everyone (even Reston!) is given a nice chunk of plot to work with–Scandal does very well when the storyline includes all the major, secondary, and lesser characters.
Heinous title aside, “The Fluffer” feels just as tensely dramatic and surprising as a season one or two episode, though with a bit of added maturity. Abby’s little speech to a dejected Olivia Pope is reminiscent of season one (when Quinn was first being hired) in the best way, and Liv’s refusal to be Fitz’s toy is a long-time coming, but still welcome (as is Mellie’s rage-fueled slap).
Speaking of Fitz, he’s always been a weak-link character in a cast of strongly-developed individuals. Being in a position of power has gone to his head in the worst way–he believes himself entitled to Mellie and Olivia. The blatant double standard (when he refuses to allow Mellie’s affair to continue) is nauseating, and the two women in his life are finally rebelling against him. Mellie’s arguably one of Scandal‘s greatest characters, but she’s frequently shoved into a figurative corner by everyone around her, and she deserves so much more.
Of course, Fitz’s life is now in danger (again), so the women in his life will undoubtedly rally around him and attempt to save his life (again). Hopefully someday soon Mellie and Liv’s lives won’t circle around President Fitzgerald Grant’s existence.
Meanwhile, the final two episodes of the season should be exciting, with B613 dead and a bomb floating around D.C. The entire B613 plot is wearing itself thin fast, so thankfully it (presumably) won’t last much longer.