Sally Langston and Hollis Doyle on the set of "The Liberty Report" on "Scandal"

‘Scandal’ Recap: Wishful Thinking in ‘Trump Card’

“Scandal” writers got their Trump-hate ramped up and set up a fantasy take on how to get him out of the real life presidential race, in “Trump Card”. Hollis Doyle’s candidacy ended with a thud when a secret tape recording was used by that lovah of liberty, Sally Langston, to expose him for the lying politician he is.

Hollis was recorded by Olivia Pope as he made what he thought were private statements that revealed how his stump speeches were filled with untruths. But, it was the disdain for the blue collar folks who flock to his rallies that did him in. Liv and Sally are a dynamite combo when their interests align.

It was Liv’s final attempt to blow Hollis out of the race before she settled in to the ultimate battle against Abby. It worked and as only Olivia Pope can do, she used the results as a way to convince Edison to foil his own candidacy, and get out from under the thumb of Eli and Jake.

Poor Edison got the Eli treatment, when he was informed that Jake would be his Veep candidate. There would be no back talk, as Eli put the hammer down. When Liv showed up to remind him that when her father is involved, only he is in control, Edison realized he would be no more than a puppet as president, even if he got that far. He had yet to get past Gov. Vargas in the primaries.

So, when the racist rants of Hollis Doyle ended the day after his humiliation on TV, Edison let loose with his opinion of Doyle and all his supporters. He’d been under pressure, as a man of color, to decry Doyle’s positions, but prevented by Eli, who knew that he had to be a crossover candidate to win with the help of the “white vote”.

Edison’s rant was classic “Scandal” long-form speechifying in front a horde of media, all filming and recording. As one reporter noted when he was done, “He just lost the presidency”. See, the writers are telling us, if you tell the truth about hateful speech, you are pilloried. Little did they know it was a suicide, not a murder.

His punishment when Jake and Eli caught up with him, was to get roughed up. But, when Eli left the room, after told his rambunctious candidate that he knew Olivia had put him up to it, Jake begged him for help, rather than continuing to bash his head on the table.

Our dear Jake wants an escape route from his marriage and the arrangement with Eli. Oh yes, he said to Edison: “Tell her I want her help. Tell her I want to escape. Tell her I’m chasing the sun.”

Does Edison know who “her” is, and if so, is he clued in on the sun thing? Eli didn’t kill him, leaving him to dangle for another day, but who is to say that Eli won’t use something he has one of the two candidates left standing after “Trump Card” concluded?

That candidate on the Democratic side will now be Governor Vargas who has Cyrus at the helm, vindicated for leaving Fitz to take Vargas all the way to the White House. He confided in Liv that Vargas is the real deal and doesn’t have to be prompted to like elderly people and even hug them. Yikes!

Yeah, we’re back to Jake and Olivia drama, but with bigger Fitz drama to come, if you believe what you know are the patterns of the “Scandal” writers.

Once Hollis went down Liv and Abby got their best “oppo” research and decided to do it as high stakes game of chicken. Gather the two warring factions and tell everyone, out loud, what horror would befall them if the oppo info was correct and used. Two candidates entered the Oval and only one would be left standing at the end. One will decide to quit, and leave the other the presumptive nominee after Hollis’ withdrawal.

On one side were Liz, Fitz, Susan and David with Abby at the front of the room. On the other side were Mellie and Marcus, in a bit of a surprise, with Liv standing next to Abby. The only question to be answered was if Abby had the guts to expose Olivia’s abortion info she received from Eli. She couldn’t do it, using the much more benign revelation that Mellie consulted a psychic to connect with her dead son as she grieved his death.

Liv’s oppo was bigger than that. She found out about David throwing the Florida race for Susan by pulling the prosecution of the governor’s cronies. Susan was betrayed and said so, and of course, she knew that despite what David would say in public, voters wouldn’t believe she didn’t know about his federal crime.

Susan ended her candidacy then ripped David in half over his lies, reminding him that she didn’t want to run until he convinced her, then wooed her. The ultimate wooing occurred prior to the news coming out, as David proposed and Susan blushed and gushed. That, of course, was now over and Susan strutted her stuff in front of David, showing how she’s learned she no longer needs to beg for people to follow her or like her.

Olivia was happy for her candidate, who by the way, had a “moment” with Marcus in the hallway when the two almost kissed as they hugged about her triumph. How’s that gonna’ play out? But at the Oval Office meeting, Liv saw another folder in Abby’s hand that she instinctively knew held more oppo research. She had to know what it was and why Abby chose to spare her and Mellie.

In a private meeting over booze, Olivia learned about her father giving the abortion story to Abby and in a surprise move, declared she would not have been shamed by it. Of course, Mellie would be done in because everyone remembers the filibuster to save funding for Planned Parenthood.

Olivia calmly told Abby that she herself wouldn’t be upset to have it known she terminated a pregnancy, but someone else would. That someone else is Fitz, who Abby learned has been kept in the dark. Now that’s a juicy way to end the season, when the finale comes rolling around. Don’t ya’ think?

ABC airs “Scandal” Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Image credit: ABC, used with permission 

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