Scandal Recap: 'Even the Devil Deserves a Second Chance'
Just when we were getting sick of the impeachment runaround, the will-they-or-won’t-they Liv and Fitz wedding, and Mellie monologues (just kidding, I never get sick of Mellie monologues), Scandal gives us an episode to remind us all why we love the show in the first place.
As with last season’s Ferguson-inspired episode (“The Lawn Chair”) and this season’s Princess Diana/Kate Middleton/Amal Clooney mash-up (“Heavy is the Head”), the OPA plot this week revolved around a combination of current events, seamlessly blending together the Bill Cosby rape scandal and the issue of universities covering up campus rape cases.
It starts off small: Fitz awards a Presidential Medal of Honor to a feminist writer named Frank Holland (yes, men can be feminists, too). He wrote a book that gave Abby the strength to leave her abusive husband, he’s started schools for girls all over the world, and plenty of female writers apparently owe their careers to him. As Quinn says, “It’s like he’s God’s gift to women, but for real.” Sound too good to be true? It is.
As Fitz is giving this dude an award, Liv gets a call that OPA has a client: A young woman named Hannah, who was one of Holland’s students. She claims he raped her and the school did nothing about it. It was two years ago, so it’s hard to prove, and when Liv confronts Holland and his wife, they bring up an issue Hannah had with plagiarism. Liv doesn’t think she’s lying about the rape, but this extra detail doesn’t look good and would be easy for the Hollands to spin.
So OPA starts digging, and they realize that not only has Holland raped nearly two-dozen women, but he did it under the premise of mentorship and drugged them to do it. Sound familiar? It also becomes clear that his wife not only knew about the rapes, but also provided him the drugs to do it – essentially claiming that he’s been such a help to women overall, a few rapes should barely register on his record.
Fitz can’t rescind the medal because they don’t have enough evidence, but they can create a different public scandal: One night as Holland is giving a reading at a university, all 22 women he raped descend the auditorium stairs and stand around him onstage. It’s like the New York magazine cover has come to life: There’s strength in numbers, and these women aren’t going to be invisible any longer. I admit, I got full-chills during this scene – I love to see Liv work her magic!