This episode’s client-of-the-week is DC’s finest madam. DC police want to their names on her little black book. Olivia and her gladiators are charged with protecting the list, once they find it. And once they find it, they realize that the President’s nominee for the Supreme Court is on that list.
Meanwhile, a mysterious, unknown reporter comes by to see Amanda Tanner. Quinn (Katie Lowes), who is still figuring out what it means to be a gladiator, keeps him out of her room. Amanda is still unsure if she can trust Olivia or that she wants Olivia’s help. By the end of the episode, Quinn convinces her that its a good idea.
“If its serious, get Olivia on it.” -Mellie
While Cyrus is now fully aware that Olivia and the President had an affair at one point, we don’t know that anyone else does. So, we feel the awkwardness when the First Lady, Mellie (Bellamy Young), says that they should “get Olivia on it” to fix the Supreme Court nominations. The Judge says that he has never paid for sex. Olivia believes him and commissions the gladiators to find the truth.
It turns out that the Judge’s name is on the list because one evening he met one of the Madam’s girls by accident. She was stood up and he happened to buy her a drink. They fell in love and got married, not having sex until their wedding night. His wife continued to work for the Madam and paid for her husband to get through law school.
But, she never told her husband what she was doing. He had no idea. Olivia talks the wife into telling the Judge the truth. She does so, but at the risk of losing the nominations.
Moved by compassion that a good man and a good Judge was losing a seat on the Supreme Court because of someone else’s mistakes, Olivia calls all the Johns together. These are all men of great political power. And Olivia fixes it. There is no longer a scandal preventing the Judge from the nomination. The Johns all recommend him for the Supreme Court.
What is fascinating about a show like Scandal is how it illuminates human nature. Without apology, it shows the imperfections of humanity. But at the same time, in the midst of imperfection and brokenness, we catch glimpses of perfection. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, had a simple approach to moral and ethical issues: our faith is active in love. At this point in the series, there is no evidence of any of the characters having a faith, however, Olivia functions in love. A deep love for humanity and for others. A Christ-like love. Olivia is not perfect, and she would be the first to tell you that. But she in the midst of that, she can show love to others.
Maybe it was from guilt, that by revealing the truth she ruined a man’s life. Or maybe it was because she saw something in that man and who he was meant to be that others could not. Maybe it was a combination of both. Either way, Olivia acted with love and compassion for fellow humanity.
Or maybe its because Olivia knows that to be human is have dirty, little secrets. Even if you are Olivia Pope.