First Olivia and her associates had to deal with the shock of finding out that Amanda Tanner was pregnant with the President’s baby. Now they have to deal with the shock that Amanda is missing. Huck explains the most reasonable way that Amanda was kidnapped. “How do you know?” Olivia asks. “‘Cause that’s how I would do it,” he replies. This is the first hint that there is more to Hunk’s story than we know.
The client-of-the-episode is the husband of the pilot of Flight 684, which has crashed in Virginia, killing hundreds. Among the dead is a senator. Cyrus sees this an opportunity to get the Dream Act through. “Never let a crisis go to waste.”
The airline company makes a statement during the press release that the plane was in perfect condition. Translation: It’s the pilot’s fault. Olivia, Harrison, Abby, and Stephen are a few of many who get to listen to the airplane’s black box. While everyone is taking notes, Harrison is sitting, hands folded, eyes closed, listening. They quickly learn that the black box recording was leaked out. In the midst of the team hustling and bustling back and forth, Huck yells out to the group, “Amanda Tanner is dead!”
Olivia calls the President out on having Amanda killed. Fitz calls her and tells her that he didn’t have anything to do with it. “Follow your gut,” Fitz says. “I don’t have a gut any more,” Olivia replies.
In a way Olivia feels out of her comfort zone. Things are getting way out of the norm. She goes to Huck and says that she needs him to take care of it, but she is weary in her asking. Huck says he’ll take care of it. The next time we see Huck, he has a guy named Charlie tied up and naked on the floor. He opens his tool box and is talking to Charlie about how Charlie taught him to do what he did for the government for so many years. “We both know,” he says, “what an artist I can be.” Huck talks about torturing another person as an addiction.
Huck tells Charlie that he is breaking his sobriety because Olivia asked him too. Olivia who found him begging for money in the subway. Olivia who rescued him after the government took everything from him. Huck had crashed and burned. Olivia was the one who found him, broken, and rescued him.
The President gets a black-mail letter, causing Cyrus to realize that Olivia and Amanda Tanner had nothing to do with the sex tape. The letter includes video of President Nixon resigning. A President who crashed and burned.
Stephen doesn’t get the inspection reports from the airline company because he wasn’t willing to sleep with one of the female employees. “I’ve lost my super powers,” he says. He goes back though, and gets the reports. We can only conclude that he crashed and burned.
Harrison and Stephen learn that there was something wrong with the plane. They track down a Ms. Hayes who tells Harrison that there used to be two people doing her job. She looks as if she has emotionally and physically crashed and burned. She is overworked and overwhelmed. All she wanted to do was to go to a child’s piano recital, so she fudged one of the reports.
Huck finds out where Amanda is. Olivia tells David, who gets a diving team to retrieve her from the river. Olivia touches Huck’s arm to thank him, but he pulls back. We have gotten a huge glimpse into Huck’s life and yet there is so much we do not know yet.
If there was any doubt that Stephen returned to his old ways of sleeping with women to gather information, it was corrected in the closing scenes. When asked by the woman in the M.E. office if he was still in engaged, he responded, “not so engaged. . ” Stephen, too, had crashed and burned. Stephen gets the report and finds out that Amanda was pregnant, but it was not Fitz’ child. The President had been telling Olivia the truth. But it causes this viewer to wonder, who was Amanda talking to on the phone all those times? And what scheme was she playing?
The theme of crashing and burning is clear in this episode. Some of the characters are dealing with slips of morality. They come face-to-face with their failures. Let’s be honest, it will happen to all of us at some point or another. And likely more than once. It is clear that Olivia is not okay sending Huck in to crash and burn after he got “clean.” Olivia is hurting. You get the sense that this may be the first time she has come close to crashing and burning.
As Olivia receives the phone call from Stephen, learning that Amanda’s child was not the President’s, she opens her knocking door to the President.
It’s possible that Olivia is starting to pick herself up from her crash. It’s possible that Olivia is getting her gut back.