scandal-season-2-the-jasmine-brandThe Biblical allusions are running amuck in this week’s episode. Theological themes of sin, grace, and forgiveness have always found a place in Scandal. This week, though, the writers did not hold back.

The title line belongs to Mellie, as she and Cyrus discuss Fitz’ new person whom he is taking advice from. This “snake” is messing up everything that Mellie and Cyrus planted. Cyrus is handling it, as he quotes Olivia Pope. And he is. He has asked Charlie, the B16 spy to look into Jake Ballard. The President, in the meantime, asks Jake to look more into the source that provided information regarding the hostages. The President wants to know who the mole is.

Jake watches and rewatches and the video from when CIA director Osbourne paid a visit to Olivia. He calls her later to confirm that she is at work, before he breaks into her apartment. He takes the flash drive she hid when Osbourne knocked on the door, as well as took photos of notes she had taken on the case. He turned those things in to the President.

David is the office, sleeping on the couch. Someone had broken into his place and trashed it. They think it was someone looking for the flash drive. David hangs out with the Gladiators and pitches in every once in awhile like he knows how to play their game.

The client of the week is Hollis Doyle and one of his ex-wives. Their daughter has been kidnapped and there is a ransom. Hollis is determined not to pay anything until he has proof that it is for real, he thinks she is just acting out trying to bleed him dry of money. We all know that Hollis can be someone what heartless, but wow. Even with this own daughter? Even after an ear shows up in the mail?

Well, the joke is on us, because as Huck examines the ear, we learn that the daughter kidnapped herself. The boyfriend she said did it, was in prison in another country for drug possession. In a very intense family moment, Hollis gives his daughter a choice – the money or family. She chooses the money.

The case of the week was not without controversy. The Gladiators don’t understand why Olivia wants to help Hollis Doyle. One answer: love.

Even a man as heartless as Hollis Doyle has love for his children. And with great pain he tells his daughter to “GIT” after she chooses the money over family. We see a different side to Hollis Doyle. Is this to humanize him for us? Or is it simply making everything more grey? Olivia Pope seems to live in the grey, things are neither black nor white; right nor wrong; good nor evil. Could this side of Hollis be showing us that we need to show compassion to even our enemies?

Family is important. Throughout the whole episode, Quinn is trying to find Huck a family. Huck overhears Quinn making a phone call to her father, and leaving another message wishing him a Happy Birthday. At the end of the episode (see clip below) Huck takes Quinn to a family, which is for her. His gift to her. Fitz is looking forward to his children coming in for the weekend from boarding school. Mellie makes changes to his calendar without telling him, making it impossible for him to see his children. He is not happy about it. But then Mellie roars back that the children did not want to come because of Fitz. Because of his drinking, he has become mean and overbearing. She tells him that he has turned into Big Jerry, his own alcoholic father, and that he should know how his children feel because he felt that way about his father. When she is done, Fitz looks like he has seen a ghost. And perhaps in his subconscious he has, the ghost of Christmas Future or the ghost of Christmas Past. Either way, Fitz’s hand comes away from the glass of Scotch he had been drinking. Is this the beginning of a new leaf for President Grant?

The information that Charlie discovers about Jake Ballard, is that he and the President have a past. They served together on Operation Remington, which I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more of. Cyrus goes to the President and tells him that he must have done some awful things in Iran during that Operation. He goes on to equate that to what he did in Defiance. They both have done things to get to where they are. They both have made mistakes. They both have fallen from glory. They are alike. And finally, Fitz lets Cyrus in. He tells Cyrus that he has someone looking into CIA Director Osbourne.

Osbourne comes to Cyrus at the end of the episode pleading with Cyrus to believe him that he didn’t have anything to do with the leaking of information. Cyrus says that he works on behalf of the President, and the President is removing Osbourne as CIA Director. Then this happens:

Okay, seriously, who is this Jake Ballard guy? I’ve been asking this question since episode 14. And who is this other random guy who just showed up?