Scandal Season 2The episode opens up with a man rushing to get a package in the mail. As soon as the mail truck turns the corner, he pulls out a guy and kills himself.

The package is addressed to Olivia Pope. Who else?

The package contains what at first looks like sheet music. But as Huck examines it, it is old spy technique to deliver a message. Basically, the B613, a special agency of the CIA, is at risk of being exposed. There are only six B613 agents, though the agency is no longer a thing. Huck is one of them.

They call the other five to Olivia’s office. The six of them sit in the conference room as Olivia explains to them that she is fixing this. At one point the spies realize that the leak – the source – is in that conference room. They pull guns on each other, and though Harrison tries to talk them into putting their guys away, he is unsuccessful.

Harrison is that character that knows Olivia well. He can tell when something is up. And he is the one with the voice that will have Olivia listen. He does that in this episode. “It’s getting weird in here,” he says to her, “What do you need?”

Olivia is always trying to keep her personal life out of her professional. Harrison realizes that her personal and her professional are getting blurred, and he picks up on that possibly sooner than Olivia does. And it has nothing to do with Fitz (who is not in this episode either) but with what happened in that one county in Ohio. “The night I was arrested,” he reminds Olivia, “you sat with me for hours.” And later he will tell her, “I’m your family. I’m your gladiator.”

Olivia tells him that though she cannot explain, Abby cannot be in a relationship with David. She also informs him that Abby’s ex used to beat her. David pays off a former girlfriend of David’s and plants evidence. Then as he and Abby are working on the spy case, mentions to her that he wants what’s best for her and wonders if she has done a check on David. Abby holds to the truth that David is a good guy. But she finally does look into him and finds the evidence of abuse in David’s past.

Abby shows up at David’s apartment, pins the pictures of his ex girlfriend’s hospital photos next to hers, which David had when he was investigating Olivia and the gladiators. After yelling at him to never touch her again, she storms out, leaving David somewhat confused.

We know that David didn’t do it. We know that Olivia needs to keep Abby out of this situation.

But is anyone else slightly bothered by the amount of manipulation in this episode? Harrison manipulates Abby. Cyrus manipulates his husband James into stop writing about Hollis Doyle.

Doyle has manipulated them all. It’s a mess.

It turns out that Melvin, one of the spies, was the leak. Huck gives a passionate speech about how Melvin is like each of them. “We served out country. But nobody gets to know that. . . . .Melvin is just one of us.” The spy who is also a suburban mom dressed in pink is the one who kills Melvin. The spies than clean up after themselves, while Huck sits at the table, still and quiet.

spies-like-us

The other spies return to their “normal” lives.  One as a mother, one as a professor, and one as an owner of a bed and breakfast. Charlie makes a phone call about getting back into the business. We don’t know who he called or what that means, but most likely the assassin/spy business.

And then there’ s Huck. Huck continues to struggle with this dual life thing. He wants to investigate his new girlfriend. Huck is a mystery. Not only to the audience, but to himself. As Huck sits at the table, we can imagine that he is reflective. He wants so badly to be “normal.” But what is normal? Based on this episode “normal” is being manipulative, even with the people you love.

Let’s face it, it’s hard to know what “normal” anymore.