Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Scandal 3.3: Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington

Mary Nesbitt is a grieving mother. She believes with everything in her body and soul that the FBI unjustly killed her son in a raid. She has struggled to have anyone listen to her. So, she goes to Washington and hires Pope and Associates. In a quick background check on her, Quinn learns that the payment Mary Nesbitt made was everything she had left in her bank account. To Olivia, this does not add up.

Scandal-Season-3-Episode-3-Recap-Mrs.-Smith-Goes-To-WashingtonAfter running to the Capital, where Mary Nesbitt said she had a meeting, Olivia finds the mother in a congressman’s office with a bomb strapped to her body that she learned to make on the internet. What follows is an intense and long hostage situation. About the same time, a visitor taking a tour of the White House breaks off from the group, ranting that he needs to see the President about “Remington.” It is enough to keep the President and the First Lady from having to go to Camp David to look the part of a loving family, as Cyrus had hoped.

Mary Nesbitt is demanding to see her son, Chris Lawrence’s FBI file. She is sure that if she sees his file, the truth will revealed. The problem is that the FBI isn’t willing to release a file to someone who is holding six people as hostages. Olivia convinces Mary Nesbitt to release the congressman’s staffers.

Meanwhile, the file is being tracked down, but whatever is in the file has to go through the President first. Whatever is in the file, the President shuts it down. It cannot be revealed. Fitz sits in the Situation Room and gives the green light for a sniper to take Mary Nesbitt down. Olivia, following her gut as usual, botches the attempt by fearlessly pulling the curtains back and standing in the snipers laser. Fitz wants to call Olivia, but Cyrus will not let him. Instead the FBI call her and refers to her as a terrorist for her actions. Olivia gets Jake to call the President, only to have Fitz say: “You’ll have to tell her you couldn’t save the day.”

Olivia keeps the Gladiators on the run, gathering as much information as they can about Lawrence’s file. This includes getting David Rosen involved, who goes to Cyrus. Quinn attempts to hack into the FBI files, but without Huck around to help out with it. Huck has taken a “personal day”, causing Abby to wonder: “We get personal days?” What Huck is really doing, which Quinn is able to figure out later in the episode, is following Olivia’s father, Rowan. He plans to kill Rowan at the trailer of the man who ran through the White House. Rowan, instead, tells Huck to tell the man. Rowan wants to keep Remington, whatever it is, quiet.

David convinces Cyrus that he needs to do something, he cannot just kill Mary Nesbitt. Cyrus and David stand with Fitz when he calls Olivia to tell her the truth. Chris Lawrence, as his mother expected, was not a terrorist. He was, instead, a CIA agent who had successfully gone undercover with al-Qaeda and recruited 57 other operatives. The FBI who raided Lawrence’s location did not know that he was undercover. If they come clean and share Lawrence’s true identity, they will out the 57 other agents working undercover in terrorist cells. While Lawrence is an American hero, they cannot risk the lives of 57 other Americans.

Fitz begs Olivia not to tell Mary Nesbitt the truth. Olivia responds by hanging up the phone. After a few seconds, Olivia turns to Mary Nesbitt and tells her she’s sorry, her son was a terrorist. Mary Nesbitt falls to her knees and into Olivia’s arms and cry. As Olivia and the congressman gather Mary Nesbitt to leave. The congressman comes out, Olivia comes out, and then the door slams shut. Mary Nesbitt is still inside the room and within seconds the bomb detonates.

Quinn meets Olivia at the site and tells her what Huck has been up to. Olivia returns to the office later that night and finds Huck sitting in the dark. Unsure what is about to happen, Olivia asks Huck if he killed her father. Huck answers:

There’s nothing. . . . .I thought I was fine . . . . .He still controls me . . . .He owns me, Liv.

Of course, Huck is talking about Olivia’s father, the Commander. Huck was not able to kill him as he had planned. Instead he responds to the command and kills the man Rowan wanted silenced. Huck is struggling to deal with the emotions and feelings he is having. He thought he had dealt with so much of it. At the same time, Olivia kept from him that her father was the Commander.

When Olivia returns home, Jake Ballard is still there. She asks Jake, “How are you here?” Jake isn’t sure what exactly Olivia is asking at first. What she wants to know is what was done in order to have Jake Ballard released from the hole. Jake doesn’t quite understand what Olivia is getting at. But she knows her father better than he does. As she says:

Nobody walks away from him. . . . . He controls everything . . . . . Don’t feel bad about it, he still owns me, too.

Huck and Olivia are struggling with similar things. They have tried so hard and for so long to break out of the Commander’s control, only to find themselves back under it. We are still coming to learn just what Rowan’s “super-power” is, but it is clear that he, as the Commander, as the most power. Unfortunately it is not clear if that power is for good. To Huck and Olivia, it doesn’t seem to feel like it is.

In fact, it seems to feel a lot like being under the control of sin. Even though we try and try and try to break free from the control of sin in our lives, we are, at the end of the day, just sinners saved by grace.

1 Comment

  1. One of my favorite episodes!

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