Jake Ballard is Bad and Bold
I’ll say this for Shonda and her writers, they did not try to drag out the whole “Who Got Shot” plot because this week’s episode opened up with Jake mowing down those reporters AND James. Sigh. I called it last week, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it. Jake turned out to be a stone cold killer. Not only did he kill those reporters, but he dug their graves himself — in broad daylight. And when Olivia called him out for his thuggery, he basically told her to shut up or she might be next. “Bad things happen to good people all the time.” Think about that for a minute. Just last week he was all wanting to run off into the sunlight and give up this life of sin, and now he is warning her that snitches get stitches. I tell you a spurned man is nothing nice.
This episode could have easily been titled “The Evolution of Cyrus Rutherford Beene” because we finally see the self-proclaimed monster show some real human emotion. Usually when Cyrus gets verklempt it’s fake because he is trying to manipulate someone, but this time his pain is all too real. He spent much of the episode trying to hold in his grief, but in the end he has a public breakdown and goes into the ugly cry. It was so bad that he could have used some members from the church Nurses Guilds to come fan him and pat him on the back. He really did love James after all. I also do not think he is buying the cover story about how his boo thing was killed. After the way Jake read him last week, he must be suspicious. I just want to know if his guilt over the whole mess is going to lead him to confess.
So now for the play by play…..
The show opens with Jake walking up to the group and firing on the two reporters. He didn’t did ask any questions, he just shot folks. James tries to run off and is shot too. David is begging for his life while Jake says that he has always liked him and asked him if he could be trusted to keep quiet about what really happened.
Back at the White House, Olivia is tending to Cyrus who has just learned that James was killed, and we see James and Cyrus’ relationship play out in flashbacks. They met at a bar when James approached him asking for a quote from the campaign for a story. Cyrus is recently divorced, from a woman, and has an ugly beard. Then we see them on the campaign bus before the general election when James is asking how Fitz can oppose same-sex marriage when he has a gay campaign manager. Cyrus denies being gay, but James says “And yet you shaved your beard?” lol I think he is talking about the ex wife as well as that unfortunate facial hair.
Mellie displays her usual bad timing by telling Fitz that he has to play up to the gun lobby in order to get re-elected. Meanwhile, Mustang Sally pretends to do the noble thing by suspending her campaign during this time of bereavement while secretly planning to meet with the gun lobby to get their endorsement. They do an end-run around her by grounding her plane and sending Mellie and Andrew to negotiate while Fitz remains at the White House. They win a tentative agreement for the endorsement which will require Fitz to make a speech supporting the Second Amendment, yet when Andrew calls Fitz to tell him about how well Mellie did during the meeting, he did not even want to speak to her. We all knew where this was headed, but Fitz basically pushed her into this man’s arms. Mellie finally gets some, and I am glad for her. In the words of that great American poet R. Kelly, I don’t see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind – especially when your cheating husband has been flaunting his sidepiece for the last 3 years.
The Notorious MOM
Adnan Salif gives Mamma Pope a Gucci bag full of cash which she accepts and tells her that she needs to find a terrorist. Adnan replies that she thought that the Mamma Grizzly was a terrorist, but she replies, “I don’t make bombs, I make money.” I wonder if Marie Wallace is related to Christopher Wallace with lines like that. Salif is looking scared since she did not want to involve anyone else, but Marie informs her that they will need a patsy because it’s not going to be her. And I really do not think she wants to have to repeat herself. Adnan later approaches Harrison asking about Liv having contacts at the Justice Department who might be able to broker a deal, but she gets spooked and runs off.
Quinn and Charlie approach a mechanic named Lance McCullom who is going to take the fall for killing James, but David is having second thoughts about charging an innocent man with this crime. Jake pays him a visit and asks him what’s taking so long and reminding him about their deal. Man, this new Jake is gangster.
Popes in the Park
Daddy Pope shows up to read Olivia on their regular park bench. That man always looks so irritated with her, and I am worried that he is going to have a stroke during one of his monologues. Ole girl is shook and tells him that she needs her dad and asks him to be nice for once. Yeah, so she should know better but anyways, Olivia asks what is the point of democracy if everyone is evil and the deck is stacked. Rowan explains that he is not so evil as she thinks because he remembers all 183 people whose deaths he was responsible for even if he did not kill them himself. He informs her that not only is he the hell and the high water, but he is also the hand of God. “Everyone is worth saving. In the face of darkness, you drag everyone into the light. That is the point of you. At least I like to think that is the point of you.” Sigh, I need Daddy Pope to adopt me and explain the ways of the world over Sunday dinners. That heffa doesn’t appreciate his wisdom like I would.
Quinn comes home to find Huck waiting in her apartment – he figured out that she broke into the safe and leaked the info about the Daniel Douglas murder. She asks if he came for more teeth or a finger, but he says that he came to put her down– like a rabid dog. Then in a really disturbing turn, he starts kissing her after she spits in his face. She does not return that nasty kiss and told him “If you’re not going to kill me get the hell out!!” And he leaves. Huck better stop underestimating this crazy broad because I have a feeling that she is about to flip out for real. You cannot keep threatening to kill someone and then reneging at the last minute. He may have taught her too well.
All the Gladiators run to Olivia at the office with their various problems – Jake threatening David, Adnan trying to break free from Marie and Quinn needing some act right. She just sat there looking weary, but she later meets with David and tells him to make the arrest so that he can live to take down B613. “Lose this battle so we can win the war.” I admire her intentions, but it’s going to take more than those two to take on Jake the Snake and his lair of murderous paper pushers. It’s not looking good for our side right now.
The Ugly Cry
Cyrus goes to the press room to announce the arrest because the press secretary filling in for James is clueless. We see one final flashback of him and James at the inaugural ball dancing while “You’re the Best thing that Ever Happened to Me” plays in the background. Then he goes into the ugly cry that just broke my entire heart. Fitz escorts him from the podium while Olivia wraps up the press conference. Aw Cyrus — woo, woo, woo. Hey, what do you say to a grieving monster?
And if that was not bad enough, we see a bloodied and dying James laying on the ground whimpering and gasping as Jake kneels beside him to apologize for not killing him cleanly like the others. He had to make it look like a real car jacking and vows to stay with him until he dies. Gee, that was nice of him. Oh and he also promised that baby Ella was safe.
This episode was so emotional!! And I have so many unanswered questions:
- Is Cyrus going to seek revenge for James’ death?
- What are Marie and Adnan up to? And who is doing her hair because that do is laid like the finest wall-to-wall carpet!
- Why is Quinn still alive?
- Who is going to bring the potato salad to James’ repast?
Okay, that is it for now. I am going to listen to Jennifer Hudson’s “Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There” while reflecting on the life of James Novak. Gone too soon.