Last night's Scandal explores the ramifications of a very specific sex act for the White House as Olivia Pope rushes into action to prevent the next Celebgate.
The "Eiffel Tower" is a sexual act in which a person on all fours is taken from both ends by two upright gentlemen who high five in the middle, creating the shape of an Eiffel Tower if you squint really hard. It's the sort of weirdly specific sex move that frat guys lie about for bragging rights, up there with the "blumpkin." It also happened to be a key plot of last night's episode, involving the president's teenage daughter, an ill-conceived sex video, and just who the hell gave Shonda Rhimes's writing room access to Urban Dictionary anyway?
It's the type of scandal that Scandal thrives on: frenetic, juicy, and with enough technobabble to limit Huck to the role of stoic, background hacker.
Of course, with Olivia Pope being back in the White House, it is only a matter of time before Bathrobe Mellie (not to be confused with "Smelly Mellie," term that her husband coins during the episode) barges in demanding answers. Mellie is slowly coming out of her grief haze, and if anything can shock her to action, it's the presence of Olivia on her side of the playground, followed by the realization of her recast daughter's inner turmoil.
Olivia and Mellie's relationship is one of the few areas in which Scandal demonstrates restraint. Considering that every other scene of the show is a dramatic monologue, we've seen relatively few blow-ups between the president's wife and his mistress. While drunk Mellie occasionally takes on a weird Mistress Epps vibe in Olivia's presence, there has never been a physical altercation between the two. Both women are above such things, and last night's forceful arm grab was treated as a slip by both parties.
Elsewhere, bodyguard Tom graduated from "mostly silent extra" to "ongoing plot point" as his assassination of the president's son finally comes to light. Last season ended with Olivia calling herself the eye of the hurricane of all DC scandals, but this honor might actually belong to Tom. Considering that he is the man who killed her lover's son (not to mention Harrison) on orders of her father, Tom might just be the busiest and most underwritten character in all of Shondaland. If he makes it past next episode, it might be time for Tom to join the big leagues. (Heads up: he probably won't make it past next episode.)
As for Fitz, well, even the most Fitz-centric, Fitz-sympathetic episode of the season still leaves our boy a smoldering douche. That very special kind of douche that prefers to seek solace in the idea that his daughter might have been raped if it means that she didn't willingly partake in a threesome. If giving a speech to his wife about her failures as a mother isn't enough, summoning and then dismissing his mistress for trying to move on from their affair this past summer earns Fitz his gold star this episode.
Line of the Week:
"So, I am failing as a father, and a husband, and a man... Good to know."
Yes, Fitz. Yes, you are. In a multitude of permutations of all three, in fact. God, I hate Fitz. This is reaching 'Kalinda's Husband' levels, people. How many episodes did we make it without him and Olivia sharing an emotionally-loaded dry hump in the Oval Office, three? Is three an actual Scandal record?