Scandal would like me to be saying “Wow, what a shocking episode!” in response to “Good People”, but it really wasn’t. There was never a point in the hour where I questioned to myself whether I was right in calling last week that Rowan didn’t actually kill Quinn, no matter how many times we were treated to him chewing the scenery with his monologues to a tiny dinosaur toy about how he has to kill Quinn to prove his point to Olivia. Did we actually need a flashback episode for this? A 5 minute flashback to Rowan going to the basement would’ve sufficed while Charlie is interrogating him for the location of Quinn, but whatever. We got what we got.
What works in this episode, and the only real redeeming quality, is Rowan himself. Due to being a villain for most of the series, he’s such an interesting character to watch unfold on the screen. You’d think his over-the-top monologues would grow old by now, but Joe Morton continues to nail it each time. The humanization of Rowan has also been something I’m surprised to say I’ve enjoyed this season. Deep down, we know Rowan cares for Olivia and he desperately doesn’t want her to become like him, she should be part of the “Good People” this episode title refers to. But through the twists and turns of the series, she’s now in the position Rowan occupied previously and he desires better for her, making it seem like his demands are to his advantage when they’re really for Olivia.
The bounds in which Rowan will go for this dream to become a reality is what makes up a majority of this episode. We knew he kidnapped Quinn, but it’s shown that he had her locked up in a secret basement for the majority of her stay with him. Quinn is quick to know exactly what the purpose of her capture by Rowan is and has to question if Olivia will actually come through for her. We’ve seen Rowan do some pretty messed up shit to cover his ass before, so it’s up to debate for me if Quinn’s mention of B613’s rule of “mothers and children first” is what convinced Rowan to not kill her or if he truly never intended to the entire time.
Either way, Rowan then spends the rest of the episode befriending Marvin, a sales associate at some Walmart stand-in, and acquiring items mostly meant for Quinn’s benefit. Clothing for the baby, a crib, change of clothes for Quinn, and even guns to keep her safe after Jake cleans up Rowan’s stash (Though we’re meant to believe the guns are meant for killing her first I guess?). As soon as poor Marvin mentioned that he’d supervised births while in the military, I knew he was as good as dead. Rowan enlists his help once the baby finally arrives, but to cover his ass, that also meant killing the only friend he’s ever had, in his words. Rowan can be one of the “Good People” in certain circumstances, like Marvin says to him, but he’s also one of the bad people because he kills good people like Marvin. His body is later used to cover for Quinn’s fake death though, so at least he serves an additional purpose in the end.
The remaining parts of the episode are of Quinn having fever dreams in the basement, where she’s aided (and berated) by hallucinations of Huck, Abby, Charlie, and Marcus. I guess they gave Quinn something to do and I did like scene where she first saw Charlie, only to be disappointed when she realized he wasn’t actually there. Thanks to the hairpin that she was given by Olivia, she does eventually succeed in escaping, but it doesn’t lead to much as Rowan gains the upperhand since he possess a gun. It was one final attempt to make the audience guess whether her escape attempt would ultimately result in her preventable death, but Rowan fires into the wall instead to give the false impression to Olivia that he did the deed. I’m not sure what Rowan’s plan for Quinn is now, but she seems to be in agreement that she understands she can’t leave until the next phase.
So, “Good People” was an episode that didn’t really NEED to be a full episode, but it did lead to some further characterization of Rowan in his attempts to figure out just what to do with Quinn and that’s a plus for me. Despite all of this, Quinn never felt to me like she was in any danger, but this show has also disappointed me so much this season that I figured that’d be the case. I also forgot to mention that three scenes of the episode were scenes that we already saw in the midseason finale and no, they weren’t even condensed at all the second time around. But hey, next episode looks like it’ll have some potential!
Good People – 2 out of 5
- Rowan is still a intriguing character.
- I thought most of the Rowan/Marvin scene were good too.
- I called that there was no twist and am slightly disappointed I was right.
- Quinn didn’t really have much to do this episode, though she was locked up, so it makes sense.
- Three repeated scenes from “Something Borrowed”