After the massive crossover with How To Get Away With Murder, Scandal brought the sails down a bit this week, but it also appears we’re getting an idea of what the true end-game of the series will be. This was also an episode where we don’t have a lot of moving parts, instead mostly focusing on the namesake of the episode title. Surprisingly, Olivia ends up having the least to do here as a majority of the episode she is cooped up with her mother, though where that storyline ends was oddly satisfying to me. Let’s get into some other portions first.
Cyrus is forced to head with David to a piracy summit as Mellie believes it’s important to have the VP there to show the United States is interested in matters. Cyrus takes this perfectly reasonable explanation as an attack on him and that Jake is trying to steal his spotlight, hoping to gain favor for a presidential nomination at the dinner Cyrus wants to go to. Cyrus ends up agreeing to Mellie’s demands and sets off with David and a plane full of random reporters and correspondents, only for the plane to get hacked and set on a different path. That path ends up being a straight shot at D.C., making this basically a 9/11 2.0.
From here, the plot shift between four different storylines. Before David departed, he mentioned Abby and him have a nice dinner to look forward to upon his return. Abby takes this as a sign that David is going to propose to her and begins to get freaked out. Abby’s memories of her first marriage aren’t exactly positive, so it seems the idea of marrying again, even if it’s to someone she knows will treat her better, is out of the question. So Huck and Charlie help out to see if David is really going to propose and it seems like that’s the case. When the hacking of Air Force Two is revealed, however, Abby is obviously so distraught that she quickly changes her mind about the proposal after realizing how much she loves David.
After this is all sorted out, QPA receives the virus used to hack the plane and start to try and reverse the effects so that the plane can regain control. This is the preferred option to take place in order to save the day. The other option that is being cooked up by the White House is to have the plane blown out of the sky by fighter jets if QPA’s efforts don’t work out. Mellie starts to have her suspicions of Jake as the hacker, knowing Cyrus and him aren’t on the greatest of terms. This is all quickly put to bed though as Jake makes it very clear that if he wanted to take out Cyrus, he’d administer a poison to him to cause a heart attack, not orchestrate a plane heist that would cause the deaths of Cyrus and loads of innocents.
During all of this, Olivia is hanging out with her mother as it’s suppose to be her birthday. Since Olivia seems to have patched up most of her relationship with Rowan, maybe it’s time to make amends with her mom now. Only, her mom is just interested in taunting her and playing with her emotions. She reveals that it isn’t even her birthday and that Olivia is too soft now (this is after Olivia receives word of the hacking of Air Force Two and gets worried about it). Maya wants her freedom and that’s the only way she’d accept love from her daughter. So after some time away from her, Olivia returns and gives her mother exactly what she wanted: freedom. But that freedom also comes with never seeing Olivia again, she is ready to let her dream of a mother who cares for her go. It’s a different resolution than what happened with Rowan, but it’s what needed to be done. Even after Maya reveals that the day really was her birthday, it’s already too late and Olivia is done, which seems to be the first thing to actually dig deep into Maya.
Air Force Two is still heading straight for D.C. and everyone on the plane is quickly starting to lose hope that they’ll be saved in time. This defeated feeling is amplified by the fact they can see the fighter jets flying next to them, waiting for the order to be issued. Cyrus uses this final moment of time to make a speech to the occupants of the plane about hope, sacrifice, and what their deaths will mean in the grand schemes of the world. Unbeknownst to him (or maybe he does know), one of the reporters on the plane managed to get access to the small sever of wifi on the plane and records this speech so that it can be live-streamed to the world. Approaching the last minute of their lives, the occupants of Air Force Two prepare for the worst, but QPA finally manages to break through the virus and returns functions back to the plane.
David returns to Abby and she forces him to propose to her right now instead of waiting for the dinner as she’s ready for it now after thinking she was about to lose him. Unluckily for David, he never was intending on proposing as he knew what her feelings on it were, he just went to buy a necklace for his mother at the jewelry store and wanted to have a nice meal with his girlfriend. This turns out fine for Abby as having a understanding boyfriend is better than going along with marriage. Olivia decides to pay a visit to the White House and sees how Cyrus is doing in the aftermath of almost dying. The thing is, she isn’t as dumb as everyone else. She knows the hacking of the plane was Cyrus’ doing as an attempt to gain favor to the public since he couldn’t go to the dinner. Cyrus eventually confirms this and Olivia questions why he’s attempting his bid for president so early, seeing as Mellie is still only on her first term. Cyrus, however, has plans to make sure Mellie’s time as president ends with her first term and she never sees a second. When Olivia demands to know what Cyrus is up to, he dismisses her and returns to his drink, leaving Olivia oblivious of what’s to come.
So “Air Force Two” has set the stage for what seems to be the final encounter of the series. After Cyrus oddly backed off from exposing Mellie after Olivia left the White House, it seems he’s finally ready to secure his place as president. Olivia will now probably have to try and regain the favor of everyone she’s wronged in order to help her against Cyrus…or Jake could just poison him like he said he could, that would probably work just as well. But since this is Scandal, I’m sure Cyrus has some plans in mind that will make someone killing him harder than expected and I’m interested to see where this goes.
Air Force Two – 3 out of 5
- Olivia finally letting go of her mother.
- Cyrus’ speech on the plane is a good one, but that’s kinda the point.
- I’ve enjoyed the switch from Huck and Charlie being creepy killing machines to delightfully hacking David to see if he bought a engagement ring.
- There’s a part of me that’s sad Cyrus is turning into the final big bad. He previously had some redeeming qualities to him, but they’re all quickly departing.
- Is Rowan ever going to be seen again or is his story done?