I have to admit, this was a step up from what I was expecting these last 4 episodes to dish out, though that isn’t to say there wasn’t things I thought were bullshit or rushed. It has always seemed that Scandal would gladly sacrifice character development for shock value and there’s a very weird one here with Jake, but Jake’s always been quite the flip-floppy character anyway, so it’s not as big a grip. “The Noise” is mostly a set-up episode, in that we get to learn more about Cyrus’ ultimate plan to take out Mellie, but in the exterior we also get to see the alliances that have formed for and against Mellie in this situation. Olivia’s job for much of the episode is trying to decide which side of the matter she’s actually on and it’s probably the happiest I’ve been with Olivia’s character in some time.
So Charlie has been arrested and is being tortured to cop to the assassination attempt on Cyrus, even though he didn’t do it. The trick to this is that he’d gain complete immunity if he agrees to cooperate…because it would also be implicating that Mellie was the one that hired Charlie. With this out in the open, Mellie would be impeached and Cyrus would become the new President of the United States and as thanks would pardon Charlie in the process. It seems like a sweet deal, but it would also destroy Mellie’s career and Charlie just can’t get down with that. Olivia is initially on Charlie’s side of the matter as she had spent loads of time and effort building Mellie up to the beacon she is now, but QPA have other things in mind and clash with Olivia once again.
Quinn obviously wants Charlie to be free at any cost and Cyrus’ attempts at getting into her head do make her doubt Olivia’s loyalties further. Olivia has QPA, Fitz, and Marcus team up with her to try and either find dirt on Cyrus’ new accomplice or convince Mellie that Cyrus is against her. Both of these methods doesn’t exactly work out, though Fitz does manage to place a bug in Mellie’s head about Cyrus. She has Jake follow up on this, but he’s instead turned by Cyrus to join his side. I’m not sure if it’s because Cyrus’ speech about how Jake will always play second fiddle to anyone or because he later sees Mellie and Marcus rekindle their romance and it makes him butthurt since he tried to get with Mellie last episode, but either way Jake is now on team evil again.
Olivia’s indecision on how to handle the matter finally brings her to a head with Quinn at the QPA office, which is not in a great state after being searched through by the police. The white hat obviously is front and center for Olivia to see and she holds it for much of the conversation she has with Quinn here, which basically boils down to her finally admitting that she was power hungry and made several mistakes along the way to keep the power coming. Because of this, she now isn’t able to trust her gut anymore as the lines between good and bad blurred to her so much in the past that she’s still not sure if she’s capable of separating them yet. So Olivia leaves it on Quinn to decide what happens with Charlie and Mellie. Quinn ends up taking Olivia’s side, refusing to destroy the life of Mellie even for her own husband, but because of Jake’s recruitment, Cyrus doesn’t really give a shit about Quinn anymore.
And thus Jake becomes the final interrogator for Charlie. Somehow Cyrus never considered the idea of threatening harm on Quinn for Charlie’s cooperation, but Jake sure does. This is what finally gets Charlie to sign the papers implicating Mellie as the true assassin, which quickly makes headlines in the news. Mellie learns of Jake’s betrayal as well and realizes that Olivia was right about everything all along and Mellie just made herself looks stupid by placing her pride over trusting Olivia. The episode ends with Olivia and Mellie meeting to discuss what the next step should be. Mellie wants Olivia to become her Command again in order to kill Cyrus and end his attempts at ruining her career. This is something that would take a stab at Olivia’s tryst with redemption, so she’s in quite the pickle now.
“The Noise” did enough work for me to be fine with everyone forgiving Olivia now. It was a very vocal problem from me in the past few episodes, but I liked the scene between Olivia and Quinn here. There was also that additional scene of Huck and Fitz discussing if the Olivia they saw is the old one or the bad one, both of them opting that it may very well be the old one. And now even Mellie is on Olivia’s side, after Olivia lied to her countless times and killed her lover. So now all targets are on Cyrus and Jake, but the question will be: Will Olivia step to the dark side again or find the “white hat” way to approach ending Cyrus?
The Noise – 3 out of 5
- Decent set-up episode for these final confrontations to come.
- The Olivia/Quinn scene at the QPA office.
- Charlie sure can take a lot of punishment for the cause of good. His face at the end there was rough.
- Jake letting his butthurt get to him and teaming up with Cyrus.
- Is Rowan ever going to come back?