Scandal is all about people taking charge, kicking butt, and winning at life. But not every character manages to do that every week. So for this recap of Season 1, Episode 5: “Crash and Burn,” we’ll evaluate whether each character managed to attain the illustrious rank of Badass this week.

Badass

Huck:  Sooooo … Huck is terrifying.  Badass might not quite be the right word. More like bad — GOD DAMN WHAT THE HELL DID YOU JUST DO YOU SCARY, SCARY MAN?! His arc was clearly the most interesting part of the episode. From his initial friendly “assassin’s brunch” with his old partner in evil to his broken, self-loathing, gleeful demeanor as he tortured said buddy, we found every scene of his riveting. Other standout moments include actually interrupting Olivia (we didn’t know that was possible), and his quiet assurance at the end of the episode that Amanda had a good death. For a former black ops agent with an addiction to hurting people, he sure is kind at heart, and we appreciate his deep loyalty to Olivia. We hope we get to see the emotional fallout of what he had to do tonight in the weeks to come.

President Grant: This was a good episode for the President, who proved that he’s more than a lovesick puppy who slept with the wrong girl. It was nice to see him really dig into a political issue, and we enjoyed that he got a little dirty for a good cause when he pushed his Veep around. But what really sealed the badass deal was his hilarious banter with his Secret Service bodyguards. He’s the President of the United States, and if he wants to leave the safety of the White House, even though he knows someone is out to get him because he’s being blackmailed, then he will, damn it. Sure, it may not be the best plan, but it’s the principle that matters.

Harrison: Harrison’s gone from pointless eye-candy to most kickass member of the team in the last couple of weeks. He singlehandedly found the key clue to solving this week’s case using the power of his ears. Ears! It takes major dedication to listen to the same recording that many times. Man is talented and tireless.   

Olivia: Olivia was back to being Olivia this week, so obviously she makes the badass list. That said, this was really Huck and President Grant’s episode, so Olivia didn’t really get to shine. She was Badass Standard. She got her yell on with the President’s agent, which is always fun, and we appreciated that she lectured the President about letting Cyrus off the leash, but most of the truly notable moments went to other characters.

David: Sure, David spent most of this episode running around following Olivia’s orders (doesn’t he always?), but he did put his foot down at the end. It’s good to know that, as a US Attorney, he won’t extend his friends the benefit of the doubt when it comes to murder  investigations (unless they threaten him enough, like in the pilot…). You’ve got to have some standards.

Not Badass

Stephen: We’re on the fence about Stephen. On the plus side, he did dig up the reports that helped clinch the case. On the other hand, it was implied he did that by using all of his tools, if you know what we mean. That may be a mislead, but if it’s not, it’s a seriously uncool move on his part. He just got engaged four episodes ago!

Cyrus: Things that are not badass: Sending your goons to kill an innocent girl … assuming that Cyrus was really behind Amanda’s death. But even if he wasn’t, this week was a big step down for the Chief of Staff. He was blindsided by the blackmail and had to admit he was wrong about Olivia, which is a pretty big Epic Fail on his part. On the other hand, his cavalier attitude about Amanda’s death was pitch-perfect. Despite a weak episode, he is still shaping up to be a fantastic villain, and one of the best parts of the show.

Quinn:  Quinn, on the other hand … Sorry, but what exactly is the point of her? Why did she get hired? What is she supposed to add to the team? She seems like a nice girl, but this episode all she managed to do was be MIA, give a brokenhearted father false hope, and cry.  

Gideon: Making grilled cheese sandwiches for Quinn was cute, but not badass. Now that Amanda is dead, Gideon is out of a story, and his cool quotient has gone way down. Still hot, though.

Abby: Abby was amazing last week, so we guess we forgive her for contributing almost nothing this time around. She seriously needs to work on her metaphorical bedside manner, too. Jabbing a box of tissues at a brokenhearted flight attendant, while funny, is not exactly the most comforting thing one could do in the situation.

Billy: We love Billy, who tends to be a badly needed breath of lighthearted fresh air amidst all the drama, but this week he failed at his one task, getting the Veep on board with the D.R.E.A.M, act.

The Veep: Speaking of D.R.E.A.M., as much as we loved seeing Kate Burton, her character got off to a less than stellar start. If you support D.R.E.A.M., her position was distasteful; if you don’t, she caved to political pressure too quickly. We hope next time she goes head-to-head with the President we get more fight. We know Kate Burton can pull it off.

Mellie: What exactly was the First Lady doing this week? Hanging pictures? Huh? The way she said that everyone in the White House would go to extremes for the President makes us think she might be more involved than it seems, but she still didn’t do much this week.

Random Notes

  • Huck named himself after Huck Finn. That’s awesome
  • Cyrus line of the week: “Never let a crisis go to waste.”
  • Look at Shonda, incorporating actual, real-life political initiatives on her show. We can’t decide if we think that’s a cool move — we’ve always appreciated that she’s not afraid to take a stance with her writing — or distracting. The world of Scandal is so heightened that it’s slightly jarring to see it tied to the real world in any way.
  • Wow. We're still shocked they actually killed Amanda. Gutsy move. We approve. 

     

    What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below.

    Check out all of Wetpaint Entertainment’sScandal coverage.

    Catch the next new episode of Scandal on Thursday, May 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

    Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.

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