Scandal 4×05 ‘The Key’: Bye bye Smelly Mellie

Scandal 04x05.5

The Winslows return in what appears to be an emerging season story arc while our merry band of misfits continue to grieve after the events of last season. As OPA attempt to uncover the truth behind the ongoing Winslow scandal from “Inside the Bubble“, the White House seems to be more concerned about using their hearts instead of their brains when making decisions. With regret, deception, ignorance and closure this week’s Scandal certainly had its hands full. Let’s get to it, onto “The Key!”


The case-of-the-week returns to the ongoing story around the Winslow family. With Catherine in jail for Caitlin’s murder the case seemed solved until video footage of Caitlin in a struggle with a man on an elevator surfaced. Olivia asks Catherine about the man on the tape revealing him to be Dan Kubiak, the head of security at Jeremy’s (her husband) firm and a former dirty police captain. OPA decide to watch Kubiak, but through their surveillance they witness him kill Cailtin’s friend Faith. Olivia confronts Jeremy about anything he might be hiding, which he replies to by saying he has no knowledge. However, Quinn has listened in on a conversation between Jeremy and Kubiak revealing that Kubiak killed both girls searching for a locker key.

Quinn pieces together that this locker must contain the files that Caitlin took, but no one knows where the key has gone. After some time, Quinn comes to realize that Faith must have swallowed the key during the confrontation rather than running away. She breaks into the morgue and gruesomely cuts open Faith to find the key! This is where the case-of-the-week story ends which was somewhat disappointing, but with everything else going on there certainly wasn’t enough time to go back to this. Given this story is turning more into a season arc we will be seeing more of it in the coming episodes. Onto the big storyline from this episode: what happened to Jake?!

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

The other storyline is divided between the people within the White House and the people on the outside. Fitz is hounding Cyrus to get information out of Jake, who is hidden in the depths of the Pentagon, but Cyrus explains that Jake simply won’t budge. The interrogator at the Pentagon is getting nothing from Jake, who is starving himself in an attempt to gain an audience with Fitz to explain himself. After repeatedly getting nothing, Fitz finally goes to the Pentagon and confronts Jake. Jake tries to convince Fitz that he is one of the good guys like he is, which is why Olivia loves both of them. Although this is true, Fitz cannot see past the fact that Olivia loves Jake as well and she took him to the island. Fitz is really acting like a spoiled child. He can’t have Liv so no one should? Like c’mon dude.

Fitz returns to the Oval Office where Mellie is waiting, pissed that he missed their daily trip to Jerry’s grave. Before he can explain himself, Mellie starts to yell at him about how he was obviously with Olivia when he promised he wouldn’t. After trying to explain, and repeatedly being shut down by Mellie, Fitz has had enough. He yells at Mellie again saying he was at the Pentagon interrogating Jerry’s killer. Mellie freezes in shock and then suddenly seems a lot more down to earth. She believes that Jerry’s death now has meaning behind it: for the Grants to continue their presidency, and that Fitz has buried himself in his work in order to make a mark on history for Jerry’s memory. Fitz, enraged by these remarks, tells Mellie that until she isn’t in this state anymore to leave and not bother him again.

This storyline finishes with two rather eye-opening scenes. Mellie walks into her bathroom, de-robes and takes a nice, hot shower. Meanwhile Fitz has returned to the Pentagon to interrogate Jake himself, beating on him repeatedly until he gives the answer that Fitz wants to hear. Turning point for these two characters for sure. Mellie has gotten enough closure to break out of her rut while Fitz may not be the ‘good guy’ that Olivia believes him to be.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

Meanwhile Rowan Pope laughs in the background pitting the two men Olivia loved against each other leaving her with no one. Such a great father right? He has had it all figured out. Blame Jake for the deaths of Harrison and Jerry. Say that Jake was obsessed and blamed Olivia’s mother for the death to cause permanent tension between Fitz and Olivia that would kill any chance of a relationship. Seems that Rowan is holding all the cards right now. Olivia doesn’t want to believe it, but with Fitz hating Jake for ‘stealing his woman’ and Cyrus hating him for killing James, neither wants to believe in his innocence. You think after three seasons of Olivia constantly saying she could tell if someone was lying just from their eyes that she would be able to see right through her father’s fabrications.

As for the rest of our beloved characters here is a quick summary of what happened with them:

  • David Rosen repeatedly drunk dials Abby in the hope of talking with her, but after many failed attempts he eventually confronts her at the White House. He explains that Judge Sparks committed suicide because Rosen used the B613 files to blackmail him. Everyone always had the upper hand on him and it felt nice to finally play the winning hand. Why are we all trying to be Olivia Pope? He asks. This is when an irate Abby rushes to Olivia’s house, ranting to her about how she poisoned an honest man. (Which is total bull because Rosen is his own man and can make his own decisions) Olivia reveals to Abby that Jake killed Harrison and Jerry, eventually breaking down when THEY HUG. Maybe this will get Abby out of this ‘hate-the-world’ mindset and become the character we enjoyed before the dissolution of OPA.
  • Huck is still stalking Kim and Javi until she notices him outside and yells at him for stalking them. She tells him he needs help, but Huck doesn’t listen and returns. She comes out again, threatening to get a restraining order, but Huck agrees to stop if he can see Javi. She agrees for later that evening. (Eye rolling, we all know it’s a trap) Huck comes by and, oh look, a psychiatrist is waiting to talk with Huck. He get belligerent and cannot believe after he told her the truth that she could lie to him. It ends with Huck devastated at OPA.
Source: ABC

Source: ABC

Three moments that really stood out to me this episode were the first Jake/Fitz scene, the Rowan/Olivia scene and the Oval Office Mellie/Fitz scene:

  1. The Jake/Fitz scene really shows how broken this friendship has become. Jake knows there is still some humanity in Fitz, and Fitz might know it too, but he cannot get over the fact that Jake and Olivia were ever a couple. Fitz for some reason believes that Olivia is his property and will get rid of Jake any way necessary to retain said ‘property.’ It’s pathetic how he goes about this. If Jake, a long time friend of yours, is repeatedly not admitting to the death of your child, trying to tell you who it is so you could potentially look into it while you are detaining him, and all you do is think about how he screwed your mistress…. Geez Fitz, grow a brain.
  2. The Rowan/Olivia scene shows how much thought Rowan put into this plan not only destroying Jake, but every relationship in Olivia’s life. It’s as if he doesn’t care about his daughter at all. What makes it worse is that Olivia believes Rowan is trying to be a “normal father” and accepts his lies as truth. I thought she had a superpower to detect lies, this is ridiculous.
  3. The best scene for me though was the Mellie/Fitz confrontation because it brought us what we have all been waiting for: closure! Mellie finally has the closure she needs and bids farewell to Smelly Mellie. (along with all her other forms I’m sure) Great to finally see her happy. Bellamy Young has done a fantastic job this season!
Source: ABC

Source: ABC

What questions did this episode answer:

  • Olivia finally is brought into the loop about Jerry’s and Harrison’s deaths.
  • Rosen is a wreck in the aftermath of the judge’s suicide. Definitely will be avoiding anything with the name B613 on it for a while.
  • Abby and Olivia hugged! Could their friendship be coming back?!
  • Fitz cannot look past Jake and Olivia to realize the facts behind Jerry’s murder.
  • Smelly Mellie, and all variations of regular Melllie, are gone.

What questions does this episode leave us with:

  • How long until Olivia realizes her father is still the same old scumbag?
  • What are in the files that Caitlin Winslow gave her life to hide?
  • How long until the people within the White House actually start to use some intelligence instead of basing their decisions on rage? I feel as if Mellie may be the answer to that.
  • What happened to that governor’s assistant in “Randy, Red, Superfreak & Julia“?

What did you think of “The Key”? Was it everything you wanted? Did it leave you yearning for more? Let me know in the comments below!

Dylan Phillips

Dylan Phillips

is a film fanatic and TV junkie from the mysterious land of Canada. He is an aspiring writer/director who hopes to make his mark on the industry one way or another, whether it be behind a camera or with a pen. When he isn’t watching hours upon hours of movies or writing scripts, Dylan can be found playing his guitar, avidly watching baseball or writing film reviews on his website and blog.

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