By REED NELSON
9:02 — Someone named Abby is no longer a part of Gladiator, which is news to Abby. It’s probably a good time to mention that I rarely watch this show, but my girlfriend does religiously. Liveblogs and Running Diaries are something I like to do, and when Scandal serves oatmeal it’s still crazier than the final minute of Super Bowl XLIX.
9:04 — The President wants Jake Ballard at the White House, and he also wants to know who has more money than the United States, which is not a comforting question for the POTUS to be asking. That’s like Mitt Romney asking his kid who has the most money in Massachusetts. The dude knows.
9:08 — Two sinister people are arguing, but one of them’s name is Gus, which doesn’t make much sense. The Vice President calls the one not named Gus, and the One Not Named Gus looks like a fringe character on a vampire show.
9:08 — THE DARKNET.
9:08 — AND PERUVIAN DRUG MONEY.
9:09 — Back to Gladiator. They’re going rogue. They need money. Huck has money. Huck is Guillermo to me, so he’s now Guillermo to this diary. He has $2.4 billion. $2.4 billion?! No one seems too impressed.
9:11 — Olivia Pope thinks she’s worth $1.5 billion, which is both arrogant and kind of bad ass. Someone shoots Vampire Guy in the head. It’s Gus. Gus has a Harry Potter scar on his head, but a fresh Harry Potter scar. The auction gets underway and Olivia Pope is covered in blood from Vampire Guy.
9:12 — It’s a commercial break, but that new Will Smith movie looks awesome. I don’t know if it looks awesome in a cinematic achievement kind of way, but it looks awesome in a Will Smith’s character from Six Degrees of Separation grew up kind of way.
9:13 — Gus is back. I wonder if it’s short for Gustav. Can Gus be short for anything else? Is there another first name-nickname combination more antithetical to one another than that one is? Gustav is a foreign mercenary/lothario, while Gus is the fat mouse from Cinderella.
9:15 — VP ain’t resigning. Cyrus is incredulous. But if he goes to prison for kidnapping America’s favorite fixer, so is POTUS. I’m sure that makes sense.
9:16 — How does Guillermo Gates get through his days? He spends at least 80 percent of all the episodes I’ve seen in a resting state that mirrors an Iditarod sled dog on cocaine, and that’s a conservative estimate of time. He probably moves through D.C. hooked up to an IV bag containing a cocktail of espresso, Jolt and the raw adrenaline of the 5-Hour Energy guy.
9:20 — The squad has employed Olivia’s mom, who apparently is like McGyver, but if McGyver had legitimate cause to be detained in Guantanamo.
9:21 — The camera flash cut moves to the Oval Office and POTUS and Cyrus and the music shifts from vaudeville-by-Skrillex to Hitchcock. This show has the temperament of a pogostick.
9:23 — We’re back in the auction room after a brief detour into the office of someone they’re calling the VP’s girlfriend even though I thought the VP’s girlfriend was POTUS’s wife. The bidding has reached $500 million.
9:24 — Anddddd we’re back with Olivia’s mom. And Gustav. And Jake Ballard. Trying to type with this show makes the work of Bizzy Bone’s court stenographer look easy by comparison. The Lawyer Who Looks Like Nick Kroll is angry about the plan to sell cocaine to the people who may or may not be selling Olivia, but Jake Ballard has it under control.
9:27 — Back in the White House, POTUS’s wife and the VP have a chat about West Wing negativity. VP quotes Sunny and Cher before launching into a megalomaniacal rant. It’s appropriate.
9:29 — Some stuff happens that requires Jake Ballard to enter a creepy building. Guillermo has killed about 300 people inside this building. That’s right, he basically went Xerxes and treated a number of presumable criminals like Spartan grunts. He then says they need the slain’s heads for proof for Gustav — the Gus name thing got solved, btw — so they start using what appear to be pocket knives and takeout utensils to procure the heads. No one heard Guillermo do this, but it happened. Jake doesn’t seem to argue either. Probably because Guillermo just turned a room at club capacity into a future haunted burial site.
9:31 — Olivia is sitting next to an empty Jarritos and attempts to reason with the hackers that created the Darknet auction site. She says they’re gonna get killed by Gus. Her evidence? Dead Vampire Guy is still on the floor after an indiscriminate amount of time. She miscalculated, however, and one of the hackers says he didn’t dream of just doing good, he dreamed of a $1 billion. The other guy says, “Billion dollar baby.”
9:35 — Nick Kroll and Abby are fighting over omission of information. He’s the Attorney General of the United States (apparently) and she (apparently) has a low security clearance (but also access to the Oval Office). He says he didn’t tell her about Olivia’s disappearance because Abby didn’t have the right to know about it, and she flips her shit. It’s her best friend, her only friend. She’s making lots of good points. He has no rebuttal, save two glasses of dark liquor poured liberally into highball glasses.
9:37 — Meanwhile, on a White House terrace, POTUS and Mrs. POTUS are having a passive-aggressive conversation that turns earnest once she refuses to move forward on the VP’s persecution. Why? Her affair. It makes sense. She makes some presumably accurate assumptions about the sexism of this country, and the way we absorb both information and scandal (boom!) and then says she wants to be POTUS one day. I like Mrs. POTUS. She seems ilke she wins in an American Gladiator dumbbell fight against her also-cheating husband. This show…
9:41 — Ballard and the girl who’s teeth were forcibly removed by Guillermo are talking about him, and Ballard doesn’t think Guillermo’s ok. That is by far the most accurate assumption anyone has ever made on this show. Guillermo is less ok than Hillsboro Baptist Church’s views on anything. But he has procured a password, and the Gladiators are in. HOLD ON. THE AUCTION IS DOWN AND GUILLERMO’S EYES MIGHT VERY WELL COME OUT OF HIS HEAD BECAUSE THEY’RE BULGING SO HARD AND THAT HAS BECOME THE MOST SUSPENSEFUL PLOTLINE OF THE EPISODE. FUCK “WHERE’S OLIVIA GOING,” I WANNA KNOW IF GUILLERMO IS GONNA EVICT HIS EYEBALLS FROM HIS OWN HEAD.
9:46 — Olivia is going to Iran, btw, says Gus. But how are they paying, Randy?
9:46 — Standard protocol, according to someone in an important looking situation room, is to neutralize the asset. That’s situation room code for killing Olivia Pope. That’s not cool, Lady In The Red Dress. Super not cool. POTUS won’t stand for it, though. Duh.
9:48 — At Gladiator… Guillermo is explaining how Olivia’s buyers are going to dismember her. It gets progressively creepier until Dental Patient can’t take it anymore and begins swinging on the guy who literally just turned a room full of bad dudes into the pink slime that grocery stores used to put in ground beef.
9:55 — POTUS getting hella inspirational about America. He’s a really bad President. Like, objectively he’s terrible. He has started multiple wars based on flawed intel, has hired myriad villainous types that aim to take him and America down, has had a lurid affair that he wanted to leave the Oval Office for and constantly references the lack of attention paid to his son. He’s accomplished exactly nothing.
9:57 — That’s it until next week. Olivia is wearing a bag as a hat, but I don’t think it was her sartorial preference. Next week, we find out who bought Olivia, which apparently isn’t Iran? I don’t know. This show is what would happen if you had a car chase without cars, but did it inside powerful buildings while forcing it to mainline amphetamines.
9:59 — I’m exhausted. Nelson, OUT.