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'Scandal' recap: This show keeps dropping bombs

Here's how confident Scandal is in its storytelling abilities: Even amid all the craziness of just the first two episodes, the show has no problem throwing a bomber into the middle of the White House. Because, you know, why not?

Though it occurred to me toward the end of Thursday's terrific episode, "Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington," that maybe this is Scandal dialing it back a bit, taking a second to revel in all the gnarled plotlines it's set in place. Heck, even Cyrus seemed strangely calm and rational this week.

Take the two best scenes in this episode: the conversations between David Rosen and Cyrus, and between Fitz and Mellie. They weren't the explosive screaming matches that this show favors, but a bundle of mind games and veiled threats, made all the more satisfying by what we already know about these people's relationships with each other. It felt nice to stop the high-speed plot train for a second and appreciate just how effective some of the character moments can be. (The MVP of this episode is totally David Rosen for going toe-to-toe with Cy AND getting him to spill the beans on what was in that damn file.)

More thoughts:

Most Terrifying Moment: It's a toss-up between that brutal scene of Olivia demanding Huck tell her whether or not he killed her father, and Cyrus pinching the Presidential Baby's cheeks. ::shudder:: That man should not be allowed near babies.

Papa Pope Watch: Papa Pope is unstoppable. He still has some sort of terrifying vice grip on Huck's soul and is now tormenting Olivia by releasing her former (current?) lover Jake to her apartment, no questions asked. Rowan Pope barely shows up in this episode, and still manages to cast an ominous pall over the last few minutes. Respect.

Mellie Plan of the Week: To get drunk on her daddy's hooch! Best plan ever, Mellie. In fact, Scandal writers, I demand more Drunk Mellie on this show. The lady deserves to let loose!

Also, this line: "She's (Olivia) the puppet strings that, if need be, I will pull to make my puppet husband dance."

Crafty Crusader: Props to Mary the bomber for assembling that thing with a glue gun. You work that craft room, girl.

Good Jake/Bad Jake?: Scott Foley is up to no good, people. Olivia demands to know how Jake got out of that scary hole and onto her comfy couch, and all he can come up with is: "Your face saved me." Uh, yeah, not buying it.

Best Line: "You tell him he'll be scraping nine bodies out of the carpet first." -- Mary, the distraught bomber-mother, natch.

Next On 'Scandal': The Sexting Senator! Because how has Scandal not tackled this topic already?