This episode’s case of the week revolves around a prominent Washington pastor; when he’s found dead, details about an extra-marital affair are revealed. For once, it’s the story of the week where the real emotion lies. The season long arc kind of takes a back seat so that the story of the pastor’s affair can be used to shed some emotional light on Olivia’s affair with Fitz. There’s a wonderful scene with Bellamy Young, as the First Lady, and Lorraine Toussaint, who is excellent as the pastor’s widow and a great final scene to this plot featuring Toussaint and Elise Neal, who is equally wonderful as the pastor’s mistress. It’s a very emotional plotline and it has some obvious emotional resonances with Olivia, Fitz and Mellie. Josh Malina’s plotline continues to take some surprising turns. I like that the show has turned him into a kind of antagonist this season; he was a kind of friendly antagonist last season, but the days of he and Olivia sparring during the day and then going out for drinks at night are over, as he says, and the show is better for it. This is a show where the characters don’t hit a reset button at the end of each episode; the emotional damage done to relationships on this show stick around for a long time. Highly recommended. 4 stars.
tl;dr – the show continues to impress with real character development and a genuinely moving storyline. 4 stars.