So, with this episode, the show hits its absolute peak. To this point, we’ve gotten background on Huck through little flashbacks and conversations here and there, but this episode just stops everything to give us his whole story in some detail and it’s a monster. Guillermo Diaz really is this series’ MVP and if you think he’s gone dark and disturbing before, better buckle up. I really don’t want to get into much of anything here. Recurring character Charlie gets a lot of good screen time in the flashbacks too and it’s George Newbern’s best performance as Charlie yet; he gets deepened almost as much as Huck does. And there’s a really intriguing moment here when we see Olivia in a flashback and it’s a flashback to five years prior to the show starting and she seems incredibly haunted and sad; and then it dawned on me that five years ago was before she met Fitz. So, it seems that there’s more to Olivia’s pathology and secret pain than I’d thought; to this point, the relationship with Fitz seems to have been THE tragedy of her life, but now the show hints that there’s more there. But this is certainly Diaz’ episode and he just knocks it out of the park. This is a network show, but it’s as grim and unrelentingly painful as anything I’ve ever seen on television, I think. This is maybe the most emotionally grueling episode of television I’ve ever seen. And, um, the final shot of this episode. That’s all. Just . . . the final shot of this episode. Holy ****. In other words, 4 stars.
tl;dr – Scandal hits a high-water mark, not just for itself, but for television itself, with this emotionally grueling, brutally grim episode and a once in a lifetime performance from Guillermo Diaz. 4 stars.