Scandal is amping up the sex in the second half of season 5. In “Wild Card,” Jake and David are both having sex with two different women, Fitz is getting busy with his new reporter friend and I’m not sure, but Cyrus might be having sex with a certain evil former Secret Service agent.

Yes, there’s a lot of sex to go around and because Scandal is all about female empowerment, I don’t think it’s an accident that five different major male characters go shirtless this week. But it’s not all about sex. There’s also a fake assassination attempt orchestrated by Cyrus Beene and a loud showdown between Olivia and Huck.

Cyrus’ Master Plan

Cyrus recruits his faithful and adorable assistant Ethan to research Francisco Vargas, the Hispanic Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania he wants to turn into the next President of the United States. Vargas is perfect, a military veteran who married his high school sweetheart, has three kids in public school, is pro-choice, pro-gun and plays guitar in an alt-country rock band. But for some reason, no one knows his name.

Cyrus needs to change that, which is where evil Agent Tom comes in, wearing nothing but a towel in Cyrus’ office. Hold up…is Cyrus banging Tom? That was very unclear, but also insanely confusing.

Tom does what he does best, which in this instance involves kidnapping the son of a white supremacist and blackmailing him into taking Vargas hostage at the state capital at gunpoint, thrusting the Governor into the national spotlight. In an odd twist, Tom gets Charlie to babysit the son while it all goes down, and Charlie brings Quinn along, though she’s kept in the dark about the real mission.

The plan works perfectly, though it requires Tom to shoot Vargas and make it look like his patsy did, after which Vargas overpowers the man and takes him down, saving the day. And it’s all on camera, so just as Cyrus wanted, Governor Vargas is now a national hero. Even better, Cyrus is able to trick Abby into asking Fitz to invite Vargas to the White House for a photo-op.

Olivia Is Sleeping with Enemy

Huck discovers that Olivia is sleeping with Jake, much to his chagrin. She’s blissfully ignoring all of the red flags with Jake’s new job and Papa Pope’s alleged “retirement,” but Huck’s concerns make her curious about their real endgame.

Later, Olivia has a very revealing fight with Huck. She’s afraid to play because Papa Pope always wins, but Huck points out that he made her too, so she also has a monster inside of her and her monster is Papa Pope himself. She likes having him around because his bad behavior allows her to justify her own actions.

This gets under Olivia’s skin, so by the end of the episode she’s finally ready to go to war and investigate her dad. Instead of going at him directly, she enlists Huck and Quinn (but not Marcus) to spy on a woman named Vanessa Moss, aka Jake’s other girlfriend.

Fitz’s Wild Card

Fitz is acting like a horny teenager, sexing up his new girlfriend Lillian in the back of his limo. Abby desperately tries to handle the situation because when the president has extracurricular activities with a lady friend, it’s called “wild carding” and requires a lot of prep work. Fitz, however, doesn’t care. It’s kind of sad how pathetic and aimless he is without Mellie, Olivia and/or Cyrus guiding his every move.

The Lillian situation causes friction between Fitz and Abby, but she yells at him in the Oval Office and he finally comes around and accepts Abby’s concerns. It seems she’s now his official work wife.

Susan the Candidate

Vice President Susan Ross is officially running for President, much to the delight of Liz North. She’s a master of using sex to get what she wants, sleeping with David Rosen and convincing him to also sleep with Susan to keep her happy. David does it (because he’s a spineless jellyfish), but Liz seems a bit concerned that David might be too into Susan.

Scandal is off next week, but in two weeks, it’s back with OPA investigating Jake’s girlfriend as Olivia and Fitz come face-to-face once again.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.