One of the low-key pleasures of “Scandal” has been watching Huck (Guillermo Díaz) over the years. He doesn’t always get the most heroic plotlines, and for the past season or so he hasn’t even left the walls of OPA all that often. But when he is activated, he is a pure, twisted joy.
Watching Huck self-destruct like a robot that’s just had water thrown on itself is oddly engrossing. Even while he’s “detaching the skin off of a man while he’s still alive,” you always end up sympathizing with him. You know he doesn’t want to do it, yet gets immense pleasure from it. You always find yourself saying those two strange little words: “Poor Huck.”
In “A Traitor Among Us” (Mar. 23), Huck is up to bat as the episode’s focus, which starts out with a) a self-defense class with his new girlfriend Meg (Phoebe Neidhardt) that turns into a heavy breathing session and b) Olivia (Kerry Washington) asking Huck to kill her father. It’s a tall order obviously, so Huck wants to make sure she’s 100% sure.
And so Huck has his marching orders. He quickly sets about tracking down Rowan (Joe Morton), tailing him to a D.C. metro stop that leads to a Rowan/Huck confrontation. As the two very casually start shouting about killing the President in a public space, Rowan explains his situation: he’s being controlled, Olivia is in danger, and there is a mole among the group. “A Mole. Among Us.” Rowan repeats for emphasis.
Back at OPA unable to fully process this information and immediately suspicious of everyone around him, Huck breaks down. He tries to act normal, but he can’t really focus on anyone around. How could he, Rowan just threw water on his mainframe.
His first step once he reclaims his senses is to immediately bug the office, which leads him to overhear a conversation between Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Jake (Scott Foley), who’s been hiding Jennifer Fields (Chelsea Kurtz). Huck follows Quinn to their safe house and confronts the both of them with his story of Rowan. Hesitant, Quinn and Jake agree to look into Rowan’s claims. Quinn, obviously offended that he assumed she was the mole, quips that he should clear his new girlfriend, too, since the last time he had one, she ended up trying to assassinate the President Fitz (Tony Goldwyn). We all remember Becky (Susan Pourfar) from Season 2, right?
Again, Huck melts down a bit. Meg’s clean, right? He decides he needs a little clarity, so he pulls a few strings and actually goes and visits Becky in prison. Wanting to know how she got inside his head, Becky first tells Huck a sob story about her dying sister, and if he’ll just go take a picture of her so Becky can see her before she dies, she’ll tell him his weakness. Naturally, Huck agrees, tears welling in his eyes.
“That right there. That’s your weakness.” Becky smiles like an insane person. Huck can’t help but help people. He can’t help but take people under his wing, teach them self defense, secure their apartments, potentially introduce them to his boss, Olivia. Smoke all but shoots out of Huck’s ears from all the sparks going off in his head. More water on the mainframe.
Now we see the old Huck, moving on auto-pilot toward a target, totally unaware of his actions. He finds Meg and shoves a needle full of poison toward her throat, willing her to tell him the truth, but ultimately letting her go. When Huck falls in love, he falls hard.
In what are an incredibly twisty last couple of scenes, Olivia, Jake, and Quinn confront Huck in a parking garage with the body of Sandra in an effort to show Huck that Rowan is lying; Huck proves he’s not lying by conveniently finding a recording device lodged behind Sandra’s ear (an old B-613 trick?) that shows Olivia everything; Huck takes Meg to see her friend Jennifer as an apology for the whole poison thing.
But now the REAL twists: As Jennifer comes in for a hug with her BFF, Meg whips out a gun and shoots her in the head and chest. She then turns to Huck and shoots him multiple times, leaving him to bleed out on the hotel room carpet.
The closing moments are split between Huck in a growing pool of blood, and Meg meeting up with the blonde woman and Abby Whelan (Darby Stanchfield), reassuring her that everything is handled and no one will know she’s involved.
The promo for next week’s episode actually poses a great question: Oh Abby, how could you?
“Scandal” airs Thursdays at 9 P.M. ET/PT on ABC.