This week in Scandal-land, all is not as it should be. Olivia and the team are housing their on-again-off-again opponent David Rosen; Mellie and Fitz are playing nice for the cameras, giving their first interview since the birth of their child and the assassination attempt; James and Cyrus are living apart; and Susan Osborne, the widow of the recently disgraced and deceased CIA director Grayden Osborne, comes to Pope and Associates claiming that her husband did not kill himself, but was murdered.
To give you a quick refresher (because this is the point in our season where things start getting a little complicated), Olivia and the White House have simultaneously been sniffing around a mole in the US government known as “Albatross.” Last episode, the team landed on the fact that the CIA Director (Osborne) was the mole. But soon after Cyrus let Osborne know he was being investigated, Osborne turned up dead, in an apparent suicide.
Or was it a suicide? Osborne’s wife claims her husband’s suicide note was forged, because he would never call her “Susan.” And last week’s episode ended with Jake meeting with a mysterious man and seeming to indicate that Osborne’s suicide was, in fact, staged.
Washington certainly has a history of mysterious deaths, and for this episode, the writers were inspired by one of the more high-profile stories. Vince Foster was Deputy White House Counsel during President Clinton’s first term, until he was found dead in Fort Marcy Park with a gunshot wound to the head. Though three separate investigations ruled the death a suicide, conspiracy theories persist to this day that Foster was murdered. Many of these theories revolve around rumors that Foster may have had key legal information on either the Whitewater or Travelgate scandals that could bring the Clintons down.
Conspiracy theorists point to the location of Foster’s death (adjacent to CIA headquarters), the supposed lack of blood at the scene, and the positioning of Foster’s body to suggest that Foster’s death was a staged suicide. But perhaps most curious in the Foster case (and most parallel to our storyline) is the fact that what a suicide note (or what was thought to be one at the time) was found at the bottom of Foster’s briefcase several days after his death, torn into 28 pieces. In it, Foster acknowledged making “mistakes from ignorance, inexperience and overwork” and wrote that, in Washington, “ruining people is considered sport.”
Although the note was later regarded to be a draft of a resignation letter rather than a suicide note, its explosive nature has led to years of speculation that the note may have been forged.
Vince Foster was not thought to be a mole, but his story, including allegations of the possibly forged note, were inspirations for the writers in the Osborne story. But was Osborne’s suicide note forged? And if Osborne is not the mole, who is?
Stay tuned for more Scandalous revelations!