There’s a lot riding on Scandal‘s fourth year. While season two took the show to absolutely extraordinary heights, season three often crossed the line with its outrageous plotting and outlandish twists. Still, Shonda Rhimes has proven me wrong time and again with Grey’s Anatomy, a show that still produces moments of greatness after a decade on the air. So, there’s definitely hope that Scandal can regain its luster. Thankfully, this premiere was a good enough start…for now.
The most effective thing this premiere does is completely reshuffle the status quo and create a real sense of change between seasons. With Olivia gone, everyone in DC is off doing something different, and it’s intriguing to watch Miss Pope return and try to navigate all these new changes. However, I do wish Papa Pope wasn’t part of the show anymore. He was utterly fantastic when he joined Scandal a year ago, but his repetitive monologues and incessant thirst for control over Olivia’s life have started to feel tedious, not to mention the fact that Mama Pope is back in the hole and probably won’t be making an appearance anytime soon. I might be in the minority here, but I’m ready for something new. God knows the show’s premise is brimming with potential.
Unfortunately, a gladiator’s death should have been a turning point for the show. But Columbus Short was so unlikeable in real life (he committed domestic abuse and was subsequently fired from the show), that it was hard to feel anything for Harrison’s demise. It didn’t help that the character was always the weakest link in a cast that’s across-the-board incredible. The Adnan Salif storyline last year should have given him something worthwhile to do, but he still always felt extraneous to the plot. On the bright side, I enjoyed watching his funeral with each of the associates arriving one by one and temporarily rebuilding their bond.
There’s no doubt that Bellamy Young is a standout on Scandal, and she makes Mellie my favorite character on the show. That’s why I pretty much adored watching her deal with the aftermath of losing her son by strutting around The White House in PJs with a box of cereal in hand. Naturally, these humorous moments culminated in one heck of a powerhouse scene where she pretty much obliterated Fitz (whom certainly deserves it for everything he’s put her through). The dynamic between these two continues to be a highlight, and I have no doubt that Shonda will continue to wow us every time The President and The First Lady are together on screen.
Aside from Mellie, I’ve always loved Abby, and I’m thrilled to see her kick ass in her new position as the President’s new Press Secretary. Abby has always felt like an Olivia-in-training, and their blowout this week was most certainly my favorite scene of the episode. There are so many layers to their relationship now and the two actress bounce off each other beautifully. Hopefully things will continue to get worse between before they get better, as seeing the two women class is just too darn thrilling.
And finally, I have to say that the reveal of Fitz trying to kill himself one night at least makes him a bit more interesting as a character. Here’s hoping he doesn’t start throwing tantrums every week because they turned him into a frustrating, whining infant last season. Furthermore, I can do without a whole lot of Olitz this year. The final scene with the duo walking by each other was more than enough for now. And hey, for all the shippers out there, we got a gorgeous touch with everyone disappearing except for the two soulmates.
– Loved the cinematography in the teaser with Olivia on the island. And as always, Shonda proves that she’s a master of picking the perfect song for every scene.
– The fact that Quinn found Olivia through wine? Awesome.
– Huck fixing hard drives feel like the perfect job for him.
– It’s no secret that I don’t like Quinn, so it was a real treat to watch Abby and Olivia bully her in the premiere.
– The most heartbreaking moment ever: Mellie laying down on her son’s grave in a bid to try and connect with him. Such a powerful and gut-wrenching visual.
– Jake’s speech about making Olivia moan and that “ride” made me cringe. I could honestly do without Scott Foley on the show.
– Amazing speech from Olivia to the Senator about lying about the sexual assault. I’m pleased to see Shonda returning to the case-of-the-week format even if it’s just in small doses to break the chaos.
– Mellie wearing those boots and dangling over the balcony was a wonderfully hilarious sight that contrasted the sadness of the cemetery scene. And her line about “not waxing” was quite unexpected!
– David Rosen for Attorney General definitely holds promise. I think Abby will be proud that he went on ahead and got himself some “power”.
– Portia de Rossi’s much-hyped guest appearance didn’t leave much of an impression. Perhaps next week?
Mellie: You want to get our party of good old boys to admit that the possession of a vagina doesn’t automatically mean that a sister should get docked 32 cents on the dollar? Good for you, baby. Fight the power.
Mellie: I am going bowling. Gentlemen. (to Abby) Redhead lady.
Cyrus: Do you need to validate your broomstick or can you find your way out on your own?
Olivia: (to Rowan) I can never trust my gut when it comes to you.
Mellie: It’s not that far down. I’d maybe sprain an ankle. I could dive, land on my head. Or those two sweet marines would run over and try to catch me, and I’d fall on them and end up breaking their necks, and the lawsuits!
Fitz: Don’t ever bring that up again.
Mellie: I will add it to the list. Dead kid, missing mistress, Mellie’s rape, Fitz’s suicide.
Olivia: Are we gladiators or are we bitches?
Must Download Tunes
Sunny (Mercury Edit II) by Marvin Gaye
Bridge Over Troubled Water by Aretha Franklin
Although it wasn’t a mindblowing hour, this was an effective and promising return from Scandal. I’m eager to see if the show can find its footing again this season.