A+ Episode Scandal

Scandal 4×12 – Gladiators Don’t Run

"Look at who wants me, what they're willing to pay. That is how powerful I am."

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Even in its heyday (way back in season two), Scandal never once produced SIX A+ episodes in a row. But lo and behold, that’s exactly what the show has just managed to pull off. I’m seriously wondering: how long can Shonda’s masterpiece possibly keep up this narrative brilliance?

Olivia’s kidnapping has just reinvigorated the show on every level. Not only has it done a bang-up job of reminding us of how intelligent and resourceful our heroine is, but it’s completely flipped the rest of the show’s dynamics on their head, creating a thoroughly riveting experience across the board.

And hey, Liv’s disappearance also lead to the return of international all-star terrorist Maya Pope. Although it doesn’t make sense that Papa Pope hasn’t made a return appearance yet (not that I’m complaining), I gotta say that it’s an even bigger treat to have Khandi Alexander on my screen again. Her animalistic glare and sharp liners are a good fit for the show, and it was touching in-a-twisted-sort-of-way to see her come to Liv’s rescue, while unknowingly nudging Huck on his destructive path in the process.

And with every passing week, Huck gets even nuttier, and it’s all so fascinating. Watching him completely slaughter the goons as “payment” for the action was great, but Quinn going berserk and slapping him was even better. The situation at Pope & Associates is getting increasingly complicated, and I can’t wait to see what other lines our pitbull will cross in his quest to retrieve Liv (although he did pronounce her “dead” at the end).

But really beneath it all, this was Mellie’s hour. Because after four seasons of hints and power plays, the First Lady finally admitted that she wants to be President of The United States. It was an exceptionally satisfying moment for the character, and it felt completely earned. I know Shonda wouldn’t just drop this bombshell without a resolution, so prepare yourselves ladies and gents to see Mellie running the world sooner rather than later. Honestly, there’s no one who deserves it more, and I love that she’s reached an amicable place with Fitz; she understands how vital Liv is for his well being, and he supports her career.  Fantastic.

Scandalous Bits

– Excellent teaser with Abby in Liv’s apartment finding the wine (which surprisingly still has not dried).

– Interesting to note: the Navy Seals have replaced the Secret Service who were obviously compromised last week.

– Huck has 2 BILLION dollars in his bank account? At least B613 was useful for something.

– Literally jaw-dropping moment: Gus snapping and shooting Ian. I was sure Ian would be our villain for a long time. Nice move show.

– Hilarious dark humor: Gus trying to wipe Olivia’s blood-drenched face.

– Maya agreeing to help the team in exchange for a TV? Epic. But her meowing at Rosen? Priceless.

– I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to punch Andrew more than when he blackmailed Mellie with every “filthy thing” they’ve ever done.

– The irony of Jake calling Huck an “animal” and then proceeding to saw the fallen thug’s head off.

– How amusing was it to see Olivia give one of her big-ass speeches to try and manipulate the hackers, only for them to shoot her down and say they’re just after money? Yup, would have been too easy.

– Abby finally got some screen time this week. I loved her asking Fitz about Liv’s whereabouts and then her wonderfully touching speech to David.

– Uh oh, so Fitz’s people want to “neutralise the asset” – that’s fancy schmancy talk for killing our Liv.

– Very moving scene with Fitz’s speech about the deaths he’s caused intercut with Mellie greeting the bodies of the fallen soldiers and comforting their families.

– Heartwarming moment: Cyrus promising Fitz he’ll get Liv back and putting his hand on his shoulder. #Bromance.

– How perfect was that ending with Liv being handed off to the Iranians in the desert? Next week can’t come soon enough.

Quipyness

Abby: Do you remember me? Abby Whelan? A gladiator since… oh, I don’t know… long before you ever were.

Fitz: Who has more money than the United States of America?
Cyrus: China, Saudi Arabia.
Mellie: The United Arab Emirates.

Cyrus: What’s junior nerdball saying?

Quinn: Pool what money? Who has money? All I have is student loans.

Ian: How much do you think you’ll go for? $500 million?
Olivia: $500 million? I’m a little insulted. Oh, you think you’re worth more? I think our great nation is worth more. I think enemies to democracy are greedy. Plus, everyone loves a sale. I’ll go for not a dollar under a billion, maybe $1.5 billion.
Ian: I like her.

Gus: I can be nice to you, you know? Much nicer to you than Ian. He didn’t like the ladies.
Olivia: Be careful. I’m in shock. Put anything that close to my mouth, I might bite it off.

Huck: If you’re not on here, you’re just not evil enough.

Cyrus: You’re gonna testify against your boyfriend, Andrew Nichols. In return, you won’t have to spend the rest of your life in a federal prison. You will, however, be my bitch until the end of time. Have a seat, Lizzie. Let’s dish.

Mellie: He chose you because he thought you would be loyal.
Andrew: Probably the same reason he chose you.

Hacker: Lady, I dreamed of money. I dreamed of $1 billion. If the only thing standing in the way of my dream is a neanderthal with a low I.Q. and a gun, hell, I’m gonna let the odds play in my favor.

Abby: Listen to that sentence, David! Someone kidnapped my best friend! No. Someone kidnapped my only friend. She is my only friend. I don’t have friends. I have Liv. And something bad has happened to her, and I didn’t even get a chance to be her gladiator because no one even bothered to let me know that she was missing, that she was in trouble, that she needed me! All the times… all the times she saves me. All the times. I would save her, David. I would go over a cliff for her. But I didn’t know because I don’t work there anymore. I’m not one of them anymore. So when something happens, you have to tell me that my only friend’s been kidnapped!

Mellie: We sleep better when she’s lying between us.
Fitz: I’m not sure how to respond to that.

Mellie: America can forgive a man a hundred infidelities, but they will never forgive a woman even one.

Mellie: Fitz, ask me. Ask me what I want that feels possible.
Fitz: What do you want?
Mellie: I want to be the President of the United States. I want to run the world.

Maya: He’s only expecting one of you, and no offense, white boy, but I think that pitbull sitting next to you fits in with this crew a little better.

Quin: He goes to dark places. I know that. I have the dental bills to prove it.

Huck: It doesn’t matter who has her, who bought her, if she went to Iran or England or North Korea or Canada or drug lords. Whoever they are, whichever country they represent, they bought a person in an auction to control a president, to control a nation. She is not a person to them. She is a tool… a very expensive, very useful tool.

Huck: Olivia Pope is dead.

Must-Download Tune
Think by Aretha Franklin

Conclusion
With its quality impeccably maintained, this was yet another perfect thrill-ride from Scandal. No complaints here – this was just intense.

Nad Rating
A+

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