Funny how Mellie wasn’t even in this episode, and I STILL loved it.
Scandal’s quality is constantly fluctuating. Just a quick browse through my reviews will reveal to you just how wildly inconsistent this show is. Quite often, Shonda’s wannabe spy thriller produces large stretches of incredible hours, and then takes a nosedive into some really irritating storytelling (the kind that make you wish the show was over already). Thankfully, the past few weeks have been top-notch, and this episode in particular was just stellar.
The funny thing about Shonda Rhimes is that she didn’t even try to hide the Bill Cosby parallels with our case of the week. That doesn’t matter, because it’s a relevant issue today, and watching Olivia Pope tackle it was definitely worth the price of admission. I don’t think anyone was caught by surprise when Holland’s wife revealed herself to be the mastermind behind the rapist, but it was still satisfying to see Liv gather up all the victims (much like New York Magazine did a couple of months ago with Cosby) and have them reveal their attacker’s true nature. Powerful stuff.
Now let’s take a moment and bask in the glory that is Cyrus’ revelation: Liv is pretty much Acting President of the United States. I absolutely love how flawed Liv was portrayed to be this week, with Jake fighting back and decimating her as Rowan’s “greatest accomplishment”, culminating with Cyrus pointing out how much power she wields in the Oval Office. The episode’s finals scene was especially impactful with Liv struggling with her newfound influence, only to accept it and begin barking orders at weak little Fitz. Does anyone else get villain vibes with Liv in charge? I’d love it if the show took a risk and made her downright sinister; Washington can play that side perfectly.
– I loved Susan falling for David and I wholeheartedly cringed when she almost walked in on him and Lizzie getting it on at the end. Now that Liz is Susan’s chief of staff, things are undoubtedly going to get cray-cray (and I for one can not wait).
– Loved the secret glance between Liv and Abby as the former played dumb when Fitz told her that her father had escaped.
– Why did Jake kiss Liv after his epic diatribe (found entirely below). Was he trying to show her how much power he still has? I can’t believe I used to hate this guy; he’s probably my favorite character after Mellie now.
– There was a cute mini subplot with Abby throwing Holland’s book in the trash at the end after discovering his true identity. I also loved how she gifted a signed version to Lizzie (before stealing it back).
– Sally, I need you in my life every week. Also, Liz praising Fitz in the interview was definitely unexpected.
– Fitz seriously put Ballard in charge of finding Rowan? Remember when these two viciously beat each other down?
– Terrific editing with OPA discovering all the victims intercut with Holland discussing all the great things he’s done for women.
– Cheerworthy moment with Lizzie putting David in his place by mentioning that she went to Stanford.
– Holland’s wife snapping her fingers to shut her husband up – how creepy was that?
– Love the cinematography at the end with that shot of Liv standing in the center of the Oval seal with Fitz sitting down.
Fitz: Are you telling me Rowan escaped from federal prison and then just, what, went through the supermax drive-thru to pick up his favorite killer?
Jake: You… you preach about wearing some dumb, white hat. You think if you feel bad for a while and drink some wine and take in strays, it will wipe away the… are you blind, Olivia, or do you refuse to see, or do you really not know what you are?
Jake: The woman I loved killed the woman I used to love, or the woman I used to love killed the woman I love! I can’t figure it out. I am so tired of being our father’s son. But you don’t get tired, do you? You just keep going, spreading like a plague. How does someone as brilliant and as accomplished as you not know what you are, who you are? We all heard that Rowan gave up on you a long time ago, that he’d failed, and that’s why he started training us as these sons. But I think we got it wrong. You just let a murderer out of prison, not for the good of the Republic, but because you wanted to, because it personally served you. And I don’t see any impeachment hearings, and I don’t see a wedding ring on that finger. You are Rowan’s greatest achievement. You have become exactly the woman he raised you to be… power-hungry, entitled, dangerous. And the beauty of it is, you don’t even know it.
Olivia: We are not going after my father. O.P.A.is out of the spy business.
Quinn: She’s the president’s girlfriend. The White House is always our client. I hate the new normal.
David: The only thing I’m sorry about is that for a second, I thought you were slightly a less loathsome and manipulative creature than you are.
Olivia: The system is set up to silence women like Hannah and protect men like Holland. It’s not a cover-up. It’s a burial through bureaucracy.
Cyrus: Look, I was the guy behind the guy. But, then, lately, I’d started to believe that I’d become the guy behind the girl behind the guy, which I don’t like, which I hate. You know I hate that.
Olivia: Cyrus, I’m not trying to replace you.
Cyrus: You’re not trying to take my place. I know that. I know that now. Let me finish, because it’s about to get really good. I mean, here’s why you are so brilliant… you didn’t have to give up your career. You moved into the White House. You are not saddled with any of the prisoner duties that come with being first lady. You come an go as you please and… wait for it… I’m not the guy behind the girl behind the guy. I’m the guy behind the girl. Fitz isn’t even in the picture.
Olivia: Cyrus… he’s happy. He’s content.
Cyrus: He was never meant to be happy. Happy, content men don’t run the world, which is why he is not running the world. He does whatever you say, without question. You have pulled off a clean, bloodless coup in the United States of America, and no one is the wiser. That is one for the history books.
Olivia: I know this is difficult for you, because you seem to be so unfamiliar with how humans behave, but Cyrus, Fitz and I together… we have an actual relationship. This is what a couple looks like.
Cyrus: You have the oval. This is what power looks like. He’s not the president anymore, Olivia. You are.
Scandal is still on a roll. An absolutely fantastic hour this week. Keep it up!