The best way to enjoy Scandal is to not expect too much from it.
This is a ridiculous show by all means, and the latest stretch of episodes has been quite enjoyable in a turn-your-brain-off sort of way. The dialogue is witty, and the twists are borderline bonkers – what more can we ask for?
Remember when good ol’ Jake used to spy on Liv way back in season two (Scandal‘s finest season ever)? Well, the role reversal with Liv being the one doing the spying made this week’s hour mightily entertaining. Of course it would have been braver of Shonda to have Liv go totally nuts and paranoid, but the episode’s final moments revealed that her suspicions were right, as we were treated to some impeccably edited flashbacks of Liv and Jake’s first meeting in the infamous coffee-shop. Color me intrigued, because it looks like Jake’s up to something with Vanessa after all.
I honestly had forgotten that Hollis Doyle even existed, so imagine my amusement when he returned this week in a perfectly timed Donald Trump-esque appearance. The writers pulled off a great little misdirect here by having us think he might support Mellie, only to have him steal her tricks and run against her. This is going to get dirty people, and I can’t wait.
How is it that I actually like Quinn now? I remember a time when she was my least favourite character on the show (that honour now belongs to useless Marcus). But now? She’s badass (exploding at Olivia for abandoning them), and lovable (her reaction to Liv saying she always believed in her). I never expected this!
Finally, Abby stepped up to the plate and personally fired Cyrus (under Fitz’s orders) before assuming his position as Chief of Staff. I honestly miss Abby working with OPA, so this promotion can at least provide the character with something material to work with. Seeing her scurry and whine beneath Cyrus was just getting frustrating.
– How nasty was Jake giving Liv the dirty look through the camera as he got naughty with Vanessa?
– Great little touch with Hollis taking the President’s seat during their meeting.
– While I appreciated the continuity with Liv bringing up her kidnapping, something about the scene’s emotional stakes left me feeling numb.
– Susan’s finest moment yet: screaming at Fitz and then helping herself to a drink.
– After Abby said Quinn was only pretending to run OPA, the moment where Liv acknowledged it at the end felt very much earned.
– Abby firing Cyrus was oh so satisfying. Her getting invited to join Fitz and Susan for a drink was even better.
– The less said about the useless Huck subplot the better. Ugh.
– Sometimes the music on this show annoys the heck out of me. So jarring. We get it Shonda, you like oldies.
– The split screen at the end was very 24. Weird.
Hollis: Divorce suits a woman well. I can see it in your hips there. You’re leaner and meaner. You slap that figure onto match.com, the men will come running, I promise you that.
Hollis: I got money… republican money, the kind of money that wins elections. And just like it is with dating, I want to spend it on the gal who I think’s gonna put out for me. You gonna put out for me, Mellie Grant, or are we just gonna rub jeans together and leave here frustrated?
David: I’m in bed with two different women… literally. One is horrible, wicked, cruel, possibly an actual witch. The other is a wonderful person.
Abby: This sounds like a real dilemma.
Olivia :There’s always more money.
Mellie: Where? Kickstarter? Well-meaning relatives?
Jake: You walked away from him over and over, time after time, because you knew in your gut, you knew if you said yes, he’d own you, he’d consume you, he’d be no different than your father, but over time, Fitz manipulated you. He made you feel like… Like you owed him. It’s what he does best. You knew that more than anyone, and you still fell for it. Man, that has got to turn your world upside down, to go from being the smartest person in the room to the biggest fool… to realize you’re just another textbook example of daddy issues, played out on a national stage.
Olivia: You want to be the White House chief of staff.
Abby: Hell yeah. I want to run that mother.
Abby: Cyrus has been a great friend to me. He’s also one of the worst human beings on the planet.
Marcus: I didn’t know he ate people for a living ’cause, per usual, I’m the last one to know anything.
Olivia: I was kidnapped! Do you know what that means? They took everything from me, everything, my freedom, my dignity! And I could have just quit. I could have laid down and died, but I didn’t. I took my life back! I stood up! And a year after being sold on the auction block, I was sitting in the Oval with the president of the United States, and I was running the country! I’m selfish because I can be. I’m selfish because, for a week of my life, I lost that right, and I never, ever, ever want to feel that way again. I don’t owe anyone anything! It’s my turn! Mine!
Fitz: You do not yell at me in this office.
Susan: Where do I yell at you? I want to go there. Take me to the place where I yell at you because I am not done!
Quinn: After Liv found out her mom was a terrorist and her dad killed the president’s son, she went to a secluded island with Jake.
A charming and engrossing hour of Scandal. Keep it up show!