Scandal 6×02 – Hardball

"You didn't choose me. Nobody does."


The best thing about this season is the increased focus on Mellie and Olivia’s fascinating dynamic. These two women were the ultimate arch enemies, but now they lean on each other, they fight, and then they make up all over again. It’s so enjoyable to watch, and I love that even the Marcus reveal didn’t really derail the duo’s bond by the end of the episode (they’re back to drinking together almost immediately). You can tell Bellamy Young and Kerry Washington are having a ball with this storyline, so I do hope it lasts for a while. Plus Mellie is bound to make it to the Oval Office soon right? I smell impeachment.

Hardball is also notable for introducing FBI Director Angela Webster. I really hope the show focuses less on the brewing love triangle with Fitz (God knows I can’t handle any more Olitz drama) and more on her relationship with Olivia. That dinner scene with the two bonding over racism/sexism in the workplace was an absolute hoot.

It’s funny, but I’m starting to think Cyrus might be innocent. He looked really defeated after Mellie spouted off that epic tirade (see below), and his guilt is probably too obvious at this stage. Sure the ending was effective with Liv finally getting Fitz on her side (after uncovering the video), but isn’t this where we ended things last week with Liv vowing to take down Cyrus? Kind of feels like we’re treading in water if you ask me.

Scandalous Bits

– Nifty gimmick to this episode with the constant time jumping.

– I can’t believe I’ve become such a fan of Quinn and Charlie but I loved them trying to steal evidence at the crime scene. However, Quinn infiltrating the FBI was way too easy. Am I seriously supposed to believe the guard didn’t notice Angela’s picture on the computer?

– Jake really isn’t getting much screen time this year which is strange. The fact that he got the confession and made the suspect piss himself however was tough to watch (and we only saw the aftermath).

– I need a raincheck on Liv and Mellie discussing Angela Webster. It better happen next week!

– Cute touch: David stealing Liv’s wine.

– Continuity: Abby reminding Liv how she broke her and David up.

– Abby sure is becoming villainous – see how she told Mellie that Liv gave Marcus the job.

– Did anyone notice Liv screaming at Mellie was pretty much the exact same way Papa Pope would scream at Liv? Symmetry.

– Loved Liv’s little explosion at Quinn concerning marriage.

– So all it takes is for Mellie to stand in the Oval Office to change her mind? That was easy!


Mellie: I can be flattered, right?
Olivia: You can. Knees together.

Mellie: I’m reminded of a movie where two women drive off a cliff together.

Mellie: Well? Go ahead.
Cyrus: What?
Mellie: You’re gonna kill me, right? I’m assuming that’s your plan. Am I in the right position? I’m not sure how you normally do this. I can lean my head forward if that’s easier.
Cyrus: I want to make you an offer. I want you to join my administration as Vice President on a unity ticket. I know. It’s not the job you wanted. But this isn’t the job I wanted, either. But I want to do whatever I can to try to bring this country together.

Mellie: Vice President? So I’m supposed to serve you? I’m supposed to allow you to just walk away with a job that I have worked for, I have bled for, I was born for, because why? You asked nicely? It’s not because you deserve it. It’s not because you earned it. It is certainly not because you are by any stretch of the imagination equipped for it. You were never a candidate, Cyrus. Frankie was. I was. I still am, not you. And if you think the only presidential candidate left in this election is gonna get down on her knees and be a good little girl for you, the man who tried to murder his way into the Oval, honey you better think again.

Marcus: I’m gonna teach you everything I know.
Mellie: I’m rich. You know that, right? We could afford a professional to teach me how to do this.
Marcus: I can see why you don’t have many friends.

Olivia: Look at you. The FBI. How is it?
Angela: Well, I’m the boss, so, you know, no one’s gonna actually comment, but, you know, I get the look. The usual “How did you get here” glance.
Olivia: I love the glance. And the “You must be in the wrong place” smile.
Angela: “The service entrance is in the back” handshake.

Olivia: The sex is good, but, Mellie –
Mellie: Good? No. Um I wept. Literally wept. I actually shed uncontrollable tears of joy while having sex. That’s not good. That’s mm. There is a fire inside me now. I am having almost a religious experience.
Olivia: I got it.
Mellie: No.
Olivia: No?
Mellie: I found the light, Liv. I was living in the dark. I was blind, but now I see. My skin is warm, and I feel generous, and colors seem brighter, and smells seem stronger, and I believe in… I believe. And the thing is I’m pretty sure it’s just love. And I have gone without it all this time. Can you believe I’ve missed it? Can you believe I went for so long never feeling this? Is this what you felt with Fitz? Because if it is… I understand. You should have it. I should have it. Everybody should have it! It’s happiness.

Mellie: I can’t believe this. This is a new low for you, for us. I told myself that this was true, that this was you. You can’t be the one person who destroys every relationship I ever have, can you?!

Olivia: It was a choice Marcus or the presidency. One or the other, but not both. You don’t get to have both. You get to be powerful. You get to change the world.

Olivia: Huck, leave us alone. We’re drinking.

Not as thrilling as the season premiere, but still a tremendously well done hour of Scandal. I just wish the ending was more of a gamechanger.

Nad Rating

1 comment

  1. It's been a really good and refreshing season! (Sure hope I don't jinx it). And I have a feeling Olivia's dad probably had something to do with Frankie's death. Or too predictable?

    Love Mellie and Marcus! And agreed about that ending: literally the same as the premiere.

    Also interesting how Liv really is turning into her father! And I sure hope Jake doesn't get more screentime. I really find this character to be completely useless. Definitely overstayed his welcome.

    Great review as always!

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