I don’t know if I’ve started lowering my expectations for Scandal, but I genuinely enjoyed this episode. Shocker, I know.
Unlike the past few outings, the winter finale was much more focused. While Olivia remains irredeemably horrible, at least the show acknowledged that she’s too far gone into the dark side and that it’s no fun watching her get away with everything (example: murder). In addition, in the past I never liked Mama Pope, who always seemed to come off as an Irina Derevko ripoff (and an awful one, at most). However, the way she tore Olivia down and told her everything she deserved to hear was uber-satisfying. I might regret saying this, but I want more Mama Pope.
Where the episode stumbles (and of course it does) is in its ridiculous ending. As Jake points out, there’s absolutely no logical reason as to why Olivia (and, by extension, Shonda Rhimes) has kept Eli/Rowan Pope alive. Therefore, the father/daughter face-off at the end, besides being repetitious and exhausting, falls flat and is made worse thanks to a dull and unexciting cliffhanger. It’s insulting of the writers to think that the audience will believe Quinn was just killed off-screen, and not even Katie Lowes’ tweets thanking the cast and crew can convince me that Quinn is dead. You can do better than that, show. I think.
– Charlie’s speech about looking for pregnant Jane Doe’s at morgues was actually incredibly emotional and the first time I ever liked Charlie.
– Also a first: I loved Kerry Washington trembling with the key outside her apartment and later lying in bed with her hands over her chest.
– Highlight of the hour: Mama Pope cracking up once Liv says that she took away her father’s “bones”.
– Which brings us to this fun fact: on this week’s Scandal, a grown man says “you took my dinosaur”.
– The twist with Olivia’s secretary killing the TV reporter Curtis was surprising but absurdly unnecessary. Ugh.
– Anyone else think there was a lot of dubbing in this episode? I was awfully distracted.
– Once again, David and Abby are extremely likable, which makes me all the more worried about their fates. You know Shonda will do it.
– Mellie and Fitz’s kids are mentioned this week. Raise your hand if you forgot they still existed.
– Chilling and truly empowering scene between Mellie and Olivia at the end. But isn’t it strange we don’t even get to see Mellie at her “major moment”?
Olivia: You can either be my mom or be a bitch.
David (to Abby): The world you run in, your world, is terrifying. Today, Quinn is missing. Before that, Huck was shot. Olivia was kidnapped. Harrison was killed. Everyone involved with this place has bargained with death.
Jake: I’m sorry, Olivia, but you do not get to have it all.
Mellie: You and me, together. Say it with me.
Olivia: You and me. Together.
Mellie & Olivia: Nothing, no one, no man, standing in our way.
An unexpectedly solid winter finale. Let’s hope the show doesn’t revert back to its old ways when it returns to its final stretch of episodes.