Guest Review Scandal

Scandal 7×11 – Army of One

“My Olivia Pope Google alert went bonkers maybe two hours ago.”

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That was unexpectedly interesting. That’s not to say that Scandal’s legacy hasn’t been damaged beyond repair at this point, but Army of One achieves what this season hasn’t done in months: move the plot forward.

This show is always at its best when its characters are constantly deceiving each other for political power, so watching Olivia and Cyrus try to take Mellie down proves to be an entertaining and immensely satisfying change of pace from the past few episodes. Of course, Liv is still irredeemable, even if she shows a tiny hint of humanity as she resigns in the closing moments of the hour, and I’m afraid to admit this isn’t the most original or mind-blowing twist. However, I’m beyond thrilled that Mellie won’t be replaced by Cyrus anytime soon. Screw that guy.

This brings me to Rowan. If you’ve been following my Scandal reviews recently, you know I’m not a fan of the character and all his awfulness. However, I’ve never seen anything as disgusting as Papa Pope threatening to “apply pressure” on Quinn’s newborn baby. The worst part (yes, it gets worse) is that the writers attempt to explain this atrocious behavior with an unpleasant speech about the constant need to protect your own. Yes, nothing says parental love like choking another kid’s baby by the neck. It’s only one scene, but it absolutely ruined what was otherwise a solid episode for me.

Scandalous Bits

– Jake’s wife Vanessa gets more screentime this week than possibly all her previous appearances combined! I’ll admit her interview on live TV is admittedly amusing in a soap opera way.

– I didn’t expect we’d have a new case of the week all of a sudden (when was the last time we had one of those?), but I did feel bad for the mid-level state government employee whose life gets ruined by the end. Poor guy.

– Food for thought: where did Olivia get $12 million to pay the government employee? Why doesn’t she use that money to buy an island far, far away and disappear?

– Thrilling sequence as Olivia walks into her apartment and sees a newborn baby there. Sadly, Quinn standing by the door would have been a cool twist if it wasn’t spoiled by the promos (thanks, ABC).

– Cheer-worthy moment as Olivia gets shot by one of her own snipers. Sorry, but it had to be said.

– Of course Papa Pope has to ruin his father/daughter moment with a dinosaur analogy.

– Quinn is back at QPA so we can finally move on from that awful fake-death storyline.

Quipyness

Mellie: (to Olivia) You didn’t kill Rashad for a treaty. You didn’t kill him for peace in the Middle East. You didn’t even kill him because you thought Rashad was a bad man. You killed him because you thought I was a bad president.

Mellie: Incredible. Why does everyone assume that I’m the victim?

Mellie: Today was supposed to be a good day. I was looking forward to today. Today was the day I was supposed to get my yearly mammogram. Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to get my yearly mammogram? Since I moved into the place. Because apparently no one’s ever had to schedule one of those things for any other sitting president. Go figure. And it’s not like there’s a mammography machine in the White House Medical Unit. Damn thing would just be sitting there, collecting dust!

Cyrus: If there’s gonna be a snake in the Oval, it might as well be me.

Conclusion
A surprisingly exciting hour of Scandal that offers a lot of forward momentum and a satisfying ending. Certainly the best episode in a while.

Chris Rating
B

3 comments

  1. I was disappointed by the outcome of this episode. I was hoping the rest of the season would be focused on Olivia being the bad guy and Quinn and Associates working together to take her down. But that was dealt with before it had the chance to fully take off. Now I’m left wondering how the show plans to fill the last five episodes. Are we supposed to like Olivia now and root for her redemption? Do we even care at this point? And I’m shocked that Quinn is actually surprised by Rowan turning against her. He’s Rowan. He had Fitz’s son killed as well as Harrison and so many others. People on the show often forgot that.

    For a moment, I thought Cyrus was playing Olivia, making her think he wanted to take Mellie down when actually the whole thing was rigged as a test for Olivia to be used against her. But, no, it seems Cyrus is back to being a self-serving, power-hungry snake. A part of me was hoping he would remain Mellie’s loyal supporter.

    1. I somewhat agree that Olivia as the Big Bad was an interesting concept but I’m glad she showed some if her humanity again at the end. She can never be redeemed in my eyes but watching them try to fix her is helluva lot more interesting than watching her continue to be evil. I’m just so sick of Evil Olivia that I need her gone ASAP!

      And funnily enough I didn’t even consider the fact that Cyrus might’ve been playing Olivia. That should tell you just how little I think of this horrendous character now.

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