Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Olivia finally takes command in an exciting episode of Scandal

ABC/Eric McCandless
ABC/Eric McCandless
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Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

  • Well, that was the best episode since Scandal’s return from hiatus. It mostly made sense. The plot moved forward. We got to see Olivia in her element again. Most importantly, we really go to see how far off the wagon Olivia has fallen and it turns out she’s not too far gone.
  • That’s kind of a bummer, though. If Olivia can’t be this season’s Big Bad, then what are we doing here? It almost seemed like Olivia was willing to ruin Mellie in the hopes of retaining power, but she still has her morals (and even she knows making Cyrus president would be a horrible idea). Olivia’s resignation is exciting without OPA in her corner, but I don’t think she’s done scheming for the White House.
  • The Mellie/mammogram thing was kind of interesting, except wouldn’t there be a machine in the White House for First Ladies? Don’t they have mammograms scheduled? I mean, super interesting point about the patriarchy and the first female president, but it didn’t have as much bite as Mellie’s previous speeches.
  • The scene with Rowan threatening Quinn’s baby was so unnecessary. Especially since he let them go so easily. Scandal enjoys having Papa Pope straddle the line between terrifying and father figure, but it wears thin when there’s an actual baby on the line. The scene with Rowan and Olivia was far more effective.
  • I’d watch a show with Quinn, Charlie and their baby living in a Pennsylvania cabin.
  • It’s cool that Jake and Olivia were so down to ruin that innocent government worker’s life.
  • It’s cool that Cyrus was so ready to throw Mellie under the bus.
  • What I mean is that none of these people have any moral high ground
  • At one point during this episode I thought, “What is Fitz doing right now?” I don’t know what that means for the quality of this season, but I’m surprised I cared.
  • MRS. JAKE IS BACK! I knew Vanessa, the best TV wife of all time, would bring the goods. Vanessa, her lover and Jake do not miss a beat when it comes to hitting the best of Scandal’s soap opera absurdity. Angry Jake telling someone to go eat their melon is right up there with “the liquor cabinet is that way!”
  • We only have a few episodes left and a lot of things feel up in the air. While it’s cool that Scandal will be crossing over with How to Get Away With Murder, it also feels like an unnecessary distraction. I can’t imagine that the How to Get Away With Murder gang will make things less complicated for Olivia.

Ashley Ray-Harris is a Chicago-based pop culture expert and freelance writer. Her work looks at the intersection of race, gender, sexuality and modern culture.