I apologize if this statement is offensive to any heroin users who might be reading this, but I have to say it: ABC, please just start injecting Scandal straight into my veins. I just can’t handle life without it. I am one of the approximately 8 gazillion people who caught up with the show this summer over a period of about 6 weeks* (*2 days), and after tonight’s explosive premiere, “It’s Handled” (it’s not), I’m afraid that the addiction is only getting worse.
That. Was. Awesome.
Before we dig in, let’s hand out the award for best line of the night. There were many contenders, but when all was sassily said and done, “we have a job to do here, and in order for me to do my part effectively, I’m going to need you to refrain from referring to me as a whore” was BARELY edged out by Harrison “loves a tagline” Wright, with: “Are we Gladiators, or are we bitches?”
Well, however she may feel about it, Olivia’s team definitely proved tonight that they are not "bitches." Especially when it comes to protecting their mother hen. But more on that later.
Let’s start with some unpleasant news. Roman Pope — or, as we shall now be calling him, Spy Daddy 2.0 — is the worst. Seriously ladies, hug your fathers tonight, because as annoying as they might be at least they don’t say stuff like: “You raised your skirt and opened your knees and gave it away to a man with too much power. You’re not rare, you’re not special, and your story is no different than a thousand other stories in this town.”
Ouch. Cruel, and ridiculously inappropriate given the father-daughter connection, here. But it got worse: “Do you have to be so mediocre?” (ASIDE: This two-minute scene arguably told us more about Olivia Pope’s steely personality than the past two seasons combined.)
Rowan wanted Olivia to disappear to some tropical paradise before the White House could make her “disappear” the unpleasant way — and given his pre-robbery Walter White amount of cash and a private plane that would make Kanye jealous, he was fully ready and able to let that happen — but Olivia was being pulled back by her own conscience and Cy, who assured her that her leaving would put the nail in Fitz' emotionally unstable coffin. He has a point.
Olivia, who was clearly destroyed by this interaction, came shockingly close to taking that flight, but her Olivia-ness ultimately got in the way. She was going to fight this thing. White hat!
Interestingly enough, we soon learned that Fitz was taking the exact opposite approach. Clearly beaten by his emotional demons, he was ready to let VP Langston do the talking while he figured out how, when, and where he would confess his sins to Amerikur. (ASIDE: Despite the disgraceful homophobia, I loved Cyrus and Langston’s mini-battle for this quote alone — “The Lord did not fill out his voter registration card. The Lord does not have the right to vote in the United States of America.”)
So while Olivia dealt with being the new Miley of D.C. — papz everywhere! — as well as the loss of most of her clients, Fitz was still mentally creating a world for himself where he and Olivia could be together. Dream on, buddy. Cy, for his part, tried to get to the bottom of who the hell leaked Liv’s name to the pathetic little blogger that picked up the scoop of a lifetime.
And for the record, Cy was completely on Olivia’s side — that is, until a video emerged of Fitz leaving her apartment building. Escandalo! Apparently, this camera phone footage was enough to undo a millennia of friendship, so he promptly ordered his staff to start a “kill folder” on Olivia.
A “kill folder”, as we quickly learned, is more of a reputation-ruining, slut-shaming document than an actual folder filled with ways and reasons to kill someone. (Thank God.) But still, it was painful for Cylivia fans (does that friend-shipper name exist?) to watch him paint her as an “ambitious slut” with daddy issues.
Luckily, he didn’t have to go there. That night, Olivia invoked some super-secret, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. level security protocol that I THINK consisted of a bunch of secret service dudes showing up with like, 15 identical Cadillacs to rescue her from the papz and bring her to the president’s bunker. Great use of government resources, Liv. (ASIDE: Could this daring rescue have happened today, in the middle of this maddening shutdown? Are the 15 dudes with the Cadillacs even working? THE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW. WHITE HATS!! Okay, I’m done.)
In the bunker we were treated to the showdown we’ve been waiting for all summer: Much to Cy’s chagrin, Liv, Fitz, and Mellie met in private to shoot the s**t and figure out how they were going to do this thing. Fitz wanted to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, since I think he’s been over this whole president thing since his second day in office and really just wants to settle down and have gorgeous, mixed-race babies with Olivia.
Unfortunately for him, Mellie was having none of it. Now, I’m not going to hide the fact that I’m #TeamMellie all the way — not because I think she’s a good person, but because she makes for great television and happens to be the victim in this current situation. Mellie was OK with Fitz admitting to a casual, two-time affair (one tryst during inauguration night, one after the emotional fallout from the shooting), but she’d rather start a nuclear war than tell the public that her husband was in full-blown love with another woman. I mean,it’s understandable, guys:
“When you were shot, the name you called out was Olivia,” Mellie said
“That was me being in love with another woman,” Fitz replied.
Ultimate ouchie! Mellie got all ornery and said she’d air out all of Fitz’ dirty laundry if he talked about lurrrve, so the three of them planned an elaborate press event where Fitz would hold hands with his wife, admit to the two-time affair, smile at Oprah, and hope for the public’s forgiveness. Olivia, for her part, would release a public apology document. In short, they were going to SHUT. IT. DOWN.
Only not. After Fitz and Olivia hugged it out and cried and blah blah blah (sorry, I am currently SO OVER these two) — and after Fitz told Sally Langston (whose husband, it would appear, is having an affair of his own) that he would basically hand the party over to her — the Gladiators stepped in.
In a moment of extreme awesomeness, Harrison & co. leaked a video of a 26-year-old communications aide calling Fitz hot, which was apparently enough to convince the public that she was the slut in question. (ASIDE: If I had an affair with every celebrity that I’ve publicly called hot, I’d be sleeping with the cast of Supernatural, Timothy Olyphant, Walt Jr. from Breaking Bad, most of the men on Game of Thrones, Tyrion included, and at least two Hemsworths.) This video “evidence” was somehow backed up with emails chronicling their affair, which I’m guessing were somehow planted by the G-Team. Computers!
You’d think that everyone but the aide, whom Google tells me is named Jeanine Locke, would be happy by this turn of events that very quickly got Olivia off the hook, but you’d be wrong. Fitz — who freaking GAVE LIV’S NAME TO THE PRESS — was livid. He wanted to challenge the story and come out with the truth, but Mellie made the very valid point that this would open up the nastiest can of worms since Watergate.
“This is a war, Mellie,” said a fuming Fitz. “You and I are at war.” You see, Fitz had only given up Liv’s name to protect her, since Mellie having exclusive knowledge of their affair had given her a very valuable weapon. Or something. All we know is, things between these two are about to get very fun.
At the end of the day — of freaking course — Olivia took Jeanine Locke on as a client. So that should be interesting. But this news was overshadowed by Cy walking in to his bedroom to find a very dead-looking Dan, passed out in bed next to a gun-toting Charlie. (ASIDE: Your heart dropped when you saw Dan, right? Don’t touch Dan, show!!)
Cy left Dan — who was thankfully only drugged, and happily sleeping — to meet with Charlie and his latest evil overlord, who just so happened to be…
Rowan Pope! Oh Spy Daddy 2.0, you are bad.
What did Rowan want with Cy? I’m not quite sure, but since it involves a top-secret, covered-up, and probably very deadly mission that was “accomplished” by Fitz and Jake Ballard (who was sadly missing from this episode) back in their military days, I can only guess that it will prove to be, well, a Scandal!
All in all, this was a wonderful return for Scandal, after what I’m now realizing was a way too long summer. What did you think of the episode, Gladiators? Are you still Team Fitz, or are you anxiously awaiting Jake’s return, like me? Are you a fan of Spy Daddy 2.0? Shout out your thoughts in the comments!