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Scandal

Scandal – Army of One (7×11)

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Does anyone even care what happens to Olivia Pope at this point? Like really, does anyone care?

There was about 5% of care left in me and in this week’s episode, Liv had the NERVE to go cry to her daddy and utter the words: “dad, she hates me,” about Quinn.

Let’s back it up just a little bit. Of course, she hates you Liv. You allowed your father to KILL HER in order to keep your power, to ride your high horse, to stay on top. You let your best friend die so you could live in a grandiose manner. So yeah, she hates you. As a matter of fact, we all hate you.

That’s why the first female President replaced you with puppy dog Jake as Chief of Staff. It’s why she told you that you either announce your resignation or you’ll be terminated publically. It’s why Fitz wasn’t in this episode. It’s why Quinn broke free and risked her and her babies life to come and point a gun at you. It’s why no one at the almost defunct OPA even wants anything to do with you.

Gone are the days where we gave Olivia a second chance. This is the Olivia who told everyone she would resign, then went behind their backs and when she was threatened with being replaced, she framed some innocent man to get caught up sleeping with Jake’s wife on national television so he would be embarrassed and forced to resign.

It’s amazing to me that it took Cyrus’ intervention for them to realize that they could spin a story as Jack’s wife simply serving as an FBI spy. If they really are this hopeless without Liv, maybe they should forgive her for everything she’s done.

On a different playing field, the idea that Jake Ballard, of all people, would be promoted to this position is comical. Jake may do the dirty work, but he’s never proven to be able to stand on his own without taking orders from someone else. He’s also the same man who threated to slice Mellie’s throat just last week. I guess in the real world, the people who do the least always get promoted too.

Of course, we know we cannot trust Cyrus because his one and only goal in life has been to become President. At this point, he’s done so many questionable things and he doesn’t have anything left to lose, so why wouldn’t he just bump Mellie and take her spot. Liv really sat there are questioned his loyalty about it too like she didn’t just turn her back on Quinn and let her die. “She’s your friend, Cyrus,” she said. Yeah, so was Quinn.

The time has come where Scandal has become caught up in itself and the convoluted B613 schemes have taken over the show. Arguably, B613 was fresh, impressive and full of potential when it was first introduced. But a few seasons on this show and the logic has sucked itself out, leaving an institution with gaping holes, illogical decisions and truthfully, only two employees. And in the absence of logic, purpose no longer exists. We’re here for the “wow” and the “OMG” factors.

Jake has been in the game long enough that you’d be certain he would have secured a gameplan if Liv were to be pushed out of Command. Or anyone for that matter. How does Liv hold onto her power so long, even when she’s been booted. They say you cannot take Command, but surely you can prepare for Command’s inevitable fall?

Maybe Jake just has too much on his plate these days; Chief of Staff, Command and NSA director. It’s no wonder he can’t find the time to do any of them properly.

With all this in mind, this cat and mouse game between Rowan and Liv continued on the road of “absolutely no sense.”

Liv wanted to retain her power, but in doing so, lost it completely. Rowan wanted to beat his daughter at her own game to assure himself that his daughter was still there, deep down inside. And yet when he lost, you’d think the endgame was kill or be killed. Yet, Liv didn’t want to kill Rowan and as much as Quinn wanted her revenge, Rowan would never allow his child to be hurt.

So, what’s the point? Why keep Quinn a prisoner? Why allow Liv to believe she’s dead?

Quinn revealed herself to be alive and while it spooked Liv, there was no real outcome. Liv took a bullet for Quinn, which is the least she can do at this point. Quinn picked her daughter up and bolted for the door. Given Quinn’s training with B613 and being married to top agent, Charlie, you’d think she would have realized Liv would have people protecting and watching her every move. How novice of her.

Charlie didn’t retaliate against Liv either. They simply waltzed back into OPA like “tada” I’m not really dead and Huck and Abbie were like “whoa, what.” Not the “I’ve just seen a ghost” type either. They should be celebrating because losing Quinn was more of a setback business-wise than I thought it would be for OPA. They actually told a client to “get a good lawyer,” after Liv was found responsible for setting him up. That’s it. It’s like they failed to realize that helping Jake and the President wasn’t actually helping their client.

Hopefully, they don’t just forgive Liv the way Rowan did. The Pope’s may be powerful but lord, they are also on a different spectrum. They go at each other’s throats and then just pretend like nothing ever happened; like they haven’t spent the last several years trying to take each other out.

That’s a new level of dysfunction and no one needs to be a part of it.

I commend Liv for admitting loss and doing what’s right for her country. In a semi-redeeming moment, she blindsided Cyrus instead of burning Mellie’s presidency to the ground. Can you imagine if a woman actually ruined the presidency of the first female President? It would really go against all the female empowerment Liv always claims to stand for. She even released her street-hacker hold on B613 to Jake.

With Liv’s hands out of all the pots, what happens now?

Does she find a new purpose? Does she return to OPA and pretend nothing ever happened? Does she hope a place in Vermont still exists? Do we even care?

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Scandal

Scandal – Over a Cliff (7×18)

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Scandal Over a Cliff

Scandal took its final bow tonight.

After everyone aired out their dirty laundry in front of a Senate of white males, you’d think there’d be more consequences. My consensus at the very end was that it was all too easy.

If dismantling B613 were as easy as telling everyone it existed, why the hell didn’t we do this sooner?

Was it really as simple as having Papa Pope come through and wave it all away?

We were so worried about what would happen to our core cast but in actuality, Scandal had more happy endings than I ever imagined was possible.

It turns out, even if you do really terrible things like poisoning someone with a throw pillow, you can stand in the sun.

Okay, that’s a lie — Cyrus didn’t actually stand in the sun. I was pretty shocked to realize that Cyrus’ murder count was still at a big, fat zero by the series finale. Yes, he’s ordered other people to kill in his name, but like Jake said, he’s never actually done the deed himself.

I don’t think there’s such a thing as a successful series finale. Hear me out — someone is always going to be upset, someone is always going to be disappointed. You just can’t win. However, I wasn’t exactly blown away by how this groundbreaking series ended.

When Liv and company concluded that they were going to come clean about everything, the only person I really wanted a happy ending for was David Rosen. In all of this, David was the only good guy; the only White Hat.

His face-off with Jake was, arguably, the best moment of the season finale. Rosen literally uttered “you’re the bitch” to Jake, which, let’s be honest, is something we’ve all thought once or twice before. And he made it out alive. Who knew that all it took to change Jake’s mind about being this villainous, mass murderer was David Rosen ponying up and telling it like he saw it.

Also, who else cheered Rosen on when he said he was the USA’s bitch? You tell ’em, Rosen.

Of course, since Jake didn’t kill Rosen, Cyrus took the reigns. And we all saw it coming from a mile away. How did David Rosen not see it? How did Abbie not catch onto the fact that Cyrus texted him he wanted to confess? Since when does Cyrus do anything that’s essentially good in nature?

I kept yelling “don’t drink it” when Rosen took the drink from Cyrus. A bit of advice — if you’re having drinks with a sworn enemy, check to see if they drink their drink first before you guzzle down yours.

David went from hero to idiot in a matter of minutes and it’s unfortunate. I was really rooting for him and Abbie to live a full and happy life together. They both deserved it.

Many people are, understandably, upset with Rosen’s demise. Yet, there’s something so authentic about the only good guy getting taken out. It’s authentic because, in the real world, the good guys rarely win. Still, we all really wanted to see a bullet go right through Cyrus’ little frowny forehead. And how great would it have been if Rosen was the one that put it there?

Also, is anyone else upset Rosen not getting a proper funeral? We dedicated a whole episode to Quinn’s faux funeral, but Rosen just gets the sympathy of his girlfriend Abbie? The Attorney General of the United States? That’s bogus.

Sadly, the man that really deserved to die actually walked away from it all. But that is punishment in itself. For Cyrus, losing the Presidency is a worse fate than death. It’s all he ever wanted; it’s why he did all the heinous things that he did.

He may not have ended up in Supermax like Jake, but his punishment is a life unfulfilled. It’s the realization that no matter what, he will never be at the top.

I mentioned that I was surprised with my realization that Cyrus never actually killed anyone. It’s probably because he’s such a big talker. He would always talk himself up to be this big monster but in reality, the minute he had to kill someone without his henchman around, it completely broke him. He couldn’t even handle being that monster he was so proud of for all these seasons. Oh, Cy, you’re a fraud!

The scariest part is that Liv is completely unfazed by all the vile stuff she’s done. Let that sink in. Cyrus killed one, morally good person, and it was the death of him. Liv’s done some questionable things and doesn’t feel an ounce of remorse for it. She’s still strutting about D.C in her white coat, not a care in the world.

She’s free of the White House, of the Oval’s control over her… for now.

Unfortunately, I can’t even say Liv and Fitz’s ending was satisfactory. I’ve always envisioned their final scene to be in Vermont making jam. Even if that was hinted at, I would have liked to see it come to fruition. I will give the writers props for using their theme music one last time and having their final interaction consist of that elusive “hi” exchange. However, for a show that’s known for scandalous sex scenes, their last hook-up was seriously lacking. Give me the passion of Liv and Fitz from season one just one last time, goddamnit!

Thankfully, coming clean about election rigging and B613 didn’t cost them their credibility or strip them from any of their accomplishments while they were in President’s seat. Heck, Mellie even got to remain in office, signed a gun-control bill as promised to Lonnie Mencken (may he RIP) and did it all with Marcus by her side. It wasn’t really made obvious, but I’m going to just pretend he earned the title of her Chief of Staff/ Mister (the male form of mistress… let’s make it happen, people!).

Mellie’s Presidential portrait was stunning, Fitz’ was encompassing of all the worried looks he cast through the Oval Office window but Liv’s, that was really something. Yes, Liv had a portrait hanging in the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian… which also means (I’ll give you a minute), she became President. I’d like to think those two girls were her daughters with Fitz but it’s subjective. They never uttered “look at mom, a black woman securing her spot in history,” so we’ll never really know, will we? We don’t even know if she stayed with Fitz, if they got married, if they even had kids.

Part of me wishes Shonda gave me a concrete answer to these lingering questions, but part of me likes how elusive it was. I feel like Olivia’s character was kind of like that; she was supposed to be the good guy, but she never fully was, yet we still rooted for her. The anti-hero who meant well but couldn’t stay committed to it in a corrupt town.

Speaking of more definitive endings, the rest of the characters really needed them. What happened to Abbie after Rosen died? She was stunning in the morgue moment, talking all about getting revenge, but what happened after? Did she remain at QPA? Did QPA even exist? All we know is that Charlie was a free man and he rode off into the sunset with Quinn and little Robin, which yes, is adorable, but is that all? I can’t just accept that these two gave up a life of crime and torture to just drive their daughter to soccer practice.

Quinn and Charlie’s wedding during a conjugal visit was so heartwarming. Their love is so pure and unique. At one point, I was pretty impressed with the fact that everyone, even some cold-blooded killers, will find their perfect match. And after everything, Liv stood by Quinn’s side just like it was always supposed to happen! Ugh, full-circles are kind of my jam!

And what happened with Huck? Did he ever find peace? What about his kid?

And Papa Pope? Besides hosting wine dinners with his daughter, was he still running a secret B613? You can’t tell me he just GAVE UP Command after giving Jake the speech that you can’t take Command. If so, what was the point of that impassioned speech?

And how did he get off scot-free after walking into the Senate and declaring himself the mastermind of everything? He just told them the truth and then said “pin this on Jake,” and all the snickering white men were like “for sure, dude.”

None of it made sense, although, I have to give him credit for the line that asserted himself, a black man, responsible for holding up this nation, a white man’s nation, for the past 30-years. That was brilliant. “I make America great.” Can you say that one more time for Prez Trump back there?

 

If I was Jake, I’d be raising hell right now. Of all the people that committed crimes, he’s the only one that ended up in jail? Yeah, he deserves it but not any more than Cyrus or Rowan. In fact, Jakes little showdown with Rosen actually brought him into the light. He didn’t shoot Rosen because he realized he was right. What was he doing all of this for? For Cyrus? He didn’t even like him! Sadly, he was too far gone.

However, Jake is the only one of out that group that can handle jail time. Cyrus obviously didn’t do well there. Huck could handle it, but he’s definitely got more emotional stuff to deal with. Jake is the only one who would make it out unscathed and actually treat it like a vacation. I’m also glad that Liv didn’t let him go into it thinking no one cared about him; she always cared, that’s why he got wrapped up in this mess in the first place.

After his testimony — being unable to answer how many people he’s killed while working for B613 and freaking out about having to speak in front of 15 people — I’m going to say Huck is my spirit animal.

Other Thoughts

  • It was great that they brought back Sally Langston for her Lovers of Liberty Report, but I wish they would have made her pay for killing her husband. We haven’t forgotten, Sally.
  • Why was Doyle back? Did he even know why he was back? He didn’t even contribute anything aside from pleading every amendment!
  • Also, who knew Tom was still alive?
  • I know America technically did away with B613, but given that the Senate didn’t think twice about Rosen getting a heart attack at Cyrus’ home, I wonder if America is even ready to govern themselves. Like, come on guys, read between the lines!
  • Charlie’s name is Bernard!

Overall, OG #Gladiators deserved better, but in the end, what’s done is done. It was never about the ending, it was always about the journey. And I’ll say, it was one hell of a journey over the cliff.

It’s been a pleasure, Scandal lovers, but things are officially handled.

And my red wine? Well, I’m completely out.

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Scandal

Scandal – Standing in the Sun (7×17)

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Scandal standing in the sun

This was the final episode before the SERIES FINALE of Scandal and honestly, I don’t know how it’s all going to end.

From the looks of it, it’s going to involve all of them standing in the sun and finally owning up to all the crimes and sins they’ve committed.

All of them together, over a cliff, stripped of their legacy, their credibility, everything.

It’s a hard pill to swallow for people like Mellie who are currently “on top of the world” or Fitz who has “survived” the Presidency, but it’s a long time coming.

They were all running around with absolutely no rules to follow. There was no punishment for anything that they did, no checks and balances. They needed to be stopped.

We’ve always thought of Olivia and friends as heroes, but they have never been better than the other guys. They have never been better than Jake or Cyrus. at times, they’ve been even worse because they PRETEND to be good. Heck, they truly believe it.

They always say the truth will set you free and that’s the case here. They exhausted all their other options and honestly, there’s nothing they can do without incriminating themselves first.

And the source of everything is B613. If they take down the organization, they stand a chance at bringing down Cyrus and Jake with them. What did they expect playing with a grenade? Liv went nuclear and didn’t look back.

And honestly, that’s what makes her so powerful till this day, she isn’t afraid to pull the trigger and blow everything up, even if it means blowing herself up.

The only problem is that B613 is such a top-secret, they literally don’t have anything to prove its existence.

That’s where Sally Langston and the Liberty Report come into play. They want America do it for them and rope Sally into it. She’s more than eager to exploit everything, however, she doesn’t realize when she helps take them down, she’s always implicating herself.

Remember season one when Sally killed her gay husband and called Cyrus to cover it up?

She’s hiding behind this holier than thou persona when in reality, she’s just as bad as they are.

There were moments where it felt like Shonda was setting it up for a spin-off for the next generation in the White House, one that isn’t so corrupt.

Moral of the story, this is bigger than all of us… all of them.

The White hat is going to the people — they owe them that much.

But are the people ready for this truth bomb? Or will the truth inflict far more damage and even evoke disasterous results?

I really wish this wasn’t the penultimate episode. There is so much story left to be told, how did we waste one whole episode on Jake killing Vanessa? Honestly.

Other Thoughts

  • Will Charlie come out of this unscathed?
  • What the hell was Jake’s convo with Rowan all about? Why did he even go to him? To get “daddy’s” permission? And what was Rowan whining about him still being Command? He definitely didn’t act like Command when Liv was in charge. He was even scared of her.
  • I really thought this would finally be the moment Jake killed Rowan but still nope. Will Liv and friend incriminate Rowan or will he be the only one that gets off scot-free? If he does, he’ll likely take over B613 again.
  • Seeing QPA go through all of their sins? Yeah, we’ve done some stuff.
  • Who knew Sally’s show was getting such legit ratings it was still on air?
  • Liv and Fitz will likely never get Vermont but maybe their whole journey was in itself Vermont. They found their way back to each other and that’s all that matters.
  • Maybe, after they come clean, they can all run off to the island where Liv and Jake spent some truly blissful moments?
  • Someone has to die — will it be Cyrus? Jake? Rowan? Liv?
  • Definitely Lonnie. He is a dead man walking.

Sound-off. How do you think this all ends? What is actually right for this country?

Do any of them deserve happy endings? I say if anyone does, it is David.

How are they going to wrap this all up in one-hour?

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Scandal

Scandal – People Like Me (7×16)

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Scandal/ ABC

So we’re two episodes away from the series finale of Scandal. Where did the time go?

It became abundantly clear that the takedown of both Cyrus Beene and Jake Ballard are vital before we say goodbye so that they don’t, as Mellie Grant put it, “rewrite the history of women.” The history that is two women, Mellie and Olivia Pope, did everything in their power to get into that Oval — they played the boys’ game, they played it dirty and they beat them.

And they aren’t going down without a fight. Unfortunately, Liv isn’t able to handle Cyrus in the way Mellie wants her too. Yes, Liv’s killed before, and I sincerely appreciate the writers for reminding me of that little fact with a longer-than-necessary camera pan to a metal chair that Liv is caressing, however, those days are behind her. Frankly, I’m glad she learned her lesson that killing friends, or people who you once considered friends, isn’t the answer.

It was refreshing to see her so weak actually. She always exudes such confidence and is a force to be reckoned with, even when she doesn’t have it all together, but in front of Jake, who was Cyrus’ saving grace cause he didn’t even realize Liv poisoned his wine (ruthless!), she cowered.

Though, I wouldn’t have complained if she whooped the smug look off of Cyrus’ face and started her murder-free life tomorrow. At least that Olivia got thing “handled,” when her diplomatic approach wasn’t working.

However, Mellie’s White House isn’t about stooping down to Cyrus’ level of desperation. Or in actuality, Jake’s level.

If you thought Cyrus was the ultimate villain, much like I did, well, I’ve got news for you, Shonda played us all.

You know who has been the biggest threat to this republic this whole time? Jake-fricking-Ballard. I guess if you kick a dog enough times, that dog is going to bite back or die trying.

I feel like that’s really the case here. Jake is so desperate to come out on top, but as Liv proved, it’s quite lonely up there. He thinks that by killing Vanessa, which let’s be honest, was a weak moment because no one actually cared about her, he’s established himself as some kind of alpha. And to Cyrus, he probably has. I don’t think I’ve ever see Cyrus more scared in his life. You reap what you sow.

But now, Cyrus is damn well going to be turning to Liv for help taking down this monster he singlehandedly helped create. And I know I’ve said this about Liv and Cyrus at one point but with Jake, I mean it. There’s no other end for him than death.

Liv and her team of goons won’t let a tyrant like Jake take the White House so they’ll need all hands on deck. But even with the President, the Vice President and the former President joining forced to take down a common enemy they have to go against Command which is a tall order.

We haven’t seen Rowan in quite awhile so I imagine they’ll turn to him given his years of experience leading B613.

God, I hope that he’s the saving grace and Charlie doesn’t die. Quinn deserves a family.

If you think about it, having everyone on one side despite all that’s transpired between them is actually pretty brilliant.

There was never enough room for both Jake and Fitz and clearly, we know exactly which side she’s picked.

When this all blows over, we’ll all be laughing about it in Vermont while standing in the sun making jam. I just know it.

However, we have TWO episodes left so let’s not waste any more time like we did this week. Less Jake killing secondary, underutilized characters and more Abby and Quinn hacking things.

Will Scandal succeed in redeeming America and Olivia Pope in one fell swoop? Who will die? Who will live?

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