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Scandal – Head Games (6×14)

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She’s baaaack.

Remember when I said that Peus and Samantha had to be working for someone who carried a little more weight in DC? Well, I was right. It’s unlikely that these two newcomers could just waltz in and start barking orders at Rowan Pope, the leader of B6-13, an undercover organization basically running things in the US government. At first, I thought that maybe Rowan was playing Liv and company and pretending to be afraid of these two while calling the shots. He did want to get Mellie in the White House after all.

That wasn’t the case, however. It was an entirely different Pope running the show this time – Mama Pope. We haven’t heard from her in a minute and turns out, she’s been keeping busy plotting to turn her ex-husband into her puppet and get daughter into the White House.

As Rowan is about to embark on his much-needed vacation, Liv stops him from leaving the country to inform him that her mother was controlling Peus and Samantha the whole time. So while they may have eliminated those two, they haven’t eliminated the full threat. You can imagine Rowan wasn’t pleased finding this out. And of course, we now have to wonder what Mama’s angle in all of this is? Why does she want Mellie and her daughter in power? What psychotic plan does she have in mind?

As Fitz spends his last few days in office he’s focused on two things: Liv and his legacy. Throughout his tenure, he hasn’t really left his mark on the world aside from a few scandals here and there. So he’s really focused on picking the right prisoner to pardon in order to prove to the people that he really was a great President.

Liv hands the task over to Pope and Associates and it quickly becomes apparent to them all that with one foot in the White House, Liv is totally checked out from her actual “business.” Quinn, Charlie, and Huck decide to prove to her that the work they do still matters by finding a case that shows the racial injustice in our legal system. The victim is an African American man accused of bombing a church. A trip to predominantly white bar reveals that the killer who framed the man was actually a white man. Quinn knows this dude is innocent but without any proof, Liv shuts it down. That’s when Quinn decides to go above her boss aka “this new Olivia” and heads straight to Fitz to tell him that her “gut” tells him he should pardon this man. I mean Quinn channels her best Olivia Pope in this scene, convincing the President based solely on what she believes. It’s pretty badass and an example of just how strong Liv’s impact is on her employees.

Quinn is surprised to find out this was all a test done to see if she was worthy of taking over OPA. Charlie was right, with Liv in the White House, she won’t have the necessary time to deal with their cases but she wants the right person to fill her Loubitons and she just found her. There’s really no better suitor to fill in as successor than Quinn.

Other Thoughts

  • I cannot wait for a Quinn and Charlie wedding. I hated them together at first but they’ve really grown on me. And with Huck being her maid of honor, I can’t help but smile from ear to ear.
  • I’m not sure what happened to Leo but I definitely miss Abby and David together. He may be dorky but her quirkiness balanced him out. Who else would let their ex-keep an ex’s head in their fridge? And despite how terrible (and illegal it is), Rosen needing to know Sam’s real identity helped them figure out who they were working for. So really, Rosen finally did something right for once.
  • Seeing Mellie and Luna as the next President and Vice President makes me so proud, even though I know it’s only a show.

What a satisfying episode! Thoughts on this week’s Scandal?

 

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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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