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Scandal

Scandal – The People vs. Olivia Pope (7×10)

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After tonight’s episode, I have a piece of advice to Liv: “don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

By now, Liv should be completely over the back-and-forth tug that consistently repeats itself on Scandal. Yet somehow, she’s so drawn to this idea of power, she cannot let it go.

And once again, she’s proven that the power is more important to her than the friendships that she’s built, the ones that have been her foundation all these years.

Fitz whisks Olivia away for the long weekend under the guise of a finally having their Vermont. Liv is intrigued by the idea until she walks in and finds Huck sitting in the living room. Hey, at least we got to see what the perfect ending to this tumultuous story could be — Vermont for 3.5 blissful seconds!

Immediately, she realizes this is an intervention by her nearest and dearest. It’s not something she’s really “feeling.”

Seeing all of her apprentices, friends, those who looked up to her staring disappointingly at her is powerful. Unfortunately, not powerful enough to break her.

Liv isn’t half as cunning as her father, although she continues to try. Everyone caught onto her, which Rowan warned her about. Yet, she couldn’t let go of the need for an emotional connection and it caught her up. And when she finally did learn her lesson, it was too late.

They give her an ultimatum: give up the White House and B613 and she gets another chance. David won’t prosecute her, which he warns would probably put him in the record books for the most recent death penalty. This isn’t simply about Quinn after all, Liv also killed Rashad, who was a Head of State.

We find out that the USB drive Abby and David found did, in fact, have all of Quinn’s findings on it. I guess a mother’s intuition never fails her. They seemingly handed it over to Cyrus, who informs Mellie that her right-hand gal is actually the woman who killed her lover.

Understandably, Mellie is pissed with a capital P. Had Liv been in the White House then and there, we’d probably witness the most glorious pantsuit girl fight in history. But, she wasn’t because as we know, she was locked up with no way of escaping and no way of reaching the outside world. Hey, she has no one to blame but herself, she trained them after all.

One-by-one, each of the Gladiators tries to talk some reason into Liv. They try to help her see that she’s thinking irrationally; she doesn’t feel guilty for Quinn’s death because Quinn should have entrusted that B613 was doing the right thing.

Even Fitz isn’t affected by Livs cheap shots and low blows nor do they flinch when she tries to deflect and bring up the terrible things that everyone else has done during their seven-season tenure.

I’ll spare you the repetition and echo what Huck told her; they are not one in the same. Quinn was family and you simply do no kill your family, one of your own.

“I’m not your gladiator anymore,” Huck barks at Liv. I’m over here like “YAAAS” because you know what pissed me off more than the idea that Liv could kill Quinn? The fact that she still doesn’t get it. Everyone is trying to help her, trying to give her a second chance and she tries to manipulate Huck by making him feel like he owes her. Girl, NO!

Realizing that none of the tricks she has up her sleeve will work, a doeful Liv emerges from her chambers and offers up a resignation letter. She can’t necessarily muster up the words “I was wrong,” which is understandable for a woman whose claim to fame is that she’s always right.

“I can admit is that I have to stop. I can’t continue like this,” she tells the group. See, it would have been a sweet and meaningful moment had she actually stood by her words. Had she meant them, I would have given her the benefit of the doubt.

I can proudly call myself a true Olivia Pope body language expert because I KNEW homegirl was lying. It was all an act out of desperation because she knew that this group of people wanted to so badly to believe in the narrative that she did feel guilty and she did want to change.

Why did they simply let her go all on her own? Why didn’t they escort her to the damn podium? Who knows.

The only thing that truly matters is that this is not the same Olivia Pope. No second chance should have been given. She killed Quinn in cold blood justifying it as “for the Republic,” and she just as quickly turned her back on the last few souls who actually gave a crap about her.

Here’s the thing though — when you have less than a handful of friends, you can’t take any of them for granted.

At the time of the press conference, Liv had lost Mellie’s trust because of the Rashad thing. Mellie too was willing to give Liv the benefit of the doubt, much to Cyrus’ dismay. If Liv blew up his plane, she must have had a good reason, right?

Well, according to Ballard, the reason was that Mellie couldn’t keep her legs closed. Which is the most hypocritical reason, to be honest, because like Mellie pointed out, Fitz was allowed to spread his DNA all over the White House, especially with Liv. No one shot her down? It never was looked at as “compromising” the President.

So without the Gladiators, without Fitz, without Cyrus, without Mellie and without Rowan, Liv only had Jake.

And then she went and used him like a damn dog. My problem with Olivia is her entitlement. It used to be bearable because it wasn’t so overbearing but at this point, she thinks she can get whatever she wants with the snap of her finger.

She’s really allowed the power to get to her head because even after all of this, she still thinks she’s invincible.

Jake has gone on as Liv’s lackey for far too long and simply didn’t see it because the sex was good. Until Mellie pointed it out. And when Liv snapped her fingers this time and disregarded his sound advice as Admiral to give him an order, he decided to cut her just like everyone else.

Liv thought she played everyone in Vermont, but upon arriving back in DC, she found out Jake actually played her twice as hard… and removed her from the White House. Buh-bye Liv!

And if she thinks THAT’S BAD, she really has no idea what’s coming.

Quinn. Quinn is coming.

And she’s scary. Like new mommy, ready to protect her cub and get justice on the woman who wronged her, scary.

Like singing Britney Spears lullabies with Rowan scary. Yes, we all had the same look that Charlie did when that scene happened.

Even after everything that Rowan has done and how drastic he was in last week’s episode, he was quite pleasant this week.

Aside from a few altercations with Charlie who suspected that Rowan was trying to steal his family, it turns out, a cold-blooded killer can be really good with newborns. I almost melted when he was teaching Charlie how to hold his baby.

I’m glad that Charlie now knows his girl is alive because he wouldn’t have held it together for long. It’s also good to know that Rowan doesn’t have any ulterior motives here about keeping Quinn for selfish reasons.

They’ve both agreed that for her to get her revenge on her so-called best friend, she has to stay with Rowan and pretend to be dead. Keep the element of suspense until she can surprise her and torture her.

It seems to me like whichever road this series takes, Olivia’s fall to the bottom is going to hurt.

The power is gone and so is any idea of Vermont. Her “stunt” today proved that she’s beyond redemption.

She’s either going to end up dead or in prison, but the latter seems unlikely because even with Quinn, there’s no way to expose her to the courts without also exposing B613. Would the world finding out that the government is a sham really help anyone? Nope.

So really, the series has to end with Liv dying because she’s not good for America. She never has been.

To finish, I’ll echo Fitz’s statement back at the cabin: “you don’t have any power here.”

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Scandal

Scandal – Army of One (7×11)

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Scandal Army of One

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 – Good People (7×09)

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Scandal Good People

I’m not usually a fan of flashback episodes, but this one was necessary to give us insight into Rowan’s mentality.

We’ve never seen Rowan’s day-to-day; what does he do when he isn’t running B6-13?

And boy, it was beyond weird. Rowan at a department store befriending the associate and then meeting him out for wings is much creepier than Rowan torturing and killing people. We’re used to that so while terrible, it isn’t as out of our element.

To catch you up: Rowan kidnapped Quinn when she arrived at OPA right before the wedding. He somehow managed to stuff her 9-month pregnant body into a suitcase (which is nearly impossible because sometimes, I can’t stuff my vacation clothing into that thing), and then chained her up in his sound-proof and secret basement.

Now, I’m a stinger for consistency and this episode lacked a lot of it. For starters, the basement was DEFINITELY not sound-proof as Quinn heard Rowan’s full convo with Liv, up until the moment she said: “bring me her body so we can give her a proper funeral.” Can you imagine hearing your best friend tell her father that you should die for the republic? Like, what does that even mean to Liv anymore? Does she even know?

The other part that really irritated me was the gunshot. When Rowan went down to kill Quinn, she attacked him with the chain she’d been tied up with and a gunshot fired. From Liv’s perspective, she heard Liv scream and then a gunshot go off, which in this timeline, happened after the first gunshot. How did she not hear the first one? Does the basement pick and choose when it is soundproof?

Despite how much anger Quinn has for Liv, she still helped her. Maybe unintentionally, but the hairpin that Liv gave Quinn was actually what she used to free herself from the chains. And as we know from last week’s episode, what led Huck to figure out that Liv gifted her the pin and was probably responsible for Quinn’s death. Also, whose body did Rowan burn up? Was it the store clerk Marv aka his only friend?

Rowan is a very unlikeable character. And no matter how many times Shonda wants to make him likable, it’s impossible because he’s so morally corrupt. And he knows it. Do I have to remind you that he shot the woman he was dating at point-blank? Obviously, Marv was going to end up with a bullet through his head, but only after Rowan used him to get what he needed. In this case, he needed him to deliver Quinn’s baby.

Rowan uses a lot of people, but their usual people who also play the game. Quinn’s kidnapping was hard to watch, but she’s B6-13. She plays the game, she understands this world. Marv was completely innocent and there was something so wrong and devastating about an innocent man getting so caught up in Rowan’s game. He didn’t know any better — he thought he just made a friend. He even offered him his 40% employee discount!

Yet, he’s still a better human than Olivia at this point. She’s gone from boasting the white hat to stepping all over it.

While I wasn’t sure if Quinn survived Rowan and Liv’s power tiff, I knew she would have it handled. It’s Quinn after all. But it wasn’t as easy as it should have been. Someone with that much experience in killing people should have been able to come up with a better escape plan, quicker. But, I guess when you are pregnant, your instincts aren’t as strong. She’s more focused on keeping her baby safe and giving birth.

Thankfully, her team came to help out in the form of hallucinations, which are very common when you are being kept in a windowless room. I loved everything about it — Charlie encouraging Quinn to push, Huck telling her that she’s going to die if she doesn’t escape, and Abbie holding her hand through the birth. The team that is OPA is so ride-or-die even when they aren’t there, they are never too far behind. It also allowed the writers to have them all present during the birth, making it a little easier on the eyes.

Let’s face it, that birth scene was the stuff of nightmares! A woman is already sensitive and scared before pushing out another human and this added so many deep layers. She wanted so badly to get to a hospital but Rowan put her to sleep instead. Then some untrained man came to deliver the baby. It was all so brutal, Quinn is a pro for making it through.

Rowan definitely had a few internal struggles with what he was doing. He’s Command so wielding power is in his blood, but also, if he loses, it means his daughter is gone for good. He never wanted to hurt a pregnant woman, to keep her captive, but Liv gave him no choice. I’m wondering if there will come a moment when he just calls quits and goes off to some tropical island to serve up Mai Tais at the beach bar.

Quinn is definitely going to experience some Stockholm Syndrome here. She sees a smidge of good in Rowan, even though no normal person would ever actually do this to another human being. She has gratitude, she’s indebted to him and she’s obviously not going to leave because she realizes what’s at stake. Furthermore, if Liv did find out that Quinn was alive, she would probably kill her to silence her. In some twisted way, she may be safer with Rowan.

As for that Charlie scene; she’s obviously going to come in and pull them apart. Charlie will be really confused by the whole thing and it might cause a rift between them. Will she stay with Rowan or go with Charlie? Ultimately, I’d like to see them all takedown Olivia Pope. If someone has to die for the republic, it should be her.

Next week seems promising because they’re staging a group intervention for Liv. Will she believe everyone if they’re all in unison about how out of hand she’s getting? Or will this just anger her more?

The fact that Fitz is able to lure her in on the promise of Vermont speaks volumes. She may be Command and she may have let Quinn die, but she still believes there’s an out for her. A homely ending where she gets to make jam and raise kids with the love of her life. Maybe, there is hope for Olivia Pope.

Other Thoughts

  • Best scene ever goes to Rowan yelling about how he needs his dinosaurs in a public restaurant. He looked like a damn child.
  • Why the hell did Liv help Rowan clean up Marv’s mess? Is this her admitting that she’s okay with what he’s doing?
  • Rowan calling Marv his only friend and saying what he does is “necessary” is just an admittance of his crazy. No of this is necessary!
  • Did Liv’s dino cameras not see Quin walking around the house with Rowan? I’d assume she’d have cameras posted up around the house if she really wanted to keep tabs on her daddio.

Has this season lost its way? A bit. We have a limited amount of episodes and I fear that it won’t go out with the bang that we’re all hoping for. And is there anything that will still surprise us?

Prove us wrong Shonda, prove. us. wrong.

 

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Scandal

Scandal – Robin (7×10)

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Scandal Robin

Gladiators, suit up for your very last season premiere ever. It’s bittersweet.

Shonda Rhimes is wasting no time with her select final episodes. Right out of the gate, she gave us the answer to the question posed by the series finale: Is Quinn dead?

I think she’s alive, but “Robin” tried really hard to convince me otherwise.

Rhimes wants us to think that Rowan actually killed Quinn and her baby, but by binge-watching shows I’ve learned you can never trust anything unless you see a body. In this case, we never actually saw Quinn’s body. David told us Quinn was dead based on the autopsy, which could easily be altered.

From then on, it was non-stop action.

Charlie asked Liv to write the eulogy, which was ironic considering she was behind her death. YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT HER, I wanted to yell at Liv, but it seems like she already figured that out. And instead, she let her die because she wanted to prove some silly point to her father. And none of it even mattered because she gave him his bones back. Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought the whole point of letting Quinn die was so she didn’t succumb to her father and let him have his power, and his bones, back?

Huck wasn’t too convinced of Quinn’s death because he’s also on the “no body, no death” lesson plan. After a detailed examination of the autopsy, he found it suspicious that they detailed a hair clip, which he never saw Quinn wearing. He asked Liv about it who just shrugged it off, which made him even more suspicious. And his suspicions led him to uncover that the pin belonged to the Smithsonian and was signed out by Liv.

When he brings his theory — that Liv killed Quinn to silence her because she found out she was responsible for Rashad’s death — to Abbie, the only Gladiator left in his corner, she brushed him off. Liv could never murder Quinn. She wasn’t that person. She wouldn’t allow it. She wore the White Hat.

But as it turns out, the White Hat is all a sham. And Liv is right, it doesn’t look as good as it did back in Season 1. (Are we sure that’s the same hat?)

In fact, in her grief-strick, drunk state, Liv actually tore down everything that OPA stood for. Gladiators? They were nothing more than a meal and a show in her opinion. They weren’t noble. Quinn had been the glue holding them all together and now that she was gone, it was time to face the truth.

Liv was great in that scene but the tension really came from Huck, holding his finger on the gun, at arm’s length, ready to shoot. Considering how much love these two have always had for each other; how Liv saved him; how loyal he was to her; it was new territory for us viewers.

Not to mention Huck had even more reason to believe in his uncanny theory after the former President aka Fitz confirmed that the old Liv is dead and gone. “You noticed it too,” Huck said enthusiastically yet woefully. At least he’s not crazy.

Really, I’m surprised Fitz is still sticking around after everything Liv has put him through.When she was yelling at him about him not being her friend, she looked mildly insane. And while I wasn’t fond of her lashing out at him, I was severely disappointed in her using him for sex just mere hours after Quinn’s funeral. Sure, maybe it was a form of distraction, but it was so disrespectful. Why do shows keep doing that? What’s the allure of banging someone right after they die?

Shonda isn’t one to bring anyone back from the dead, which is why I’m worried that this could be permanent. And part of me hopes that it is simply because that was one of the most touching, non-traditional funerals I have ever seen. Everyone standing in a line, clad in leather like Quinn shooting out bullets filled with Quinn’s ashes, while a montage of best memories played back. It was poetic.

Also, leave it to Shonda to make a scene between lovebirds Abby and David talking about how they want to be buried very romantic.

While Quinn’s death affects everyone, my sympathies are with Charlie. He literally just got his whole world pulled out from under him and at the hands of the woman he supposedly trusts. And then he goes to Rowan’s house asking for a way back “in” to B6-13, obviously not knowing that he doesn’t run the show anymore.

So finally… let’s talk about that baby. My thoughts echoed Charlie’s in that moment: “WHO’S BABY IS THIS?!” Of course, we know it’s Charlie’s baby, but when the realization hits you, it’s almost too insane to believe.

When Charlie lunged at Rowan, I half expected Quinn to pop out like “please let him go.” Maybe she still will. Would Shonda really let Rowan, the big bad, die by being choked by his own hitman?

Rowan… the guy who Liv and Jake couldn’t take out through meticulous planning. The man who was always one step ahead of everyone. Could it really be as simple as catching him off guard and choking him to death? I’ll be damned.

And then, of course, the question of why he kept the baby? When did Quinn have it? Is that why he stole her? Rowan is deranged, that’s not even up for discussion, but is he a complete lunatic? Was this simply a test for Olivia and when she let him shoot her best friend, he realized he actually lost his daughter for good and figured he’d replace her with a newborn? I mean, he mentioned it to Jake nonchalantly while getting Sue back. He said verbatim, “I lost my daughter.”

Logically, if his only intentions were to spite Liv, why would he have a whole baby nursery set up? Something is not adding up.

If Quinn is really dead, Liv will never bounce back from this. Especially if the baby is still alive. And regardless, her time as the leader of the pack is running out. Not only does Huck know the truth but there’s a memory drive that will most likely fill them in on all of Olivia’s extracurriculars. I’m assuming Quinn hid a copy of what she’d found in the bottom of the playpen.

Part of me doesn’t even feel sorry for Liv. She brought this upon herself; Her need for power overwrote every logical thought and feeling in her brain. How did she think a game of cat and mouse with Rowan was going to end?

Also, Jake really needs a hobby, preferably something other than Liv’s little lackey. Whatever happened with his wife?

Thanks to Cyrus, we stayed looped into the DC side of things, but unfortunately, things weren’t going any better for him.

Fenton broke up with him after arriving from his little “trip” after being tortured with oranges and finally seeing Cy’s true colors: he’s a liar, a murderer, and an all-around bad person. No one has ever summed him up so accurately and it was almost laughable that he was trying to convince Fenton, and himself, otherwise.

The only “good” person left is David Rosen and the poor guy has been forced to do corrupt things for the past few seasons.

How do you think the series is going to end? Will we ever get good and moral Liv back? Is Vermont too-far-gone? Is Mellie even doing anything as President anymore?

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