It’s been several long months since the last episode of Scandal and I forgot just how much I missed that Oval office.
We come back to a new era of Scandal. Luna Vargas died from a Olivia-induced heart attack, the White House replaced one Grant, Fitz, with another, Mellie, and Cyrus Been is VP. But it all belongs to Olivia Pope, who has traded in her white hat for a red devil’s cloak.
For 6 seasons, Liv has spent most of her time bringing down the villains; the threats to the White House. So what a change of pace is it that now, in the final season, she is that threat?
This new Liv is power hungry. It’s like she’s inhaled so much power and she’s high off the trip. She think’s she unstoppable but Papa Pope is quick to warn her that it all comes at a price. He knows because that light, that little glow in her eye, he used to have it. When you’re at the top of the world, the only way to go is down. And he quickly realized you cannot have it all, as she thinks. It may seem like you can but slowly, it’ll begin to crumble as those around you begin to see you for who you really are; a person who only cares about themselves, who will hurt anyone to get what she wants. It’s actually kind of upsetting to see our Liv this way.
Not only is she Chief of Staff, she’s also Command of B6-13 – yes the very organization she worked so tirelessly to take down. And I’ll give her this, at least she’s trying to change things. She has new strategies to get what she wants and manipulation is far better than murder and torture, I think.
So like I said, it’s some kind of twilight zone version of the DC we left back in May.
Madam President and Cyrus are working together to make the country better. And that isn’t code for Cyrus plotting how to steal the title from Mellie either. Liv, who knows his tactics and games, tested his loyalty while garnering votes for a free education bill, but he didn’t budge, instead telling the Senator that these children deserved the bill now, not when he was maybe President in 4 years. Go Cy! By the way, can someone please send that bill to Trump, just saying. But was that a sign of him becoming weak under the rule of these two women or of complete devotion to the cause?
Persuading the Senator’s to get enough votes for this bill also included Liv blackmailing one of them with incriminating evidence in an envelope. That’s that OPA training.
Speaking of OPA, it exists now under the new name QPA – Quinn Perkins and Associates. The name change, while subtle, has caused the group to lose a handful of customers but they eagerly take on their first client: a daughter of a professor in Bashrani who has gone missing. A very pregnant Quinn who is snacking on everything in sight and looking quite adorable since Katie Lowe is actually pregnant, quickly realizes that her father is actually CIA.
A quick visit to Liv, who wouldn’t let the pregnant girl pee because she was hiding JAKE in her bedroom (more on that in a minute), reveals that he’s actually CIA’s most valuable undercover agent. As Command, this is now a major problem that Jake suggests they take care of by killing the asset before he begins talking. Liv’s not interested in that idea because she has her own agenda and Jake decides to go behind her back and persuade Mellie, who firmly tells Liv that she’s the one calling the shots around here. Alright, we’ll see about that.
Liv takes it upon herself to spare this man by using that blackmailing technique with the ambassador. Now it is one thing to provide incriminating pictures to get what you want but Liv went as far as threatening to kill his children if he didn’t give back the professor. My palms were sweating thinking she would actually go through with it to prove her point. Also, has she really stooped so low to kill children?!
At the end of the day, the professor is reunited with his daughter, American intel is safe and so are the other operatives in the CIA. But seeing Jake, still a FWB, and Mellie, go over her head did not sit well with her. Echoing what her father said – you can’t have it all – Liv breaks her “convenient, safe, secure and easy,” hook up with Jake because he became too comfortable and she simply cannot afford to have him step out of line again. You see, she’s the puppet master and these are her puppets.
Liv wields all the power right now, with everyone. With Jake, he needs to obey her because she is Command and he knows too much to become indispensable. She controls him professionally and personally: “Go home to your wife Admiral Ballard.”
Mellie tried to stand up to Liv and while admirable, a fruitless effort. Why? As Liv put it “you’re either a monument or an asterisk, which do you want to be?” The first female President would never want to be just an asterisk and Mellie knows that despite her brash delivery, Liv knows what she’s talking about. She can lead her to success the way she did her predecessor many, many times. They simply need to stick together through it all and trust each other.
Despite the heated exchange between Liv and Mellie, it was empowering to see two women stand in that Oval office knowing that they controlled it. For a show that started with Liv being the President’s mistress, it really gave her the power back. And proved that the mistress and wife can be friends and do great things because feminism over side pieces and all that jazz. I honestly have always liked Mellie and Liv working together it’s just unfortunate that it’ll get ruined because while Liv made it clear that the White House wasn’t Mellie’s, she truly believes it is hers.
Surprisingly, I didn’t even notice that Fitz wasn’t in the episode at all aside from the mention of him on a news channel. I guess I was too thrown off with the fact that Liv and Jake were still sleeping together. What will Fitz’s role be now? How will he fit into the scheme of things when he literally isn’t involved in all the scheming and dramatic political scene? He’s in Vermont for crying out loud, which is also proof that they both are living out their dreams – this new Olivia’s was never Vermont, although she longingly looks at it for a minute reminiscing on the simpler days. I am ride-or-die for Team Olitz but with how far she’s gone, I don’t think she could go back to simplicity of it. Still, Fitz is necessary because he’s always bringing humanity to Liv, who left alone with her father’s influence, is just a monster.
But when they run into each other, will old feelings rush back? She obviously still loves and cares about him but there’s no room for love when your that powerful because love makes you weak. There is however room for discreet hooking up with a new power-player journalist in town. Frankly, I like Pryce a lot more than pretentious Sally Langton and not just because of his looks. This is the first time I think that there might be a new “team” to ship on the series. Liv has had love interests before but it was always Fitz and Jake. At this point, I think we’ve exhausted them both and I’m digging these Fifty Shade vibes they are serving up – with Liv as Christina, obviously. We’re flipping the gender cards here, always!
What did you think of the season premiere episode? Will Shonda have you enthralled every minute of this last season? What is the endgame? Did you catch Papa Pope’s Beyonce reference when he asked if Mellie is “in formation?” You know Papa Pope lowkey gets down with Queen Bey!