The title of the season three premiere of “Scandal” is “It’s Handled.” But after watching the episode, we see that clearly, it is not handled. Sure, Olivia, Fitz and Mellie may have all gathered in that underground bunker to figure things out, but let’s face it, things are a mess. And I have a prediction for the next person to end up dead on this show.
The ep starts right where we left off last season, with everyone talking about the fact that Olivia Pope had an affair with the President. Olivia ends up in a car with her dad, who assures her he didn’t try to have her killed, he tried to have Jake Ballard killed. Thanks, Dad. Good to know.
I can see where Olivia gets her blunt demeanor. He’s bummed that she didn’t aim for something higher. First Lady? What the heck is that all about? How about you go for Chief of Staff or something with some prestige?
Then he reminds her what he told her long ago: “You have to be twice as good as them to get HALF what they have!”
Then he tells her to get on that spiffy plane he’s got there just for her, and use the money and new identity to start a fresh new life somewhere. “Olivia, you are getting on that plane, come hell or high water, and to be clear, I AM the hell and the high water,” he says, doing his best Walter White impression.
Right, like Olivia is going to go for that. I’m surprised she got on the plane, quite honestly. Who is she to kowtow to a MAN?! Really?!!
But then she gets off the plane, after a phone call with Cyrus. Again with the man stuff. “I AM a monster, but I am YOUR monster,” he says. “I just need a little time, and I just need you not to run.”
Geezopeet. Anyway, she gets off the plane and tells her dad, “What is happening is that I am taking care of myself!”
“The White House will destroy you,” he says, to which she replies, “That’s what Mom used to tell me about you!”
I mean, seriously, can you see Olivia Pope just running and disappearing into the ether? That’s not exactly her style. She’s bold, beautiful and brilliant, and just hearing her dad talk to her that way made me want to smack him.
Sally has a little meeting with Fitz, where they drink Scotch and he tells her, “Sally, I slept with someone who is not my wife. You’re not surprised that I cheated. You’re surprised that I’m admitting it … but I take responsibility.”
Meanwhile, Olivia is being absolutely swamped with press every time she goes outside. She starts calling all her former clients for … what? Is she expecting them to step forward and say how wonderful she is? I mean, she IS wonderful, but why try and get them to say it? That’s probably not going to help her cause much.
Mellie asks Hal how the rumors of Fitz and Olivia got started. In fact, he started the rumor, however unintentionally. But later, we learn that Fitz is actually the one who instigated it, because as long as Mellie had Olivia’s name in her arsenal of weapons, she was hers. Now Olivia is free. I bet she doesn’t feel free.
But look, Olivia and Fitz have been hobnobbing for … a LONG time, and not always so secretively either. It’s a miracle the whole world hasn’t known about this affair.
Later, Olivia’s dad “summons” her (ugh), and oh boy. He’s got issues. What DOES he do exactly? Clearly, he doesn’t just work at the Smithsonian. (I’m jumping back into the show after missing last season, but I did watch the one-hour recap tonight).
“Get on the plane, Olivia. You’re running out of options,” he says.
“I’m never out of options,” she says. Thank you, Olivia. Thank you very much! Sing it, sister.
Ok, things get interesting. Olivia, Mellie and Fitz meet in his super-secret underground bunker. Mellie doesn’t see what the problem is – they’ll just hold hands and act happy and deny the affair. But really, says Olivia, can you refrain from calling me a whore? Mellie will. Thanks, much appreciated.
Olivia says they need to change the narrative, while Fitz says they should just CLAIM the narrative. Mellie says that doesn’t work for her – she’s not going to stand there and hold hands while he tells the world he had an affair. I wouldn’t either. Who wants to be one of those political wives who looks ridiculous and has people talking about how stupid she is?
But they figure it out. “How many times did Fitz and I sleep together?” says Olivia. “How many times would you be ok with?” “Two,” says Mellie. Good bit of acting by Bellamy Young in this scene. The scorned wife. All three are in a pickle, aren’t they?
They map out a scenario. The first time they slept together? After the inauguration. The second time? After the assassination attempt. Done deal. Good to go.
Mellie leaves and, of course, Fitz goes over and hugs Olivia. She says she’s fine, but of course she’s not.
Later, Sally and Fitz have a little one-on-one, where Sally makes some odd references to her husband. Is he having an affair too? What is up with all the affairs? Anyway, Fitz tells her to climb through “the window” after his speech – make herself the moral center of the world. She can do that, she says. And thanks for having my back. It’s because I’m not married to you, says Fitz.
Then the Gladiators craft some scheme where staffer Jeanine Locke is caught on camera calling Fitz super hot. And Olivia is not happy with that, storming into the room with a huffy, “What.Did.You.Do?!” I guess this makes the President look way worse than just a couple rolls in the hay with her.
I didn’t get the last scene. Cyrus goes into his room and finds Charlie there with a gun, James in a drug-induced slumber next to him. What’s that all about?
Then there was an end scene about Operation Remington. “This is what really happened.” What?! What happened?!
We’ll have to wait a week to find out. Who else thinks Locke is going to end up dead?
“Aren’t you part of ‘they’ now? One third of some secret holy trilogy? – Cyrus to Mellie
“Are we gladiators or are we bitches?! I need to hear it!” – Harrison (to which the team replies, “Gladiators.”)