Scandal fans had to take a little break and it seemed especially difficult because a new episode of Grey’s Anatomy aired last week. So was it worth the wait? Here we go. Warning SPOILERS ahead for those who haven't watched last night's episode.
We opened with a happy loving family ready for a classic family pizza night. When the daughter, Annie headed to the door I was a little scared. Will they get kidnapped? Attacked? Or even worse? So it seems mother and CEO Sarah Stanner had an affair with President Grants recently announced Supreme Court Nominee; Murray Randall. Cue Olivia Pope and Associates.
While family pizza night is going awry Olivia is continuing her usual shtick, bringing business into what Captain Ballard is hoping is a date. But she can’t wait for dinner. Duty calls, and she lays a bit of intel regarding the Kashtar hostage situation into his hands. Oh yeah, but don’t tell anyone I told you and you can’t tell the CIA. He keeps his poker face on stating that he “doesn’t have the authority to just show up with something like that” while digging a bit, regarding her relationship with the white house. This is a man who enjoys his job... all of them. Turning things back around, Captain Ballard closes by going back into flirty mode.
“Top of the Hour People.”
Everyone else is sweating but Olivia is cool as a cucumber as they plot how they will enter the Tanner house with all the press camped out on the lawn. It seems everyone except Olivia is panicking including Cyrus who calls from the white house, making his plea for the Grant administrations Supreme Court Justice nominee. Olivia reminds Cyrus “Randall is not my client.” As the press gets down to business OPA makes their walk into the Tanner home. I was fully expecting a wind machine and a slow motion shot as they walked up the driveway.
Once inside Ms. Tanner greets Abby and says “You must be Olivia Pope,” and Olivia corrects her “I’m Olivia Pope.” You guys saw that right . . . a little bit of reality . . . and Ms. Tanner gets the side eye from this black female viewer. While subtle it was a shinning of the light on what many black professional working women are dealing with everyday. I certainly appreciated it Ms. Rhimes.
Moving on, Olivia gives the speech, “Normal ended hours ago,” and Ms. Tanner gives the nod of shame stating, “It’s all true;” turns to husband and says, “all of it.” And the walls come crumbling down. I enjoyed every moment of Ms. Tanner’s humiliation in front of her husband after that little moment of mistaken identity.
Meanwhile Huck is training Quinn on the fine art of stalking as they tale Osborne the CIA Director.
We get our “Oh Mellie Moment” as she waits outside President Grant's office so that he can feed their son. She and Cyrus start what will be the theme of the night’s episodes: “battles!” They face off for... face time. Well, Cyrus wins this battle. He gives President Grant the bad news, and Grant gives him one news cycle to clean it up. Mellie gets her moment as the President comes out to greet their son. Wait for it . . . takes him and his bottle and shuts door behind him, leaving Mellie stunned outside! “Oh Mellie!”
Ms. Tanner is forced, because of evidence, to come clean with the support of her husband. They hold a press conference. As Ms. Tanner speaks, I find that, every episode, there's always one piece of Olivia Pope's wardrobe that I feel I must have... that coat! Cyrus calls and brings me back. He’s blowing a gasket because Olivia didn’t do as she was told. This conversation gives us the quote of the evening, courtesy of Cyrus: “is your Vagina apolitical” in response to Olivia’s statement, “I’m apolitical you know that,” after he levels accusations at her. Cue Michael Jackson's "Beat it." Battle number two is under way as Cyrus let’s Olivia know he’s coming for her, and she tells him “do your best!”
Cyrus readies his troupes, giving his version of the Gladiator speech: “you are no longer pundits, talking heads. You are assassins... Character Assassins.” Ding, Ding, and it becomes Gladiators vs. Character Assassins, round 1. As news heats up, Olivia has another problem: Ms. Stanner's employer is coming for her with the morality clause in her contract.
Mellie goes snooping and fears that Olivia and the President are at it again. She confronts Cyrus, who let’s her know “ ... where your husband is dipping his signing pen isn’t my primary concern.”
Captain Ballard tracks down Olivia to question her about the intelligence, and ends up getting his photo taken.
Harrison has his own battle with Melinda over at Rycorp for Ms. Stanner's job: “You’re pretty and you talk real fast but I think I can take you,” Melinda states. Shout out to Saidah Arrika Ekulona playing Melinda who some might recognize from the Off-Broadway production of Ruined as Mama Nadi.
Abby finds evidence that the affair was mutual, but it brings to light a new complication. Seems someone else found the same footage and now everyone knows that this short affair went on for much longer. Mr. Tanner questions their marriage and does the math and demands a paternity test. He makes a run... well a trot for the door, not heeding Olivia’s warning, and she tells Harrison to “go” after him. A little press scuffle and he is back inside. New news puts the morality clause back in play.
Cyrus is losing his battle, but in order to not lose the war, he throws Olivia under the bus. Tattling to President Grant that Olivia is responsible for the tanking of Randall, as she is representing Ms. Tanner. Grant calls Olivia for what one expects to be a tongue lashing, but instead it turns out to be a heart to heart. In the background we get a lesson on the price of betrayal, courtesy of the Tanners. Mr. Tanner demands a paternity test.
Side note: I know some are rooting for this relationship between Olivia and the President, but I really hope she can escape this man and his daddy issues in the end.
Quinn proves she is learning her lessons as she and Huck figure out the drop.
President clues Cyrus in on the Kashfar hostage rescue. Cyrus realizes he’s still on the outs. We get our Zero Dark 30 moment as they watch the rescue going down. We see our mole, Osborne, sweating a bit. Simultaneously, Captain Ballard is on his own secret mission, beating down a photographer, so he can delete the photograph of him and Olivia. But why? Is it just to keep the President from knowing, or something else?
Abby and Harrison rehash Harrison’s betrayal. “I can be a gladiator first and a person second.” From this little heart to heart, she gets a bright idea. Cue Lady Gaga’s Poker Face as they talk fast, and call the board's bluff, with an empty box of corporate dirt. The morality battle has been put to bed.
The Paternity results are in, Olivia has a speech for the occasion - the moral of which is, "Time is Healer." Mr. Tanner rips up the paternity results and, voila, Olivia has fixed a marriage as well.
We have a little over 3 minutes left in Top of the Hour episode folks. Is Shonda tying up lose ends? Not a chance. Mellie pays a visit to Cyrus to share her latest news. Cyrus thinks she is there to gloat. They both lament that they are still stuck in Siberia, as Cyrus shares that he had nothing to do with the hostage mission. Mellie deals one last blow, letting him know that President Grant “was cheating on you.” She hands him a file with a photo of Captain Ballard. Meanwhile, Captain Ballard finds his way into Olivia’s place. Can we talk about that smirk as he sits on the sofa?
I cannot wait to see what he is really about... any guesses?
And in the last few seconds we peep our mole and find out Quinn’s been made. All right now!
Well was it worth the wait?