Scandal Review: One Minute

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This episode of Scandal has just ended. I've been sitting here for more than just one minute trying to wrap my head around everything I just saw. Just when you think you know somebody or something on this show, you don't.

The episode was told in a flashback to the President's campaign, interspersed with scenes from the present day as Gideon and David, in separate investigations, tracked the story of Amanda Tanner's supposed suicide. "The Trail" is as apt a title as any for an hour that provided so much information, a "trail" if you will, of everything that has happened to get us to this point, as well as where we're headed next Thursday.

Fitz, Cyrus, & Olivia Campaign

This week picked up right where last week left off: with the President on Olivia's doorstep, bearing gifts of an audiotapes she didn't want to hear, an audiotape she didn't even know existed. One that will thrust her directly into the limelight if it ever gets out since she's the girl on the tape.

After a former lover's spat, some of which is recounted on the Scandal quotes page, the President reveals that his affair with Amanda Tanner was little more than a one night stand brought about by his extreme loneliness and boredom. His heart has always and will always belong to Olivia. We later learn that his tryst with Amanda was orchestrated by none other than Billy Chambers, the V.P.'s Chief of Staff. Who was also Amanda Tanner's boyfriend and the father of her baby.

Did your head explode with those two bombs? Because mine did.

Crazy reveals aside, what struck me about this episode, what's sticking with me even now, is the relationship between Olivia and Fitz. Seeing the beginning of their relationship peeled back Olivia's hard exterior and revealed the soft heart that's motivated to protect those she loves at all costs.

From their very first encounter, it was clear that she challenged him. It was also clear that she knew he was in a loveless, dead marriage and so did everyone else, including him.

But she didn't prey on or chase after him. And he didn't prey on or chase after her. In fact, they both tried to contain and compose themselves, and yet they just kept falling back together.

I believed every minute of it. Goldwyn and Washington were superb tonight.

When I heard him ask "What kind of a coward was I to marry her and not wait for you to show up?" my heart broke just a little. Here's a man who has just realized that his wife will stop at nothing - not even a story about a fake miscarriage - to get him elected and become the First Lady and he's sharing a seat with a woman who is good and honest and he can't be with her. I felt the intimacy between them as their hands touched in secret in that seat on the bus.

I was sad for them right down to the moment they spent "just one minute" together on her sofa in silence as the light from the sunrise began coming through her window. I'm still a little sad for them an hour after the credits have rolled. 

So I don't wax poetic all night long about these star-crossed lovers, let's get to the other tidbits from the episode:

  • Olivia knew the members of her team before she knew the President. Somehow, it makes me happy to know that they were in her life first.
  • Abby loves to bake. A lot. Seeing her as Suzy Homemaker was a nice, light touch to such a sad episode.
  • I didn't recognize Huck at first, which I suppose was the point.
  • Harrison is just as smooth-talking as always.
  • Things are heating up between Quinn and Gideon. Apparently his grilled cheese sandwiches are just that good. It was cute that she wanted to go get bagels and come back for breakfast, but I really wish she'd just asked for more grilled cheese sandwiches. Maybe then I wouldn't be afraid for Gideon's life since,
  • Billy Chambers, in addition to being Amanda's "baby daddy," is also a murderer. After he realized he'd been bested by "just a reporter," Billy showed his true colors and lashed out at Gideon while Gideon's back was turned. With a pair of scissors.

Yep. One more bomb for the night. I really, really hope Quinn gets back with those bagels before Gideon bleeds out all over the floor.

What's your grade for tonight's episode?


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (214 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


Terrific episode! The revelations with the Veep's chief of staff and first lady weren't too difficult to spot (well, maybe the part about being the actual baby daddy) ... but the real shock was the Fitz/Olivia relationship. It wasn't scandalous and tawdry at all - it made me see both in a new light and I actually went from being somewhat repulsed that either would sink to a cliche campaign affair into cheering for both to make it as they watched that sunrise. So glad this show is coming back for a second season! It's not "West Wing," but it's satisfying my political fix in an election year!


This is the BEST new show on this season. I hope it comes back in the fall. I feel the the president and Olivia altough I don't condone cheating. His wife is a Bitch. She would stop at nothing to get what she wanted, And loneliness is loneliness.


Tony Goldwyn is soooo hot! Makes me wish I was Olivia and I was on the receiving end of those loving and longing stares. Yay for season 2!


I hope Elijah's Hottie is right. This show deserves to come back. It got me to give up the mentalist. That's no mean feat. LOL.


I love this show! And this episode was the best by far. ABC had better bring it back. LOL. I hope it doesn't end the season with the president being impeached or resigning, that would mean it's not coming back, because Fitz would no longer have to give up being with Liv. Part of the shows appeal is the "star-crossed lovers" thing. On another note... I'm curious about something. This is directed at people who have stated that they do not like Scandal. If you prefer other shows on other networks, and want to read about those other shows, why not use Google to find articles about those other preferred shows? Why come to this review, and even other episode reviews, for Scandal and b*tch about the shows you'd rather read about? No one has a gun to your head. It makes you seem irrational and none too bright. If I don't like a show, I don't watch it. I certainly don't stalk websites that discuss said show to tell those who do enjoy it that they should like something else instead. What would be the point of that? It's crazy. I'd love a rational explanation for this very strange phenomena.


DeAnn - I wouldn't have expected scissors either - but I would have expected to be shouted at or maybe punched. I've been chased before! I would also have had my recorder on to get any quotes that might have been shouted in the heat of the moment. In all, Gideon approached this guy as if they were buddies - not someone you were about to accuse of fathering the presidents lovers child!


This episode was great. I'm pleased to see it got renewed ...almost makes up for an unfortunate cancellation of another show I enjoyed. I KNEW the chief of staff guy Billy was shady. I've been saying it for weeks! Loved the reveal. I was wondering how they'd explore the origin of Olivia and the presidents relationship while still keeping them likeable and worthy if fan shipping. They did a brilliant job. The chemistry and tension was superb and that sec scene was hot! Hard nit to root for those two. I missed seeing the other team members more but what we saw was awesome..outside of Quinn. The reporter was ask idiot for confronting Billy like that and turning his back to him. Great review. I'd give the episode an A -


Week after week, I've been here telling you guys about Fitz and Olivia; it exploded tonight....Hot scene Shonda, I loved it! But the revelations too have me sick to my stomach! Is the godly VP trying to discredit the president with an affair, would it not look bad on the whole administration?


It's official!!! ABC renews Scandal for another season!


I disagree with the comment saying the First Lady isn't behind Amanda's murderer. In the show someone said the line "who at the WH would want this girl dead?" And the very next person you see in the scene change is the First Lady. Very telling IMO.

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Scandal Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

Olivia: "You cheated on your mistress with your girlfriend. Let's just leave it at that."
President: "She wasn't my girlfriend. Don't you ever call yourself a mistress. We both know better."

"Really? You really want me to detail for you how and where and in what positions Amanda Tanner and I had sex? Will that help make you feel better, because I'll do it."