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.


I'm still saying "HOLY SH*T!!!" in my head after last night's episode... Everything about this was great. In the span of one episode, my entire thinking has changed about EVERYTHING. Though I still think the first lady is out of her mind, I no longer think that she had something to do with Amanda's murder. She wanted the white house more than Fitz. Lying about a miscarriage? Wow... As for Olivia and Fitz, did they remind anyone else of McDreamy and Meredith? The elevator scene, the Shonda really knows how to convey that feeling of passion and desire in her characters. Kerry Washington, as well as the President (don't know his real name) did an excellent job tonight. In my book, this show is already a legend. It better be renewed, like NOW.


Fudgefase, I'm a reporter too (and have been for 27 years) and I would have turned my back on that guy because I never would have believed he'd go after me with a scissors...I mean, really, WHO DOES THAT? I was shocked and I hope and pray that someone saves Gideon before he bleeds out, since that scissors was stuck into his neck in what looks like the jugular vein. If he was hit in a major vein, his chances of survival go down with every second (I would bet an average guy can bleed out in less than 5 minutes). BTW, I felt that Fitz' excuse for sleeping with Amanda was pathetic, too, though I found the chemistry between him and Olivia riveting! I am sad that next week is the season finale, but I can hardly wait anyway.


@ASfandancer: ummm, hello...Since you dislike Scandal and don't want to follow the us, the lowly masses, why don't you explore this website and maybe you'll stumble over this...


Watching the relationship between oh so gorgeous Olivia and Fitz blossom reminded me of the first woman I fell in love with and I presume it did that for many of us. The writing, acting, directing of this masterpiece blow me away and I just want more and more and more. Now, I love where this is going. So many people are getting so close, yet we are so far from a resolution.


I'm a reporter. With the greatest of respect, if you're going to drop that kind of bomb on someone, you don't turn your back on them (chances are you'll get punched at the very least) and, as my old Ed used to say, you make sure there's nothing between you and the door! Brilliant episode. SAVE GIDEON!!!


Still have this episode in my head, especially the last scene with Fitz and Liv on the couch. When Fitz places his hands on Olivia's stomach... Is it possible that she was pregnant in the past with his child?


I could care less about Scandal, just another ho hum same old network show. Don't tell me that if I don't like it don't watch it because I gave it a try didn't like it so NO I do not watch it. The point of this comment is to ask why can't TV Fantic give those of us who watch and enjoy "Awake" which is something new, different, engrossing, and super well acted a review. I'm guessing because you probably don't watch it by go along with the joined at the hip majority who only watch what is popular.


Yikes! INfidelity is bad. Massive slip-up there. I meant infidelity is bad. I'm down with fidelity. Promise.


Ok, I'm loving this show. Wasn't sure about a new Shonda Rhimes drama, but given that not a single person as yelled out "stat" or performed a thorachatomy, this has officially made a solid, permanent place on my dvr list. I'm bummed that the season finale is next week, and since I haven't heard yet, completely hopeful for its' return next season. Kerry Washington is superb, and her team - so flawed and damaged, and yet they really are there for eachother. Can't wait to find out Quinn's damaged goods! I loved last night's episode because it showed us that Fitz isn't a douche, and that there's real love there. Yes, fidelity is bad - but I can't help but want these two together, despite the impossibility of it. Great reveals, and I didn't see it coming entirely. Though, I suspected someone from the VP camp as soon as Amanda was on the phone with someone two weeks ago who clearly wasn't the president. But wow! I love Jeff Perry so much more as Cyrus than pathetic Thatcher. (Yes, I still watch THAT's like an old, loyal dog I can't put down.) Tony Goldwyn has never been better. Ghost, notwithstanding. Love, love, love this show. Homerun, Shonda.


I can't stop watching this episode... It is the best one thus far... What can I say about the relationship between Olivia and the president was so poignant. i'm in awe of the chemistry between Washington and Goldwyn.

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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."