Scandal Season Premiere Review: Two Sides To Every Story

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Finally, Scandal is back with the answer to the question we've been asking all summer: Who is Quinn Perkins? The only problem is that now we have more questions than answers. Again.

"White Hat's Off" proved just how far people will go to save the person they care most about: themselves.

Joshua Malina on Scandal

First off, Quinn Perkins is Lindsey Dwyer, a.k.a. the "Molotov Mistress." She's wanted for the bombing of the office park where her then-boyfriend and his other girlfriend, the one he wasn't supposed to have, worked. The only evidence against her is an angry voice mail and the fact that she fled. But still, seven people are dead and someone obviously did it.

But was it Quinnsey? (I'm not sure which she'll be going by for the rest of the series, so I'm kind of confused as to what to call her at this point.)

Abby and Harrison aren't so convinced of her innocence and say as much numerous times. Olivia, however, is convinced it wasn't Quinn. Huck is also convinced it wasn't Quinn. They both have good reasons to believe that it wasn't Quinn. Reasons like the fact that they helped cover it up.

The reveal that Olivia and Huck were the ones who kidnapped Quinn, brought her to D.C. and set her up with the new identity is one I didn't see coming. In fact, when Huck got into the car and I saw Olivia behind the wheel, my jaw actually fell open.

The scenes between them when Huck was looking for the video footage were so well done. No confidences were betrayed, even slightly. Their involvement does, however, explain how Olivia knows so much about Quinn and why Olivia brought her on to Pope & Associates. If Olivia is intimately involved in this, keeping Quinn close is key to protecting her own assets.

Olivia tells Quinn she never takes a case she knows she can't win, but in this case, she's taken one she can't afford to lose. (This scene, and more, can be found on the Scandal quotes page!)

But why did Olivia aid in this cover-up? In doing so, the actual killer has gone free. And who is this woman that she's so highly connected to everything?

Because of David Rosen (Josh Malina) being a regular character now, my suspicion says that we'll find out at some point. The phone call that got Quinn acquitted did serious damage to his career and has raised suspicions about just how "good" Olivia is. David intends to find out just what she's hiding. I can't wait to find out.

In other things that made my eyes wide, Bellamy Young is nothing short of amazing as Mellie Grant.

How much do you love to hate her? If you're me, a lot.

Here's a woman who, to save her husband and the life to which she's grown accustomed, will stop at nothing. She'll get pregnant with "America's Baby" and force the President to go to war. She's a master manipulator. But she's also given up everything to chase someone else's dream and Fitz has a way of cutting her down by being so cruel that it makes her sympathetic. I have emotional whiplash from watching them go back and forth tonight.

And speaking of emotions, so much went unsaid between Fitz and Olivia tonight. Just knowing that Cyrus had spoken to her caused Fitz to pause in his tracks. Their "I hate you" exchange was a thinly veiled attempt to say what they know they can't. Olivia's face betrays her emotions when it comes to the President, and the silence between them on that phone was almost palpable. Even though she can't be with him, she can't stop herself from helping him fix things.

It's just what she does.

Every character on Scandal has two sides, and so far, despite the background information we gleaned from season one, we've really only scratched the surface of their stories. And with all the questions that keep coming up, it seems that what we think will be the end of a story arc is really just the beginning of a much larger tale. After tonight, I'm excited for what's to come.

What did you think of "White Hat's Off"? Was the Quinn Perkins/Lindsey Dwyer reveal worth the wait?


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (321 Votes)

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

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You write very well!


I must admit, I was not a Scandal viewer last season...That was until I saw the Season 2 premiere last week. All the intrigue piqued my interest to such a degree, I watched all seven First Season episodes on Netflix and cannot get enough! Shonda and Betsy have done an amazing job at excellent writing and character development. While Quinsey is a bit annoying, you still feel for her when you realize she may receive the death penalty. You want to believe she's as innocent as she looks, but who knows? The romantic angst between Fitz and Olivia is electric. Can't wait to see what's in store for their relationship. This is my new favorite show and I hope America is watching...In the land of ratings, I hope this one stays at the top of the list.


Dang I missed part of Scandal bc my cable went off for a few minutes...argghhh I'm so pissed but let me breat...huh! When I saw Huck and then Liv in that vehicle I was like whoaaaa! So they drugged her and gave her the new identity but there's that other question why? Who is that person Liv called? Did that call affect Quinn's (Linday's) trial? In between I love that call between the two of them sensual without even touching, just words without words awwww.. Yet I still have so many questions. I never believed who's Quinn would spark my interests but it really has....great job Shonda! HEY GUYS WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO SCANDAL ROUND TABLE?

Miranda wicker

@Rain--the "white hat" symbolism has been used in relation to both David and Olivia. If you're referring to the conversation Quinn had with Amanda Tanner where she regained Tanner's trust, I'd say Quinn said Olivia rescued her because before working for Olivia, Quinn felt lost. She thought at that point that Olivia saved her from that but didn't yet know that Olivia orchestrated her move to D.C. and still doesn't know it. Should be interesting when she finds out, though.


I loved the episode and agree with the review. The one thing I'm still puzzling about... Quinn once said (in episode 2 or 3) that Olivia wears the white hat and she once rescued Quinn. How is it that Quinn knows NOTHING about what happened at the hotel and that incident? Does it just ignore that or is something else missing that we don't know?

Miranda wicker

@Fran--Thanks for quoting that! Feel free to add it to the quotes page! You're right, it was terrific! I should've added it.


@kayliej, After the interview, Fitz was furious with Mellie for using the baby to publicly force him to declare war with Sudan. Mellie, however, continued to be extremely pleased with how she handle the interview, causing Fitz to explode with the following rant: (which I’m quoting, because it was quite memorable): Fitz; “No one elected you! You’re not the president! You don’t weigh in on foreign policy. Your opinion doesn’t matter! You are the first lady…your job is to plant gardens and decorate rooms and let them blog about your clothes. You’re ornamental, not functional. So don’t come into the oval and try to use your brain, because no one cares!� Of course he felt bad and apologized. Mellie said that she gave up her law career for him, and although misses her (Olivia), he shouldn’t take it out on her. Fitz apologized again and Mellie offered to let him feel the baby kick. Which he did.


I totally agree with the review. Last night episode was great. The reveal at the end was shocking, having Huck go through the trouble looking for the video really threw you off the track that he and Olivia were involved. Love the phone conversation between Olivia and the president or should I say the lack of conversation. Those two acted the hell out of those scence. You can really feel the longing between them. Amazing! Really loved in the beginnning also when they went to the congressmen office and Huck started describing the bug they found and Harrison said use your words, funny. Huck reminds me, if anyone watches Leverage of a mixture of Hardison and Eliot.


i didnt think i was going to like this show when it was first brought last season but its actually really good.i missed the converstation between fritz and melly after the interview, what was said??? i agree with the other poster that said they think theres more to the oliva/cyrus friendship. who did olivia call that won quinn the trial???? whoever it was has some SERIOUS power. i was totally shocked to see finn in the video i was like whattt??? then when olivia was in the driver seat i was glad the episode was over cause i didnt think i could handle anymore excitment in one show for one night. honestly cant wait till next week!

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Scandal Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

Abby: It makes no sense. Do you buy it?
Harrison: I question she's lying about her alibi, but I have a hard time buying her as some Unabomber freak who could mix Clorox and toothpaste and blow up half an office park. No offense, Huck.
Huck: None taken.

Quinn: I went home and my apartment was surrounded, cops and FBI agents taking out all my stuff. A woman standing outside told me that a girl who lived there blew up a building and killed seven people.
Harrison: If you were innocent, you could've just called a lawyer.
Abby: You did work with a bunch of them. Also, I hear they're in the phone book.