Scandal Review: Cheaters Never Win

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I should view Scandal before attempting to sleep. Inevitably, what happens is this:

I watch and then spend the next hour picking my jaw up off the floor and trying to quiet my overactive mind, which is running laps trying to answer all the questions and tie up all the loose ends and make sense of all of the plot twists and revelations packed into each hour.

Scandal excites me in a way that no show has done in a long time.

As an episode that had Olivia's case parallel her personal life, "The Other Woman" gave us insight into the world of everyone's favorite fixer.

Olivia Is Shocked

One of the great things about Scandal is the way we have to piece together the character's stories, and integral to Olivia's story is the President. Their relationship is far from over, as evidenced by their late-night phone calls and his willingness to keep people working long after 5 o'clock just so he can talk to the woman he really loves. She's torn. She wants to talk to him, but she knows she shouldn't. And tonight she faced, once again, the most sobering part of it all.

She's the mistress to the President of the United States.

She wants what the pastor's mistress wanted: Christmas, dinners, silly fights. She wants the every day. But she can't have those things. And she knows that if word of her affair ever gets out, it will be the end of Fitzgerald Grant, just like word of the pastor's mistress would undo all of the good he'd done. Watching Olivia push while Fitz pulls her back in, and then vice versa, it's painful. I don't root for infidelity, but I find myself rooting for these two nearly every week.

Mellie, however, was spectacular in laying on the guilt, knowing that Olivia was listening just beyond the door. She loves her husband, even if he's not in love with her and she'll see their marriage through until the end, whenever that may be and no matter how cruel he can be. And people, he can be cruel. Tonight's dismissive speech was a punch to the gut. When she spoke of their first apartment and asked for his forgiveness, I found myself rooting for a reconciliation between her and Fitz.

I can't decide which of these is the couple to pull for, but I thought the parallels between Olivia's life and the firm's case were nicely done tonight.

Other parts of the episode worth discussing:

James and Cyrus are a nice, semi-light balance to the heaviness of this drama. Sure, Cyrus is an evil genius and James probably doesn't know it. But their banter comes at just the right moment to break the tension. James wants a baby. Cyrus already has one: Fitz. Their interactions were a nice touch tonight.

Huck is descending into madness. Olivia asked him to take find Amanda Tanner, at any cost, and in doing so, she unleashed a beast. That was made clear tonight when he misunderstood her wishes for the pastor and attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in attempt to stay "sober." He's slipping and when he does, it will be Olivia's fault. Huck will do anything for her, that much we know, and it seems Olivia knows it, too.

Lindsay Dwyer is no more. After going home to visit her father, Quinn decides to leave the past where it is. Which is Oakland, if you were wondering. So, now I don't get to call her Quinnsay. She still wants to know how Olivia helped her and Olivia says it's best if she doesn't know yet. Eventually she'll find out that she's at the center of something huge, and when she does, I can't wait to see how she reacts.

Speaking of Quinn, we know who Olivia called: Judge Verna Thornton, Supreme Court Justice, who thinks they should've let Quinn take the fall for the bombing just to protect their secret. And David Rosen is on the heels of figuring everything out after being forced to take a leave of absence. That little corner in his apartment is quite the shrine to the secret world of Olivia Pope. The question is how long will it be before he cracks this case?

What did you think of "The Other Woman?"

Be sure to check out the Scandal quotes to read all of the fast talking from tonight's episode and then sound off in the comments.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (237 Votes)

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


I seem to be one of few who is completely tired of the "relationship" between Fitz & Olivia. I love most things about this show, but watching/listening to them sit on the phone for a third of the episode is going to make me stop watchig this show altogether. I get it: Olivia can't be strong in every way -she had to have some weakness, but come on already! He's the president of the U.S.! They need to wrap up that stupid relationship ASAP.


I think gems comment about promoting Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn together is a good one - who do we contact at abc to register the fans ideas?


I don't let Scandal's ratings bother me especially when ABC is doing so horribly on Fridays and 10 pm on Thursdays for ABC has always been a dead zone in the past and Scandal has changed that. ABC doesn't advertise Scandal very well I'm afraid. I learned about this show just passing by. With the on screen chemistry between Tony and Kerry, I believe the two of them should be featured on some daytime talk shows together not separately. Work it and milk it ABC - what's wrong with these network execs. You would believe they want Scandal to fail. So when will Scandals Roundtable be up?


Shonda has done it again. Scandal's actors are brilliant and the writing is right on point. This show doesn't dissapoint. After a long week of work, this is all I want to tune into on Thursday's simply my relief and I always need just "one more minute" because 60 is just simply not enough.


Addicted to this show - however the ratings page seems to be worried that they are not high enough - I think we need to get out the vote! we need s full season of this show - better than some of the other ones on tv. ABC needs to advertise it more!


Not my favorite episode, but such a good one! As much as I love to hate Mellie, I loved her speech to the pastor's wife. And then I loved Fitz's ultimate dismissal of her. It made me laugh and yet, I was still sad for her. I find myself caring more about Quinn's story than her actual character. Hopefully that will change over time, but for right now, while we're all still in the dark about what transpired, I just want to know the story and I'm hoping that as it unfolds, it'll make her character a little more interesting.


Yes the acting is good, the dialog is clever, the actors are nice to look at, but this has to be,the most cynical show on network television. Is there no one in all of DC that has principles? I have only watched this show a few times but I always feel like I need to take a shower at the end of the episode. A very sad commentary on modern political life.


I love this show but am on an emotional rollercoast related to Fitz and Olivia. I would like to see them as a couple but I don't see how it can ever work out.


Love scandal though Olivia is very corrupt.


I'm speechless. Fitz and Olivia (love struck, can you feel it?) the President of United States has a mistress and I'm routing for them, come on, now that's good writing. Fitz and Mellie (OMG these two together light up the screen. The love and hate between them is palpable). What do you think Mellie did, for Fitz to dislike her so much? Huck (poor sweet Huck), lost in his love to kill. David... what to do about David? Olivia is going to have to step in to save his job, cause no matter what, they are really friends and they ARE the White Hats. Don't care too much for Quinn, but nothings perfect. I am in awe of Shonda Rhimes; she's a most excellent writer. This show is off the hook GOOD. I love every minute of it. Can't wait for the next episode (two weeks, boo!!!). Hold on tight everybody we are in for a very bumpy (thrilling) ride. :-)

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Scandal Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

Olivia: How are you?
Fitz: I'm serving out my sentence in the crown jewel of the American prison system. How are you?

Olivia: I'm saying 23 hardworking Americans are staying late at night so you can call me.
Fitz: You want me to hang up?