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Scandal Round Table: "Hunting Season"

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This week's Scandal, "Hunting Season," revealed that no secrets are safe. Everyone is a pawn in a very dangerous game, even the President himself. But who, exactly, is the game maker? Cyrus? Someone we haven't yet met?

Join TV Fanatic staff members Carla Day, Jim Garner, Leigh Raines and Miranda Wicker, along with Emily from ABC Scandal Fans, as we discuss this week's intense episode. Then tell us what you thought in the comments...

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What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Jim: David and Abby's reaction after they finished. At the rate David is going, he's going to end up working for Olivia when he learns more than he should.

Leigh: This is toooo hard. I really loved the scene in the woods. I also loved when the NSA showed up and Olivia said give us 12 hours. Pope and Associates might've gotten played but they know how to clean up a mess. Huck is just phenomenal.

Carla: When Huck met Olivia in the garage and told her she wasn't to walk to her car alone anymore and she showed concern for him. She knows she asked too much from him back during the Amanda situation. This was the first time, she really acknowledged the cost to Huck I hope he told her the truth when he said he had it under control.

Miranda: I loved seeing the inside of Huck's apartment and watching him be so quirky about his things because it gave us a deeper glimpse into his life. He was cold at first to the fact that Artie was there and then started to think he'd maybe found a kindred computer-hacking spirit and seemed almost giddy. I think that made the scene where he caught Artie that much darker.

Emily: Three words: "I'm Quinn Bitch!" Although I still find it so difficult to pick one scene, this one was hilarious! I was glad Quinn finally grew a pair and stood up to Abby and it was a nice break from the intensity of the episode.

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Does the scene in the woods change your perception of the Fitz/Olivia relationship?
Jim: Not really, we've known they are hot for each other. I was more surprised that they started snogging right there in front of his guards. No matter how loyal, people can slip.

Leigh: See my first answer. I loved it. If anything, it made me understand them more. He is so in love with her and I think part of it is the fact that she won't let him "own her." Mellie will do anything to make him happy, but Olivia is a challenge to him. In turn, she talks back to the President. She's not scared of him or willing to bend to him like everyone else.

Carla: They love each other so much that it's painful to watch their torment. That kiss was intense and just made me wish they could find a way to actually be with each other.

Miranda: I'll be the dissenting voice and say that, no matter how much these two love each other, no matter how much passion there is between them, Fitz plays seriously dirty in a way that is degrading and, at least to me, borders on verbally abusive, and we've seen him do it twice now. I want to see Olivia move on to someone else for a while and I'd like to see Fitz get some counseling for his anger.

Emily: While it didn't change my perception, it definitely gave more insight, visibly, to the tragedy and dark side of their situation.  I think we got a glimpse of it in the previous episode in the eruption of their last phone call, but it all came to a head in this scene.  Seeing how just being near each other is physically painful for them when Fitz changed her shoes versus the desperation they have to be together that was seen so unmistakably in the kiss. Like Carla said, as impossible as their relationship is, you still hope that somehow they could find a way to be together.

David and Abby: Do you think he's using her for information?
Jim: I certainly think that is why he went to the bar and what he planned. Funny thing about sex, it tends to muddle the water on why you started down a path.

Leigh: I think that was David's intention yes. Who knows what's going to happen now. As Jim said, sex muddles things.

Carla: He showed up at the bar for information, though I doubt he slept with her specifically for that reason. It brought back memories of Quinn's relationship with Gideon. Side note: I miss Gideon! Abby wants to know the truth about Quinn just as much as David. I'd be interested to see what would happen if instead of using her for information, if David and Abby partnered up to investigate.

Miranda: I miss Gideon, too! Is it preemptive if I say that I hope these two ride off into the sunset? I like their mutually distrusting natures together and think they could be a force to be reckoned with. So I hope that even if he was just using her for information it becomes something more for the two of them.

Emily: Yes, I think that was his intention approaching her at the bar, but the sex just happened; a convenient distraction for them both. However, it will be interesting to see how it plays out in the aftermath.  I could see Abby taking advantage of using David for information as well.  She appears to be the only one at OPA who seems to be at her breaking point with the lack of details she's getting from Olivia. I think Abby sees things in black and white, just like David, and I'm starting think she may betray Olivia, perhaps unintentionally, to get answers. She feels Olivia's "gut is broken" and we've already seen her take matters into her own hands in season one with the general's wife.

What do you think about Cyrus spying on the President?
Jim: He's doing his job, he's protecting the president, even from himself. Let's not forget Cyrus had a girl murdered because he thought she was going to leak info about their affair.

Leigh: Not that surprised considering he had someone killed for Fitz. Cyrus is Fitz's closest confidante, he knows everything about him.

Carla: It's nothing new. He has been doing it forever. As Jim mentioned, he had Amanda killed for the President. Wrongly, but he did it thinking that she was carrying the President's child.

Miranda: Cyrus is totally spying on Fitz to protect his own interests and not the President's, and the sooner Fitz figures that out, the better. Cyrus is seriously one scary dude.

Emily: Honestly, I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop! Yes, I guess you can argue that he's protecting the "ticking" POTUS (good grief how AMAZING was the monologue and delivery from Jeff Perry!!!) but I don't think he has his best interests at heart and to me, that's the game changer! I think he's playing him to further his own agenda.  What that agenda is, I don't know but like we're always told...when it comes to 'Scandal', nothing is what it seems.

Would Mellie Grant have your vote?
Jim: She would. She is very smart, sassy and has brass balls the size of Rhode Island! Mellie Grant 2016!!!!

Leigh: That remains to be seen but damn is she a determined woman. Three words: GET OVER HER!

Carla: Absolutely not. She is a conniving bitch. This is a woman who faked a miscarriage to help get her husband elected. She made the wrong call on Libya. She thinks she knows what's going on and wants the power, but she isn't worthy of being President. Her actions to try and force her husband into action shows she is manipulative, but not that she has any ability to lead at all. If anything, it shows she doesn't.

Miranda: Come on, y'all. Obviously her outburst was just due to pregnancy hormones! In a (slightly more) serious answer, on the one hand, I admire her ability to get things done, but the way she goes about it, what with the lying, makes me think twice. But then again, lying is par for the course, right? This is Washington we're talking about. What the hell. Mellie for President!

Emily: I think I would have to vote "undecided" if I had to cast a ballot today. So far she's one of the main characters that I seem to be going back and forth with this season. I really started to empathize with her more in episode 2 and through the dinner scene with Fitz in this episode.  Then she sent me recoiling again with her outburst in the Oval Office.  She's intelligent and driven, but it comes down to what lengths she'll actually go to in order to get what she wants.

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I loved the "I'm Quinn bitch" line, too! Great episode. Abby and David sleeping together was weird. I don't think he planned it that way. By the way, Harrison and David's assistant/lawyer-in-training are two people I'd love to see more of.

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I also agree that Olivia has all the power in their relationship. Fitz is the one who is constantly pleading for her attention, for her time, and her love. Even as he was yelling at her, there were tears in his eyes and it was clear that he was actually begging her not to leave him.

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Delilah, I completely agree with you. I saw Fitz as angry and jealous, but certainly not abusive or degrading. I did think that he was wrong to yell at her to get out of the car and to tell her to shut up, but everything was jealousy over her ex being back in her life and anger over the stolen spyware. Fitz and Olivia are two lovers in a complicated romance. They lash out at each other, even go to war against each other, but they also are unable to walk away from each other so of course, their relationship is fraught with melodrama and heartache. This would not be healthy in real life, but on tv, it is a compelling story to watch To be quite frank, I think that term, "abuse" is used far too frequently and often inappropriately. In real life, arguments between lovers can be harsh and wounding. Not every yelling match is abuse and I certainly did not see that between Fitz and Olivia.

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This was the best episode so far. I loved the way Olivia's weakness got exposed, I believe that is why she fell for Artie's story. She needs to protect herself and Fitz and she didn't think clearly. Her "gut isn't broken", it's that her heart is in conflict with her brain. I was thinking that Huck may need a love interest, but I've changed my mind. Romance may push him over the edge, he needs to focus on his "recovery." Abby and David? I'm keeping my eye on them to. I believe that David is more loyal to Olivia than Abby is. Who else was waiting for Mellie's water to break when she screamed "GET OVER HER"?!

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Abusive Fitz--not at all. How about desperate and incapable of controlling his emotions where she is concerned? Kudos to TG for displaying an interesting dichotomy. What a different Fitz we saw chatting with Mellie, sitting in his wing chair, doling out a bit of attention to his very grateful wife. Then, Fitz as Olivia's desperate lover, hoping to be thrown a lifeline, begging for attention, looking up at her feet. He broke my heart--so, okay, I get the "I need you now" sex, but I am glad she pulled away-- the girl needs to maintain some dignity. I wasn't feeling Olivia, though. Other than the tree scene, I was confused. I imagine she was angry, but I could not connect. Was the "you should have told me" remark supposed to be sarcastic--otherwise, why would he tell her to shut up? I lost her the moment she got out of the car. What was Olivia thinking while he was tightening those laces?

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Sorry Miranda but there was nothing degrading or dirty about the way Fitz's "was he everything you ever dreamed". What's there to be ashamed of? He didn't call her a whore like Cyrus did. If anything, he's using words Olivia probably said to *him* in an attempt to hurt her. Petty? Yes. Abusive? No. We all say things we don't mean when arguing with a partner don't we? I simply don't see how jealousy and tantrums can be interpreted to mean he's violent or has a tendency to abuse. That's reaching. As for treating Olivia like his property, how in the world does he do that? Olivia has all the power in this relationship and she uses it recklessly. Fitz is the man so he gets the most grief for it but the truth is the mess that is Fitz/Olivia is a two way street.

Miranda-wicker

@Delilah, jealousy can be abusive, and Fitz? He uses his jealousy in a way that isn't healthy. He treats Olivia like his property which is why I was excited that she stood up to him with her "you don't own me" lines. The way he talked to her about her previous relationship was disrespectful and yes, degrading, because it's being used to make her feel dirty and ashamed. I don't like it. We're obviously free to interpret this differently, but that's how I see it.

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I do not understand all this nonsense about Fitz being "abusive". He yells, she yells, they fight, they love each other with a desperation that is painful. There's no name calling or and not counting the slap Olivia gave him in Ep 1, there's no violence either. There's no abuse or degradation at any level. I'm sorry but people who say things like this have no idea what a degrading, abusive relationship is really like and it's almost insulting to make the comparison.

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1. Favorite scene - in the woods, the anger and the passion all rolled into one. You could feel it coming off the screen. These two are in love, and not being able to be together is making them both crazy.
2. No, the scene only confirms.
3. Yes, It probably started out that way and ended up different.
4. Well Cyrus is Cyrus. He won't get caught off guard again. If you remember he didn't know anything about the Presidents affair with Livia. That pissed him off.
5. Mellie is a psychopath. You can feel sorry for her all you want, but we still don't know what she did that made Fitz so upset with her. Whatever it was, in his mind it's unforgivable. She even agreed with him. So NO, wouldn't vote for her.

Fortyseven

1. Miranda's answer
2. Miranda's answer
5. I don't vote but sure. She has to divorce her abusive, emo husband first though.

Scandal Season 2 Episode 3 Quotes

Edison: I took an oath to do the exact opposite of what you're asking me to do.
Olivia: You always did put your career above all.
Edison: Takes one to know one.

Quinn: My story didn't make any sense at first.
Abby: Still doesn't.
Quinn: Everyone thought I was crazy.
Abby: Still do.

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