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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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This was by far one of the best episodes of Scandal yet. I disagree that Fitz shows any signs of an abuser, just an angry man throwing a temper tantrum bc he's used to getting what he wants. He wants Olivia and he knows that she wants him, so he can't figure out why she's walking away from what they have. Was he out of line for the way he spoke to her? Yes but I loved that he is the most powerful man in the world and she has literally brought him to his knees - hot! Have you checked out the facebook.com/ScandalFanCentral page on Facebook? Great Scandal discussions if you're interested. xo Gladiators

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Love the passion between the President and Fitz but he totally shows the signs of an abuser. The way he talked to her? And last week to Mellie? I mean Mellie is calculating and manipulative but Fitz has a cruel streak. And the way he had her boyfriend removed from the intelligence committee? That is plain wrong and shows he is more motivated by petty jealously than the very important office he holds. That turned me off the idea of them together. Now I find him so totally gross. No amount of shoe changing can redeem the fact that he is both cruel and willing to misuse his power to keep her in line. I also feel so bad fo Hyck. He really is a junkie- I am glad he is controlling his insticts. I am even gladder that Olivia holds some remorse for what she asked him to do. Not sure about Abby and David. However, David has been screwed repeatedly by Pope and Associates- it is only fair he gets screwed by them in a good way.

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I agree Mandy, the boot scene was HUGE and my favorite scene of the episode. The fact that he's the POTUS, kneeling, changing her shoes, while he's seething mad at her was amazing. Also the fact that she-miss independent, super fixer, always in control-just sits there and lets him, like him tending to her in that way is the most natural thing in the world...PERFECT. I did not care for him trying to undo her pants but that just showed us how out of control he is concerning this relationship. I hope someone (Cyrus, Mellie, Olivia...) reels him in before any major damage is done. GREAT EPISODE!!

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I absolutely love the questions this week. The passion of the woods scene I think was lost on some because of the anger between Fitz & Liv. The changing of her shoes was a monumental moment of the love, I mean the President changed her shoes. Epic episode! Great job to all that answered in round table. Love reading the responses.

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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