Scandal Review: Who Shot Fitz!?

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Have you caught your breath yet? Tonight’s episode of Scandal did not disappoint and was filled with some huge BOOM moments. Let’s dive right in.

Instead of making us wait, the Shonda Rhimes-penned “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” picked up directly with the gunshots that ended the prior episode. The chaos and confusion surrounding the event were conveyed brilliantly with Olivia’s emotional confusion and, of course, a fab Mellie meltdown as she slaps a doctor with her bloody hand. Bless you, Mellie!

Once the docs work on saving Fitz, Olivia finds a Presidential flag pin and, if you know Shondaland, this is IMPORTANT. But, really, it is and we flashback to Fitz’s inauguration where he and Olivia (then White House Director of Communications) were already hot and heavy. We see her give him the American flag pin just before he was sworn in and we also figure out that Mellie, who is a lot sweeter in the past, doesn’t have a clue about their affair… yet.

Cheers for the President

One quick note – while some shows us flashbacks as a way to give a reprieve to the present day storylines, Scandal does it right. All the flashbacks inform our characters (some in HUGE ways) and also help the viewer get to know everyone a bit better.

One big thing I learned is that post-Inaugural ball, the President is allowed to have sex in the Oval Office. I’m speaking of Fitz and Liv, who get busy in the Oval Office with a steamy love scene. To their credit, the twosome acknowledges this isn’t really right but then Fitz says, “I can’t stop… can you?” So he does what any man (President or not) would do? He takes off Liv’s panties. BOOM!

So we can cool off, we meet up with present day, Mellie, who is mostly too busy at the hospital to be the bitch of the episode so that honor goes to Vice President Sally Langston, who sees her chance to grab the Presidency while Fitz deals with the small cast of a bullet in his head. And you gotta love Cyrus’s loyalty in ripping the VP a new one for her actions but she’s not backing down so this is gonna get good.

Oh, and Liv tells the White House staff (present day, mind you) that she’s back. We’re not sure yet what that means for the rest of her crew (who aren’t present too much outside of watching the goings on back on the office TV) but that’s for another episode.

New Prez Fitz is jogging with his Secret Service, who schools him on the surveillance cameras that are all over the White House but are not as plentiful at Camp David. BOOM! We’re at Camp David where we see past moments of Fitz, Liv and Cyrus working, Liv having a heart to heart with Cyrus telling him that everyone knows James is more than a well-dressed bestie and, of course, lots of hot and heavy scenes where naked Liv and Fitz taking turns slamming each other up against walls with appropriate moans and gasps (which may have been me watching the show but I’m still not quite sure).

And who is that long, shaggy haired and bearded guy helping Olivia? Well, flashback Huck, of course! Despite the rough appearance, he’s still Huck talking to the ground and not smiling (in other words, psycho and brilliant all blended together) and Liv needs him to look into some (gasp) voting machines in Ohio. Liv also gives him her keys and tells him he’s living with her now. Aw, Liv loves her people!  (I actually appreciated that we didn’t have to go through all the current cast members and where they were. Wisely, we only see the people who were actually relevant during the past time.)

Past Prez and Liv share some passion-filled Shonda Rhimes dialogue on the struggles of their guilt-filled relationship: “I smile at her and I take off my clothes for you,” says Liv. “You control me. I belong to you,” says Prez. This doesn’t change anything but, hey, it’s nice to see they are having pangs of guilt in between romps.

Back to the present at the hospital, Liv needs someone’s help who can help keep Sally from getting hold of the Oval Office – Mellie, who snips at Liv but then gets that this is about Fitz so she agrees. Mellie needs something to wear and Liv ends up alone in The First Closet, which is bigger than most of our homes. Liv takes one of Fitz’s sweaters and crumbles to the ground. Again, while this scene could be stale or like something we’ve seen a hundred times, it really works.

Past Fitz wants Olivia to touch it. She wants to but she’s not sure. We’re talking about the Constitution, of course (what else?) And since there are no guards around to ask where their hands have been, even this feels nasty, dirty and really fun. But, the real point of the scene is they agree that they’re ‘in this together’ which makes the return to 2012 Liv crying tears into Fitz’s sweatshirt all the more poignant. An emotional BOOM moment, for sure.

Who’s that talking to the press? Mellie in full First Lady mode (pearls = sincerity mode) stressing that Fitz is still the President in hopes that Sally will ease up on her quest. (Sadly, my money is on Sally.) And, jumping back to the past at a photo opp with Fitz, Mellie gets the first inkling that the secret service may know something she doesn’t when Fitz cannot find the American flag pin. It’s a small moment but an important one.

Past Liv gets schooled by dastardly Hollis on how there’s often collateral damage when you do things like kill people for the greater good. Hollis is going to tag the blame for an explosion on a woman named…wait for it… Lindsay Dwyer… you know, a.k.a. Quinn!! (We don’t see past Quinn but another great example of feeding us delicious little origin nuggets brilliantly)

Mellie shows her first signs of being, well, Mellie. She lets Liv know that she knows all about she and Fitz getting naked together and, surprisingly, you actually feel sorry for the First Lady, which is different, right? The guilt gets to Liv and we soon find out the moment when Liv stopped working for the President when she leaves a resignation on the same desk where they recently boinked. Poignant.

And, because this is Scandal, you just know you’re in for some big end moments.

Sally Langston has gotten the support she needs to take the Presidency away from Fitz and takes the Oath of Office. BOOM!

Liv gives Mellie the American Flag pin to put by Fitz’s side as he lay motionless in the hospital. BOOM!

Now, if you didn’t notice, nobody has said much about WHO actually shot the President. The news report from guest Stephen Collins (yes, from 7th Heaven) tells us the suspect has a red hoodie, average height and build, buzzed hair cut… hmmm… we get to relive the President being shot, see the room where the shooter pulled the trigger, see the gun, see the red hoodie and, BOOM, see that it’s Huck. 

End of episode. Did you see THAT coming??!!


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (367 Votes)

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of Follow him on Twitter.


Maybe Huck wore the red hoodie in order to distract witnesses from the real shooter, his girlfriend! He was really busy last episode, doing what? He found out who she was and intervened trying to save the president, but taking the heat because he was sympathetic to her cause for some reason.
Hey, anything goes on this show lol


Awesome episode. It left me wondering at what point did Mellie become apart of the voting cover up? and of course the million dollar question why the hell would Huck shoot Fitz?

Drea xoxo

i say mellie is involved with texan because of fitz revealing the information infront of cyrus' husband (WHY DID NO ONE STOP HIM!!!)

Drea xoxo

okay we know who but we want to know why!!! i think its to do with the rigged election and the reporters and david......thats my 'conspiracy' (pun there) anywho.....why did none of liv's team suspect Huck!? i rewatched the whole two series this weekend to see if i missed any gaps within this story. what i gathered is that the spies listen to the radio everyday and maybe someone (texan) caught wiff of trackers and knew only way to get rid of it is to shoot the president and turn it into a jfk 2.0 love quinns new take in character. really really miss steven and want him back and with red. harrison and liv continue bro n sis relationship and run pope & co together. don't trust edison either, he's come too conveniently in her life for my liking....


This episode was just WOW! I've watched it 3 times and I'm still in awe. The only thing I don't like is the lack of character consistency with pre White House Mellie to White House Mellie. I loved the post #whoshotfitz vulnerable Mellie who was scared of loosing her 2 loves! Her husband and the white house BUT I do not believe what the writers are selling with the seemingly naive, saccharine sweet Mellie who visited Camp David. That Mellie was portrayed to be in a healthy marriage with POTUS before she found out about the OLITZ love affair. That premise (healthy relationship/marriage) is in sharp contrast with past episodes especially 'The Trail' which showed us both a pre White House selectively sweet, cold & calculating Mellie who was happy to be living in a dead marriage as long as she to got be FLOTUS and a White House Mellie who was ready to turn her back on her husband to save her dreams of being POTUS one day.


I refuse to believe Huck would do that. Doesn't make sense. He wouldn't hurt Olivia, wouldn't leave a job unfinished, wouldn't be so conspicuous with the red hoodie, wouldn't have needed five shots. I don't believe it. I can't. AHMazing episode.


(Cont'd from my previous comment which was cut off. How bout a warning next time TvFanatic??? -_-) Speaking of, HOW AMAZING IS ELLIS GREY IN THIS NEW ROLE?! I love it! I can't wait to see how it unfolds!!


I agree, this reviewer was pretty terrible. I'm not a fan of speaking ill of people at what they do but dude, seriously? Anyway, this episode had me yelling and screaming and throwing things and then shedding a tear while being severely uncomfortable all at the same time. Take about nail biting television. I have to admit I didn't see Huck coming but looking back on it I should've because the clues are all right there. I bet the reason why he shot Fitz in the first place lies within that episode where Huck tortured that guy for screwing with Olivia and associates when this whole Citron thing started unravel. As for the Fitz and Olivia love mess, I feel bad for them! He loves her so much....sigh... Also, I don't trust that Edison guy. I feel like he's trying to use Liv to gain some sort of advantage or political momentum. It's cute bc he kind of matches her, but not like how the President does. I just didn't like how he was right there on the side of the VP when she was sworn in. Speaking of, HOW AMAZING IS ELLIS GREY IN THIS NEW ROLE?! I love it! I can't wait to see how it unfolds.


Good show but the most unlikeable characters on tv. I hope when they end it, we see alot of them die or go to prison.


First of all I really loved the episode. It had everything that got me hooked in the first place.
I am so happy that Sally is back, she gives regicide a whole new dimension. SPOILER WARNING: About Huck? I am not sure,I saw the promo for next week and for me it looks like he came into the room, put the hood on and started to pack up – why would the weapon still be at the window? If you assassinate time is of the essence, and you simply do not take a potty break so to speak.... Also it seemed tome that he saw the one casing on the floor and started to search for more – maybe just wishful thinkking?

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