Scandal Review: Ends and Means

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After leaving us blown away when last we saw it, Scandal wasted no time answering some of our lingering questions from the mid-winter finale upon its return. To name only two things:

  1. Hollis Doyle is behind the assassination
  2. President Grant is awake, just in the nick of time.

While "One for the Dog" was a solid outing, this wasn't my favorite episode. It was chock full of information, if light on the action, but upon several watches, the episode's downfall is that it may have tried to do too much. Too many competing story lines, even if they are all tied together, made Scandal's return a tad clunky.

Josh Malina as David Rosen

Before I'm locked in the basement of the Gladiators' headquarters, I'm not saying I hated it. I'm just saying it could've been better. Two things that leap immediately to mind that could've been much improved upon are Verna and Hollis' stories.

Verna's confession to Olivia that she'd given Huck's name to Sally was unexpected. Even though she and Olivia are friends, it seemed counter to her steely demeanor when she handed him over to the acting President in the first place. It makes me wonder if she still has some sort of motive to which we're not yet privy and telling Olivia was part of her plan all along. It's certainly not something I'd put past her.

Hollis being behind the shooting almost feels too easy. Yes, he's capable of bad things. He wants power and money more than anything else. But having him be the man responsible seems overly simplistic for a show full of so many twists and turns. And perhaps there are twists coming. In fact, we can probably bank on that. I hope.

I also could've done without the Olivia and Edison drama. Edison's inclusion tonight made him feel like a plot device instead of a legitimate romantic interest. Sure, there was never any chemistry between the two of them, but tonight the actual character felt forced. He was necessary for Olivia to discover Mellie and Cyrus' attempt at a coup and to show us all, once again, that Olivia's heart is with Fitz. Except we didn't need him in order to see that. Olivia lingering by his bed and longing to reach out and touch his hand was enough.

Which shifts the focus of this review to the things that were great.

Cyrus, Mellie and Olivia love Fitz. The three of them will do anything to protect him, even if it means breaking the highest laws of the land. Their end - saving Fitz - justifies their means. They gambled with their lives and their futures and hopefully came out on top. It's purposefully unclear whether Mellie retracted the letter, and knowing Shonda, the timing could go either way.

Mellie might have retracted the letter before Fitz woke up, in which case moving forward we'll see their attempt to get him back in the White House while fighting Sally Langston and Hollis Doyle.

However, if he woke up before Mellie could retract the letter, maybe Sally will just fade off into the background with the congratulations of the American people for catching the President's would-be assassin. We can hope, right?

Speaking of the would-be assassin, the best parts of tonight were David standing up for Huck and Huck being exonerated. Those torture scenes were gut-punches and watching them almost had me confessing to shooting the fake President. Watching David watch Huck's torture proves what a white hat he actually is.

And Huck?

Guillermo Diaz plays both creepy torturer and sadly tortured so well. His mannerisms after he was released, the shoulder-jerk away from Olivia, the emptiness when Becky asked his name, the way he turned in on himself while eating with everyone else... it was all so heart-wrenching. He's been a pawn in Hollis Doyle's game and it's nearly broken him. The rest of the season could be spent healing Huck and we would have more than enough material for the back 12 episodes.

As a standalone episode, this wasn't Scandal's most shining moment. But as an episode that fills in the gaps in the story, it certainly did that. And, in true Scandal fashion, it left plenty of room for this story to continue to grow.

What did you think of "One for the Dog"? Be sure to check out our Scandal quotes page and sound off in the comments with your thoughts on Scandal's return.


Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (194 Votes)

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


I will quit this show if they continue to make Olivia look stupid... You have built her up as strong character which viewers love, they destroy her with perception of whore, mistress and the like ...I'll be done watch over the next few episodes., if the continue destroying Olivia character and many other viewers will follow just watch......What a waste only few captivating show on TV and writers ruin....Another bits the dust.


This episode got on my nerves for a few reasons: Olivia's lip twitching was out of hand, and her I'm such a badass woman "get out of my way" to Edison was absurd. No one would do that in her own apartment; just walk around him for god sakes. Fitz suddenly waking up at the end was too trite after they made it seem like he was on his death bed. I hope Shonda isn't going to start disappointing us by taking the highway to cornball TV. I really love this show but there are some moments that make me cringe.

Drea xoxo

david i think is realising that this battle field is a lot bigger and grittier than first anticipated and liv is just the starting line up. i want him to be on the right side and help liv get rid of verna and hollis. at least the gladiators are gearing up now, love columbus short in this role and hope he gets recognised for it too. don't want him and abbie or the other lady. he needs to be by himself and on call to liv and hopefully get promoted to the bigger lead. want spencer i think to come back, the show is missing his presence and liv needs her back bone now fitz isn't 100 n cyrus isn't to be fully trusted

Drea xoxo

like @jen said, can't no show tv british or american top this right now! it has everything and remains consistent! anywho back to reviewing! ah this show it has so many twists and turns nothing is ever what we think. there's an inception on everything!!! verna i see her to be playing with a bigger field. hollis is by no way means the only one behind this. he is speaking to a higher order but who i can't think right now. james, dude needs to stop it now. he's boring me and needs to be removed cyrus style ASAP! like david said 'the pres just got shot' least davy has morals


Even tho' Fitz is married, (it's wrong) I still want Oivia to be with him because their love is REAL. Huck (Diaz) did some superb acting. He is sweet, yet dangerous. I hope Harrison doesn't end up with Abbey; not a good match. Everyone on the show are great actors. Not too fond of Cyrus boyfriend; he's sneaky. This show is great. I always look forward to the next episode each week. This is an award-winning show. Why wasn't Scandal nominated? Keep 'em coming Shonda.


Love this show. Last night's episode was riveting; kept me on the edge of my seat. Shonda Rhimes is brilliant. Hope Huck forgives Olivia & the team; they do care about him.


What an anazingly brillant show this is! So many twists and turns and such great characters. And Huck should win Emmy's for his role in this show. He is just great! Although some thought this was not Scandal's best; I believe it was a crossover into what can become a season of so many twists and turns it will keep our heads spinning! I don't think I am completely convinced that Hollis is behind this whole thing. What if Verna orchestrated the whole thing to get rid of Hollis?!?! Harrison is a great addition to the show as well. Right now I don't think any show on television can top this one for great enterainment, acting, and story line. What a tremendous show! Bravo to the creators, the writers, the actors, and all who have anything to do with this show!


This the best show on tv right now. I can hard,y wait for each epidose. I could not watch the scenes in the basement. I hate to think "we" are really like thqt but I know we are. Huck should have shot Becky I would have. I'm glad Friz is awake but he has a long road.


The amazing writers of Scandal have set such a high standard for themselves that I guess if we don't get a "who shot fitz" episode or an "I breathe for you, I watch for you" episode then we assume the instalment was flat. I thought it was an amazing episode which has set the stage for a deadly fight for the presidency. Mellie and Cyrus will truly shine in coming episodes. If there's one thing I love about this episode it's the fact that we can see that Mellie completely loves Fitz the POTUS and not Fitz the man. I was getting confused with Bellamy's lovey dovey tweets about 'Mellie & Fitz' versus the 'Mellie & Fitz in a dead marriage' we see on Scandal. #phew!


get all of the players by using him. The whole Edison drama was a bit boring I saw that one coming. I think he was just with her anyway to see what he could get out of her. All in all the episode was GREAT and I can’t wait to see next week!

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Scandal Season 2 Episode 10 Quotes

Olivia: Do you understand that we live in a democracy? With laws and rules and civil discourse? This is not Nicaragua. You can't just--
Cyrus: What, steal the White House? Yes, we can. It's been done before. Will be done again.

I'm a US Attorney, gentlemen. I represent the United States of America. The United States of America is in this room. So you need to watch how you treat the prisoner on American soil.