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 loved this episode with that said....all I can say is WOW for Huck! The torture he took and all I thought about was he is not going to give you all a thing so STOP! I agree that Liv wasn't herself in this ep. As for the reach out from Millie, well Liv knows her place....she is the other woman and Millie needs to get over it and be the wife and First Lady. They will never be friends so don't fake it. I love the baby scene that was cute... but I can't help but think the happiness will end fast for him and Cyrus if he keeps digging in that voter tampering story. I still don’t trust Verna and I think it is too soon to think Hollis is behind everything if he is he’s not alone and I feel Verna, and Sally Langston is in it with him. Really, I think it’s bigger than all of them and who knows it’s more in likely someone we didn’t see coming. I’m like Quinn, why is Hollis still free if you think he was behind all of this unless there’s more to the story and they need to 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!


And Cyrus and his husband and the baby. I just don't know. This voter rigging thing will blow up and I am trying to not be happy for anything coming their way in the mean time. I believe that when Cyrus told him the truth, and said he didn't have a job either...that was Shonda saying that Mellie retracted the letter.


Olivia wasn't herself in this episode. And the only reason I can come to that that is, is because all her people are in extreme turmoil all episode. Huck and Fitz are two of the people nearest to her heart, and Huck is being tortured to the edge of his life and Fitz is laying in a coma fighting for his. And her people aren't right, and so her world isn't right. I don't like Edison, and honestly couldn't give a crap about him as far as if he stays around to fight her. He knows that Olivia will fight to the death for her people, and in those moments he knew that Fitz was her person and would always be that to her. Edison has no place in her life. It really was time he realized it. I was disappointed in Olivia's reaction to Mellie when Mellie was just trying to reach out to her about Fitz. There is no way that it was easy for Mellie to acknowledge that this is hard for Olivia, the other woman in her marriage. But she was reaching out for someone, there has been no family surrounding them (totally weird, by the way). Mellie has no real friends to speak of. So she tried to be the bigger person for the sake of needing someone to help her. And Olivia was unnecessarily rude. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. We don't know if Mellie knew Fitz was awake before Olivia. I get the feeling she didn't. That Fitz asked to speak to Olivia before his wife. And I don't want Fitz to cheat on his pregnant wife, I've hated that part of their relationship. But in that moment I was so happy to see that their relationship wasn't over. It's such a necessary undercurrent to the show!


As always Harrison is another strong favorite. His unwavering loyalty to Olivia makes me wish I knew him. When he gives his lines about how there is another layer to politics, where the real decisions are made and how he knows Olivia is part of that...and then Olivia walks in saying that Fitz is their new client. And their faces. I was all YES YES YES! I loved it. I love Harrison, the true Gladiator.


I can not WAIT for Shonda to tell us what is in Huck's file. When Sally asks if she has no one like him on her team, that can do what he does....and then she looks at the pages of his file and her expression tries to remain unchanged but gives just enough to say that those two pages of his file give details of his work that I can't wait to know about. I find Huck to be one of the most fascinating characters on Scandal. There is so much to him that's secret that I just can't get enough of him on screen. There were tears watching him at the table, I hurt so much for him, I want to fix him and heal him. And I am so broken that he's so broken.


I agree with the review. Scandal is one of my favorite shows, but this definitely wasn't my favorite episodes. My favorite scenes were the ones with Mellie and I also liked watching her and Olivia working together. Harrison also continues to grow on me....they really need to use him more!. The Olivia/Edison drama was definitely strained. I'm not a fan of Edison, but the way Olivia treated him, made me feel a little sorry for him. Hollis behind the plot did seem a little too easy, I think...perhaps I missed a key part, but was it definitely confirmed that he was the culpirt? I still think it could have been the Vice President (maybe because I dislike her so much!), or Billy Chambers, who was never really confirmed dead, I think. I'm not looking forward to next week's episode, and seeing the effects of Fitz' brain injury on his personality and ability to act as president. I'm predicting that Sally will try to have him declared as non-competent.


thought Harrison’s dialogue was awesome!!! the whole tier of DC were the really power works


contd Other things, Huck's "interrogation" was brutal to watch. Super scary to think that's happening to human beings in the real world.
Becky got was coming to her.
Olivia is just irritated with Edison as most of us are, THANK GOD. He's angry though and I don't think he's going away quietly. She should have never have gotten back involved with him again.
Fitz is awake! Momentarily, all is right with the Scandal world again. The promos next week look gut wrenching though. Poor Fitz. He's going to really need Olivia to be by his side and for real this time.


First off, this wasn't meant to be a season finale, episode 13 was. They were renewed for an initial 13 episodes remember? Secondly, I thoroughly enjoy this episode. It not only provided answers, it posed some new questions in the way only Scandal does. Does anyone REALLY think Hollis is the sole person behind Fitz's assasination? Just like we all thought Billy Chambers were responsible for Amanda Tanner's death? It turned out to be Cyrus and I'm sure there's more to this plotline than what some are interpreting as a concluded plot. People who think this have not been watching the same show I have. Other things, Huck's "interrogation" was brutal to watch. Super scary to think that's happening to human beings in the real world.
Becky got was coming to her.
Olivia is just irritated with Edison as most of us are, THANK GOD. He's angry though and I don't think he's going away quietly. She should have never have gotten back involved with him again.
Fitz is awake! Momentarily, all is right with the Scandal world again. The promos next week look gut wrenching though. Poor Fitz. He's going to really need Olivia to be by his side and for real this time.


Hands down one of my favorite episode in S2. Everyone from OPA brought their A game. We got to see the no nonsence Olivia the fixer we got introduced to in s1. Well, she had to bring her A game to try and save the 2 favorite men in her life. Harrison continues to show leadership & Abby/Quinn followed his advise of "we do not question Liv on this" so they are beginning to respect him as a leader. Verna owned up to what she did but she still one of the big dogs & shouldn't be trusted. I think Sally and Holllis have been working together since the beginning. Yes Hollis was/is working everyone. I too could have done without the torture too but Huck acting was impeccable. Goodbye Edison.

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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.