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Scandal Review: By Any Means Necessary

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Scandal never fails to disappoint upon returning from a break. Never. In fact, I think this show is incapable of disappointing at all right now. Scandal is on fire!

As the once-divergent story lines came crashing together around Olivia Pope, "Truth or Consequences" was a game-changer. 

Angry Olivia

I've said it all along, and tonight I was proven correct: Hollis was not behind the assassination attempt. 

Truthfully, having him be the culprit was too easy. Setting him up to make it look like he was behind it all, however, was brilliant. I have my theories about who set him up, but I'll probably be proven wrong somehow by some crazy loop Shonda will find a way to throw at us. That's okay, though. I can handle the ride on that roller coaster.

Now that we've gotten that major bit out of the way, let's talk about Olivia.

We've seen flashes of her struggle throughout the series so far. Tonight was superbly written, directed, acted, everything, start to finish. Seeing Olivia as she watched all of the events flash through her mind and then sink into bed unable to sleep or move because the weight of the guilt of what she'd done was just that heavy. That was necessary and heartbreaking in a way. 

For a time, Olivia convinced herself that everything she'd done had been for the greater good, but along the way she changed and wrecked lives. As a character, Olivia catches a lot of criticism for what is thought to be her flippant way of destroying people for what she perceives to be in everyone's best interests, but tonight made it clear that the decisions she makes most certainly burden her.

It was perfect that Edison went to her team - her family - to ask for their help in reaching her. He loves her enough to know that in a situation like that her Gladiators are the ones she needs, not him.

What was more perfect was the way Huck just flopped himself down on her bed before casually offering to off Hollis for her if that's what she wanted. 

Huck: Hollis Doyle has to go. I can take care of that for you if you want.
Olivia: Huck, you have to stop killing people.
Huck: Why? It solves the problem. | permalink

Huck also revealed that Cyrus "has a man" and named Charlie as that man. Huck and Olivia know that Charlie was responsible for Amanda Tanner's death. It won't be long before Olivia puts it together that Cyrus was behind her murder. (Also, that final scene with Charlie getting into the elevator with Hollis was a nice repeat of the last time we saw Billy Chambers.)

Huck's visit with Becky was another heartbreaker. Here's a woman who has just tried to kill the fictional President. I should not care one iota for her. But seeing that Huck cares enough about her to tell her his real name makes me want to care for her. She's the same as him, after all. Damaged. Broken by the government she swore to serve. Despite killing his family, Huck still has a desire to make things right with her, or at least for her, in whatever weird and twisted way he can. 

Regarding making things right, the team will go to great lengths to make Olivia herself right again because that's what she's taught them to do. She's taught them to fix people and they will find a way to fix her, starting with Harrison's allegiance and his insistence that, no matter what she may think of herself, she still wears the White Hat in his eyes.

Along those lines, David Rosen doesn't seem to be playing around when he says that he will come after Olivia if she tries to play him again. His ire over being sent on a mission to nab Hollis for the President's assassination when that mission turned out to be unfounded will no doubt set him on Olivia's trail somehow. But they'll be working together soon enough, and I'm actually looking forward to that. I like the idea of them working together instead of against each other and think they'll make a powerful team.

Which brings us to the closing remarks of this review: Team America's Baby.

As it turns out, Fitz is pretty serious about wanting a divorce, political suicide or not. He doesn't care. He knows what he wants and he expects to get what he wants. Mellie, however, also knows what she wants and what she wants is to be the First Lady, married to Fitz, and recognized for the years she put into grooming him into the man he is.

During her rant about how she's supposed to hate Olivia but feels slighted that she made Fitz and someone else gets to reap the benefit of that, I couldn't help but feel just the slightest twinge of sadness for her. To a certain degree, what she's saying is true. She put in the years to get him to the point of being able to campaign for President when, at least to hear her talk, that's what he wanted and not what she wanted. Somewhere along the way being First Lady became a consolation prize.

Having a doctor induce her labor to try to lure Fitz back to her? Mellie will truly stop at nothing to protect what she sees as hers. Absolutely nothing.

What did you think of "Truth and Consequences?" Who do you think was behind the assassination plot? 

Be sure to check out our Scandal quotes page for more Cyrus and Olivia and Fitz-y goodness. You can even add your own favorite lines if they aren't there already!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (163 Votes)

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

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Miranda wicker

@Marcus--I watch it because she's so flawed. She's this incredibly intelligent woman who can help her clients (Fitz, notwithstanding) make sense of their personal and professional lives when she can't always make the same sense of her own. I don't watch it and condone her bad actions and choose to look only at her good ones. Obviously not making the bad choices in the first place is the better option, but then we wouldn't have a dilemma or a show, now would we? And your use of quotes around "hero" is why I call her the protagonist, and protagonists aren't always good guys.

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I don't think Olivia actually knows that Charlie killed Amanda. She knows that a hit was put out on Amanda by a professional killer and she knows that Huck was able to track down her body. She knows that Huck did some shady things in order to get that information, but I think she deliberately did not want to know the extent of what he did to get that info. The first time she met/heard about Charlie was that "Spies Like Us" episode this season. As far as Olivia knows, Charlie was a colleague of Huck's, but that is all the information she had about him until Huck said that Cyrus and Charlie were working together. Now if she wanted to look deeper, she would probably ask Huck how he knew this and what has Charlie done for Cyrus, but I think there is part of her who wants to maintain plausible deniability about Huck's world.

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@Nisan the killing was just an analogy but Olivia is oh so smart and we should really believe that after all that has happened she didnt know what Hollis was capable of . Yet she still chose to side with him. THat is far beyond reckless , its just stupid. And with bad decisions i meant primarily the vote rigging ( = treasom ) , being an aldutress , lying to just about everybody ( man was she cold to Edison who actually seems like a stand up guy ) and that really crappy betrayal of David. She is so self righteous. Who appointed her "god" to make decisions what is right and good for the country or what deny Abby a good relationship with David after all she had been through. Like i said many admire her character for being a strong and smart woman m but for me she has a lot of redeeming to do before she i will consider her a "hero" in the series again. This episode was a good first step but more has to come.

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@Marcus, who did Olivia kill? I believe her vote to condone voter fraud is what Olivia did wrong. Hollis had those people killed without any help from the big 5, and Olivia tried to help Quinn because she knew Quinn was innocent. Cyrus had Amanda killed, so what am I missing?

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I first thought of Millie ordering the hit on her husband, but thought if she did would she be dumb enough
to walk with him?

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just one quick remark , feeling the burden of bad choices may be a sign of humanity and redemption but not making those horrendous decisions in the first place is clearly the better option. Oh i killed someone , but i feel realy really bad about it just doesnt hack it for me. For me she was just about right with her self analysis. She IS the bad guy in this and a stand up guy like David IS the good guy ( whom she hurt realy bad btw with th whole beating his ex tthing ).

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Omg!!! That may be it!!!! I thought of that after it happened but dismissed it!! But Mellie could be behind it since she was madat him for choosing Olivia over her. Idk it could also be the Supreme Court judge because she seems really guilty during that last speech with Olivia. She wanted to take the blame and she has the less to loses she's dying anyway. This showis awesome!!!! :)

Miranda wicker

@crystalnikki--That is one of my theories :) Or, probably :/ since the FLOTUS having something to do with a hit on her husband isn't exactly a happy thought.

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I agree! VVV

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Mellie knew about or ordered the hit on Fitz. Remember she did not want him to get out of the car.

Scandal Season 2 Episode 12 Quotes

[to Cyrus] We should never have done it. And now we're the bad guys, and I don't know how to fix that. And I have been running and running to stay ahead of it and I'm tired and I don't know what to do next.

Olivia

[to Cyrus] Here's what's great about having someone attempt to assassinate you. You're being rushed somewhere on a gurney, and doctors are yelling, and blood is pouring out of you, and you could die. And you suddenly stop being afraid, of anything, or anyone. And when you don't die, when you miraculously live, you realize that you have nothing to lose and no time to waste.

Fitz