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Scandal Review: Power Corrupts

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Scandal dropped bombs and shocked my face off tonight. My eyes are still wide open and, as is often the case with this show, I'm having trouble forming a complete sentence because so many sentences are flying into my head at once.

Total. Game Changer. 

On "Nobody Likes Babies," some alliances were tested and renewed while others were broken, perhaps for good.

Olivia and Fitz on Scandal

"Nobody Likes Babies" picked up right where "Truth or Consequences" left off: in the elevator.

Just as the doors began to close, Huck squeaked in with Charlie and Hollis and saved Hollis' life. If, that is, Hollis agrees not to take the deal being offered to him by David Rosen. As long as he doesn't take the deal and rat out the others involved in election rigging, Huck will protect him. If, however, he decides to talk, Huck won't get in Charlie's way. 

Hollis is now one of the safest men alive, which seems to be how it always works out, right?

Meanwhile, Olivia wasted no time putting it together that Verna was the one who hired Becky since Verna was the one who had dropped the tip about Hollis and the burner phone. Verna's quest for power, and for protecting the power of her own legacy, cost people their lives. Killing Fitz, to her, was a way to end their dilemma.

She gambled on the fact that she would be dead before anyone discovered that she was the one who hired Becky, and she lost. But she couldn't die without clearing her conscience.

By telling Fitz what they did and why, she robbed the others of the chance to tell him and sully her name. This is a woman for whom reputation was everything. Confessing her sins to Fitz was her way of still looking out for herself above all. But she underestimated Fitz' reaction to being given such news. Because he killed her after hearing it.

Yes. 

Fitz killed Verna. The President is a murderer.

As he was walking toward the hospital door, I had a quick back and forth in my head about whether he was about to do what it seemed like he was about to do and then he did it. He just went over to the dying woman and pulled off her oxygen mask. 

Whether he did it to protect Olivia, Mellie and Cyrus, to protect himself, or because he was shot in the head, (or, most likely a combination of reasons) we'll likely know soon enough. But he did it. And I'm still shocked by it.

Now to change gears, I loved the parallel scenes in tonight's episode. The first Fitz-Olivia scene had him begging her to wait for him. Once she saw Edison again and realized that she would never have "painful, difficult, devastating, love" with him, she knew she would wait for Fitz for as long as it took. But by that point, he was crushed by what he had learned. And he used that information to crush Olivia. Their final scene together was a heartbreaking mirror of their conversation in Cyrus' office.

The Mellie-Fitz reunion was also heartbreaking, even though I don't think it was supposed to be. He's correct in that she's always shown him her true intentions. (And even though Olivia has, too, he has no way of knowing that right now.) Mellie has stood by him through his affair which, until he murdered someone, was the worst thing he could have done. While there's is a marriage of a shared interest in power and political station, I'm interested in seeing how this plays out. Will he still want a divorce in three episodes? Are they capable of real tenderness with one another?

Marriages, it seems, were key tonight.

Cyrus nearly had his own husband killed to prevent James from testifying, but in the end, he couldn't do it. He loves James more than he loves power, but his speech about how he wanted to be President was so powerful I believed Cyrus capable of having Charlie complete the job.

Cyrus: [to James] I wasn't made to be the Chief of Staff. Do you know what I was made to be? I was made to be the President of the United States. I was made to lead the nation. I was made to ensure this country's place in the world for generations to come. I would've been great at that. I have the stones. I have backbone. I have the will. I would have been a great President. But guess what, I'm fairly short, and I'm not so pretty, and I really like having sex with men, so instead of being President of this land, that I love, I get to be the guy behind the President of the United States, and sure I have power. I influence decisions. I help steer the country. But I'll never be in the history books. My name will never be on an airport or a doctrine. Being the guy behind the guy is as far as my road goes. | permalink

What this makes me hope for is a scene or an episode from the time when Cyrus first latched on to Fitz. When and where did they meet? How did they become friends? Clearly, Cyrus saw Fitz as the ticket to the power he loves.

James loves Cyrus more than he loves either their daughter or himself. Enough to perjure himself in front of the Grand Jury and derail David Rosen's case about the election rigging in Defiance. 

Poor David Rosen cannot catch a break in court. Or with Abby. Despite discovering his confession of love on the CDs, I knew she would betray David after Harrison's reminder that they are Gladiators, but I was hoping she hadn't needed to and that someone else had gotten to the card first. I guess when Abby said "over a cliff" she really meant it, despite what it seemed earlier this season.

So, TV Fanatics, what did you think of "Nobody Likes Babies?" Have you had a chance to pick your jaws up off the floor about Fitz killing Verna? 

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (224 Votes)

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

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(cont) I knew what Fitz was going to do when Verna mentioned his father. Verna said the magic word that unfortunately hastened her speedy death. I sat up on my couch in alarm thinking, "Oh no. They are NOT going to go there, right?" I was shocked. He has truly become a darker character. I still think Fitz' response to Olivia in the end was somewhat unbelievable. After all, these two have always talked about everything. He would have given her the opportunity to explain herself before walking away. Ms. Rhimes has created a great show. If you're upset about the show, she's done her job. If you like the show, she's done her job. If a writer can evoke a response whether negative or positive about characters and their shenanigans, the writer has succeeded.

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@Miranda, thank you for your great reviews on Scandal. I've enjoyed the show from its inception, and this is my first comment on your board. (I sometimes leave comments on my other favorite show, The Vampire Diaries.) Loved this episode...the twists and turns. Everyone did something we didn't expect for them to do from Cyrus ordering a hit on James to Quinn seeking Huck's services to murder the man who destroyed her life. Yikes! I still like Olivia. I'm still rooting for her and her Gladiators. Is it right to marry someone you don't love? Would that that have been unfair to Edison? I love the shades of grey that exists for these characters. I love Harrison and Huck's loyalty. I loved that Cyrus revealed his true ambition and how he'll never ever achieve it. How sad... Mind blowing. I knew what Fitz was going to do when Verna mentioned his father. Verna said the buzz word that unfortunately hastened her death. I sat up on my couch in alarm thinking, "Oh no. They are NOT going to go there, right?" I was shocked. Fitz has truly become a darker character. @DC I agree with you. I still think Fitz' response to Olivia in the end was somewhat unbelievable. After all, these two have always talked about everything. He would have given her the opportunity to explain herself before walking away. Ms. Rhimes has created a great show. If you're upset about the show, she's done her job. If you like the show, she's done her job. If a writer can evoke a response whether negative or positive about characters and their shenanigans, the writer has succeeded.

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I have been in love with this show from the beginning and feel the winter finale was the best episode I have ever seen. As a result, it is difficult for me to criticize the show BUT I don't like the changes of format (from a different scandal every week to a night soap) nor do I like the depths that the protagonist has sunken to. It was perfect the way it was...brilliant professional lives & messy personal ones. Now, it's a bunch of rats fighting for the cheese.

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I saw it coming with Fitz... but I was sitting there with my hands over my mouth, eyes wide, thinking, "They are NOT going to do this!" And they did. And not to make excuses for Fitz, but he was in such a horrible position at that point. If she gave it all up to Rosen, he would be stripped of his presidency and his wife, beloved mistress, and chief of staff would go to prison. He didn't stuff a pillow over her face but was passive in that he just kept her from the oxygen that was barely helping her survive; therefore, he probably looked at it as being not quite as bad as murder. What is ridiculous is that he turned away from Olivia without ever hearing her side of the story. That part didn't ring true for me. He's called her his great love this whole time and now we're expected to believe he can just coldly turn her away?

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I used to love this show, it had the backstage of politics, despicable people, but also fair and honest people who were just caught up in the middle of it in Olivia and Fitz, but right now, all I see is just how people can't resist power. This show's gotten too much like reality with all this corruption and unhappy people.

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@Natalie and @CJ I couldn´t agree more; since the beginning of the show one of the things that annoys me the most and makes me want to scream is exactly "Olivia has her reasons"! And none of those people are a role model to anyone, not even the president! That would be okay to me if they weren´t portrayed as if they were! And frankly, I´m giving up on watching it!

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These are not good people. Live is loyal to Noone but Fitz. What's the point of being part of a team when they are willing to screw you over every time. Harrison sounds like he belongs to a cult bot a team . Olivia saved them? I but no one asks why? Because Olivia is no white hat. Everything she does has selfish reasons. The her team are not Gladiator. They are stooges and yes men.

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What kills the show (for me) slowly is that they justify Olivia's behaviour in every episode. I swear, if I ever have to hear "I don't need a reason. Olivia has her reasons" every again, I'm going to scream.
I've nothing against dark heroes... I love Dexter, Breaking Bad, Damages and so on, but at least these show are (mostly) true to their message and you know these people are evil. In Scandal on the other hand they're acting like Olivia's an angel, when in fact she just plain horrible. She knows from at least two people that they've killed or planned to kill people, but she didn't do anything. That doesn't make her a hero...

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OH-MY-GOD!!! I was scared of what this episode will bring and boy was I right...this review was spot on. Maybe I'll think of something to write later cos right now my emotions are still in shreds.

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Honestly? For me, this is show isn´t more than a soap opera...not my cup of tea:(

Scandal Season 2 Episode 13 Quotes

Olivia: I don't want normal, and easy, and simple. I want..
Edison: What? What do you want, Olivia?
Olivia: I want painful, difficult, devastating, life-changing, extraordinary love. Don't you want that, too?
Edison: Love is not supposed to be painful or devastating. Love isn't supposed to hurt, Liv.

This isn't theoretical anymore, Liv. It's real. Say you'll wait for me. We love each other. We belong together. So say it.

Fitz