Scandal Review: Back In The Saddle Again

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I'm incredibly sad that Scandal is over until the fall, but also kind of relieved because now I can breathe again on Thursday nights. This show is insanely good and worthy of every single accolade it has earned in two seasons. 

Insanely good. So good I had to say that twice. 

"White Hat's Back On" was the perfect angst-riddled ending to such a crazy season. And that was one hell of a cliffhanger.

Olivia at Her Desk

The hour started with the team already knowing that Billy Chambers was alive and well and while I'm not sure how they figured that out, I'm happy we didn't spend time showing it. The fact that he wasn't actually dead was well-written by Abby's thinking he had just gone underground and Huck's mini-rant about getting the job done correctly.

Huck: It's true what they say. If you want someone killed right, you've gotta kill them yourself.
Abby: Somebody stitch that on a pillow. | permalink

How very...Huck-like? But he was right. By not taking care of Billy Chambers himself and hiring the job out to Charlie, he left them vulnerable. Charlie, who is a spy who trades in secrets, saw value in keeping Billy Chambers alive, so that's what he did. Theirs became a mutually beneficial relationship where secrets were exchanged and both, most likely, profited from the sharing.

When he once again found himself naked and laying on a tarp, Billy had no options left but to reveal the location of the Cytron card or die. Huck's misgivings about the ease with which Quinn is taking to the spy training were eerie and perhaps foreshadowing a slippery slope down which Quinn might fall next season.

When Huck couldn't torture Billy for the information and broke down, I also broke. But when Quinn picked up the drill and seemed gleeful and later exhilarated, I was kind of intrigued. Just a few months ago we watched Huck revel in his love of killing and now Quinn is on her way there while Huck has lost the taste for it completely. It's an interesting development.

Unlike with Charlie, whom he could promise money, Billy used a good ol' dose of disdain to sway David Rosen. By playing to David's sense of injustice over how his life had turned out since the Cytron card was stolen, Billy was able to persuade David to hand over Defiance. Billy's plan would have been evil and magnificent if only Billy were smarter than David, and after tonight, I'm beginning to think that David's the smartest of them all.

He completely faked his double-crossing. 

I knew he was a good guy! I knew it! After he handed over the card to Billy, I thought all was lost. Defiance may have cost David his job and his life, but in the end it helped him regain an even better position. He could have blown the whistle and gone public with the information on the final Cytron card, but he's seen enough in his short tenure with Pope and Associates to know that when people need to be dead, they have a tendency to end up that way. He was smart to use Defiance for personal gain instead of to try to right the wrong committed in the first place. 

I expect we'll see a David Rosen with renewed senses of rule-following and justice for Scandal season 3. And I expect he'll have a hard time seeing things in black and white after his tenure with Olivia. 

Speaking of time with Olivia, what a night she had.

Fitz loves her and wants her to be the next FLOTUS, but that can't exactly happen because there are things like the fact that Fitz killed Verna standing in the way. Cyrus was given an ultimatum that sends him into cardiac arrest and then a trained assassin showed up to Olivia's house. Jake intercepted the assassin and knew that by doing so, he basically signed his own death sentence.

I don't particularly ship any pairings on Scandal over any others. I try to look at all of them for their merits and their flaws and all of the relationships we've seen so far have been full of both.

But there was something about Jake and Olivia that I liked a great deal. Maybe it was Scott Foley's charm, or the easy way he refused to let her off the hook. The ways in which he challenged her.

Sure, he was creepy and obsessed, (Hey, I did say all the relationships were flawed.) but because of his concern for her, he gave up his entire career. She wanted to fix things for him, or at least to try, but he refused, knowing that it probably wouldn't work.

Jake walked away from his life for Olivia. Fitz talked about doing that, has said it half a dozen times or more that he'll just stop being President, but Jake did it. All because her father wanted to see her and Jake was afraid for Olivia's life.

If there's ever a time to say "I didn't see that coming" it's now. Because I did not see the head of B613 - Jake's boss, the reason Huck is Huck, THE BAD GUY - being Olivia's DAD.

He couldn't just pick up the phone, say "hey, let's grab lunch!" He had to have Jake spy on her for months and then give him a mission to sleep with Olivia. Then he collected the video footage for use at a later date. Talk about daddy issues.

I cannot wait to learn the backstory on this. What's his motive in wanting to keep Olivia and Fitz apart? Is it strictly professional? Does Fitz have more skeletons in his closet? Does Cyrus know that Rowan is Olivia's dad?

Olivia is the character about whom we know the least and this is the kind of bomb that gets dropped in our laps when there's four months until the show returns. 

That she was outed as the President's mistress, either by Mellie or Daddy Dearest, or perhaps someone new entirely, is an interesting turn of events. The plan Olivia came up with for she and Fitz to be together before she sent him back to Mellie was a good one. Rock solid. Even in spite of all of Cyrus' admonishing about all the ways it isn't meant to work between the two of them.

I found myself contemplating how a plan like that would work in the real world for a real President and I have to say, I bought it. All of it. The plan would have worked. But for Olivia, the question was "at what cost"?

Yes, Fitz is her one true love. But he's married. And the President. And things didn't work out so well for Romeo and Juliet. And besides all of that, Huck, Quinn, Harrison and Abby are her family. To be with Fitz, she would have to abandon them, and that's not something she's willing to do.

Scandal season 2 ends with Olivia affirming her commitment to her team, people she'll rely on heavily as she becomes her own client in the wake of her own personal scandal.

What did you think of "White Hat's Back On?" Did the Scandal season finale live up to the hype? Were you shocked by the reveal of Olivia's father?


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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (380 Votes)

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


h, even though Olivia gave up her "one true love", she knows that is only temporary, because she knows Fitz still loves her. She gets to be with her "family" again, and she knew Jake sacrificed a lot for her and loved her. She also knows that the fact that she "gave up" Fitz, means her life is no longer in danger, so of course all is right with her world. She deserves to smile and be happy.
Fitz did not fight because he knows that nothing could be worse than murder, and he understood how Olivia felt. He didn't realise that Cyrus would have told her. Plus he was heartbroken about her sleeping with Jake, but he couldn't hold that against her either. Olivia is a fixer, and he knew that despite how he felt, the advice she gave was right. So he more or less gave in to what she said and went back to Mellie. The Presidency is not an easy thing to give up, and I am glad he went back to Mellie. Besides, it leaves for more drama next season!


Grimmfan, I feel Olivia didn't notice the people watching her, or maybe just thought she was looking hot in that white outfit (which ( love) and they were just staring at her. I was staring at her too and telling my friend I love that top. Plus she had on her head phones so she must have been listening to some nice music and in a total happy place. While I am Team Mellie (because I like Mellie and her drive), I love Olivia and don't want anything bad to happen to her. But I can't help liking Mellie because she does some crazy sh*t when she's in her mood. Tonight she was lost and couldn't believe that Fitz would actually divorce her, so she was mellow tonight, and understandably so.


Really? You are kidding me! The Fitz/Liv scene after the Cyrus reveal...Liv telling Fitz to go back
to Mellie and all that gladiator nonsense!..And Fitz standing there and
NOT fighting for the "great love of his life"? What happened to the "I choose you"???? Then seeing Fitz go back to Mellie.....My stomach turned!! His head on her lap! I almost threw up!! And Olivia's fake "happy, content look, as if everything in her life was peachy" as she leaves her apartment to go jogging....???
Who looks like that after your world has been shattered? (Her affair with Fitz is supposedly over). Who looks like that after being told someone wants to kill you? WHO??? As for Quinn....I always suspected that something was always wrong with her....She will turn out worse than Huck...I will not be surprised if she is hired as an torturer by Olivia's "DAD!!... I am so angry with all the nonsense in this episode...I am glad this season is over..


(continued) - Harrison - with "it just got real" comment
- What was Fitz smirking about when he put his head on Mellie's lap ( a bit of an eww not aww moment) Huge Well Played to David Rosen. I actually clapped at that reveal. Bravo! Well Done Scandal!


First I loved this episode - of course. Previous comments have brought up some good points regarding dear old Papa. But I do not think that Rowen was out to kill Olivia.
- He said to Jake to "Bring her in" not kill - and he said if Jake didn't he would get someone else who would. (The girl that posed as the sweet shop counter lady last week)
- Rowen told Cyrus that he would take care of Olivia and Cyrus needed to deal with Fitz. I think again because Rowen has this serious scary factor going on, Cyrus assumed that take care was kill.
- Does Rowen know about Huck? If so, why didn't he try to use Huck against his daughter? - Rowen is obviously a real power in Washington as he has a political monster like Cyrus shaking in his expensive shoes. A few other points: - How scary was Quinn enjoying putting a Drill in Billy chambers thigh??
- Huck went into the corner in the room again, i felt so bad for him. I hope they let him get better to see his family again - Harrison after Jake left and his "It just got real" perfect comment - Where DID Charlie go?? - What was with that little Smirk that Fitz gave when placing his head on Mellie's lap (that was just a bit ewww more than awww) And a HUGE Well Played to David Rosen. He had me clapping. Bravo! Again I love this show, it's the only show where I actually talk to the TV.


Olivia is suppose to be so smart why did she not see all those people looking at her funny when she was walking through the lobby of her building. I love Olivia's daddy!


Huck and Quinn are great together. Huck doesn't want Quinn to be like him but she is on her way. I see Huck and Quinn getting really close next season. I was hoping David wasn't a bad guy and he isn't. He is better than a gladiator. Olivia is so stupid being happy that Fitz was "going" to give up everything for his mistress. Boy is she stupid! Huck and Harrison love her but the need to sit her down and tell her stop being stuck on stupid! Wake up you are a mistress! Get over yourself! I am so team Mellie. Fitz will never leave her because he is a jerk. Mellie is so much better than him. When this show ends I see it ending with her running for office or being president. People call Mellie a B. but I like Mellie and I hope you gets Fitz and Olivia good!


just supposed to kidnap Olivia not kill her. Anywho, I hope season 3 provides ample backstory on Olivia and Rowan. Especially Olivia.


That was one word, EPIC! I am so happy Fitz and Olivia aren't together. Fitz is such a big baby. The way he throws his little temper tantrums and stuff is so annoying. Gosh all season. I loved the David double crossing, because at first, he was one my list hahaha. I'm glad he isn't a real Gladiator though. Felt bad for Huck. He seems so lost and sad now. I'm beginning to warm up to Quinn though finally. I didn't like her before at all. I felt she didn't have a place for real on the team. I believe everyone knew Cyrus was going to have a heart attack. I mean come on, he has a hissy fit EVERYTIME things don't go his way. I miss the strong evil Mellie. I'm not feeling this weak woman scorned Mellie. Hollis was awesome as always!!! That dude knows how to put together some zingers. I felt Harrison and Abby didn't have much screen time. Especially Harrison. As far as Rowan being Olivia father I am beyond shocked!!!! But this led me to believe the female assassin was supposed to kidnap Olivia, not kill her. Season 3 has to, no if ands or buts about it, give us the rundown on Olivia and Rowan's relationship. Especially on Olivia. We know nothing about her except for the affair with the Fitz.


Holy mother of cyrus! Dad? Seriously? I did NOT see that coming.
I liked that David was the good guy after all, not giving in the cytron cart. Defiance is officially death.
I have no Idea who outed Olivia to the press as the presidents mistress. Maybe Jake from the hole? no idea..
Also loved that Olivia gave up fitz for the only people she can really rely on. really shows their band together.
I really can't go a whole summer without scandal, how do I survive?

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Scandal Season 2 Episode 22 Quotes

[to Hollis] Talking about murder in the White House in front of the President is like talking about sex in the Vatican in front of the Pope. We do not do it.


Huck: It's true what they say. If you want someone killed right, you've gotta kill them yourself.
Abby: Somebody stitch that on a pillow.