Scandal Review: Father Knows Best

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Are we sure Scandal isn't going on hiatus after that episode chock full of cliffhangers? Because maybe it should just so its viewers can recover. One week might not be long enough, though.

But then again, if we had to wait longer than one week to get answers following Scandal Season 3 Episode 7 there might be a global mutiny. 

Mellie's In the Spotlight

There were three stories competing for the spotlight tonight, so to facilitate discussing everything, or almost everything, let's break this down into three parts. Ready? Okay...

Mellie, Mellie, Mellie

We flashed back to 15 years earlier before Fitz became governor of California. Big Jerry brought in a younger, bearded Cyrus Beene to manage Fitz' campaign. Fitz didn't want to run on his military record and tried to get out of running at all if he couldn't do it his way. 

Big Jerry bellowed that he knew what was best and that Grants didn't take orders and Fitz would run on his military service and that settled it.

Then he raped Mellie after telling her about how Fitz shot down that plane and he covered it up.

There has always - always - been something about her character that I've found sympathetic. Always. Yes, there was the time when Fitz said she had been given to him like a prize, their marriage arranged by their fathers, but there has always been something about her that has been sort of bright eyed where Fitz was concerned.

Ever since interviewing Bellamy Young way back in Scandal season 2 and listening to her say that Mellie is a woman who loves Fitz, it's just always been something I've believed about the character. She's been scorned and nasty and mean. She is a monster. But part of her has always loved him.

Tonight we saw that Big Jerry took her and instead of telling Fitz, she used that information to get Fitz what he needed, which was an apology. Yes, that apology led to Fitz running for office and winning and then going on to be the President, but there was a moment where Mellie weighed her options and chose to benefit from the incident instead of go public and lose everything. 

Big Jerry isn't the kind of man who loses and anyone who says Mellie allowed herself to be raped and had the presence of mind in that moment to be thinking toward the future should probably rewatch because that's not the scene I just saw.

I just saw a woman be violated in one of the worst possible ways limp to her bedroom, broken and abused... and then get up the next morning and use blackmail to guilt and shame her attacker. I'm not saying she was right. I'm just saying she didn't plan the attack.

She also didn't plan to carry the secret that her firstborn son might belong to her father-in-law and not her husband either, but she's lived with that for 15 years as well.

Part of her nastiness comes from looking around at everything she's given up - her career, her ambitions, her self - in order to get Fitz to the Oval Office since there's no real power that comes to her from being the First Lady. The interview made that painfully obvious. It was pandering and Mellie knew it and hated every artificial minute of it. 

Fitz' affair is insult to the injury that has become her life and she's the one vilified by the public for his indiscretions. Fitz earns a gold star for standing up for Mellie during the interview and shifting the focus and blame for the affair back onto himself. There's a good guy inside him somewhere.

Mama Pope

There is a good guy inside Fitz, and that good guy neither knew that Olivia's mother was on the plane he shot down nor did he know that Rowan Pope was Olivia's father. (I'm guessing he has a professional last name for instances like this one where his identity needs to be kept secret.) 

After last week, I thought that might be the case. That Fitz didn't know Rowan was related to Olivia. I did not, however, see her mother being alive and in prison coming. 

Who IS this woman? Why has she spent 20 years in prison? What could she possibly have done? Was she a criminal and Rowan was tasked with killing her but he couldn't do that so he squirreled her away somewhere? Did he think she was dead and then learn later that she'd faked it? 

So many questions now!

Olivia brought the team on board to help her find answers about her mother's death and it remains to be seen whether that was a smart move or not. They did uncover some leads and gather some information, and Olivia works best when she's working on something.

She can definitely use all the hugs Abby can give her right now, that's for sure. But opening this case up in the OPA offices inadvertently exposed Quinn to B613.

Quarlie? Chinn? Quinnlie? Charn?

Quinn and Charlie grew closer this week, romantically and to a deadly degree.

After stoking the bloodlust within her, Charlie invited Quinn along on what he claimed to be a quick file grabbing job. He pretended to send Quinn in first to disarm the guard and the alarms. What he really sent her in to do was murder a man.

Using the ol' "this pen is dead!" trick to grab the guard's hand, Quinn administered a dose of M99, which caused the man to die. The man was one of the last remaining people to have been anywhere near the flight Fitz shot down before the plane took off. His information may have proven useful, but Command got there first.

Now Quinn belongs to B613. Uh oh.

Other points to ponder:

  • Sally's husband isn't all that interested in women. Cyrus and Mellie ordered an escort to lure the man away from his marital bed, but as it turns out, Daniel Douglas likes men. James, in particular. Horn Rimmed Glasses was way too young for Sally Langston anyway.
  • James lost his job. The way he ran into the cocktail party panicking, I thought he'd broken another Defiance-level story.
  • There was no David Rosen this week and that's always a little sad.

What did you think of Scandal Season 3 Episode 7? What was your favorite cliffhanger of the night? Were you shocked at the way Quinn was brought in to B613? Why is Mama Pope in prison?


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


Shonda Rhimes was on the radio recently talking about Grey's and Scandal. Scandal, of course has been taking off and this episode today was a clear indication why. Bellamy Young. Standing O! I bring up Shonda's radio interview because she talked about how the show seems to be writing itself. In the beginning, she wanted the president to be divorced but still in office. He of course would be with Olivia and you can see the road ahead. However, once the actors were cast things changed, chemistry changed, the cast breathed a different life into the characters and they took on a life of their own. Mellie was only supposed to be around for a few episodes but of course this has changed and never have I been more glad. Shonda also said that she only had so many scandals to tell but I have to disagree. There are far too many avenues to take with the scandals of Washington D.C., she could spend years telling their stories. The only concern I have is Bellamy Young's performance will be noticed by others and she will be picked up for other shows.
I have been talking about Olivia being off her game for awhile, thought she was back on it. However, yet again she is letting her emotions rule her head. SHE NEEDS TO THINK. If she wants to know what her father is up to she has to start thinking like him, even I knew he didn't kill her mother. Her mother taking all those trips was also extremely shady, wouldn't be surprised if her mother is involved in the intelligence community. Why does everyone assume men are the only ones involved in espionage, this is the most sexist outlook. Women have been involved in espionage since Delilah, some might say Eve. We must broaden our perspective.
Quinn, was it really that easy? One kiss or two and she literally places her life in the hands of a known murderer who uses women to get what he wants. The scorn on his face was utterly heartbreaking. I don't know what road they will take this story line but it better be Charlie dead by her hand at the end.

@ Aykme

Quinn killing Charlie - that would be a nice twist and definitely unexpected !

@ Excited+Fan

But.. but.. I like Charlie..


Not everybody who is pro-Olivia-and-Fitz is anti-Mellie. Lots of us figured there was a backstory that would explain why Mellie was the way she was.
So last night Mellie made me want to scream at her and cry for her all at the same time. I cried for her because no woman deserves to be or asks to be raped. But I wanted to scream at her for not telling Fitz what happened. Fitz already hated his father, and would have been more than happy to bring Big Gerry down.
Mellie and Fitz's marriage had a real chance; if Mellie had just trusted Fitz enough to tell him what happened. They would have had a real partnership. And that was another reason I wanted to cry for her. Because if Mellie had told Fitz, there is the real possibility that their marriage wouldn't have died.
I feel for Mellie even as I believe that Olivia and Fitz really do have a connection that only some people are lucky enough to find.


Last night episode was worth waiting for. We knew Olivia's mother wasn't dead because she never got on the plane. We knew Quinn was headed for B613. We even knew Cyrus and Mellie would try to set the V.P.'s husband up. Now let's get to what we didn't know. Mellie may have given birth to her husband's brother after being raped by her father in law. The V.P.'s husband is into men. Cyrus just may be sleeping with the answer to one of his problems. Will Quinn become a double agent; working for OPA and reporting to B613? Will Cyrus pimp James on his quest to remain in the Whitehouse? How did Olivia's father become Command? Who is Jake really...friend or foe? What's the backstory on Columbus? I CAN'T WAIT TO FIND OUT!

Ayana kemba

Awesome, awesome show! I have to admit that over the last few weeks my love for Scandal was waning a bit, but last nights show shot it right back up to deeply in love. I want to first say that I have ALWAYS stood by Mellie's character and defended her brand of crazy. I have never defended Liv , nor have I been a fan of her and Fitz' love affair. I have and always will be team wife! I like Kerry Washington ok, but I have never felt like she is that great of an actress, nor do I feel like she makes the show. I think she is cast well enough for the part, but to me Mellie and Cy have always made the show. For some reason Kerry has been getting on my nerves a lot this season. I can't figure out what it is. Though I suspect it has something to do with her over pronouncing her words (petty pet peeve of mine, I know) . I have never been a fan of Quinn's and quite frankly feel that she doesn't grab our attention because she was poorly cast for the role. I might be the only doofus who didn't see the mama Pope being alive thing coming. Nice twist and can't wait to see where it goes!


I am so over Fitz and Olivia. Epic love story? No. Quinn is so stupid and she deserves what she gets. I'm sick of her character. Mellie needs to just dump Fitz. Good episode. And I love Jake!


Poor Mellie. I'm mostly in it for Mellie and Cyrus. If Mellie is going to be stuck as First Lady with nothing to do for another 2 or 3 seasons, I'm going to give up Scandal.


I felt sorry for Kellie in this episode. She appeared to be a young woman that was groomed to stand by her man.
In contrast, Olivia was reckless. I understand it is painful to believe your dad killed your mom. However, she is placing her friends in danger. I don't have an appreciation for this side of her.
Quinn, Quinn - we all saw her getting in over her head.
Lastly, I wasn't surprised mother Pope is alive. The fans gave that away a week or so ago. A couple of questions are - is she a terrorist or is dad Pope protecting her?


I've always admired Mellie's resourcefulness and looked forward to her next move with great anticipation. But now, I actually feel for her. I'll admit it, I thought Mellie was about Mellie and Fitz was her ticket BUT now I see she has paid dearly for Fitz's success. She truly loved him but this is not the whole story people. Can't be. While watching the loving couple, I wondered what happened. We saw what happened to Mellie BUT we don't know what changed for Fitz. There's more story to tell and I'm excited to tune in and see. Until then, Mellie's in my good graces. It was fairly obvious that Quinn would become a part of B613 and Liv's mom was alive. We just didn't know how it would play out. VP's husband was a surprise and I wonder if Cy will pimp out James. This should be interesting. Finally, I don't think Papa Pope is as sinister as he's being made out to be. I think he's in crisis management mode.....just like Liv.


So we now know why Fitz shot down the plane.. or not. That was a rather anti-climactic reveal for me. And, Liv's mother is still alive. Who didn't see that coming from a hundred miles away? And to all the Mellie haters - boo to you. This woman is hard as nails and she never has to prove it to anyone with some steely exterior or a white coat. I say, CHEERS to Mellie for probably being the most human and awesome character on Scandal.


I knew Rowan did not kill his wife and I knew she wasn't dead. But why is she in prison---a male prison if I am correct? Huck tired to warn Quinn but she would not listen and did she not remember Sugarman use to use women to get what he wanted. Did Quinn really think she was smarter than those other women? Fitz is a weak jerk and I love Mellie more. I am so team Mellie! Rowan is father of the year compared to Big Jerk! I don't understand why two strong women cheapen themselves for Fitz..he is not work it. As for him loving Mellie in the past and so in love with Livie now...please his love is toxic! This is such a good show! Team Mellie 100%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

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Scandal Season 3 Episode 7 Quotes

Mellie: I just don't understand why I have to apologize for his affair.
Cyrus: Because that's how it works.

[to Cyrus] You control everything. Which is precisely why I want to kill you and have sex with you at the same time.