Ahhh! Scandal!! Allow me a moment to lose my mind a little bit about how amazing that mid-season finale was.
THAT is how to close one chapter of a season and open a whole new one when the series returns in February.
New alliances were formed on Scandal Season 3 Episode 10 and old alliances were renewed. And someone dropped the L word on Olivia.
There needs to be an unspoken - or spoken - rule that if you're a character on Scandal you should scan your set for pointy objects to see if you might die.
First it was Gideon with the scissors and then it was Daniel Douglas with the letter opener. On second thought, maybe they should just look out for wayward office supplies that might be used to kill someone.
The entire opening sequence of "A Door Marked Exit" was impeccable. The scenes of post-phone call Sally interspersed with murderous rage Sally were the perfect way to reveal how unhinged she became during their argument. It's was also an interesting way to reveal all the many reasons for which she might have murdered him.
Unrequited love, his infidelity, her ambition.
That scene reveals that theirs was yet another broken marriage on this series. None of the married couples are happy.
While I'm of the opinion that at one time, Fitz and Mellie were happy together and don't buy that theirs was always a marriage of convenience and political ambition in their eyes (certainly their fathers who flung them together saw their potential), that's what it's become. And it's what Sally and Daniel Douglas' marriage always was, even if she didn't see or believe it herself.
James and Cyrus' wasn't a marriage of convenience, but it certainly wasn't always sunshine and roses. It definitely isn't now.
Even Rowan and Maya's marriage wasn't one built on trust. She was stealing government secrets from him and selling them and she convinced him to blow up a plane full of innocent people!
All of these marriages have become mutually beneficial partnerships, so it sort of asks what Shonda Rhimes is trying to say about marriage. (Or maybe she's just trying to make an interesting and drama-filled television show.)
Okay, enough navel-gazing about the marriages of Scandal...
Cyrus called Charlie and Quinn in to clean up after Sally and realized his responsibility in Daniel Douglas' death. That he and Mellie could appreciate how convenient the murder was for their efforts to keep Sally on their ticket was true to both of their characters and well-played.
There's a great chance that Sally will still use this to run on her own ticket. Or that she'll try. How far she'll get in that endeavor is anybody's guess.
David Rosen knows her secret thanks to some NSA wire-tapping and a junior engineer who "remembered him from that CIA mole thing."
This is really my one complaint with the episode.
James went to David with his suspicions that Daniel Douglas had been murdered and he was turned away. Now there's a piece of technology with proof and it all feels a little like Defiance 2.0. If it gets David back into OPA somehow, maybe I'll look the other way, but I'm not really loving the voice recording of Sally Langston's phone call and the fact that this junior engineer took it straight to a U.S. District Attorney.
We'll see how it pans out but with only 8 episodes remaining in the season, I'm hoping this is over with quickly. How it would end quickly and without coming back onto Fitz I have no idea. I trust Shonda to figure this out without weighing the story down.
Everything about Charlie and Quinn is working right now. Quinn is a more interesting character the darker she goes, and Katie Lowes teased that Quinn is about to undergo yet another evolution. Being completely rebuffed by Huck and seeing just how deep his allegiance to Olivia runs seems to have done something to her.
Whether she feeling continued shame at going behind everyone's back and continuing her spy training or whether she's being the rebellious and experimental teenager, Quinn's in a dangerous place right now. OPA is the light and Charlie is the darkness.
Who knows what will happen to the two of them now that Jake is running B-613!?
Jake is the new Command.
The two moments tied for best of the night were Fitz and Rowan's interactions in the Pentagon and Jake's goodbye to Olivia. And they're so deeply interconnected in my mind that it's hard to discuss them separately so I'm not even going to try.
First, Rowan's "you're a boy" speech to Fitz was amazingly written and delivered. Round of applause for Joe Morton! (Check out more Scandal quotes here.)
He summed up what a lot of people feel about Fitz. He's very often not a man. He's been handed much of what he has and he hasn't really had to work for it. People in his life have done everything for him to make sure he's gotten where he is. In a roundabout way, Rowan Pope made him President the day he sent him to fly the mission that took down the plane.
Rowan's belief that Olivia is Fitz' way out, his "door marked exit," was spot on. She's his escape, and whether that escape will only be temporary or will someday be forever remains to be seen, as is what their relationship would look like should they ever get that opportunity to be a regular couple.
I feel quite certain there will be no jam-making, partly because Olivia Pope isn't the kind of woman who just walks away from the life she's created for herself, no matter how lonely that personal life may sometimes be.
I'll have all sorts of people disagreeing with my next statement and I'm bracing myself, but it has to be said.
After tonight, even though Jake walked away from Olivia to become Command, I'm still pulling for a Jake-Olivia romance to be given a real shot after their interactions tonight. I'm not even sure I can articulate why.
Maybe it's the way Jake puts her in her place when she needs to be put there. Maybe it's the way he changed his "loved" to "love." Maybe it's Scott Foley's pecs in that black spy shirt.
I don't know. But I do know I'm adding a Jake-Olivia relationship to my Christmas list.
Jake as the new Command and seeing him work closely with Fitz will make a nice and complicated triangle out of those three come February.
Maybe that's what I'm adding to my list. The opportunity to see Olivia in either relationship and to have either relationship be equally as believable as the other.
What did you think of Scandal Season 3 Episode 10? What do you think of Jake as the new Command? How do you feel about Quinn going rogue from OPA and the recording being brought to David Rosen?
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.