Scandal Review: You Only Live Once

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There's a part of me who is really glad there's only one more episode of Scandal left this year. After episodes like Scandal Season 3 Episode 9, I'm not sure how many more twists I can take in one sitting!

Aside from one shock that wasn't all that shocking, "YOLO" set up next week's mid-season finale in fine fashion.

Jake To the Rescue

HuckleberryQuinn most likely met their demise tonight, and after watching Huck go Spin on Quinn, I can't blame her if she's afraid of him now. I wasn't the one wrapped in duct tape having my teeth pulled out and I was still afraid for my life. Her "he hurt me, he hurt me" to Charlie hurt me. Huck was her non-romantic person and she never envisioned that he would be able to turn on her.

She really should've known better. She should've heeded his warnings to quit while she was ahead. 

Quinn has wanted to be a badass super spy for a while now, but she never really knew what that meant. Sure, she tortured a guy to get information, but things change when you're on the other side of the drill bit. 

Guillermo Diaz is so good at being creepy that it's really hard to believe that he's not a crazy sociopathic torturer-murderer who'll do anything to protect Olivia. Really hard to believe. Seriously. Someone get this man an Emmy!

I know he called her his girlfriend, but I still can't figure out if Charlie is actually interested in Quinn or if he's playing a part in order to "activate his asset," but I'm interested in the two of them as a couple, probably because Charlie is interesting. 

He's not broken like Huck. He doesn't seem to want out of B613 like Jake. He's content being a super spy who tortures and kills people for a living. He revels in it. Quinn knows who he is and what he does and doesn't seem to care.

Watching him try to deal with her crying was a funny moment in an otherwise heavy episode. It was a well-placed moment of release from the night's tension. Now that he's walked her into Wonderland, things are definitely heating up.

Does Charlie know that she has the syringe? What will he do when he realizes why she's there? Is she there to kill Rowan like we think she is? That seems entirely too easy and is but one cliffhanger to be resolved next week.

Another cliffhanger that probably won't have a resolution next week, and which wasn't really all that shocking, is the fact that Mama Pope is really the big bad. Papa Pope was protecting his baby girl by squirreling his wife away in a prison for the past 22 years. Rowan's line to Charlie about how he doesn't like to kill people but sometimes sees it as a necessary evil brings up two opposing thoughts.

First, his statement that he doesn't like to kill people lends explanation to why he had Maya escorted off the plane and has kept her alive all these years. However, his belief that sometimes killing is necessary is, well, if she's a terrorist and he could have stopped her, why didn't he? Was it solely because he loved her? Because she was the mother of his child?

There's much about Rowan Pope which doesn't make sense, and of all the things that don't make sense, I want to hear his reasoning for why he got his supposed-terrorist wife off the plane. Not that I'm condoning killing her, but he was willing to blow up over 300 innocent people to make it look like she died only to hole her up in prison. Didn't it make sense just to kill her? 

Yes, probably. Which is also probably exactly why it didn't happen. All's fair in love and television, right?

Speaking of love, Cyrus and James!! Mellie's words of wisdom to Cyrus were sort of breathtaking in their devastation and heartbrokenness.

[to Cyrus] It hurts until it doesn't. You think it's going to break you, but it won't. You may not sleep as well at night, but you will be fine. Numb, but numb and fine are the same.


I kept waiting for Cyrus to confront James about Daniel Douglas and laughed at every purposeful sex joke James made until that point. He was baiting Cyrus, which Cyrus knew, and we knew, and it was grand. When he finally blew up, that was grand, too. 

What wasn't--isn't--grand is that Cyrus put his own husband in that position in the first place, especially without telling him. If he'd said to James "look, here's what I need, can you do this?" James, despite his morals, likely would've acquiesced in order to help Cyrus because he loves his husband. The man perjured himself for goodness sake! Doesn't that earn him some shred of an explanation in any and all of Cyrus' future schemes?

It should. But because Cyrus didn't tell his husband what was going on, he's not only potentially lost his husband, but he's turned Sally Langston into a murderer and now she's off the ticket anyway. Probably.

In a fit of rage, jealousy, sadness, some other emotion that might cause people to kill their spouses, Sally killed Daniel Douglas for having an affair with another man. RIP, Horn-rimmed Glasses! 

If the Grant campaign smelled awful because of the President's affair, it will be positively putrid after the public finds out that Sally murdered her husband. 

There's a two-way tie for best parts of the night for me. I mean, aside from all the other best parts of the night. 

One of the best parts of the night was Jake and Fitz in the Oval talking about being heroes and helping Olivia. Was that a boatload of hotness and testosterone or what? Yikes! I need to turn on the air-conditioning after that!

Jake had some excellent points about how Fitz doesn't do his own heavy lifting and others get swept into his wake. Jake never asked for a life as part of B613, but that's the life he ended up living. Hearing it like that sort of puts the two men into new light.

They both love and care for Olivia. They both want to be a hero. Her hero. And yes, Olivia does need one of those. She's a strong woman, but much of her strength is given to others. At some point she needs someone to be strong for her. Fitz may have meant that as a jab at Jake, but he's just as guilty of wanting to protect and save her as Jake is.

I loved hearing Olivia's mother talk about the life she imagined her daughter would be living because so much of what Maya envisioned while she rotted away in a prison cell is what it seems Olivia imagined for herself.

With all the talk of Vermont and jam and kids, it seems that Olivia dreamed up a different life for herself than the one she's currently living. She dreamed of a life with laughter and how many times have we actually seen Olivia Pope laugh in three seasons?

Olivia had the opportunity to have that life with Edison, but she turned it down. At some point she has to ask herself if that's the life she really wants and whether or not she would be content to live it. I think it isn't and she wouldn't. 

What did you think of Scandal Season 3 Episode 8? Where do you think HuckleberryQuinn are headed? Are you shocked that Sally killed Daniel Douglas? 


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (168 Votes)

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


@Elijah's Gladiator
Liv figured out her dad was Command when Huck lost it and talked about B613 and Wonderland. Liv had one of Rowans pens with the word Wonderland printed on it. I remember that episode well. But that does not explain why she hasn't told the others that she has not always known.
And while I'm talking, I also don't think Rowan took his wife off the plane simply because he wanted to protect Olivia. He wasn't fooled by Mya and there is some other reason why he kept her alive. Anyway, did you notice that Rowan never really told Liv she was right? He only nodded his head ever so slightly and Liv ran with it as an admission that her theory was right.


Ok people if Rowan locked Momma Pope up for a reason now! I am loving Rowan more and more each epi. I loved when Momma Pope told Livie she was like her father. Having people run around and do her bidding, people who would die for you and Livie got mad. Momma Pope read her in know time! Liv likes power and she loves being the mistress of the most powerful man in the world. She could never settle down and have kids...where is the power in that? She likes when she says jump Fitz's jumps! I am liking Jake more and more each week. I love how he tells Liv off and Fitz's off! I am sorry but I was laughing when Huck went Spin on Quinn! I was Creepy when Huck licked her face! I like Quinn and Sugarman together but you have to remember romancing women is part of his game. I think Quinn is being super spy to prove to the other Gladiators she is a Glaidiator too. I think she is trying to get Rowan to prove herself to the others and that is why she has the needle in her hand for next week. I don't think Sugarman is after Rowan. He likes working for Rowan. It looks like James did sleep with Hornrimed Glasses! I thought he knew the photog was there but when Cyrus was telling him about it he really looked shocked! It was funny how he was baiting Cyrus! Also the talk that HRG and James had about HRG being straight was really telling and sad. Next week looks really good! I see where Mellie gets a love interest...YES YES YES!


I finally gave in and started watching Scandal. And let me tell you, this show is AMAZING !!! How many times I thought I was going to have a heart attack ?! Countless times ! Cyrus and Mellie's lines are always the best ! I remember that episode where Mellie was going to have that interview and Cy kept running up and down, shouting and stuff and I was just laughing out loud ! Now, the Olitz couple, I have rooted for them, but since mid season 2, I just can't take it anymore ! Then the writers had to throw Jake in the mix ( a character that I really like) but he is useless as Liv keeps running back to Fitz. So Jake is not a love interest anymore but an addition to the OPA. Disgusting !
Quinn...she had it coming. How many times Huck warned her to stop asking questions ! I like her and Charlie though... I know, twisted. He was so funny trying to make her stop crying !
Momma Pope being the bad guy ? Really ? Why ? We can't forget that Rowan is evil ! So before I make up my mind, I will wait and see.
Poor James ! I can't believe Cy would pimp out his husband and be mad ! SERIOUSLY ! I love to hate Cyrus but come on ! Divorce seems a more than appropriate response ! Mellie's reaction when he started crying... I freaked out too. So out of character ! Her speech was heartbreaking though... That woman... wow.
Cy pushing Sally like that, I swear, I didn't see her kill her husband. For a second, when she saw the pictures I thought she knew, but then remembered her talking to her husband before and dropped that idea. DAMN ! How is Olivia going to fix that ! Oh they will call her and Fitz will probably not win because right now, this is killing any chance he had !
What a show !


Have we discussed the idea that Olivia's mother blew up the plane or she planted a bomb on the plane and the plane was to turn into a missile and detonate on impact. Remember Rowan doesn't handle the small incidents of government, he handles the large scale terrorist attacks. He probably knows the location of all the nukes. This would also explain why the plane was shot down. Yes, we would shoot down a plane that has turned into a missile. On the Quinn note, I would say Quinn is now a junior in spy school. She will become a senior when she finally figures out that Charlie killed her fiancee and she slept with his killer. However what will really hurt is that Huck and everyone in OPA knew as well. Every spy knows that you cannot trust anyone. Her last vestiges of trust will be torn away. I will give it up to actress her transition was not sold to me until she walked into Rowan's office with a needle and the look of resolve to her fate. I was sold. I can see Quinn as a future assassin. Its the same look that Katniss had at the end of Hunger Games 2, for those who have seen it. I do want to mention Fitz talk with Sally and then Cyrus where Mellie was MUM. Unbelievable, I didn't know Fitz wanted the Presidency until that absolute moment when he handed Cyrus his ass. Where has this Fitz been all this time, Mellie was scared to talk while he raged. He practically looked presidential and for the first time, I believed that he wants this job. Its really true what they say, you don't know what you have until you lose it. I have always been an advocate for putting Fitz out of his misery and let him run off with Olivia leave the Desk behind and make whatever kinds of jam. I want to see more of this Fitz.

@ Aykme

Charlie didn't kill her fiance. It was Becky, remember, Huck's girlfriend ? She's the one who sent the bomb. I loved your analogy about Katniss in Catching Fire !
I too was shocked when Fitz shouted at Cyrus and told him that he screwed up ! Amazing !

@ Emy

Thanks for the clarification. See you after the finale. Still believe Quinn will be the one to kill Charlie, I don't need Quinn to be saved, I need her to save herself. She needs to save herself.


Will someone please explain how Olivia can be sure her Mom is the bad one? I can't see how the name Marie Wallace is proof that Mom is the monster. After all, Rowan could have been the one who gave her the name. And am I the only one mad that Olivia has yet to tell/explain to anyone that she only recently found out about her Dad? She offered no explanation to Huck or Fitz - leaving both to believe she knew all along. How long she knew would determine if I trusted her or not.

Drea xoxo
@ Dee

it was explained earlier in the current series how she came about of her father's occupation. that's how huck is able to survive and not be killed. however i will agree that i too don't see why Liv can't explain her father to them


Huck and Quinn are working together. All a sham even with the teeth pulling.

@ Terry

I forth that ! Lots of unexplained things and gaps ! It felt sooooooo real though ! Quinn had it coming and I thought Huck was teaching her a lesson, which Guillermo played brilliantly coz I swear it creeped me out !

@ Terry

Agreed. There is unexplained time btwn Quinn coming home and her being duct-taped nude on the floor. Everyone speaks fast on the show anyway so a lot could have been said in that timeframe.

Drea xoxo
@ MsChessplayer1225

I third this! I for one can't wait til we see the flashback of how it all came about!!!


Quinn has been asking for it for a long time and she had the Huck treatment coming, but I fast-forwarded past those scenes - yes, I'm a chicken.
One of the funniest moments was the Pres & Jack encounter. When Fitz told Jake, Olivia doesn't need a Hero - I was so amused - testosterone flowing all around that room.
Just when I thought the VP had defeated Cyrus - she kills her husband!! What a funny character she is. I do believe along with others that this will be the incident that holds Sally to the upcoming race & will get Olivia back on the team to re-elect Fitz. But, then again - I'm sure there are more twists & turns ahead.


So over the Jake/Fitz/Olivia triangle...she had a chance to be with Fitz. She bailed on him. He was ready to walk away from it all to be with her. Now she wants to waltz back in & lay claim to him again? Jake is too good for her. He deserves someone who is completely in love with him...not someone who uses him as a prop to be picked up whenever she needs a hammer, a tool or an escape route. Grow up Olivia. You have become a very unlikable and unsympatheic character.


Poor. Stupid. Boring. Mellie's 4 minutes are the best part.

@ fortyseven

Then give Mellie her own show and you can watch her all the time.


Why are you assuming that MamaPope is the big bad baddie? Remember, this is Scandal. Nothing is as it seems at first (or even second) blush.
Huck kept telling Quinn to back off on the B613 front, but because she's hungry for Huck (and I'm being nice about what Quinn feels for Huck), she went too far and got the full Huck treatment. So Huckleberry Quinn isn't over; it's just going to a different place.
Sally. Poor Sally. She used religion to get into power, and now that power is turning on her and is making her lose what little religion she had. It will be interesting what Sally-Cyrus alliance comes out of this.
Cyrus-James. To be mad when you pimp out your spouse and your spouse appears to have fallen for the bait makes no sense to me. But as Lord Acton said, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Cyrus, like Sally, got corrupted by power and now has to live with the consequences.
Olivia. That she is as sane as she is is a testament to her inner fortitude. And yes, she turned down the house in the country and the kids with Edison, but she knew that she would stagnate and die in a life with Edison. As much as you aren't a Fitz fan, you have to deal with the fact that Liv and Fitz bring/give life to each other. Olivia can have the kids and house with Fitz and not feel that she is dying. Fitz, unlike Edison, would encourage Olivia in everything she wanted to do; and Olivia would do the same for Fitz. Theirs is not an easy love; it is that painful/difficult/life-changing/extraordinary love that Liv talked about with Edison. And while the getting to a place of equilibrium takes a while in that kind of love, once there, it is so much sweeter. Which is why Olitiz is endgame.

@ Kasey Henton

Just a small point. Remember the flashback that showed us that the reason Olivia turned Edison down/broke up with him the first time was that Daddy Pope told her that if she didn't, Edison would have an "accident"?

@ Maryann

You're right; DaddyPope did threaten Edison. But in the beginning of that episode, wasn't Olivia brushing off Edison anyway? Didn't Edison bring up marriage because they were already living together and he thought it was the next step, but she was trying to slow it down?
I need to watch that episode again.

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Scandal Season 3 Episode 9 Quotes

[to Cyrus] It hurts until it doesn't. You think it's going to break you, but it won't. You may not sleep as well at night, but you will be fine. Numb, but numb and fine are the same.


I'm disappointed in you, Quinn. You've been a bad girl and I need to know exactly what you've been up to. But before we start, I need to say I'm sorry. I'm so sorry because I'm going to enjoy this. I'm going to love it and I don't want to.