I've missed you, TV Fanatic Gladiators! Just like we've all missed Scandal. But boy is Scandal ever back!
Approximately a month has passed since we left off with Sally murdering Daniel Douglas and Jake assuming leadership of B613 after Fitz was given the dressing down of a lifetime by Papa Pope in a chamber in an undisclosed location.
Scandal Season 3 Episode 11 wasted no time getting right back into the action of this fast-paced, "crazy, twisty" thrilling hour of television.
Oh, Scandal how much have we missed you. Let us count the ways...
1. Run, Sally, Run (For President)
Sure, she murdered her husband, but she didn't kill her political ambitions. Sally plans to run as a third party candidate while carrying out the office of Vice President.
Actually, Sally doesn't think she murdered her husband at all. She believes that the Devil did it. (Has she been talking to Miranda Barbour, Craiglist Killer?) Watching Sally explain to Leo that the Devil did it and seeing the look of incredulity on his face while she spouted off about Satan working through her was fantastic.
Here's this completely unhinged character who is, well, completely unhinged. So unhinged that even the other characters in the show are written to be able to see it and yet the hitch their wagons to her star hoping to ride Sally Langston's coattails all the way to the top.
Good luck with that, Leo.
2. There's a snake (or two) in the White House
"Publius," which was the pseudonym used by the writers of the Federalist Papers, is sending text messages to a reporter inside the White House prompting questions about Daniel Douglas' death. For a minute I thought Publius would be Rowan Pope after his monologue to Olivia about knowing all of Fitz' secrets, but nope. I was wrong.
Snake #1 is none other than James, who has decided to wear a white hat and pull a long con on his husband. (The other snake is Cyrus, obviously.)
That could be the end of Sally's political ambitions, as well as the end of Cyrus, Mellie, and probably also Fitz, but Cyrus can't--or won't--let that happen. He enlists Charlie, again, to take care of business and that involves Quinn kidnapping a child so the medical examiner will continue to cover Daniel Douglas' murder.
There are no lengths to which Cyrus will not go to protect himself first and foremost. If that means taking James out, he's been close before. Knowing that James has turned on him, instead of just thinking that he might, will be enough to pust Cyrus over the edge.
3. Bonnie and Clyde
Jake crushes Charlie's hopes of adding Quinn to Team Spy, but that doesn't mean Charlie's not still going to drag her along on his missions. Their exchange in the hardware store, as dark as it was, was actually a pretty funny moment. Right now, Charlie's around for a little bit of comic relief and that's welcomed.
I mean, there's no way you don't at least chuckle a little bit at this:
[to Quinn] The great thing about our line of work? Rock solid job stability! As long as people have to live together, someone's gonna pay to have someone else killed! Fact of life.Charlie
Quinn is clearly bothered by the kidnapping assignment, but not so bothered that she can't go through with it. She wants in to B613 so badly that she's basically above nothing at this point. But really there's just the sense that Quinn has lost her place in the world and thinks B613 might be it.
She doesn't feel she can go back to Olivia and she doesn't want to start over again. The allure of the dark side and Charlie is strong with her so she's exploring.
Olivia asks Jake to give Quinn back, so we can probably expect the Battle for Quinn to play a role in future episodes.
After Olivia is outed as the President's mistress again, Mellie takes up the task of killing the headlines regarding her husband's infidelity. Her plan is two-fold.
First, lots and lots of photo ops between herself and Olivia. There's no way the First Lady would fraternize with her husband's lover, right?
Second, Olivia needs to start dating. Enter one Jake Ballard, patriot extraordinaire.
5. Love Triangles
Olivia and Fitz are--or were--hot and heavy again following her return to his campaign and Jake's ascension to Command. But that can't last forever because this is a television drama and, as Ian Somerhalder once said, you don't have drama if the relationships are perfect.
So, love triangle it is.
There's a part of Olivia that really does love Jake, or at least like him a whole lot. But at this point, it isn't clear if she's dating him publicly solely to foil the rumors that she's the President's mistress or if her choosing him had something to do with Fitz' declaration that he wants to win re-election but can't do it without her.
There was a moment during his speeche to Olivia about how she couldn't resign when the mood shifted in the Oval Office. She realized that perhaps his ambition and desire to be President is greater than his love for her, no matter what he said about leaving the office and walking away from political life so they can go and make jam and babies together in Vermont.
Asking Jake if he's a patriot might have been a clever way of asking him to play along with this ruse, but there was something in her speech to him that also says that she realizes she has to start living. Being the President's mistress and having to hide her love isn't really a life at all, and she's starting to realize that she deserves one. Maybe.
You go, Olivia.
Andrew Nichols, Fitz' new running mate, is also Mellie's former lover. I really wish we hadn't known what his role would be until tonight because that moment when he said he's been waiting 12 years to be near Mellie Grant again would've been the perfect reveal of their history on the heels of his confession that he once let love get away and hasn't been able to find it since.
The drama felt a little sucked out of that moment because we knew he was there as a love interest for Mellie, but that doesn't mean I'm not excited to have Jon Tenney on my television again for as long as he lasts.
7. Cock That Gun, Harrison
Adnan Salif scares the pants off of Harrison. Literally.
I'm still a little confused about why he was so scared of HER he needed to borrow Abby's gun, but if it means we get more sexy scenes with Harrison Wright, I'm good with that.
What did you think of Scandal Season 3 Episode 11? Were you surprised that James is Publius? What do you think of Andrew Nichols' and Mellie Grant?
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.