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Scandal

Scandal Review: Patriot Games

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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...

Sally's Got a Lot on Her Mind
Sally Langston's got a lot on her mind these days. Is she repenting or planning her next attack on Scandal?

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.

4. Girls!

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. 

6. Loyalty

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? 

 

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (130 Votes)

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

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I think the title of this episode should have been. How Low Can You Go? We saw everyone take a dive this time around, however we did see everyone raise their game. I LOVE that Sally is running against the president but still staying in office. The political maneuvering this will bring about will be epic. Fitz, what can I say. SR has decided to give him some balls. We are actually looking at him through the eyes of other men. Twitter patted women tend to forget that men actually LIKE money and power. Poor Olivia, completely shocked when she realized that Fitz in his way will use her for what he needs and right now he needs to win. Sorry ladies, Fitz is not forced to be the POTUS, he actually likes his job and like most royalty he expects everyone to fall in line. A weak king is STILL a king. Quinn, WTF. Did she actually kidnap and hold a child hostage? Did they actually go there? You had me at ice cream. I can't tune out now. If this is the mid season opener, they will have to do a lot worse to keep the ratings up. Quinn has fallen down the rabbit hole, I definitely want to see where she goes next. Harrison, I have know idea what the heck his storyline is all about. Here I thought he was scared of some corrupt oil pontiff that could have him killed with one thought. Come to find out its a girl. Really, this better be good. Since when do we loan out guns, Abby is an idiot and I am sorry that the actress has to play that part, its not her fault they write her crappy lines. NO, gun owner would ever lend out their guns. If Harrison is so badass, get your own freaking gun like Quinn did. Shondaland never could get the guns and clandestine operations right on this show. I wish they would stay away from it, far away. Olivia, Olivia (sigh) your losses are stacking up. The wolves are circling and you don't have a plan of action. Those of whom, think Olivia is in the game have not paid attention. She was out played on the VP Sandy, B613, Quinn, Mellie, the future VP, her mother, and her father. She has no idea about the VP murder and the co-conspirators, Quinn and the sugarman, Jake and command and now Harrison and his weird love-hate relationship. Now David Rosen is involved and she has no idea about this either. Plus the White House is bugged by the NSA and now Cyrus' husband. Where do we go from here? If Olivia runs things in DC. I haven't seen it yet. She talks a good game, but that seems to be it. She has been foiled every single time and frankly I am tired of it. Olivia is supposed to be a brilliant strategist in politics and life. Where is her game not just her game face. SR needs to show her brilliant mind in ACTION, win one for the team. I need Olivia Pope to kick some ass not just be a piece of one. Let's get her Pope back.

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I love that so many Fitz-haters keep underestimating Fitz. Fitz has said it more than once; he has always been a better politician than many people give him credit for. Also, he is not a spineless coward. If he were, he would actually be sleeping with BOTH Mellie and Olivia. And as we all know, Fitz could barely get it up to impregnate Mellie with baby Teddy. As for the Jake lovers, I don't get it. Here is a man who is only an option to you all because Olivia's father ordered him to get close to her. Jake knows that he will never be more than second fiddle in Olivia's life; which is why he took the position as Command. Let's not forget the wildcard in this whole situation....MamaPope! Let Rowan keep going on his stupid quest to "end" Fitz and he will be meeting his maker a lot sooner than he wants to; Mama will make sure of that. And heaven help anybody who tries to help Rowan (look out, Leo and Sally), because Mama is going to take care of them too. The one thing that I hate is that, if things go the way I think they will, after this season we will no longer get to have Kate Burton gracing our screens. But it's going to be a heck of a ride to her leaving.

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Things to remember:
1. One of Fitz's children with Mellie is actually his father's child, from the rape.
2. Olivia want's Fitz to win because it will make him happy and a memorable President but above all she herself wants Vermont - She is afraid that if Fitz loses now it would break him and she would never be able to put him back together.
3. Fitz is Olivia's weakness and Olivia is Fitz's weakness and they are both each other salvation and tool of destruction at the same time.
4. Mellie is the one playing the long game - She knows Olivia and Fitz are each other poison but she is trying to keep them from destroying each other until after Fitz's reelection win, so she will be positioned to run for office herself.

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@ Gypsy

Number 4 is VERY interesting. I totally agree with number 1. Honestly, just to add more drama, I wish Mellie would tell Fitz, in a moment of complete rage ! Because as much as we hate to love Mellie, she went through something horrible. And their first born might actually not be Fitz's.
And I agree with the rest !

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@ Gypsy

You are so correct! Love it.

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@Marie - Great analysis of the show's direction and character development, well formed and logical. @Bienaime Joseph - So true, without Olivia and Fitz relationship you don't have a show, no scandal/no show.

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@ Gypsy

So true. No Fitz and Olivia equals cancelled show. They are what keeps people watching. At least they are to me and to a lot of other people I know who watch the show.

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It is infinitely clear that Jake is her beard, because during the preceding conversation with Jake she asked "are you a patriot?", meaning will you do whatever it takes to protect country and your president.
Olivia's dream is Vermont, not Jake, right now he's just a beard and a tool to use against her father to protect Fitz.

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@ Gypsy

You're right. He is her beard and although her first priority is her love for Fitz, she is attracted to Jake. So the question is how long will he be just a beard? If Fitz doesn't know about Mellie and the VP, and he finds out, what will he do? He will probably be jealous, God I hope not because if he is and Olivia sees it, just how long will Jake actually be a beard? I want Fitz and Olivia together but a little angst never hurts anything. To me, no Fitz And Olivia, no show but Fitz needs to get a divorce before Olivia gets tired and last night I saw Olivia Pope showing signs of tiredness.

Bienaime-joseph
@ Marie

The problem with Olivia being tired is that it is her fault that Fitz is still married. He has tried to walk away at the end of the first and second season and both time it has been her who has stopped him. I think Olivia should stop feeling guilty about the affair if she is not going to end it completely and enjoy herself, allow him to be divorced and see if their relationship can work.

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@ Bienaime Joseph

Absolutely not. Have you ever heard the saying listen to what women are not saying. What Olivia is not saying is she wants Fitz to make this decision on his own. She doesn't want to tell Fitz to leave his wife and children. That would be ridiculous. Fitz must be the one to decide that this life is not what he wants anymore. Him and only him. What women tells a man. Hey you need to leave your wife and kids for me and also your job. Are you kidding. If they have a future, when they are sitting around the dinner table. She cannot sit with the guilt of that burden, nor does she want it. Nor does she ever want that thrown in her face in a heated moment.

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@ Marie

She is tired. I saw that too... Jake being her beard disgusts me ! BUT, I still knew she was going to use him when Mellie gave her "the list".

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Miranda, I loved your analysis of the love triangle. I hope you're right about Olivia realizing she needs to live and chooses Jake.

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@ JT

So basically you're saying that Olivia should choose the man who's mission it was to sleep with her? She should choose the guy who made a sex tape of her and gave it to her father to use it as a tool to drive a wedge between her and Fitz? Olivia should choose the man who took over as head of B613, a government agency that she hates, an agency that ultimately turned her father into an unfeeling automaton? She should choose the guy who used her as a shield when her father sent another operative to kill him for disobeying orders? She should choose a man who, when she was most fearful, told her that her father wouldn't hesitate to slit her throat? She should choose that guy? Just because Fitz is married, doesn't make Jake the better option just because he's single.

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@ Kendy

Olivia needs to get a life. Daddy Pope is right about Fitz. Jake followed orders. He turned over the tape reluctantly. Jake put his life on the line for Olivia.

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@ JT

You've got to be kidding me. Jake slept with Olivia because her father ordered him to, in an effort to break-up Fitz and Olivia. He wasn't reluctant to turn over that tape; he wondered how Command was going to use it. And the reason Jake had to save Olivia's life was because he put her in jeopardy in the first place by getting romantically involved with her. Jake cannot be trusted. And while he intrigued Olivia for a minute, she knows that cannot trust him any farther than she can see him.

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@ JT

If she chooses Jake then it wouldn't be Scandal anymore, it would only be "single man name Jake dating single woman name Olivia", no scandal there. I think the show is still named "Scandal" so there has to be a scandal....comprende?

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@ Gypsy

Amen to that and we want to keep it scandalous!

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Welcome back Scandal!!! How I've missed you.. .but absence didn't necessarily make the hear grow fonder. I actually found myself starting to really dislike Fitz in this episode... he's acting like a spoiled brat and it's so not attractive. and since I was starting to subtly get my semi-mad on for Fitz, I found myself frustrated with Olivia. But damn Papa Pope is revving up for some trouble with a capital 'T' so that will be super interesting. I am not feeling the Quinn storyline... I don't know where her loyalties lie anymore... so she continues to spiral down that rabbit hole. I like that Millie has a jaded past too... hopefully that will make a little less one dimensional and more interesting. Love Jake, so I'm glad to see he's still around, and the Jake/Olivia dynamic is fun to see play out. Welcome back Scandal!!!

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@ Jenn

Shonda and the writers seem to find it really difficult to develop characters consistently. In order to build Jake up, they tear down Fitz, in order to build Mellie up, they render Olivia mute. (Which woman do you know would keep quiet while the woman who begged her to come and work for her husband in the first place so that he could win re-election called her a whore?) When the writers decide that they want the audience to like Fitz and Olivia again, they will tear Jake down, mark my words. Olivia's speech to both Fitz and Jake foreshadowed the darkening of Jake's character. You don't become head of an agency that likes to torture and murder people without losing a piece of yourself. Also, I wish people would remember that Jake has been a B613 operative (I know it's hard because Scott Foley doesn't do the character justice) which means that he too will have chopped people's fingers off, and killed them. If he's B613, it means that intrinsically, he's like Huck and Charlie (once again I know that Scott Foley's acting makes you forget that he's supposed to be a badass super-spy), it means that he has the potential to go crazy from the power that is now his. When we met Jake, he was spying on Olivia for both Fitz and Olivia's father. In fact his mission was to sleep with Olivia. That doesn't make him a viable candidate for her at all.

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@ Jenn

Fitz has been annoying me for some time now. Last night was no different. Which is why, every time Jake is the picture, it's like a breath of fresh air !
As for Quinn, I am very frustrated. She doesn't think that Pope & Co. want her back. So she stays with Charlie. To me, that's the only issue. The look on longing and sadness she had when she look through the window when Huck left is proof. I need Quinn BACK !

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@ Emy

Jake may be a breath of fresh air now (I don't know how since his past is just as shady as Huck's or Charlie's) but Olivia already foreshadowed him turning bad as Head of B613. He thinks that he can do things the right way, but he'll find that just as it did with Rowan, the power will go to his head and he'll start crossing all types of lines. Jake (if Scott Foley can pull off being a baddie rather than a choir boy) will go dark. Watch this space.

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@ Kendy

I enjoyed the episode, but also found myself OFFICIALLY TIRED of Fitz and noted that Olivia seemed so too. I agree that the writers are trying to maintain the Fitz/Olivia/Jake tension because they could not have Olitz break up AGAIN. But it does not make sense that Jake would want to be head of B316 when he wanted so desperately to get out of it last season.
Note to Emy: I think this episode set up the return of Quinn to P&A!

Bienaime-joseph
@ Kendy

Kendy, you are so right and if Scott can pull that off that would make Jake less of a waste of space to me. It seems like the writers want the so called triangle to work and for Mellie to be the loved one. In order to do that Fitz has to be reverted to a jerk and Olivia to a weakling. Don't get me wrong I want to see all of Liv's humanity but to have Mellie refer to her as a whore over and over again without saying anything is not why I watch this show.

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Can I add that Andrew says he's been waiting for the moment he met Mellie again for 12 years. Fitz has only been in office for 4 years because he's campaigning for reelection. So when did the two of them hook up? My guess Fitz and Mellie spent the other eight years as governor of California so she broke up with him before Fitz became governor and Andrew lt. governor.

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@ CJ

CJ, evidently you missed it, but they said that Andrew was Fitz's Lt. Gov. for 8 years (8+4=12). Take another look.

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@ herman1959

Actually, we need to add 1 year for the campaign for CA Gov. So...12 + 1 +13!

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@ herman1959

I said eight years as governor and Andrew as lieutenant governor. Which means she must have had a thing with them before Fitz was elected governor. If he has been waiting 12 years that means she has been out of his reach for 12 years (which includes the 8 Fitz was gov.) So they must have known each other before the governor election. Or maybe she broke it off the night Fitz won CA gubenatorial election? Also, Most governors campaign for higher office while they are still in office. So no extra year is needed.

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I really find it funny how everyone likes to call Mellie crazy a whore and how great Olivia and Fitz are together...Really? Fitz is a spineless clown who has had everything handed to him like Papa Pope told him. I hope Andrew ends up the Pres and Mellie is his first lady. Olivia goes away from Washington and Fitz ends up alone when Shonda ends this show. I love it when Papa Pope tells Olivia off. She is so full of herself! Where was cra cra momma Pope? Speaking of cra cra: Sally is cra cra and Leo knows it. This should be interesting how he handles this. Also Leo was looking at the picture frame and I am sure he show it was bugged. Loves James and it is about time he stopped falling for Cyrus and his I love you mess. I hope James doesn't chicken out at the end and let Cyrus off the hook. For some odd reason I like Quinn and sugarman together. I am glad they did not kill that kid and his mom....you never know with those two, the kid and his mom may end up dead later. Harrison and Adnan...interesting! Ok is it only me but did it look like Adnan was sitting at a table in the restaurant when Mellie and Olivia had their photo op? When ever they show them from behind there is a lady with black glasses on at the table in front of them looking at them and I swear it is Adnan! I can't wait for Papa Pope to go after that loser Fitz---be afraid be very afraid! Joe Morton you rock!

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@ Grimmfan#10

Technically, Mellie would be classified as a pimp since she pimps Olivia out to her husband every chance she gets. I don't think Olivia is so full of herself. I think every time she tries to stay away, Mellie, Cyrus and Fitz keeps pulling her back in. Case in point: Cyrus blackmailed Harrison to get her off the Josie campaign; Mellie begged her to come back to her husband and Fitz, well Fitz loves her, he just won't let her go. How do you stay away from the President when he won't stop calling or sending for you? How exactly do you stop that? They keep pulling her back in. No, Olivia isn't full of herself but those around her think she is all that and that's why they keep pulling her back in.

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@ Marie

Ridiculous, Olivia is a strong independent woman. She can make decisions for herself. If what you say is true, then Olivia is spineless and definitely not formidable. She came back simply to be near Fitz and because when a woman loves a man. They have a natural tendency to want to save them, even if it's from themselves.

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@ Aykme

There's nothing spineless about Olivia Pope. Strong people can be talked into doing things when guilt is involved and when you love them. Cyrus is her mentor, she loves Fitz and she has a guilt complex concerning Mellie and the election. She has a history with these people. These factors can make even strong people go against their gut.

Bienaime-joseph
@ Grimmfan#10

I call her a whore because that is what she refers to Liv as and if she is doing the same thing Fits is doing then she is a whore as well.

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@ Bienaime Joseph

I love how when Mellie and Olivia are by themselves Mellie calls Olivia a whore. Olivia is one face it. But Olivia gives as good as she gets when they are alone. When spineless Fitz is around she pulls the Fitz save me from mean awful Mellie. Olivia is full of it. Mamma Pope even told her she was like her dad. She liked having power and having people jump when she says so. Olivia got mad and said I am nothing like my father but she is. Olivia and Fitz will never get married because she has more power as the mistress than she will ever have being Fitz's wife. Does she really think Fitz will treat her and her children better than Fitz treats Mellie and her children. That is that crazy mess Rielle Hunter said about her and John Edwards. I can't wait for the kids to show up on the show soon. I really love this show it is so over the top and people argue about it for days!

Debbie-howell-kress

I love Jon Tenny, could not believe when he revealed Mellie was his love interest he let go. Can't wait to see him go after her. This show have the sexiest men I have ever seen.

Scandal Season 3 Episode 11 Quotes

What is currently happening is that President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III has made an enemy, the worst kind of enemy, because I know all his secrets. I know where every body is buried, and the greatest weapon I can use against him calls me 'Dad.'

Rowan Pope

[to Olivia] You're skipping around in a field full of bombs and mistaking them for daisies.

Rowan Pope
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