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Scandal

Scandal Review: Sex, Lies and Videotape

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Thursday nights without Scandal are like nights without stars. Kind of dull. Luckily, Scandal was all new tonight so our Thursday night was bright.

We got a little more of Mellie's history to help inform her present day persona on Scandal Season 3 Episode 12, as well as information about Andrew and Adnan Salif.

Oh, and Quinn still wants to be a spy.

Unhappy Mellie
Whatever Olivia is telling Mellie, she really doesn't look happy about it. "We Do Not Touch the First Ladies" is the 12th episode of the show's third season.

Tonight kicked off with the reveal that Fitz and Olivia meet in hotel rooms for "campaign meetings" with the Secret Service parked right outside the door. Discreet they are not.

Nor do they do anything well together except have sex, apparently. 

I read commentary this week about Olivia Pope the character and how she's supposed to be this strong woman who doesn't take anyone's nonsense, but we haven't seen that side of her of late. I was thrilled to see Olivia standing up for herself against Fitz's wholly disrespectful disregard of her tonight. 

I've said it before but it bears repeating in light of tonight, Olivia Pope has to LIVE. She cannot put everything on hold in the hopes that one day he'll no longer be President and he'll leave his wife and kids and move to Vermont with her to make jam. That's not living. isn't something that can last. Can they have something forever? Maybe, but we don't know that yet and neither do they.

Their relationship is built on stolen moments in coatrooms with security details who are sworn to secrecy. They don't have the mundane "how was your day" conversations around the dinner table that are parts of long-lasting relationships, and it's almost like part of Olivia recognized that she needs and deserves those moments in her life. 

And before anyone goes there, this isn't about Jake and a love triangle, though I'm getting to that in a minute.

Fitz asks her to give him everything, to sacrifice everything, and gives her little in return. He tried to stop being President, sure, but if he really wanted to walk away from the Oval, he would have. And if he had, she would love him less.

If these two REALLY wanted to be together, they would be, political aspirations and high-powered D.C. careers be damned. I'm glad to see her coming to the realization that what she has with Fitz right now isn't the kind of relationship that can last forever and being aware enough while in the midst of the situation to know that this doesn't fulfill all the parts of her which are important. 

That's why she said that having Jake by her side was a conscious choice. He IS there for those moments. And he challenges her in ways that Fitz often dismisses her. 

Before I go any further, I feel it necessary to state - though I know the Fitz Forever Fans will gloss right over this - that I don't care who Olivia is with as long as we see 1) a woman who respects herself enough not to put up with anyone's disrespect, 2) a relationship built on mutual trust and respect and not co-dependency and jealousy. Right now that's not her relationship with Fitz.

So. Back to Jake. 

He's Olivia's beard, masquerading as her boyfriend for the media and sleeping over to keep up the ruse despite the fact that he does have feelings for her. And Olivia might have feelings for him (and he knows it) which makes this...wait for it...a love triangle, no matter how many times naysayers say it isn't. 

Shonda Rhimes herself has written one and that's what we're dealing with for the next few episodes at least.

And you know? It's okay with me because it creates some interesting tension and lets us see a different side of Olivia so that we can make a more informed decision about just who she should end up with at some point in the series. 

Maybe that's Fitz. Maybe it's Jake. Maybe it's someone we don't know yet. Or maybe she decides she's her own hero and doesn't need a man in her life. Wouldn't that be something?

Let's stop pretending like Olitz is the only reason this show exists. There's so much more to Scandal than that and I've just spent entirely too much of this review discussing it.

So much more to it like the reveal that Mellie didn't have an affair with Andrew but she did try to kill herself several years after Big Jerry raped her. 

THAT was the moment which caused the schism in Fitz and Mellie's relationship. She can't bring herself to tell him, even after all this time, because there's probably a part of her that feels complicit in the attack. She's spent 16 years burying the moment deep inside. 

The one time she tells someone the truth--the whole truth--he falls in love with her. But she does not cheat on her husband, even if part of her wants to. Will she now? Maybe. She might. She might see cheating now as excusable since Fitz has been carrying on a relationship with Olivia off and on for four years or more.

That doesn't excuse her by any means, but that doesn't mean she won't see it that way. Part of me really hopes she doesn't cheat though, at least not beyond the kiss tonight. (I don't mean they go on kissing. I mean they don't have any contact.) Part of me really wants her to stay true to who she's been so far, a woman scorned by cheating who wouldn't do that just to get back at her husband. 

Mellie Grant is this interesting love-to-hate-to-love her character and nights like this one make her a stronger but also more broken woman. 

But what I want from Scandal is TWO strong, somewhat broken (because we're all a little broken) female characters, and there's room for both of them without pitting them against one another all the time in a battle for Fitz. Or Jake. Or any man we haven't met yet. 

Elsewhere on the episode when my mind wasn't thinking all of those thoughts up there, it was paying attention to the supporting plots, like James and David planning to have Publius meet a reporter to leak the Daniel Douglas Death cover-up to the press and being saved/foiled by Abby and Huck.

Bonus from that story, David and Abby are in love.

Huck, however, is a mess. His coffee delivery and begging Olivia for forgiveness broke my heart and, once again, I just wanted to give the spy a big hug. He'd probably pin me down and rip my teeth out if I tried, but he lost his only friend because of Olivia and that kind of blows.

Quinn is a good spy but not a great spy. Olivia makes her outside the restaurant where she's having dinner with her father and tells her to come back to OPA, but she can't. She won't. After her tech-stunt with Jake in Command's office, I expect Quinn to become a B613 operative soon enough.

Speaking of B613 operatives, Secret Service Agent Tom is a card-carrying member, regularly delivering footage of the goings-on inside the White House to Command. 

Jake also received a Top Secret briefcase full of ongoing operations for which he's now responsible. Part of me wonders if the briefcase is a setup from Rowan Pope since the letter in the briefcase was from him, but then I think that's too easy a guess and Shonda's better than that. The stresses and demands of this job will get to Jake and part of the story moving forward will probably be Olivia trying to help pull him back from the ledge.

The ledge which Harrison seems to have fallen completely over after a roll in the sack with Adnan Salif. She's going to finance the President's re-election campaign because Cyrus is too power hungry not to take money from a known criminal who also happens to be working for Mama Pope.

What did you think of Scandal Season 3 Episode 12? Were you shocked to learn that Mellie and Andrew did not have an affair? Are you excited by Maya Pope's return?

 

Here's your first look at Scandal Season 3 Episode 13:

Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
  • 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (85 Votes)

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

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I am so over Olivia and Fitz.

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Mellie might not have slept with Andrew, but she sure as heck had an affair with him; an emotional affair. And she is the reason that her marriage fell apart. Had Mellie told Fitz that she was attacked (even if she didn't tell him that it was Big Gerry who did it), Fitz would have stood by her and they could have grown in the marriage together. But she didn't turn to Fitz, she turned away from him and turned to pills and when Andrew found her she turned to him. So I feel for Mellie that she got attacked, but I don't feel for her on anything else. I know that this is a more anti-Fitz group, but one of these days y'all will see that Fitz has been pulling more strings than most people thought. And he will come out looking better than most.
I am glad that Olivia reminded Fitz that this is not all about him though, that she has her own thoughts/wishes/ambitions. And in order for her to fulfill them, she has to use Jake as a foil so that she and Fitz can continue to work and love together. Poor Quinn. She's so unglued that she threatened Liv. She should be thanking her lucky stars that Liv didn't tell Huck that Quinn pulled a gun on her or she would be skinned alive. Hopefully she can find a way back home and to Huck. And I can't wait to see what MamaPope has up her sleeve. It's bound to be good.

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What can i say, i am shot of words if not for dr uduga i would have not be happy now, he did a wonderful thing for me that i can not keep to my self alone am not that kind of people you will help after the good work they will ran away that why everyday i let people out there know that a powerful great man like you exist, who will ever believe that Rita my girlfriend can still come back to me begging on her kneels after living me in 7months dr uduga did a job for me that make me to believe that there are real powerful spell caster out there but is just patient to have a powerful one like dr uduga i can prove it to anyone who want to contact this great man will not regret it cos dr uduga brought back my lover within 48hours after i have been cheated by those online spell casters that are looking for peoples money but right now i am planing to get married with her am so glad thank you very much dr uduga i really appreciate i pray that you do the same to people who needs help from you.once again thank you my friends out there in any kind of problem you are having try and contact dr uduga and discuss it with him and see what will happen next, here is the email: udugatempleofsolution@gmail.com or his cell number +2348153592618
my name is: Paul Zummer i live in New york

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What can i say, i am shot of words if not for dr uduga i would have not be happy now, he did a wonderful thing for me that i can not keep to my self alone am not that kind of people you will help after the good work they will ran away that why everyday i let people out there know that a powerful great man like you exist, who will ever believe that Rita my girlfriend can still come back to me begging on her kneels after living me in 7months dr uduga did a job for me that make me to believe that there are real powerful spell caster out there but is just patient to have a powerful one like dr uduga i can prove it to anyone who want to contact this great man will not regret it cos dr uduga brought back my lover within 48hours after i have been cheated by those online spell casters that are looking for peoples money but right now i am planing to get married with her am so glad thank you very much dr uduga i really appreciate i pray that you do the same to people who needs help from you.once again thank you my friends out there in any kind of problem you are having try and contact dr uduga and discuss it with him and see what will happen next, here is the email: udugatempleofsolution@gmail.com or his cell number +2348153592618
my name is: Paul Zummer i live in New york

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The FitzOl relationship is getting very OLD..... It really looks like an abusive relationship and it needs to end. I would really not mind if fitz dies. This thing is bringing down an awesome show. I really hope the writer change direction or I really think she really will lose people I think she really needs to take the temp on this situation Also James is so....... tiring.... he needs to die as well !!!

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Oh wow, that's some pretty nasty stuff in the comments below... Last week I was so happy that Scandal was back. However, this week's episode reminded me of why I had some issues with the show. I just finished rewatching it and the beginning of the episode is definitely uncomfortable and borderline distasteful ! Olivia and Fitz shouting , not caring about the guys outside AND Jake, was just plain wrong. These two, honestly are not working anymore. Last week I read some comments where viewers were saying that she is starting to realize that she deserves more, needs more. Well this week, she finally arrived to that conclusion. My gosh Fitz is despicable ! The way he treats her... I think that's because she allows him to. She has become this weak character, it is unbearable ! I was honestly happy when Jake put her in her place ! The way she talked to him. WTF ! Nah, she needs to watch it. The man is already her beard, he has to stand there and take it while she and Fitz screw each other, and she has the nerves to act like that with him. Hell no ! Enough is enough !
And then Huck. I always thought that Quinn not coming back was because she thought she had nowhere to come home to, and that Huck didn't want her back. But what he said to Olivia was chilling but true... Though Quinn really really wants to be a spy... Man I miss her with the team. Will she ever come back ?
Mellie didn't cheat. Not a surprise. However, I can see why people are annoyed. The writers always want us to feel bad for her. Don't get me wrong, what happened to her was wrong all the way, but it certainly doesn't excuse how/what she has become ! Again, why Olivia is weak : Mellie insults her left and right, and she just stands there. WTF ! Fine she is the mistress, but where is her backbone ! Though I did find it funny when she said to Mellie "I understand" . Like SERIOUSLY ! However, now, Mellie might cheat. This man is offering what she wants and is probably yearning for. BTW, him touching the painting after they kissed made me smile. He dared.
All the other stories were okay.
Now, the only squealing moment I had was at the end The song "Backstabbers", I was hoping Scandal would use it, and Adnan Salif working with Momma Pope. Now that was interesting.

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Everyone else has debated this better than I could at this point so I will just add that I loved the title of this episode and the scene it was part of.

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I was with a guy for 3 years, he always told me he loved me and that we wouldn't break up because if you love someone you make it work. We could never work out a time when we were both free and just a couple days ago he said we should just be friends. I know he dont me love anymore. When we were dating he said to everyone that I was his girlfriend and introduced me, told his friends he really liked me and told me he loved me, I wanted to be with him again but I never knew what to do. I tried for a long time with other spell casters to get him back but dr.marnish was the ONLY spell caster that could do the love spell for me that worked, if you need help call him +15036626930, he will always come to your aid, Obviously dr marnish is the REAL DEAL!
Cenovia Adelleh

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I still find Scandal entertaining, although not as interesting as a couple of episodes ago. Am I going to stop watching - noper - still like the show.
Likes for this week
Liv getting told off by Jake
The appearance of Hollis - that guy has the best old country boy lines ever
Huck bring Liv coffee
Dave & Abbey
Dislikes
The yelling match between Fitz & Liv w/no regard for anyone listening
Mellie showing her disdain for Olivia - after all Mellie sold her Soul a long time ago w/her quest to get her husband to The White House
Quinn trying to prove herself to B613
James back & forth ambivalence with Rosen
@Miranda Wicker - enjoyed your objective review as always - thumbs up!

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I'm confused or missing something. Who is Bienamie Joseph? Or is that a combination of names? Mellie is played by Bellamy Young. Admittedly I watch TV while doing something else - usually computer work, because there is nothing compelling in the plots or characters. I started watching Scandal because it was about DC and the goings on and cover-ups and Olivia resolving the issues. Now it has become nothing more than a nighttime soap opera. Get with it Shonda, et al and get back to the core of the show. If it continues along this vein, it's so long for me.