Scandal Review: Out Of the Darkness

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Halfway through Scandal Season 3 Episode 16, I tweeted that I was incredibly annoyed with the episode. And I was. 

Then I kept watching and my jaw hit the floor in the only way that it can when seeing something so perfectly ill-timed taking place.

Tonight was irony at its finest!

Fair warning for the Fitz-fans among us, I'm going to rant pretty hard about him right now, and yes, I know that's sort of become a thing around here, but if you were able to watch tonight's episode and not want to slap him across the face even harder than Mellie did, you're a better person than I.

Here's a grown man-boy who wants to have his cake and eat it, too. 

Wanting Andrew off the ticket I can sort of understand, from a strictly gut-reaction standpoint. I get it. He learns this news, doesn't have much time to process it, and all he can think about is the years he spent wanting to be closer to his wife and being turned away. Then this guy, his friend, comes along, and he's left to wonder if that's why their marriage turned out the way it did.

I get it. But that doesn't excuse it.

He doesn't want to sleep with his wife. Doesn't love her. Is indifferent to her and says as much to Olivia. But Mellie better not sleep with Andrew while Fitz makes no secret of his love affair with Olivia Pope and Mellie sometimes encourages it knowing that it's what Fitz "needs."

I just cannot with him after tonight. I CANNOT!

Fitz, President or not, doesn't get to order people out of the room and then tell Olivia that she's being disgusting when she's speaking the truth to him. The trouble is that Fitz can't handle the truth when it's staring him in the face.

Maybe that's why Mellie never told him about the rape. She knows he can't handle harsh realities.

He does take everything away from her, even if he doesn't know he's taking it. He takes because she gives and it's time people in his life stopped giving him everything. He's such a whiny child!

Fitz deserved every square millimeter of Mellie's palm across his face and then some. If Olivia goes back to him after whatever's coming in the next two episodes I'm not sure there's anything left for me to respect about her character.

I saw shades of Olivia Pope from Scandal season 1 tonight. She handled Andrew in the way only Olivia Pope can, shutting him down by threatening to lay bare every skeleton in his closet. (Can I just say that one thing I love about Andrew is that he calls Olivia on this nonsense? Because I love that.)

We even got a callback to the Gladiators from Abby.

Olivia: What would Olivia Pope say?
Abby: You don't get to run. You're a gladiator. Gladiators don't run. They fight. They slay dragons. The wipe off the blood. They stitch up their wounds, and they live to fight another day. You don't get to run. How was that?
Olivia: That was good.

But Olivia will face the next crisis, courtesy of her own mother, with a trembling lip and a pouty stare and fret while whatever is going to happen happens and then she'll run to Fitz' side and they'll say "hi."

Fitz wins. Again.

Up until the end of the episode, I felt bad for Jake (again, I know). Being Command is weighing on him. It's hardening him and he doesn't like it but he feels powerless to do anything about it. 

One does not simply stop being Command, you know? 

For a split second when Olivia returned the device to Huck I thought she hadn't gone through with turning Jake's phone into a transmitter. There was a moment where she really wanted to let him into her apartment, particularly when he said that he'd asked her to save him and she'd said no that seemed to be weighing on her after their romp. 

But she did go through with it and now she has to pay the piper: Rowan Pope.

There isn't a part of me that doubts that Huck was completely right. Rowan Pope used Olivia to take down B613 knowing that whatever consequence would come would be Jake's fault. 

And Rowan doesn't care at all what the consequences are at this point. He just wanted to prove that he's the only man for the job of Command.

This wasn't about putting down the organization of super spies because he loves it too much. It's about getting his power back.

So now Maya Pope is on the loose, with a bomb, having killed several people already, and Sebastian Roche is her bomb-delivering boyfriend. Adnan Salif is along for the ride and we still have no idea how any of these people came together but oh look something shiny to distract us from the things that don't make sense!

After 22 years in prison and completely cut off from all human contact except the guard who fed her and Rowan's occasional visits, doesn't it seem unlikely that she could just pick up the phone and call up her old terrorist buddies and be back in the game? Is no one else but me asking this question?

There's just so much about that terrorist subplot, like WHY she wants to kill the President in the first place, that I almost can't even care about it. It feels so poorly flung together.

One good thing which has come from the Maya Pope story is Quinn realizing that her true allegiance is to Olivia, and whether that's because she knows what Maya is capable of doing, has a thing for Huck, or is just not the same as Charlie deep down, I don't know. But, like Charlie said, we know where her alliance is now.

We might see Quinn Perkins come home before the season ends.

What did you think of Scandal Season 3 Episode 16? Are you as frustrated by Fitz as I am? Did Rowan Pope use Olivia to get his power back?

Here is your first look at Scandal Season 3 Episode 17, "Flesh and Blood."


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (98 Votes)

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


Everyone is upset. I definitely get that. However, I finally realized why Shondaland writers wrote Olivia's famous monologue of wanting a love that hurts. Olivia WANTS this life. She said her father put her on a plane to get her away from all of this but she came back. Be for real, Olivia would not like Fitz or Jake if they were squeaky clean. She just wouldn't. You could say its in her blood, look at her mother and father. Her father married a terrorist. With all his power, did he not have a little doubt when he met Maya? These people are trained espionage officers, sexspionage is as old as time from Sampson and Delilah. He must have sensed it on some level but married her anyway. Fitz/Mellie/Olivia/Jake/Andrew is this a love pentagon. How hilarious is this and it just keeps on going. Next Jake will get a new girlfriend to add to the mix and make Olivia jealous. It is tough for us to accept that Olivia is voluntarily choosing to live this life. With every decision she makes, every man she beds, every job she takes, all the verbal abuse she takes and the verbal abuse she spouts. She is choosing to stay because as she says she wants to save them all BUT you cannot save them if you need saving yourself. When I first watched this show I perceived it as a story of a powerful woman with flaws, but does try to overcome them. However, I am starting to realize it more of a story of flawed people in power who do nothing to change their circumstances because their circumstances GIVE them power. Olivia is not an outsider she is an insider. We can't seem to recognize this because someone like her with such an innocent face has never been presented as the insider before. However, I'm sorry to say Olivia is going to have to go down with the rest of them. We'll see.

Drea xoxo

I don't know with this show at times!! I just want it to make sense and not go with the wow factor so much! it kinda takes away from the show's essence and story if there is one. the whole grant household drama, over it! i don't really care nor ever have for their marriage of convenience they can try and play dumb but grant II set them up and mellie's dad. Why can't harrison have a SL!!!? how long do we have to wait, bore me later with terrorist wanted something more original! Abbie cute.
Quinn we knew she was always there but as always the black sheep of the herd.
Jake cut him some slack he never had balls in this show! it's the whole point of his character to be available for Liv 247

@ Katerina's Gladiator

I guess you have never seen Grey's Anatomy. Shootings, air plane crashes, operations under gun point and cars through buildings. I might have missed a few. Shock and awe are what Shondaland are about Shondaland would also say the story is what they make it. They don't listen to fans much and they really shouldn't. Fans will NEVER agree on the same thing. All she needs is for them to watch whether they like it or not.


No man who chokes a woman after pushing her and giving her a concussion in a past episode gets my support. I can’t believe WOMEN are still Team Jake. Are you all f*cking crazy. If Fitz had choked Olivia you all would be up in arms. No matter the provocation you do not physically abuse someone you supposedly love. Jake is a very weak man (begging Olivia to save him – get the f*ck out of here) who postures to look strong. He wanted Power as the head of B613 and then whines about it. Papa Pope was the real Command not this dress up doll Jake. I'm also tired of the Mellie the Martyr act. She loves POWER and Fitz has taken nothing from her. Mellie could leave at any time and have a rewarding life. She is a rich, attractive, privileged white woman with the world at her finger tips. Meh, I'm SO over her whining like Jake and Fitz. Shut up and be First Lady since that position is what you can't live without. Olivia was correct and Andrew is a wuss who wants power because it is the only way Mellie will stay with him. Mellie is not interested in some lower level politician after being First Lady. If he truly loved Mellie, he would have chosen her or at least discussed the decision with her. Why not cut a deal with Fitz and Olivia? BTW Olivia's speech to Andrew also applied to Jake since he too choose Power when he assumed command of B613. He could have negotiated with Fitz to be let out of B613 so he could have a "normal" life. Jake is a very weak man begging a woman to save him. Plus he screwed up by letting the terrorist get to this stage. Rowan would have shut down the terror operation once he had them all in that room. Quinn was correct in her assessment. Mama Pope is a Gangsta. That woman is scary and Papa Pope seems to have met his match. I loved Abby in this episode. Poor Harrison still does not have a story line.

@ LeeS

all's fair in love and war. Jake was just doing his job in both instances. Olivia is simply a casualty in this game, just like all the men and women who got killed, threatened, tortured. and it is thanks to Olivia that Jake got put into the position he did so to be weak and struggle with his newfound power seems perfectly human. weakness can get irritating and grating but pretty true to life. just a thought, although Olivia spat out that power vs love speech, she too chose the wielding of power and the fight for it over escaping to wherever Rowan Pope was sending her to on that plane??? i don't know. sometimes, i have no idea what to make of Olivia. sometimes, she just seems like SuperTramp to me. a great fixer but not beneath effing the president with his wife in the same building or in front of Secret Service.

@ LeeS

I'm not for any of the men on this show anymore except Andrew for Mellie. He seems like the only "good" one. And knowing why Mellie went cold fish on Fitz makes me blame her much less for their marriage issues. She's still got a little blame, just not much. And wth, why can't she enjoy some love? WTF is wrong with Fitz that he can't just let her be. Ugh. Was Team Fitz but not now. Honestly though, I'm Team Jon Tenney practically anytime he's on screen. I love him way back when in a random rom com he did as Matthew Perry's bff. He was fantastic and I kept thinking why is THIS guy not the lead? He's so awesome! Him and Kyra are my fave parts of The Closer.

@ TVfan

Oh so Andrew the guy who tried to screw his best friend's wife years before Olivia was ever a factor is a decent guy?


This was one of the most disappointing Scandal episodes. Where is Olivia's backbone?!!!!! Fitz is full s_ _t. How many ways can Olivia's character be humiliated???? Can we hurry up and kill Mama Pope and Adnan? How does Harrison tie into this weird plot? Give me a break, writers!!!! That episode REALLY SUCKED.


THANK YOU! Been saying that for weeks now! Someone whos been pretty much non-existent for 22 years, doesnt have these connections, and im pretty sure she doesnt even have the stomach for this stuff anymore.
Daring Rowan to stab her when they were at the restaurant? Cuz she's this machine, trained to kill? What a joke!
And that girl actually saying shes a rolemodel? A mentor? What are these people smoking?
The whole Maya Pope storyline is beyond ridiculous! Plus, what are her motives? Why not spend the time you are free with your daughter you claim to love. Why hurry back to being imprisoned, killing people along the way as if they are disposable. Her character and storyline are completly unbelievable, and making the show a little unwatchable for me.


This show has changed so much from its original viewpoint. I know that shows are suppose to progress but I had no idea that her actual job would take such a backseat to the affair. The job she does is what attracted me to the show to begin with. I'm just disappointed and half the time I miss shows and do not even bother to watch them until I have nothing left new to watch on my DVR playlist. I had such high hopes for this show and each season it just gets more and more disappointing. I suppose I expected too much after West Wing.


honestly, how naive was Olivia Pope? shut down B6-13 just like that?? it's like shutting down the CIA because they spy, kill and torture on the nation's behalf. ridiculous. and Mellie leaving Fitz. go girl. go get the happiness you deserve.


Jake is a better man than Fitz. I am done with Olivia. She and Fitz deserve each other.

@ JT

So a guy who was sent in to sleep with her as part of his mission is the best guy for her? The guy who put her in hospital is the best guy for her? The guy who asked an already broken person to save him is the best person for her? The guy who gave a sex tape with her on it to her father is the best guy for her? A guy who thinks nothing of choking her and walling her up even though she probably only weighs 90lbs wet through and stands at barely 5ft is the best guy for her? How about third option? How about Olivia leaving them both and focusing on her life and her work? I'm so disturbed every time anybody suggests that Jake is a decent guy for her, and I'm appalled that him choking her doesn't warrant a murmur of concern from you people. Let that be Fitz doing that to Mellie, and everybody would be going off.

@ Kendy

Fitz is a selfish man. I think you want Fitz and Olivia to be together because of his wealth and power. He can give her material things. Most of the time Olivia is doing the heavy lifting in their relationship.

@ JT

I said exactly the same thing ! I thought that she deserved whatever was coming her way !


Well let’s see treating her like garbage, for a man that’s only her part-time boyfriend, he sure has gone out of his way to help her whenever she asks:
1.Staying at the hospital the entire time she was checked in, but he never escorted Mellie to one doctor’s appt while she was pregnant.
2.Chartered a plane for her mom to leave the county, risking impeachment.
3.Calling out her name when he was in the hospital, according to Mellie
4.Shutting down federal autopsies for two of her cases, again risking impeachment.
5.Built their dream home in Vermont, without her knowledge
They have both screamed and yelled at each other, and Liv slapped him the very first episode. Olivia’s character is single, with her own business. She has demonstrated in the past that she can pick-up the phone and Fitz will do just about anything she wants, again Mellie’s words. As for Rowan he won’t hurt Olivia, but he might try and hurt Fitz.


this is the most stupid show. i have been watching it trying to get into it. i laugh at it. it seems so unreal.

@ sandra

there are some days i can't be bothered to watch Scandal for exactly this reason. but it is highly entertaining when you can't be bothered to get into what the rest of TV has to offer.

@ embarrassedtvaddict

Very true. Please, take it for the soap opera that it is.

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Scandal Season 3 Episode 16 Quotes

What else do you need? What service can I render for you today? Am I here to stroke your ego? Am I your cheerleader? Am I here to wipe your tears? Am I your nanny? Am I here to fight the bullies? Am I your bodyguard today? Maybe I'm here to make you feel good? Maybe I'm your dealer. Or maybe I'm here to make you feel hot and manly and ready so you're not jealous of your wife's boyfriend. Is that it? Am I your fluffer today Fitz? What service am I billing you for today?


I think the house is burning down, Liv.