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."


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


Let's not forget that while no one on this show is squeaky clean, Fitz is a murderer.


Mommy Dearest may have been locked away for all those years, BUT, was she completely CUT OFF from all human contact?? She seems way to smart and cunning not to have had plans B thru Z in her arsenal of tricks. Now the question should be-- how does she manage to stay hidden in plain sight?? Did I hear someone say Rowan/Eli.


Great post. I totally agree, and I think that’s where the writers are heading for season 4 with the presidential divorce, but Fitz still needs to be alone for a while. Until Fitz’s and Mellie marriage is over, then Olivia and Fitz will have to be on the back burner. I think everyone pretty much knows that Fitz will win re-election, unless Tony Goldwyn won’t be returning. I didn’t like Jake choking Liv, Papa Pope needs to check him on that. I’m glad she has her Dad. I don’t believe he will try and put her in harm’s way. Far as the men in her life I think she can continue to see both until she feels the need to choose, because she really hasn’t chosen Fitz. Congrats to Kerry for receiving the Women in Film Award. I’m so proud of her, I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing Olivia Pope. She also looks gorgeous pregnant, so you know she’s going to come back next season looking awesome. I loved Liv in this episode and I’m looking forward to next season.


You're glad she has Rowan for a Dad? Rowan used Olivia to get to Jake because he wants to be Command again. I don't find that to be very loving. Jake is not trying to hurt her. Her parents put her in harms way and Fitz treats her like garbage. I was surprised when Jake choked her but maybe that'll knock some sense into her!

@ Melissa

Wow. You think that she deserves to be choked and walled up by Jake? Let me just copy and paste your words: " I was surprised when Jake choked her but maybe that'll knock some sense into her!" Yep, you really said that Jake choking her was probably a good thing, while admonishing Fitz for treating her like garbage. It's not like you're alone either, unless Fitz is the perpetrator, nobody seems to notice all the ways that Liv's physicality as well as her sexuality is used against her (sex tapes, choke-holds, Jake causing her to end up in hospital with concussion, daddy sending in Jake to sleep with her). Olivia's body apparently doesn't deserve protection. Let that be Fitz who did that to Mellie, and the faux feminists would be out braying about violence against women, when what they really mean is violence against white women.

@ Kendy

I don't condone violence but no I didn't feel sorry for her at all in that moment. Olivia has had no spine this entire season. She used to be a powerhouse and they are writing her character like an idiot. And her actions in the episode show that. The Olivia from season 1 and season 2 was unstoppable. I don't know who the Olivia from season 3 is. Fitz may not put her in a choke hold like Jake did or like Huck did but he has done more damage to her than Jake. Releasing her name to the press ruined her reputation and made her a joke. He treats her like a prize or a toy that no matter else can touch. And honestly I don't know why you are bringing race into this. Race has nothing to do with it.

@ Melissa

Choking someone isn't loving them either.


Carla, Mama Pope doesn't want to kill the President. Remember she said that she's not a terrorist. She's more of a middlewoman. She was hired to do this.

@ Gigi2776

Agreed. Maya Pope is doing something else. she would never do something trivial as assassinate the President. So I will tune in to find out what. I do know that Rowan Pope probably won't survive.


i have a bad feeling about quinn. i'm afraid she won't make til next season!


This B613 arc needs to die a death and never be brought back into the light again. If anybody asks me to, I will argue about Mellie slapping Fitz and the inherent hypocrisy in our society that deems it a terrible thing for a man to hit a woman, but totally acceptable for a woman to hit a man. I've made this argument already tonight, but in that moment, I was glad that Mellie slapped Fitz. Not for Mellie particularly, because she's as responsible for the mess that they're in, as Fitz and Olivia are. I was glad because Fitz got Olivia to do his dirty work. I loved how she cut Andrew down (another massive hypocrite himself seeing as he was willing to seduce his best friend's wife 12 years ago and is screwing her now) but ultimately, Fitz should have been handling Andrew, and for his cowardice alone, he thoroughly deserved that slap. I made the point last week that I wasn't sure why people were calling out Olivia for warning Andrew off Mellie, and interfering in the Grant marriage, and this week totally backed up my point. Part of her job has always been to fix the image of their marriage, and they have let her. Not only that, this week, Fitz explicitly asks her to fix the Mellie and Andrew situation. It's what she has always done. I was happy with this week's episode with the exception of the Jake/Liv hook-up because I cannot watch those two people on screen trying to make out, never mind sexing. I loved the Olivia we got this episode, loved that she put the personal to the side and did her job. She needs for Fitz to win, so that she can atone for Defiance, and then maybe she'll be able to move on from Fitz finally. For me, Fitz doesn't deserve Olivia at all. I know he loves her, I totally believe that despite his wankerish behavior, but until he fixes himself and his marriage, and actually makes a decision to divorce Mellie and put them both out of their misery, he has nothing to offer Olivia, and I will be so mad if Olivia accepts his crumbs, going forward. I don't hate Fitz, because nobody on the show is lily white, however, I can't have Olivia anywhere near him and that toxic marriage of his at this point. It's de rigueur to hate Fitz right now, but all it will take is a determination from the writers to turn him back into a guy that we can root for again, and we'll all fall in line hook line and sinker. It's happened before, it'll happen again. We go where the writers take us. Mostly.


i just love the Last 5 mins of d episode... mellie palm on fitz face.. i wish she slapped him more than 1... i dnt know but the minute jake hands was on olivia neck.. i wnated him to pressed his hands little harder.

@ po0ky

So you approved of a 6ft plus guy walling up a woman who's barely 5ft and probably weighs 90lbs wet through? Good to know.


I find it fascinating that no matter how foul they are writing Fitz, people still want him and Olivia to have a happy ending. We really enjoy flogging ourselves, don't we?

@ Fudgefase

It's because everyone remembers the Scandal canon that was established in Season 1 and Season 2. Season 3 is a complete rewrite of history. For those who like consistency in the writing, they are not letting Fitz and Olivia go.

@ Bebe

To be fair. some of us didn't like Fitz from season one. That's probably why, they introduced Jake in season two as another option. Just to give us a break. But who's to say these are her only options.


I would totally agree, she should feel definitely skeptical. An poor Jake I hope they can get him out before it's too late. He's already changing. :(


All I can say about Fitz's reaction to his wife's affair is that if I were Olivia - he would not TOUCH me again. I too enjoyed seeing him get slapped by Mellie.
Speaking of Olivia, her myopic rationale for taking B-16 down has placed the President and company in danger. She forgot for all of the unethical and corrupt missions they carry out, they actually protect the White House.

@ Excited+Fan

YES. too stupid.

@ Excited+Fan

You are so right. The same thing goes for Huck. I know he says B613 took his life but it was really Rowan that did that. Jake isn't the same. They are very different types of Command. Huck has even worked with Jake before so you'd figure that he would know that. What they did is going to bite them in the ass big time.

@ Excited+Fan

Yes, Olivia's naivete about B613 is quite shocking.

@ Gigi2776

I call Liv's B613 actions stupidity because if she thinks Father Dearest is giving her this info out of the goodness of his heart she should think again..

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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.