Scandal Round Table: "Beltway Unbuckled"

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Scandal is back this Thursday night, so the TV Fanatic Round Table is here to dish on the cover-ups and confessions from "Beltway Unbuckled" in advance of the upcoming episode.

Join TV Fanatic staff members Jim Garner, Carla Day, Leigh Raines and Miranda Wicker, along with Emily from ABC Scandal Fans, as we speculate on the secrets of Olivia Pope. Then share your theories in the comments...


What was your favorite scene from "Beltway Unbuckled?"
Jim: Mellie and Olivia meeting to strategize on how Mellie could help Olivia. It shows how powerful both women really are and what they can accomplish when working together. Very scary, but very cool.

Carla: The restaurant scene was painful to watch, but it was so well done. The judge warned Olivia that her actions would push Fitz away and she continued anyway. Those two lovebirds can't stay apart for too long. They are drawn to each other's rescue and they both seem to constantly be needing help.

Leigh: When Fitz realized that Mellie and Liv teamed up to get his attention about the immunity issue. He started cracking up and Cyrus thought he was crazy but when your wife and girlfriend team up, what can you do but laugh? The women in his life know him well.

Miranda: Hands down for me it was Fitz's crazy laugh when he realized what Mellie and Olivia had done. And then Cyrus' always awesome commentary.

Emily: I really liked the scene when Olivia visited Verna, the Chief Justice, at the hospital. Their interaction was great and I loved seeing Verna being almost maternal with Olivia - warning her about pushing Fitz away. It was nice to see Olivia in that type of interaction, almost child-like, especially since we still don't know much about her history/family. Very close second - "Bitches be crazy"!

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Speaking of Round Tables, who did you least expect to see sitting at that table and why?
Jim: I was surprised to see Mellie. Cyrus was no surprise, the oil exec had to be there, and we knew Olivia and the Supreme Court justice were in on it. Seeing the First Lady walk was a big shock.

Carla: The triumvirate of Olivia, Cyrus and Mellie. I never would have expected to see all three of them involved in the conspiracy together. That's a wicked threesome.

Leigh: Olivia! I'm so confused about all of this, need more information. That scene was a jaw dropper. I was surprised, but at this point we should just expect the unexpected.

Miranda: Mellie, no doubt. After last season, I don't really trust Cyrus and Hollis seems as slimy as the oil he drills. We knew Olivia and Verna had worked together to cover up the bombing. But Mellie? Yeah. I never would've put her at that table if I'd been left to figure it out on my own.

Emily: I definitely had to scrape my jaw off the floor after that scene and I can't wait to find out where everything is going from here. As shocking as it was to see them all together, Mellie was the biggest shock for me. I had Hollis & Cyrus paired up on one end of the conspiracy and Olivia and Verna on the other - definitely didn't see Mellie in the thick of this one and definitely didn't expect them to be working together. However, in retrospect, I thought it was ironic because Mellie said early in the episode "I want a seat at the table." Clearly she has one!

The Cytron cover-up took place before Fitz ran for President. What do you think it was really about?
Jim: Secrets, it's always about secrets. Either hiding them, finding them, or revealing them... I guarantee you it is one of those three.

Carla: Even though it was before his presidency, I'm guessing the cover-up was to protect Fitz so he could be elected President. No clue what it is about though. Even if I guessed, I'm sure it would be something much more convoluted.

Leigh: I think it's about money, funding, and shady dealings. Other than that I have no idea. We're only beginning to scratch the surface on this.

Miranda: Since the bombing took place in his home state of California, I'm thinking something happened while he was governor and he didn't know about it. Whatever it was, it was clearly big enough to keep him from becoming President if word ever got out.

Emily: Obviously, I think there is a link between Cytron and the first family since the software company is based in California – possibly something started when Fitz was Governor?  A connection between “Thorngate," the software program that the previous episode focused on and Cytron, which is a software company? For me, one of the biggest questions now is whether Fitz is involved and does he know any of what’s happened, or has this all been done with him in the dark?

How do you feel about Abby teaming up with David?
Jim: Not surprised. Olivia hasn't been giving her much reason to trust her and as I mentioned last week, sex has confused things for David and now they have feelings for each other. That being said, I'm pretty sure Abby will be the only thing keeping him alive very soon.

Carla: Intriguing plot twist. Abby has been annoying all season with her negativity, perhaps this will help her get over that. Or just make it worse. I didn't mind her in the first season, but now every time she talks it's like nails on a chalkboard. They would make a good couple.

Leigh: It's a slippery slope. Maybe they are really into each other. In the end, in order for Abby to resolve things with Olivia and stay at Pope and Associates, she will have to bring David into the fold. David and Liv were friends at one point.

Miranda: I'm with you Jim. I think Abby will be the only reason David makes it through this season without scissors in his neck. Shudder! Because I really like David Rosen, for that reason alone, I'm happy to see the two team up.

Emily: I have mixed emotions on this budding relationship. I think it will be a way for us to learn more about these characters on a personal level since we'll be seeing more interaction outside the office and the cases. However, I'm more conflicted about Abby's disloyalty to Olivia and Olivia's insistence on keeping Abby out of the loop. I can't say that one is right and the other is wrong, but I definitely see major conflict coming. I think we're really starting to see the change in dynamic in the OPA office with Stephen's departure.

What do you think of Huck being Olivia's Dexter?
Jim: I'm hopeful he can get back on the wagon and stay "sober" for a bit. Maybe cookie girl will be what he needs to get his mind off killing, sex certainly seems to be distracting Abby and David.

Carla: This murder is all on Huck. He fell off the wagon and it had nothing to do with Olivia. He needs to confide in her or get better help. If he continues, he will be putting Olivia and the firm at risk. Too many deaths tied to the firm and someone is bound to catch on.

Leigh: I think Huck has a lot of temptation, but Olivia usually helps curb that. After all, she did save him. I love that he protects her and he is trying to not be a killer, but it's in his nature. I still enjoy his character a lot.

Miranda: I think deep down, this is who Huck is, no matter what Olivia does to try and curb his cravings. I know we're not supposed to root for killers, but wow, was that monologue chilling! I think a good question now is whether Huck would ever end up on Dexter's table or if Dexter would give him a pass because Huck takes out people who slip through the cracks.

Emily: First, I thought it was so touching when Huck first approached the father, trying to steer him away from doing what Huck "does." I almost wondered whether Huck was trying to plead more with the father or himself to not act on the impulse for revenge, knowing and understanding where that path could lead. For me it was huge, once we knew that Huck took care of doing it for him. Huck did this on his own - he wasn't asked to do it and he didn't consult with Olivia before hand - he just acted. Because of that factor, I'm more scared for him now and how bad it will get down the road. At least before, Olivia knew what he was doing and knew to keep an eye on him. Will Olivia or anyone else KNOW he needs to be reeled back in?
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Scandal Season 2 Episode 4 Quotes

Cyrus: You can't be here.
Olivia: I wouldn't have come if I didn't I need a favor.

Mellie: I want a seat at the table.
Cyrus: You have a seat at the table.
Mellie: The kiddie table. I want a seat at the adult's table like I was during the election. Or have you forgotten how things worked back then?
Cyrus: We've all made sacrifices, me as much as anyone. That was the election. This is the White House and in the White House, this is the way things work.