Scandal Review: You Only Live Once

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There's a part of me who is really glad there's only one more episode of Scandal left this year. After episodes like Scandal Season 3 Episode 9, I'm not sure how many more twists I can take in one sitting!

Aside from one shock that wasn't all that shocking, "YOLO" set up next week's mid-season finale in fine fashion.

Jake To the Rescue

HuckleberryQuinn most likely met their demise tonight, and after watching Huck go Spin on Quinn, I can't blame her if she's afraid of him now. I wasn't the one wrapped in duct tape having my teeth pulled out and I was still afraid for my life. Her "he hurt me, he hurt me" to Charlie hurt me. Huck was her non-romantic person and she never envisioned that he would be able to turn on her.

She really should've known better. She should've heeded his warnings to quit while she was ahead. 

Quinn has wanted to be a badass super spy for a while now, but she never really knew what that meant. Sure, she tortured a guy to get information, but things change when you're on the other side of the drill bit. 

Guillermo Diaz is so good at being creepy that it's really hard to believe that he's not a crazy sociopathic torturer-murderer who'll do anything to protect Olivia. Really hard to believe. Seriously. Someone get this man an Emmy!

I know he called her his girlfriend, but I still can't figure out if Charlie is actually interested in Quinn or if he's playing a part in order to "activate his asset," but I'm interested in the two of them as a couple, probably because Charlie is interesting. 

He's not broken like Huck. He doesn't seem to want out of B613 like Jake. He's content being a super spy who tortures and kills people for a living. He revels in it. Quinn knows who he is and what he does and doesn't seem to care.

Watching him try to deal with her crying was a funny moment in an otherwise heavy episode. It was a well-placed moment of release from the night's tension. Now that he's walked her into Wonderland, things are definitely heating up.

Does Charlie know that she has the syringe? What will he do when he realizes why she's there? Is she there to kill Rowan like we think she is? That seems entirely too easy and is but one cliffhanger to be resolved next week.

Another cliffhanger that probably won't have a resolution next week, and which wasn't really all that shocking, is the fact that Mama Pope is really the big bad. Papa Pope was protecting his baby girl by squirreling his wife away in a prison for the past 22 years. Rowan's line to Charlie about how he doesn't like to kill people but sometimes sees it as a necessary evil brings up two opposing thoughts.

First, his statement that he doesn't like to kill people lends explanation to why he had Maya escorted off the plane and has kept her alive all these years. However, his belief that sometimes killing is necessary is, well, if she's a terrorist and he could have stopped her, why didn't he? Was it solely because he loved her? Because she was the mother of his child?

There's much about Rowan Pope which doesn't make sense, and of all the things that don't make sense, I want to hear his reasoning for why he got his supposed-terrorist wife off the plane. Not that I'm condoning killing her, but he was willing to blow up over 300 innocent people to make it look like she died only to hole her up in prison. Didn't it make sense just to kill her? 

Yes, probably. Which is also probably exactly why it didn't happen. All's fair in love and television, right?

Speaking of love, Cyrus and James!! Mellie's words of wisdom to Cyrus were sort of breathtaking in their devastation and heartbrokenness.

[to Cyrus] It hurts until it doesn't. You think it's going to break you, but it won't. You may not sleep as well at night, but you will be fine. Numb, but numb and fine are the same.


I kept waiting for Cyrus to confront James about Daniel Douglas and laughed at every purposeful sex joke James made until that point. He was baiting Cyrus, which Cyrus knew, and we knew, and it was grand. When he finally blew up, that was grand, too. 

What wasn't--isn't--grand is that Cyrus put his own husband in that position in the first place, especially without telling him. If he'd said to James "look, here's what I need, can you do this?" James, despite his morals, likely would've acquiesced in order to help Cyrus because he loves his husband. The man perjured himself for goodness sake! Doesn't that earn him some shred of an explanation in any and all of Cyrus' future schemes?

It should. But because Cyrus didn't tell his husband what was going on, he's not only potentially lost his husband, but he's turned Sally Langston into a murderer and now she's off the ticket anyway. Probably.

In a fit of rage, jealousy, sadness, some other emotion that might cause people to kill their spouses, Sally killed Daniel Douglas for having an affair with another man. RIP, Horn-rimmed Glasses! 

If the Grant campaign smelled awful because of the President's affair, it will be positively putrid after the public finds out that Sally murdered her husband. 

There's a two-way tie for best parts of the night for me. I mean, aside from all the other best parts of the night. 

One of the best parts of the night was Jake and Fitz in the Oval talking about being heroes and helping Olivia. Was that a boatload of hotness and testosterone or what? Yikes! I need to turn on the air-conditioning after that!

Jake had some excellent points about how Fitz doesn't do his own heavy lifting and others get swept into his wake. Jake never asked for a life as part of B613, but that's the life he ended up living. Hearing it like that sort of puts the two men into new light.

They both love and care for Olivia. They both want to be a hero. Her hero. And yes, Olivia does need one of those. She's a strong woman, but much of her strength is given to others. At some point she needs someone to be strong for her. Fitz may have meant that as a jab at Jake, but he's just as guilty of wanting to protect and save her as Jake is.

I loved hearing Olivia's mother talk about the life she imagined her daughter would be living because so much of what Maya envisioned while she rotted away in a prison cell is what it seems Olivia imagined for herself.

With all the talk of Vermont and jam and kids, it seems that Olivia dreamed up a different life for herself than the one she's currently living. She dreamed of a life with laughter and how many times have we actually seen Olivia Pope laugh in three seasons?

Olivia had the opportunity to have that life with Edison, but she turned it down. At some point she has to ask herself if that's the life she really wants and whether or not she would be content to live it. I think it isn't and she wouldn't. 

What did you think of Scandal Season 3 Episode 8? Where do you think HuckleberryQuinn are headed? Are you shocked that Sally killed Daniel Douglas? 

Yolo Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (168 Votes)

Miranda Wicker was a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in 2017. Follow her on Twitter.

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Scandal Season 3 Episode 9 Quotes

I'm disappointed in you, Quinn. You've been a bad girl and I need to know exactly what you've been up to. But before we start, I need to say I'm sorry. I'm so sorry because I'm going to enjoy this. I'm going to love it and I don't want to.


[to Quinn] Peeling off the skin can be beautiful. Or removing fingers, toes. I like the feeling of a toe being separated from a foot. But with you because we're friends, because we're family, I won't do any of that. You get a friends and family discount.