Scandal Round Table: Welcome Back, Gladiators!

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Ain't no Thursday like a Scandal Thursday 'cause a Scandal Thursday party don't stop!

That's why we have a Scandal Round Table right here at TV Fanatic to discuss all of the important and insane moments from last night's premiere, Scandal Season 4 Episode 1.

Join Carla Day, Jim Garner, Leigh Raines, Christine Orlando, and Miranda Wicker as we break down "Randy, Red, Superfreak, and Julia" and then be sure to chime in with your answers below. We won't even blame you if you crack open a bottle of red wine or make popcorn first.

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1. What was your favorite quote or scene from Scandal Season 4 Episode 1?

Carla: I'm a sucker for Olivia and Fitz. I loved loved loved when they walked by each other and made the small move with their hands. They never touched or looked at each other, but the heat between them was palpable. Wow. As much as Jake is probably a better man (a killer too, but still better) for Olivia, her heart is permanently owned by Fitz.

Jim: I really enjoyed Jake and Olivia together, both on the beach and when they were "taking turns" later in her apartment. It is going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

Leigh: Quote: "Are we gladiators or are we bitches?" Classic. Scene: The funeral actually. Everybody put aside their differences and grudges to come back and say goodbye to Harrison. They were definitely family to Harrison, now they just have to realize they are family to each other. 

Christine:  Mellie!  I love this I don't give a f**k  side of her and I don't blame her a bit. Her son is dead. That she can get up and function at all is a huge accomplishment. I love how she told Fitz off on the balcony. And the line about it being "1976 down there" was equal parts biting and comical. 

Miranda: Pretty much any time Jake takes his shirt off, I pay attention. It can always be his turn.

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2. Are you surprised that Olivia returned to D.C. so easily?

Carla: I don't think she returned that easily. The death of Harrison was something she couldn't ignore and I do believe in her mind she expected to return to the island with Jake. At the same time, if she looked in her heart she would have realized that a trip to DC would end up being for good. She's a gladiator not a beach bum.

Jim: I'm actually glad that she didn't hesitate to go back for Harrison's death. I had read back in April that Columbus Short had been released from the show, clearly the writers wanted to make it very clear he was gone for good.

Leigh: Nope. Like Carla said- she's a gladiator not a beach bum. Olivia can't sit idly by and watch injustice. It goes against every fiber of her being. But damn that island looked nice. 

Christine:  No, I knew the second she got back to D.C. that it would drag her back in. It's in her blood. I don't think she'll walk away from it again. 

Miranda: It wouldn't be Scandal without Olivia Pope in D.C., but I do wish she had hesitated for half a second or something. So no, I'm not surprised. Maybe we'll see her wrestle with the decision in future episodes.

3. Which character most needs a hug and why: Huck or Mellie?

Carla: A hug isn't what Huck needs, instead he needs a slap to the back of his head. Mellie ... she needs a bazillion hugs and a new purpose. With the loss of her son and Fitz's suicide attempt (what?), Mellie has every excuse to be in her PJs and moping around. She's too strong a woman to stay that way for long. I'd love to see Olivia's return spark Mellie back to life. A hug from Olivia and a pep talk could do the trick.

Jim: Mellie really needs a hug, and then some therapy. I understand she lost a child, and I can't imagine what that is like, but honestly, walking into the Oval Office in her PJ's eating cereal from the box seems like a good indication that she has booked passage on the looney train. 

Leigh: Mellie needs a hug and apparently a bikini wax. I love Mellie and I don't blame her after everything she's been through to just throw her hands up and give up for awhile. 

Christine:  Having a child, I have to go with Mellie. That she's with it enough to be sarcastic and angry instead of curled up in the fetal position is probably a good sign. 

Miranda: I'm totally feeling that, Christine. My heart shattered into about a million pieces all over my floor when she visited her son's grave and just laid down on it. It might have just shattered again replaying the scene in my head. Someone please give that woman a hug.

4. Pen a eulogy for Harrison.

Carla: You got mixed up with the wrong people, but still didn't deserve to die like that. RIP Gladiator.

Jim: We all loved watching Harrison as a Champion and Gladiator,
It is sad that in real life you had multiple troubles with the law, 
Thus, I'm betting, that if Olivia Pope and Associates knew what we do,
They would not have thrown rose pedals on your grave - at all. 

Leigh: Harrison, you were most definitely a gladiator and not a bitch. More importantly your legacy is reminding those closest to you that they need each other and it's time to put those white hats back on. 

Christine:  Harrison, I'm sorry your life was ended so abruptly but as I never felt a real connection to you on the show, I can't say I'm really going to miss you. 

Miranda: Look at Jim the Poet up there! Harrison, please wear suspenders in the afterlife. You totally rocked them. And feel free to keep dancing that little Harrison dance of yours.

5. Grade the Scandal season 4 premiere.

Carla: B+  I enjoyed it, but the suspense and shocks were a little weak for a season premiere. The hour did set up for a promising season. Everyone is in a new position and that's exciting. Anything's possible. The strong are weak and the weak have been strengthened. What's next? No idea and that's what I love about Scandal.

Jim: I'm with Carla, this was a solid B+. They did a good job filling in the blanks on what has been happening, but it was still a bit scattered at the end, I'm sure it will tighten up next week and be running like clock-work before you know it. 

Leigh: Solid A. Guest stars, sexual tension, family drama, storyline set ups and back to the formula of a weekly case. I thought it was perfect. 

Christine:  B+ if only because the Senator's murder felt like it was all over the place. As Carla said, the weak have gained a lot of strength and that's fun to see. However, I was sorry to see David and Abby on the outs but I loved how she stood up to him. Hopefully they'll find their way back together again. If nothing else, I'm excited for next week. 

Miranda: I'll give it an A-. The premiere definitely reminded me that my Thursday nights have been sorely lacking while Scandal has been away, but there were parts of the episode that felt thrown together and rushed, almost making me wish for a two-hour premiere instead of one. SO MUCH STUFF was crammed into that episode, but still, shirtless Jake, that little Fitz-Olivia moment at the end, Mellie's zingers, yeah, I've missed you Scandal. Welcome back.

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

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Scandal Season 4 Episode 1 Quotes

'We'? We're not a team, Liv. You're just Olivia Pope. There is no 'And Associates.' Not anymore.

Abby

Do you need to validate your broomstick or can you find your way out on your own?

Cyrus