All the Olitz fans who hoped that Scandal Season 5 Episode 1 would be the start of smooth sailing for the show's central pair were apparently not good boys and girls in the off-season.
But really it's okay because what would Scandal be without some crazy Fitz-Olivia drama to keep us on our toes, right?
You guys didn't really think this was going to be a happily ever after season, did you? Where's the fun in that?
Before getting into what worked about the premiere, let's discuss a few details that didn't. For starters, it really wasn't necessary to bring Cyrus and Jake in for one scene each. Sure, we were all curious what happened to them since Cyrus was fired and Jake walked away from Olivia on the Scandal Season 4 finale, but a mention would've been sufficient.
Or nothing at all.
Sure, Jake can probably help Huck, but it would've worked just as well to have Huck knock on a mysterious door and that's it. Save the reveal that Jake's behind the door for a time when there's more scenery to devote to what it is he'll do to help Huck.
The suspense of having Huck leave Olivia's apartment after that heartbreaking scene between them would've been great. And that scene was heartbreaking.
I so badly want to fix Huck. I want Olivia to work her magic and bring him back from the brink of disaster. When Olivia said she couldn't fix Huck, what she meant was that she couldn't fix herself. She still hasn't replaced the wine-stained couch cushion from her kidnapping. There's a hole in her life, and she's trying to plug it up, but it isn't working. That scene? Totally worked for me.
We did get mention of Cyrus with the cover story that he left the White House to spend time with his family. We all knew it was a cover, and even though I relish the thought of Cyrus coming on board to manage Mellie's staff and eventually run her Presidential campaign bid, that was time that could've been devoted to something else.
The Cyrus-Mellie scene gave us that beautiful "he hates us" moment where the two people who made Fitz came to terms with the fact that they were no longer part of his inner circle, but it could've waited. (And yes, I'll argue that Mellie and Cyrus, along with Big Jerry, made Fitz.)
That's it for me as far as gripes are concerned. I thought the rest of the episode made a fine season opener and appreciated the juxtaposition of the Princess' life and death with Fitz and Olivia's relationship.
I have a love-hate thing as far as how cavalier they were with their relationship. I love seeing little moments between them where she's doing something simple like wearing his t-shirt and taking off her earrings before bed, presumably having just brushed her teeth and done whatever other normal people stuff jam-makers do before bed. Those moments have always been the ones missing for me when it comes to Olitz.
However, I think we all have to agree it was pretty freaking stupid of them to carry on the way they did so publicly within the private residence. Super, super stupid, and I'm actually shocked that Olivia wasn't being more secretive, what with all her planning for "optics" and the methodical way in which he would divorce Mellie so they could be together.
Her obsession with doing things the right way would make sense if she'd had the revelation about the two of them becoming a spectacle before tonight. What Olivia's really obsessed with is image, hers and his, and her career, and that's okay. It's perfectly legit for her to want to protect her assets. It's a good thing! Really!
That's why it doesn't make sense that she carried on so freely with Fitz in the White House. He has nothing to lose. His bucket list is complete once he and Olivia ride off into the Vermont sunset to make jam. Olivia? She's got a reputation to think about. Employees who need her and depend on her.
It all feels just a little weird.
That's why the leaked pictures made for the perfect way for the episode to end. Absolutely perfect.
Here's Olivia trying to keep it together, trying to plug up this hole in her life with Fitz, convincing him not to leave his wife just yet, and now she is the crisis she has to fix and someone close to her caused it. Someone who knows her did this.
We're either about to see Olivia's downfall or her redemption through how she reacts and responds to the closing moments. She will either use this as a way to heal herself completely and come out of this better than she's ever been, or she'll continue to fall apart. She's going to have to decide whether she wants to be with Fitz no matter what or only if it's perfect.
While I agree with her that their relationship will be stronger if they start off unbroken, life and love are messy endeavors, and Olivia Pope, for all her formidability when handling her clients' messes, has a tendency to run away from the same things in her own life.
So now the question is, will Olivia stand strong or will she run away? Oh, and who leaked the photos? Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts on the Scandal Season 5 premiere and don't forget you can watch Scandal online right here!
(Welcome back! It's been a long few months without y'all!)
Here is your first look at Scandal Season 5 Episode 2:
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.