Scandal Season 5 Episode 3 Review: Paris is Burning

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Did Olivia Pope have a plan when she stood on that sidewalk and admitted to being the President’s mistress? It certainly didn’t look like it in Scandal Season 5 Episode 3

The Scandal pendulum swung from one end to the other as Olivia’s confession threw everything into chaos. The only one who was smiling was Fitz, but even that was short lived. The moment he ordered Mellie to go along with what ever plan he came up with, he shot himself in the foot.

Why does he always have to be such an ass to Mellie?

Facing the Consequences - Scandal

Could Fitz be any more wishy washy? One moment he’s holding hands with Mellie on camera to tell the world how strong their marriage is and the next he’s making out with Olivia in the Oval Office. It’s amazing and a little sickening how quickly the man can switch gears. 

Liv wasn’t far off the mark when she compared the entire situation to a contentious divorce because once you remove all of the complications, that’s essentially what’s happening. Mellie wants the marriage. She’s hurt because he’s not only ditched her as a wife but also as a partner and friend. Fitz just wants out so he can have his mistress by his side. The angrier they become the less likely that anyone will win. 

Abby was impressive as she took charge at every turn; from getting Secret Service to storm the interview to telling Fitz what needed to be done. Of course, that last part isn’t all that big of a deal. Let’s face it, everyone tells Fitz what to do. In this episode alone, Olivia, Abby, Liz, and Cyrus all took their turn manipulating Fitz. Please tell me most of our real presidents are this malleable.

Speaking of Abby, she was furious with Liv and with good reason. Her best friend looked her right in the eye and lied to her. It wasn’t because Olivia was trying to protect Abby. It was because she didn’t trust her and that on some level, lying about her relationship with Fitz has become second nature. 

I almost felt sorry for Jake. Almost because at some point he’s got to grow a pair when it comes to Olivia. When things got bad last week, she ended up cuddling with him as they hid out. Then she turned around and ran back to Fitz announcing to the world that she was his mistress.

When the reality of that decision became too much, she called Jake to lament she may have made a mistake, and the moment he agreed to take her back, she ran back to Fitz once again. 

Please Jake, stop letting Liv yank your chain so hard. It’s going to leave permanent scars. 

Back at the White House, Olivia ran into Mellie searching for her hooch. I love how you can take the girl out of the South, but you can't take her stash of shine. 

I couldn’t help but laugh when Mellie asked Olivia in this Scandal quote

Do you like to decorate, Olivia? Come winter time do you find little snowflake ornaments and golden pinecones just adorable? I hope you do because those 111 Christmas trees don't just design themselves.


Her delivery was just so darn perfect that I couldn’t help but laugh. I’ve watched those Christmas at the White House specials, and as much as I love the holiday, even I find them a bit much. I can’t imagine having to slap on a smile and do that every year. Is that really the life Olivia wants?

And what happens to her Gladiators if she’s living in the White House? Who’s going to hold Huck’s leash while she’s stroking Fitz’s ego?

The fact is the moment Olivia announced that she was the President’s mistress, it changed her life forever. That’s the way America will always view her, much the same way the country still thinks of Monica Lewinsky some 20 years later. It’s sad but true. 

Especially once Abby’s done slamming her in the press. 

Perhaps Fitz’s stupidest move was the way he treated Cyrus. He didn’t just deny him his job, his dismissed and humiliated him. That’s a pretty dumb thing to do to the person who knows where all of the bodies are buried, both real and figurative.

It only took a couple of words from Cyrus to blow up their carefully orchestrated interview. The worst part is that most of the fallout will rain down on Olivia. 

And while Nero fiddled, Rome burned. I knew the Louvre burning had to mean something by the way Jake tore out of there. The fact that he ran straight to Rowan in prison means it’s something really big and probably very scary. Will Command have to come back into play once again to save us all?

Check in on Monday to see what our Scandal Round Table Team has to say, and then return next Thursday to read our Scandal Season 5 Episode 4 review.

If you just can’t get enough, you can watch Scandal online any time here at TV Fanatic. 

Paris is Burning Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (43 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Scandal Season 5 Episode 3 Quotes

Mellie, this is a very important moment. Don't waste it being human. Your answer will define your future. Think like a champion. Think like a warrior.


Oh look. It's the girl who can't shut her legs or her mouth.