Olivia Pope is a woman on a mission.
On Scandal Season 7 Episode 1, the former gladiator tried to prevent a national crisis, while revealing to everyone that she was in control and that they should all just accept it.
Well, not in those words, exactly, but we got the message loud and clear.
TV Fanatics Christine Orlando, Toshia Smith and Lizzy Buczak discuss the big twists, Olivia's power, and more!
Does Olivia have too much power?
Christine: Originally I was going to say no, because someone has to hold the power, but Olivia’s speech to Mellie made me feel differently. Olivia has become her father, and we all know what lies down that road, and it isn’t anything good.
Tosh: I’m the opposite. At first, I was going to say yes, but then Olivia’s speech to Mellie made me think that she needs to be the one who holds the power.
She was about to go with Jake’s plan to kill the spy until Jake started saying she had to be like her father. No one likes to be compared to their predecessor. This is her moment to change how B613 is run, and I like it.
Lizzy: Olivia definitely has too much power, and right now, she thinks she's invisible. She is getting high off of all that power but it's corrupting her because we already see, she'll do anything to keep it and ruin anyone in her way. As Papa Pope told her, you cannot have it all, and when you're on top, the only way to go is down.
What did you think of the way Olivia spoke to Mellie about becoming a monument?
Christine: When Olivia threateningly told Mellie, “I am right, always” and “I alone have your back” it reminded me of an abusive husband keeping his wife in line. It made me think a lot less of Olivia. There’s power, and then there’s abuse of power, and I’m afraid that Olivia has crossed that line.
Tosh: Olivia was harsh the entire episode, but it was needed for Mellie to understand that their power will always be undermined. Just like Papa Pope said at the beginning of the episode, Olivia will lose some power, and then she’ll have to decide it she wants it back.
It seems she’s decided to share custody of the power with Mellie, with her being the primary parent.
Lizzy: It was a power grab and the most Olivia-type thing she could have done. Liv always needs to have the upper hand so she can control the situation so when she felt both Jake and Mellie slipping from her, it freaked her out.
Liv was talking down to Mellie and threatening her and her Presidency if she didn't comply with her three rules. And while the part about women working together to own the White House was inspirational, it lost its meaning with Liv turning into a dictator.
Were you surprised Cyrus did not take the opportunity to stab everyone in the back?
Christine: No. Cyrus doesn’t like playing second fiddle, but he’s also had a lot of practice with it with Fitz. Cyrus, like most of us, needs to feel valued.
If he feels needed and feels that he can contribute to the cause, he can be very loyal. It’s when he feels slighted or no longer useful that he will look elsewhere. Mellie would be smart to keep Cyrus by her side.
Tosh: I believe Cyrus just wants to be acknowledged for his efforts. On Scandal Season 6, he was visibly upset because Olivia didn’t think that Frankie Vargas would really choose him as a running mate. Cyrus wants to be known for more than his scheming, and I think this is a step in the right direction.
Lizzy: I was surprised but proud as hell! I think Cyrus has been going through a major change since last season when Frankie was killed, and he was framed for it.He spent time in prison, lost everyone and then miraculously got a second chance.
And he doesn't want to waste it again... at least I hope. I think that now that he's in a position of power, he obviously still wants more, but is willing to use his platform for good. They've been in the White House doing things selfishly for far too long; it's time to do something for the people. That's not to say the temptation won't be there every time a new offer pops up.
Did you miss Fitz?
Christine: Not at all. If they hadn’t mentioned him, I don’t know that I would have even noticed he was gone.
Tosh: Fitz was barely a part of the show if he wasn’t in a scene with Liv. The only thing that made me miss Fitz was the fact that Olivia was still messing around with Jake. I feel like this Jake/Olivia relationship is so stale and should have ended two seasons ago.
Lizzy: To be honest, I didn't even realize he wasn't in the episode until after it ended. As I was thinking back, I was like "oh crap, Fitz was all the way in Vermont minding his own business for once."
I guess since they acknowledged him and there was that brief moment where Liv too wished she was in Vermont, I felt like he was part of the episode. Hopefully, he'll be back soon to bring humanity back to Liv's character.
What do you want to happen in the final season?
Christine: I’m all for the girl power theme, but Olivia took things too far when she made Mellie kowtow to her will. I think Olivia Pope will face some comeuppance which is kind of sad, but necessary.
Elsewhere, I hope to see Jake perhaps find some sort of happiness away from Liv, Abby and David get back together, and Quinn and Charlie actually make a happy family.
Tosh: I agree with Christine that Olivia is due for a knockdown on Scandal Season 7. I think whatever challenges she faces, it will force her to step away from her job and move to Vermont with Fitz. Whatever happens, I just want Huck to get his family back.
Lizzy: I don't think I can answer that question because I literally never know what Shonda Rhimes has up her sleeve. I do know that I want to see more of Quinn and Abbie running QPA and also still being friends with Liv since that's how it started.
I want the old "white hat" Liv back because, in my opinion, she wielded way more power and instilled much more fear in people when she was on the good side. And I want her to end up with Fitz finally. Despite everything, I'm still #TeamOlitz, and I want my happy ending in Vermont goddamnit!
What's your take on the questions, Scandal Fanatics?
Hit the comments!
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.