Scandal Season Premiere Review: Two Sides To Every Story

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Finally, Scandal is back with the answer to the question we've been asking all summer: Who is Quinn Perkins? The only problem is that now we have more questions than answers. Again.

"White Hat's Off" proved just how far people will go to save the person they care most about: themselves.

Joshua Malina on Scandal

First off, Quinn Perkins is Lindsey Dwyer, a.k.a. the "Molotov Mistress." She's wanted for the bombing of the office park where her then-boyfriend and his other girlfriend, the one he wasn't supposed to have, worked. The only evidence against her is an angry voice mail and the fact that she fled. But still, seven people are dead and someone obviously did it.

But was it Quinnsey? (I'm not sure which she'll be going by for the rest of the series, so I'm kind of confused as to what to call her at this point.)

Abby and Harrison aren't so convinced of her innocence and say as much numerous times. Olivia, however, is convinced it wasn't Quinn. Huck is also convinced it wasn't Quinn. They both have good reasons to believe that it wasn't Quinn. Reasons like the fact that they helped cover it up.

The reveal that Olivia and Huck were the ones who kidnapped Quinn, brought her to D.C. and set her up with the new identity is one I didn't see coming. In fact, when Huck got into the car and I saw Olivia behind the wheel, my jaw actually fell open.

The scenes between them when Huck was looking for the video footage were so well done. No confidences were betrayed, even slightly. Their involvement does, however, explain how Olivia knows so much about Quinn and why Olivia brought her on to Pope & Associates. If Olivia is intimately involved in this, keeping Quinn close is key to protecting her own assets.

Olivia tells Quinn she never takes a case she knows she can't win, but in this case, she's taken one she can't afford to lose. (This scene, and more, can be found on the Scandal quotes page!)

But why did Olivia aid in this cover-up? In doing so, the actual killer has gone free. And who is this woman that she's so highly connected to everything?

Because of David Rosen (Josh Malina) being a regular character now, my suspicion says that we'll find out at some point. The phone call that got Quinn acquitted did serious damage to his career and has raised suspicions about just how "good" Olivia is. David intends to find out just what she's hiding. I can't wait to find out.

In other things that made my eyes wide, Bellamy Young is nothing short of amazing as Mellie Grant.

How much do you love to hate her? If you're me, a lot.

Here's a woman who, to save her husband and the life to which she's grown accustomed, will stop at nothing. She'll get pregnant with "America's Baby" and force the President to go to war. She's a master manipulator. But she's also given up everything to chase someone else's dream and Fitz has a way of cutting her down by being so cruel that it makes her sympathetic. I have emotional whiplash from watching them go back and forth tonight.

And speaking of emotions, so much went unsaid between Fitz and Olivia tonight. Just knowing that Cyrus had spoken to her caused Fitz to pause in his tracks. Their "I hate you" exchange was a thinly veiled attempt to say what they know they can't. Olivia's face betrays her emotions when it comes to the President, and the silence between them on that phone was almost palpable. Even though she can't be with him, she can't stop herself from helping him fix things.

It's just what she does.

Every character on Scandal has two sides, and so far, despite the background information we gleaned from season one, we've really only scratched the surface of their stories. And with all the questions that keep coming up, it seems that what we think will be the end of a story arc is really just the beginning of a much larger tale. After tonight, I'm excited for what's to come.

What did you think of "White Hat's Off"? Was the Quinn Perkins/Lindsey Dwyer reveal worth the wait?


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


That was a bloody AMAZING premier, and I am with all of those who feel the need to genuflect to Shonda Rhimes, who has made this show so perfectly plotted and characterized that you can not help but watch and marvel for an hour. I was literally biting my nails throughout Quinn/Lindsey's trial, and then that twist at the end left me gasping! My only concern with this show is that usually shows that are this brilliantly written and enacted are cancelled because the general public doesn't understand them, and prefers low-brow humor/drama on reality shows, which make me ill. While I absolutely LOVE Olivia, I loathe the first lady, who is just vile, she is so manipulative. But good for Fitz for taking Olivia's advice and telling Cyrus that he will only start a war when he absolutely has to, if at all, not when he's been pushed into it. I also love the computer guy, whose name escapes me, but he is an incredible actor, he does more with those fathomless eyes than most actors do with their whole bodies. Mercy, but I love this show. Can't wait for next week!


That's how you do a premier, i was literally at the edge of my set the whole time, and my goodness Mellie is so great at being bad its inspiring. I could see why Fitz let her have it and to be honest she deserved it, yes it was harsh but i feel like she needs that sometimes, but we all know the lengths she will go to. The scene on the phone between Fitzlivia was incredible, i felt the love radiating off them and was so sad they couldn't be together. I also saw that last scene coming, the way things happened seemed very Olivia Pope like and when Huck got in the car i knew it would be her but was still a little shock that i was right. What i want to know is who she called and why is Quinsey (nice name) so important. My gosh this episode was chalk full of everything but the kitchen sink and i loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


After watching this show last night with my mouth hanging open for the better part of an hour I'm still at HUH!! WOW!! OMG!! AWESOME!!


I really love this show, so happy it came back and it started as good as it ened! I think we are in for many more surprises this year. Last time we got so many hints that had a deeper meaning later on so I really paid attention to everything they said and there are tons of things where to turn on the story. If you only take the baby storyline and really listen, wow and so we every other character there... looking really forward to see more. IMHO at the moment the best show on TV.


Great premiere! I completely love Olivia Pope! Her character has a great mystery to it and hopefully it continues.


Incredible start to a new season. The Quinn reveal did not disappoint, and the last minute of this episode was definitely a shocker. I knew that Olivia had probably orchestrated Quinn's "interview" at Pope & Associates, but I never predicted that her involvement would go as far back as 2-3 years back and I certainly never would have guessed the extent of her involvement. The reason behind Olivia's involvement is probably going to be an even bigger mystery than Quinn's identity. And I agree about Mellie. The first lady is incredible, as were the scenes between her and Fitz. I also loved the conversation near the end, between Olivia and David......actually there were a lot of terrific scenes in this episode!


Oh. Em. Gee. I literally didn't breathe for an hour! I have to bow down to Shonda Rhimes, this episode was tighter than a duck's ass, and the actors all did an amazing job, even chickenheaded Quinn Perkins..erm...Lindsey Dwyer. Can I just say, I have a whole lot of love for Huck. If I was in trouble, I'd sure want him on my side. And I'm so glad they decided to give Bellamy Young a regular spot, Mellie is an absolute beast! As for the last few minutes, woah! I totally never saw that coming at all. So much goodness, I just didn't want it to end. Roll on next Thursday!


Love this show. The acting is over the top good. Olivia and Fitz, can you feel the love? Mellie, OMG what a monster, she is wonderful. We have three heavyweights going toe to toe. Great show, great writing, great intrigue, great characters. And just to be fair, everyone on this show is doing a excellent job. So Olivia knew Huck back then, looks like this was before his breakdown and he worked for the CIA then, so.........:-)


I didn't even blink. It was THAT good !


Scandal rules the school at the moment. Between The Good Wife and Revenge I didn't think I had room for more lawyers or guilty pleasure glam tv. But with Kerry Washington acting her ass off, Shonda writing the juicy storylines, mixing political intrigue with personal relationships, and a supporting cast that shines - this show truly is winning. Loved the season premiere, it answered a lot while setting us up for a helluva season. Nothing guilty about this pleasure.

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Scandal Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

Abby: It makes no sense. Do you buy it?
Harrison: I question she's lying about her alibi, but I have a hard time buying her as some Unabomber freak who could mix Clorox and toothpaste and blow up half an office park. No offense, Huck.
Huck: None taken.

Quinn: I went home and my apartment was surrounded, cops and FBI agents taking out all my stuff. A woman standing outside told me that a girl who lived there blew up a building and killed seven people.
Harrison: If you were innocent, you could've just called a lawyer.
Abby: You did work with a bunch of them. Also, I hear they're in the phone book.