Scandal Review: Who Shot Fitz!?

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Have you caught your breath yet? Tonight’s episode of Scandal did not disappoint and was filled with some huge BOOM moments. Let’s dive right in.

Instead of making us wait, the Shonda Rhimes-penned “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” picked up directly with the gunshots that ended the prior episode. The chaos and confusion surrounding the event were conveyed brilliantly with Olivia’s emotional confusion and, of course, a fab Mellie meltdown as she slaps a doctor with her bloody hand. Bless you, Mellie!

Once the docs work on saving Fitz, Olivia finds a Presidential flag pin and, if you know Shondaland, this is IMPORTANT. But, really, it is and we flashback to Fitz’s inauguration where he and Olivia (then White House Director of Communications) were already hot and heavy. We see her give him the American flag pin just before he was sworn in and we also figure out that Mellie, who is a lot sweeter in the past, doesn’t have a clue about their affair… yet.

Cheers for the President

One quick note – while some shows us flashbacks as a way to give a reprieve to the present day storylines, Scandal does it right. All the flashbacks inform our characters (some in HUGE ways) and also help the viewer get to know everyone a bit better.

One big thing I learned is that post-Inaugural ball, the President is allowed to have sex in the Oval Office. I’m speaking of Fitz and Liv, who get busy in the Oval Office with a steamy love scene. To their credit, the twosome acknowledges this isn’t really right but then Fitz says, “I can’t stop… can you?” So he does what any man (President or not) would do? He takes off Liv’s panties. BOOM!

So we can cool off, we meet up with present day, Mellie, who is mostly too busy at the hospital to be the bitch of the episode so that honor goes to Vice President Sally Langston, who sees her chance to grab the Presidency while Fitz deals with the small cast of a bullet in his head. And you gotta love Cyrus’s loyalty in ripping the VP a new one for her actions but she’s not backing down so this is gonna get good.

Oh, and Liv tells the White House staff (present day, mind you) that she’s back. We’re not sure yet what that means for the rest of her crew (who aren’t present too much outside of watching the goings on back on the office TV) but that’s for another episode.

New Prez Fitz is jogging with his Secret Service, who schools him on the surveillance cameras that are all over the White House but are not as plentiful at Camp David. BOOM! We’re at Camp David where we see past moments of Fitz, Liv and Cyrus working, Liv having a heart to heart with Cyrus telling him that everyone knows James is more than a well-dressed bestie and, of course, lots of hot and heavy scenes where naked Liv and Fitz taking turns slamming each other up against walls with appropriate moans and gasps (which may have been me watching the show but I’m still not quite sure).

And who is that long, shaggy haired and bearded guy helping Olivia? Well, flashback Huck, of course! Despite the rough appearance, he’s still Huck talking to the ground and not smiling (in other words, psycho and brilliant all blended together) and Liv needs him to look into some (gasp) voting machines in Ohio. Liv also gives him her keys and tells him he’s living with her now. Aw, Liv loves her people!  (I actually appreciated that we didn’t have to go through all the current cast members and where they were. Wisely, we only see the people who were actually relevant during the past time.)

Past Prez and Liv share some passion-filled Shonda Rhimes dialogue on the struggles of their guilt-filled relationship: “I smile at her and I take off my clothes for you,” says Liv. “You control me. I belong to you,” says Prez. This doesn’t change anything but, hey, it’s nice to see they are having pangs of guilt in between romps.

Back to the present at the hospital, Liv needs someone’s help who can help keep Sally from getting hold of the Oval Office – Mellie, who snips at Liv but then gets that this is about Fitz so she agrees. Mellie needs something to wear and Liv ends up alone in The First Closet, which is bigger than most of our homes. Liv takes one of Fitz’s sweaters and crumbles to the ground. Again, while this scene could be stale or like something we’ve seen a hundred times, it really works.

Past Fitz wants Olivia to touch it. She wants to but she’s not sure. We’re talking about the Constitution, of course (what else?) And since there are no guards around to ask where their hands have been, even this feels nasty, dirty and really fun. But, the real point of the scene is they agree that they’re ‘in this together’ which makes the return to 2012 Liv crying tears into Fitz’s sweatshirt all the more poignant. An emotional BOOM moment, for sure.

Who’s that talking to the press? Mellie in full First Lady mode (pearls = sincerity mode) stressing that Fitz is still the President in hopes that Sally will ease up on her quest. (Sadly, my money is on Sally.) And, jumping back to the past at a photo opp with Fitz, Mellie gets the first inkling that the secret service may know something she doesn’t when Fitz cannot find the American flag pin. It’s a small moment but an important one.

Past Liv gets schooled by dastardly Hollis on how there’s often collateral damage when you do things like kill people for the greater good. Hollis is going to tag the blame for an explosion on a woman named…wait for it… Lindsay Dwyer… you know, a.k.a. Quinn!! (We don’t see past Quinn but another great example of feeding us delicious little origin nuggets brilliantly)

Mellie shows her first signs of being, well, Mellie. She lets Liv know that she knows all about she and Fitz getting naked together and, surprisingly, you actually feel sorry for the First Lady, which is different, right? The guilt gets to Liv and we soon find out the moment when Liv stopped working for the President when she leaves a resignation on the same desk where they recently boinked. Poignant.

And, because this is Scandal, you just know you’re in for some big end moments.

Sally Langston has gotten the support she needs to take the Presidency away from Fitz and takes the Oath of Office. BOOM!

Liv gives Mellie the American Flag pin to put by Fitz’s side as he lay motionless in the hospital. BOOM!

Now, if you didn’t notice, nobody has said much about WHO actually shot the President. The news report from guest Stephen Collins (yes, from 7th Heaven) tells us the suspect has a red hoodie, average height and build, buzzed hair cut… hmmm… we get to relive the President being shot, see the room where the shooter pulled the trigger, see the gun, see the red hoodie and, BOOM, see that it’s Huck. 

End of episode. Did you see THAT coming??!!


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (367 Votes)

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of Follow him on Twitter.


I kept going dont be huck be charlie, dont be huck be charlie! sadly it was huck. idk if mellie had anything to do with it but she was terrified it would happen.


You've got to love this show. Last night episode was so amazing. I loved the flashbacks of Olivia and Fitz. Those two chemistry is off the charts. You know their relationship is so wrong but they just seem so right together. I never liked Mellie but last night I gain so much respect for her character. I love how she and Olivia work together for the good of the President. Also liked that we got to see how the whole thing went down with Quinn being framed. Huck being the shooter didn't surprise me. Usually I'm left with my mouth hanging wide open after every episode but towards the end I just knew it was Huck. Can't wait to next week to see his reasons. Poor Olivia being put in the middle of her two fave men. Great show and wonderful episode. Scandal has def moved up to my favorite show.


Worst review ever, you just retold everything that happened without any conclusion of your own, disaster.


Ohmygod! Ohmygod! OHMYGOD not done yet OHMY GOD! When the end scene came and i saw the press sercetary fall, it crossed my mind that she maybe the target? but why shoot the president? He is BIG coladorol damage, wasn't it better to shoot someone from the constitution? I don't know. When I saw that hoodie, i thought Not Huck, not Huck! but OMYGOD moment (Or BOOM) I liked to see the relationship of liv&Fitz in the past when he just became president, see how that went, see how it started. It's interesting thing to watch. And again OMYGOD (just because i can)


@shondarfan you're theory doesn't sound too bad to be honest. What you said about Huck not leaving a job unfinished is completely right! If he wanted Fitz dead he would be.
I just hope that Huck wouldn't do that Olivia, I mean we've seen time and time again that he'll do ANYTHING for her so I don't understand how he could break her like that. The whole 'Touch it' 'I'm not touching it you touch it' scene was by far the cutest thing they looked like a couple of teenagers 'You do it' 'No you do it' haha
And that scene when they were just in bed talking (literally like a 5 second moment) was equally cute. I just love them when they're being so simple, almost normal. Olitz all the way guys!! Now, how the huck do you fellow gladiators think this will all play out?


We have been told that there are other flashbacks - I bet Fitz comes out of it but he does not remember his involvement with Olivia -what do you think about that theory? And, if he gets well how do they get rid of Sally- I do not think she can be permanent president if Fitz is still alive.


I'm surprised so many were caught off guard about Huck as the shooter; I could tell by the mannerisms (though I was hoping I was wrong). But good point about the hoodie, he wouldn't make sure he stood out so much. I have the ep on DVR; I think I will take a second look at the end to be sure you really see Huck firing; I hope that it wasn't definitive, I really like Huck.
Wonderful episode! I was so glad there is one more episode before the winter finale. I want to get just a little more scandalous before Christmas!


Great Episode last night! I think Mellie had something to do with the shooting! If you go back to the limo scene last week, how Meillie had a sudden change of heart about attending the ball,right when the limo got there...and how she insisted even more when Fitz annouced Liv was no longer his mistress. My theory is, she hired someone close to Liv, Huck, to kill the president...knowing that Liv would "fix" the mess out of fear of being implicated because Huck works for her. Mellie would win both ways, dead cheating husband and the mistress left to clean up the mess!


Great episode. But it left me and I'm sure everyone else thinking why Huck being the shooter, and I can only think that Fitz organised the shooting. He'd rather die than live without Olivia being in his life, and him seeing pics of Edison last week was just too much to bear, but we will have to wait and see.


I even loved how this episode shows his wife, not as a bitch who wants everything for her own gain. But as someone truly excited for her husbands future and someone who is scared to lose him and maybe realizing how much she still loves them. And that ending, Huck. Oh Huck, you have single handedly done the most damage to Olivia to date. And who knows if he thought he was protecting Olivia, or if he's working for someone else. But when she finds out, and we KNOW Olivia will not stop until she knows, this is going to break her.

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