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Scandal

Scandal Review: By Any Means Necessary

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Scandal never fails to disappoint upon returning from a break. Never. In fact, I think this show is incapable of disappointing at all right now. Scandal is on fire!

As the once-divergent story lines came crashing together around Olivia Pope, "Truth or Consequences" was a game-changer. 

Angry Olivia

I've said it all along, and tonight I was proven correct: Hollis was not behind the assassination attempt. 

Truthfully, having him be the culprit was too easy. Setting him up to make it look like he was behind it all, however, was brilliant. I have my theories about who set him up, but I'll probably be proven wrong somehow by some crazy loop Shonda will find a way to throw at us. That's okay, though. I can handle the ride on that roller coaster.

Now that we've gotten that major bit out of the way, let's talk about Olivia.

We've seen flashes of her struggle throughout the series so far. Tonight was superbly written, directed, acted, everything, start to finish. Seeing Olivia as she watched all of the events flash through her mind and then sink into bed unable to sleep or move because the weight of the guilt of what she'd done was just that heavy. That was necessary and heartbreaking in a way. 

For a time, Olivia convinced herself that everything she'd done had been for the greater good, but along the way she changed and wrecked lives. As a character, Olivia catches a lot of criticism for what is thought to be her flippant way of destroying people for what she perceives to be in everyone's best interests, but tonight made it clear that the decisions she makes most certainly burden her.

It was perfect that Edison went to her team - her family - to ask for their help in reaching her. He loves her enough to know that in a situation like that her Gladiators are the ones she needs, not him.

What was more perfect was the way Huck just flopped himself down on her bed before casually offering to off Hollis for her if that's what she wanted. 

Huck: Hollis Doyle has to go. I can take care of that for you if you want.
Olivia: Huck, you have to stop killing people.
Huck: Why? It solves the problem. | permalink

Huck also revealed that Cyrus "has a man" and named Charlie as that man. Huck and Olivia know that Charlie was responsible for Amanda Tanner's death. It won't be long before Olivia puts it together that Cyrus was behind her murder. (Also, that final scene with Charlie getting into the elevator with Hollis was a nice repeat of the last time we saw Billy Chambers.)

Huck's visit with Becky was another heartbreaker. Here's a woman who has just tried to kill the fictional President. I should not care one iota for her. But seeing that Huck cares enough about her to tell her his real name makes me want to care for her. She's the same as him, after all. Damaged. Broken by the government she swore to serve. Despite killing his family, Huck still has a desire to make things right with her, or at least for her, in whatever weird and twisted way he can. 

Regarding making things right, the team will go to great lengths to make Olivia herself right again because that's what she's taught them to do. She's taught them to fix people and they will find a way to fix her, starting with Harrison's allegiance and his insistence that, no matter what she may think of herself, she still wears the White Hat in his eyes.

Along those lines, David Rosen doesn't seem to be playing around when he says that he will come after Olivia if she tries to play him again. His ire over being sent on a mission to nab Hollis for the President's assassination when that mission turned out to be unfounded will no doubt set him on Olivia's trail somehow. But they'll be working together soon enough, and I'm actually looking forward to that. I like the idea of them working together instead of against each other and think they'll make a powerful team.

Which brings us to the closing remarks of this review: Team America's Baby.

As it turns out, Fitz is pretty serious about wanting a divorce, political suicide or not. He doesn't care. He knows what he wants and he expects to get what he wants. Mellie, however, also knows what she wants and what she wants is to be the First Lady, married to Fitz, and recognized for the years she put into grooming him into the man he is.

During her rant about how she's supposed to hate Olivia but feels slighted that she made Fitz and someone else gets to reap the benefit of that, I couldn't help but feel just the slightest twinge of sadness for her. To a certain degree, what she's saying is true. She put in the years to get him to the point of being able to campaign for President when, at least to hear her talk, that's what he wanted and not what she wanted. Somewhere along the way being First Lady became a consolation prize.

Having a doctor induce her labor to try to lure Fitz back to her? Mellie will truly stop at nothing to protect what she sees as hers. Absolutely nothing.

What did you think of "Truth and Consequences?" Who do you think was behind the assassination plot? 

Be sure to check out our Scandal quotes page for more Cyrus and Olivia and Fitz-y goodness. You can even add your own favorite lines if they aren't there already!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (163 Votes)

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

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Interesting review and more interesting comments. Well I believe Shonda said Olivia is an antihero and not a good person who fixes things for people. I love that in Scandal every single character (probably apart from Quinn) is flawed and different shades of grey. No one is completely white or black not even Mellie, Cyrus, Hollis etc who are the darker of the bunch.I don't believe people are pure white or completely black but are different shades of grey depending on the situation they find themselves in. Yes there are people who lean more towards the darker side and vice versa but no one is perfect and I love that Shonda is bold enough to depict that and that we are conflicted enough to root for such flawed characters. I find myself wanting to show Huck some love; I find myself empathising with mellie in being the first wife who put in all the work to get her husband to where he is just for him to meet his soul mate and fall in love; I find myself wanting Cyrus to have a loving home with James plus successfully adopting a child etc

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I never thought it was Hollis either, like you I thought that was too easy. I am still going with my thoughts that Sally and Billy are behind it. I refuse to believe he is actually dead. The only other alternatives are really crazy...Cyrus, Mellie (not likely), or a Gladiator (really crazy!)....even if the Shondra mantra is that "no one is safe"! Thinking about it makes my head hurt & Fitz staying with Mellie makes me sad. I cannot wait until next week, the pain and sadness and throwing stuff at the TV needs a brief rest, before it starts all over again.

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I tnink either Melie or Verna are reposnsible for the merder attempt of Fitz and Huck was fantsatic:)) that randomly metioning killing was great scene.
Love this show

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@ Marcus
Mellie's speech prove she did not marry Fitz because she love him and I call bull on the part on saving him from Big Jerry (the monster) as she had no proble bringing that monster back in knowing full well Fitz did not want him there and was culpable in humiliating him with the monster. I flip flop on my feelings for Mellie cause deep down she manipulative gangsta but the fact she would put her child life in danger just stay first lady is just....
As for Edison I don't think he as decent as she trying make him out to be. He's just scream shady, mind you I am still ticked this heffa let him self into her house told her he was going to prosecute her, then call her a whore and then propose, puddin pop is up to something and I would not be surprise if he was in on the shooting as I have feeling it was not someone from the rigging group.

Miranda-wicker

@Marcus--I definitely agree with you that the good guys are often portrayed as too nice, last-place finishers and it wouldn't hurt to see a good guy get ahead. And I have a serious back-and-forth with liking Fitz and loathing him. Mellie's a character who can flip-flop between darling and despicable faster than I can blink. Her speech about being the one who created him was fabulous. And then the labor induction was just...wow. The lengths to which she'll go, you know?

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Mellies speech does have some validity , she was the one taking care of Fitz and the children just to get betrayed by her husband with a hotter younger version. That had to leave some serious scars.
I know that i am probably in the minority here but putting someone like Fitz on a pedestal as the only one who can lead the free world so you have to rig an election for him and then comparing reality which makes him a cheater and someone who betrayed his family and children in the worst way. I just dont see where he is such a great guy. It kind of irks me that the really good stand up people like Edison and David are portrayed as boring and not that interesting. But hey its a TV Show and as Miranda stated if there would not be the flawed characters Scandal wouldnt be where it is now.
Its just the basis of so many TV Shows that good guy never win and bad guys are just more interesting.

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Loved, loved, loved last night episode. It saddened me to see Olivia so upset about her choices. Now should she be upset yes but to see the emotional toll she went through I was feeling it with her. I loved seeing the team again since the whole shooting of the president they kind of took a back seat to that issue. But loved Huck and Harrison devotion to Olivia no matter what. I couldn't believe that Mellie had her labor induced to try to hold on to Fitz. I was really feeling her pain during the speech about helping him and now having to watch Olivia reap those benefits but then she sank low again and does that. Shame on her. I figured too that no way Hollis could be apart of the shooting. Should be interesting to see who is. This show just keeps getting better and better.

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@ Miranda btw i love your blog. As a single-stay-at-home Dad of 3 girls the "will they ever stop talking so i can go to the bathroom feeling" is well known to me ....

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@ Miranda Of course you are right that her flaws make the show interesting.As a "hero" i mean someone i myself as a viewer get personaly attached to , a character i want to root for. I mean i love my chars with flaws like a Hank from Californication but something with Olivia just doesnt do it for me. For all her intelligence she seems to do the crappy thing a whole lot of times. It goes to the point where i just dont find the character very inconsistent and thus not that believable. I hope the writers have realized that and will portray her to be more of the moral compass of the first season which i quite liked.
I think every show needs a lead that people want to root for and Scandal is on the bubble for me in that departement. Usually Shonda is so good at that in her shows im kinda surprised they turned Olivia this much in the mud , as in S1 she always had that moral superiorety to justify what she was doing. Now she just seems a bit like a hypocrite sonsidering what she has done.

Miranda-wicker

@americasbaby--that may be true, that she doesn't know it was Charlie who killed Amanda. But she does know that Huck knows and she DID think that Cyrus was behind it at one point, going so far as to accuse him to his face before he denied it and we later found out that he was, in fact, behind it. I think she'll put it together eventually and go to Huck for silent confirmation.

Scandal Season 2 Episode 12 Quotes

[to Cyrus] We should never have done it. And now we're the bad guys, and I don't know how to fix that. And I have been running and running to stay ahead of it and I'm tired and I don't know what to do next.

Olivia

[to Cyrus] Here's what's great about having someone attempt to assassinate you. You're being rushed somewhere on a gurney, and doctors are yelling, and blood is pouring out of you, and you could die. And you suddenly stop being afraid, of anything, or anyone. And when you don't die, when you miraculously live, you realize that you have nothing to lose and no time to waste.

Fitz
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