Scandal – Watch Me
By: Nicole Dintelman
TV fans rejoice! “Scandal” is back for it’s 7th and final season! We have a feeling this is going to be the most explosive season yet. The season premiere opens with the news of the Vice President’s death of an apparent heart attack. If you’ve forgotten from last season, Jake (Scott Foley) and Olivia (Kerry Washington) figured out that Luna Vargas (Tessie Santiago) was the one that was responsible for her husband’s death. So, they did what anyone would do; they killed her but made it look like an accident. Cyrus (Jeff Perry) was made Vice President in Luna’s place. It will be interesting to see how a Mellie/Cyrus team works out, but we’re here for it!
Olivia has taken over the White House as she does anything: Like a boss. She’s a woman on a mission and will stop at nothing to achieve it. Mellie’s (Bellamy Young) first initiative is a free college education for everyone. This is widely unpopular, sounds familiar right? Olivia summons Senator Michaels, the bill’s biggest opponent, for a chat. Olivia is not above blackmail to get the votes her way. Olivia tells the Senator that he’s in her envelope filled world and he will vote her way or she calls the press. Olivia is a bit different this season. Harder in some way. We think she’s finally through playing games.
Olivia is planning on doing the TV interviews and they want Cyrus to drum up votes on the hill. At Olivia’s old company, Quinn (Katie Lowes) decided to change the name from OPA to QPA, which has caused a dip in business. David Rosen (Joshua Malina) tells them that their mistake was changing the name of the company. If they’d left it alone they’d have business. Finally, they get lucky and a woman (Tina Huang) walks through their door needing their help to get her father back. He’s being held in Bashron. The woman tells Quinn and Abby (Darby Stanchfield) that her father goes there regularly and if he doesn’t call her she knows something is wrong.
Papa Pope (Joe Morton) is still meeting his daughter for dinner. Unlike times in the past, she’s in charge of these dinners now. Rowan is convinced that Olivia watches his every move. Olivia assures him that she’s not because she doesn’t think he’s going to run. Olivia even dictates their conversations at dinner. This is an interesting turn of events. Rowan asks how Mellie is and when Olivia tells him that she’s doing great, Rowan isn’t buying it. He tells Olivia that what she means is Mellie is in formation and letting her pull all the strings. Olivia tells him that she and Mellie are a team. Rowan says that Olivia doesn’t play team sports and she never has. Wonder who she gets that from? Rowan tells Olivia that he’s recreated himself, even though he tried not to. That’s a truly horrifying thought.
Rowan tells Olivia that she can’t have it all. Never tell a woman what she can’t-do because she will prove you wrong every time. Olivia’s response? “Watch me.” Olivia’s appearance on The Pryce of Power talk show doesn’t seem to be going that great. He has great points, but so does Olivia. We also have to say Curtis Pryce (Jay Hernandez) is super hot. We’re picking up a little chemistry between these two. QTP’s new case proves to be really interesting and they soon learn that their subject is a spy. The fact that he’s a spy makes this case that much more difficult. Quinn goes to Olivia with the evidence since the man is CIA. Olivia won’t even let Quinn in to use the bathroom.
Quinn couldn’t come in because Jake was in the bedroom. Jake is ready for round two, but Olivia lets him know that they’ve finished and she has work for him to do. Ouch! Guys do not handle rejection well. Jake gets pretty pissed and Olivia demands he come back to bed. Jake ignores her at first, but then Olivia reminds him what their relationship is about – safe, secure and convenient sex. She gets Jake back into bed, but on her terms.
Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) is off in Vermont and Olivia catches a glimpse of him on the news. We can see the pain in her eyes and know that she misses him. So do we Liv. Jake lets Olivia know that Professor Stewart is definitely CIA. The fact that he’s missing is big. Jake tells Olivia that B613 needs to take care of the Professor (Andrew Tinpo Lee). Olivia wants to brief the President, but Jake tells her it’s not an option. Olivia says they can’t kill one of their own. Jake says they need to act quickly because the Bashron government will torture the professor and he will talk.
Cyrus meets with Senator Greenwald (Bess Armstrong) about the Vargas Bill. She doesn’t want to back Mellie and honestly doesn’t understand why Cyrus is serving as her VP. Diane tells Cyrus that it was supposed to be a Democratic piece of legislation. Cyrus doesn’t understand why the Senator wants to tank a bill that she supports. Senator Greenwald tells Cyrus that they want him to run for President for the next election. She says that Cyrus checks all the Liberal boxes and he can’t hand this win to Olivia.
Quinn fills in Professor Stewart’s daughter and tells her that the White House is on their side. They will do everything they can to bring her father home. Charlie (George Newbern) is upset with Quinn because she didn’t tell the client that her father is a spy. Huck (Guillermo Diaz) asks Quinn if she’s heard back from Liv. Quinn says that Olivia assured she’d call, but Huck takes matters into his own hands and pays Olivia a visit. Huck tells Olivia that the body needs to come home so that his daughter can have a funeral. Olivia tells Huck they can’t have this conversation but he continues. He tells her to just get them a body and no one will have to know that it was her that killed him. Olivia asks Huck what makes him assume she’d kill the professor. Huck says “because you’re one of them now.”
Olivia tells Mellie about the Professor and they call Jake in. They let Jake know they want the man rescued. Jake is not in favor of rescue. Olivia says that murder will not be allowed in her White House. Jake tells her that it’s not about the White House, it’s about B613. As command, she needs to be able to make the tough calls. Olivia says that she’s the one in charge and Jake answers to her. His orders are to bring the man home alive. Man, Jake is sure getting emasculated a lot this episode!
The bill is three votes short and Olivia asks Cyrus where they’re at with Greenwald. Cyrus tells her that Greenwald is having a bit of trouble coming to their side. Olivia says that if she doesn’t then there will be no bill. Cyrus then gets upset because Olivia asks him to stop by and greet the Rangerettes on their White House visit. After a good scolding Cyrus agrees to go, but tells his secretary to call Senator Greenwald and schedule their drink. We smell trouble brewing in the White House.
Mellie meets with the Ambassador of Bashron (Shaun Toub). He tells her that there is no American being held hostage. Mellie says that in the past offenses like these have been met with sanctions and even military force. Of course, a foreign ambassador decides to talk down to the first female President. Mellie can definitely hold her own, but let’s face it – she’s no Olivia Pope. If Olivia had been in that meeting the ambassador would have been put in his place and fast.
Jake is looking for dirt on the ambassador that they can use as leverage to get the Professor back. Jake tells Olivia that this plan of hers isn’t working. The more time he’s held, the worse the torture will become. Jake tries to reason with Olivia by giving her the military facts, but she’s still firm on the rescue mission. Jake knows she’s stubborn so why he’s trying, who knows? Mellie thanks Cyrus with all of his help with the Vargas bill. She tells him that she really appreciates him standing by her side. Now Cyrus feels a bit guilty for wanting to go behind the President’s back.
Curtis surprises Olivia by stopping by the White House. He stopped by to ask her to dinner. She doesn’t answer and he’s sent on his way. Olivia bursts into Mellie’s office to tell her that they have another vote for the bill and finds Jake already there. He’s gone behind Olivia’s back and filled Mellie in on the danger aspect of doing a rescue versus killing the professor. Jake has located Professor Stewart. Mellie lets Olivia know that the plan has changed. Olivia asks Mellie for a moment and Mellie lets her know that this is what they’re doing. End of story.
Olivia calls in a favor. The favor turns out to be Huck pointing a gun at the Ambassador of Bashron’s son. When Olivia is double-crossed she plays dirty folks. The ambassador shows up to meet with Olivia and she shows him the live feed of his son on his school playground. She lets him know that he either lets the professor go or his son will pay the price. This is low even for Olivia Pope. Huck is the hired gun and hopes that Olivia is bluffing. She tells Huck to take the shot when, finally, the ambassador gives in.
Jake’s mission fails because they find the professors’ cell empty. Olivia interrupts them in the war room and Mellie tells her that she’s a little busy right now. Olivia says that she’ll want to take the call. It’s the ambassador. He lets Mellie know that they’re letting the hostage go and the US Military is instructed to abort the mission. Everyone in the room is pleased except for Jake. He knows that Olivia has pulled something and he’s not happy about it.
Cyrus tells Senator Greenwald that her offer makes a lot of sense. He also says her plan is wrong. Cyrus says they can’t wait for the free college until he can be President. It’s too long for the American People to wait. Cyrus tells Diane that paying for college is one of that things those keeps the rich rich and everyone else screwed. He says that if they vote against bill he will go public that they tanked the bill on purpose.
The professor and his daughter are reunited and QTP gets their first win. Mellie is also celebrating a win because she has enough votes to pass the free college bill. Jake shows up at Olivia’s and she won’t let him inside. He apologizes and she lets him come in, but tells him that this was her fault. Olivia tells Jake that he went around her and that’s because he’s too comfortable. She says that she should have never let him back in her bed. Olivia tells him it won’t happen ever again. Jake tries to kiss her and she tells him to go home to his wife.
Here’s a twist for you. Olivia put Senator Greenwald up to try to flip Cyrus. She calls Olivia and tells her that Cyrus didn’t take the bait. He’s definitely on Team Mellie. Mellie is not happy with Olivia. She feels like she can’t trust her. Mellie says that the Oval is her office and Olivia will follow her rules or else. Olivia reminds Mellie that the office belongs to the Republic and she’s just leasing it. Mellie is not budging. She does not like feeling like her staff is going behind her back to accomplish what they feel she can’t-do herself.
Olivia tells Mellie that there are three things she should already know, but she’s going to remind her of them. The first is she will not be ignored because she’s always right which is the second. Olivia says the third is it’s just her and Mellie. It’s all theirs. The men want to take it away from them. They’re terrified of a female President. Olivia tells Mellie she’s the one that will always have her back and she should never listen to a man over her. She says that Mellie has to stop thinking of her as an employee and to think of her as what she is: The boss. Oh, snap. Does Mellie want to be a monument or an asterisk? Mellie says she wants to be a monument.
Olivia meets Curtis at a bar and gives him the name of a hotel to go to. She tells him the man at the door will give him a room key. In the room, there will be an adjoining door that will be unlocked. Olivia says they should give it thirty seconds and then he needs to come. Without a word from Curtis, Olivia gets up and leaves. Looks like Ms. Pope has found herself a new boy toy! We’ll have to tune in next week to see if these two hooked up but if Curtis knows what’s good for him, he didn’t turn down Olivia’s offer. The only problem is figuring out if Curtis is a friend or a foe. Guess we’ll soon find out!