Reviews

‘Scandal’ Winter Finale Review Part 1: Infidelity, Murder and a Side of Torture

ABC

Over the past two Thursdays, Scandal aired its winter finale beginning with “YOLO” and ending with an episode fittingly called, “A Door Marked Exit.” To say a lot happened during these two hours would be a severe understatement.

Calling something is a ‘game changer’ has become almost a cliché as of late in the television world so instead, we’re going to describe these episodes as Shonda Rhimes doing what she does best: giving us an awful lot to think about and process, so much so that we decided to break this review into two parts.

We’re going to save Olivia, Fitz and Mama and Papa Pope for part two, which will also include our thoughts on where we’d like to see the show and the characters go next when it returns in late February for the remaining eight episodes of season three (ABC decided to break the season into two parts to cut down on repeats and then the order was shortened to 18, most likely due to Kerry Washington’s pregnancy, but the network has not officially confirmed that was the reason for the decision).

Let’s talk about the supporting players and the major storylines revolving around them. There are 47 stories blowing up with everyone in the White House and we have OPA running the streets, trying to put fires out. And you know whenever there’s a finale on any of Ms. Rhimes’ shows, you should fear for everyone’s lives because someone (or more than one someone) is not making it out of the finale alive. In this case, it was Daniel Douglas, and man is Sally in major trouble.

The fallout from Cyrus and Mellie’s grand plan to have to Daniel Douglas cheat on Sally grows exponentially more complicated for everyone involved because James actually went through with it and that’s not what was supposed to happen in Cyrus’ master playbook. Watching him wrap his head around James’ infidelity, something he prided himself on knowing, “would never happen,” was karma.

He now has to deal with a pissed off POTUS and FLOTUS when they learn about Sally’s plans to run in the primary AND Sally calling his bluff on leaking the pictures of Daniel Douglas with James to the press. In short, Cyrus has had better days.  On one hand, Cyrus has been moments away from having his husband killed and bought him off with a baby, but on the other, he breaks down in tears when tells Mellie the end result of their scheme because he’s genuinely heartbroken.

I feel legitimately bad for him, but then I remember this all happened because he tried to pimp out his husband to blackmail an in-the-closet gay man and his wife. Mellie’s comment, “It hurts until it doesn’t,” puts all of this into perspective: what they’re doing, what they’re giving up, who they’re hurting and how much it hurts them. She would know.

But here’s where Shonda Rhimes got me but good: Sally snapping and stabbing Daniel Douglas. In no way, shape, or form did I see that one coming. She stabbed that man in the back so hard the only thing missing was the music from Psycho.  When Cyrus goes over there to clean up the mess, he throws up at the sheer magnitude of what has happened. If the devil himself vomits, you know things have gone terribly wrong.

Interestingly, Sally calling Cyrus instead of Leo, who I can best describe as ‘Cyrus II’, sets her up to be under his thumb (and by extension, Mellie’s) from now on. I cannot praise Kate Burton enough for her work in the last two episodes and I need to kiss whoever decided to let her loose and do what’s in her royal acting blood. I fully support her submitting this work for an Emmy nomination. I am ready for Sally to battle Fitz in the election and all the fallout that this is going to bring in the second half of the season.

Now, let’s move onto a storyline that I have a hard time wrapping my head around: The saga of Quinn ping-ponging between B613 and OPA. Quinn, admittedly not my favorite, is dumb to fall for Charlie’s plan and accidentally kill the security guard, but even I think this is an outrageous reaction from Huck. His removal OF HER TEETH to get her to spill the beans about B613 made me gag and I thought nothing could be worse than Mama Pope chewing though her wrist.

Quinn is stuck in this limbo of B613 using her to spy on OPA and her loyalty to OPA. Honestly, at some points, I’m confused as to who is doing what and why, but what I stand by is Quinn being played by all sides. The only time I grew to love Quinn was when Huck made her tolerable, but now it’s Huck who’s bordering on being unbearable for me.

He’s always been a trained assassin, and his love for killing is always under the surface, but this coldness seems particularly off. I’m not saying that Quinn doesn’t deserve to have the stupid knocked out of her, but she came back to OPA even after the dental work, the implanted tracking device, and facing down Rowan to be basically shunned.  Did Huck torture Abby when she was feeding David Rosen info about Defiance? Nope.

Charlie is there to pick up the pieces for Quinn, and honestly, I don’t blame her for that one.  He’s totally playing her, and maybe a little infatuated with her, but this isn’t going to end well for Quinn yet again.  Let me just also say, that should I ever be tortured by having teeth removed (this is literally my worst nightmare) that I would not be macking with someone hours later. That’s not even hygienic.

There’s a lot more to the B613 saga that involves the major players and we’re going to address that in the second part of the review. But first, we want to hear your thoughts and opinions on the supporting players.

Did you feel sympathy for Cyrus or are you firmly Team James? Did you love the look on Sally’s face when she realized Mellie knew of her sin? Team Quinn or Team Huck? Hit the comments and share your thoughts with us and then head over to part two and read our thoughts on Olivia and her family and what we’d like to see happen next.

About the author

Angela Romack

Angela Romack is writes what you’re thinking about when it comes to your favorite TV shows. If you don’t agree, that's fine. She's okay with being right. Follow her on Twitter at @AngelaMRomack.