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Scandal Season Premiere Recap: "White Hat's Off"


Oh Scandal, I have missed your light speed conversations, your bad ass music choices, and my Fitz and Olivia’s palpable hotness. Enough fangirling though, and onto what happened on the season two opener.

“Who is Quinn Perkins?” has been the tagline since the season one finale of Liv and her associates cleaning up Quinn’s involvement in the bloody scissor scene. FYI, my nurse side must reiterate NEVER pull out any object someone by which someone has been stabbed. Just ask Gideon…oh wait, you can’t.  Anyway, back to Quinn or Lindsey Dwyer, (Quinsey or Linn, if you will) as we learn her true identity in the first 3 minutes.  Olivia is in the middle of defending Lindsay against multiple murder charges stemming from her boyfriend and several of his coworkers being blown up from a package supposedly sent by her after a lover’s quarrel.  Of course, David Rosen (Josh Molina, now series regular) is prosecuting the case against Quinn, setting Liv and David up to try and out move each other in their chess match of a relationship. 

Quinn maintains that she when she saw the news of her boyfriend’s death and his co-workers, she hid in a hotel room out of fear.  She maintains she was drugged and woke up with a whole new identity right down to a new passport, social security number, diplomas, and cash next to her bed.  It sounds ridiculous and crazy, but just crazy enough to be true.  Right?  Liv’s gladiators ain’t buying it and neither is the jury.  They set out to find any evidence to help Quinn, especially Huck and his hacking skills.  Liv is in serious trouble of losing this case.   Quinn panics and momentarily fires Olivia to take a plea deal, but Liv convinces her to stick with her because she promises not to lose her case.  Major red flags for me right here because while Liv is unstoppable for all her clients, Quinn’s case seems unusually close to home.

Of course, during Quinn’s trial Liv gets a call to fix a situation involving Congressman Shaw, hidden camera, the use of his office desk for reasons other than signing papers.  When will politicians learn that secrets always come out? The answer is never and it’s 2012.  They go to battle trying to keep the tape from leaking.  Turns out, Congressmen Shaw likes the ladies a lot, but in his defense he’s a single grown man, even if he is a bit of a hound dog.  Olivia gets him to spin his scandal to bring attention issues he wants addressed during his term.  In the end, he comes out of this embarrassing situation a winner. This is what happens when you own a mistake instead of trying to cover it up.

We also pick up with a very pregnant Mellie continuing to try pull strings for Fitz’s presidency, especially in his response to Sudan.  Her use of their baby to get what she wants and stay the favorite of the America is sociopathic and I love to hate her.  Bellamy Young is perfection in this role and is another great addition as a regular. Seeing Liv watch Fitz on tv is gut wrenching because of what she doesn’t say. Her eyes say it all: she misses him, she loves him, and she can’t have him.  It’s especially heartbreaking because she doesn’t have Stephen (remember he left the show) to talk to and although Abby tries to be her person, she isn’t.  Frankly, I still find her annoying but she gets her job done, so I’ll cut her some slack for a while.  We find out the President and Mellie are having a baby boy and she of course uses their news to push Fitz into a decision concerning Sudan.  My boy Fitz cuts Mellie down to size behind closed doors, long overdue I might add, but apologizes for being too harsh.  They have a semi-sweet moment however bonding over the baby kicking, except Fitz says he doesn’t feel him moving.  Red flag? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t trust Mellie not to be faking this pregnancy and steal a newborn from a hospital to advance her game.  She’s that evil.

The entire episode is made for me when Fitz calls Liv at home. All it takes is a phone call and you remember they are “it.”  They get each other cerebrally, instinctually, and sensually.  Period.  She, of course, is glutton for punishment and is watching “America’s Baby” revelation with a large glass of wine.  And quite frankly, who hasn’t needed a large glass of wine upon learning your ex is having a baby with someone else? 

Back to Quinn and her trial, it’s all but decided that Liv and her gladiators are going to lose.  But here’s where the WTH moment begins.  Liv makes a mysterious phone call to someone she obviously knows to inform him or her that they’re going to lose Quinn’s case.  The next day a motion is granted to dismiss the case based on insufficient evidence. Say what now? The case was all but decided.  David immediately puts two and two together and knows Olivia had something to with it and their little chat after the trial screams “Game. On.” Even Liv’s gladiators are stunned with the dismissal of Quinn’s charges.  Next thing we see is Huck focusing in the video of the hotel Quinn woke up in and left after being drugged (she was telling the truth) and himself standing outside of it as she leaves. Cue the last scene: Huck watching Quinn leave the hotel and walking across the street to get into a car……driven by Olivia.  So really, the important question isn’t “Who is Quinn Perkins?” it’s “Who is Olivia Pope???”

Quick note on Kerry Washington. This show was made for her.  From her mastery of the mile-a-minute dialogue to her facial expression saying everything while never uttering a word, you believe everything that Olivia Pope does. You might not agree with it, but you believe it.  I cannot wait for round 2 with Olivia and Mellie, because you just know it’s coming.  Her wardrobe ain’t too shabby either and if they need to unload any of those purses, shoes, or jackets I’ll happily take them off their hands.

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.

'Emily Owens, M.D.' to premiere online starting October 1

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