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‘Scandal’ Review: ‘Vermont is for Lovers, Too’

ABC/Michael Ansell

Last night was Ava Duveray’s directorial debut, and I can say with 100 percent certainty that if you are an Olivia and Fitz (Olitz) fan, you are a big fan her work. Granted, there were SEVERAL other bombs dropped Scandal-style, like Quinn being blackmailed by Charlie (B613) to spy on Olivia, the gladiators dealing with Josie’s campaign flub, and Olivia’s mother causing a major problem for Rowan. And I haven’t even mentioned Cyrus trying to pimp his husband out or Mellie figuring out that Fitz and Olivia were back to seeing each other. Yes, it was that busy of an episode so let’s into “Vermont is for Lovers, Too.”

Meet Maya Edwards

Olivia’s mother is the baddest of the bad. If she can chew through her OWN SKIN to hit an artery and attempt suicide, she’s the one to bring Rowan down on his evil behind. I just knew Rowan’s transfer of Maya to a different facility was not going to end well for the doctor as soon as I saw that syringe. This woman wants to see her daughter in the flesh not just some old press clippings. By the way, that scene with Rowan and Maya was lovely; they were just two parents beaming with pride over their daughter’s accomplishments. Then Maya had to go stab the doctor with the sedative meant for her and escape to find Olivia. I may have gasped when they locked eyes. I honestly can’t wait to see where this story goes and I need them to share a bowl of popcorn together. My question: Is Olivia’s mother worse than her father? Or is she the good guy here? Because he father is Satan and I need Olivia to have one parent that doesn’t reside in Dante’s Inferno.

Rowan continues to be a monster, but a human one. He is genuinely proud of what Olivia has accomplished; the file full of her clippings proves this. On the other hand, he’s having Charlie blackmail Quinn, the dumbest spy in free world, to stay on top of what Olivia learns while investigating Operation Remington. He will not lose everything because of Olivia.

Quinn continues to be the worst

Quinn remains so annoying I actually cheered Huck on during the promo for the next episode and that involved his toolbox. Get your minds out of the gutter, I mean an actual toolbox with pliers and a blowtorch because he knows that Quinn is a double agent. I will give credit to Jake for figuring it out within two seconds of seeing Quinn doing surveillance on the building where she accidentally murdered the guard. This is what happens when, Quinn, the baby spy, has too much time and freedom and not enough common sense.  Rowan is pulling the strings of her blackmail via Charlie, so Quinn has a target on her back either way she turns.

Harrison/Abby/David deal with Josie’s mess

While Olivia is leading the charge during the Operation Remington investigation, Harrison is helping put out a fire in the Josie Marcus campaign. It appears that someone from Gov. Reston’s camp broke into Josie’s house to steal a computer with her campaign secrets on it. The entire time he’s working on a plan for Josie to follow, he’s dealing with her sister (technically her daughter) bucking the plan and going off on her own.  This would have been fine, except, it turns out she arranged the whole break in, planting the evidence in Reston’s camp, and the press junket after to garner voter attention.

As usual, a plan this stupid is figured out, but surprisingly it’s by Abby and David working together and I wholeheartedly approve. I have definitely come to enjoy David and Abby as a functioning couple on the show. Who would have guessed that these two would be the healthiest couple on the show? Once they realize that Josie’s daughter was the one setting up the break-in, Olivia Pope and Associates knows Josie has to publicly respond. Also, Harrison needs to get himself out of Josie’s bed.

I mean, I understand he needs some loving, but he can do better. What they (and I) didn’t expect was Josie falling on her sword and taking the blame for the plan. I have to say I’m a little disappointed at how Lisa Kudrow’s exit story, mainly because I wasn’t ready to see her go just yet. In terms of storyline though, it narrows the playing field and does put Olivia back in Fitz’s professional orbit – because we already know she’s never left his personal orbit.

Cyrus and Mellie plot to use James in a takedown

Cyrus remains one of the absolute worst husbands in all of television. Ever.  His grand plan to bring down Sally Langston’s presidential bid is to have her husband seduce James, have James refuse his advances, and then write it up in a neat little article, should Daniel fail to get Sally to drop out of the race. Basically, he’s pimping James out to Sally’s husband like a fresh piece of meat at a butcher shop. This plan is a disaster from the beginning. More importantly, you know there’s an issue if Mellie thinks your plan sucks and she knows there are too many things that could go wrong.

I really don’t think James figuring out Cyrus’ plan and using it against his was anything Cy planned on. He planned on James following his part in the play, not throwing everything back into Cy’s face. Now, the question: Did James really cheat or did he make it look like that for the camera and to punish Cy for manipulating him? Because if your husband comes home and says he needs to shower before kissing you, warning bells should be going off.

Honestly, I’d give him a pass for cheating. Cyrus has been seconds away from having James killed, he’s bought him off with a baby, and said some pretty vile things to him over the course of their relationship. How much does one person have to put up with before he snaps? This is called karma, Cyrus, and even Mellie tried to tell him that he can’t go back after this happens.

Olivia and Fitz – One Hour

These two idiots are going to make me drink.  Where do I even begin? Let’s start with Olivia continuing to dodge Fitz’s phone calls and finally shattering The Fitz Phone to avoid him. For most couples, I would say that means it’s over. Not Fitz and Olivia, though, because he then sends a helicopter to retrieve her and bring her to Vermont to discuss her father. These two haven’t seen each other in person in quite a while, so you know things are going to escalate quickly. Here’s how I know these two love each other to the core: their brutal fights are down and dirty. They know how strike the other one where it’ll cut the deepest and bringing up Defiance and Olivia’s lying does just that. Except, Fitz’s following emotional words throw EVERYTHING out of the window:

“I just, I wanted you to see it at least once… This house is yours. Ours. I had it built for us. When it looked like there was a chance for us, I bought the land and I had it built. I couldn’t really be mayor, but you can make jam.  And there are bedrooms for lots of kids. This was going to be you and me raising a family and growing old together in this house.  It was supposed to be our house, Livvie, and I just wanted you to see it as least once, just once, before I sell it.  I wanted you to see the dream.” 

Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor from swooning because Fitz just won life AND Olivia with this speech (Jake who?). He bought the land, built the house, and kept it, even after everything they’ve been through. Frankly, I don’t understand why it took Olivia Carolyn Pope more than three seconds to kiss him senseless. This speech is how clothes come off, and why there is amazing floor sex in front of a fire in their house.  I’d even go so far as to say this is how babies are conceived.

Now, I’m not Team Olitz Baby just yet, but the overwhelming romance of the situation softens my heart on this subject, so let’s revisit this issue in about a year. Even after all this romantic, sexy, hot Olitz time, the moment that made me break down was the next morning when Olivia is leaving to take the helicopter back home and turns back to Fitz to say, “Don’t sell the house, not yet.” WHAT?! MY HEART CAN’T TAKE IT.

It’s not just Fitz making plans anymore, Olivia is too. Their calm, rational discussion of taking down her father made me remember how well they work together as a team. This is the first time I’ve ever felt hope for Fitz and Olivia moving forward in a long, long time. Of course, this means Shonda Rhimes is going to pull the rug out from under them in two weeks. Remember, Olivia still doesn’t know that Fitz leaked her name to the press and I have no doubt Mellie will drop that little nugget of truth when it will cause the biggest fallout.

Speaking of Mellie, she knows exactly what’s going on as soon as Lauren, the president’s assistant, cannot get in touch with Fitz or Olivia at the same time. They told on themselves without even saying anything.   Mellie loses yet again and a small part of me feels bad for her because she knows she will never be Olivia, but then I remember she gave her husband to Olivia. Consequently, Fitz and Olivia are the end result her machinations. So, nope, I’m not that sorry.

Hi, Livvie

Now onto the last scene of Maya calling out, “Hi Livvie” to Olivia walking down the street. Oh my god!!! She knows her mother is alive, Fitz didn’t kill her, and… HER MOTHER IS ALIVE. Olivia’s world is about to blow up again in two weeks.

What did you think? Is Maya the ‘good guy’ that Rowan kept away from Olivia or is she actually worse than Rowan? Was this progress for Fitz and Olivia as a couple or just a November sweeps stunt? Does Cyrus have a heart and is it broken over James ‘cheating?’

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.

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