Reviews

‘Scandal’ Winter Finale Review Part 2: Cut off the Head of the Snake…and Bring Back Olivia Pope

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.

If you haven’t already, you can read the first part of the review, which focused on the supporting characters, here. Now it’s time to talk about the big guns and what these two episodes told us about Olivia, her parents and Fitz. Shonda Rhimes has taught us to expect major deaths in finales and faithful viewers of her shows also know that she’s good at taking everything you think you know about a character and a relationship and tossing that out the window.

Thus far, season three has been centered on learning more of Olivia’s backstory, especially her parents.  I just knew when we learned that her mother was alive that her mother would turn out to be worse than Papa Pope. As a unit, the Pope’s are definitely in the running for the ‘worst parents alive’ award, but in their own demented way, they love Olivia.

On the other hand, Olivia is a walking emotional disaster because of everything they’ve pulled, including, but not limited to: being a trained assassin for hire (Mama), being the head of a super-secret spy organization more powerful than the president (Papa), tricking the US government into shooting down a plane full of innocent people (Mama), having Olivia kept under surveillance by cameras in her own house (Papa). That sentence alone exhausts me.

Suffice it to say, Olivia Pope has such a large set of Louis Vuitton luggage trailing behind her that she can’t shut the door…and I haven’t even thrown her love for Fitz into the mix yet. Yes, she loves him. She called him in the middle of the craziness to take ‘one minute’ to think about an alternate universe where they lived in the Vermont house, have kids, and make jam (Have you ever seen her call Edison or Jake to just take a minute to dream about the future? Not once).

As for Fitz, he took control when Olivia needed help and got her mother out of the country (Let’s disregard that this actually makes the situation worse and her mother goes on to murder the crew for the plane; it’s the thought that counts here). Also, Fitz manages to detain Rowan and even allows Olivia to clarify with her father just how terrible her mother really is. His sole purpose is to get to the bottom of Olivia’s nightmare.

How he gets there, however, made me want to shove an eight-pack of Irish Spring down his throat because if my boyfriend said to my father, “I’m screwing her, you know. Your daughter. The things I could tell you about the way she tastes,” I would Kill. Him. Truth be told, this was just Fitz trying to get Rowan’s skin. He tried and failed, but it did allow Joe Morton to deliver one of the best monologues of the season, which deserves to be viewed again and again and again.

Game. Set. And. Match to Rowan and I say that as a fan of Fitz. There are parts of this that are spot on concerning Fitz and his dream to be anything other than what his father wanted, namely, being president.  Do I think he’s using Olivia as his means to rebel like a teenage? No, I see it as he finally finds the one person who wants him to be happy with whatever he chooses to do, be it president or Vermont farmer.

Ironically, Fitz doesn’t really react to Rowan’s diatribe and we come to find out it’s because he’s successfully overthrown Rowan as head of B613 and placed Jake at the head of the snake. So, maybe that game wasn’t so clear cut after all.  Maybe this was the plan from Fitz all along.  (And if you think Rowan is down for the count, I have a bridge to sell you).

Back to Jake for a second, I was legitimately confused when he declared his love for Olivia before walking out of OPA. Calm down, he liked her and she used him as a safety blanket. I need evidence that this was ever something more than him being infatuated with her, especially after learning about Fitz and Olivia’s relationship. I did ask for Jake to have a purpose so maybe being head of B613 will keep him occupied for a couple of episodes.

The season wraps up with Olivia’s mother popping back up in front of the White House, calling Olivia to make her presence known.  Shout out to the original glove wearing, white coat rocking, sashaying female Pope, Olivia comes by it honestly.

Now that we’ve finished the first part of the season, I have some final thoughts to share on what I’d like to see in the second part. For one, I need to see the real Olivia Pope come back. I want the Washington fixer actually fixing things by following her gut and running the town again. While I loved getting a backstory for Olivia, it’s high time she becomes an active participant in her own life and not just a reactionary to her constantly explosive world. I need to see a case of the week every once in a while or Olivia has to get back into the reelection campaign.

Another thing I need is for the B613 plot lines to calm all the way down because Alias ended years ago (and they did it better because it was the purpose of the show, not a subplot that had no business being this large). I need the show to focus on telling a good story versus shocking the audience purely for shock value. Trying to outdo the previous episode leads you down a road of double, triple, and even quadruple agents…and Mama Pope chewing her wrists.

That being said…I need Joe Morton to stay on this show forever.  I don’t care how, just do it.

Now that we’ve shared our thoughts, we want to know what you think. Do you miss the cases of the week too? Did you enjoy the spy storyline or has it gone on too long? Do you want Olivia’s parents to stick around? And of course the big one: Team Fitz or Team Jake? Hit the comments and share your thoughts with us.

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.