Scandal returned from its infinitely long winter hiatus to roll full steam ahead into the messy lives of the residents of Washington, DC. In “Ride, Sally, Ride,” the election campaign for President of the United States is kicking into full swing, with Sally firing the first shots and Olivia left scrambling to get her camp on the same page.
Elsewhere, Quinn continues to sink even lower by aiding in the kidnapping of child to scare his mother into selling the story of Daniel Douglas’ death and Harrison can’t decide if he’s petrified of Adnan Salif (guest star Nazanin Boniadi) or wants to go a second round with her on his desk with her at Olivia Pope & Associates. In short, it’s pure chaos as usual in DC.
Here’s the top five inter-connected moments from the episode “Ride, Sally, Ride” in our Scandal Review:
The Election is off and running and everyone has their secrets to hide
Since deciding to run for President as an independent, Sally has taken the gloves off and stepped right into the mud, I mean, blood. Same difference. The repercussions from murdering her husband are far from over, as more and more people are learning the truth from her recorded phone call to Cyrus. This includes James, who is asking for some kind of bodily injury by teaming up with David Rosen to bring Cyrus down. It appears that this isn’t the only problem Cyrus is facing as he takes on Leo Bergen, Sally’s version of Cyrus himself for the President’s Office. The difference is that Leo now has out-for-blood Rowan on his side, and these two teamed up spell nothing but disaster for the health and safety of the Grant campaign. Let’s be real, it’s mainly Fitz because Rowan is PISSED that Fitz won the last battle and Olivia is still with him…and he will kill a president just because he can.
Joe Morton sells Rowan’s quiet rage and needs to earn him an Emmy. In other campaign questions, why was Abby on the TV show panel with Leo, since she’s never been the front person for OPA? It seemed very random.
Fitz and Olivia are in purgatory
Yes, she’s back as his campaign manager and they’re together, and they still have the best kissing in all of primetime but something is off with them. Fitz is back to drinking the brown liquor, yelling at everyone (including Olivia), and pouting. In the first part of season three it appeared that he finally got his head on straight and learned to communicate. Now? Not so much. It was interesting to see him insist that Andrew Nichols must be his running mate for the election because he usually follows Olivia’s lead decisions, and she’s not behind this one at all. More importantly, Fitz isn’t listening to her and she realizes the rabbit hole he’s going down for the public position versus the real Fitz. As she says, “Vermont is getting further and further away.” Granted, Olivia said that to Jake before she got him to agree to be her fake boyfriend so she can stay by Fitz’s side AND get the media to back off rumors of their affair. Olitz is complicated and exhausting and even with all that has the best kisses ever. Side questions: Jake is now okay with being on Olivia’s arm, but at the WHCD was angry at her for looking at Fitz?
Harrison is in serious trouble and getting naked
Adnan Salif has finally made an appearance despite Harrison trying everything to get her visa pulled. You know it’s serious when Harrison, Mr-Cool-As-A-Cucumber, starts carrying a gun upon learning she’s back in the country. Turns out Adnan is a woman who has no problem getting down and dirty with Harrison on his desk at OPA the minute she sees him, very black widow-like. No idea what trouble he got into with her in the past, but this pairing is hot and got Columbus shirtless. There is no downside here, so bring on more of this story.
Quinn is super creepy
People do terrible things on this show, but Quinn helping Charlie kidnap the medical examiner’s son to help her remember Daniel Douglas’ autopsy report while Abby and Huck interrogated her is super unsettling. Quinn still has no purpose and now people’s kids and probably family pets aren’t even safe. Also, why is no one else noticing her disappearance? All of a sudden she doesn’t show up at OPA and no one questions it?
Mellie’s got a new (old) boyfriend
In probably the most talked about reveal from the episode, everyone learns that Andrew Nichols (guest star Jon Tenney) has a thing for Mellie, more specifically, a twelve-year thing that doesn’t seem just one-sided on his part. Whether or not she physically cheated, the look she shared with him says that there is something deeper than a crush. Either way, Olivia needs to learn this information and throw out the word “whore” and her hand to Mellie’s face to make up for the number of times she’s been called this by the First Lady. Also, basically pimping out Olivia to any single male in the DC Metro area is not okay. Olivia Carolyn Pope is an Ivy League educated, Washington fixer, not someone who fell off the turnip truck and needs guidance on how to act. Mellie begged Olivia to come back but now doesn’t want to deal with what that means – Fitz still doesn’t want her despite everything she’s done. One last question, is Fitz setting Mellie up with Nichols because he knew their history? Mellie better watch her back, Fitz can get dirty with the best of them, just ask Verna.
Overall, it was a solid opening of the back eight episodes. There wasn’t any teeth removal or chewing of wrists so that’s a definite improvement. It appears Shonda Rhimes is setting up longer arc stories that should have pretty big consequences for everyone. It’s not perfect. The triangle between Jake/Olivia/Fitz and Mellie being involved with Nichols was pretty obvious but still make sense for the most part. I did see glimpses of the real Olivia Pope starting to reemerge while directing campaign staffers, but I need to see her real swagger come back and bite Mellie in the ass. Here’s to hoping this happens next week.