Scandal S07E01 Recap

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SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.

If this is what Olivia is going to be like for the rest of the series, then I’m going to have a bad time with the rest of this season. It was bad enough that she was barely likeable or tolerable last season – due to her overwhelming desperation to win the presidency and how very, very wrong she was about Cyrus’s guilt. In this episode she just comes off like a power mad, arrogant child throwing a tantrum because Mellie and Jake didn’t do what she said. And the narrative actually justified her behaviour.

Sure, Jake and Mellie’s plan to kill the spy would have garnered the ire of the President of Bashran either way. For the pure and simple fact that it was a military incision. And I’m not at all saying that they should have killed the man. If there was a way for them to save him – and indeed there was – then that was what they should have tried first. Which they really didn’t. But Olivia going behind their back and extracting the spy felt really childish and immature and kind of like she didn’t know her place.

It was clear from last season that she wanted Mellie to win so that it would be her White House, so that she would be the one in power making all of the power plays and the big decisions and steering the country in her direction, but still. I hate seeing this pompous, very unlikeable Olivia Pope. One whose seemingly been corrupted by the power she holds. And it doesn’t help that the show makes her 100% right all of the time – except for last season – and in so doing paints what she is doing and how she is behaving as right.

I was cheering for her after that opening scene, though. She “handled” that senator so thoroughly…it was peak Olivia Pope and it felt so good watching her do what she does best. But as the episode progressed I disliked her more and more until I just outright despised her by the end. And I just know that she’s going to be like this for the remainder of the series and nothing will change her behaviour. Unless Eli’s warning to her comes to fruition.

I couldn’t help but think that their conversation was some kind of foreshadowing for the potential down fall of one Olivia Pope. That her hubris would be her undoing in the end. I mean, look at Eli. He was damn near untouchable, even to Olivia, for the longest time and eventually he was taken down. He’s right; she is very much like him at this point. However, I do feel like she is trying her best not to be. Even if she winds up being her own undoing, this is Olivia Pope we’re talking about, she’ll get herself out of it.

I was so glad when Mellie, well, tried, to assert herself to Olivia at the end of the episode. I was like “Yes Mellie! Tell her who’s boss! Tell her what her role is and put her in her place.” But Olivia, with that silver tongue of hers and that cocksure attitude, swayed Mellie to fall into line behind her. Because of course she did. She’s Olivia Pope. Am I the only one who was annoyed with the way she was rolling her eyes throughout the entire episode like she was so above everyone and everything?

A few seasons ago I would have been on board with her testing Cyrus. He’s certainly no angel and has done his share of shady things in pursuit of his ambitions. But even that felt like she was going too far and doing too much and just generally being the worst version of herself. Just every choice she made, everything she said and everything she did in this episode made me not like her.

And poor, long suffering, love-sick-puppy Jake. He’s back in her bed and under her thumb and even there she’s throwing around her power. He can’t seem to catch a break with her and the two of them circle each other, on and off again, as much as she did with Fitz. I was surprised that the two were sleeping together again since Olivia so publicly planted a kiss on Fitz at the end of the last season. Not to say that she shouldn’t be getting hers just because he’s gone. I just didn’t expect her to be involved with anyone really, given that. I just wish it had been Jake to end their little affair.

I don’t think he “got comfortable”, as she put it, and went behind her back to Mellie just because they were sleeping together. They’re friends. They’ve known each other for a very long time. Of course he’s comfortable. Yes, she is his boss and he should not have gone over her head. That was very disrespectful. Still, for her to chalk it up to them sleeping together felt kind of petty.

Random thoughts:

  1. Go Liv!
  2. I like the sound of “Quinn Perkins and Associates.”
  3. Aww Quinn’s showing.
  4. I cannot tell if Mellie is being genuine or working an angle on Cyrus.
  5. I forgot that Jake is married.
  6. By “ours” Olivia means hers.
  7. I cannot tell if Olivia is being genuine or working an angle on Mellie.

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 PM on ABC.

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About The Author

An avid reader who accidentally discovered her love and talent for writing and has loved movies for as long as she has been watching them. Stumbled into film-making and found her second love because she decided to read for a degree in it on a whim - kind of.