Scandal S07E11 Recap

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Last week’s episode of Scandal made me incredibly excited to see what the rest of the season would hold. This week’s episode left me feeling disappointed, but still quite curious. Perhaps I hyped myself up too much. Perhaps I put too much stock in what I thought was the promise that last week’s episode had made about what the series would look like going forward. Perhaps I had my expectations too high. Either way, the thrilling game of espionage and intrigue, violence and revenge that I wanted to get in seeing Quinn go after Olivia and finally taking her down is not at all what I’ll get. Disappointed though I may be, I don’t hate how things turned out.

As expected, Olivia didn’t take her being forced out of the position of White House Chief of Staff very well at all. She launched an all out attack on Mellie and Jake by disabling B613 and trying to frame Vanessa – Jake’s wife who I forgot existed – for trading state secrets with her lover, Robert, who she framed for working with Russia. It was a two pronged attack that robbed Jake of the power that he took from her in occupying the two positions he stole from her; White House Chief of Staff and Command. It was also a really big tantrum. I was so glad when Jake called it that because I was thinking the exact same thing.

Mellie seemed so sure of herself and what she was doing in going against Olivia that I was 100% behind her. With Jake by her side, I thought she had a fairly good chance of, at the very least, putting up a good fight. Cyrus didn’t think so though. He had every reason to be suspicious of Jake (the man did try to kill him just last week), but it felt like he was underestimating Mellie and had little faith in her ability to play this political game, when she’d been doing it for years. And if teaming up with Jake had turned out to be a bad idea – which it kind of did but not in the way that Cryus meant – then hopefully Mellie could have gotten rid of him. But I never believed that he had an agenda like Olivia was trying to convince Mellie that he did.

The snake in the grass, however, turned out to be Cyrus himself. He was warning Mellie about Jake and he took the very first opportunity he had to betray her and seize power for himself. When Olivia went to him with her silver tongue and her sweet words I was so hoping that he wouldn’t fall for her manipulations. The second that he interrupted Jake and Mellie’s meeting in the Oval and didn’t immediately tell them about Olivia coming to him I knew she’d gotten her hooks into him. Although I gave him the benefit of the doubt of him having done it off screen. I fully expected him to tell Jake and Mellie to surrender to Olivia. That that was how they were going to get out of the whole mess with Vanessa and Robert.

Instead he gave them a useful plan that saved them, by having Vanessa say on television that she wasn’t cheating on Jake, but working with him on a sting operation on Robert. That didn’t benefit Olivia in any way so for a second I thought that I was wrong. That being said, I had the sneaking suspicion that he went out on his own and enacted a plan that would hurt Olivia’s efforts without telling her andwould then go back to her later and tell her that he was working for her. But I felt like that was silly, even thought it happens on TV all the time. And I was right! It was exactly what he did.

He used that plan to set up Mellie so that he could come in with evidence of her covering up something that was a lie to begin with and get her impeached and himself made president. I thought he was past this kind of thing. I was very disappointed in him. Armed with Cyrus’ ammunition, Olivia went to Mellie and made it very clear that she was not giving up her position as Chief of Staff and that Mellie was the one who would be out. And just when it looked like they were actually winning!

With Olivia fighting to retain her power and position, it was the perfect time for Quinn to get started on that revenge plot of hers. But Papa Pope was having none of that. What looked to be him preaching caution was actually him keeping Quinn from going after Olivia. Here I thought that he was on board with taking down Olivia and was on on Quinn’s side. That the two had bonded over their mutual betrayal by Olivia and he recognised the monster that she had become and that she needed to be dealt with. I get him not wanting Quinn to kill his daughter – which it seems like Quinn was planning to do, I thought she was just going to get her imprisoned or something, not kill her – but still. I thought he was down.

I totally bought Quinn’s plea for Eli to let her, Robin and Charlie go and she would leave Olivia alone. She does have Robin now to worry about and protect. A small part of me was hoping, though, that she was bluffing…and she was! She was right when she told Eli that he’d gone soft. I didn’t think he would even risk her lying about her intentions even if he believed her. So when she showed up in Olivia’s apartment, gun in hand, I was so there for it and really hoping that she would shoot Olivia, as unlikely as I thought it would be.

I was hoping that Olivia was lying about there being B613 snipers poised and ready to take out Quinn, although I didn’t doubt that it was true (I was wondering why she kept looking out the window). When they shot at Quinn and she and Olivia got into a scuffle I, for a brief moment, wanted them to have accidentally shot and killed Olivia; I really don’t like her this season. She got shot in the arm instead. Olivia was genuinely trying to protect Quinn and she seemed genuinely concerned for Olivia when she saw that she had been shot. It was like she forgot all about her anger and hatred toward Olivia in that moment and she was just worried about her friend. Coupled with her returning to QPA, I don’t think Quinn is going to go after Olivia anymore. That’s what disappointed me in this episode.

After everything that Olivia did. After everything that QPA, Fitz, Mellie and Jake did. After everything that happened. It was the fact that Quinn hated Olivia that got to her. So when she broke down after Eli took care of her bullet wound, crying over Quinn hating her, it looked like then and only then did she realise how far she’d gone and how much wrong she’d done. She finally accepted responsibility for her actions. It was no surprise then that she actually did resign from her position as Chief of Staff.

Random thoughts:

  1. I’d rather deal with Jake’s ulterior motives.
  2. Olivia is so darn smug and pleased with herself.
  3. Look at Mellie using her power!
  4. Funny how Olivia tells Cyrus he’s an adult when she’s acting like a toddler.
  5. Is Olivia really telling someone to take responsibility for their actions?
  6. Quinn took Robin with her?

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 PM on ABC.

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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.