Mitch Haaseth/ABC
Justin Kirkland
March 01, 2018 at 10:51 PM EST

Scandal

type
TV Show
genre
Drama, Thriller
run date
04/05/12
performer
Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young
broadcaster
ABC
seasons
7
Current Status
In Season
tvpgr
TV-14
We gave it an A

Black boots. Beautiful jacket. Fierce hair.

Good Olivia looks better than ever.

And man, when she’s writing “How to Survive a Scandal” on a blackboard and lecturing a class about her craft, the only thing fiercer in the room is when Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) answers her question on how to handle a scandal. You see, Annalise has shown up to get Olivia’s help on a class action lawsuit. It’s been a few months since Olivia left the White House, and she’s been enjoying it because when you spend two seasons being an actual demon, you need some downtime.

Back at QPA, Quinn can’t keep focus because she’s googling Olivia. She’s discovered that Olivia is teaching, and it would seem that the QPA employees aren’t too keen on forgiving Olivia quite yet. As Abby says, “Those who can’t, teach.” The whole thing is super tense, but with everyone else in the opposition, Marcus is still on her side. He meets Olivia at a bar to discuss whether she should assist Annalise with her case, and it’s a noble one: Overworked public defenders are the reason some convicted people end up in prison. And though she’s not in prison (and we all know she could be), Olivia knows what it’s like to be overworked. Marcus is a huge fan of Annalise, no matter her background. When Olivia asks Marcus why he’s still in her corner, he simply says, “We’re black. So I’ll always be here for you, and I’ll always root for you.”

So Olivia shows up at Annalise’s hotel and says that the case is a solid one, but Annalise can’t be the face of it. You know why if you’ve watched a single season of How to Get Away With Murder (and I’ve watched a grand total of one, so you’re welcome!). Annalise expected more from Olivia, so she closes the door in her face when Olivia asks her to step down. But Olivia knocks on the door and says that if they’re going to work together, it’s her town, her game, her rules.

Her game clearly involve heading to see Fitz, because that’s exactly where she heads. She brings the class action suit to Fitz and tells him that she can’t do it alone. Fitz is pretty cold toward her, but Olivia makes it clear that she’s not looking for forgiveness. She’s just looking for help because people are legitimately being born into circumstances that put them at a disadvantage. And Fitz hangs in there, at least for now. At the Fitzgerald Institute, Michaela is doing the Lord’s work and getting the room ready for Fitz and company to arrive. She’s adorable meeting Fitz, but honestly, I’d do the same damn thing. Love you, Tony Goldwyn.

It only gets crazier when Annalise walks herself into the Oval with Fitz and Olivia so she can meet with President Mellie. I honestly didn’t think this would happen during this episode, but on a personal note, I’ve had so many dreams about being in a room with Bellamy Young and Viola Davis. When they present the case to Mellie, she supports the cause but turns it down for the time being. Olivia thinks that’s a personal dig, and it very well may be, but it’s not nearly as personal as the dig Mellie takes at Olivia’s new teaching gig (by the way, teachers of the world…listen up. You are true heroes and not a punchline). At the end of the day though, Olivia is committed to pushing this to the Supreme Court with Annalise, even if Mellie insists that doing so will make her an adversary of the White House.

Back at QPA, Jake shows up to talk to Quinn. She’s not very interested, especially when Jake brings up that class action suit Olivia’s heading up. Jake even mentions her Olivia-heavy Google history, which is cold. Someone’s Google history should be SACRED. But that’s neither here nor there for now. When Olivia and Annalise end up in the same room again, Olivia turns the buck on Annalise and blames her for the White House’s shutdown of their case. It’s not her best moment, but Annalise isn’t ready to give up and neither is Olivia, so they head straight to the Supreme Court for some goodwill — which is all compromised when one justice isn’t ready to preside over the case.

That leads to this incredible scene: Olivia and Annalise are getting their hair done when all of a sudden, Olivia’s face appears on television. The truth is revealed to Annalise that Olivia didn’t leave the White House on good terms. Mellie shutting down the case didn’t actually have anything to do with Annalise. Olivia is in just as deep as she is, but in a different way. Annalise isn’t afraid to point that out and make it clear that Olivia is treating her the same way a white man in a boardroom would, but Olivia counters and says that her mistreatment hardly has to do with the tone of her skin (yikes). She says it’s because Annalise is a bully who hauled herself down to D.C. on a Megabus (which is a perfectly fine way to travel!) to ask for Olivia’s help. It’s a terribly wonderful, painful moment to watch. (Recap continues on page 2)

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