If you haven't had the Megabus special, you're missing out

By Justin Kirkland
March 01, 2018 at 10:51 PM EST
Mitch Haaseth/ABC
S7 E12
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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)

If that weren’t complicated enough, the trickiest part of all of this is that QPA is working alongside the White House to push back against Olivia. Olivia meets Quinn in a parking garage because that’s where the shady but important conversations happen. She calls Quinn out for taking the case against her because hate Liv or love Liv, it’s a noble lawsuit to go before the Supreme Court. She gets Quinn to admit that she did it for revenge, and it’s revenge that Quinn is obviously due. But seeking revenge at this point is only doing so in the face of dozens of people mistried in a court of law. To be fair to Quinn though, all of QPA is having a hard time swallowing that their former boss and confidant went WELL BEYOND off the rails. Reconciling her behavior with justice? We’re all human here.

Back at Fitz’s headquarters, Olivia has all but given up. Fitz calls her out, asking, “Why did you take this case?” and she screams, “Because I wanted to change the world, okay?!” Olivia is over here sounding like me as a political science major, four wine coolers deep in college. And Fitz says that Olivia has returned. “You’re still you. They just don’t see it. You just don’t see it.”

The next day, Olivia and Annalise go on a talk show and Live admits her wrongdoings on air, showing that she’s made some mistakes along the way. She severed ties at the White House and with people she loved, but she’s still ready to fight and she’s not alone. She has Viola, ahem, Annalise beside her, and she asks everyone to shift focus to Annalise so that they can make some legitimate progress on this suit. And that proclamation made some waves…enough for the media to turn their attention to the case as opposed to Olivia. Annalise and Olivia sit down with popcorn and wine, or, as Annalise says, “a Megabus special,” and it seems like all is well until Liv gets a call that the Supreme Court still isn’t willing to hear the case.

Elsewhere, at the bar, Michaela and Marcus take solace together over the fact that things aren’t going great for their bosses. Michaela says she’s always wanted to be in D.C., but it looks like it’s just an ugly Philadelphia, and honestly, I lived in D.C. and I feel attacked. I’ve been to Philly, y’all, and you can put lipstick on a cheesesteak, but it’s still a cheesesteak. Anyway, they almost go in for a kiss, but they’re interrupted when Asher calls.

Later, Quinn shows up to Olivia’s to let her know that Justice Spivey at the Supreme Court is leaving them without a trial because it’s a personal vendetta. It’s the first step that Quinn takes on her path back to Olivia, even if it’s a baby one.

But that personal vendetta? Well, it’s that Spivey’s son killed a woman in a hit-and-run, and he paid off the only witness. Spivey calls Olivia out for blackmail, but Olivia informs him that the only witness (you know, the paid-off one) is actually dead. She’s happy to help him make sure that stays covered up, and all she asks is that he listen to his conscience. Because at one point, his son could have been in a position to be defended in a court of law, and he’d want him to have the best representation, right? Next thing you know, Pope and Keating? They’re headed to court.

And that’s hour one of How to Get Away With Scandal! Come back later for our HTGAWM recap for more on how it all plays out.

Shonda Rhimes’ political drama: Sex! Murder! Olivia’s suits!
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