Scandal recap: 'Adventures in Babysitting'
This darkness. This privilege. This crispy critter of a plane. Scandal is rolling into its big goodbye, and we’re no closer to getting a redeemable Olivia than we were at the beginning of season 6. And even when it seems like she may be moving toward the light, she pulls away. Can this village of good guys bring her back, or will we see her fall into this craziness forever? Let’s discuss.
We pick up exactly where we left off. Olivia has ex-Command (because let’s be honest, he is not her dad right here) sitting on a stool as she explains privilege and how he doesn’t have it. You have to look at this privilege conversation in a larger context: The black woman who has to do twice as much to get half the credit is now standing deep in the darkness, telling the former Command that he has no privileges. If that’s not enough to point out how far she’s gone, I’m not sure what is. She tells him he does need to deliver a message. The message she wants to send to Fitz is to go home. And Rowan delivers it.
Back in the Oval, Mellie is dealing with that Bashran issue and insisting that President Rashad be restored to power. And new-Sally-Langston-elect Curtis Pryce is tearing her up for it. Even President Rashad is like, “Hey, y’all, is that a good decision?” but Mellie tells him to stay, and it’s questionable. It’s hard to tell how much is personal and how much is presidential here. But in the meantime, they pull his niece from Dartmouth (you know, where Shonda and Meredith went). And for now, she’s just kind of stuck with Quinn and Charlie.
Olivia and Jake come to a pretty clean conclusion on Bashran. (Running the country as a soulless crazy woman? Well, Olivia is thriving.) But when she shows up to the Oval ready to solve international disputes, Fitz has already been chatting with Mellie, who is not pleased. When Liv asks what he told her, Fitz says, “Everything.”
Now let’s take a moment to reflect: None of these people are good. If we think that any of these crazies are fully redeemable, then Lord help our souls. But it’s nice to see Mellie and Fitz growing. Both of them. Because I have a feeling, and don’t quote me, it’s going to take an army of people mostly standing in the sun to pull Olivia back into it.
In the Oval, Mellie is freaking out because she knows that Olivia went and killed Luna Vargas like a crazy person. Olivia says that it’s what needed to be done, but Mellie isn’t about that. She shouts, “SHUT IT DOWN.” Olivia shows her teeth in that Olivia way — you know, when she’s both disgusted and uncomfortable — but Mellie isn’t backing down. Hell, she doubles down and insists, “Now get me my war.” Um, okay.
Olivia, in rage mode, heads to visit Rowan, who’s pretty enraged himself since Annie the Dinosaur Skeleton was taken away. She demands to know why he couldn’t do his job, but that only leads Rowan to make his own demands…well, it’s just one: “I WANT MY BONES.” But Olivia isn’t one to budge, simply saying, “No bones for you.” And you can see he’s pretty devastated.
Olivia is kind of gone at this point, and Rowan is not the only one who thinks so. When Fitz sits down with Jake, Jake quickly concludes Olivia is a lost cause. Fitz insists that there’s no way that Jake can believe that, but it appears that he does. But Good Guy Fitz with the gun and the Vermont house and the time to spare isn’t ready to let Liv go. With his good and bad qualities, he might be the only one able to save her.
Olivia has her own agenda in bed with Pryce though, giving him the opportunity to sit across from President Rashad to help promote peace, which is terrifying because cable news has way too much power, man. But if anything is stronger than cable news, it’s Olivia Pope, who convinces Pryce to take Rashad in. But it’s still not enough to convince Mellie to forgive Olivia for the monstrous things she’s done. And that’s only half the battle; America needs a war with Bashran to really turn this around, which is what Cyrus has been doing — convincing Congress to go to war. He’s also been trying to teach Glackland about politics, but it seems like Glackland isn’t as interested in that as he is in Cyrus. Glackland is on his phone while Cyrus tries to pull strings. He’s just texting, right?
Well, I’m a man who isn’t so big that he can’t admit when he’s wrong. While Cyrus is sitting there trying to convince senators to vote for war, Glackland is analyzing it all — the war, that is. He does it with all of the products he’s trying to sell, and this war is not a good product. So Cyrus goes to Olivia’s office to tell her that he’s not going to vote for the war if it comes down to a tie.
Olivia asks him what he wants. Cyrus tells her that he doesn’t want anything, so she says that it will be war for him if he doesn’t vote for one. And that’s when Cyrus peeks into the light a little bit himself. He tells Liv that she can release her B613 people on him, but then what? What’s the end game? And it’s not a hateful or Scandal-yspeech. It’s just honest. When that doesn’t work, she goes to Fitz again, but he’s not budging because no one’s going to let her burn this White Hat without a fight. (Recap continues on page 2)
Without the war, Mellie wants Rashad to stick around in the U.S. When he asks her why, she says she’s not sure how she can be any more clear. So he gets in kissing distance (because hello) and explains that this isn’t her fight and that she’s passionate. And that’s when they kiss. Bashran and America sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. Oh, and then he starts to take off her power blazer and she stops herself because THIS IS BASHRAN. With that, he leaves. Back at QPA, Quinn rolls in with Gettys Burger, making her the most relatable character these days. She explains that whole Yasmin situation and says that she could have saved herself a problem had she just asked the Olivia Pope question No. 1: What. Do. You. Want. It strikes something in Olivia, who takes off on her own.
At the end of the day, Glackland finds himself with Cyrus in front of that painting, and you know what? We were all right! Cyrus says that he thinks Glackland might be good in politics after all, and then they share a kiss. A kind kiss. Not the kind of kiss you give the Bashrani president in the Oval. It’s sweet. You know what, y’all? I’m pretty pumped about where Cyrus and Glackland can go.
Back on the White House balcony, Olivia approaches Mellie and asks her the question: What do you want? Mellie wants Rashad and she wants the treaty, so Olivia says that they’re going to figure out a way, but Mellie makes a good point too: They have to do something now. Olivia asks what she’s saying. “I’m not saying anything,” Mellie says. “I’m the president.” Olivia responds in the coldest of ways, “Consider it handled, Madam President.”
Back in the Oval, Mellie calls Rashad in and tells him that he will be going back to Bashran through Turkey, and he’ll be returning as president. He moves in and grabs her hand to tell her he’s committed to that treaty and her, but Mellie rebuffs him a little because they have countries to love, and while love is love, sometimes it has to take a bit of a back seat. Which is a perfect segue to poor Yasmin.
She ran away, by the way. In the midst of all this Bashran craziness, Yasmin took off from QPA to go find her girlfriend. They find the two of them at a rest stop, and after quite the back and forth, Quinn sits down with her to explain that staying in the U.S. is dangerous to both her and her girlfriend. If she goes back to Bashran, they stand a chance. So Yasmin agrees and heads back to Turkey with Rashad. The goodbye at the base is pretty sweet, actually, and really sheds a light on Quinn.
With everything back on track, Olivia marches out of the Oval and tells Fitz, “I’m sorry it came to this.” And then Mellie gives Fitz the privilege speech, and it has all the nuance that it did in the beginning in a completely different way. Fitz’s journey to redeem Olivia? Well, it’s just going to have to wait.
But here’s the big thing. The explosive thing, really. As Yasmin and Rashad’s plane takes off, it blows up. Yep. And Quinn and Charlie are there to see it all. It’s awful, but you have to guess that Olivia is the one behind it. It would make sense with Pryce’s mini-logue to Olivia saying that he was attracted to her beauty and her power, but he was wrong for thinking she had any other human qualities. So now we have a presumably dead Yasmin and Rashad, a very jaded Quinn, a banished Fitz, and one very, very dark Olivia. Guys, it’s not handled. Not yet.