But who's going to meet with the Rangerettes?!
Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC
S7 E1
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So, this is it, y’all.

The last first popcorn. The last first glass of red wine. The last first gasp when Huck does something absolutely insane. It’s the last first episode of a season of Scandal because this is the final season. And man, it’s going to be a big one…I can feel it. Last season was a journey, but we made it to the other side. We’re gladiators. Who else in this country was more prepared to handle a constantly changing Cabinet and unstable West Wing than we are? Who’s more used to living with a government rife with, well, scandal? We take these skills given to us by Shonda and Kerry and Bellamy and Darby, and we put on our white hats, and we stand in the light. We pour red wine into our oversized wine glasses, and we do this because we’ve been preparing for this for six years. This is the first last season premiere of Scandal.

In the wake of last season’s finale, Vargas died, Cyrus ascended, Mellie gave her first address to Congress, and Olivia? Well, she’s wearing a little bit of both black and white these days. Senator Michaels is one of Mellie’s first opponents, so Olivia calls him and pulls out an envelope to blackmail the senator into voting her way about free college because Olivia is bonkers these days. He immediately calls out the blackmail, but Olivia says, “Mine!” What’s she talking about? What world this could ever happen in? For the record, it’s hers.

But back at OPA — I mean, QPA (Quinn Perkins and Associates) — they’re trying to drum up a client. There’s question as to whether or not Quinn can bring any clients, but just like that, a client comes in with a missing father overseas. So they’re in business. While QPA thrives, Olivia invites her father to dinner, where she selects the wine and she tries the first glass. And when Eli insinuates he can’t leave the house, Olivia points out that she doesn’t have cameras on him because a camera would imply he’s trying to run, and she knows he’s not doing that. Let’s take a minute to acknowledge, clear as day: Girlfriend is full-blown NUTS right now. But Eli takes a moment to point out what he’s been saying all along, “You can’t have it all.” In response, all Liv has to say is, “Watch me.”

Next up, we see Olivia on The Pryce of Power With Curtis Pryce, which is not as fun as The Liberty Report. Curtis cuts Olivia off and doesn’t allow her to get her point across, and you can tell she’ll make him pay for that. Meanwhile, at QPA (honestly, I kind of love that?), the team is getting to work going over security footage for that missing-dad case. QPA deduces that he’s a spy, but when Quinn goes to talk to Olivia about it, Liv has no time for it or for Quinn, no matter how badly Quinn needs to take a quick pee. (Also, did you forget Quinn was pregnant? Because I definitely did.)

Olivia returns to the bedroom, and Jake takes off his pants, but she isn’t here for more sex; she’s here for work, which seems to be all she’s here for these days. She calls the shots, and it’s borderline intimidating.

That work she has for Jake is actually Quinn’s ask, though — Jake discovers that Quinn’s missing guy is a CIA operative. At this point, the guy is caught and compromised, so Jake suggests that they kill him because hell, why not? Olivia is against it because while she’s down with killing Luna Vargas, she is not chill with killing random Americans. But that’s what Command does, you know?

Everyone is thirsty these days. When Cyrus goes to meet with a Democratic representative, the rep launches in on how the White House should belong to Cyrus, not Mellie. He’s the Liberal Dream, with every box checked, and you can see it lights a fire in Cyrus too.

Back at QPA, the team finds out that the missing dad is a spy. Quinn is ready to accept his fate, but Huck isn’t. He finds Olivia and demands that they bring that man home — his daughter deserves that — so Olivia goes to Mellie and advises his return. Jake doesn’t like it because Olivia is supposed to be building B613 back, but she isn’t interested. Olivia isn’t interested in anyone’s feedback.

While Mellie is meeting with a Bashrami ambassador to discuss the captured agent, Cyrus is supposed to meet with the Rangerettes, which is like a play on Girl Scouts. He’s not pleased, and he’s ready to meet with that senator. Meanwhile, the Bashrami ambassador shuts Mellie down because apparently being president is harder than she anticipated. Right before the Rangerettes show up, just as Cyrus is considering how disgusted he is with the way his legacy is turning out, Mellie rolls up and takes a moment to thank Cyrus for everything he’s done for her. And you know what? It seems genuinely sincere. It puts Cyrus in a tough spot, because just as he gets ready to take her down, Mellie always finds a way to dodge the bullet…sometimes literally. (Recap continues on page 2)

Back at the White House, Curtis shows up to ask Olivia on a date, and she’s definitely not having it. She doesn’t have the time, because Jake — who’s been urging Olivia to send someone in and do the work from within because time is running out — has shown up to the Oval to make his case on how to kill that missing spy. When Olivia argues against him, Mellie shuts her down and Olivia is SHOOK.

With nothing left to lose, Olivia has Huck take aim at the ambassador’s son, who is MAYBE 5 years old. Huck has his sights on essentially a baby. She starts counting down from five. Olivia gets to two, and the ambassador calls it off and finally makes the call to free that CIA agent because Olivia is apparently in the business of KILLING BABIES THESE DAYS.

Olivia goes to the situation room and has Mellie call off the mission because government, man, it’s nuts. Speaking of nutty, Cyrus heads off to see that senator who promised him the world, but Cyrus argues that they have to stick this out. They have to get the votes for free college because these kids deserve free college. It’s so important that we get a Cyrus Scandal speech!

It’s a pretty happy episode, y’all! Captured spies come home alive. Cyrus stays with Mellie. The White House secures enough votes for free college, and hey! The Rangerettes have someone to look up to! But Olivia, jaded by the ways of this ugly world, takes Jake aside and explains that her days in his bed are over because they work well together — they do — but not when he’s in her bed. And she needs a clear head because that senator who was trying to make Cyrus turn on Mellie was actually working for Olivia. Liv has some plans. As far as Mellie is concerned, Liv had better be ready to run every single one of those plans by her because she is the president. But Olivia isn’t concerned with Mellie; Olivia has some rules, and *clears throat* Mellie best be listening:

  1. You do not ignore me.
  2. I am right always.
  3. There is only us.

And those rules are in place because Olivia is here for the women. Do not listen to some man before Olivia, because Olivia is a BOSS. Not a boss — THE boss. Pay attention to her and Mellie becomes a monument. Ignore her and she becomes an asterisk. Oh, Mellie, make a good choice.

After that, Olivia goes on that date with Curtis only to explain the protocol for the night, which will end in a hotel room, period. Because, GOD, if you haven’t picked it up yet: Olivia makes the rules, because Olivia. Is. The. Boss.

And that’s that. Stand in the sun with me every Thursday. Hold my hand and let’s talk on Twitter. Tell me how you feel about the first female president and how many glasses of wine you drank tonight (I had three, it’s fine, nay HANDLED). And when you let that popcorn settle, I’ll see you back until we finish this season. Off a cliff, right?

Episode Recaps


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

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