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'Scandal': Did Fitz and Olivia put their trust in the right man?

Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington play Fitzgerald Grant and Olivia Pope on ABC's 'Scandal.'
Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for CDG

'Scandal' Episode 3.11 'Ride Sally, Ride' Air Date February 27, 2014

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The wait is over. “Scandal” exploded back onto the screen with its shocking mid-season premiere on Feb. 27. To say the action completely turned on its head is an understatement.

Right out of the gate, Olivia (Kerry Washington) is back as Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) campaign manager and obviously back as the leading love in his life. However, danger is more imminent than ever as Rowan (Joe Morton) pledges to take down the man who ousted him from his career and Olivia begins a very public relationship with Jake (Scott Foley) to avert accusations that she is currently serving as Chief White House Mistress.

Plus, James (Dan Bucatinsky) is plotting to destroy Cyrus (Jeff Perry), his own husband, and Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Harrison (Columbus Short) are dangling on new and potentially precipitous edges.

Jake is clearly a kingpin in the deadly situation as he currently holds all of Fitz’s secrets and helms one of the most dangerous organizations in the world. Did Fitz and Olivia put their trust in the right man? Can he guard the castle and protect them from the unseen evil that seeks to ruin them all? And, loving Olivia as he does is Jake setting himself up to be a physical and emotional casualty of a war in which there seems to be no winner?

Unbridled Threat

Rowan makes our skin crawl in a hundred different ways. But, to tell his own daughter she is his “deadliest weapon” in his plot against the man she loves and follow it up with “If I was you, I would be terrified,” shows he truly is a cold-hearted snake.

Poor Olivia! Her mother is an international terrorist and her father will squash her like a bug if it suits his evil end game. His unbridled threat is deadly. He minces no words in telling Olivia Fitz won’t live to see re-election and she should start grieving now.

Who can possibly stand up against this kind of enemy?

On one hand, Fitz was smart to put Jake in Rowan’s seat of authority. On the other hand, he added gallons of fuel to Rowan’s fire. Can they stop Rowan before it’s too late?

Scandalous Affair

The core of this critically acclaimed show is the scandalous affair between Olivia Pope and married POTUS Fitzgerald Grant. These two ill-fated lovers are obvious soul mates but the most extreme, extenuating circumstances are pulling them apart and preventing their happily ever after.

Fitz is in a loveless marriage and is trapped by his political position. Meanwhile, his scorned and self-serving wife Mellie (Bellamy Young) does everything she can to make him squirm. More than anything, Mellie wants to stay at her prestigious Pennsylvania Avenue address. So, she begs Olivia to come back to head up Fitz’s campaign and help him win. She even helps divert the rampant rumor that Fitz and Olivia are indeed embroiled in an affair by asking her to lunch and suggesting she get a boyfriend to squash the unseemly talk about the sitting president.

Fitz and Olivia find themselves together again yet torn apart and this is nothing new. Except Olivia has her father’s threats ringing in her ears and is struggling to change the public’s perception of her. She tells Fitz she should resign and of course, he won’t stand for it.

Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington grab us and reel us in as only they can when Fitz pulls Liv in and kisses her passionately saying he can’t lose her again. There is so much passion behind his powerful pleas and despite reason, we desperately want these two people to be together. But, their relationship is doomed on so many levels.

Fitz still carries the guilt of all of those lost lives on that flight coupled now with the fact that he let her mother, who is a wanted terrorist go free to kill three more people. So, he made the only choice he could be putting Jake in command of B613. Olivia finally gets that but is still tortured by the fact that he doesn't trust her instincts that Andrew Nichols (Jon Tenney) is wrong as his new vice-presidential running mate.

Speaking of Andrew Nichols, isn’t he a hottie? It's going to be so interesting to see his back story unfold along with the obvious torch he still carries for Mellie. Jon Tenney is already thriving in this role as the handsome eligible VP candidate and we can’t wait to see more!

Liv ultimately turns to Jake to be her “boyfriend” in the public eye. Fitz is not happy with her choice, given the mixed bag of feelings Olivia has had for Jake in the past. And, Jake still loves her. He defied orders to hurt her and was subsequently thrown into a hole for months. That kind of devotion doesn't dissolve overnight.

Can Jake and Olivia be together "for show" without becoming emotionally entangled? Worse yet, will Jake’s feelings for Olivia cloud his judgment and keep him from doing everything he can to protect Fitz? Both Fitz and Olivia are taking a big gamble here and God only knows what will happen next …

Ultimate Betrayal

Why, oh why Cyrus did you have to go and help Sally (Kate Burton) cover up her husband’s murder? Why not let her fry in the fire of her own dastardly deeds? And why did you have to defile your marriage in the twisted name of democracy?

Now James is a husband scorned and all he wants to do is destroy the man who betrayed him by serving up the ultimate betrayal of his own. If James is being cunning and deceitful here, he only learned it from the best.

Still, it’s notably sad to hear him sit in front of David Rosen and call his husband a monster. Unfortunately, James doesn't know Leo (Paul Adelstein) is on Cyrus’ darkest secret and he’s made a deal with the devil; er, Rowan, that is.

We can only shudder at how Rowan will twist his knife with this information.

Dangerous Liaisons

Finally, we love the fact Jake orders Charlie to keep Quinn out of B613. However, Charlie is his own breed of slimy and a very vulnerable Quinn is pulled into his web. It's especially awful Charlie uses Quinn in Cyrus’s plot to silence the medical examiner by abducting her son. Becoming a kidnapper is just crossing way too many lines and we’re afraid Quinn is past the point of no return.

Plus, Harrison has definitely got his hands full when his deadly adversary turns out to be a beguiling vixen. What kind of past do they share? And exactly how has she maintained such a strong hold on him?

Overall, moral lines are blurring even deeper for all of the key “Scandal” players and we know this mind-bending episode is only a taste of the drama, passion, danger and suspense the remaining season three episodes have in store.

“Scandal” airs in Flint on WJRT ABC12 on Thursdays at 10 pm ET. Click here for a local channel guide.