“Scandal” returned on Oct. 31 with the game-changing new episode “More Cattle, Less Bull.” Just as angst-ridden Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia (Kerry Washington) stand poised to find their way back to each other, Jake (Scott Foley) and Huck (Guillermo Diaz) uncover Fitz’s terrible secret. Its impact on Olivia and Fitz is potentially nuclear in scale – it could literally rip them apart. One question dangles in the air as we look toward next week’s follow up: Will Olivia and Fitz recover from their impending blow?
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
It’s impossible for Olivia and Fitz to move on from each other. Try as they might, one of them is always pining for the other and any degree of separation just makes them want each other more. We ache for them in their tortured, lovesick state. The running of the Free World and so much more creates an impossible chasm between them. Namely Fitz is tied to a loveless, cold marriage and Olivia's father is a heartless, manipulative monster.
Olivia asks Jake to take her to the White House Correspondents Dinner in a veiled attempt to simply be near Fitz. Jake sees through the facade and promptly breaks things off with her at the end of the evening.
As much as we detest Mellie, the combination of the skilled “Scandal” writers and Bellamy Young’s fierce and complex portrayal often dangles us on an emotional precipice between loathing and pity. Mellie isn’t all bad. She’s driven, self-centered, cunning, smart, manipulative, and bold. But like all of us, at the very core, she’s human.
Mellie’s impassioned plea to Olivia rejoin their team to right their wrong and help get Fitz re-elected is both gutsy and sad, and ultimately feels like the loneliest speech in the world. Mellie is conceding her importance in her husband’s life. She’s relinquishing her rights to him. She’s acknowledging he needs Olivia by his side to breathe, to feel alive.
Olivia falls for it hook, line and sinker; simply because Fitz is the love of her life. She doesn't need much encouragement and Mellie’s speech is so honest, raw and compelling.
It bears noting Lisa Kudrow is doing an excellent job as Fitz's flawed-but-earnest Democratic opponent Congresswoman Josie Marcus. No one wants Olivia to run her campaign, least of all Mellie, Cyrus or Fitz. It's also great seeing "Private Practice" star Paul Adelstein appear as a sought-after campaign strategist Leo Bergen.
Ultimately, a Grant For Re-Election campaign simply doesn't seem right or destined to succeed without Olivia and Fitz making a run of it side-by-side. Will they ever get that chance?
Rowan's (Joe Morton) monstrosity reaches all-new heights as we find out Fitz’s relationship with him spans twenty years and he refuses to take any kind of orders from Fitz, even in his position as POTUS. Apparently, he's never taken orders from any sitting president. What kind of an organization is this? What kind of a man is he? Talk about an abuse of power! The worst part is, that no one is safe from his wrath. Not even his daughter – and apparently not even his wife.
Tony Goldwyn and Joe Morton do an amazing job in Fitz and Rowan’s standoff scenes, both in person and on the phone. The negative energy and pure power between them is palpable. Poor Fitz doesn't realize the worst personal hail storm he will ever suffer is about to rain down on him full force.
Here’s what we know:
- Fitz was ordered on a black ops mission to blow up a commercial airliner (presumably by B613).
- He probably didn't know the identity of his target.
- He didn't know Olivia’s mother was on the plane.
- He doesn't know Rowan is Olivia’s dad.
Here’s what we don’t know:
- If someone on the plane truly posed a national threat.
- If Rowan used Fitz to kill Olivia’s mother, hence, his own wife.
- How Olivia is going to react once she finds out what Fitz did.
- How Fitz will react when Olivia delivers the news along with her wrath.
“Scandal” easily earns the distinction of being one of the most well-written and acted dramas on television. The ups and downs and hair-pin turns of the tightly drawn plot continuously keeps us breathlessly engaged and begging for more.
Once again, we’re faced with many burning questions: Will Fitz and Olivia’s love will survive the impending disaster? Will Olivia cut Fitz any slack because he was simply obeying orders and didn't have a choice? Is Fitz going to find out Rowan is Olivia’s father? And, can Olivia ever find peace being biologically tied to such an evil man? Most importantly, can Fitz and Olivia stay off of Rowan’s death list if they come too close to taking him down?
“Scandal” airs in Flint on WJRT ABC12 on Thursdays at 10 PM ET.