Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen Scandal Season 3, Ep. 10 – “A Door Marked Exit.”
“And the devil did indeed come in.” – Cyrus
For a show grounded in its ability to shock and awe at a dizzying pace, this winter finale was relatively low-key. And that is in no way a complaint. After the roller coaster of ridiculous last week a breather is greatly appreciated. Of course a breather for Scandal contains the amount of action most series cram into an entire season, so we still have plenty to talk about.
First, I’ll just get this out of the way; I’m not ok with the direction they’ve taken Huck. I will not be ok with it as long as he continues to freeze Quinn out for a betrayal she had little say in. She got in over her head, but sending her back into the arms of Charlie is not what Huck would do. It doesn’t make sense for the character we have been shown and it doesn’t make me happy.
Moving on, I’m not sure what it says about me, but buying that the vice president could cover up a murder was easier than all of B613’s plot lines combined. But Cyrus and Mellie sweeping in and working their voodoo magic seemed believable (at least within the context of Scandal). But that really shouldn’t be surprising. The entire show is based around people sweeping in and cleaning up seemingly unclean-upable messes.
What is surprising is who was doing the cleaning up. It took until this episode to realize it, but a part of what has made these last few episodes feel off is the under usage of Olivia. We’ve grown accustomed to seeing Olivia ride in with her white hat and fix all the problems, but the last two episodes she’s been relegated to the role of yelling, demanding delegator changing her mind about what to do with her mother every five minutes.
The rest of the cast is more than capable of carrying a few episodes on their own, but this shift has made a notable difference. But it did allow for two great moments to be given to two different actors.
Rowan’s speech to Fitz was the stuff of Shonda Rhimes legend. Clearly Papa Pope is good at his job and has done his homework. His profile on Fitz was spot on. Fitz has been looking for an escape his entire life and Olivia is that escape. Does that make his declarations of love and dreams of jam in Vermont any less romantic? Not a bit, but its fun to hear the psychology behind it.
Meanwhile Cyrus completely sold his moment of revelation. Is it odd that this death is the one that gets through to him? Does it have more to do with James potentially leaving him than actually feeling responsibility? Probably. But sooner or later he had to have this coming to Jesus moment. He had to feel the impact of the things he’s done.
It was also good to see some of James’ true colors. Yes, Cyrus has treated him pretty terribly, but he isn’t quite the victim he likes to play. Despite what Cyrus thinks, James has seen the 666 before. He likes Cyrus’ power and he has always enjoyed the perks of being a reporter married to the White House chief of staff. I’m sure the things Cyrus did genuinely upset him, but he didn’t waste any time making it beneficial for himself.
But the winter finale isn’t really about character development and psychological profiles. Its about that shock and awe.
We already knew Mama Pope wasn’t the saint Olivia made her out to be in her mind, but tricking her husband into killing hundreds of innocent people by shooting down that plane is pretty messed up. Almost as messed up as killing the escape plan her daughter so lovingly put together for her and returning/never leaving D.C. to enact some sort of revenge/finishing of business/general dangerous shenanigans. It’s really a wonder Olivia turned out as semi-normal as she did.
As for Fitz, he proved he’s more than just a pretty face behind a nice desk. Faced with two life problems, an over zealous, top secret organization led by a crazy man and a former friend getting too cozy with his lover, Fitz killed two birds with one stone and put Jake in charge of B613. Now he’ll have a modicum of control over the still really creepy group and exclusive access to Olivia’s heart.
And finally, finally David Rosen was given something to do besides all of Abby’s dirty work. An NSA employee showed up at his office with a copy of Sally Langston calling Cyrus to cover up her murder. Will these charges be easier to stick than election rigging? Since Sally Langston looks easier to crack than Quinn, I’m thinking yes.
It’s a lot to process, but luckily we have plenty of time to let it marinate. See ya in February, fellow gladiators!
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