'Scandal' Checklist: Return of the Gladiators

This episode will not restore your faith in humanity. Spoilers ahead!

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As every avid Scandal watcher knows, our beloved show is melodramatic, predictable and kind of not that good. But still, we watch, and each increasingly over-the-top episode tends to hit the same marks. The "OMG" moment, the monologue to end all monologues and the super risky moment when Olivia Pope drinks a glass of wine in white silk pajamas — these are the things we've come to love about the show. Each Friday, we'll update our Scandal checklist and assess how ridiculous our Thursday night was. Spoilers ahead!

"The Fluffer"

OMG Moment: The service Fitz needed Olivia to render was to tear Andrew and Mellie apart. So she gave Andrew an ultimatum: choose Fitz and be vice president or choose Mellie and restore her faith in humanity (and also become a political science teacher at a second tier liberal arts school). He chose Fitz, and Mellie was very upset.

The short version:

Mellie being better than everyone else: Even after Fitz tried to snuff out the one exciting part of her life, Mellie is still picking out his ties. All she wants is for her husband to stay president, and the future vice president to have sex with her. It's not a lot to ask for.

Red wine in white clothes: Olivia was drinking red wine in white, but then Maya Pope shows up and says "In my 22 years in prison, you know what I missed the most?" The company of your loved ones? Watching Olivia grow up, go to prom, graduate high school, graduate college, graduate law school, start a business, and rig a presidential election? No. "A really good wine."

Over-the-top monologue: Remember when Scandal was about fixing problems every week, and being a gladiator for Olivia? Abby does:

Abby: Do you want to know what Olivia Pope would say?

Olivia: What would Olivia Pope say?

Abby: You don't get to run, you're a gladiator. Gladiators don't run. They fight. They slay dragons. They wipe up the blood and stitch up their wounds and they live to fight another day. You don't get to run.

A close second was Olivia's "what do you need" speech, because even she realizes that Fitz is an emotionally unstable taker. She was edged out by the fact that Darby Stanchfield (Abby) didn't yell.

Plot that won't go away: On that note, less Olitz please.

Good couple moment: Love is dead. David wasn't there, Fitz is now as awful to Olivia as he is to Mellie, James is still dead, Andrew chose power over love, and Jake threw Olivia into a wall and started choking her, on purpose this time. Governor Reston also threatened to have his wife sent to a mental hospital — not surprisingly, that cost him the women's vote. Also, Olivia and the Gladiators may have accidentally allowed Mama Pope to escape with a bomb to blow up the president. So, no. No good couple moments.

Bad couple moment: See above, though blowing up Fitz would be a blessing to pretty much everyone on the cast. Sally Langston would become president, but she and Fitz have killed the same number of people with their bare hands, so it's really a wash.

Tweet that sums up the episode: 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.