Scandal-It's Handled-Guillermo Diaz, Katie Lowes, Columbus Short, and Darby Stanchfield

Scandal, America’s favorite guilty pleasure is back on Thursday nights. “It’s Handled” does what Pope & Associates do best, fix things — just not the way Olivia planned. Don’t worry though, the season premiere was exactly what we’d all been waiting for.

The Players:

  • Director: Tom Verica
  • Writer: Shonda Rhimes
  • Cast: Kerry Washington, Guillermo Diaz, Columbus Short, Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, Tony Goldwyn, Jeff Perry, Bellamy Young, Joshua Malina, Scott Foley, Joe Morton, Dan Bucanitsky, Kate Burton, Stoney Westmoreland, Erin Chambers, George Newbern, Brian Letscher

Episode Title: “It’s Handled”

Pope & Associates take charge of Olivia’s scandal as she and her father tangle with the White House.

The Good:

  • Twice as Good: Olivia’s name wasn’t leaked for nothing. As it’s been effectively pushed into the background, the whole thing seems like a rouse to pry open her family file. Liv obviously gets her skill at delivering spirited monologues from her father Rowan, the creepy CIA man. The most intriguing bits of news were Olivia’s mother’s death by plane crash when Liv was 12 and the fact that she never lived in the family home after the tragedy. Whether she chose to stay away or was forced to hasn’t been revealed. Is it possible there’s a question surrounding the nature of her mom’s demise? The veracity with which Rowan operates doesn’t rule it out. Most importantly it looks like no one knows the two are related. The name on file for her father is Eli and there are no photos that put the two together.
  • Providence: Secret safe folders, military personnel, codes, a clandestine meeting—it must be time for another Olivia and Fitz reunion. He was unhappy she used her safe room key to get their stories straight what with the war or plague still a vague possibility. Their meeting was made pointless very quick. With Mellie’s blessing the plan was to reveal part of the truth: Sex not love. Though their plot died on the vine, Liv and Fitz’s chemistry is still as palpable as ever.  All we got was a brief but solid crying hug but still, shivers.
  • His and Hers: The leak was traced back to Fitz and Mellie’s personal lackeys/secret service agents. Hers got drunk and spilled the beans on the affair. Of course, Mellie figured out it was Fitz who engineered the speech and instructed Tom give up Liv. The writers never pass up an opportunity to remind everyone that Mellie is smart. We never bought Fitz’s return to Mellie last season. Since he revealed laying his head in her lap was a ruse to begin waging war on his wife, our gut was right. This public ordeal was nothing more than the gauntlet being thrown. If Fitz really plans on going up against Mellie, this season could get very interesting.
  • The Gang’s All Here Except: Jake. We assume he’s still in the same hidey hole that broke Huck. Olivia’s father made it clear that refusing to follow orders doesn’t fly in the CIA. David Rosen popped in the office just long enough to support/guilt trip Liv and stir the fires of his sometimes relationship with Abby. Harrison took point on joining forces with Cyrus to name the White House aide as the “real” mistress. Perhaps this means he’ll continue to earn the large office by taking on the hard jobs? Huck and Quinn get the least air time, though their brief showing cemented their positions. Huck is still twitchy, brilliant and entirely loyal to Olivia. The causal nature with which Quinn makes her suggestion that they just kill another intern—a bad one of course—implies her prowess with the dangerous hasn’t disappeared. Even Charlie showed up to drug Cyrus’s husband and wave around a gun.
  • Operation Remington: Cyrus’s raised security clearance suggests that whatever Rowan showed him was a game changer. The mission that bonded Jake and President Fitz has always been known as classified and heavily redacted.  It’s clear this will be a big deal. Scandal is employing the same social network campaign to bolster the intrigue it used for the mole mystery. Whatever happened in Iran we’re guessing it’s the reason Rowan claims he was trying to kill Jake and not Liv. It’s probably the root of his furtive statement about Fitz during his opening monologue.  (“I know more than you could possibly imagine about things of which you cannot dream.”)

The So-So:

  •  Momentum: Success sets a heady precedent for any show but especially a broadcast television drama. For two seasons Scandal has captured the nation’s attention by burning through subject matter like their scripts were written on kerosene paper. Last night, seeds were planted that could birth another thrilling season, but expectations are high.  Hopefully, Shonda Rhimes can make good on her promise to keep things moving. If not, this much celebrated soap will fall from grace as fast as it rose to popularity.

The Quotable:

  • “You raised your skirt and opened your knees and gave it away to a man with too much power. You’re not rare, you’re not special, your stories no different than a thousand others in this town so you know how this goes. You could call this in your sleep. First they’ll smile, be warm, sympathetic on your side letting you know they will fight for you. They will lull you into a false sense of security and then once your belly is exposed they will gut you and everyone you know and they will be swift about it. And by the time you realize you should be fighting back, well you’re already bleeding to death. That is the presidency versus you. Whose victory do you think they will fight for? Whose body do you think they will bury?”—Rowan
  • “Olivia, you’re getting on that plane come hell or high water and to be clear I am that hell and high water.”—Rowan
  • “I am a monster, but honey I’m your monster.”—Cyrus
  • “I am many things; stupid is not one of them.”—Olivia
  • Rowan: “The White House will destroy you.” Olivia: “That’s what mom used to tell me about you.”

Overall:

“It’s Handled” fed Scandal fans the tiniest morsel to abate their hunger—the meal is yet to come. Olivia’s family and Fitz’s mission will be instrumental this season, with Mellie’s marriage war and Jake’s impending return serving as a close second.

Rating: 9/10

Revenge airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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