If you haven’t seen last night’s Scandal you might want to stop here—this isn’t an episode you want to spoil. “Vermont is for Lovers, Too” showed just how far Mama Pope is willing to go to reconnect with her daughter. If that’s not enough Quinn’s hole keeps getting b=bigger and bigger while Cyrus is taking risks he can’t afford. 

The Players:

  • Director: Ava Duvernay
  • Writer: Mark Wilding
  • Cast: Kerry Washington, Guillermo Diaz, Columbus Short, Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, Tony Goldwyn, Jeff Perry, Bellamy Young, Joshua Malina, Scott Foley, Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucantinsky, Khandi Alexander, Jack Coleman, Sally Pressman,  Sharmila Devar, Joe Morton

Episode Title: “Vermont is for Lovers, Too”

Pope & Associates continue to search for Omar Dresdan while coming to Jose Marcus’s aide. Elsewhere, Cyrus continues to work against Sally Langston.

The Good:

  • Mom Knows Best: Normally, a warning of adult content is due to a graphic scene between Liv and Fitz and not the gory image of a woman chewing through the arteries in her wrist. Whether Maya’s actions were a true attempt at escape  doesn’t matter; the closing shot of Olivia seeing her on the sidewalk was powerful. Though we’re ready to join Team Mom, the vitriol with which Eli/Rowan blamed Maya for her 20 years away gave us pause. Is she somehow at fault or is her crime another of Eli/Rowan’s trumped up accusations? Watching Maya take him down a size for growing apart was a delightful bit of parental banter in the midst of unusual circumstances. Controlling the women in his life seems like an insurmountable task for Rowan/Eli but we’re guessing everyone’s going to enjoy watching him try.
  • See the Dream: Jake said it best: If the President wants to talk to Olivia he will find a way. Sending his poor dedicated security guard to fetch her with a helicopter and a picture of her and her father as motivation gave them time to touch base.  At that moment, she still believed him partially responsible for her mother’s death. But at the news that Fitz bought 30 acres, an orchard, and built a house in Vermont for their long ago plans to run away, Olivia melted. How could she not?  More importantly, watching the lovers establish their quests for answers from Rowan/Eli ended the last vestiges of their standoff. With them united they have no choice but to help each other. Going after that man won’t be easy.
  • Good Job: Those two words, the first positive remarks Huck has given Quinn in some time, were so terrifying when we knew what was coming next. It wasn’t surprising to see him waiting for her in her apartment with the plastic played out and his torture toolbox ready. You had to know that once Huck figured out Quinn was the killer it was only a matter of time. Part of us hopes that he’ll be able to understand the naiveté and precarious situation that forced Quinn’s hand.  From the looks of the previews, he’s going to unleash his other side on her, something we’re sure many will judge him for. We’ve always known Huck was damaged, and that’s part of the reason we love him. We can only hope he hears Quinn out or be stopped soon enough for her to survive.
  • The Honey Trail: Being a kingmaker has gone to Cyrus’s head. How else could you explain him being arrogant enough to set his husband up with a lecherous man like Daniel Douglas? Cyrus could have tried his hand at asking if he’d want to help him setup the Vice President’s husband. Or, he could have been smart enough to use Mellie of all people to tell Daniel the two have an open marriage. The photos of James actively enjoying his time with Daniel seemed to break Cyrus, though whether the shots were real or staged hasn’t been established. Either way, the potential for some overblown speech and crazy antics from Fitz’s Chief of Staff is just what we’ve been begging for.
  • Stumped: We can’t be the only ones disappointed to see Jose Marcus’s run for president end so soon. However, the fact that Candy’s actions were the cause is of no surprise. She’s always had some ridiculous resentment towards the gladiators, so of course she would attempt to out-maneuver them by planting a “stolen” laptop in Government Reston’s campaign headquarters. Like all novices the team found out quickly, but not before Harrison could bed her. Perhaps that’s how the Marcus’s will be worked back into the story. Lisa Kudrow was supposed to have a seven episode arc so we’re assuming there’s more to come. 
  • Normal: It’s lovely to finally see Abby and David operating as a regular couple. Their careers will always intersect but they seem to be handling it well so far. When a show is filled with so much utter chaos, it’s always good to throw in a bit of heartwarming normalcy every now and again. Besides, it won’t be long until these two are back to duping one another for some reason or the next so let’s enjoy this while we can.

The So-So:

  • Maybe We Should: Just as we predicted the damage of Fitz’s olive branch to Mellie has already been done. Whilst she was indulging in reliving the moment, the President was busy rebuilding bridges with the love of his life, who we all know isn’t her. As usual, Mellie put it together long before Fitz could have expected. Watching the two converse about Olivia’s new availability and possible changed outlook was the kind of WASP talk that established that both knew and understood the affair was going strong. It always seems like Mellie’s right around the corner from exacting new vengeance. Let’s hope this time she follows through.


“Vermont is for Lovers, Too” proves why Scandal courts the unexpected on the regular basis. Next week’s episode has long been trumpeted as the highlight of the winter season and after those previews we’re inclined to agree. What Jake and Cyrus do about their ruined love is important. Jake knows Fitz and Liv made up and Cyrus believes James was unfaithful. Of course, getting to know/keeping Olivia’s Mom safe and Quinn’s questionable fate may take precedent. No matter what happens we’re sure “YOLO” will be the thrill ride we’ve been waiting for.

Rating: 9/10

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

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