Scandal is back!
Season 4 of Scandal opened up with Jake and Olivia relaxing on a beach with him being very attentive. Apparently he had been listening to some 90’s R&B because he was all like “All I Got Is 15 Minutes,” and suddenly Marc Nelson is relevant again. Ole Jake is still sprung and is really feeling himself in this episode.
We knew this idyllic scene could not last. They ordered a shipment of wine that was delivered by boat, and the captain handed her an envelope containing an article about the death of Harrison Wright. So, it’s really a wrap for Columbus short and they didn’t even take long to settle it. Olivia, now known as Julia Baker, is surprised to get the mail since no one knows her location and the sender did not include a return address.
Olivia returns to DC to bury her friend and finds the OPA office empty and full of old mail and periodicals about the second Grant Administration. Quinn is waiting for her and gloats about how she tracked Olivia to the Island based on her fondness for rare wine. She updates Olivia on what happened with her two other former employees neither of whom is glad to see their old boss.
Huck is now a computer repair guy named Randy and wants no parts of Olivia unless she is back for good. White House Press Secretary Abby is still angry with Olivia for leaving and blames her for Harrison’s death which causes Olivia to tell her to back all the way up and check herself before she wrecks herself.
Back at the White House, Mellie is a disheveled mess walking around unwashed in a robe with Uggs while eating cereal from the box. At first I thought she was just drunk, but she is still mourning the death of her son and everyone is being very patient with her because of it. She doesn’t even bother to get dressed before going to visit Little Gerry’s grave where she lays down on the grass. Poor Mellie.
Portia Di Rossi made an appearance wearing Hillary Clinton’s old hair and a fierce power suit. Werk Mrs. Ellen! She’s playing the new RNC chairman who is in town to get Fitz to play nice with the party because he has been alienating everyone by working with the Democrats. He is also thinking about nominating David Rosen for Attorney General which is a non-starter for the Republicans.
Daddy Pope is Back
Olivia meets Daddy Pope for dinner at their regular restaurant. He knew she was in town and ordered her a glass of wine in anticipation of her joining him and gets on her case for coming back. He even had the nerve to say that he was sorry for her loss when she told him that her friend had died. Deadly dad denied having anything to do with it, which we all know is a lie and claimed to have killed Mama Pope at the President’s request. The last time we saw the Notorious MOM she was chilling in the hole, so I am not falling for the okey doke. Nice try Pops.
Jake comes back from a burger run to find Olivia moping on the couch about planning Harrison’s funeral.They are interrupted by a young Senate staffer whose female boss may have killed a colleague after a sexual assault at the male senator’s house. The victim says that she met up with her colleague late that night to discuss an Equal Pay bill, but he grabbed her and when she tried to get him off of her, she shoved him, he fell down and is likely dead.
Jake Stakes his Claim
Jake and Olivia are in the sack and she is talking about her new case to the point where he has to tell her to hush up and enjoy the moment. Olivia is not trying to be silenced and starts ranting about how unfair the situation is to the victim because the rapist is getting all the sympathy. She then calls the lawyer representing the Senator and tells him to hold off on making a statement.
Jake knows where this is headed and says that as long as they are in DC she will be tempted by Fitz despite all the knocking of boots that’s been done by the two them – only he was way more graphic about it: “I’m the one you like to ride. That i’m the one that makes you moan that I’m the one that reaches you in places that he can’t begin to touch.” Sir, it’s only 9:00 pm and this aint HBO. I never really much liked him before, but he is winning me over with this newfound machismo. After he said all that, he got up and strutted off like a peacock.
Olivia figured out that the Senator is lying about being attacked and learns that the real victim was her young staffer. The female senator knew that the guy was a perv and she used her employee as bait to try to have some leverage over him! The staffer overheard the boss admitting what she’d done and accused the legislator of dangling her in front of the old man like a piece of meat.
Harrison’s funeral is a small gathering only attended by OPA staff and Jake because he had no family and was raised in a group home. Toward the end, we see Daddy Pope watching from his car as Jake consoles a weeping Olivia while Aretha Franklin sangs – not sings -“Bridge Over Troubled Water.” I don’t know what Mr. Pope is up to, but something tells me that he was not there out of purely paternal concern for his daughter.
Mourning Mellie Lays Down the Law
Mellie is outside looking over the rail of the balcony when Fitz tells her to come in because it’s getting cold. She says that she is not going to jump because she’s not him, and we find out that Fitz attempted suicide after his son’s death. He says he had a bad night and warned her not to mention it again. He also tells her that Olivia is back in town. Mellie says that he must tell her when he sees Olivia to give her time to prepare for sloppy seconds once he comes back home all hot and bothered. Oh and she also mentioned that she stopped waxing, “and it’s 1976 down there.” Yikes. I did not need to know that.
The show concludes with Fitz passing Olivia in the hallway after she finished a press conference with the young senate staffer who had been attacked. She’s decided to represent the girl which means that she is staying in town and is back to wearing the figurative white hat. As she and Fitz pass, neither speaks or acknowledges the other outside of a very subtle hand gesture. Olivia does offer up a faint smirk because she knows as well as the rest of us that those two are never finished and are likely to be locked in a broom closet by the next episode.
The season premiere was good and lays the groundwork for a great fourth season, and I have just a few final thoughts.
- How are they going to have a funeral for Harrison but not James? As much work as some of us put into planning James’ imaginary funeral, surely someone could have given us a heads up or at least used some of our ideas.
- Where were the ushers during that graveside service? Olivia and them were about to hop down there on top of the casket and there was no one around to hold them back. That was just irresponsible.
- We never saw the body, so there is a chance that Harrison is not really dead. I’m not saying, I’m just saying. And I’m not the only one speculating.
- What is the deal with Cyrus’ hair? I know that he is still in bereavement, but that hair is downright disrespectful. He’s never going to find another man looking like a greying cockatoo, and Ella will eventually need a new mommy.
- I loved the Julia Baker pseudonym which has to be a reference to the legendary Julia Sugarbaker who is probably one of Mellie’s matriarchs. I wrote about this last week.
- Is Jake ever going to get tired of being Olivia’s fallback guy? Everyone knows that she thinks the President is her soulmate and will go back to him every time. I just hope that Jake doesn’t turn on her when he finally accepts the truth.