Scandal heads, rejoice, for Scandal is back! And the season 5 premiere got us prepped and ready for what's to come this season.
Ripped straight from the (verrry old) headlines, the case of the week was based on Princess Diana's infamous fatal car accident. Unlike in real life, however, Olivia Pope is on the case, and she figures out who was responsible for Princess Emily's death: It was the queen. Several aspects of this case are comment-worthy, like the fact that Quinn was somehow able to confiscate every single paparazzi photo of the princess's body before they were shared with the press, even though, in real life, that photo would have already been used to create 212 memes because the Internet is disrespectful.
Nonetheless, the real noteworthiness of this case of the week is how clearly it foreshadows what's to come this season. Abby wondered aloud to Olivia about what it must be like for Princess Emily of Caledonia, who was a human-rights lawyer before she married Prince Richard: "One day you're a regular person, and the next day you're the most famous woman on the planet. And only because of who you're in love with it. Suddenly, that's all you are."
Moments later, Princess Emily testified, "I stopped being a real person the moment the world found out I was marrying Richard. To them, I'm not human. I'm just a spectacle."
And there it is. See, not only has President Fitzgerald Grant III kicked first lady Mellie Grant out of the White House, but he and Olivia are official and romping around the executive residence like newlyweds on their honeymoon. Fitz didn't invite Mellie to the state dinner for the queen of Caledonia, and he only reluctantly attended Mellie's Senate swearing-in ceremony, where he promptly handed her divorce papers. When she told him that she wouldn't sign them, he told her he had nothing to lose in a divorce battle because he had already accomplished everything on his bucket list. She, on the other hand, had a lot to lose because she was just getting started in her career. "Your biggest accomplishment so far is waving and smiling." Ouch.
Meanwhile, Olivia has been bald-faced lying to her (alleged) best friend, Abby, the White House press secretary, by flat-out denying that she and Fitz are together and ducking Abby when she sneaks through the White House hallways. This is the opposite of #squadgoals.
However, Elizabeth North, who ousted Cyrus and replaced him as Fitz's chief of staff, quickly realizes that the reason she's been out of the loop in some of Fitz's decision-making is because Olivia has been in Fitz's ear … and his bed.
Fitz wants to take his relationship with Olivia public and tell the whole world, but Olivia wants them to slow down and work on some of their issues so that their relationship is strong before the public inevitably tries to destroy them. I wonder if Olivia just doesn't know how not to be a mistress.
Fitz reluctantly agrees to slow down, but it's too late. Fitz and Liv go from out to outed when former Vice President Sally Langston, who currently hosts a Bill O'Reilly-style TV show, tells the world about Fitz and Liv's affair. And she has receipts! She has photos of Olivia traipsing through the White House like she put in on the rent. Through the TV, Sally warns Fitz, "You, Mr. President. I see you, sir."
A buck 50 says Elizabeth spilled the tea to Sally, but pretty soon she'll be plotting with Mellie and Cyrus about how to get their White House positions back. Mellie, Cyrus and Elizabeth—a beast, a monster, and a snake—that's a hell of a team. Let's hope that Olivia doesn't meet the same fate—figuratively or literally—as Princess Emily.
In other news, Quinn is still beefing with Huck because he killed all of Attorney General David Rosen's grand jurors at the end of last season. So Huck has been sleeping on Olivia's couch, even though it's still missing the cushion on which the red wine was spilled when Olivia was kidnapped last season. (Yes, we peeped that.)
Huck wants Olivia to help him put the murderous genie that lives inside him back in the bottle so that he can spend time with his wife and child. When Olivia says she doesn't know how to help him, Huck turns to Jake, who lives in a dingy basement apartment nearby. Fans lamented the fact that it took 55 whole minutes into the episode for their first Jake sighting, but they were glad he hadn't skipped town.
The previews for next week show Olivia trying to hide from the paparazzi under a baseball hat, and honestly, I'm hoping, if nothing else comes from this, that having to go undercover will force Olivia to change her look, because she's been rocking drab peplum and a feathered side bang for the past four seasons. That look is tired. It wants to rest. Peplum has been trying to fade quietly for the past three seasons, but y'all won't let it die. Personally, I'd like see Olivia do the big chop or at least go ombré.
That said, what do you guys think will happen to Liv??
Akilah Green is a recovering Washington, D.C., lawyer-lobbyist-politico turned TV and film writer and producer living in Los Angeles. She currently works for Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show, Chelsea. She has also worked as a staff writer for Kevin Hart’s production company, HartBeat Productions, and as a consultant for Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO. In addition, she co-wrote and is producing Scratch, an indie horror-comedy feature film, and is a regular contributor to The Root. Follow Green’s adventures in La La Land on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.