'Scandal': Olivia Pope's Got a Secret
On the show's season premiere, we learn that the main character isn't all she seems. It's about time.
Olivia is the woman who wins. She can save Quinn, the "girl next door," the way she saves everyone else. Quinn claims, rather fantastically, that she went to a hotel when she heard the news that her cheating boyfriend's office had been bombed and she was the prime suspect. Then a mysterious scary fairy drugged her and she woke up days later in Washington with a new identity -- passports, cash, birth certificate -- laid out neatly on the nightstand.
It's a given that Olivia can spin a story even this ridiculous. She can do anything, right? But there are a few cracks in Olivia's shield, moments when the rest of the gang walk in on her staring off into the distance at nothing. For the first time, she seems to have left her confidence at home. Could it be that Olivia doesn't have all the answers after all?
Not even close. Olivia still knows more than anyone else. When the prosecutor in Quinn's case notes that Olivia's been "walking around with the weight of the world on your shoulders," it's an "Um, duh" and "Aha" moment rolled into one. The night before Quinn's verdict is announced, Olivia makes a call (one Scandal Twitter fan joked it was to Jesus himself), and the very next day Quinn's a free woman. Even the home team doesn't know what to make of it. Was it a win? Or did they cheat? And does it matter?
It's not until the last scenes that we see Huck -- Olivia's human Swiss Army knife -- deleting himself from a surveillance video of the Washington hotel that Lindsay emerges from as Quinn. Dressed in the mysterious scary-fairy uniform of all black everything, Huck watches as Quinn leaves, and then he ducks into a waiting town car. Guess who's in the driver's seat, as always? Olivia. Dun-dun-dun.
Last night's Scandal peeled back a layer of the main character. Olivia isn't just another smart, successful and tragically single cautionary tale. She isn't just the fixer -- the perpetual fast-talking know-it-all who swoops in to save the day just to go home to an empty apartment. Like the lost causes she takes on as a crisis-management expert, Olivia has a secret. There's something that makes her tick besides the high of winning or the battery pack of being a "strong black woman" -- and I can't wait to find out what it is.