This week's episode of Scandal brought us the end of Olitz, the beginning of Mellie as a national hero and a fresh start for Papa Pope.
It's Christmastime at the White House, and Olivia Pope is wearing holiday red (as opposed to her usual muted tones), hosting White House tours and encouraging America to eat healthily. In fact, in her new capacity as first lover, the only fixing Olivia has been asked to do lately is to hunt down a snickerdoodle recipe at the request of a senator's wife.
Meanwhile, to the chagrin of her Senate colleagues who are ready to go home for the holidays, Sen. Mellie Grant is carrying out a 16-hour filibuster on the Senate floor to ensure that a spending bill that would jeopardize funding for Planned Parenthood doesn't pass.
Remember when Mellie was trapped in the White House and relegated to a life of picking out stemware while Olivia was out in the world making a difference? My, how the tables have turned!
During a filibuster, the filibustering senator must keep talking until the clock runs out, with no snack or bathroom breaks unless a friendly senator relieves him or her momentarily by asking a long, drawn-out question. So while Olivia is in the Capitol delivering cookies, she decides to do Mellie a solid by getting Susan Ross, who as vice president is also the president of the Senate, to ask one such question.
Susan decides against talking about abortion because abortion only makes up 3 percent of Planned Parenthood funding. Message! Instead, she says, "Let's talk about gonorrhea!" While in the restroom, Olivia encourages Mellie to hang in there. "You're the biggest bitch I know. Don't tell me you can't do this." Mellie plus Susan plus Olivia equals Girl Power!
Mellie asks Olivia if she is going to stay until the end of her filibuster, and when Olivia says she can't, Mellie assumes that Olivia has to head back to the White House for a Cabinet dinner. In reality, while Mellie is on the Senate floor scoring a victory for Planned Parenthood by killing the problematic spending bill after the longest filibuster in modern history, Olivia is actually having an abortion. Oh, my!
When Olivia finally returns to the White House, she and Fitz have the fight to end all fights. The one where you say things that can never be unsaid and you bring up the other person's mother—or, in this case, father. Olivia tells Fitz that she's tired of sitting back and watching him run with the big dogs. She yells, "I am a big dog!"
She also accuses Fitz of moving her into the White House without asking her as revenge for her having released her father from prison. They jabbed about whose father was the worst. She proclaimed, "At least my father loved me!" C'mon, man! She called him an "ineffectual" president. Ouch! Then Fitz said that Olivia was "worse than Mellie." Where is the bottom??
Olivia conceded that she preferred Fitz when he was unavailable. When Mellie was still around, Mellie handled all of the boring first lady work, and as Olivia put it, "I didn't have to be everything." As the old folks say, "Don't quit your part-time gig unless you're ready for full-time work." I don't know which old folks say that, but it sounds like something a wise person would say.
At last Olivia declares, "There is no us! There is no Vermont! There is no jam! There is no future!" And with that, she moves back to her home to drink wine on the new couch that she finally bought to replace the one whose cushion was ruined when she was kidnapped last year. (Sips wine.) That was one fiery flameout.
Daddy's Home for the Holidays
At the end of the last episode, Huck had kidnapped Rowan, and it looked like the beginning of a heinous torture scene. At the beginning of this episode, however, Huck has yet to kill Rowan. He doesn't even kill Rowan after Rowan accuses him of being a terrible father and calls Huck's ex-wife a whore. Given his restraint, Huck feels satisfied that he has tamed his murderous tendencies so that he can finally go home to see his son, Javi. Oh, good! But first Huck drops Rowan off at home. Really??
Jake Ballard, who has discovered that Lazarus One is a real attempt to take B613 back from Rowan, is waiting for Rowan outside his house when Huck drops him off. Maybe Jake is finally going to kill Rowan? Nope. Jake tells Rowan that he knows he wasn't lying about Lazarus One … and then Rowan invites him inside because they are family. What is happening??
In Other News
Attorney General David Rosen and Elizabeth North are still sleeping together, and he gives her a lovely bracelet for the holidays, but Elizabeth coldly rejects it. For her, their relationship is purely sexual. Later, when Susan comes bearing gifts, David, who hasn't gotten anything for her, gives her the bracelet that was originally intended for Elizabeth. Of course Susan tells Elizabeth that she got the bracelet from David when Elizabeth spots it on her wrist. That's going to get messy.
Then Marcus Walker goes home to spend the holidays with his family, leaving Quinn Perkins all alone … until Charlie, aka Old Faithful, shows up with gifts and goodies but also, most importantly, hugs and kisses. Awww.
Well, that's all, folks. Many Scandal viewers were disappointed that the winter finale didn't end with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger as it did last season, when Olivia was kidnapped. Others were too busy mourning the death of Olitz to be concerned with anything else. The rest of us just want answers. Is Olitz ever really over? Or will Olivia send Fitz a "Chu doin'?" text a couple of lonely weeks from now? And is Jake ever going to kill Papa Pope?? Well, we won't find out until Scandal returns Feb. 11.
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.