Scandal’s winter premiere took a turn from maintaining power, to wanting it.
“It’s Hard out here for a General” brings us 6 months forward, after the events of the midseason finale. Narrated through Sally Langston’s liberty report, the season sets a theme for the foreseen future: power.
All consuming and never enough, Eli congrats Olivia’s celebrity status at dinner; “you had the oval”.
Trading her white hat in for the colours of red, we question what could make Olivia, power hungry?
Having left her seat of power; wherein she felt more like a prisoner, little comfort is taken, from the notion that power is best to be had and lost, then never had at all.
Living with Eli, Jake is all the more in favour of power, domineering his secret hook-ups with Olivia.
Through the scheming and planning of the last 5 seasons, the prowess of power has escalated into “modern warfare”, wherein nobody leaves unscathed.
Speaking of, Abby faces the brunt of being Fitz’ work-wife. As Cyrus has lost his role at Fitz’ side, Abby finds herself compensating at the height of the President’s term. As Cyrus asks for a “Liv-pinion” on Abby, we’re left wondering where Cyrus is going, as he questions her ability to handle to Oval.
Back in operation at OPA, Huck presents Liv with a case that’ll unknowingly change relationships this season. As the head of the NSA is hacked, files on project ‘Mercury’ – a public surveillance programme – are stolen. Threatening to undo America’s relationships with its people, and its allies, Lieutenant General Diane Peter’s boyfriend is the prime suspect.
Unbeknownst to Olivia, her own lover Jake is revealed to be behind it all.
As her team investigate project ‘Mercury’, Mellie Grant arrives at OPA, with a book; her book. With the intent of airing her dirty laundry before running for President, Mellie asks Olivia to run her campaign.
As the Whitehouse becomes aware of the threat surrounding project ‘Mercury’, Fitz recruits Jake for help; unable to go to Olivia. Feigning his own detachment from all things Pope, the new bro-ship between these friends grows suspicious, as Jake declares his desire for the Whitehouse’s scenic views.
As Jake sabotages Olivia’s case; reporting Diane to Fitz for investigation, it becomes all too clear that Jake is saddling himself up for the seat of power. As Fitz rewards Jake with the position at the NSA, he has begun to position himself, as a candidate for the Presidential race.
Angered by his betrayal, Olivia sets her sights on the Oval; and power, once more, to prevent Eli’s right-hand man (and B613) from obtaining the Oval Office.
Elsewhere, Huck is determined to keep new Gladiator; Marcus, from becoming Shondaland’s special version of dark and twisty.
As we enter episode 11; “The Candidate”, the race is on for Olivia to make Mellie Grant President. Continuing with the theme of power, Fitz’ final term as President is set to become the “year of achievement” for everyone; as Mellie and Susan aim for the Oval, and Huck begins contemplating a relationship with his son.
As OPA fact checks Mellie’s book, Olivia tells her that the chapter on why Mellie stayed with Fitz, is missing.
Whether it be for ambition or love, both Olivia and Mellie call their relationship with Fitz into question.
Elsewhere, it seems like Fitz will find love in Vermont with reporter Lillian Forester; as she arrives at the Whitehouse to profile him. As Elizabeth North uses David against Susan, to attain a seat beside the next could-be president, we see sparks flare between Susan and David; with the hope, that he may finally reenter a genuine and loving relationship. Meanwhile, Olivia and Jake continue to hook up in the midst of their tension.
As Mellie reveals that she stayed with Fitz because Olivia granted her the freedom she needed outside of being the First Lady, we in turn, learn that Mellie’s absence is the reason Olivia left – with no one to free her. With clarity, Olivia turns their story into one of empowerment, as Mellie garnered the courage to take her freedom, and power.
Leaking her book, Sally Langston calls Mellie the forceful candidate, capable of threatening the democratic nominee; with the patriotism and power of the constitution that Republicans endorse.
Elsewhere, Cyrus abandons ships as Fitz’ last months in the Oval become too risky for him to control.
Tonight’s new episode of Scandal highlights the true nature of modern warfare through our political bedfellows.
Scandal airs at 9|8c on ABC!
[Featured Image Courtesy of ABC/Eric McCandless; Source Content for Gifs: Scandal ABC, 2016 ]