Scandal Season 3 Review “Vermont is for Lovers Too”

Scandal Season 3 Episode 8 Vermont is for Lover's, Too (3)

Are you freaking kidding me, Scandal?! Seriously?! There were so many twists and turns in this episode that I scarcely know where to begin.

Olivia and Co. are still working on finding out about Operation Remington, and in that vein they were looking for the person who killed their only lead. Needless to say, Quinn was on pins and needles because she was afraid they would find out it was her. They had to break off into teams though after Congresswoman Marcus called and said that someone had broken into her house and stolen her laptop. So, Huck and Jake kept working on the Operation Remington investigation while the rest of the team went to deal with Josie.

Apparently, the Congresswoman’s stolen laptop had all of her campaign strategy and information on it so they were desperate to get it back. Candace immediately accused the Reston campaign of stealing the laptop, and she even went on national TV to make that accusation after Olivia told her they would handle it. As it turns out, Candace was behind the whole thing. She had one of the Marcus campaign staffers drop the laptop off at Reston campaign HQ so they could accuse Reston of campaign fraud and get him kicked out of the race. When Olivia told Josie that she would have to fire Candace to make an example of her, Josie said she understood. However, instead of telling the truth when the cameras were rolling, Josie took responsibility for planting the laptop and then withdrew her name from the race.

For the third time in Scandal history, I was able to figure out what was going on. As soon as Candace said there’d been a break-in I figured she was the culprit. My problem is that it didn’t make sense for Candace to do what she did. Josie was already ahead of Reston in the polls and she was continuing to gain ground. Olivia helped them secure the kind of money they needed to last for the long haul. Things were working out well. America was falling in love with Josie, and it didn’t make sense for Candace to jeopardize all of that just to remove Reston from the equation. I thought maybe they would reveal that Candace was still angry about being lied to her whole life or something, but nope. She just did something extremely stupid and completely unnecessary.

While Candace was doing some political maneuvering in the Democratic race, Cyrus was maneuvering in the Republican race. Cyrus approached James with a job. Cyrus told James that he felt bad about how mean he’d been after James told him he got fired, so he asked the editor of the DC Times to let James write a puff piece about Daniel Douglas. Cyrus was very encouraging and supportive, and James should’ve known then that something was up. There are no words to describe Cyrus. He’s done some low down dirty things in the past to get what he wants, but this was a new low even for him. He pimped out his husband just so he could get dirt on Daniel Douglas. Disgusting. I’ve known for a long time that Cyrus is a monster, but this was just…I can’t even think of a good word for it other than evil. And then the sheer arrogance of thinking that (1) James would never figure it out and (2) he would never cheat. What’s even worse, Cyrus did all of this without even considering how it would make James feel. For reasons beyond my comprehension, James actually loves Cyrus. It doesn’t seem to matter how much Cyrus uses him, verbally abuses him, manipulates him, or belittles him. He loves Cyrus. The look on his face when he realized what Cyrus had done just broke my heart. It was as if in that moment James realized that Cyrus loves himself more than he’ll ever love him. James slept with Daniel Douglas because he was angry and hurt, and he wants Cyrus to feel that pain too. I’m not sure who sent Cyrus those pictures at the end, but now he knows and it seems to have wounded him. The trip about it all is that Mellie tried to warn him not to do it before James slept with Daniel Douglas.

When Cyrus told Mellie his plan to trap Daniel Douglas, she tried to talk him out of it. She knows from personal experience that some roads you go down you can never get back from. That’s where Mellie is now. After Fitz stood up for Mellie during the interview, she figured they were on the same page and they were a team again. Then, Fitz went incommunicado again. I have a feeling she knew where he was going even before he left, but she was hoping she was wrong. the look on her face when she couldn’t get in touch with either Fitz or Olivia said it all. As did the fact that she went to confront Fitz about sneaking off to be with Olivia, but changed her mind when she saw him. She saw that he appeared happier and more relaxed than she’s seen him in a long time. So instead of fighting with him, she simply asked him about the campaign stops and told him that since Josie has dropped out of the race Olivia would probably come back and work with them again. However, the look on Mellie’s face betrayed her true feelings. She desperately wanted the Fitz back who stood up for her; the Fitz who showed up for her. That’s why she kept watching the tape of that interview. She wanted to keep reliving that moment and feeling the way she felt then. This season seems to be an exercise in trying to soften Mellie. Since the beginning of the series she’s been an abrasive, manipulative, mean-spirited woman and it was next to impossible to truly sympathize with her. This season has revealed more about why Mellie behaves the way she does and the sacrifices she’s made to get where she is. Don’t get me wrong, she’s still not my favorite person and I still wouldn’t be opposed to a meteor squishing her flat on the South Lawn. But knowing more of her backstory makes a very teeny, tiny, microscopic part of me feel bad for her. I know. I felt dirty just writing that, but it’s true. In addition to everything she’s been through, living with Fitz is like living with someone who has a split personality. In one breath Fitz is standing up for her and being kind toward her. In the next breath he’s cold, distant and hostile. It’s no wonder Mellie is so bonkers. She never knows which Fitz is going to be there when she wakes up in the morning.

Speaking of Fitz, I’m really trying to be mad at him but, like Olivia, I just can’t seem to stay mad. After Fitz found out who Olivia’s father is, he tried to call her to talk about it. She refused to talk to him, so he sent a helicopter to pick her up and take her to Vermont to meet him. Wow. Just wow. Then, after he got her to Vermont, he showed her the house he had secretly built for them. He told her about all the rooms for the kids, all the space in the kitchen to make jam, all the hopes and dreams he had for them. The house represented everything he wanted for them as a couple. Dang it, Fitz! I’m trying to be mad with you! I can’t be mad if you’re going to be so blasted sweet. Olivia felt the same way. After Fitz explained what the house represented and why he wanted her to see it, she just melted right into his arms. Who wouldn’t? They spent the night together and then Fitz told Olivia that he loved her, but he was going to do whatever he had to do to take Eli down. He said he wasn’t going to stop until he found out why he was ordered to shoot down that plane, and he was going to use that to get rid of Eli. He seemed pretty surprised to hear Olivia give him the go ahead, but he was also rather relieved. I think he really needed her to be on board with all of this. Fitz and Olivia just can’t seem to quit each other. They are two halves of a whole and they can only seem to function properly when they’re together. It’s just too bad they found each other so late.

If Cyrus is a monster, Eli is whatever is worse than a monster. For the past 20 years, he’s been keeping Olivia’s mother Maya locked away in a super secret dungeon. When Olivia and Co. got too close to finding her, Eli showed up to tell her that he was moving her to another dungeon in another country. She demanded to see Olivia before she was transferred, but Eli refused. At that point, Maya took matters into her own hands. She slit her wrists…by chewing through her own arm to get to an artery. Ewww. She’s obviously determined and desperate. While she was recuperating, Eli brought her some newspaper clippings about Olivia. When Maya asked to see some actual pictures, he said he didn’t have any. Maya yelled at him that he was supposed to take care of her, and he said it was Maya’s fault that she wasn’t there to look after her own daughter. After her confrontation with Eli, Maya decided that she’s done enough time and she escaped from the prison. She went straight to her daughter and nearly caused Olivia to have a heart attack. I’m not sure what’s going on or how Maya is involved, but it seems like she was somehow complicit in whatever actually happened with Operation Remington. It has to be more than they thought there was a dirty bomb on the plane and shot it down. Maya was probably imprisoned because she knows the truth about what happened and she agreed to play dead to save Olivia. Whatever her part was and whatever deal she made though, it looks like she got the short end of that stick.

This was an excellent episode and I’m bummed we have to wait two weeks to find out what happens next. I’m not surprised that Huck discovered Quinn is the one who killed their lead on Remington. I’m also not surprised that he’s going to do whatever he has to do to protect Olivia; even if it means torturing Quinn. I have no sympathy for her. She’s reaping exactly what she sowed. Also, she should’ve just told the team the truth after she found out she was compromised. She couldn’t have thought she wasn’t going to be found out eventually. I got the sense that even Jake was suspicious of her when he ran into her obtaining the surveillance video. Speaking of Jake, I felt so bad for him! He’s in love with Olivia, but she’s still completely wrapped up in Fitz. He knows that, but he can’t stop loving her. The look on Jake’s face when Olivia got back from Vermont was heartbreaking. Poor guy. I’m very interested to find out what Maya’s role in Remington was and why she’s been in a dungeon for 20 years. I’d also like to see how Cyrus is going to handle it now that he’s pushed James too far. All of the storylines are heating up, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. So what did y’all think of this week’s Scandal?

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