Scandal Season 3 Review “A Door Marked Exit”

Scandal Season 3 Episode 10 A Door Marked Exit (3)

Not cool, Scandal. Not cool at all! How dare you leave me this way. Several game-changing events happened, and I have a feeling the repercussions of some characters’ choices will be felt for a long while. This episode left me feeling so many different things that I’m having a difficult time organizing them into coherent thoughts. This could get a little long. You have been warned.

Team Pope was working overtime to find out exactly what Maya/Maria/Mama Pope had done so they could have her arrested as soon as she landed it Hong Kong. In doing so, they also finally got to the bottom of Operation Remington. Abby asked David for Maya’s FBI file, and they found that she wasn’t so much a terrorist as she was an opportunist. Ever since she was about 16 or so, Maya had been gathering and selling classified information to the highest bidder. Eli found out that’s what she was doing and that’s why he had her arrested the night she was trying to flee the country. That night Maya had told Eli that there was a bomb on the plane. That’s why he ordered it shot down. He found out later that Maya was lying about the bomb, but it was too late. The plane had already been shot down and all those people were already dead. I have a feeling that there’s more to it than that though. Maya had never done anything violent before and she wasn’t really associated with any terrorist organizations. So why would Eli believe that she had suddenly decided to blow up a plane with 300 innocent people in it? Furthermore, why would he believe that she would blow up a plane with herself on it? It doesn’t make any sense. I get the feeling that Operation Remington is somehow going to pop up again.

Olivia finally realized that Huck had interrogated Quinn, and she was upset. Olivia kept snapping at him the whole time they were working, and finally Jake stepped in and told her to cut Huck a break. Jake understands that Olivia is having a rough time thanks to all the crazy revelations she’s had thrown at her lately, but he also understands why Huck did what he did. Jake is the only other person who can truly understand what Huck went through at B613. He’s the only other person who understands what B613 takes away from you. He’s the only other person who understands the fear and rage that Command creates in you. He’s the only other person who understands what it feels like to be thrown in a hole for weeks or months at a time, beaten to within an inch of your life, and stitched up so that it can continue. Jake understands what it is to be tortured and broken physically, psychologically, and any other way you can imagine. Huck would never stand up to Olivia like Jake did because Huck feels like he owes her too much. Jake, on the other hand, loves Olivia. When he confronted her, he was firm but loving and someone needed to give her some perspective. Despite his rather creepy introduction into Olivia’s life, Jake has shown himself to be a stand-up guy. If Olivia weren’t so wrapped up in Fitz she would see that Jake could actually be good for her. It killed me when he kissed her goodbye and told her that whatever happens next, he loves her. The way he looked at her and the little half smile just melted my heart. I love Jake. That’s why I’m concerned about his new role at B613. Although I’m glad it seems that Eli has been removed from his position of power, I’m concerned about what this will do to Jake. There’s the old adage that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. But even more than that, running B613 seems to require the kind of soullessness and ruthlessness that Jake just doesn’t seem to possess. I’m worried that this new post is going to transform Jake into the very monster that he’s been trying to kill. I also wonder how this is going to change the Fitz/Jake relationship and the Jake/Olivia relationship. If Fitz and Jake still want to dismantle B613, this would be a good time. However, Eli doesn’t strike me as the kind of man who is going to just step aside without putting up a fight.

While Team Pope was working on the Maya situation, Fitz took some steps to make sure that Maya got to safety. He had the Secret Service kidnap Eli and put him in a holding cell in The Pentagon. Fitz wanted to know why he was ordered to shoot down that plane just as much as Olivia, but unfortunately for him, Eli wasn’t talking. Fitz tried to get a rise out of him by informing him (in an extremely crass manner) that he was sleeping with Olivia. Eli shot back at Fitz that he’s a boy pretending to be a man. Eli then launched into all the reasons that he was a man while Fitz was a boy. Sounds like somebody has some anger and resentment issues, Eli.

As much as I hate to agree with Eli on anything, some of what he said to Fitz is true. Not the part about Fitz only thinking he’s in love with Olivia. Fitz truly does love Olivia, but everything else Eli said about Fitz is pretty much true. There have been a few times this season that Fitz has shown that he has a spine, but for the most part, Fitz has been milquetoast at best. He has allowed himself to be dominated by Big Gerry, Mellie, Cyrus and (to a much lesser extent) Olivia. It’s different with Olivia because he’s in love with her, but with everyone else he’s just been either unable or unwilling to assert himself on a consistent basis. I thought maybe he’d grown a pair at the beginning of the season because he was finally standing up for himself. Somewhere along the way, though, he fell back into his old groove and Eli called him out on it. He flat out told Fitz that he’s not good enough for Olivia. What was interesting about that though is that Eli feels that Fitz isn’t good enough for Olivia not necessarily because of who and what Olivia is, but because of who and what he (Eli) is. It’s a strange thing to look at your daughter and decide that she’s not who she is because SHE worked hard or that SHE is smart or that SHE is resourceful. Eli decided that Olivia is who and what she is because HE is smart; HE worked hard; HE is resourceful. He’s not any different than Big Gerry in that respect. Big Gerry wanted Fitz to be a mirror image of himself and he was disappointed that Fitz tried to be his own man. Eli wants to believe that Olivia is a reflection of him, and to a certain extent that’s true. But Olivia is who she is in spite of Eli, not because of him. As an aside, I have to admit that Eli looked so vulnerable and full of shame when Olivia revealed she knew what happened with Operation Remington. Eli ordered that plane shot down and those people killed on bad intel, and he’s had to live with that for the past 22 years. I get the sense that’s the real reason he had Maya locked up all that time. She played him, and he couldn’t live with that so he punished her. Despite my disdain for Eli, I have to give Joe Morton props for his work in those scenes with Tony Goldwyn. I’m surprised there was any scenery left the way he was chewing it up left and right. Really excellent work.

Quinn has made what will probably turn out to be the worst mistake of her life. She chose to turn her back on Team Pope and go be with Charlie. She came back to the office looking for an apology from Huck, but he didn’t apologize. He went on to say that if it weren’t for Olivia, he would kill Quinn without giving it a second thought. He basically told her that she was an ungrateful traitor who no longer deserved to be a Gladiator. Instead of accepting responsibility for her poor choices and asking for forgiveness, Quinn became indignant and stormed out of the office right back into Charlie’s waiting arms. In all honesty, good riddance. Quinn has been headed down a dark path for a while now, and she’s pretty much refused to see any of the warning signs. More than that though, Olivia took a lot of risk to help Quinn even though she (Olivia) didn’t necessarily have an obligation to do so. She saved Quinn’s life, but Quinn allowed herself to become so consumed with bloodlust that she’s turned her back on the people who have helped her the most. Quinn is angry and she feels like she’s been wronged, and in that moment she chose Charlie over Olivia. I have a feeling she’s going to regret that choice. Maybe not immediately, but a time will come when she’ll wish she could go back.

Cyrus is certainly wishing he could go back now. He’s lamenting the choices he made and the pain he’s caused. The sad thing is, I don’t think Cyrus necessarily regrets the choices so much as he regrets the consequences. Primarily the pain he’s caused himself. Throughout their relationship, James has been willing to look past the fact that Cyrus is a monster. He’s made excuses for Cyrus and he’s continually justified Cyrus’s bad behavior. However, things changed the moment James realized that he’s nothing more than a chess piece to Cyrus. I know Cyrus said that he loves James, but I’m not sure Cyrus even knows how to love anyone. If you love someone, you don’t use their misfortune to your advantage. If you love someone, you don’t pimp them out to serve your own purposes. Listening to Cyrus extort James into staying in their marriage was positively cringe inducing. He basically told James that if he left, Cyrus would make sure that he never got to see his daughter again and that he’d never be able to find work again. I imagine I was supposed to see Cyrus as vulnerable and broken in that moment, but all I saw was a man trying to escape the consequences of his choices without accepting any responsibility for those choices. Not once has Cyrus truly apologized to James. His apology in the last episode was cloaked in lies. His apology this week was cloaked with threats. How about try actually being sorry and actually apologizing to your husband? The trip about the whole situation, is that Sally is in exactly the position Cyrus wanted her, but he can’t even enjoy it. Cyrus knows that he crossed the line. He also knows that Daniel Douglas’s blood is on his hands.

Speaking of Sally, she is so screwed. Let me start off by saying that I am not a fan of how that opening sequence between Sally and Daniel Douglas was shot. It was too close and too disorienting. It took me out of the action because it was so distracting. That would’ve been a much better scene if they had just set up and shot it in standard format. I get that we were supposed to get a sense of the disjointed nature of Sally’s mind at the time, but I did not like the way they did that. That being said, the substance of the scene was excellent. We haven’t really had an opportunity to explore Sally and Daniel Douglas’s relationship the way that we’ve explored Fitz and Mellie’s, but I never got the feeling that they were any happier than the Grants. It seems that Sally married Daniel Douglas because he’s the only person who would have her, but he only had her because he didn’t want his family to disown him for being gay. It doesn’t seem like there was ever any love there, and just barely any respect. I have a feeling Sally has known all along that Daniel Douglas was gay. That’s why she told him several episodes back that she didn’t want any “incidents” and why she was certain Mellie was lying about Daniel Douglas getting handsy with her staffers. I have to wonder, though, whether Sally killed Daniel Douglas because she was so angry about him getting caught sleeping with another man or because he said he was going to tell the world the truth and ruin her future political aspirations. I have a feeling it’s the latter.

There is so much more I could say, but this review is already ridiculously long. What an excellent mid-season finale. I just have to shake my head at Mellie. She is truly something else. I couldn’t do anything but laugh at how Mellie wasted no time letting Sally know that the Grant Administration owns her now. Wow Mellie. Just wow. One other nitpick I had with this episode was how bad the speed-talking was. I couldn’t understand hardly any of Columbus Short’s dialog because he swallowed so many of his words. Even Kerry Washington and Darby Stanchfield slurred a lot of their dialog this time, and they usually do ok with the speed-talking. That gripe aside, I am monumentally bummed that we’re going to have to wait until the end of February to find out what happens next. What does Maya have planned? How is she still in DC? How is Eli going to react to being ousted from B613? What is David going to do now that he has proof James was telling the truth about Daniel Douglas? So many questions! So what did y’all think of the Scandal winter finale?

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