Scandal Season 3 Review “Ride, Sally, Ride”

Scandal Season 3 Episode 11 Ride, Sally, Ride (5)

Welcome back Scandal. Oh, how I’ve missed you! Let’s never be apart for that long ever again. I know y’all have missed Scandal just as much as I have, so welcome back to y’all too! This episode hit the ground running, and it set up what could be some very interesting stories going forward. I hardly know where to begin. This is going to be long so brace yourselves.

There wasn’t so much a case of the week as there were several cases happening simultaneously. Sally Langston made the announcement everyone has known was coming for a long time. She’s running for president as an independent. What no one expected, though, was her refusal to resign as VP while she’s campaigning. Honestly, I can’t say that her decision surprised me. I would’ve been more surprised if Sally had done the honorable thing and resigned as VP. Sally wants power. She’s always wanted power, and now she can almost taste it. Despite her protestations and declarations that “the devil made me do it,” the reason Sally killed Daniel Douglas is that he threatened to deny her the power she so desperately seeks. I found it particularly interesting how quickly and completely Sally has been able to justify murdering her husband. Listening to her talk about how she stopped being vigilant and that’s how the devil got in and used her body to kill Daniel Douglas is both disturbing and sad. It’s disturbing because she sounds like a complete lunatic. It’s sad because she cannot seem to understand or accept that she killed a man in cold blood. The detached, cold way that she spat out her explanation of what happened with Daniel Douglas says that she either doesn’t feel any remorse at all or she sincerely believes she is not responsible. To tell the truth, it’s probably a bit of both. It’s not helping matters any that Leo Bergen seems to be Cyrus Jr.

Let me go ahead and confess that I do not like Leo. Admittedly, we don’t know very much about him yet, but what we’ve seen, I don’t like. He’s a fixer, but unlike Olivia, he doesn’t seem to have a moral compass or code. Leo is going to do what’s best for Leo, and that is a dangerous man. He’s running Sally’s campaign not necessarily because he thinks she’s the best candidate but because he can see an opportunity to gain some power and clout. Leo and Sally are really two sides of the same coin. The only thing you can really count on either of them to do is look out for themselves and do what they have to do to grab more power. It’s not helping matters any that Leo is reveling in the fact that he’s got Cyrus over a barrel right now.

I’d really like to feel sorry for Cyrus, but I don’t. Not a bit. He’s in the center of a huge mess, but it’s a mess completely of his own making. I’m not saying that he knew Sally would kill Daniel Douglas, but he had to know that nothing good was going to come of him pimping his husband out. Now, Leo knows what Cyrus did, and he’s using that card to essentially hold Cyrus hostage. Even more than that, James has finally taken off his rose-colored glasses. He has finally accepted who and what Cyrus truly is, and he has decided to end Cyrus. I don’t blame James at all, but I will say that I am surprised. Even though Cyrus has constantly underestimated, belittled, manipulated and marginalized James, for some inexplicable reason, James still loves him. However, it seems that James’ love has now been overshadowed by rage. Cyrus lied to James. He used James as a pawn in his political machinations. Then to top it all off, he pimped James out and, when James threatened to leave, Cyrus used their daughter to extort him into staying in their marriage. I don’t blame James in the least for trying to figure out how to use this horrible situation to his advantage. My fear, though, is the dark and dangerous path that James is traveling. He has good intentions in trying to take Cyrus down, but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Besides, his intentions aren’t all noble. James is hurt and angry, but he’s also afraid. Unlike Cyrus, James actually loves his daughter and he is terrified that Cyrus will make good on his threat to take her away. James neutralizing Cyrus doesn’t just serve the purpose of making a monster pay for his crimes. It also ensures that James doesn’t lose his daughter. It’s a very dangerous game, and as much as I like James, I don’t know that he has the stomach to do what he’ll have to do to best Cyrus. Although, I thought the same of David and he proved me wrong. So maybe the same will be true of James. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I am also concerned for Jake. I am relieved that Eli is gone as the head of B613 because he is a monster. I’ll talk more about him in a minute though. Right now, let’s focus on Jake. I know that Scandal fans are kind of split on Jake. Some folks (like me) love him and think he and Olivia would be great together. Other folks still haven’t really gotten over the creepy way he was introduced into Olivia’s life. That’s valid, and I understand that. However you may feel about his suitability for Olivia though, I think we can all pretty much agree that he seems to be (for the most part) a decent guy. He risked his life to save Olivia. He risked it again to get to the bottom of Operation Remington and free himself from B613’s clutches. The problem is, I fear that Olivia is right. Jake is a good man with good intentions, but Eli didn’t turn into the monster he is over night. B613 took his soul a little piece at the time until there was nothing left. I don’t want to see that to happen to Jake. He believes that he can run the organization but maintain his humanity, but it seems those two things are mutually exclusive. You cannot be the head of an organization like B613 and hold on to your soul. Maybe Jake will be the exception to the rule, but I seriously doubt it. I will say that if Jake wants to remain as Command, he needs to get rid of Charlie. That guy has no loyalty except to himself and the almighty dollar. Jake should not (and cannot) trust him.

Eli is a real piece of work. Now that Fitz has taken B613 away from him, Eli is on the warpath. He’s decided that he’s going to burn everything down, but why? For the good of the Republic? For the good of the people? For the safety of America? Nope. He’s decided to destroy everything out of his selfish need for revenge. Nothing that Eli has ever done has been for anyone else. Even allowing Olivia to hate him wasn’t about her so much as it was about him. Eli kept Maya imprisoned not necessarily because she was a terrorist threat to America (which she is) but because she’d lied to and deceived him. Eli wants to take down Fitz not because he thinks it’s the right thing to do but because Fitz bested him and embarrassed him. Even when it comes to Olivia, he doesn’t see her as his daughter that he’s supposed to love and nurture. He views her as a weapon he can wield to destroy Fitz, Maya, Cyrus, Jake, and whoever else gets in his way. It is simultaneously disturbing and infuriating how much Eli doesn’t care about how terrified of him his own daughter is. Whatever else he may be, he’s Olivia’s father and it is a problem when your only child’s first response to you is always to recoil in fear. Furthermore, he seems to take some sort of sick pleasure in knowing that he frightens her so much. Maybe he was just overcompensating. Maybe he’s actually scared that Jake and/or Huck will come after him now that he’s out of B613. That’s not a completely irrational fear. Whatever his reasons for being so verbally and emotionally abusive toward Olivia, it looks like he’s decided to make his bed with Leo Bergen. I have a feeling that this unholy alliance is going to be nothing but trouble.

Speaking of trouble, Mellie is at it again. After Leo kind of dominated Abby on one of the morning talk shows and reignited the Fitz/Olivia affair gossip, Mellie decided to take things into her own hands. She staged an innocent, yet very public lunch date between her and Olivia at which time she presented Olivia with a list of eligible bachelors. She told Olivia to pick one and start very publicly dating him in an effort to quash the rumors. She also took that opportunity to repeatedly call Olivia a whore; all with a syrupy-sweet, fake smile on her face. While I do admit that it is a good way to get the press off their case about the rumored affair, it was also presumptuous and cruel of Mellie. Mellie is the one that asked Olivia to come back in the first place. She begged Olivia to come back because she knows that they cannot win without Olivia. Mellie knew when she asked Olivia to come back that Fitz and Olivia weren’t going to be able to keep their hands off of each other. She made the conscious decision to bring Olivia back, so she gave up any and all rights to piss and moan about Fitz sleeping with Olivia. Mellie decided that winning The White House again was more important to her than her husband remaining faithful, so she needs to just shut up and suck it up.

Once again, I don’t really know what to say about Fitz and Olivia. They love each other and they hate each other. They can’t stand to be apart and they can’t be together. They are each others’ greatest strength and greatest weakness. Their relationship is complicated, messy and passionate. It’s killing Fitz that he can’t divorce Mellie and run for POTUS with Olivia on his arm. It’s killing him even more that Olivia is “dating” Jake so that the press will drop the affair story. Intellectually, Fitz knows that it’s the best way to silence that particular criticism of him, but at the same time, he hates seeing her with another man. I just hate that Jake is allowing himself to be used this way. It’s not fair to him, but he loves Olivia so he’s willing to do what she asks. It could be that Fitz is afraid that if Olivia spends enough time pretending to date Jake, she might actually allow herself to fall for him.

There is so much more I could say about this episode, but this review is already ridiculously long. It looks like Quinn is having tinges of regret about the choices she’s made, but I don’t feel sorry for her either. She kidnapped and threatened a child for crying out loud. I’m not sure what all stuff was about with Harrison, but I can’t say that I particularly care either. He’s just not very interesting. There are so many wonderful directions this show could take, 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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