Scandal Season 3 Review “We Do Not Touch the First Ladies”

Scandal Season 3 Episode 12 We Do Not Touch the First Ladies (8)

The plot continues to thicken on Scandal. There are so many lies and manipulations happening that it’s a wonder some of these people don’t get whiplash. But let me not get ahead of myself.

Olivia and Fitz have been fighting quite a bit lately, and a lot of it has to do with Jake. Ever since Olivia has started publicly dating Jake, Fitz has been becoming increasingly jealous. Olivia finally laid out for Fitz why she and Jake are perpetrating this ruse. It’s not just about getting the reporters off her back. Ever since Fitz outed Olivia as his mistress, it’s become harder and harder for her to do her job. People don’t take her as seriously as they did in the past. They don’t fear her the way they did in the past. But mostly, they don’t respect her the way they did in the past. There are the constant whispers and judgmental looks that make it hard for Olivia to keep pretending that everything is alright. Olivia knows that what she’s doing with Fitz is wrong, and Mellie’s acceptance of it doesn’t change how wrong it is. It’s getting to the point where Olivia is having a hard time looking at herself in the mirror, so she’s doing what she can to reclaim her dignity. Fitz never stopped to consider any of that until Olivia said something. That’s something that’s actually always kind of bothered me about the Olivia/Fitz relationship. As much as Fitz may love Olivia, he’s still very selfish. For instance, I’m sure he thought that by outing her as his mistress and taking away that card for Mellie to play he was doing Olivia a favor, but he didn’t think that all the way through to the end. No matter what Olivia does going forward, the gossip about whether she did or didn’t have an affair with the President is going to follow her forever. It’s also extremely selfish of Fitz to be so angry and jealous about Olivia “dating” Jake. Fitz has had Olivia in a holding pattern for the better part of four years, and if he wins another term, it’s going to be more like eight or ten. What is she supposed to do for all of that time? She’s not supposed to have a life without him? She’s not supposed to have any sort of happiness that doesn’t include him? She’s not supposed to have desires and hopes of her own? Fitz does love Olivia, but it seems that he loves himself more.

I feel bad for Jake. Not only is he involved in a completely fake relationship with a woman he actually loves, but he’s got to listen to the woman he loves argue with the man she loves about him. It was completely Jake’s decision to go along with Olivia’s plan, but it still can’t be all that pleasant for him. I still say that Olivia needs to give herself and Jake a real chance. Jake is, for the moment at least, a good guy. Most of all, he loves her in ways that Fitz doesn’t seem to be able to. Jake puts Olivia first, which is something Fitz has never really done. I don’t know how long he’s going to keep up appearances with Olivia, but he deserves better. I will say that I like the interactions between Jake and Olivia though. For the most part, Olivia bosses around the people in her life. She’s always in charge and she’s always giving orders. That’s not the case with Jake. She and Jake are much more equals than anyone else in Olivia’s life. Jake tells what Olivia what she needs to hear and not just what she wants to hear. He’s also able to put her in her place when necessary. In short, Jake is good for Olivia in so many different ways even though she refuses to see it.

Fitz’s campaign hit a bit of a speedbump when a doctor came forward and said that there was drug use/abuse going on the governor’s mansion while Fitz was there. Initially, Andrew said it was him, but as it turns out, he was covering for Mellie. She’s the one who got that bottle of oxycodone and used them to attempt suicide. Andrew found her and saved her life, but she didn’t want to be saved. She was still dealing with the trauma of Big Gerry raping her and of not knowing whether her son is Fitz’s or Big Gerry’s. Not that I endorse or condone suicide, but I can see why she would’ve wanted a way out. It doesn’t seem that Mellie ever told Fitz what Big Gerry did to her, and I don’t understand why. I mean, I understand not wanting to talk about being sexually assaulted, but that’s something she needed to tell Fitz. And it doesn’t make any sense to me why she wouldn’t tell him. It’s not like Fitz admired Big Gerry or anything, so she didn’t have to worry about making Fitz hate him. Maybe she thought that Fitz wouldn’t believe her, but there would be no reason for him not to. It just doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know that Fitz would’ve fought for her and stood up to Big Gerry back then, but Mellie never gave Fitz the chance to do anything. She just pushed him away. That makes it even harder to determine what she wants from Fitz in the here and now. On the one hand, she seems to want him to want her. She wants him to love her as deeply and as passionately as he loves Olivia. She wants him to be unable to breathe without her. She wants what he gives to Olivia. Then on the other hand, she seems to want him to just get out of her way so she can be the shadow president. She moves him around like a chess piece, and seems to want to get about the business of their relationship instead of finding the passion in it. It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of the Mellie/Andrew relationship. Right now Mellie feels like she’s better than Olivia because she has never been unfaithful even though she’s had the opportunity. But so much has happened since California, and I wonder whether Mellie will make different choices now. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Olivia confronted Eli about leaking information to Leo Bergan about Fitz. She told Eli that she was concerned for him because he no longer had the protection of B613, and he needed to stop putting himself in danger. She said she was scared for him. True to form, Eli spat on her concern and told her that he had hoped she held her father in higher regard than the other people that she emotionally manipulated. Why would he think that though? What has he done that should make him more important to her than anyone else? All Eli has ever done is bully and intimidate her. He’s willing to use her to destroy the Republic and take his revenge on Fitz and Jake. Why should Olivia hold him in such high regard when he has so little regard for her? I’m not sure he even likes her much less loves her.

Quinn seems determined to work herself into B613, and there doesn’t seem to be anything anyone can say or do to stop her. At Olivia’s request, Jake wouldn’t take her into the program but that didn’t stop Quinn from shadowing Eli and discovering his partnership with Leo Bergin. She was quite proud of herself and basically told Jake that he was missing out by refusing to bring her into the fold. The thing is, when Olivia asked Quinn to come back home, Quinn said that she wouldn’t because of what Huck did to her. But I don’t feel sorry for her at all. Everything that has happened up to this point has been her own fault. She’s the one who wanted so desperately to know what it felt like to kill someone that she allowed herself to become compromised. She’s the one who betrayed the team. Now she wants what? Huck to apologize to her? Huck did what he’s always done which is protect Olivia. The only sad part about all of this is that Quinn actually believes that she’s saving/taking care of herself by trying to get into B613. She doesn’t seem to understand what B613 does to people. She thinks Jake and Charlie are normal, but she can’t seem to see that both of them are very damaged. They’re damaged in different ways, but they’re damaged nonetheless. I don’t know what it’s going to take for Quinn to finally get it through her thick skull that B613 is a cancer that eats away at your soul until there’s nothing left.

It appears that Sally isn’t as guiltless as she pretends to be. Leo set up a meeting between Sally and Hollis Doyle (I can’t stand that guy!) to discuss donating to her campaign. However, Sally was pretty much mentally absent from the entire meeting because she kept seeing Daniel Douglas’s dead body lying on the floor. I have a feeling that Sally isn’t going to be able to hold it together much longer. She’s going to slip and tell the wrong person what she did, and it’s going to be the end of her. Maybe I should feel sorry for her, but I don’t. Not one little bit. Everything that has happened is a result of her overwhelming desire for power. It looks like Leo realizes that Sally isn’t keeping everything together as well as he’d hoped, and I wonder what his next move will be. He already feels like he’s got a secret weapon since Eli is feeding him information, but I wonder just how far Leo is willing to go. If he’s anything like Cyrus, which I suspect he is, then we’re in for a real rollercoaster ride.

There is so much more that I could say about this episode because there was so much going on. It hit the ground running and didn’t stop until the credits rolled. The most shocking twist is that Maya is working with Saleef and it looks like they’ve forced Harrison to make an extremely generous donation to the Grant campaign. I don’t see any way that could possibly be a good thing. I get the sense Cyrus is starting to suspect that James is the deep throat, and I can’t imagine what he’s going to do if (or when) he puts it all together. He’s already sent a hitman after James once, and sadly, I don’t think he would hesitate to do it again. Very solid episode, 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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