Season 4, Episode 1: Randy, Red, Superfreak, and Julia
Posted by Sage
I hope you were using its lengthy hiatus to ferment your own red wine, because Scandal has returned, soapier and more extravagant than ever.
When we last left the goodies, the baddies, and the in-betweens, Olivia was on a plane with Jake to who-knows-where, her father was cleaning up her mother’s mess, Fitz on his way to winning reelection while dealing with the loss of his son, Harrison’s fate was up in the air, and the rest of OPA were basically hung out to dry.
I personally used the hiatus to workshop some ideas that may or may not work as well in practice as they do in the haze of my mind on summer TV. Like this one. Today’s Scandal gif-cap is brought to you entirely by Gillian Anderson’s face. I collect GA reaction gifs like other people collect snowglobes, and I decided to put them to use making sense of this bonkers season premiere. You are welcome. Take it away, Gillian.
We open on Olivia relaxing on a pristine beach. She’s reading Gone Girl. She looks fabulous in her white swimsuit, natural hair, and, oh yeah, a beautiful man on top of her.
“It’s about 15 minutes out. Do you wanna use those 15 minutes? Or stop?” “Don’t stop.” Olivia/Jake is real. She didn’t just use him for a ride out of town. There was some riding involved, but we’ll get to that later.
“No one knows I’m here. We’re 100 miles off the coast of Zanzibar…I’m not even Olivia Pope anymore. I’m Julia Baker.” Then how did a mysterious envelope addressed to Julia end up on their wine-delivery boat?
“Jules?” Huh? Oh, right.
“Apparently he was missing. He’s not anymore. Now he’s dead.” WHELP. Maybe don’t assault your wife and then assume you’ll keep your job at Shondaland.
“Hey, we’re just here for a few days. In and out.” Jake’s trying so hard to sound sure about this.
“Grant: A New Era?” Only if he’s been castrated.
“You were hard to find.” Not hard enough, apparently.
“Your hard drive was fried but it works now I fixed it. Also your wife is cheating on you.”
“This is the White House, Peter. Not Westerberg High. There is no hit list.” ABBY’S THE PRESS SECRETARY, BOO BOO. SHE DON’T HAVE THAT KIND OF TIME.
“You wanna get our party of good ol’ boys to admit that the possession of a vagina doesn’t automatically mean that a sister should get docked 32 cents on the dollar? Good for you, baby. Fight the power.” Mellie strolls into the Oval in her kimono, eating cereal out of the box. She embarrasses Fitz in front of his staff, then leaves to go bowling, alone. I want her to be my life coach.
“I’m hearing rumors of a new Attorney General. A democrat, Cyrus.” Fitz is barely a Republican at this point. Also, HEY, PORTIA!
“Do you need to validate a ticket for your broomstick or can you find your way out on your own?” Pfffffffttttt. Fuck you, Cyrus.
“We should bury our friend.” “We’re not a team, Liv.” Nooooo, my girls!
“You abandoned them too, Abby…I’ll make sure you have a date and a time for the funeral. Show up or don’t show up, it’s your choice.” I can’t take them being at odds. I need a moment.
“Remember the last time we were together, Rosen?” “Was that the time you killed three people or another time?” Welcome back into my life, David.
“Black for crap-your-pants-and-wait-for-someone-to-come-kill-you scary.”
“I did not kill Harrison. I did, however, take care of your mother.” And according to Rowan, that was at a “direct order from the President.”
“You lose people. Whatever.” She’s colddddd as iiiiiceeee…
“Are you spying on me?” Um, this is CYRUS BEENE. Of COURSE he’s spying on you.
“How long is she here for?” “I don’t know.” “Find out.”
“‘He laughs less,’ was one particularly poignant observation.” Womp womp, Fitz.
“You’re not going to believe this, but Gettysburger has a rib sandwich now with pickles and secret sauce under the ribs. It’s called the Underground Railroad. I got myself two.” Marry this man, Olivia. In a tasteful, Zanzibarian ceremony.
“How do I choose the box to bury my friend in?” Columbus Short can fuck right off, but we are allowed to mourn Harrison.
“This is Senator Stephanie Vaughn. I think I just killed Senator Sterling.”
“How would you like to be the next Attorney General of the United States.” David leaves the B6-13 files in his totally secure storage locker to join up with Fitz’s brigade. Cheers.
“I was just trying to stop him. To get him off me.” And he’s still alive? Shoulda pushed him harder, Senator.
“I’m not back. I’m only here for a couple of days.” “That sounds rehearsed.”
“Smart counter appointments are for hardware that is broken.” Oh, he’s really gonna make her do this?
Fitz and Mellie go to Jerry’s grave. Mellie lays down on top of it, right where the coffin would be. Someone get this woman an Emmy.
“It’s my turn. My turn is all about kissing. My turn also has various other fun things that you’ll enjoy. What my turn doesn’t have is talking.” OKAY.
“Because the very fact that some man put his hands on her could damage her credibility as a United States Senator. He tried to rape her, but she’s the one who suffers the consequences?”
“Come on, kiss. I’m focused.” “Let’s just…give it a sec.” “What?” “Wait.” “I’m just saying…”
“We both know you’re standing in the shade of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and it’s his turn. As long as we’re back, it’s always his turn. Despite the fact that I’m the one you like to ride. That I’m the one that makes you moan. That I’m the one that reaches you in places he can’t even begin to touch.” Oh, my. How you feelin’, 9:00pm censors?
“It’s not going to be a surprise, sir. It’s rather predictable…We all know what happens next. We’ve seen this movie 100 times.” Hee.
“There is overwhelming evidence that women don’t lie about being sexually assaulted but you are.” Oh, no. We better be going somewhere with this. I trust you, Shonda.
“All the women who work for Senator Vaughn kind of look the same.” Liv deduces that Kate (Lisa from The Newsroom!) was the woman assaulted, not the senator.
“Oh, we never left there. You work for the Death Star.” MARRY ME, DAVID.
“You killed us and you know it.” But…but…Abby and David are the only relationship we can rely on on this show.
“Get yourself some power and use it.” Can we not push David Rosen to get all caught up in the murder and corruption?
“I wanted to be you. And you sent me over there and dangled me in front of him?” Well, that’s a risky little tactic.
“Not much of a turn out.” “He didn’t have people, just us.”
Olivia’s dad watches from his Town Car.
“Don’t ever bring that up again.” “I’ll add it to the list.” Fitz tried to kill himself because he’s so tortured. No one cares, including his wife.
“When you see her, you will tell me.” Mellie tells Fitz, against a backdrop of green screen D.C.
“I don’t even know if I can imagine getting turned on by you right now.” I miss Andrew.
“Another thing I no longer do is wax. It’s 1976 down there.” I guffawed. Mellie has had it. I know I’ve said that before, but this is new levels of “has had it.”
“Oh, and what would Harrison say?” “Are we gladiators or are we bitches?” And she’s back in the game.
“The tent’s not that big, Cyrus. And you won’t like what’s outside it.” In other words…
“She’s back, Red. Get used to it.”
Olivia can’t live her life out on a secluded beach. She’s in it, whether she’s on site or not. She may have been fresh-faced and content in the middle of nowhere with Jake, but she comes alive when she holds that press conference. Kate is going to get off. The Senator will keep her reputation. And the White House will get the vote on the Equal Pay Bill. (Can we go live in that reality?)
Oh, HI, double-crossing Secret Service Man. How nice to see you.
“Moments like this give every woman an opportunity to decide what kind of person she wants to be. Deep down, not matter what face we present to the world. No matter what pain we’re hiding. What struggle we’ve been through. We know our worth. We know what we’re capable of. We know who we are and who we’ll always be. And we have a choice. We can hide in the shadows or we can stand in the light.” YAS BITCH YASSSSSS. THIS is the Olivia Pope we were missing last season. Congratulations on relocating your spine, girl.
I don’t want to get my hopes up too high, even with that confident, sly smile on Olivia’s face when she wordlessly strolled past Fitz. This is Scandal and they are Olitz and it’s inevitable that they’ll be tangled up in each other again soon. So I’m going to enjoy this reinvigorated Olivia Pope and her renewed commitment to wearing the white hat while I can.
Are you feeling Season 4 yet, Gladiators? Leave your thoughts (and miscellaneous praises of Gillian Anderson) in the comments.