Long-awaited ‘Scandal’ premiere surpasses fans’ expectations

Meghan Miller

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been anticipating the “Scandal” premiere for months. Or I guess more accurately only one month, since you finished all three seasons on Netflix over the course of a month (maybe less…). You also may have convinced all of your friends to start it on Netflix once you got back to school, and as a result of this, have absolutely no one to discuss the premiere with. 

Well, instead of ruining it for all of your friends, I think it’s time we discuss last week’s epic premiere. Granted it could be argued that every episode is epic, but this one really threw us for a loop. I think Darby Stanchfield (the actress that plays Abby) tweeted it best, “Mellie’s gone messy, Jake’s getting sand in Liv’s sheets, and Fitz didn’t say hi in the hallway #scandal,” to name just a few of the crazy things that we learned about last week.

We started off learning where Liv and Jake disappeared to on papa Pope’s plane at the end of last season: a romantic private island off the coast of Zanzabar. (I mean, what else would you expect from Olivia Pope?!) 

After getting a delivery on a boat with a mysterious note informing her that Harrison’s dead body had been found (I mean come on, why did they do that to us?), Olivia’s fantasy life took a pause as she headed back to DC to attend and plan her old friend’s funeral. But it wouldn’t be “Scandal” if there wasn’t some drama once she returned. 

Let’s just establish where all the name players have ended up in the past couple months. Papa Pope has killed Liv’s mother. Harrison is dead. Huck, depressed and longing for Olivia to return, has taken on a new identity, “Randy,” is working at a tech help desk and refuses to talk to anyone from OPA until he has confirmation that Olivia is returning for good. Seriously, the despair on his face when he first sees Olivia is unbearable. 

He won’t even talk to Quinn, who has spent the last few months tirelessly trying to find Olivia and get the team back together. And who would’ve thought Democrat Abby would have taken over as White House Press Secretary for the Republican Grant administration. Each one is angrier than the next that their boss just took off into the sunset with her hunky, B613 escaping boy toy and left them in the dust. Aside from Quinn, they all refuse to help her plan Harrison’s funeral, leaving Liv to take care of it herself. 

Over at the White House, Cyrus is still coping with the death of James, dealing with the new head of the RNC, and seems to have also grown another two inches of hair (I cannot be the only one that noticed that.) He also took it upon himself to suggest the hire of no other than David Rosen as the new Democratic Attorney General, a position David very reluctantly considers taking. 

Fitz and Mellie are attempting to handle the death of their son in the best way possible, though not quite succeeding. Mellie is in shambles, walking around the White House drunk, in her pajamas and trying to cause trouble. Fitz, on the other hand, has taken on a much calmer attitude, is being nice to Mellie (anybody else confused by that?) and seems to have everything under control. 

That is until Mellie drops the bomb that at some point while we were away, Fitz tried to commit suicide. “I had one bad night,” Fitz responds and then warns her never to speak of it again. Cyrus informs Fitz that Liv is back in town, which of course was the happiest Fitz has been in months, but trying to be a good husband and man, Fitz tried to convince both Cyrus and Mellie that he would not be seeing her. 

Cyrus just pointed out what we were all thinking, “You really want to pretend we don’t all know how this movie ends? It’s not going to be a surprise, Sir. It’s rather predictable, really, she’s Olivia. You’re Fitz. At a certain point in time, the two of you are going to find yourselves together in the same room. The anticipation is relentless, isn’t it? We all know what happens next. We’ve seen this movie a hundred times.” Okay Cyrus, we may have seen this movie a hundred times, but it’s our favorite movie to watch. Somehow the anticipation never fades.

Throughout the episode, Liv attempts to convince herself, her associates and Jake that she will be returning to the island, but Jake eventually sees through her. He knows that he will always be second to Fitz and says “We both know you’re standing in the shade of Pennsylvania Avenue. As long as we’re back…” At least he knows he’s just a filler for her if their relationship can’t survive off of some deserted island. 

Liv finally recognizes that she can’t leave her people, that they need her, and she decides to stay home and take on new cases. In the final moments, the entire OPA crew shows up for Harrisons intimate funeral, Olivia wins a case which (no shock here) helps out President Grant, and Fitz nominates David for Attorney General.  

But the real excitement comes when for the first time in months Liv and Fitz see each other across the room. Though they don’t touch and barely made eye contact, it is probably the most exciting moment of the show. As they passed by each other they each reached out their hands but don’t touch.

 I mean, at a minimum, we were hoping for a typical Fitz and Olivia “Hi…”, but at least we get some sort of precursor in the excitement on each of their faces after they pass by each other. Don’t worry, we all know by episode two Fitz’s word to Mellie will be shattered, and he and Liv will “forced” into the same room again.