Scandal builds on its dramatic momentum as Air Force Two becomes the target of a cyber attack
It is clear that Scandal wants to go out with a bang in its final season. Each episode continues to infuse itself with drama, higher stakes, and a whirlwind of emotions. This week things got intense when Air Force Two becomes victim to a cyber attack. Cyrus (Jeff Perry) is supposed to give a speech at Scandal’s version of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner but Mellie (Bellamy Young) decides to send him away to Lisbon with David Rosen (Joshua Malina) and some of their staff for a digital piracy summit. In an ironic twist of events (given they were headed to a digital piracy summit), Air Force Two is hacked by unknown sources that gain control of the plane’s functions. Meanwhile, back at QPA Abby (Darby Stanchfield) is convinced that Rosen intends to propose to her because of his plans to take her to a fancy dinner. She falls further down the rabbit hole when Huck (Guillermo Diaz) and Charlie (George Newbern) investigate David’s activity over the last few days.
After teaming up with Annalise (Viola Davis) during the crossover, Liv (Kerry Washington) finds herself in the company of her mom, Maya (Khandi Alexander). The two share some interesting moments in this week’s episode, mainly Maya putting Liv down for her desperate need of approval from her. The joke’s on Maya when Liv sends her a one-way ticket to Paris and out of her life. As the team on the ground and the White House try to find a way to save everyone on Air Force Two, the media on board tries to document what is going down. They soon learn that the virus may have been brought via Cyrus’ secretary’s laptop that had briefly gone missing–and with the revelation of this news, the plane seems to be redirected towards D.C. With Air Force Two now being used as a missile, Cyrus begins to suspect that is is all Jake’s (Scott Foley) doing. Mellie harbors similar sentiments after Jake suggests shooting down Air Force Two. This moment creates tension between Jake and Mellie, who dismisses him abruptly. Mellie really shines this week and comes into her own as President by making difficult decisions on her own and even refusing Fitz’ (Tony Goldwyn) help. You go, girl!
The team at QPA also dedicates their efforts to finding a way to destroy the virus, and of course, are successful at courtesy of their top-notch investigative abilities. However, before this victory, Mellie sends out fighter jets, in preparation to take the plane down for a worst case scenario while Cyrus gives a heartfelt “we’re about to die” speech to raise morale in the plane. All the while, the journalist manages to get onto the plane’s (also hacked) wifi and starts streaming Cyrus’ heroic speech to the world. Thanks to QPA, Air Force Two is saved and all’s well that ends well. David returns home to a spastic Abby who learns that David wasn’t going to propose, and he isn’t going to because he knows that’s not what she truly wants. And all the while, Cyrus is painted as a hero to the world, but he isn’t fooling anyone–especially not Liv, who pays him a visit to let him know she knows he is responsible for the cyber attack. The episode ends with the confirmation that Cyrus’ goal has and always will be–The Oval Office, at any cost.
What a thrilling episode, right?! Here to discuss the Air Force Two cyber attack and Cyrus’ evil intentions is our Scandal roundtable, let’s see what they had to say!
Mindset Podcast (@Mindset_Pod)– Podcast focusing on social justice and black culture
Dorothy (@DorothyJGentry)– Educator, journalist, Jeremiah’s mom
Lucy (@lampareaux)– Account manager, life enthusiast, New Yorker
Nthabbie (@nthabbie)– Marketing & Media Maverick, Sometimes TV Commentator (TVAD) & most times Epitome of Awesomery
Julia (@DrJuliaPRS)– Plastic surgeon, food lover, movie connoisseur, music junkie, mother of cats, and child of God
1. What an episode, right?! What did you think of the Air Force Two cyber attack storyline?
Mindset Podcast (@Mindset_Pod): I thought it was a great episode; Cyrus is a criminal MASTERMIND!
Dorothy (@DorothyJGentry): I absolutely LOVED this story line. Very innovative and unexpected but realistic. Something that could happen in real life. But the ending was a little messed up. So we skip scenes and not see how the plane landed or what happened?
Lucy (@lampareaux): It was riveting! It kept me on the edge of my seat. Who could have imagined you could hijack an entire airplane through the internet?? I also couldn’t stand the thought of Abby losing David, their romance has taken a lot of turns, this would’ve been a very disappointing end. The thought of Cyrus is just the same, a Scandal without sneaky Cyrus just doesn’t quite work.
Nthabbie (@nthabbie): It was a brilliant episode. But the Air Force Two cyber attack story had so many holes, I did not see Cy coming.
Julia (@DrJuliaPRS): Well, I thought it was not only relevant to our current realities and fears, but I thought the way in which it was done was not realistic. Like, how would all this be televised on the news within minutes of it happening? Then I thought about the fact that representatives from the press were present and that could have been a reason for (what I thought of as) an unnecessary press conference when no information was available, but then we got to Cyrus and I was like: “Oh, well this all makes sense now.”
2. In the midst of the stressful episode, there were some light moments with Charlie and Huck. What do you think of their new, softer side?
Mindset Podcast: I think OPA is finding its own voice, separate from Liv which is a good thing. Having Quinn back, and meeting her daughter definitely brought Huck some peace, I think. I like this dynamic between Huck and Charlie. Huck especially deserves some calmness.
Dorothy: I like. Charlie has always been kind of a ham, even when he was maiming folks back in his B613 days. He had a dry sense of humor then and I like him even more now. Huck is just Huck. Good stuff.
Lucy: It’s in due time. They’ve had their tough guy moments and it makes sense for them to be ready to ease down a bit. I love their softer tones, Huck fawning over Abby’s engagement and Charlie’s new persona after becoming a father. Truly shows there’s light after the B613 tunnel.
Nthabbie: Lol. Those two thugs have seen enough horrific stuff to earn themselves a VIP pass to a lifetime of therapy. However, I do think they are softer to those closest to them.
Julia: I guess this is to show that people can change if given a new situation and are given an opportunity to do so. Their past experiences are still theirs, but they have the ability to be new people.
3. Liv and Mama Pope shared some interesting moments in this episode. What did you think about Liv going to her for comfort and then deciding to send her away?
Mindset Podcast: In last week’s episode, Liv was on the outside looking in with Annalise and her mother, and I think she’s really longing for that maternal bond. She tried to make that happen, but Mama Pope just isn’t that person and Liv has decided to accept that. Judging from her reaction, I don’t think Mama Pope was expecting Liv to dismiss her and it really stung. I was proud of Liv for standing up for herself.
Dorothy: No matter what, our parents are our parents, even if they are as messed up as Mama and Daddy Pope. Liv was in distress and women tend to go find comfort from their mamas during this time. Not unusual but she should have known better. She knows her mama cray-cray. I liked that she sent her away. She loves her mama and that is what would make her mom happy.
Lucy: As much as I love a Mama Pope cameo (no seriously she has the best black mom comebacks and monologues) it felt weird for Olivia to go her. From previous seasons Olivia has never been close to her mother and mostly treated her like a stranger and the fugitive she is. I think the chemistry was just a bit off this time around. Mama Pope is best when she’s the one behind the madness.
Nthabbie: Liv is a product of her parents, who are anything but conventional. To a certain degree, she really craves that affection from both of them but realizes she can’t make them be that way.
Julia: I think the crossover episode got Olivia wanting some sisterhood. I don’t think she feels Quinn and Abby are equals in the sense that they have been very dependent on Liv even when they didn’t want to be. She’s kind of carried them and everybody else at what used to be Pope & Associates. She wants someone like Annalise who has carried so many people and have suffered in the meantime.
4. David and Abby are next-level adorable and always have been. Were you disappointed that David wasn’t going to propose or do you think he made the right decision?
Mindset Podcast: Oh my goodness he absolutely made the right decision! What a beautiful moment; Abby was ready to accept (even though it took his near demise lol), and David understanding her aversion to marriage and accepting that. I love them together.
Dorothy: I was a little disappointed but I totally understand why he didn’t and I believe he made the right decision. There are people who have been married decades and don’t know each other as well as Abby and David. I love “Dabby”.
Lucy: Yes, I was definitely disappointed. My dream was for Abby to be able to overcome her previous marriage trauma and marry David. I also think maybe David was being tactful and didn’t want to propose at that moment considering the ordeal he went through.
Nthabbie: OMG no. I was not disappointed Rosen didn’t propose. Sometimes making a pledge to stick around is worth more than a marriage certificate. What he did, is by far more romantic than any unwanted proposal would have been.
Julia: I think his answer showed that he knew Abby and her fears were his fears. I actually liked their conversation though I was nervous when she was spouting off all the romantic assumptions.
5. The final moments of the episode hint that Cyrus was involved in Air Force Two’s cyber attack. Were you surprised by this? Why or why not?
Mindset Podcast: I didn’t see it coming, but once it was revealed I thought OF COURSE! Cyrus is a monster, and the more Mellie and Jake dismiss him, the more conniving and calculating he’ll become.
Dorothy: I was not surprised. Not at all. I’ve been watching Scandal since DAY ONE. I KNOW CYRUS. He is the biggest attention-seeking person walking. NOTHING should be put past him. NOTHING. While I was watching the episode, I was thinking, “I bet Cyrus had something to do with this.” And I was right. He’s brilliant, he’s funny but he’s also power-and-headline hungry and nothing is going to get in his way. He wants the spotlight. He wants the fame. He wants the Oval. Everything else is just a distant second.
Lucy: Not at all!! The best Scandal moments involve sneaky Cyrus. There’s something about his schemes that make them bittersweet, you kind of want him to lose but you also kind of want him to get his way. I kind of forgot the Oval was his goal since Olivia left the White House. Having him take his shot at the Oval office kind of brought the storyline for this season back on track.
Nthabbie: Surprised, no. Disappointed, yes! Cy is a slimy old man. But I can admire the fight in him. He gives Jake a good run for his money.
Julia: No, I’m not surprised. Cyrus is and always has been out for #1. This is the Cyrus I’ve always known. He’s out of his element in love and stuff.
6. Mellie really shined this week as President and made some tough calls on her own, even refusing Fitz’s help. What are your thoughts on how she handled the situation?
Mindset Podcast: I thought Mellie handled herself very well; I also thought Jake was behind the hacking. I never doubted Mellie’s ability to run the country and I wish the men around her would stop underestimating her!
Dorothy: Proud of Mellie. She’s holding her own as Madam President and showing that women can do this position. She is trusting her feminine instincts and relying on her intuition and trusting herself which is what everyone should do; especially women who tend to second-guess themselves. Good for you Mellie.
Lucy: She handled it well. Everyone criticizes Mellie for not being heavy-handed and cold with her decisions but I think she’s great at staying neutral. She is heavy handed when needed and uses her emotions when called for. Mellie has countless of flies telling her how they would handle a situation but the truth of the matter is she needs to handle the situation in her own way and people need to stop second-guessing her.
Nthabbie: Could have been handled better, in my humble opinion. She still needed validation, which is not to say she didn’t make the call on her own. Mellie doesn’t embody matriarchy in my eyes. No, ma’am.
Julia: I think she’s finally gotten rid of all her crutches (known & unknown) and been able to show her capability. I’m happy for her because watching her flail to everybody’s push and pull was getting annoying.
7. As the season finale inches closer and closer, what predictions do you currently have for how the series will end?
Mindset Podcast: I am still totally clueless about how everything is going to end. Who is going to be President? Is Olivia really through with B613? Will she reconcile with OPA? What about Papa Pope? Uggghh, so many questions!
Dorothy: Every time I think I know, they flip the script. I’m still waiting on Liv to get got. Ain’t nobody forgot what she has done, least of all me. That needs to happen before the season ends. Cyrus’ crazy behind, he’s probably going to end up as the President. Things are so crazy, Mellie and Fitz may end up getting back together. Abby may end up proposing to David, I just don’t really know. I cannot wait. This is good stuff indeed!
Lucy: The biggest question that looms is “Who will be president?” Sometimes I think Mellie will remain on the seat and other times I think Olivia will finagle her way to the seat. Who knows at this point, I’ll stay tuned through the end of the journey.
Nthabbie: Liv will be invited back to the White House, but I think she will decline it on the basis that she’s done it all except for live. Perhaps she will set her sights on being an ‘international’ fixer. Also, hopefully she’ll settle down with someone. Someone not linked to politics in any shape or form. The rest of the lot can go jump. I’m really not here for them. *wails at the thought of life without Scandal*
Julia: They. About. To take. Cyrus. Out!! Cyrus has plans for the Oval Office and he doesn’t care whose lives are endangered. Especially since he felt slighted by Mellie’s request to forego the event he had written a speech for. Cyrus does NOT like playing second fiddle.
Final Verdict: Cyrus’ likely involvement with the cyber attack sets the stage for the rest of the finale season
Things are starting to get crazy in the world of Scandal and we are along for the ride. As the series finale inches closer, certain dramatic plots are being embedded into the story–whether it’s Cyrus’ plan to take over Mellie’s presidency or Liv’s attempt to mend her broken relationships. There is a whole lot going on and not much time left for it all to come to a screeching halt. This week highlights Cyrus’ true intentions and that he is willing to go very far to make his dreams come true. And how that he is being hailed as a national hero, it has brought this dream one step closer to reality. What does he intend to do with Mellie? Only time will tell.
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While Scandal has certainly had its share of confusing, boring stories, the finale season is pushing forward with full steam ahead to make it the most memorable season yet. Who would have thought that in Scandal’s final hours, Liv would be alienated from all the people we have seen her share her life with over the last seven seasons? This is sure to play a big part for what’s to come in the next few weeks, especially with her knowing about Cyrus and his intentions.
Next week’s promo shows Mellie promising Cyrus she will find the culprit behind the cyber attack–which certainly won’t end well if she finds out the real truth. Liv will try to use her knowledge of Cyrus’ plan to reconnect with QPA and company, which is sure to be an uphill battle. With all the crazy drama, we can’t wait to see what’s in store!