Scandal is proceeding with full steam ahead as Olivia attempts to take down Cyrus
This week is an intense mixture of drama, emotions, and the classic “O-M-G” moments that we love Shondaland for. After last week’s Air Force Two hijacking, the world has put Cyrus (Jeff Perry) on a pedestal for his heroic speech in what we believed to be the final moments of those aboard Air Force Two. However, Cyrus is not the hero everyone believes him to be (surprise, surprise) because he orchestrated the hijacking to come out as a winner. While everyone else is singing his praises, Liv (Kerry Washington) isn’t so convinced and is on to his dirty scheming. She goes to Abby (Darby Stanchfield) to share her suspicions and knows that convincing QPA to help won’t be an easy task so Abby has to tell them the tip came from somewhere else.
Simultaneously, Liv is dealing with another case when a man comes to her to get help finding his missing daughter, Alisha–who admires and idolizes Olivia and is a congressional aide. Unfortunately, the girl turns up dead but Liv, Fitz (Tony Goldwyn), and Marcus (Cornelius Smith Jr.) investigate her death to find out she was fired and instead her roommate was hired by the Congressman. What was the reason for firing Alisha? Apparently, a list exists in Washington that labels interns with phrases such as “GFV”, which stands for gluten-free vegan, aka the girl doesn’t put out, and Alisha was labeled as such. This revelation also sheds light on her death which they learn is a suicide.
RELATED | Scandal Roundtable 7×13 “Air Force Two”
Meanwhile, Mellie (Bellamy Young) directs all her efforts to support Cyrus and promises to get to the bottom of who hijacked Air Force Two. For a fleeting second, she and Jake (Scott Foley) have a moment that is brought to a screeching halt when she shuts it down by telling him she is not looking to entertain an affair with him. Thanks to Abby, QPA is hard at work at connecting Cyrus to the hijacking–and figure out his Cezanne painting was used as payment to prevent a money trail. However, the investigation comes to a halt when Abby shares that she got the tip from Olivia. We are thrown for a plot twist when we learn that Cyrus’ co-conspirator is Lonnie Macon and due to Rosen (Joshua Malina) recusing himself from the investigation, Macon is also going to be taking over the investigation.
And if things hadn’t already taken a turn for the worst, the final moments of the episode reveal that someone has framed Charlie (George Newbern) for the hijacking of Air Force Two by planting the virus files on his laptop. And before the team can help him escape, the FBI comes rushing in to arrest him.
That episode had you on the edge of your seat, right?! Here to discuss Cyrus’ plan, Charlie being framed, and Abby helping Liv 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
Neemie (@NeemieNima)– Forensic psychologist, movie buff, travel fiend
Nthabbie (@nthabbie)– Marketing & Media Maverick, Sometimes TV Commentator (TVAD) & most times Epitome of Awesomery
Myoshi (@BeingMyoshi)– Writer, comedian, and traveler
1. Wow! That was some episode, right? What are your thoughts on Cyrus’ devious plan and how it’s coming together?
Mindset Podcast (@Mindset_Pod): This was a solid episode. Cyrus may be the most power-hungry person on the show, which is saying a lot. I thought about he’s so hellbent on becoming President and to me, it boils down to never having the opportunity to be on top. Everyone else around him- Liv, Mellie, Fitz, hell even Jake now that he (seemingly) has B6-13- have all tasted the kind of power he wants. Everyone has lost a lot, including Cyrus, and I think he needs something to make it all feel worth it.
Dorothy (@DorothyJGentry): Just crazy. Cyrus is truly the “mad scientist.” I never saw the set up of Charlie coming, however. But this whole master scheme is just that – master. It’s like he has all bases covered and has thought of EVERYTHING. But there has to be a glitch somewhere. We’ll see.
Neemie (@NeemieNima): It’s quite the cover, being responsible for a hijacked plane that he himself was on. He also has eliminated the paper trail by using the painting. It’s quite ingenious.
Nthabbie (@nthabbie): Cyrus has been nothing short of brilliant in the execution of his devious plan. Gotta admit, an old horse knows all the loopholes and he covered them clean. I can’t fault him on that, he gives us a run for our money.
Myoshi (@BeingMyoshi): Cyrus has thought this out very carefully. He’s had eight years since Fitz was in office to plan how he would take over. Cyrus is crossing every T and dotting every I in order to make sure he gets his seat in the Oval.
2. Despite everything they’ve been through, Abby is willing to work with Liv. What did you think of her agreeing to help take down Cyrus?
Mindset Podcast: Abby and Liv were pretty close, I mean as close as anyone could be to Olivia Pope, and it’s obvious that she still cares. Honestly, I think Abby should tread carefully, but I’m not surprised she’s willing to work with Liv.
Dorothy: Liv and Abby have always been close since Liv saved her from her abusive husband back in the early Gladiator’s day. I think it’s ok. At first, I thought it was backstabbing Quinn and the gang but I low-key understand it. However, I’m still waiting for Liv to get got.
Neemie: It makes sense. At the end of the day, Liv and Abby are friends and Abby wants to believe the person she knows is still intact somewhere. She also knows that Cyrus is a monster and would do anything for the Oval.
Nthabbie: Abby knows that Liv is not the monster they have made her out to be. Her intentions might be misguided but she has always done everything she does for the greater good. There is no other Olivia Pope!
Myoshi: I was happy Abby stopped riding on her high horse to help Liv. I think she also agreed because she misses Liv and that old OPA white hat feeling.
3. So, let’s talk about that hot list, shall we? What did you think about the concept of the list and how did it make you feel?
Mindset Podcast: And when Liv confronted that senator and he didn’t even bat an eye?! That’s how comfortable those pigs were; sexual harassment was so widely accepted that it didn’t even cross his mind to feel shame; he didn’t even think he’d done anything wrong. The exploitation of those women was just heartbreaking. Sidenote: Olivia handled herself so well in front the young lady’s father; I don’t know if I would’ve kept my composure. Like sir, I understand you’re grieving but what we’re not gonna do is slut shame or make me responsible for what happened!
Dorothy: That list is all too real. Can’t tell me it’s not. I love the way the show took a relevant, very emotional international topic and dealt with it. I loved this storyline. Made me feel proud and made me even more supportive and understanding of the #MeToo Movement. I’m on the lookout for that nonsense in real life 24/7.
Neemie: I always appreciate how Shondaland tries to reflect and integrate current issues in its storylines. It’s a bit frightening to know that practices like the hot list are based in reality. The best part about this part was the sustained look of disgust that Olivia gave Fitz when he admitted that he’s always known about the hot list
Nthabbie: The hot list is not a foreign concept in any industry. Patriarchy has always ensured women are reminded of their position in society and how they will never be considered equals. I for one was not surprised, just disappointed those idiots would leave digital signatures on the woman they have pursued.
Myoshi: The hot list has been around for years just under different names or apps. I hate that a woman can’t just work hard and succeed without having to resort to being a name ranked on a list.
4. Fitz and Liv had a few bittersweet moments in this episode. Do you think they will find their way back together once and for all before the series finale? Why or why not?
Mindset Podcast: They probably will, because it’s the great love of the show. I think that if they continue to work closely together, a reunion is inevitable. The spark is still there. Also, Liv seems to be making her way back to the white hat; there was a brief moment when even Huck seemed hopeful.
Dorothy: I don’t really know here. Some days I think back together. Other days, I think it’s too easy for them to get back together. I believe they will just be friends in the end and have fond memories of their time together. Hard to tell. But right now I’m leaning toward not.
Neemie: It’s inevitable that they would find their way back to their Vermont–whether literally or figuratively.
Nthabbie: I hope so, but I highly doubt it. I feel the sun has set on their relationship and it’s best they love each other from afar. Sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles.
Myoshi: Now this wouldn’t be Scandal without Olitz riding off into the sunset together at the final episode. It’s been the web in the plot since the beginning, why not end with it the same way.
5. That moment between Jake and Mellie was something, right? Even though Mellie shut it down, what are your thoughts on the two of them together?
Mindset Podcast: GROSS! Do. Not. Want. Jake and Mellie have no chemistry at all and it just wouldn’t make any sense. I’m glad she shut it down and called him on his s***.
Dorothy: NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO and oh yeah, NOOOOO!!! Shonda don’t even go there. Just don’t. I’m not here for it at all. Please bring back Marcus and Mellie.
Neemie: It’s weird. I didn’t think that this was a legit connection at all. I just thought that Jake was trying to play her. I was so creeped out by him that I briefly thought that he might have spiked her drink or something. I’m glad she shut that down.
Nthabbie: Argh, Jake is starting to be a first-class douche. Mellie did well by shutting him down. Good looking, over-privileged men have been getting away with murder on the pretense that they like powerful women so they can tame them and take over. And besides, they don’t strike me as a formidable pair.
Myoshi: If Mellie and Jake got together, I would’ve thrown the rest of the season in the trash LOL. I’m glad Mellie shut it down though in proper Mellie fashion of course.
6. Courtesy of Cyrus, Charlie has been framed for the Air Force Two hijacking. What did you think of Quinn going to Liv for help despite the anger she feels towards her?
Mindset Podcast: Quinn knows she can’t get Cyrus and free Charlie without Olivia Pope. I’m sure she didn’t want to ask her for help, but she had no choice. I think this will be the road that leads to atonement or at least some sort of truce between Liv and Quinn.
Dorothy: That’s what family does. We get mad. Don’t talk. Roll eyes. Hang up in faces. etc. But when the you know what hits the fan, we roll up and help. That said, I still need Liv to get got. Ugh. Can she please get a little of what she dished out. I need my pound of flesh…
Neemie: Regardless of how badass Quinn portrays herself, she still elevates Liv in the same way she did in that first episode. It’s why her disappointment in her is so great. As much as she may not admit it, Liv being right about Cyrus is redemptive for Quinn. It’s a sign that the white hat may be nearby, if not back on.
Nthabbie: LOL! Quinn running to Liv was so hilarious. She wants to be a badass but can’t play with the bad boys. Of course, only Liv can get them out of this mess. She can deal with her anger some other day.
Myoshi: Quinn isn’t dumb! She knows Liv can help her get Charlie out of this mess so she must swallow her pride and get her man back. I also feel this is Quinn’s way of maybe amending her and Liv’s relationship in the process.
7. Things are getting pretty intense on Scandal as the series finale approaches. What are your predictions on what will happen to Cyrus as the team comes together to take him down?
Mindset Podcast: I don’t think Cyrus will become President, but with as much dirt as he has on everyone, if the team tries to take him down he could very well take all with him. Cyrus is angry and desperate, so they better watch out!
Dorothy: Cyrus, the mad scientist, I’m not sure. I think he may end up being killed off. Or he may end up getting his way and the whole team just leaves and lets him have Washington and the Oval. I don’t know. Something is going to go wrong. Forecasting the future of this show and the storyline is challenging.
Neemie: No guesses beyond a hazard that Cyrus WILL finally go down. I also expect that he will try to kill Olivia first.
Nthabbie: He will be ruined. I hope they drag him for the filth he is, from here to Timbuktu. That is all.
Myoshi: Cyrus isn’t going down without a fight. He’s America’s sweetheart right now. I think the team will try but Cyrus will eventually get what he wants.
Final Verdict: Charlie’s arrest leaves the world of Scandal in a frenzy–and places a target on Cyrus’ back
Scandal threw us for a loop this week as the plot behind Cyrus’ plan thickens. Not only does he have the world convinced he means well, but his co-conspirator is handling the investigation of a crime Cyrus played a part in. In one fell swoop, Cyrus has paved a path to the Oval Office, framed Charlie for the cybercrime, and gained the trust of those around him. While he may have the rest of the world fooled, Liv and QPA are onto him, and with Quinn (Katie Lowes) reaching out to Liv for help, it’s only a matter of time before Cyrus is taken down once and for all.
This week Scandal also took some time to shed light on sexual harassment in the workplace. While Mellie worked on passing a bill to put an end to it, the Alisha storyline brought attention to the infamous list that labels female interns by how “easy” they are. A conversation between Liv and Fitz also takes place in which he asks her if he was inappropriate in his approach when they first met (thankfully, she told him no). The insertion of this topic in this week’s Scandal is a testament to Shondaland’s courage in voicing important stories that deserve attention. Bravo, writers of Scandal, Bravo.
We are now just a few episodes away from the series finale, and it seems things are starting to take a drastic turn. Things appear to be working in Cyrus’ favor and with Charlie in jail, things are looking pretty glum for QPA and co. In the coming weeks, we hope to see the Scandal writers deliver some of their best episodes yet as Liv and the gang come together to fight Cyrus and save the integrity of the world they’ve spent so much time in. Will they succeed? Time will tell real soon.