Television history is littered with the bodies of ill-advised spin-offs. …
One of the best decisions Scandal is making this season is allowing the deaths of Harrison, Jerry, and James to hang heavy over the characters. Rather than quickly moving past everyone’s grief, as fast-paced shows have a tendency to do, season four is keeping the dead present in almost every scene. As a result, this season is much darker than past seasons, and Scandal is already better for it.
Apparently, all Olivia Pope (and Scandal) needed was a vacation to return to form. Gone is weak and defenseless Olivia, who was last seen running away from D.C., and her problems, at the end of season 3. In her place is the Olivia Pope the audience came to love during the show’s stellar first two seasons–she’s back fighting for injustice among women and turning down her own happiness (and island escape) to help a helpless intern.
Though this season’s had some pretty wild ups (everything involving Rowan Pope) and downs (the Quinn, Huck, and Charlie love triangle), “The Price of Free and Fair Elections” closes season three on a relatively high note–literally, as Olivia Pope, who hasn’t been wholly herself in quite a while, finally takes up her father’s season opening offer and jets out of the city with Jake.
Scandal may be three years into its run, but viewers are finally starting to catch on and it’s easy to see why. After picking up speed in season two, the episodes this year have kicked into high gear, exploring Olivia in greater detail and depth thanks to the revelation of her complicated, to say the very least, relationship with her father. There’s plenty more going on, but it’s this arc in particular that has elevated the season so far and it’s no surprise that this holds true again in “Say Hello to My Little Friend”.
On this week’s Scandal premiere, Olivia’s father reveals himself to be the worst human monster (“I am the Hell AND the high water.”) on a show filled with moral ambiguity, Olivia pulls the proverbial fire alarm to plot with Fitz and Mellie, and Pope and Associates (minus the “Pope”) sacrifice one woman’s career to save their faltering leader.