Scandal Season 5 Episode 1 recap

There’s no return to form quite like a ‘Scandal’ return to form. This is exactly what we’ve been craving all these months – state dinners, dramatic coats used for dramatic purposes, and a healthy dose of having to choose between various terrible people, and it was the most fun this show has had in a while.

I loved seeing Olivia in the White House and defining her ‘boundaries’. Liv doesn’t totally have a leg to stand on, what with the whole ‘been having this affair for four years now’ but the fact that she still maintains boundaries is actually what we love about her, and what makes her different from everyone else. She doesn’t let one compromise degenerate her whole ethos.  She’s sleeping with the President inside the White House, despite what she believed about the sanctity of the office and of proud US History but that doesn’t mean she’s going to compromise all her other ideals. These lines in the sand in and among the shades of grey aren’t just a meta-statement on her wardrobe – they’re why we can continue to love Olivia Pope.

The narrative of the princess and the assassination and the tunnel – yeah, they’re very, very familiar. I actually thought that was okay, because it let us think about what was happening in our story, and not the actual facts of the death and the assassination and whatnot – with a side of ‘gosh, doesn’t she look like Kate?’ 

Abby and Liz on opposite sides of the outside are interesting.  I thought they were using Abby’s “I need to get out of The White House” as a quick excuse to have her back at OPA, but I’m glad to have been wrong. I’d rather see these things go down in a place where everyone’s back is against the wall, rather than an alleged place of business where murder and extortion are out in the open, looking at you, OPA. 

And looking at Quinn and Huck, and all the other players who made an appearance this episode, for the sake of the season premiere and to set up the ongoing dramas.  I’m not worried about Mellie, or about Sally Langston. They bring the stories constantly, and we’ll get our hands dirty constantly with them.

But Huck and Quinn – I get the whole ‘underworld of politics’ thing but I think we’ll need to bring them into the greater light somehow, because they can’t just keep up this spiral of killing and being redeemed and killing and being redeemed – Quinn was manning the desk at B6-13 back in the day, so we can’t really go down that road again. If I were team Scandal, I’d get them both into an approximation of respectability – imagine Huck having to wear a suit and be normal, even for a week? – and get some new hired goons who don’t play by Olivia’s rules.

I guess that’s what Jake is for. I wish I was more excited about him. But Olivia in the White House and betrayed by Cyrus is exactly what we all signed up for. This is what it looks like when you stand in the sun. Sort of.