Scandal: Run Review

Shonda Rhimes turns Scandal into a psychological thriller in its winter premiere. Here is our review for last night's episode.

I’ve never seen a Scandal episode so incredibly done! The start of the episode was where we left off in the winter finale. Jake and Olivia are dancing together, having a good time until he leaves the room for one moment and comes back to find Olivia gone. We now are briefly shown that someone came in, grabbed Olivia and pulled her from the room. We get to see Jake sprinting from the apartment downstairs only to run after the getaway car. Thank goodness he’s fast runner because he got the license plate number and called Huck immediately to track it. 

Too easy…right?

Well, I was going to accept this until we are put back up in Olivia’s apartment as she is being taken and one of the best filmed scenes I have seen on this show occurred. Olivia was grabbed, her hands grasping for the doorway, but when she couldn’t hold on any longer her fingers peeled away as the captor pulls her out of her apartment and takes her…

Across the hallway…what?

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Sure, the getaway car did feel a little too…planned. But, the scene portrayed a flawless choreography as Olivia was swung into the apartment across the hall just as Jake just turns the corner to find her gone. 

Em, this scene put me in cinematic bliss.

From this point on, we were set in Olivia’s perspective. I loved a completely Olivia Pope centered episode. There wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t in some way feeling as she was: isolated, trapped, overwhelmed, violent, helpless, hopeless. It was so different, yet amazing to see Olivia in a world not surrounded by her D.C. comrades. At one peak moment of Liv’s hysteria, she has this wild dream that Jake saves her, Fitz and her are living together in Vermont, and Gaby comes and gives one of her classic pep talks. She basically told Liv that no one is coming for her and if she wants to get out…she has to do it on her own. I suppose independence is indeed what she was going for in the mid-season finale…but nowhere near on this level. 

It was so thrilling and also frightening to see people even more skilled and talented at being malicious and conniving than Rowan and the trained assassins we have come to love and hate on the show. They had everything planned and executed perfectly from snatching Olivia before Jake fully made it down the hallway, to removing the surveillance cameras from her apartment while Jake ran downstairs looking for her, to sneaking Olivia out in a body bag of her now deceased neighbor. I was so disgusted, but in a sort of awe by how articulate they were in each step of the plan. 

Where Olivia was being held captive, a rather creepy and prison-like room, is where the psychological twists began to occur. A huge twist was when we find out her sweet, endearing cell mate that she confided in (too much information, perhaps) turned out to be her crazed captor. We know, from the previous episode, that he has some sort of connection to the vice president, but this man almost seems as if he is working on his own just because of how at peace he is with his own twistedness. This prison that Olivia at one point guessed to be in Sudan, was actually just a huge warehouse with a movie screen playing street sounds and a repeat track of an Islamic call to prayer. 


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It had a very, David Lynch’s, Muholland Dr. vibe with all the symbolism and somewhat broken scenes that somehow lead to a more poignant answer and then all of the sudden turned into an M. Night Shayamalan ending.

It was never real!

This has to be one of the best Scandal episodes of the entire series. This is Shonda Rhimes at her finest, testing her lead character’s strengths and pushing her to all possible limits. The Inception of reality, layering each reality until it Olivia no longer felt a part of reality herself. 

She is completely broken down in that last scene with Ian continuing to toy with her, congratulating her on her escape, but that it was only the start of this insane journey.

Who will be her superhero? Fitz or Jake?

My guess is that there will definitely be some teaming up going on in the next couple episodes. While Fitz would kill to get Olivia back, he still has that whole “presidential” burden he has to uphold which means still appearing caring, without revealing his obsession, I mean, love for Olivia. Jake and the gladiators, I hope, will play a large role in saving Olivia. I mean, they aren’t called Gladiators for nothing. I think it will come down to what it usually comes down to: Fitz can do all the guiding, the direction…the talking. But, Jake will be the one to actually get in there, take action, and rescue Olivia. Take notes, Liv.

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Conflicted feelings…

The scene where Ian was “murdered” was so gut wrenching, I couldn’t believe Shonda Rhimes went there. Definitely after meeting Ian, I got this foreboding feeling that even though Liv promised to save him…he was probably toast. But, to find out not only that he didn’t die but that he actually is the mastermind behind this warped and twisted rollercoaster…I can’t feel sad, right? Well whatever it is, Jason Butler Harner was so amazing as both Ian’s…I’m intrigued to see his next move.

As for Olivia…her strive for independence will have to be put on hold.

She’s clearly going to need some back up. 


4.5 out of 5