Scandal Season 6 Episode 12 Review: Mercy

Is Liv in way over her head, or did she just prove herself to be a serious threat? Here’s our review of Scandal Season 6 Episode 12.

This Scandal review contains spoilers.

Scandal Season 6 Episode 12

It has been a terrifying season with the addition of several new characters that prove to be even more heartless and reckless than Rowan Pope. Peus and his sidekick got to meet our leading lady, Olivia Pope this week, but perhaps didn’t expect her gusto and tactical skills. We may have seen the first “taken aback” look we will ever see from Peus, but there’s no doubt he is a person who doesn’t stop until he gets what he wants. However, we saw a coming together of Olivia’s squads this week that may finally have the power to take this Peus team down.

“The word ‘my’ isn’t in ‘our’ vocabulary anymore.”

There were some excellent one-liners strewn throughout the episode. At the start, Mellie is fully under Peus control no matter how hard she tried to fight it. Peus even basically threatened to kill Jake to Olivia if she didn’t get him to step down as VP so he himself could take his place. While Jake did ditch his VP seat, Olivia assured him they weren’t defeated.

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Almost immediately after Peus’ counterpart brings Mellie to the White House, security bursts into the Oval evacuating everyone to their bunkers. An unidentified drone had entered White House airspace leading to Mellie’s new puppet master and her to be separated. Little did Mellie know that the drone was planned by Olivia and her new, united force. Together, they had 75 minutes before the bomb squad cleared the drone and to come up with a plan to take down Peus.

However, the time they spent in that room to devise a plan was instead spent at each other’s necks and opening old wounds including Jake’s frustration that Fitz and Liv were back together and Cyrus’ need for vengeance for Frankie’s murder.


Rowan was even pulled into their meeting which, while his language was powerful and poetic, his presence felt pointless. The man won’t change. He mostly just pissed everyone off more, especially with his ramblings about a victim’s plea for ‘mercy.’ I was amazed that Jake was able to stop Fitz from beating him up.

It’s curious how Olivia is so keen to hang on to him when she was ready to have him killed not too long ago. Maybe he shouldn’t be killed off, but why give him so many countless scenes where he ultimately just boasts about how he is right and how everyone else is wrong.

Then when Cyrus tried to get him drunk and kill him with a wine bottle opener which Rowan completely saw coming…how many times will this man be underestimated? Sure, he may be a little scared of Peus…but that’s it.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love Papa Pope scenes. I only wish they served more a purpose as of late. I only hope this is leading to a possible change in Rowan’s character. That perhaps, he will help this new “gladiator” team. One way or another…

“You can’t take Olivia Pope. Olivia Pope takes you.”

In the final minutes before the bomb squad cleared the drone, the plan became that they instead of announcing Peus as Vice President for Mellie, they would choose someone untouchable and pure: Frankie Vargas’ wife.

Olivia, too, got a new role as Mellie’s chief of staff which gave her the honor of having Peus’ partner in crime arrested.

Olivia knew Peus wouldn’t be happy about his pal’s arrest, but it’s clear Olivia isn’t shying away from this war. She is going in head first with her continuously growing team of gladiators.

Hats off to Shonda Rhimes for making this condensed Scandal season move so flawlessly forward and keeping up momentum while still creating developed backstories and intricate storylines. Time is passing a bit more quickly this season, but if anything it has only added to the show’s quality, making us fortunate enough to see more growth in these characters a bit quicker than usual. Some of the characters I started to dislike like Huck and Fitz are becoming more likable for me again as they settle into the new people they have become and use what they have learned in these new plotlines this season.

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“You ready for a fight?”

Telling from next week’s preview, Peus is definitely retaliating against the arrest of his cohort. This time though, it isn’t with just a few of Olivia Pope’s allies…

It’s with the fate of the country.

Until next time!


4 out of 5