Scandal: “The Candidate” Review
Things in Washington DC heat up as the candidates for the next presidential election start to fight for it.
*SPOILERS AHEAD. IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THE LATEST EPISODE OF SCANDAL, PLEASE TURN BACK NOW.*
The episode begins with Cyrus standing over President Fitzgerald’s bed, while a montage of all the important events that happened to Cyrus during the Fitz’s presidency. He states, “I have to go…” And all of Scandal viewers are already on the edge of their seats.
Olivia and Mellie are hard at work with the upcoming book Mellie is going to get published. This scene brings such raw emotion from Liv and Mellie – another classic from Shondaland. “That means you can cut chapter two and replace it with a chapter on why you stayed,” Liv states to Mellie before they go head to head about the subject. As Mellie looks shocked and distraught, Liv delivers one of her famous speeches on why the American people want to hear the answer to this question. “You really can compartmentalize like nobody’s business” is Mellie’s response, to which Liv responds, “You asked for Olivia Pope, you got Olivia Pope.”
Elizabeth North brings a “wake up call” to Susan Ross as she gives news that 93% of people believe that she would be a successful Presidential candidate. As we know, Susan has never been interested in running for President. Even then, Elizabeth doesn’t back down and continues to try and convince Susan to run for the election, but Susan stands her ground and will not say yes.
We find Liv and Mellie continuing to go head to head on the subject of writing about why she stayed. Liv makes the obvious statement that if Mellie doesn’t write this book, this will be the one question that she gets asked at every function she attends during her book tour, while running for election, and any interview she does. As Mellie continues to refuse, Liv comes to the realization and states, “You don’t know, do you? You don’t know why you stayed.” Mellie asked the most burning question, “Well do you know why you left?” The tension builds between our two leading ladies and all fans can’t help to worry that this alliance won’t last long.
Abby and Cyrus meet with a potential writer, Lillian, who wants to interview the President. They give her talking points allowed to be in the article. President Fitzgerald walks in to the room during the discussion. When the two meet, there is some obvious sexual tension there already. It worries me (and my fiancé), because let’s face it – you can’t trust anyone in DC. “I have no ulterior motive here aside from wanting to write a damn good article,” she states as Fitz gazes at her the same way he did Olivia… And even Mellie at times.
Olivia and Mellie lay back in the office while Mellie tries to come up with a reason why she stayed. She states that she continued to tell herself that she and Fitz could work through it as long as it was just a ‘phase.’ Both she and Liv aren’t buying it and Liv continues to push her to dig as deep as possible to come up with the answer, no matter how hard it is to relive. “I don’t have to tell you anything!” Mellie finally yells at Olivia. “You never had what we had!” Mellie lashes out at Olivia as she finally states what she’s been thinking all along. Mellie leaves Pope & Associates while letting Liv know that she’ll send a check. I think all of the fans hearts were breaking as they thought the dynamic duo was parting already. I know I was. I’ve been looking forward to Mellie and Olivia being alliances since day one! Kerry Washington and Bellamy Young are my GIRLS!
Elizabeth North visits David Rosen and asks him to convince Susan Ross to run for President, because Susan is in love with him. When she says this, it’s obvious that David had no idea… which is insane, because it’s been completely obvious from the beginning.
David then goes to Susan Ross’ office and asks her out on a date. He tries to be overly romantic, but everything he chooses, Susan has already done. You can tell Susan is so incredibly excited and nervous, but David doesn’t give up. He ends up taking her to Gettysburger, which she’s never been to. I, for one, was incredibly excited for this. I’ve wanted to see the inside of Gettysburger since Scandal started teasing about this hilariously awesome, but fictional fast food joint.
During this, Cyrus tries to convince the president to do something big in his final months in his presidency. Cyrus gives an amazing speech about Fitz missing the presidency once he’s finished. “We can still do something!” Cyrus exclaims. President Fitzgerald blows him off yet again and you can see the defeat in Cyrus’ face. The look on his face worried me of what he’s capable of doing after this.
Cyrus finds Mellie drinking at ‘his bar.’ “That filibuster of yours is the feminist moment of the decade,” Cyrus exclaims as he begins to build up Mellie in her presidency. “I already have my eye on someone to run my campaign,” Mellie says as she interrupts Cyrus during his speech. Cy, again, seems heartbroken and defeated. It can’t seem to be enough for him. Although he’s done some awful things, I can’t help but feel so incredibly sorry for him.
Mellie shows up at Olivia’s doorstep with her famous hooch. “It was working, that’s why I stayed,” Mellie starts her speech on why she stayed with Fitzgerald Grant. “I used to wonder if it was all men or just Fitz that sucked the life out of you, now I think it’s all the powerful men.” – Mellie. And what I have to say to that…. PREACH, GIRL! Mellie continues to gives an amazing speech on her life with Fitz and how weak she was. She goes on to say that she was deserving of Olivia. Because of Olivia, Mellie finally had a break and space from Fitz. Olivia gave her freedom. Such a beautifully acted scene by Bellamy Young, her drunken scenes are some of my favorite things to watch! Bellamy Young is such an amazing actress and continues to steal the show. Olivia tells her that she can’t write that, while Mellie agrees she offers Olivia some of her drink.
After the commercial break, we find ourselves back with Susan Ross and David Rosen at Gettysburger. David quickly starts to convince Susan to become a presidential candidate. We find out why Susan doesn’t want to run and it breaks everyone’s heart.
“David, do you know why I was chosen to be VP? It wasn’t because I’m amazing. It’s because Mellie Grant lacks character. She was picking her competition for the next Republican primary and instead of having the guts to go toe to toe with a worthy warrior for a true battle, she turned coward. She picked me. She picked someone useless, unthreatening, unpolished, unelectable. She picked a bug she can crush in one blow. I don’t stand a chance in a primary against Mellie so why would I put myself, my daughter through the agony of a campaign? Why would I uproot us for months on a…” David interrupts Susan’s beautifully written speech to kiss her. For a second, the audience believes that Rosen is the good guy we thought he was and he’s going to stand by her. We all know she’s much more worthy of his time then Elizabeth North. But we find out quickly that we’re wrong, because he continues to push Susan in the right direction. And my heart breaks into a million pieces. To manipulate a woman with such a kind, amazing heart – in a show or in real life, is just ridiculous.
Mellie and Olivia are officially drunk, relaxing on the floor of the apartment. Olivia talks about how mean Mellie was, but she just took it. Even though Mellie ‘wanted to fight,’ Olivia didn’t because she knew she was in the wrong. “Truth is, I was glad you were there. You were a good mistress,” Mellie admits as they pass the alcohol back and forth. Liv replies, “Well, I am an overachiever. Once I put my mind to something, I commit” as they both burst into laughter. Olivia admits why she left is the same reason Mellie stayed. In that moment, Olivia realizes what Mellie needs to write in chapter two – That Mellie was scared, that she had the power the whole time – it just took her a little while to realize.
We finally get back to the scene of Cyrus standing over the President’s bed saying that he has to go. Cyrus tells Fitz that his cousin died and he has to go, but I don’t think anyone bought that from the beginning.
The writer, Lillian, and Fitz meet for their interview. She quickly interrupts Fitz during the interview and admits that she has an ‘enormous crush on him.’ Fitz and Lillian decide to cut the interview and she go on a date with him.
David begins to tell Elizabeth that he’s done playing games with Susan. Elizabeth shows Rosen that Susan filed the paperwork and is running for president. Elizabeth gives the credit to David and continues to bash on Susan while she seduces David. He gives right in and makes me even madder than I was before! I used to think so highly of David Rosen, but his character is quickly getting lower on my list.
Marcus decides to bond with Huck over the soccer game Huck is watching. Finding out, the game is his son’s game. It’s heartbreaking to hear that Huck’s family moved, again, and that the only way he can see his son’s games is by watching through traffic cameras.
Olivia reads Mellie’s chapter and states that it’s a great chapter. “This is everything,” she admits. And Liv gets back to being Olivia Pope and decides to release some of the book online. The bonding between the two characters is wonderful and I cannot wait to see what happens next!
News channel pick up the leak quick and everywhere you look – they are talking about Mellie Grant. Even Sally Langston reads some of the leaked pages on her talk show. Sally gives tremendous compliments to Mellie, while it the scene changes to Susan giving a simple interview about running for candidacy.
We find Cyrus at a county meeting in Pennsylvania. The governor starts out slow, but continues to push through the sour crowd. This governor has a great speech about free education in the state and how important a college degree is in the world today. I think Cy has found his next presidential candidate.
Shondaland continues to pick up their game in Scandal this season! This episode is one for the books and I’m so excited to see where this leads. What did you think about the episode? Who do you think will win the election? I want to know your thoughts!