Scandal 2.13: Verna is the One Behind the Curtain!*

She played ignorant until the very end, but it was her.

She was doing the most on that deathbed. “We sold our souls for you!” Girl, it is truly not that serious.

“You think I care about my conscious? Screw my conscious! I’m trying to save America’s soul; I’m trying to give America its country back!”

Everybody on this show loves America. But the only ones who seem to possess that pure, idealistic love (while also in a position of power) seem to be Fitz, Liv, and David.

However, there’s a strong case to be made, based on Fitz’s action in this episode and Olivia’s action in the past, that David is the only one who possesses the pure idealism. Then again, he doesn’t have as much power as Fitz, Cyrus, and Verna have/had. Then again, there’s a case to be made for the possibility that Fitz’s idealism was broken by what he found out in this episode.

Anyways, Olivia basically told Verna to cut the crap about her desires for America when she said that Verna only shot Fitz to protect her legacy. Ego is another big (get it?) thing on this show.

I mentioned in the previous review that Olivia wanted to right an injustice. I said that Olivia wanted justice for the people that Hollis killed and that that was different from the wrong that Verna wanted to set right. Olivia wanted to take Hollis down for rigging the election, of course, but if you’ll remember: it wasn’t stealing the election that forced Olivia out of the White House; it was the homicides. Thus, while I think the election rigging was a big drive for her to put Hollis behind bars, I think the murders were more important (those and the attempted murder on Fitz). After all, she made said in this episode that she didn’t want Fitz to get hurt by Hollis’ downfall.

But Olivia changed her mind once she realized it was Verna. I said in the last review that I didn’t completely get why her conviction evaporated, and I don’t. Maybe, since she wanted to bring Hollis down for the attempted murder on Fitz, she never planned to bring the rigging to light? But she told Cyrus to get a lawyer. Yet in this episode she’s backing off, because Cyrus tells her that Fitz will be broken by the truth.

Moving on to the Olitz side of things. *Sigh.* Fitz asked Olivia to wait for him at the beginning of the episode, and she told him that she would think about it. Over the course of the episode, of course, she made up her mind. And it led to the saddest Olivia scene in the series so far (I’m sure we’ll get plenty more if she keeps hanging on to Fitz):

“I don’t want normal and easy and simple. I want painful, difficult, devastating, life-changing, extraordinary love.”

And she’s crying when she says it, too. That says pretty much everything.

Well you almost went to jail, Olivia, so there’s your life-changing.

So….does she want painful, difficult, and devastating even after she gets with Fitz? What does that mean? Because unless he cheats on her, too, I don’t see how that can happen.

Yeah, you’re allowed to want any kind of love, but this is not cute. She’s not actually getting anything from Fitz, aside from “I love you” and some kisses. Oh, and sex. Does she actually want a true-blue relationship? Because what she’s describing is a type of love, and I guess it’s a type of relationship too. But it doesn’t sound like a forever relationship. It’s sounds like a burn out fast but (maybe) stay with you forever relationship. How do you keep a love, a relationship, that is painful, difficult, and devastating? Sounds to me that you’d be looking for a break, i.e. someone else, soon enough.

Did everyone notice the fact that she forgot to include the word “happy?” in her description? How about “secure?” Or “reliable?”

Her “Don’t you want that too?” with that little smile was so sad. No, not everyone wants that, Olivia. You seem to think what you want is the norm, and it isn’t. Otherwise you wouldn’t have needed to ask Edison.

Excuse me, but does anyone think that Fitz wants the same kind of relationship that Olivia does? Painful, difficult, devastating, life-changing, extraordinary love. While he and Mellie don’t have….well I was going to say that they don’t have a life-changing love, but uh, they have kids. Three of them, now. That’s pretty life-changing. They’ll never be out of each other’s lives. But painful and difficult, those are things that Fitz definitely has with Mellie, and it’s what drove him to Olivia. So Olivia better watch out.

At least Shonda is putting it out there that love isn’t supposed to be painful or hurt you. She got that message across through Edison. I wonder if it’s her goal to make Olivia grow to take what Edison said to heart and apply it to her life.

So then Fitz found out about the rigging and threw Olivia’s “waiting,” as well as the fact that she’s his mistress and doesn’t have a ring on her finger, in her face. Lovely. I’m soooo glad they’re on an even keel. Being a cheating husband (while you’re president of the United States to boot) carries the same punch as being labeled a mistress with no ring on her finger. Yep. Nice.

Fitz finds out about the rigging and instead of talking to Olivia, he shuts her out completely. But that’s the type of love she wants. Difficult.

Despite these words, Olitz actually didn’t get on my nerves in this episode. Maybe it was the break I took from the show, but I just accepted what they were doing on my screen. I don’t ship them, but they exist, and that’s it.

Back to Fitz finding out:

Fitz finally got his hands dirty, and I’m really not sure how I feel about it. I’d say he killed her with a quickness, but no. He watched her suffer and beg for oxygen. He watched the panic in her eyes.

How quickly he decided to kill her is pretty unsettling. I thought he wanted to leave the White House. Since when did he decide that he was going to hold on to it at all costs? Since when did he care about his legacy? He was talking about divorcing Mellie to marry Olivia, and when Cyrus showed him what that would do to his approval rating, he didn’t care. I mean, you don’t need high approval ratings in order to remain president (you just need to not get impeached), but what kind of president who cares about their legacy laughs off the concept of approval ratings?

Since when did Fitz care about his presidency so much that he was willing to kill for it?

Over on Black Coffee and the T, I talk a bit more in-depth about my problems with Fitz making the quick decision to kill Verna.

Speaking of the presidency:

“I would’ve made a great president.”

I’m positive Cyrus wouldn’t have made a great president. He is too rough. He can barely present a nice, likeable facade like Mellie can. One of the things I love about this show is that it’s easy to see who among all the people who want the power of the presidency could actually succeed at it. I think Mellie could succeed. She’s very charismatic. Cyrus could not, for the reasons I said before. Fitz is president, but we don’t actually know what the heck he’s doing. We kind of know what he stands for, but we don’t know how he’s making it happen. As a matter of fact, he said last episode that his job is to dream big and it’s other people’s jobs to make it happen. Well, gee. Not to mention, he’s hot to trot to leave the presidency (or he was before he killed Verna). Fitz is a good president, but he doesn’t have everything it takes to be a great one, in my opinion. He’s too reckless regarding his personal life.

Sally Langston wants to be president. She’s pretty stuffy. I don’t think she’d be a remarkable president at all. She’d take the country to war and alienate the US on the international stage, but I don’t think much would be said about her after she stepped down, other than “She was the first woman president.” I mean that’s big deal, but I doubt it’s all Sally would want people to say about her. I also don’t think she’d get a second term.

Does anyone feel differently about my reading of the wannabe presidents?

And speaking of wannabe presidents:

“I will bury him. And I will dance on his grave.”-Mellie

Mellie made me fall out with that line. Bellamy Young’s delivery was so perfect. Her eyes were so big, and she had a wide smile with her mouth tight around the corners.

I’m amazed and impressed by how much Mellie has on Fitz. She really could ruin him. Whoops. Careful how you screw someone over, Fitz. Even if he tried to turn it around on her and tried to portray her as some kind of hydra, I think the people in the Scandal verse would love the story of a woman fighting back against her cheating husband by clamoring for any leverage/power she could gain in the situation. Yes, they’re Republican but also: Fitz isn’t loved by most members of his party. Also, Mellie has shown to be the perfect Republican wife.


Abby learned that Olivia knew her secret, but it was glossed over for the moment because there was a bigger fish to fry: David’s investigation into election rigging.

When the topic was addressed, Harrison made a pretty good point. This whole time they’ve not shown loyalty to each other so much as loyalty to Olivia (I’ll say that Liv is the one who shows loyalty to all of them, in a way). They don’t really look out for each other. They just work together. They’re not in each other’s personal lives. Liv is in their personal lives. It’s how they came to be working for her.

I loved Abby’s confrontation with Harrison. I love what he said. Abby has every right to be angry at what Olivia did, and I’m glad she was. But I also think Harrison had a point. He goes hard for Olivia, but he doesn’t box her in. “If a good person has to do the wrong thing for the right reason, then I am for that.” Remember? I think that keeps him from putting Olivia on a shiny pedestal (though he does have her on a pedestal). And this is what they do to other people. All the time. He was uncomfortable with Olivia using her powers, so to speak, on “one of their own” (so to speak), but I don’t think Olivia’s maneuver made him “open his eyes.” I think his eyes are already open.

But Abby walked out because she needed the space. She went to David’s place, went back to the office, and was dumped by David because he didn’t trust her. That is so weird, considering they began on a lie. -__-. Remember when David started to sleep with her because he wanted to use her to get information about Olivia? Smh.

But also, David just ending things with Abby is worthy of a side-eye. He’s in love with her. I don’t know when he fell in love with her, but Shonda wants me to believe that he’s in love with her. But he thinks she might be lying to him (about something big, yes, but still), and he just breaks up with her? No conversation, nothing? He’s on that Fitz level of communication. Smh.

I was cringing on Abby’s behalf when her sex life was put on blast. Literally.

Speaking of communication:

James and Cyrus had the best scene in the episode, hands down. It was beautiful, and amazing, and well shot, and well acted. There are many things to say about it, and you can hear me say all of them over on Black Coffee and the T.

For now I’ll simply highlight these points about Cyrus/James:

  • James’ drive came around to bite him in the butt by way of a subpoena, curtesy of David.
  • Cyrus was seriously going to have James shot for doing what was best for him (James) and their daughter. Husband of the year, over here. What an asshole.
  • James backed out of telling the truth, which is a little disappointing, drama-wise.
  • “Yes, you have a baby! Maybe because I’m a wonderful guy who cares about you!” This line cracked me up. Cyrus, you SOB. Seriously, why shouldn’t I want James to divorce you?


  • “You’re naive; you’re pampered; you sail through life clueless as a child.” Yes, yes, yes!
  • Fitz wanted to name the baby Wallis. I don’t have the words.
  • Edison was serious about wanting to marry Olivia. Why?

Third time’s the charm! Head on over to Black Coffee and the T to listen to Ayaan’s review of this episode. I co-host with a lovely lady named Sabrina.

*Episode Title: Nobody Likes Babies


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