Are Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating essentially the same? Two women with scandals in their past, just trying to do something good and fix their reputations? So you can only imagine that in the first half of the Scandal-How To Get Away With Murder crossover, “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself,” things get heated between the two women as they work together on Annalise’s class action suit. Meanwhile, the White House seeks the help of QPA to stop Olivia from working her way back in.

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Olivia’s New Gig

Several months after she leaves the White House, Olivia begins guest lecturing at a local university. The name of the class — How to Survive a Scandal. And it turns out Olivia gets a guest in her guest lecture — Annalise Keating, all the way from Philadelphia. Annalise is seeking Olivia’s help to fast track her class-action lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court. The lawsuit is about giving those incarcerated a fair fight and reforming the criminal justice system, which is filled with overworked public defenders.

Olivia agrees to look at the case, but doesn’t make any promises. She has drinks with Marcus and tells him about the case. He says he’s familiar with it, and Annalise. He also adds that this is the work he presented to Fitz for the Fitzgerald Grant Institute, but it got sidetracked. Olivia says she won’t take it, but Marcus urges her to change her mind.

After looking at the case file, and doing more research on Annalise, Olivia goes to see her and says that even though it’s a good case, the problem is her past. Annalise says she thought Olivia could move mountains, but Olivia turns down the work. She has a change of heart though, but tells Annalise that it’s her town, her game and her rules if they are going to work together.

Seeking Help

Olivia knows she can’t get the case to the Supreme Court by herself, so she enlists the help of Fitz and Marcus. They all have a meeting with Annalise and her former student Michaela. Fitz tells them that President Mellie Grant has agreed to meet with them as well, as Marcus says if the White House can get behind the case, it will get fast-tracked to the Supreme Court’s docket.

Everyone heads into the Oval Office to present the case to Mellie and David Rosen. However, while Mellie agrees with the case, she doesn’t like the court, as the judges just wouldn’t want to hear the case. David Rosen says that perhaps they can present the case again in a year, when several of the more conservative judges may retire. And Mellie adds that if they move forward now, they will be shut down. Not liking her answer, Olivia asks to speak with Mellie privately, but it’s clear that Mellie wants nothing to do with Olivia any more, which doesn’t help her cause.

After the meeting, Olivia lies to Annalise about what happened after everyone left. She tells Annalise that it’s her own reputation that’s bringing down the case. Meanwhile, Mellie sends Jake to QPA to try and prevent the case from going to the Supreme Court.

Race to the Finish

Both Olivia and her team and Quinn and her team start working on individual judges to try and get them to either vote to hear the case, or vote against it, respectively. Finally, it all boils down to the last judge, Spivey. Annalise thinks it might be a good idea to do a TV interview on her own, however, Olivia thinks that’s a bad idea. Michaela jumps in as the ladies start to argue and get catt. She suggests they do the interview together, to which they agree. The idea of the interview is to have Spivey hear it and decide to take on the case.

QPA’s approach to stop the case, though, is drastically different. Quinn tells Charlie to dig up dirt on Spivey so the White House can use it to blackmail him to vote against Olivia. At the White House, Mellie is losing patience, as she just wants Olivia to go away. She worries that if she wins the case, she’ll somehow worm her way back into the White House and their lives. Mellie tells Jake to leak information about Olivia’s real reason for leaving her position to the press, and she suggests that QPA do it.

At the hairdresser, news of Olivia’s possible firing hits the airwaves. Annalise questions her about it, and Olivia immediately gets defensive, avoiding answering truthfully. Annalise suggests that in the end they are both the say, however, Olivia calls Annalise a bully and says she doesn’t have to explain herself to anyone. Later on, though, Olivia expresses her doubts to Fitz and blames Annalise’s past. But Fitz calls her out. He asks where the “real” Olivia Pope is because that Olivia would fight to change the world.

Eventually, Olivia and Annalise play nice as they go on TV for their interview. Even though the anchor brings up Olivia leaving the White House, she tells the truth and manages to turn the interview around and put the focus back on the case.

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A Small Victory

It seems the great interview comes too late, as Charlie tracks down dirt on Spivey, gives the info to Quinn, who gives it to Jake. The White House uses the information to blackmail Spivey to vote against the case. However, things don’t sit well with Quinn or Abby. A visit from Olivia haunts Quinn. Even though she still hates Olivia, she realizes that she could be sabotaging a good case that brings justice to people who didn’t have a fair fight.

Spivey does vote against the case. However, Quinn does the right thing, and she brings the dirt on Spivey to Olivia. She urges Olivia to fix whatever scandal he faced and perhaps she’ll be able to sway his vote. Olivia goes to see Spivey and tells him that she’ll be able to fix the information that the White House has on him about paying off a witness in his son’s hit-and-run crash years ago. And then the real Olivia Pope comes back for a bit, as she somehow manages to turn Spivey’s past into the class-action case.

Soon, Spivey has changed his mind, and the Supreme Court puts the case on its docket. Olivia is thrilled, as is Annalise, as they agree to continue working together.

I was very skeptical of a crossover event of these TGIT shows. However, I think the storyline ties together nicely. I particularly liked the two strong women having words with each other, and then eventually working together to fix a system they believe is broken.

I did have to laugh a little bit when Olivia calls Annalise a bully. If that’s not the pot calling the kettle black, I’m not really sure what is. If the second half of the crossover is as good as the Scandal first half, I’m sure it will be wrapped up nicely.

Do you think the Scandal/Murder crossover was a good idea? Do you think that Olivia will be able to work with Annalise, or will her pride get in the way? What do you think will happen now that Olivia is back in DC doing what she loves? Will she eventually make it back to the White House? Let us know in the comments below.

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(Image courtesy of ABC)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV