Welcome back, Gladiators! I’m excited to take over recapping Scandal this season as it has quickly become one of my favorite shows. I wasn’t an early adopter, but after all of the buzz from the first two seasons, I binge-watched it over one weekend and got caught up.

When we last left OPA, Olivia and Jake were leaving on a jet plane and Fitz was about to start his second term thanks to the pity vote, courtesy of Papa Pope secretly murdering the First Son. Olivia’s dad also locked her mom in the B-613 hole and appeared to have Harrison killed.

Meanwhile, Abby was still washing her eyes out with soap after seeing Huck bang Quinn on the OPA table and Huck reconnected with his wife, aka Astrid from Fringe. And Jake left David the B-613 files, encouraging him to take down the bad guys.

Who Is Julia Baker?

The episode opens with Olivia on a deserted island having hot beach sex with Jake and getting regular wine deliveries. In other words, she’s in Heaven. She’s changed her name to Julia Baker (an homage to Diahann Carroll’s character from Julia, a trailblazing show for African-American women). But all of that changes when she gets a letter with a newspaper clipping about the death of Harrison. This, of course, brings her back to D.C.

Where Is Everyone?

When Olivia and Jake return, she finds that OPA is shut down. Where is everyone?

Quinn: She’s the one who tracked down Olivia via the wine deliveries. It’s always about the wine.

Huck: He’s now “Randy,” working at a computer help desk. And he’s not talking to Quinn.

Abby: She’s now the White House press secretary, working with Cyrus and Fitz.

David: He’s NOT going after the bad guys because those files Jake gave him were too damn scary. But that could change when he’s nominated to be the new Attorney General, something Abby urged him to take so he can use the power for good.

Funeral for a Friend

Olivia says she’s only back to plan Harrison’s funeral. No one else is eager to be a part of it. Huck doesn’t want to hope because he has a new, simple life. Abby and Olivia have a rather heated fight over who’s to blame.

At dinner with her father, Olivia asks him if he had anything to do with Harrison’s death. He denies any involvement, but does mention that he killed her mom on the president’s orders, and she’s totally fine with that. At the funeral, the entire OPA team reunites to say goodbye to Harrison, and then they disperse.

Fitz 2.0

At the White House, Fitz’s second term is all about a new start. He’s fired most of his Cabinet and is trying to work with the Democrats on equal pay for women. This has made the Republicans very mad at him, especially the head of the RNC, Lizzie (guest star Portia de Rossi).

When Fitz learns that Olivia is back, everything becomes about her again. Even Cyrus is tired of this same old story because he knows how it will end.

Meanwhile, Mellie is wandering around the White House in her robe, eating cereal out of the box and bowling. She has an honest conversation with Fitz that reveals some very dark secrets, like the fact that he tried to kill himself after their son’s death. Yikes, who knew Mellie wasn’t the crazy one? I assume this won’t be the last time we hear about the whole “President’s attempted suicide” issue, because that’s a big one to gloss over.

Mellie also demands that he tell her when he’s going to see Olivia again because she needs to mentally prepare for the disgusting aftermath when he tries to have sex with her because he was so aroused by his meeting with Olivia. Depressed Mellie is even more amusing than Drunk Mellie, especially when she warns Fitz that she no longer waxes, so it’s like the ’70s in her panties.

Olivia Is Back in Action

Naturally, Olivia returns and there’s a scandal. In this case, a female senator accidentally pushed another senator off a balcony when he tried to sexually assault her. He doesn’t die and Olivia is so incensed that it brings her right back into action. There’s a twist, however, because it wasn’t the female senator who pushed him, it was her assistant who was assaulted.

Later, Olivia learns that the female senator sent her assistant there on purpose, knowing she was his type, in order to sway him to vote for equal pay for women. This disgusts Olivia, but she still feels compelled to stick around and fight for women’s rights.

Olivia takes the case, OPA is back in business (now with just Quinn and Huck, I guess) and, while in the Senate, Olivia and Fitz walk by each other like two ships passing in the night, not talking or looking at each other. But their hands appear to almost reach out, as if they’re being pulled by some magnetic force. Mellie and Cyrus are right, because we all know where this is heading.

In many ways, this felt like a more tame premiere for Scandal, but I guess it needed to be in order to reset the story. I like that Abby and David are working at the White House since the show really started to focus on the President over OPA. This is a way to bring it all together.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.