The season six premiere of Scandal starts off with a bang, literally. In “Survival of the Fittest,” it’s election night, and it’s a close race between Mellie and Frankie Vargas. But things take a turn quickly, as the Oval Office and the country witness history in the making.

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Explosive Start

A day before Election Night, Huck and Quinn are walking through the woods, looking for someone. They find a cabin, wondering if “she” is inside, but we don’t know who “she” is, yet. As they approach, the cabin blows up.

Election Night

In saving us from another campaign, the Scandal writers skipped ahead to Election Night. It’s a close call, with Mellie and Frankie Vargas waiting for results from San Benito County in California. And while Fitz comes in to say that he’s assured Mellie is ahead, Olivia finds out from Huck, Quinn and Charlie that she’s lost. Soon, the race is called and all the news stations are saying Vargas has won. Mellie immediately says there’s been voter tampering and wants a recount.

Fitz goes to see Olivia, who needs a minute to digest the fact that Mellie has lost. He tells her Mellie needs her to accept the loss. Olivia finds Mellie in over-drive. She yells at her to call Vargas and concede. Eventually, Olivia dials for Mellie and gives her notes, prompting her what to say, so she can concede graciously.

Accepting Defeat?

What else would a person do when she’s lost the presidential race? Get drunk in a bathtub with her campaign manager, of course! As Mellie and Olivia take shots at Vargas and Cyrus, there’s a commotion outside. They run out and see a news report that the President-elect Vargas has been shot during his acceptance speech.

New Plan

Fitz immediately starts investigating the shooting. His team, including Jake, finds out that it was a homegrown shooter, acting on his own. Fitz is then handed a confidential red folder, and sends Abby to the hospital to shut it down to everyone, but Vargas’s wife, her staff and doctors.

Olivia goes to see her father, Eli, to ask if the shooting was his doing. And while he admits it was a brilliant plan to get Mellie into the White House, it wasn’t him. He then suggests it was Cyrus, and even taunts her as he says that Cyrus has beat her at her own game.

Meanwhile, Fitz consults David Rosen to find out who would become president if Vargas dies. And while the logical answer would be Cyrus, technically since they only won the popular vote, it could be anyone’s game when the Electoral College would meet later on. Basically, the country would be looking to see who Fitz chooses, if Vargas dies. So now Fitz has a big decision to make.

Olivia goes to see Marcus, who is working in the White House now as press secretary. She finds out from him that Vargas never stood a chance and won’t survive the shooting.

At the hospital, Abby watches as Vargas dies, and takes his wife’s phone. His wife begs for Abby to return it, so she can call their children, but Abby can’t do that until the president has announced Vargas’s death.

Olivia tells her team to start looking for proof to link Cyrus to the shooting. She then heads to Mellie and says they have to work on a strategy. But Mellie says she doesn’t want to be president any more. Too many bad things have happened to her there. So Olivia heads to see Fitz, because, why not? He always listens to her. She tells him her Cyrus theory. She begs him not to make a decision until she has proof that Cyrus had Vargas killed.

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Who Will Become President?

Fitz has a chat with Mellie, who apologizes for always being jealous of him and his power as president. He tells her that if she doesn’t want the job, she just has to say the word, and he’ll choose Cyrus. However, she changes her mind and tells him she wants it.

Meanwhile, Huck, Charlie and Quinn comb through 832 phone calls the FBI tip line received, but they can’t link Cyrus to the shooter. When they tell Olivia, she doesn’t accept their answer, so she heads to the hospital to confront Cyrus. However, Abby tells Olivia that Cyrus is in shock and hasn’t spoken or moved since he got there. So Olivia has to tell Fitz that she was wrong. When he asks who to choose, Olivia tells him to just decide because she’s biased.

Fitz heads to the hospital to give Cyrus the job, and tells him to take care of the country. But back at OPA headquarters, as the crew packs up their investigation, Huck gets Charlie to admit that he’s going to propose to Quinn. Charlie says it’s true, but he got so wrapped up in the 833 calls, that he didn’t get a ring. Huck realizes that the numbers don’t match, and there was one call that was deleted.

They bring the findings to Olivia, and while Charlie is still deciphering the actual call, Huck and Quinn find out it was from a Jenny, who is a volunteer on the Vargas campaign. She lives in a cabin — yes the same cabin that blew up at the beginning. Huck and Quinn come back to OPA with Jenny’s hand, just as Charlie gets the message. And it’s from Jenny saying that Cyrus is the one who had Vargas killed. (I’m sure whoever killed Vargas, also blew up Jenny’s cabin. Of course, all of this is happening as Fitz announces that Cyrus will be the next president of the United States.)

Quinn accepts Charlie’s proposal, as Olivia heads to go see Cyrus. And as she leans in to “congratulate” him, she tells him that she knows he killed Vargas, and she will prove it.

The Plot Thickens

Wow. Scandal came back running. They’ve killed off the president-elect, who I happened to like much more than Mellie, and they’ve made Cyrus Beene president. Cyrus Beene! The man who almost had his husband killed. I’m really curious as to what else will get revealed as Olivia digs deeper into the events that lead up to Vargas’s death on Election Night. Who else was involved? Did Cyrus act alone? Or did Eli help, as usual? Or maybe Jake helped, he was very MIA the whole night? Jake is Eli’s pet, so they were probably all in on it together. But why make Cyrus president? Unless there’s something else going on. I’m sure Olivia will get to the bottom of it. Or just drive herself insane, as she always does.

What did you think of the season six premiere of Scandal? Were you surprised they killed Vargas and made Cyrus president? Do you think Mellie should have been Fitz’s choice? Or do you think it should have been someone else entirely? And who do you think killed Vargas? Let us know in the comments below.

Scandal season 6 airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC. Want more Scandal? Like BuddyTV’s Scandal Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of ABC)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV