Despite the President of the United States showing her the door, Olivia still believes that the world revolves around her and only her, since she’s Command and that obviously means she’s the most powerful person in the world. This trick has worked in several cases before, hell, Olivia just used her manipulation skills to get out of a makeshift Vermont prison, but not this time. Mellie has had enough of Olivia’s shit and reaffirms that Jake will be her Chief of Staff and that Olivia has a week to resign formally or Mellie will have no choice but to fire her. Giving up the Chief of Staff role would also be giving up Command, so Olivia’s power-hungry state can’t allow for that, thus the “Army of One” begins.
I fully expected that Olivia would have some dirty tricks up her sleeve after what she pulled on those she considered her friends, but I was surprised she wasted absolutely no time in enlisting the power of B613, despite Jake technically being the one in control. She gets one of Rowan’s old allies to shut down Jake’s operation, forcing him to work with a skeleton crew for the time-being in dealing with Olivia. The Phase 2 of the plan is a lot more heinous, even for Olivia, but it allows QPA to do something this episode instead of sulking about Quinn’s death and Olivia’s betrayal. Robert Bacall is a mid-level government employee and was randomly given $12 million in his bank account by Russians as a “sign-on bonus” for his forthcoming cooperation with them. Turns out he’s also sleeping with Jake’s wife, since they have a open relationship (Like that really matters in this series). Turns out, Olivia is the Russians and she plans to frame Bacall as a spy, dragging Jake’s wife into the mix and causing negative blowback on Jake’s hire as Chief of Staff.
It’s a great plan, even though it does kinda fuck the life of a innocent person up; even Jake and Mellie aren’t able to come up with a suitable way to counter it. Luckily for them, Cyrus is still around the clean up the messes they can’t. The plan involves Jake’s wife coming forward in an interview about the true nature of her hotel meetings with Bacall. They weren’t having sex, but instead she was undercover attempting to find out what secrets Bacall was leaking to the Russians. This clears her name, and in extension Jake’s, but condemns Bacall as a spy still. You can tell how lost QPA is without Quinn as their only consolation to Bacall after he realizes he’s fucked is to find a good lawyer or leave to Budapest.
Speaking of Quinn, she’s still locked up in Rowan’s home and is quickly realizing that he doesn’t intend to let her leave anytime soon. He also doesn’t really have a plan for her either against Olivia and instead is basically keeping her around because he doesn’t want her to act out against his daughter…and also he misses being a dad or something. Once Quinn realizes that her only way out of Rowan’s grasp is to give up her crusade on Olivia, she strikes a deal with Rowan to take Robin and Charlie out of D.C. and never be seen again. Rowan allows this plan, but it’s not what Quinn actually decides to go with as she later arrives at Olivia’s and waves around a gun, while Robin is just chilling in another room. Great parenting by Quinn thus far. I have no idea if she actually intended to kill Olivia or just make her feel powerless, but it turns out B613 snipers have Olivia’s back (Possibly there in case Jake decided to get extra revenge against her?) and they attempt to kill Quinn, but Olivia jumps in the way of a bullet, luckily only getting her in the arm rather than a more vital area.
Injured, Olivia turns to her father, who gladly helps patch her up. It seems she kinda understands what his plan was regarding Quinn, but that entire plot ended up basically being a whole lot of nothing either way. Like a lot of things in Scandal, anything that is built-up will most likely fizzle out instead of ending in a satisfying matter. Either being with Rowan or learning that Quinn didn’t actually die (or both) seems to make Olivia turn a new leaf. Previously, Cyrus had a meeting with her to reveal that he had ulterior motives for saving Jake and Mellie’s asses. He possesses the orders that Mellie signed to allow Jake’s wife to lie about Bacall and plans to reveal them in order to get Mellie impeached, resulting in him as the new President. He asks for Olivia to be the one to reveal this as it would then allow him to reinstate her as his Chief of Staff. With how evil Olivia has been recently, it seems like a no-brainer for her to enact in this revenge, I mean she just destroyed the life of a random government worker and had previously killed Rashad and his innocent niece.
Olivia holds a press conference in which you’re led to believe she’ll expose Mellie as she previously paid Mellie a visit at her mammogram appointment to inform her of the dirt she had. Instead, because the plot demands it, Olivia chooses to play nice and announce her resignation as Chief of Staff. After spending the entire episode being petty to Jake and Mellie, Olivia gives in and I’m still not completely sure why other than the writers got bored of evil Olivia. Maybe she was finally tired of fucking over all her friends, maybe her father finally got through to her in their talk, I have no idea. I’m not even disappointed at this point because, as I said earlier, Scandal has dropped the ball so many times at this point in regards to its plot that I’m just rolling with it. Oh, also the dumb plot of Quinn being dead is over as she returns to QPA and makes Abby and Huck happy. I guess it’s now time for all of them to forgive Olivia, even though she still definitely killed Rashad, but at least she didn’t kill Quinn so she can’t be ALL bad sigh.
I had hopes after the previous episode that the Olivia redemption arc would have a satisfying conclusion, be it her actually redeemed or her going to prison for all the crimes she’s done. Those hopes have once again been squashed and I honestly have no idea what the remaining 7 episodes will now focus on. When Scandal returns on March 1st, we’ll be treated to a Scandal/HTGAWM crossover, but what’s next? I guess Cyrus is still fully capable of fucking over Mellie since he basically said he didn’t need Olivia to do the job, he’d just prefer her to. Maybe Olivia will now have to stop that from happening, while also transitioning herself to a life finally without any government involvement? I’m just ready for this series to end at this point.
Army of One – 2 out of 5
- The first half of the episode where Olivia pulls a double whammy on Jake and Mellie was cool, even though the second half undos all of that.
- Jake is now NSA Director, Chief of Staff, and Command. If anyone’s come up in this series, it’s him.
- Marcus appearing for all of 4 seconds to nod at Olivia making the right choice.
- Quinn plotline unsatisfyingly wrapped up.
- Olivia redemption plotline unstatisfyingly wrapped up.
- Is Cyrus really going to end up being the final big bad? Really?
- I still can’t believe Rowan is seemingly going to make it out of the series pretty well off.