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What We Learned from Scandal “Nobody Likes Babies” 

Photo Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

[WARNING: Major spoilers for this week’s episode]

I am so grateful that season 2 isn’t over. Last night’s Scandal was supposed to be the finale. ABC originally ordered 13 episodes. Thankfully, the alphabet network had the supreme intelligence to give the series its back nine. Having said that, if the season had ended with “Nobody Likes Babies,” well, what a way to go. Shonda Rhimes and her entire cast and crew proved why Scandal is the most addictive series on television. Hands down.

I’m not going to lie. My immediate reaction after finding out the shooter was Verna? I felt it was a bit anti-climactic. But by the end of the hour, I was on board. Let’s dissect it all, shall we?

What we learned in “Nobody Likes Babies”

  • We learned the lengths that people will go to in order to hold onto power or their status quo or to protect someone they love.

Verna. To hold on to her legacy, she ordered the hit on Fitz. She claimed she was helping the country. She said she was trying to win back its soul. But, in my opinion, she did it for purely selfish reasons.

Cyrus. He almost had his husband killed. He hired Charlie to shoot James as the former reporter turned stay-at-home dad, went to testify about the election rigging scandal. Thankfully, Cyrus got cold feet.

James. He lied on the stand to protect his life. And he sold it. It was either he was going to jail or Cyrus was going to jail. But James sold it and made it seem like David’s case was nothing.

Quinn: She tried to pay Huck to kill Hollis Doyle for what he did to her boyfriend and for ruining her life. So she wasn’t going to extreme lengths for power, she did it for revenge, pure and simple. Huck was able to talk her out of it, however. Now she can go on being Quinn Perkins and hope and pray karma kicks Hollis Doyle in some other form or fashion.

Abby. She finally found out how Olivia and Harrison schemed to keep her and David apart. But she still did what she had to do to swipe the Cytron memory card from the safe at David’s apartment. Did I mention this happened right after she slept with him again?

Fitz. Oh Fitz. What did you do? Verna came clean and told him everything. Verna was on her deathbed, the POTUS took off her oxygen mask and let her die before she could reveal her part in his assassination, the Cytron business and the other particulars of this election-rigging awfulness to a federal prosecutor. Fitz had to protect his presidency. Like Verna, he didn’t want anything to tarnish what he has done and what he’s about to do. Power makes you do horrible things. He killed Verna. And now he’s down in the depths of hell along with co-conspirators Mellie, Hollis, Cyrus and Olivia.

  • We learned love is painful and devastating…and Olivia likes it that way

Relationships were tested, damaged, repaired and broken again. They were twisted and tangled. Edison said love isn’t supposed to hurt. But in “Nobody Likes Babies,” love took a beating.

Olivia and Edison. He finally got the hint that Olivia didn’t want to marry him.

Olivia: I’m sorry. Edison, I’m really sorry. I could marry you. I could be a senator’s wife. I’d probably be happy. I could probably give all this up and live in a country house and have babies and be normal, I could. But I don’t want to. I’m not built for it. I don’t want normal and easy and simple. I want…I want.” Edison: “What? What? What do you want, Olivia?” Olivia:  “I want painful…difficult, devastating, life-changing, extraordinary love. Don’t you want that, too?” Edison: “Love is not supposed to be painful or devastating. Love isn’t supposed to hurt, Liv.”

I’m just happy that this relationship has come to an end. Edison definitely won’t be coming around for a third time. Fool him once and all that jazz. Unfortunately, Olivia Pope was about to feel the devastation part of love.

Olivia and Fitz. Hot then Cold. Too cold.

Early in the episode, there was an amazing scene in Cyrus’ office where Fitz asked Olivia to wait for him. The way he was touching her with such familiarity, kissing her and asking her to wait for him…it was hot. He was clear about getting a divorce. It might take his whole presidency to extricate himself from Mellie’s clutches, but he wanted her to wait for him.

It was a whole other story at Verna’s funeral. The vibe between Fitz and Olivia was ice cold, mainly on his end of things. Olivia let him know she gave Edison’s ring back. That she would wait for him. Problem is, Fitz wasn’t having it.

Fitz: Oh, that? Yeah. I changed my mind about that.” Olivia: “What?” Fitz: “Don’t. Wait for me.” Olivia: “Fitz.” Fitz: “I don’t know what I was thinking. Screwing your mistress is one thing but marrying her? It’s political suicide, really. I mean, you believe that my presidency is more important than anything else, right? You must. You worked so hard to get me here.”

The way he was talking, it seemed like he knew everything. And it turned out he did. Verna told him all of it. And strangely enough, knowing everything and doing what he did, it brought Fitz and Mellie closer together. I don’t know how I’m going to handle this next stretch where Fitz and Olivia aren’t sharing their famous heated phone calls or stealing moments together when they can. I hate when Fitz and Olivia are on the outs. But Fitz doesn’t feel he can trust Olivia anymore. Not after taking part in the whole election rigging business.

Fitz and Mellie. Closer than ever.

Verna’s gone. Hollis is someone who capitalizes on his own interests. Cyrus and Olivia are probably going to be the ones who will feel Fitz’ wrath or disappointment or punishment over what they did. As for Mellie, Fitz surprisingly takes steps to strengthen their relationship. Maybe he feels he still needs one ally. According to Fitz, she’s never hidden who she is. So I’m thinking this agreeing to rig an election is something he feels she would totally do — it isn’t against her character. Unlike Olivia. In that Oval Office, Fitz and Mellie became a united force of nature:

Fitz: “Then we’re in this together. We have to be in this together. Cause I don’t have anybody else. I don’t. You’re all I have.” Mellie: “It’s you and me.” Fitz: “It’s you and me.”

Boo. I’m very sad now.

Cyrus and James. Nudity, lies and election rigging, oh my.

I don’t know if you guys noticed, but the scene between James and Cyrus at home, when they stripped down to their birthday suits to prove they were wire-free, was almost six minutes long. It was one of my favorite scenes of the entire season. James had to tell his husband that he was being called to testify in front of a grand jury about what he found out in Defiance, Ohio. James wanted to know if Cyrus did indeed steal an election. By the end of the 5 ½ minute scene, Cyrus came clean. James was going to sleep in a separate bedroom. He also had a court date to keep.

Abby and David. Boss wins out over love.

As happy as I was that Abby finally found out about Olivia and Harrison’s deception regarding her break-up with David Rosen, I was still surprised to find out what she did. She made up with David. And then when he left to go to work, she stayed in his apartment, broke into his safe and stole the Cytron memory card. She picked Olivia over David, which, obviously, signaled the end to their turbulent relationship. I feel bad for Abby. She loved David. He actually was the good guy she always thought he was. More importantly, David loved her. Things may have started in twisted fashion, but the relationship grew into something I think they both weren’t expecting. In the end, Abby and David: The Love Story, was sacrificed in the name of protecting Olivia. Abby made her choice.

  • We continued to learn that this show not only provides great drama but great rants.

Our top 3 Scandal Rants (Scrants?) of “Nobody Likes Babies” (in order) [courtesy of writer: Mark Wilding]:

#1: Cyrus admits to James he helped rig an election and why he did so:

Cyrus: “I stole the White House! I wasn’t made to be Chief of Staff. Do you know what I was made to be? I was made to be the President of the United States. I was made to lead the nation. I was made to insure this country’s place in the world for generations to come. I would have been great at that. I have the stones. I have backbone. I have the will. I would have been a great president. But, guess what? I’m fairly short. And…I’m not so pretty. And I really like having sex with men. So instead of being president of this land that I love, I get to be the guy behind the President of the United States. And sure I have power. I influence decisions. I help steer the country. But I’ll never be in the history books. My name will never be on an airport or a doctrine. Being the guy behind the guy is as far as my road goes. Eight years of this and then I’m done and off to the think tank or K Street or the Poly Sci department of the Ivy of my choice. Nice life. Respectable. But there’s a peak, the pinnacle…it’s the rarest of air and my lungs…it’s happening right now. This is as high as I get to climb. This is the top. And that election was my shot. Fitzgerald Grant was my shot. When your shot comes, you either take it or you lose. And I’ve already lost enough. I’m done losing. I took my shot.”

#2: Harrison gives a convincing argument as to why he did what he did for Olivia and why Abby needed to steal the memory card to protect her boss:

Harrison: “She had a reason. I don’t know what it is. I don’t need to know. She asked me to do something, I did it. And you know why I did. There’s a problem? You fix it. You and David Rosen were a problem. You know what we are and you know what this is and don’t pretend you don’t. We do what needs to be done and we don’t question why. We put the personal to the left. It doesn’t matter who gets hurt. It doesn’t matter what gets broke. If it’s not the thing that needs fixing, it…Does. Not. Matter. You wanna cry about your feelings? Hmm…Really? Here? We don’t get to have feelings. That’s the job. Gladiators don’t have feelings. We rush into battle. We’re soldiers. We get hurt or in a fight, we suck it up and we hold it down and we don’t question. And you know it, Abby. She saved me. She saved Huck. She saved Quinn. She saved you. And it’s her life on the line, now. Over a cliff, Abby. Over. A. Cliff. Or did that only apply as long as Liv didn’t have any flaws? We owe her. And she needs that Cytron card. It’s as simple as that.”

#3: Quinn comes to Huck with $5000. She’ll pay him to kill Hollis Doyle. Huck lets her know the consequences of that action:

Huck: “If I do that, if I kill Hollis Doyle for you? You can’t come back here. You can’t work for Pope & Associates anymore. You can’t be a gladiator.” Quinn: “Why not?” Huck: “Because you want Hollis dead for revenge. We don’t do revenge, we solve problems. So you can be Lindsay Dwyer and get revenge on Hollis. Or you can be Quinn Perkins and move on with your life. You can’t have your new life and also keep your old life. It doesn’t work that way. So, which is it?”

Scandal airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.

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