After the Show: The ‘Scandal’ Season 4 Premiere

She’s baaaaack! And I don’t just mean that Olivia Pope has returned to our Thursday-night lineup, her rightful place, though an hour earlier now. Nor just that she returned to DC from her island getaway with Jake and his magic eyes (and hands?). No, I mean that the super fierce, badass boss  who seems to remember what being a gladiator means is really back with this highly-anticipated season 4 premiere. She’s less mired in her mommy/daddy/Fitz issues and seemingly able to chart her own course again. We’re looking forward to seeing it all play out.

Meanwhile, here are 10 not-so random thoughts from the episode:

1. Loved the shout-out to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Not really a light beach read but nicely timed to the upcoming movie.

2. Olivia’s curly beach hair was amazeballs but so was that DC hair. One said I’m enjoying great wine and my sexy boyfriend on a tropical island  and the other was all about the power play. #layed Cyrus’s hair on the other hand…

3. Loved Shonda Rhimes’ schooling Twitter that “Julia Baker,” Olivia’s island pseudonym, was first Diahann Carroll’s name in 1968’s Julia.


4.  Was there really only that one barely-seen picture of Harrison in the whole episonde? News of his death and planning for his funeral was the emotional heart of the show yet the man of the hour wasn’t given much more of a visual presence than that glimpse of the newspaper clipping that broke the news to Olivia. Interesting choice.

5. Drunk Mellie was always a fun, special part of the show. New I-don’t-give-a… Mellie is also entertaining and entirely heartbreakiing. This is a woman who held her dead son. She is not able to go back to putting a good face on things. No makeup, no waxing (“It’s 1976 down there”), no dressing up (step away from the Uggs, Mellie) and no allowing herself to pretend that Fitz and Olivia won’t return to each other’s orbits or trying to monitor them. She gave Fitz the directive to just let her know when it happens, presumably to steel herself for him bringing his hot-and-bothered self to their marital bed. Oh Mellie, girl. Hard to watch somone with so much potential power (The RNC is waiting on her, we learned from Portia De Rossi’s character) drowning in her grief. But at least she’s washing her hair again.

6. Huck has some of the best/saddest rants on this show. His backstory episodes have been some of the strongest of the series but whenever he allows a peek into his broken soul, it is an emotional gut punch. “I am Randy the Smart Guy now. That is who I am now. That is all I am now. And you are messing with that when you walk in here and you make me hope. Randy doesn’t hope. Randy works. And he goes home and he plays video games and he goes to bed and he wakes up and he does it all over again the next day. Hoping is bad for Randy…” Aww, Huck. What happened when you went to see your long-lost family, man?

7. Is it just me or did Huck slide Olivia the new iPhone when he came back to the office? Alway on point with the tech, right?

8. Papa Pope is a masterful liar. No surprise there but his choice to lie about Harrison’s murder yet imply that he killed Mama Pope was strategic and telling. He knew which one would earn Olivia’s wrath and scorn. Wondering who will be next to learn about his involvement in presidential son Jerry’s death.

9. Bummed out David and Abby are not together. But David working from inside as the new Attorney General is promising, both for his truth-seeking and for their relationship. And hopefully Abby, with her extra glam look, will refrain from trying to give any more reads after Olivia shut her down with a masterful one about forgiveness and who really let down their friends. Ouch.

10. I know I’m supposed to be psyched about Fitz and Olivia’s hands gravitating toward each other as they walked by one another but I kind of feel like Cyrus on this. “It’s rather predictable. … We all know what happens next. We’ve seen this movie a hundred times.” But yet we’ll show up for it, won’t we? I know I will.

What did you guys think of the season 4 premiere?