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The Puppet Becomes The Master…

Langstan Smith, Scandal Podcast

Lizzie sits in silence in Mellie’s Senate office as Mellie reads a document.
Lizzie: Mrs. Grant…
(Mellie raises one finger, then signs the document. She abruptly lays down the pen and folds her hands, giving Lizzie full attention.)
Mellie: I’m going to assume that last night was a mistake. Today there will be no mistakes.
Lizzie: Excuse me?
Mellie: You will assure me now that he will be at the Capitol by my side this afternoon when I take the oath to become a United States Senator.
Lizzie: Thaaat’s why I’m here.
Mellie: You will guarantee that the President will show up for his wife. Because that is what is best.
Lizzie: I don’t appreciate being sum…
Mellie: You don’t appreciate? (into familiar evil purr) You don’t appreciate me. Ha ungrateful little…
Lizzie: Uh’kay. This meetings over.
Mellie: Why? Why did you betray me? After everything I did for you. I saved your life. I saved you AND your child from Olivia Pope’s butcher. I took you in. I brought your booonnnes back from the political graveyard and performed voodoo to make you somebody again…and as payment…you stab me in the back. I wanna know why.
Lizzie: First, let’s be clear. You did not do anything for me. You did that for you. You only ever do anything for your own benefit. Second, you didn’t take me IN. I was your prisoner, I was your puppet, I was your BITCH. Third, your payment was that I got you elected. You are sitting in that chair, in this office as a United States Senator because of me. That is how I repaid you. Fourth, one can only be betray if there’s loyalty first…I was never loyal to you. You were never loyal to me. I don’t think you’ve ever been loyal to anyone. So when I made my move up the political ladder of success…all own my own, I wasn’t even thinking about you. Because you don’t matter to me. And now, you also don’t matter to the most powerful man on the face of the Earth. But guess who does? ME. So believe me when I say…Hmm, the President regrets to inform you that he’s unable to attend your little swearing in today Senator. He has better things to do. But…best of luck in future endeavors.
(Mellie sits in a silent grimace as Lizzie takes her leave of Mellie’s Senate office.)

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Mellie & Fitz Divorce Conversation

Langstan Smith, Scandal Podcast

Mellie and Fitz enter a parlor to have a private conversation after her swearing in as a United States Senator.

Mellie: I just wanted to thank you for coming today…
Fitz: Mellie…
Mellie: …and I wanted to apologize. I would’ve done it sooner, but I wanted to do it in person. I thought I’d have a chance before the State dinner. Especially with the queen visiting…and the optics…that whole…but I understand that you needed some space…some time. But I’m glad you came around.

(An awkward silence as Mellie clasps her hand together three times)

Mellie: I think about what I did everyday. Those jurors…(hesitant breaths)..what I did…those jurors…I…(frustrated sigh)…I’ll never forgive myself and maybe you won’t either. Guess we just add it to the list of awful things we’ve done…things we spend our future together trying to repent for. But I can face it. Because we’ll be together. I know without a doubt that you and I together…a team…is what’s best. For us…for the country…for our…beautiful children. And I’m sooo glad you see it too.
Fitz: I’m divorcing you.
(Fitz pulls divorce papers from his left breast pocket and hands them to Mellie. Mellie is stunned as she looks at the divorce papers.)
Mellie: I’ll never sign.
Fitz: You will. You have so many qualities I despise, but I do admire your brilliance. So do the math Mel. Fighting this…fighting me? Will mean both of us deploy every weapon in our arsenal. Every lie. Every secret. Every juror on that bus. Mutually assured destruction. we’ll be ruined. Now me? Hey. I’m a war hero, Governor, two time President. my bucket list is done. You? Your biggest accomplishment so far is waving and smiling. It’s your first day pitching in the major leagues. You’ll sign.
(Fitz exits, leaving Mellie in stunned silence and disbelief.)

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Queen Isabel There May Be No Happily Ever After, But…

Langstan Smith, Scandal Podcast

The Queen Isabel stands presiding in ceremony over Princess Emily’s casket before boarding the Royal plane back to Caledonia. Olivia and Prince Richard enter and stand beside and behind her.

Queen Isabel: What is SHE doing here?
Richard: You hired her. The same way you hired the man who murdered my wife. Olivia’s non-disclosure agreement didn’t appy to me. So when we get home you’re going to abdicate…because of health reasons…because of age. Because you are no longer fit to rule. You will allow your son to exceed to the throne and live out your days at the winter palace. Alone. Because the next time I see…the time I will even be able to tolerate the sight of you, will be at your funeral.
Isabel: Richard, if you please…
Richard: If you dare to oppose me or speak out in any way, Olivia Pope may not be able to tell the world what you’ve done, but I won’t hesitate. (Prince Richard walks away to Princess Emily’s casket and Olivia moves in for the final kill.)
Olivia: You were right. Not all fairy tales have happy endings. But evil queens? They tend to go down. (Proceeds into the Pope Bounce and Strut)

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Scandal 4×11 – Fitz in the Oval Office Scene


(Fitz is pacing the Presidential Seal in the Oval Office)

Fitz: Charlotte!!
(Charlotte peeks in)

Fitz: Ring Jake Ballard…find Cyrus…I want the heads of the CIA, FBI and the NSA in my office yesterday. (there is a pause and Charlotte only stares at Fitz) Did you hear me?

Charlotte: Yes sir, only…
(Charlotte opens the door further and five Secret Servicemen walk in)

Fitz: Agent Fielding? I didn’t call for the secret service. Can I help you?

Fielding: We’re here to help you…Mr. President.

Fitz: Help me?

Fielding: The Vice President thought you might have trouble following his instructions, staying on the straight and narrow…not calling in your friends or the FBI, CIA…the NSA. He told us it might be difficult for you…not looking for Miss Pope. He told us you would need our support. We’re here to support you Mr. President.

Fitz: The Secret Service takes their orders from me, not the Vice President.

Fielding: I don’t think that I’ve been clear. I’m not talking about just the Secret Service. There’s also White House aides, pages, staff, military guards, a couple of secretaries. Oh, and a few of the valets and butlers in the residence. Consider us all…your support group. We’re watching you…keeping an eye on you at all times. Cameras, listening devices, every phone call, every toilet flush. See, we care. You should be grateful for all this support. Would be a shame if Miss Pope was beheaded. Don’t you agree Mr. President. They don’t call this the crown jewel of the American prison system for nothing. We’ll be you. Sir.

(The five Secret Servicemen leave, leaving a confused Fitz standing on the Seal and staring up at the ever present Oval Office camera.)

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Scandal 4×11 – Sell Me On The Open Market

(Olivia sits alone in her , Ian enters with a newspaper)

Ian: I thought you should see the damage you’ve wrought.

The headline reads: “U.S. Suffers Casualties in First Day of Combat”

Ian: (sarcastically) Thank God for those policies, right? Really keeping us honest.

(Olivia kicks the newspaper away)

Olivia: What do you want?

Ian: What do I want?

Olivia: (slight laugh) It’s he first question I ask my clients…typically I know what the answer is gonna be, but I just need them to arrive at it themselves.

Ian: And if I were one of your clients, what do you think I’d say?

Olivia: You’d say you want power…but I think that’s a lie.

Ian: No? Now why would that be?

Olivia: Because you’re sitting on one of the most valuable assets in the world…and not using it.

(Olivia has moved from sitting below Ian on her cot to standing on a far wall in a negotiative power position and continues speaking in a conspiratorial tone)

Imagine the price I’d fetch on the open market. “You own Olivia Pope, you own the President.” nations, dictators, drug cartels…they’ll coming running. (Ian perks up) You’d be rich beyond your wildest dreams. But, no, you’d rather honor your contract, spend the next three years bringing me food and water. Yes, you’d be the highest paid babysitter on the planet, but that’s all you’d be. A babysitter.

Ian: (confused) You’re saying I should sell you?

Olivia: (going in for the hard sell) I’m saying WE should sell me. I know the market, who the players are…how to pull their strings. This is MY wheelhouse. If anyone can make this work for you, it’s me!

Ian: So I get rich and you get what?

Olivia: (breaking out the vulnerable prisoner face again and back to hard sell) I get to not spend the next three years counting down the day the President leaves office and you put a bullet in my head. We both know I’m resourceful. You get rich and I get to take my chances on the open market, plus you’d have to make me look presentable to get top dollar and right now I could really use a shower and a change of clothes. Think about it Ian. It’s WIN/WIN! But again, the question is not what I want, but what you want. Do you want to be a babysitter or do you wanna be a boss? It’s up to you.

(Nothing about this scene speaks to slavery, but to Olivia taking her power back. What you also might note here is that Ian will likely have been sloppy due to his greed and taken Olivia to a hairdresser…perhaps killed her…and to a clothing shop…and killed them too. Even crazier, in his quest for power he may have used an ATM or credit card without really thinking about it. From the apartment to the cell (she left her sweater on purpose) and beyond Olivia is dropping breadcrumbs.)

Also Olivia is selling her knowledge, not her body. She is an active participant in this bidding war. She represents power over the President of the United States and by extension…the United States. She is selling herself as an advisor…not a slave or a concubine.

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The Tale of Two Paternity Tests

Langstan Smith, Scandal Podcast


There are a couple of time sequence issues in Episode 317, Flesh and Blood may have caused a huge bit of confusion.

First let it be understood that Leo and Papa Pope were working together and that Leo was the one who first called Papa Pope to ask HIM to get the President’s DNA. Leo then informed him while standing out in front of DC Point Lab…

Olivia: (referring to Dominic) That man? Do I know him?

(Rowan’s phone rings)

Rowan: Phone’s ringing (he answers)

Leo: Did you hear the rumor about the First Lady asking about a paternity test?

Rowan: No.

Leo: You just did. I need you to score some Presidential DNA. Isn’t there some secret stash of POTUS blood in some White House vault…and before you start whining, you might note that I’m standing here with a bag full of Little Jerry’s man chowder, so…

Rowan: I’ll see what I can do.

Olivia: Who was that?

Rowan: (pretending to reluctantly reveal) Leo Bergen.

Olivia: You’re working with Leo Bergen?

Rowan: I was. Now I’m working with you and to prove it, I’m going to tell you what he’s up to and you’re going to go straight to the White House to stop him.

Meanwhile, Olivia goes to confront Mellie about what her father has just shared with her. At this point Mellie accidentally, drunkenly reveals her rape by Big Jerry. During this period Huck is also interrogating and torturing Dominic. Later that night, after no information is garnered from the interrogation, Dad borrows Charlie’s gun in an effort to “scare” Dominic into revealing where the bomb is. At this point, no matter the outcome, we knew that Dominic was a dead man.

Side note: I am of the belief that this was the plan all along. I believe it was also Marie’s revenge…for Dominic never trying to rescue her. It was her job to bring him out of hiding so that both she and Eli could get their pound of flesh from him.

Eli used his death two-fold.

The first paternity test was done using Dominic’s DNA. Dominic was Marie Wallace’s lover who was murdered by Papa Pope.

We later see Huck rolling Dominic in plastic for final disposal. As he is doing this, Abby uses tweezers to yank a single hair from Dominic’s head, which she immediately places in a plastic bag and then envelope and hands it off to Papa Pope. That same night, Papa Pope then calls Leo to tell him he is sending over a sample of the President’s (Fitz’s) DNA. This means that he either had it delivered directly to Leo or had it was sent via messenger to DC Point Lab. Olivia was too devastated after her father murdered Dominic in her place of business…she had to go home so she had no involvement in the first DNA exchange although she had knowledge of it.

Now here is where things get weird. Directly after Papa sends the fake “Presidential DNA” for processing, we flip to a scene…

DURING THE DAY, which we assume is the next day, but could have been even days later…but note, taking place in DAYLIGHT HOURS.

Abby arrives, get the results, which are not a match. But a simple chiding and a bribe from Abby (via Papa Pope) and the DNA is a match and Leo and Sally pick it up none the wiser that they have been foiled by a faked DNA test. They stop digging for dirt.

Mission Accomplished they are off the trail and Papa can continue to gain Olivia’s trust while putting his ultimate plan in motion.


Next scene we find Olivia at home on the couch it is dark…she is still distraught and she calls Jake. She references the fact that…

“My father killed my mother’s lover tonight in my office. Just…like it was nothing…like it was Tuesday…he just…There is a dead man lying on the floor of Olivia Pope and Associates right now… ” (Yes you read right…TONIGHT! Which means that the Daylight scene that came before was actually a flash forward and could have happened a few days in the future.) This also means that Olivia was not there when Papa Pope set up the fake DNA test…but perhaps had knowledge of it later, but she did not initiate it.

Again, Papa Pope orchestrated the first DNA test…using it as a way to make Olivia believe that he was being helpful and it was also meant to throw the bloodhounds (Leo and Sally) off of Mellie’s trail as they had heard rumors of her affair with Andrew and that she herself had ordered a DNA test earlier in their time in the White House…and they assumed that the baby might be Andrew’s.

No one, but Mellie, Olivia and now Fitz know that the true reason for Mellie’s original request was due to the rape by Big Jerry.

Understand that it was Leo who put Papa on the DNA trail in the first place. It was a distraction device. I mentioned before that season 3 was a chess game. Papa Pope moved all the pieces into place to accomplish exactly what he wanted from the beginning.

While Olivia was distracted by Mama and DNA…she couldn’t possibly keep up with what he was doing. Papa played everyone.


To get to the second test, we take a journey through the final third of the episode. We find Olivia confronting Papa over having killed Dominic in her office and he tells her how much he enjoyed doing it.

(Scene with Charlie, Quinn and Huck loading Dominic’s body for disposal)

After the heated exchange between father and daughter, Olivia makes a call to Cyrus to inform him that Dominic Bell is dead and that they don’t know where the bomb is. She informs him he should keep Fitz in the White House, when she hears the sound of the chopper and realizes that Fitz, Mellie and Cyrus are boarding the Presidential Helicopter to head to Defiance, Ohio. She wants to stop him, but he is already leaving, so Papa (being the “good” Dad that he is) encourages her to go be with him, because Marie wouldn’t dare set off the bomb and kill Fitz if she (Olivia) is there.”Your mother will not kill the President if it means killing you too!”

(Scene where Harrison goes to find Adnan and gets held at gunpoint…Shonda’s first warning to us all)

Olivia arrives in Defiance, Ohio, most likely arriving on Papa’s private jet…along with a Secret Service or B6-13 agent (This would explain how Pops was able to time the stabbing just right because he knew when she landed back in DC)

Olivia makes her way to the stage and sits beside Mellie, who is drunk and now sits between she and Fitz. They exchange light banter with a side of sarcasm from Mellie. Fitz and Mellie are introduced and they stand together smiling and waving at the crowd then Mellie returns to her seat beside Olivia and we get the following exchange:

Olivia: Those rumors we talked about earlier, they’re not going to come out. It’s been taken care of. (referring to the previously faked DNA test) But if you still want the paternity test, just get me the DNA samples and I’ll make it happen.

(Mellie’s eyes brighten and she smiles)

(Scene where Quinn and Huck…HUCK and Marie slips in on Papa)

Papa calls Olivia to inform her that her mother is at the office and the bomb is still set to go off and she (Olivia) doesn’t have much time. (Olivia hangs up and immediately texts someone, likely Abby to facilitate getting the DNA needed from the White House)

Olivia steps to the podium beside Fitz to whisper for him to wrap it up.

(Scene where David and Jake discover where the bomb is)

(Scene where Olivia discovers Dad stabbed and bleeding on the floor of OPA)

(We now know that Dad orchestrated this whole scenario)

Also keep in mind that this may have been the following morning as it is a 7 hour flight from Defiance, Ohio to Washington, DC. so it is very realistic that Olivia could have facilitated getting the new DNA test done by phone while in the air.

(Scene with Adnan and Harrison, followed by Jake frantically trying to reach Liv…then he reaches Cyrus…we know how this played out)

What follows is a montage of scenes…from people gathering at the church for Senator Hightower’s funeral. Most State funerals are held in the morning or early afternoon. We see Cyrus gloating over his evil deed. Mellie has received her very real DNA results.

Marie sets the bomb for one hour. Cyrus still gloats. The President prepares the Hightower eulogy and Cyrus stalls by asking him to read it to him.

All this happens under the strains of… “Smiling faces…smiling faces…sometimes…they don’t tell the truth. Smiling faces…smiling faces tell lies.” this was our first clue that the finale was going to be a doozy. If you pay attention you will see all these quick vignettes that inform the set up of what happened in the finale.


So Papa knew without a doubt that Little Jerry was Fitz’s son…he planned this meticulously, so do you really think he didn’t make sure?

He had Tom at his beck and call and had access to the entire First Family and their DNA. He would have made sure that the boy was his so he knew it would sting. He wanted this to hurt, to be painful. To literally destroy Fitz. Remember, he said he knew everything about Fitz, but he did not know everything about Mellie. So he had no idea she had been raped. If Fitz knew, this would then be in the category of things to know about Fitz…therefore Rowan would know it, but how could he when Mellie only told one other person and that was Andrew and he never told and I don’t think he even knew about the original paternity request.

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Langstan Smith, Scandal Podcastscandal8


[ Listen to the Randy, Red Superfreak and Julia  episode of the Scandal Podcast ]

(Mellie dangles her feet over the White House balcony with a drink in hand)

Fitz: It’s getting cold, you should come in.

Mellie: Why? You afraid I’ll jump.

Fitz: Melllieee…No.

Mellie: It’s not that far down. I’d maybe sprain an ankle. I could dive…land on my head. Those two sweet Marines would run over and try to catch me and I’d fall on them and end up breaking their necks…and the lawsuuuit…

Fitz: Mellie.

Mellie: The point is…I’m not gonna jump.

Fitz: I know that.

Mellie: I’m not gonna try and kill myself.

Fitz: I know that.

Mellie: I’m not you.

(Fitz stands in stunned silence)

Fitz: I had a bad night. One bad night.

Mellie: (annoyed exhalation) Hahhhhh hahha

Fitz: Don’t ever bring that up again.

Mellie: (Smiling, then sarcastically) I will add it to the list.

Dead kid, missing Mistress, Mellie’s Rape…Fitz’s suicide. (She takes a drink)

(Awkward silence)

Fitz: She’s not missing. She’s back.

(Fitz pours a drink)

Mellie: (stunned, then) Have you seen her?

Fitz: No.

(Mellie sits)

Mellie: Well, when you see her, you’ll tell me.

Fitz: I’m not going to see her.

Mellie: But…WHEN you see her, you will tell me. (she takes another drink)

Fitz: This doesn’t…it’s still you and me. I’m not going to see her. (He takes a drink)

(Mellie shifts in her seating position to face Fitz)

Mellie: (smiling) I just wanna be clear that…there are some things that I’m just not gonna do anymore…things that just feel like an insulting waste of time once you have held your dead son in your arms. Monitering YOU…is one of those things. So I’m saying…when you see her…(half sighs, half laughs)…and then you come home all hot and bothered and you decide to pretend that you are a good family man, so you climb into my bed and on top of me. (sighs again) I’m saying…when you see her…you will tell me. Because I’m gonna want some warning. Fitz, I don’t know if I can even imagine getting turn on by you right now. Oh and FYI…(pours another drink)…when you stick your hand into my panties? Another thing that I just don’t do anymore is WAX! Sooo…it’s 1976 down there.

So…(laughs)…you maybe…wouldn’t be turned on by me anyway. (takes a drink) The point is…when you see her, you’ll tell me.

Fitz: I won’t see her.

Mellie: Right.

(Fitz sighs in frustration and exhales)

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Langstan Smith, Scandal Podcastolivia-pope-abby

[ Listen to the Randy, Red Superfreak and Julia  episode of the Scandal Podcast ]

Abbey: (To Quinn) Stop calling me, Superfreak. I mean it. I’m busy! I have five…no three…three free minutes and it would be GREEAAT to use those three free minutes peeing or eating something instead of here…again with your annoying phone calls. I’m busy.

Quinn: I wouldn’t have called, but she doesn’t have a cell phone and she won’t buy one…she’s unplugged or something.

(Abbey turns to see Olivia walking towards them.)

Quinn: I’ll give you two a minute.

Olivia: You’re working at the White House now.

Abbey: What are you doing here?

Olivia: They found Harrison’s body.

Abbey: I know they found Harrison’s body. I know that Olivia. Is that why you’re here? Did you fly all the way back from where ever Daddy sent you to tell me that?…because you wasted a trip.

Olivia: I came back to plan his funeral.

Abbey: Now you decide to come back.

Olivia: I came back…I thought… We should all plan his funeral together.

Abbey: Goodbye Olivia.

Olivia: Abbbeey…

Abbey: What!

Olivia: We should bury our friend.

Abbey: We are not a team anymore. You’re just Olivia Pope there is no AND Associates…not anymore. You’re on your own.

Olivia: I know you’re mad at me, but we both care about Harrison and he would want us to…

Abbey: Harrison would have wanted all kinds of things. He would have wanted you to not get on that plane. He would have wanted you to not leave his side so God knows what could happen to him. He would have wanted you to care about him BEFORE someone put a bullet in his brain. He would have wanted his champion…his gladiator to be HERE fighting for him while there was still a chance he could have been found alive. But now he’s dead…HARRISON DOESN’T WANT ANYTHING NOW!

(Awkward silence)

Olivia: I have never once held a grudge against you. Not for anything. I’ve always forgiven you.

Abbey: You want me to forgive you?

Olivia: NO! I don’t need you to forgive me. I haven’t done anything wrong. I was making an observation. I’ve never once held a grudge against you…I’ve always forgiven you… until now…you blaming me for Harrison’s death is UNforgivable! You abandoned them too Abbey. Huck and Quinn and Harrison. You abandoned them too. You moved four blocks away into the most powerful house on the planet and you left them out in the cold. I was on tge other side of the world, but you were right here…and all you have to give is three minutes? What kind of champion…what kind of gladiator does that make you? (Olivia turns to go and suddenly turns back) I’ll make sure you have the date and time for the funeral. Show up…don’t show up…your choice.

(Olivia leaves Abbey goes directly to Quinn)

Olivia: Go home.

Quinn: Liv…

Olivia: That is not my name.

Quinn: What?…

Olivia: GO HOME!

Quinn: But…

Olivia: I’M FINE!

Quinn: But I…

Olivia: DAMMIT! GO HOME QUINN! Leave me alone.

(Olivia storms away.)

Quinn: Son of a bitch!


*Side note: Shonda couldn’t have written this episode or this scene any clearer. HARRISON IS DEAD!

Everyone is hurt and angry about it. They buried the character both physically and symbolically, whether you saw the body or not. Let’s move on and hope this season consist of Olivia finally learning the truth of everything her father did to get her on that plane!*

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Langstan Smith, Scandal Podcast

Langstan Smith, Scandal PodcastScandal Chronology of Olivia's Depature

[ Listen to the Randy, Red Superfreak and Julia  episode of the Scandal Podcast ]

Olivia was gone for more than a few weeks…she was gone for a few months.*in Madea voice* Stay with me and I’m going to bless you. Olivia left on Election day which would have been on November 4th…Quinn tracked her down based on invoices for the Grand vin du Bullay, one of which was dated November 30. When Olivia first walks in to the OPA office…she looks at 3 “Union” magazines. The first is from November after the death of Little Jerry, the second in January after he takes office for the second time and the last in February. So it is safe to say she was gone and Harrison was missing and/or dead for at least 3 and a half months. Harrison Wright is officially dead and it would be silly to assume that Shonda Rhimes would rehash the same plot device used to explain the disappearance/death of Maya Lewis/Marie Wallace to revive the character of Harrison. (You know the one where she was held for over 21 years in an underground “hole” or cell because for whatever reason Papa “Eli/Rowan” Pope thought this was a fitting punishment for deceiving and betraying he and Olivia as well as making him kill 329 people as an act of “personal” revenge because she was apprehended, arrested and possibly tortured by him.)

Shonda has yet to reuse a plot device to advance her stories nor does she revive dead characters. So Rest in Peace Harrison and let us all find peace in knowing that he had a strong and solid three years as one of our favorite characters in the history of television. Here’s to hoping we get another strong character that has a back history with Olivia to round out the OPA team.