Scandal Season 6 Episode 1: Survival of the Fittest Review

This may seem like an odd choice of TV show to cover and I thought so too when I started watching it. I got on the bandwagon late before season 5. I started watching on Netflix because I was bored and I got hooked. Knowing that season 5 was coming soon, I binged through the first 4 seasons to get ready. It’s funny how a fictional show is beginning to mirror real life. I can’t wait to see what happened after the election and all the other shenanigans they will inevitably get themselves into.

Synopsis:  The shocking results of the presidential race between Mellie Grant and Francisco Vargas set off an explosive outcome. (IMDB)

Writer: Shonda Rhimes

Director: Tom Verica

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43mins

So we now know who won the election and it unfortunately wasn’t Mellie. Francisco Vargas is the new President of the United States. Both campaigns were very close and the election went down to the wire with one county in California deciding it in Vargas’ favor. Mellie was in shock to say the least as she worked hard and wanted so badly to be President. She did not accept the results, thinking that there must have been something wrong. Olivia was disappointed as well but despite losing, she kept on working at maintaining Mellie’s image. It was hard for her to accept defeat when congratulating her opponent and it pained both of them to do so.

This was only the first episode of the season so the story didn’t end there. The episode started with Quinn and Huck walking towards a cabin in the woods and facing an explosion so it was foreshadowing something to come. First, when Vargas was in the middle of a speech, he got shot multiple times by an assassin. He eventually died. This attack had everyone on edge as no one really knew what to do in this situation. Either way, the government took control of the situation. This led to a few great scenes with Abby at the hospital where she took charge and her having to tell Vargas’ wife that she couldn’t call her children.

For one reason or another, Rosen told Fitz that it was up to him to pick the next President, either Cyrus or Mellie. The problem was that Mellie wasn’t sure she wanted to be President anymore since she got spooked by the Vargas attack as it very well could have been her getting shot. She remembered that all the bad things in her life happened while she was in Washington D.C.. She would much rather have been on a beach somewhere. Mellie may have been done but Olivia definitely wasn’t and sort of lit a fire under her.

They were able to determine that the shooter was a lone wolf with no apparent affiliations but that wasn’t good enough. Olivia obviously suspected her father of being responsible, obviously, which he denied but pointed to Cyrus instead. He was already the Vice President elect and what better way to become President than to take out Vargas? Olivia, still not over the election, was convinced that Cyrus was responsible and was determined to prove his guilt in order to get Mellie the presidency. Olivia visited Cyrus at the hospital but when she saw that he was in shock, her suspicion changed to embarrassment for thinking he was responsible.

Mellie and Fitz had a heart to heart moment where she began to understand him and what he had to deal with while being President. Even though they are divorced, Fitz and Mellie still have great chemistry together and Tony Goldwyn and Bellamy Young are great together. He gives her the chance to walk away if she didn’t want the presidency anymore and he would have kept it between them but she told him that she still wanted it.

The episode did feature a small romantic subplot between Quinn and Charlie. They were dating but Charlie kept asking her if she wanted to leave for the Caribbean but she wanted to stay and work. Charlie wanted to propose to her but he eventually did it anyway when Huck called him out and Quinn said yes. The three of them were investigating the attack to see if Cyrus has any connections to the shooter but they couldn’t find anything. Fitz told Olivia that she had until morning to find evidence so the other three listened to 832 voicemails on the FBI tip line and couldn’t find anything.

Fitz visited Cyrus and he still seemed in shock but he was ready to accept the position. Since they couldn’t find any evidence, Fitz went on and made his decision and chose Cyrus. As soon as that happened, Charlie finds evidence of a deleted voicemail from a Vargas staffer who was present during the attack, claiming Cyrus to be responsible for killing Vargas. Quinn and Huck were visiting the cabin because it was the last location of the person who sent the voicemail so it had to explode. Of course they didn’t find out in time but now that Olivia knows the truth, she made sure that Cyrus knew that, vowing to take him down.

Overall, I wasn’t sure where the episode was going at the start and I was a little disappointed with Mellie losing but it roped me back in, still keeping the cast involved by giving them a new conspiracy to deal with. I am looking forward to the battle between Olivia and Cyrus.

Score: 8.5/10

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