Scandal Season 6 Episode 10: The Decision Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Time for the 100th episode …

Synopsis: With the ugly truth behind Frankie’s assassination revealed, a torn Olivia wonders how different her life — and the country — would be if she, Mellie and Cyrus had never rigged Fitz’s election. (Scandal Wiki)

Writer: Johanna Lee

Director: Sharat Raju

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43mins

As mentioned, this was the 100th episode of Scandal and this was a special episode. We know that those involved in the conspiracy that killed Vargas wants Mellie in the White House but should they not do anything about it and let it happen. That would be just like fixing the election which was something that this show had done a long time ago, putting Fitz in the position of President of the United States but what if Olivia had decided to not rig the election and allowing Fitz to win? This episode offered a glimpse of how the characters’ lives would have changed if this had happened.

This blast from the past was definitely odd to watch and was often very meta, seeing characters as they were several seasons ago while also seeing some who did not originally survive up to this point, most notably Cyrus’ boyfriend James (Dan Bucatinsky). One important omission was Harrison Wright played by Columbus Short who was fired and his character was killed off a few seasons ago.

Unsurprisingly, there was no other scenario where Fitz and Olivia would not end up together and that’s what happened here. Several months after losing the election, Fitz left Mellie and asked Olivia to marry him. We already knew about their secret affair during the campaign but now they didn’t have to hide it anymore. She obviously said yes and most of the characters ended up attending their wedding. Mellie wasn’t necessarily fine with the marriage but luckily Cyrus was there to console her, leading to an unexpected kiss and an equally unexpected marriage of their own. Unlike Fitz and Olivia, their marriage was of necessity where he tried to convince Mellie to run for President.

Fitz now worked as a political journalist on his own TV show while Olivia helped Marcus (Harrison’s replacement for the episode) pass a criminal justice bill through the Senate. Their relationship was strong but has been wavering since Fitz lost the election. The funniest thing about the episode was that Huck watching a Bachelor-type show and was rooting for Quinn (who used her real name because the bombing incident didn’t happen) who was one of the ditzy contestants. Olivia and Marcus’ work was expanding so they needed more office space so luckily for them, they moved into the space which would have been OPA (cracked glass included).

She was spending a lot of time with Marcus which made Fitz jealous. They managed to get a meeting with the new President but their meeting was a mistake. She and Fitz had a fight about Mellie wanting to be President and Olivia supporting her. She thought she would have had a better chance with the meeting if Mellie were there. She was just tired of seeing him this way. She then told him that she could have gave them the White House if she had decided to rig the election and that was the only way he could have won. He told her she should have but she didn’t think he would have wanted to win that way.

Cyrus thought that Mellie’s campaign needed some attention from the press so he was going to find them a reporter but Mellie had already found James. It seemed like she didn’t know about their previous relationship. He kept making subtle jabs at him, including confronting him about the truth, but he just played along. He just wanted the White House and Mellie was there eavesdropping. Several months later, we learn that Rowan (using some bogus fake name), found some pictures of Sally Langston’s husband with another man. She didn’t want to use them to out Langston’s husband and she didn’t want to work with Rowan. She thought Cyrus, of all people, would understand. Cyrus ended up leaking them anyway because it was their campaign. She didn’t want to play this way but Cyrus wasn’t giving her a choice.

Fitz served Olivia with divorce papers probably because she wasn’t paying attention to him anymore which was perhaps why he had the TV show. Seeing him was a constant reminded of her losing the election. Fitz had Quinn on his show and afterwards, she walked in to him drinking in his dressing room. She came onto him but he rejected her. He was dejected on a park bench and was indifferent to some female fans.

Mellie later showed up in Olivia’s office to offer an apology. She thought Olivia was right to not rig the election as it would have destroyed Fitz. She was doing what she thought she had to do to win but she felt trapped by Cyrus. Fitz was free from all that stuff because Olivia saved him. When Fitz was doing a story about Langston’s husband, he gave up and stormed off. He later visited Olivia and thanked her for not rigging the election. He didn’t realize what she did for him but he did now. He still had some things he had to work on but he still wanted her. He wanted a place for the two of them and Olivia surprised him with one.

Realising all of this, back in the present, Olivia decided to not fix the election and give the White House to Cyrus.

Overall, this was another great episode which offered a compelling alternate timeline that didn’t stray too much and provided a considerable amount of drama, beit with Fitz and Olivia or with Cyrus and Mellie. It was interesting to see these actors play their roles a little differently here and their performances sold me with this new direction, albeit a temporary one. Unfortunately this was a one episode story but it would have been nice to see where it could have gone.

Score: 8.5/10

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