Welcome back Gladiators to the seventh and unfortunately final season of Scandal! It’s been a heck of a ride these past seven years and a lot has happened. If you want to read Keith’s review of last season, click here.
Synopsis: In the seventh-season opener, Olivia must make a tough call to avoid an international incident 100 days into Mellie’s presidency. Meanwhile, Quinn Perkins and Associates struggle to find their first client. (TVGuide)
Writer: Shonda Rhimes
Director: Tony Goldwyn
Running Time: 43 mins
“Watch Me” starts off with Olivia showing dominance in her new position as she stiff arms Senator Michaels into voting with them on their free college bill. Already we’re given a scene with the commanding presence of Olivia, only it feels a little different. It isn’t as altruistic. Uh oh.
Back at the recently renamed QPA (Quinn Perkins and Associates), the team is trying to find new clients, despite the lack of Olivia’s name on the door. Lucky for them work stumbles into their lap when a client wants them to find their missing father overseas in some fictional Middle Eastern country of Bashran. Olivia goes to dinner with her father and the power change is immediately evident. She is the one choosing the wine, taking the first sip. Her father fears the power is going to Olivia’s head and he feels like a prisoner in his own life. “You can’t have it all.” “Watch me.”
Next, she appears on the B-list The Liberty Report where the host Curtis Pryce (Jay Hernandez) cuts her off. Not a good thing to do against a power hungry Liv. Meanwhile QPA has made some progress on their case. Apparently the missing person is a spy! Quinn tries to get Olivia’s help, but she sees it as a petty problem and brushes it off. Later that night she dismisses sex from Jake in order to discuss Quinn’s missing CIA operative who’s been compromised and what course of action to take.
Cyrus meets with one of the Democrats who tries to coerce him into moving his own agenda forward because he is the “Liberal dream.” Back at QPA, the team learns of the operative’s true identity and Huck demands that Olivia bring him home to his daughter. Despite multiple people budding heads on the issue, Olivia isn’t interested on anyone’s opinion other than her own.
After both Mellie and Cyrus learn just how hard being the most powerful people in the world is (are they really though?), Olivia is asked out by Curtis Pryce, you know the guy that cut her off. Great first impression! Olivia dismisses him only to be cornered by Jake and Mellie who plan to kill the missing spy and solve their issue. But Olivia doesn’t take orders from anyone.
Olivia threatens the life of the Bashrani ambassador’s (Shaun Toub) toddler son until he agrees to free the agent. Yup, Olivia is so power hungry not even the life of an innocent child matters to her. Cyrus goes to the democrat who proposed he focus on his own agenda and tells her right now they need to stand united and get the votes for free college. Look at Cyrus actually doing what matters! Oh and it turns out this senator was working for Olivia to see if Cyrus would stay loyal.
The episode ends with Olivia sitting Mellie down in the Oval and explaining that she is the boss. She is not to be ignored, she is always right and there is only the two of them. No one else matters. This is a scary Olivia. She is the one in control, she is Command.
She then goes off to dinner with Curtis and tells him exactly how their evening will go. This isn’t just Olivia’s town, it’s now Olivia’s country.
- Who will be the first one to start questioning Olivia? Her father already tried, but he has little power over her. Will it come from her old colleagues at QPA? The administration she is puppeteering?
- What is Fitz up to?
- Will Cyrus turn on Mellie and Olivia at some point after seeing Olivia’s selfish agenda?
- How long will Jake be able to work under Olivia without all the other perks?
Overall, this was a good final season premiere. It gave us some great power moves and speech moments from Olivia and Cyrus and plot twists and shady behaviour to set up some hidden agendas. It’s interesting to see how the power affects Olivia going forward and whether or not she’ll end up being her father’s daughter or perhaps even worse.
What did you think of “Watch Me”? Did it get you excited for the final season? Let me know in the comments below!