If you would like to read my review of last episode, click here.
Synopsis: Annalise Keating seeks Olivia’s help in fast-tracking a judicial reform class action to the United States Supreme Court. (IMDB)
Writers: Raamal Mohamed
Director: Tony Goldwyn
Running Time: 43 mins
“Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself” starts off with Olivia getting dressed on her first day as a free woman. Turns out she’s teaching a lecture called: How to Survive a Scandal. During the lecture she asks a question which no one seems to know the answer to. Suddenly a familiar voice chimes in. “Very good, miss?” “Keating, Annalise Keating.” At the end of the lecture, Annalise approaches Olivia to help her with her current case. She’s bringing a class action lawsuit against the government to change the current system as they know it. Olivia seems hesitant to help, but Annalise assures her that the two of them can make a difference. Damn right they can, Shondaverse power couple right here.
At QPA, Huck and Abby are running down the business’ agenda, but Quinn is preoccupied with Googling Olivia and keeping tabs on her. Even after Abby catches her, Quinn still seems unsure about the situation. Olivia meets with Marcus who raves about Annalise, even calling her a beast, but Olivia remarks that she’s also a criminal. “She’s been accused of some things, but haven’t we all.” Olivia brings Annalise’s case to Marcus and discusses it. He urges her to work on it, but she feels it isn’t her place. She asks why Marcus has still stuck by her through everything and he states it’s because they are black and he will always be on her side.
With that Olivia decides to look into Annalise’s case, which is predominantly helping unjustly sentenced non-white defendants. She comes to Annalise’s hotel room and states she likes the case, but Annalise cannot be the face of it as the media will destroy her. Annalise is disappointed in seeing an easily defeated Olivia Pope to which Olivia replies “Have a nice trip back to Philadelphia.” Two very stubborn, very smart women facing off. So far so good. Olivia returns to the door and tells her she will help, but under her rules.
First stop in her plan, getting Fitz on her side. She’s looking for him to be the face of the case. A beloved ex-President who recently gave a morale boost to a man protesting a statue. She knows she needs him. Marcus walks into the boardroom where Michaela Pratt is already there prepping for the meeting. He comments about her studiousness when Annalise, Olivia and Fitz arrive. Fitz explains that Mellie is also onboard with this case with the hope that they can bring it to the Supreme Court. They go to the White House where Annalise is in awe of the Oval Office. Not gonna lie, she could own the Oval.
Mellie states that while she loves the case, the current panel of Judges would shut this case down instantly and both she and David Rosen suggest they wait for some of the more Conservative judges to retire. The rest of the group are in disagreement as that delays justice for wrongly convicted, underprivileged people. As things get a little heated, Mellie asks for the room so she and Olivia could talk. Olivia confronts Mellie for her hesitation to help, but Mellie says Olivia just wants it done now to try to get the win to gain some form of influence in this town. Olivia says they will go to the Supreme Court with or without Mellie which makes her now an enemy of this White House. “Wouldn’t be the first time.” Damn Olivia, throwing all of the shade.
Jake goes to Quinn on the request of Mellie to try and stall Olivia’s case so that she cannot get hold on any power. Playing to Quinn’s hatred, nice touch Jake. At Fitz’ place, Annalise asks Olivia what happened after they left and eventually wears her down to reveal Mellie had made her decision before they even arrived thanks to Annalise’s history. You can see the anger on Annalise’s face. Olivia vents to Fitz about the situation, but Fitz tries to be the voice of reason until Olivia suggests they cut Mellie out and do it themselves. Immediately, she starts going around to the media discussing the case, bringing it to the forefront of the public eye. While, Marcus and Michaela try to swing the judges to their side, QPA does the opposite trying to keep them against supporting the case. And of course it all comes down to one wild card judge.
As Olivia decides to set up more interviews to sway the judge, Annalise suggests she be the one to go on TV and show her passion for the case. As they again spar, Michaela says that they should both go and do the interview, together. Marcus agrees and they decide to put their differences aside. QPA can’t find any dirt on the final judge meaning they can’t blackmail him into joining their side. Quinn doesn’t buy it and tells them to keep digging. Jake brings the information to Mellie, but she’s hesitant that Olivia won’t always come out on top. She wishes she had fired Olivia rather than let her resign to destroy all of her credibility and tells Jake to leak that information to besmirch her name. Mellie is playing dirty.
Annalise and Olivia are getting their hair done when the news breaks of Olivia’s firing. Annalise questions Olivia’s motives and says she isn’t the problem with the case, but that Olivia is. And this is where Annalise tears a strip off of Olivia. Because she’s the only one who can and she OWNS it. But then Olivia does exactly the same back as these two brilliant, outspoken and vicious women hit each other where it hurts. David Rosen and Abby talk about the ongoing case in bed and how Quinn leaked the information about Olivia. He questions why they aren’t all on the same side, despite wanting the same end goal because a safer timeline doesn’t help the people who this is hurting. He reassures Abby that it’s okay to miss Olivia and the two embrace. At least one couple is happy.
Olivia comes to Quinn and questions why she is on the wrong side of this fight. Quinn tells Olivia she isn’t there for the people, but for herself. It’s always for herself. Olivia turns it on her and says Quinn isn’t there for her client, but for revenge against Olivia and one way or another she will come to regret it. Later that evening, as Olivia preps for the interview, she tells Fitz that they won’t win this case because Annalise has problems. He shuts down her squabbling and sets her straight. “This is about Olivia Pope, where the hell is she.” All she can say is that the Olivia he once knew is gone. He questions why she took the case and after hesitating she states because it matters. There she is, that’s the Olivia we know. Redemption tour?
At QPA, Charlie comes back with a golden egg: dirt on the final judge. As Quinn and Charlie get excited over the news, Abby seems skeptical. She doesn’t want to play dirty anymore because they are Gladiators and that makes Quinn rethink it, but she brings the information to Jake anyway. She questions why Mellie is so against the case and Jake reveals it isn’t about the case, it’s about finishing Olivia. At the interview, Annalise and Olivia go on the air together where she is instantly asked about her firing. She gives an inspirational speech about how she feels regarding her relationship with her friends and colleagues, and turns the discussion to the amazing woman beside her. Annalise pleads for the court to hear their case and that sparks a discussion that looks good for them.
That evening while Olivia and Annalise talk, they receive a call from Marcus who says the final judge didn’t side with them meaning the case is dead. OR IS IT? Marcus and Michaela sit at a bar discussing their childhood dreams and ambitions. There is a bit of flirting and things look like they are going to get heated until Asher texts Michaela disrupting the evening. As Olivia is going through things at her place, Quinn unexpectedly arrives and tells Olivia why the final judge didn’t side with her. She gives her the dirt on the judge and hopes she can find a way to change his mind.
The episode ends the following day when Olivia goes to the judge’s office. The dirt was that this man covered up his son’s hit-and-run incident and the White House is using it to force him to their side. Olivia says that rather than use it against him she wants to bury it and fix it for him, not for his vote, but for him to be able to think with his own conscious. This prompts the judge to change his vote causing the case to go forward in the hope of reforming the criminal justice system. Annalise asks if this is where they part ways, and while neither of them will outright say it, they want to work together and they both leave the courthouse together.
- Is Olivia really on the road to redemption?
- Will QPA operate less on dirty and extortion going forward?
- Will some characters forgive Rowan by the end of the series?
- Will Jake use his new power for good or for his own selfish gain?
- What will Cyrus do next in his attempt to become president?
- What will happen with this case?
Overall, this was a phenomenal episode as this show comes back to form. Finally, we see glimpses of the powerhouse, white hat Gladiator Olivia Pope we fell in love with as she rediscovers herself thanks to a special guest appearance by the Shondaverse’s other powerful black female protagonist Annalise Keating. The verbal sparring alone between these two characters makes this episode the best of this season so far, adding the redemption tour of Olivia Pope and that old Scandal magic is just a heaping layer of icing on top of this oh so tasty cake.
What did you think of “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself”? Enjoy the showdown of Pope vs Keating? Let me know in the comments below! And check out the second part of our two-part crossover review.