TV Reviews

Scandal Season 7 Episode 17: Standing in the Sun Review

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

Synopsis: Cyrus and Jake’s mission to take the White House reaches a new level of deceit when Liv is called to testify against Mellie. (TVGuide)

Writers: Mark Fish & Matt Byrne

Director: Jann Turner

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43mins

Airs: Thursdays at 10pm on ABC (United States)

“Standing in the Sun” starts off with Olivia getting dressed as Fitz lays in bed. OLITZ LIVES! They discuss his presidential pictures, Mellie’s investigation and how that affects his legacy. On The Liberty Report, Sally Langston discusses Mellie’s investigation and the charges she faces to help give us a refresher on what is about to go down. Mellie visits with her attorney and Olivia to figure out how to go forward. Olivia heavily suggests she avoids pleading the fifth. Things are about to hit the fan.

Mellie sits down for her deposition with special investigator Lonnie where he questions her relationship with Charlie followed by her tense working relationship with Olivia Pope. Meanwhile, Marcus learns some startling news and rushes to Fitz to inform him that Mellie is about to get hit with something big. During the deposition, the prosecution reveals video evidence of Mellie’s affair with President Rashad giving her motive for the attempted assassination of Cyrus Beene. At this point, a reluctant Mellie uses her fifth amendment right to avoid answering any more questions. With that they decide to set their crosshairs on Olivia Pope, issuing a subpoena for a deposition the next day.

The team convene in the Oval to discuss their options and Olivia explains that they are behind and they need to make a move. Cyrus meets with Lonnie about the investigation and he starts to question the inclusion of Jake in their plans. “Who is Jake Ballard?” At QPA, Sally Langston comes in seeking help to dig into Olivia’s subpoena. They reject her offer, but she threatens them then leaves her card. That evening, Olivia is confronted by Jake who brought Olivia a gift: sand from their island, his piece of the sun. He explains how Olivia’s deposition will go, how if she implicates Mellie then Olivia will be pardoned.

Olivia goes to the team for help, but all their leads are dead-ends quite literally and every road leads back to them. Who is going to shoot themselves in the shoulder to take out Jake or Cyrus? Olivia decides to sit down alone and think through conversations with Abby and her father, showing the light and dark sides at play in her mind. She sits down for her deposition and they get right to it: did Mellie order her to assassinate President Rashad? After evading the question, she gives an answer: it was all her. Surprising, but not unexpected. Except she reveals the knowledge of B613, Command and its hold on the White House. Lonnie leaves the deposition and heads to the pool room where he sees all of B613’s resources. Jake questions Olivia’s motives to which she replies she’s standing in the sun.

Lonnie sits down with Jake to discuss B613, but Jake knows he does not need to answer. As Lonnie’s team arrives at the pool room, they find it empty and Jake walks out proudly smirking urging Lonnie to walk away. At the Oval, Mellie chastises Olivia for revealing B613, but she explains that the only way to stop Jake and Cyrus is to speak the truth. She has no plan, but this is bigger than them. This is about the country. Mellie is skeptical about the unpredictability of the public and Fitz questions how this will destroy the Grants’ legacies, but Olivia explains that this is the only way because they are the villains of this story. Damn that was a good Olivia monologue.

Olivia meets with QPA who suggest they bring the information to the public through the mouth of Sally Langston. At first she is skeptical about this secret government organization, but if Quinn brings her proof then Sally will ring her bell. Why does that sound like a euphemism? Marcus and Mellie have a heart-to-heart about how she’s feeling about this situation and what possible lesson this brings her. Marcus gets real with her and explains how this is kind of her fault in the end and she needs to accept that.

Jake goes to visit Rowan and apologize for what he is about to do as Olivia is a casualty to protect the Republic. Rowan laughs at how Jake came to him for congratulations from his “dad” and that Jake will never have power because it is not a commodity, but a character trait. Jake pulls his gun and, after Rowan taunts him, he says he will be there for Jake when he inevitably falls.Meanwhile, Fitz walks the hall of Presidential portraits where he stops at Abraham Lincoln, Nixon and looks at where his would have gone. He goes to Olivia and says he wants to help, but he doesn’t know how. “We just have to wait.” QPA discusses the implications of exposing B613 when Abby reassures them that Olivia is back to her old self because she’s trying to fix things.

The episode ends with QPA bringing Olivia a solution: they will be her witnesses for evidence against B613. Olivia then meets with Mellie to discuss keeping her name out of it, but Mellie is onboard and wants to help in this final crusade. They watch as Sally Langston goes on The Liberty Report to discuss the shadow government organization known as B613 sending Cyrus and Jake into a spiral. Immediately after, everyone’s phones start buzzing as the Republic is crumbling with news of the biggest scandal yet.

Questions

  • Who will this scandal take down?
  • Will Lonnie Mencken pardon the team?
  • Will Rowan somehow return to power?
  • Who will end up on top?

Overall, this was a phenomenal penultimate episode. By revealing the existence of B613, no one is safe bringing the tension to an all-time high. With another amazing set of monologues, the huge twist in the story and the reflection of these characters’ journeys, Scandal hopes to go out with a bang and by god I think they’ll pull it off. As Olivia said, they are the villains of this story and this is their road to redemption as this series plans to end with its biggest scandal yet.

Score: 9.5/10

What did you think of “Standing in the Sun”? Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. This was a great review. Olivia made her drastic decision to expose B613 in a very meaningful location, The Contemplative Court of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. The reflective wall and waterfall are between the lower level floors which cover slavery and the upper level floors which cover Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, and the present. It is a place during the tour of the museum to take a breathe and reflect on the horror that was seen on the lower levels. So Olivia was reflecting on the past, the present, and the future. Kudos to the writers for including this moment and the music was also appropriate.