“Scandal” Season 4 Premiere Recap

‘Scandal’ recap Season 4 winter premiere: No way out

But she’s Olivia Pope. Kerry Washington, Chad Donella. (ABC/Nicole Wilder)
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scandal premiere
The midseason premiere of “Scandal” was crazy. There’s really no other way to put it.

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But she’s Olivia Pope. Kerry Washington, Chad Donella. (ABC/Nicole Wilder)

The midseason premiere of “Scandal” was crazy. There’s really no other way to put it.

Good crazy? Bad crazy? It depends on who you ask. I’ll say up front that I thought it was entertaining, both on my television screen and my Twitter feed, where the general consensus seemed to be that the episode took us (and Olivia) to places — and levels of hyperventilation — we’ve never been before.

I can also see how a story line this wild might turn off some “Scandal” fans, but consider that for four seasons we have been watching a show about an impeccably-dressed woman who runs D.C. like a chess board while carrying on an affair with The Leader Of The Free World and saying things like “Because I’m Olivia Pope” and “It’s handled.”

Tonight’s episode was full of twists, turns, flashbacks, dream sequences and a breakout performance by the underwire in Liv’s bra. Sounds like “Scandal” to me! Let’s recap.

When we last saw Liv, she was professing her independence and getting ready to have piano sex with Jake. Then she disappeared. The episode started with a glimpse of what she might be up to — running crazed through a dark hallway with a gun close to her chest.

We picked up right where we left off, seeing portions of the scene play out through both her and Jake’s eyes. Tipsy from her beloved du Bellay, Olivia barely had time to react when a masked man entered her apartment, covered her mouth and dragged her out, leaving the door wide open.

From Jake’s vantage point, Liv had disappeared without a trace. Wearing only boxers, Jake raced down the stairs in time to see a car pull away from the curb. He ran after the car, completely barefoot, and managed only to take note of the license plate before it sped away. Jake immediately called Huck to report Olivia’s kidnapping and rule out at least one suspect: “It wasn’t Rowan, it’s not his style.”

Liv’s been gone before — to the extent that Jake had to reassure Quinn that “no, she’s not on an island with another man.” But this was different. What Jake didn’t know was that Olivia was in the apartment just across the hall, where a rather sophisticated operation was underway. The owner of apartment R was a sweet, elderly lady who held out hope when one of the kidnappers said “it’s all over.” It’s especially sad because I think this is the first time we’ve met any of Liv’s neighbors. Multiple men watched live camera footage of Jake running into the hall and following the (planted) car.

Also planted: “Two EMT workers” who turn out to be among the cadre of kidnappers. Their diguise helps them remove the body of Liv’s poor neighbor and also transport Olivia (in the same body bag, eek) out of the building. On the way, the men ask her to negotiate her freedom, but she proves she’s still a gladiator by telling them that she doesn’t negotiate with second-tier kidnappers. She’s basically like: “Take me to your leader.”

It’s a solid point, which displeases the kidnappers, who sedate Olivia. When she wakes up, she’s in a cell (cavernous by Mama Pope standards) with Ian, a man who says he’s a journalist and is being held on a ransom of $2 million.

This is where people on Twitter immediately started sounding the alarms:

To be fair, Olivia did kind of give him her game plan after knowing him for like five minutes. It seemed like she should have known better, but under the circumstances I can’t really blame her. She pledges to get them both out of there and as the days pass she eventually tells him how: “If I’m missing the President of the United States is looking for me. He’s looking for me everywhere and he will not stop until he finds me.”

Liv memorizes her surroundings whenever she is let out of the cell to go to the bathroom, chaperoned by two of her kidnappers. She’s especially focused on the big, red door which seems to lead to the outside, from where she and Ian say they can hear the Islamic call to prayer. We know that Liv has been detained for a long time — she goes from lining the dirty toilet seat to just plonking down on it.

Determined to escape, Liv uses the underwire from her bra (very resourceful, by the way) and tries to open a small window during one bathroom break. Her misogynist captors storm in and drag her violently back to the cell. They concede that Olivia’s of no use to them dead, but decide that Ian should pay the price. They remove him from the cell and Liv hears gun shots. One of the kidnappers reminds her that the situation is bleak: “Look at me, Olivia, and really hear me. There’s no way out.”

Then things got really crazy. Olivia heard gunfire and Jake burst through the door to save her. I thought “it’s a dream,” but then Liv woke up in bed with her hair vacation curly and hopped into the shower with Fitz. Just when I imagined she’d wake up again she told Mayor Fitz (?!) that she planned to spend the day making Boysenberry jam (brand: White Hat). While walking her dog (who are you even?) Olivia runs into Abby, who tells her that no man is going to rescue her and that she’s got to save herself.  Then she wakes up, but not before Abby tells her that she dropped a copper trinket on the ground.

That tool ends up being useful in real life, when she spots it in the bathroom, dislodges the pipe connected to it and uses that to hit one of her captors repeatedly over the head. She grabs his keys and uses his gun to kill his accomplice. This is where I felt that familiar “Scandal” rush as Olivia hastily unlocked at least three padlocks on the red door. She’d left the gun behind, but she shouldn’t have because she ran into even more danger. Ian, who as many suspected, was in charge stood before her in a soundstage playing video and audio that would lead Olivia to believe she was in another country.

Liv’s clearly confused and Ian hints at his motive, recalling Liv’s promise that Fitz would come looking for her. Previews for next week’s show imply that Liv’s detainment is aligned with the war Andrew and others want to start with West Angola, but there’s got to be more to it than that, right? Andrew did warn Fitz that he knew he could use Olivia to get to him, but it’s not clear that this is what actually happened here.

What do I know for sure? I miss Mellie. Also: Olivia doesn’t look like she’s going home any time soon.

Lingering questions: Who is Ian? Where is the soundstage? How did Olivia’s kidnappers pull off a fake ambulance ride? Who will save Olivia: Jake, Fitz or (dare I say it) Papa Pope?

Do you think Fitz will have to go to war for Olivia?

“Scandal” airs at 9 p.m. Thursdays on ABC.

 
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About The Evolution! Society

"This is my life. It is my ONE time to be ME. I want to experience EVERY GOOD thing."--Maya Angelou "My Lyfe, My Vybe"--Crystal

Posted on February 3, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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