The wait is finally over. “Scandal” aired the intense season four premiere on Sept. 25 and several burning questions were answered. Among them, where has Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) been hiding and how are Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Mellie (Bellamy Young) dealing with the aftermath of their son’s death?
Plus, what happened to Olivia’s merry band of gladiators during her absence? And finally, has Olivia finally moved on from Fitz with Jake (Scott Foley)? Or, will Olivia and Fitz find their way back to each other once again?
Whew … that’s a lot of questions. First of all, Olivia and Jake were busy loving it up in the sand at a remote island where they even treated themselves to good reads and fancy wine. Who else loved the fact that Liv was reading the juicy psychological thriller “Gone Girl?” The scene is really idyllic, with Jake wanting to make passionate use of their time before the supply boat’s arrival. The chemistry between these two is crazy-hot. Given a chance, what woman in her right mind wouldn’t want to kick back in the sand, enjoy the surf and the company of a hunky guy like Jake?
Details about “Scandal’s” returning season have been kept really quiet. But, of course nothing steamy-good lasts forever and news of Harrison’s death arrives with the wine and Olivia (who has renamed herself Julia Baker) knows she has to go back and bury her friend. Returning to the forbidden zone where Fitz is rather resolutely presiding over his second term certainly can’t bode well for poor Jake’s chances to finally capture the heart of the girl he loves.
Olivia is shocked by the frosty greeting she gets from new White House Press Secretary Abby (Darby Stanchfield) and her old pal Huck (Guillermo Diaz), who is now a computer tech named Randy. Quinn (Katie Lowes) is the only one who’s nice to Liv as she’s the one who tracked her down.
Liv even has the guts to do a sit-down with her evil father Rowan (Joe Morton) at his favorite restaurant. She flinches as he informs her he “took care” of her mother, per the president’s orders. Olivia tells him he did the right thing. She’s a terrorist, after all.
Kerry Washington and Joe Morton play these strained father-daughter conversations so well. And, this entire scene reveals even more of Rowan’s cunning and heartless character. He lies to his daughter. He did kill Harrison because Harrison knew Rowan killed Jerry instead of Maya. And, Rowan leads Olivia to believe her mother is dead, when he actually sent her to the hole instead.
Jake’s hopes for returning to paradise with Liv are dashed when she accepts a case from Senator Vaughn, who claims she was sexually assaulted by Senator Sterling. He supposedly fell from a balcony during the struggle and is seriously injured. When Liv realizes Senator Vaughn’s assistant Kate is the real victim and was set up to entice him to vote for the equal pay bill, she’s ready to quit the case. Instead, she publicly announces she’s representing Kate and vows Senator Sterling will pay for his crime. She also manages to plug Fitz’s equal pay bill in the process.
Speaking of Fitz, he vows to his grieving wife that he’s not going to see Olivia. She knows better than this, as does an agitated Cyrus (Jeff Perry). Though he doesn’t initiate contact, Fitz spies Olivia on Capitol Hill. They wordlessly pass each other, each playing just the hint of a smile on their lips after they do.
What does this mean? Is it just a matter of time before Fitz and Olivia fall back into each other’s arms? Or, will Olivia realize she’s got a great thing with Jake that she shouldn’t jeopardize? If Fitz and Olivia are truly soulmates, they will never be able to erase each other from their hearts.
Nobody plays tortured lover better than Tony Goldwyn. He’s got the heated, simmering, longing look down. And, when Fitz talks to Olivia in that soft, urgent voice, how can she resist him?
In a Sept. 24 interview with Yahoo TV, Kerry Washington teased an “intense” season ahead noting that “the stakes are still very high, so very high.” Things are definitely shaken up right out of the gate. It’s way too early to tell where this season is headed. But, it’s pretty clear Olivia Pope’s heart is divided between two men right now and things will probably only get more complicated from here.
“Scandal” airs on ABC on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.