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'Scandal' Recap: Power Rankings for 'It's Handled'


Hey, Scandal fans! Our favorite D.C. drama is back in action. And in Scandal-world (much like in real-life Washington, D.C.) it’s all about power: Who’s got it; who lost it, and who wants it. As Olivia Pope’s father says in this episode’s opening minutes, “Power is in charge.” So this season, we’re keeping track of all the crazy power-plays. Join us each week for the ultimate Scandal Power Rankings.

This week, Olivia, Fitz, and the gang dealt with the fall out of Olivia’s name being leaked as the President’s mistress. Her daddy, Rowan (or is it Eli?), called her a whore (so did Mellie) and tried to get her to “disappear”, but Olivia don’t play that. She goes back to Washington, and the ish hits the fan. Barbs fly, lies are concocted, plans are made: but who comes out on top?

1. Mellie: Mellie has the craziest eyes we’ve ever seen, and we’re convinced they’re the source of her power. But in the meeting of the minds that Fitz, Olivia, and Mellie have in the bunker, she proves that she could be her own fixer. Mellie has the keenest political mind of them all (sorry, Liv), and Mellie fleshes out the very plausible story of Olivia and Fitz’s relationship. The woman drives a hard bargain, and her power goes up and up and up, culminating in supplanting her own bunker plan with a new one, courtesy of the Pope Gladiators.

2. Cyrus: He convinced Olivia Pope (Queen of Badass) to do what he wanted (remove herself from her father’s Plane of Mystery). Why? Because “if you (Olivia) disappear, he (Fitz) will think I had you killed, and he will never trust me again.” Good job, Thatcher Grey. Of course, then he turns around mid-episode and orders a “kill folder” on Olivia. Once he gets the dirt on one of his best gal pals, he decides to play the “ambitious slut card” re: Olivia as the mistress. While we hate this, we have to admit that Cyrus is totally in control...and what’s more powerful than that (besides Mellie, because we wouldn’t want to mess with those crazy eyes)? Cyrus helps orchestrate the “Jeannine is the mistress” decoy, and for that, he gets the silver.

3. Fitz: For as much as he’s a total jerkoff, Fitz really knows how to talk to people. Hence, ya know, the whole “politics” thing. When Ellis Grey, er, Sally Langston, scoffs at trying to push the press off of Fitz’s mistress trail, Fitz plays the God card and asks Sally to be his witness so he can be like, honest to God or something. Power move. There’s a reason he’s in power (and it’s not all because of Defiance). At the tail end of the episode, it’s revealed that Fitz leaked Olivia’s name himself, supposedly to free her from Mellie’s evil clutches. That’s nice, we guess, but we like it better when Olivia has full agency over her own life, thanks. Both Fitz and Mellie play their political cards, and honestly, Mellie and Cyrus do it better. Fitz, you got edged out this week. Hope you’re okay with the bronze medal.

4. Vice President Ellis Grey, we mean, Sally Langston: Ellis Grey wants to “serve the Lord” and disagrees with Cyrus’ “homosexual lifestyle” and “poor, brown baby.” O-kay. But she drinks scotch. Neat. Our kind of lady. How much power does she currently hold? She’s easily swayed by Fitz to cover for him at an upcoming appearance, and probably could’ve stuck to her guns...but now he owes her one. He pays it back by offering her the chance to condemn him and become the party’s moral center during their press conference. So, even steven.

5. The Pope Gladiators: Huck saves Liv from the rabid paparazzi, Abby’s still tussling with David Rosen, Quinn wears too much eyeliner, and Harrison had the best line of the night (“Are we gladiators, or are we bitches?”). Together, they come up with a scheme to save Olivia’s name, reputation, career, etc. And it works! For now, at least. We’ll see what happens next week, when Olivia officially takes on her scapegoat, Jeannine, as a client. Olivia and her gladiators are the best in the biz, so...

6. Rowan: It looked like Rowan had the upper hand for a while, but Olivia totally laid the smackdown on him when she got off the plan and ran to the limo. She even threw in a dis about him and her mother (who we find out died in a plane crash when she was 12. Heavy). Toward the bottom of the pile, Rowan! He shares some classified (and apparently “OMG” worthy) info with Cyrus in the last few seconds of the episode, so he’s got potential to move up next week. We’ve got our eyes on you, Rowan.

7. Olivia: Oops! Olivia’s been announced as the President’s mistress. And her dad, Rowan, rips her open at the fact that she “opened her knees.” He calls her mediocre, and damn, that’s gotta sting. But hey, at least we know where Olivia gets her speeches from. #DaddyIssues, anyone? We found ourselves having a Friends flashback when Cyrus was trying to convince Olivia to defy her father: will she get off the plane, will she get off the plane?! She got off the plane! And told her d*ck father off in the process. Power move, Liv. Liv hits the emergency eject button to meet Fitz and Mellie in a secret underground (probably) bunker to figure out what the press should know about the affair. Even though she orchestrates it (Fitz does little here), Mellie takes over and tells them how it’s going to be. Mellie steals the thunder, and Olivia loses some of her power. Unfortunately, everyone else (mostly, at least) did better this week. Next time’s a charm, Liv.

8. David Rosen: Abby still isn’t returning his calls. But, hey, he’s not in the box and he’s not a political scapegoat, so he doesn’t fall quite all the way down.

9. Jake Ballard: We can only call him Noel (from Scott Foley’s turn on Felicity, duh), but whatever you call him, he’s still in the box. Doesn’t get lower than that.

10. Jeannine: Or does it? Jake Ballard is literally still in a hole in the ground. But Jeannine got lambasted and sold out as the President’s (fake) mistress. So, um, wow. She, really loses. This is worse than being in the box.

That’s all, folks! Let us know if you agree or disagree with our ranking in the comments section, and we’ll be back next week to chart the ever ebbing and flowing power in Scandal-ized Washington D.C.

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