'Scandal' Season 4 premiere recap

September 26, 2014|By Lauren McEwen | For The Baltimore Sun

The "Scandal" Season 4 opener reset the board totally after the events of the finale, and I could not be happier.

Olivia is with Jake.  I repeat: Liv is with Jake! On an uncharted island 100 miles off the coast of Zanzibar, where they are pretty much living a fairytale! Liv's got a really cute, curly beach fro and Jake refuses to button his shirts! They have sexy-time at the beach! They get their food delivered to them by a guy on a boat!

But things can't stay perfect and sunshiney forever. Their next grocery shipment comes with a letter. At first, Liv and Jake debate over whether or not she should open it. It's definitely not from her father because a helicopter and a group of soldiers would be more his style. But he's the only one who knows where they are. Liv's even got a cute, new alias: Julia Baker. Jake asks her not to open it, but unable to resist, Liv rips open the envelope and finds a news clip about Harrison's body being found.

Well, now we know for a fact that Columbus Short is off of the show. By the very next scene, the couple is riding in a black car through D.C., with Jake making Liv/Julia promise that they'll only stay a few days.

Liv visits the OPA office and seems upset to find it empty with a large stack of mail (including a few Union magazines with Fitz on the cover) on the table, sheets covering the furniture and ... a full investigation about her whereabouts taped to the conference room windows.

Of course ... it was Quinn who had tracked her down. How did she do it? By following Liv's "tell," a trick she learned from Harrison. It was Liv's fancy red wine that gave her away. Quinn asked the clerk at Liv's favorite wine shop what he'd given her for Christmas and tracked the shipments until she found one that matched. She figured that Liv would want to know that Harrison and Adnan's bodies were found in the desert.

Liv decides that that's enough exposition and asks where the rest of her team is. Huck is going by "Randy" now and working as an IT guy at some tech shop. He actually speaks to Liv, which is more than he'll do for Quinn, but once she admits that she's only back for the funeral he moves on to the next customer.

And Abby? She's working at the White House, handling its press. Her hair's awesome, she's got new suits and she's chewing Fitz's head off about the way he's gutting his cabinet and alienating his party. After his reelection (and Little Jerry's death), Fitz seems to be on a mission to make his second term mean something. His latest project is to get equal pay for women, which is why he's trying to reconfigure his entire cabinet and get support from across the aisle.

Mellie, on the other hand, isn't handling Little Jerry's death the way any of us might expect. Instead, she's traipsing around the White House in her pajamas and Uggs, eating dry cereal from the box. Hey, at least she's wearing fresh panties.

She's skeptical about whether or not the party will support Fitz's new goal, and she's probably right, since the RNC Chairmman (who Cyrus nicknamed "Lizzie Bear," because RNC chairman come and go so quickly. Ouch.) is waiting in Cyrus' office to discuss Fitz's refusal to fundraise, his liberal agenda pissing off the party, Mellie being MIA and the rumors that Fitz is going to replace the current Attorney General with a Democrat.

Abby, who is wearing a fabulously drape-y burgundy coat, has a surprise meeting as well. Liv came to ask her to help her bury Harrison, but Abby is furious that she left in the first place and gives her a major guilt trip about deserting them. Never one to back down, Liv tells Abby that she abandoned OPA, too, shutting out Quinn, Huck and Harrison while only a few blocks away at the White House.

Liv and Rowan are getting along a little better, which is kind of nice, even though we all know he did some majorly evil things at the end of last season. He chastises her for leaving the island, but she explains that Harrison is dead.

He gives her permission to ask him the question that he feels looming in the air: Did he kill Harrison? OF COURSE HE DID, but he lies about it, before telling her that he killed Marie Wallace on orders from the president. Liv's obviously upset, but Rowan tells her that Fitz did her a favor, too. No one will know that Little Jerry died at the "hands of the president's mistress' mother," he says. Liv actually buys it and seems glad her mother's finally dead.

Cyrus and his terrible wig confront Abby for not telling him that Liv is back, which endangers "this twisted, but highly functioning, White House."  He goes to give Fitz the news about Harrison's death and Liv's return. There's a little emotion, but given the fact that he seems to be standing by Mellie as she mourns, Fitz may have actually turned over a new leaf.

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