*Spoiler Alert* If you haven’t seen Thursday night’s episode than you are really behind!
Scandal is back! No more waiting! No more frustration from all the waiting! We finally get to see where the f*** Olivia is and who had the nerve to take her. The last we saw of her she was celebrating her freedom. (Dancing around, drinking some wine, contemplating having sex on a piano with Jake.) She decides that she doesn’t give a damn and that she will live her life the way she chooses. Now Papa Pope free, she is choosing herself over the men in her life, but that doesn’t mean she never wants to see them again. She wants everything, dammit, and if anyone deserves it, it is Olivia Pope. While Jake goes to get a blanket for all the piano sex, she disappears. There are some signs of struggle like the door left open and Olivia’s wine glass spilled on the couch. OLIVIA WOULD NEVER SPILL HER WINE!
The premiere kicks off with a ragged Olivia running for her life down a long hallway; gun in hand, towards a red door. The next we see is Olivia back at her apartment in those last moments with Jake. A masked man dressed all in black comes through the door and snatches Olivia, the celebratory music too loud for Jake to hear the struggle. Without hesitation, he runs through the apartment building, half naked, towards the street. He chases a dark car that just happens to speed off the minute he gets downstairs, memorizes the license plate. He calls Huck, searching the apartment for any clues of surveillance equipment, because that is just the world they live in. Everything reverses and now we get a more detailed look at who has taken Olivia. The masked man drags her through the hallway into the apartment across the hall; everything is in slow motion (Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” is super creepy when slowed down.) After Jake runs down stairs, we hear a loud bang coming from the other apartment.
Olivia is faced with multiple masked men who have also tied up her neighbor. They have surveillance monitors and are keeping a close eye on Jake. They remove the cameras from Olivia’s apartment and even set up the decoy car that Jake saw. One of the men talks way too much and finds humor in kidnapping Olivia. ‘Funny Guy’, as I will now call him, yells to the screen “run, Forest, run” as he watches Jake run after the car. The men wait for Jake to leave, while Olivia discreetly slips her ring under a nearby rug. They start to back up and take off their masks, telling the sweet old lady neighbor that everything is going to be ok. She thinks they are just going to leave and she can go about her life. Olivia is forced to watch as the main masked man (the one that took her) shoots and kills the old woman.
An ambulance picks up the body, but we quickly find that it’s the masked men driving. The have smuggled Olivia under her dead’s neighbors body. Shaken and scared Olivia still delivers her Pope style monologue when ‘Funny Guy’ tells her she should beg for her life. “I only negotiate with people with the power to say yes or no” she says, pointing out that none of the guys in the ambulance are in charge. They inject her with something and she passes out.
She wakes up in a dark and dingy locked room with a man huddled in the corner. The faint sounds of Islamic prayers leads her believe they have taken her to a foreign country. Her cellmate’s name is Ian, a journalist, who says that he has been there for a while and that there is no way of getting out. He also mentions that they are looking for ransom, but this doesn’t seem to add up to Olivia. The only way the men will let her out of the room is for a bathroom break. Ian seems to be deathly afraid of the two men, one of them being ‘Funny Guy.’ They lead down a long hallway where she notices more locked rooms. The same red door from the beginning of the episode seems to lead outside, where she catches a brief look at sunlight. At the bathroom, they give her five minutes. ‘Funny Guy’ jokes that if she takes longer he will have to come in there to get her.
Olivia refusing to give up, starts to ask Ian questions about what he noticed while he has been there. Ian seems to have already giving up and doesn’t give her much information. He doesn’t know how long and says he has “seen things.” Ok, thanks for the help, buddy. He obviously is a little messed up and says that he believes that the men killed his last cellmate even though his ransom was paid. He cries saying that they won’t leave this place alive. Olivia tries to comfort him by saying, “I’m going to save us.”
She quickly bonds with Ian learning details about his life, like that his wife is dead, etc. She makes Ian look for a tracking device in her back, hoping that someone in her life has put one in. How screwed up has Olivia’s life been, when she is hoping someone put a tracking device in her? Eventually she tells Ian, “If I am missing the President of the United States is looking for me.” It might have confused him more, because it was kind of vague, but he doesn’t ask follow up questions. Some time passes on, as they show a montage of Olivia walking to the bathroom and ‘Funny Guy’ saying she has five minutes or he is coming in. Ok we get it, you creep. It seems like Olivia has finally given up when she notices a small window in the bathroom, using the underwire from her bra she gets the window open, but the two men stop her before she can see outside.
The other man wants to kill Olivia, but ‘Funny Guy’ reminds him that they can’t. So instead, they drag Ian out of the room, there are screams and two shots. ‘Funny Guy’, who I want to rename ‘Creepy Guy’ comes back to the door, his face covered in Ian’s blood, reminding Olivia that there is no way out. After that, Olivia goes catatonic. One dark night, out of the blue, an armed team lead by Jake rescues Olivia. The next morning she wakes up in a comfy bed and has a nice hot shower, yelling to someone to come join her. It’s Fitz! They live together in the house in Vermont, where Fitz in now Mayor. Olivia makes jam for a living, which seems like something she would do, right? Tom randomly shows up and startles Olivia. Then while walking her golden retriever through her property, Abby shows up to ruin her day. She questions her new life and all of the things that don’t make sense. Olivia Pope making jam? Ha! She tells her that she needs to rescue herself, saying that she has dropped something, a rusty pipe clamp. She wakes up from her obvious dream to find that she is still locked up. She decides to try to get to the bathroom window again. This day, she finds that only one of the men is taking her to the bathroom, “Funny/Creepy Guy” must have called off sick. Unfortunately, when she gets the bathroom she finds that the window has been sealed off. Her hope is lost and she finally has an overdue breakdown.
As she uncontrollably sobs on the floor of the bathroom, she notices the same pipe clamp she saw in her dream. When she opens the door, she hits the guy over the head multiple times with a pipe, taking his gun and keys. She sprints down the hall towards that red door, but is stopped by ‘Funny/Creepy Guy.’ He doesn’t think that Olivia is capable of shooting him saying, “that’s a man’s tool you got there.” Bam! Olivia shoots him the head. Take that creep! She throws down the gun and unlocks the thirty locks (ok, three) off the door. She breaks through to her freedom and finds herself in a dark building. The light, backgrounds, and sounds are all fake. A familiar voice tells her “I told you there was no way out of here.” From the shadows a cleaned up Ian reveals himself to be the mysterious boss. His job was to find answers, but without completely torturing her. He has figured out that Fitz is in love with her. Olivia looks completely broken at this point. He makes her go back into the building closing the red doors behind them.
It is so nice to be back, but there are some many things still left unanswered. Like, who exactly hired Ian to finds these out Olivia’s secrets? It was probably the Vice President, but I still don’t know what his end game is. This episode focused on how strong Olivia can be, even though she has made some stupid decisions, she is also smart. She gave up hope occasionally, but only when she thought she had no other option. We also learned that you should not question whether Olivia Pope will straight up murder you if she needs to. (Lesson learned the hard way by ‘Funny/Creepy Guy’) Part of me, doesn’t trust that he is actually dead, but who knows. As much as I loved this episode, I wish that we they showed how everyone else is handling this dilemma. Also, I miss Huck and Mellie. I know, I know, save it for next week.