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Scandal: YOLO

It's okay, Liv. I could barely watch either.
“What’s that stupid thing you kids say? YOLO?”

There is no way around the fact that “YOLO” is my least favorite episode of Scandal.

To keep this review from being a thousand word bitchfest, let’s start off with what I liked. Sally killing her husband was an awesome twist. I honestly didn’t see it coming. The writers managed to make us believe it’s something that could happen without letting us believe it’s something that would happen. In retrospect, their marital troubles plus her blind ambition make this make sense. Still, we didn’t see enough of Sally and Daniel Douglas together to have guessed this outcome, or at least, I didn’t.

The Mama Pope is evil twist, on the other hand...when she popped up it was a foregone conclusion she was more than what she seemed. They’d done a good job selling Rowan as a monster but I never for a second believed that Mama Pope was completely innocent. How about you guys? I also find it out of character that no one would’ve done as much as a cursory background check into her. Or was there some throwaway line about how they couldn’t because Rowan was watching them that I missed? Abby was initially suspicious of Maya but all too quickly let that suspicion go. Abby is a stubborn woman and it’s out of character for her to just drop something. I’ll give Liv a pass, obviously, because she was clearly distracted. Same goes for Huck (more on him later). Jake was also distracted by his mission to become Olivia’s white knight. I was surprised and a little disappointed at that. I really liked the way he rejected her in “More Cattle, Less Bull,” saying he didn’t want to “play second fiddle to anyone, not even the president.” Surely Jake knows that even if he succeeds in winning Liv over, he’ll always be “second fiddle.” Jake deserves to be with someone who can be with him and not constantly pining over another man.

Olivia mentioned having kids again. I’m really starting to think that they’re going to write Kerry Washington’s pregnancy into the show. Honestly, it wouldn’t be that hard to hide it. She already wears lots of coats and carries big purses. Incidentally, the season order for Scandal has been reduced from 22 to 18 episodes to accommodate Washington’s pregnancy.

Also mentioned again: the mysterious Adnan Salif. I hope they do more with this soon. Harrison’s never had a story of his very own and it’ll be interesting to see how he handles it. Thus far, he’s been the most disposable member of Pope & Associates.

Okay, onto the stuff I didn’t like. And by “didn’t like,” I mean hated. I am disgusted seeing Cyrus treat James the way he did in this episode (although, as Cyrus once had a sniper trained on James, it’s not the worst he’s ever done). The way he spoke to him was textbook abuser/abused victim dynamic. “You’re not going anywhere. You never do.” Someone needs to help James. Please.

The worst thing that happened this week is the Quinn stuff. It wasn’t just the torture. I could’ve dealt with that. It was the sexualization of the torture. Huck tied a naked Quinn down, told her he was going to enjoy this, and LICKED HER FACE. Excuse me, I need to Purell my brain. And then Charlie. Good God, Charlie. He shows up to find a naked, bleeding woman tied down to her floor and tries to kiss her? Worse yet, she’s into that? What’s the message here, writers? Was Quinn turned on by being tortured? Was she so desperate for human connection after being tortured by her best friend, she decided to latch onto the first sociopath that came along? What are they trying to say? I’m sick of seeing women abused and hurt on this show. Really sick of it. Abby was abused by her ex-husband, Fitz drunkenly assaulted Olivia, Mellie was raped. Find a new theme. It’s sexist and it’s lazy.

Bits and Pieces:

Abby and David are adorable, but they need to quit the “normal boyfriend”/“normal girlfriend” shtick.

Quinn gets a smart cookie award for breaking that glass and trying to cut herself free with a shard.

Huck gets a dumb cookie award for leaving that glass there in the first place.

The exterior of that motel looked really familiar and it’s really bugging me because I know I’ve driven by there and I can’t remember where ‘there’ is.

Olivia apparently speaks Chinese.

I really liked Quinn’s apartment.

I might be projecting, but Khandi Alexander sort of reminds me of Lena Olin. High cheekbones, breathy voice, mysterious eyes...


Daniel Douglas: “You people think we’re all gay!”
James: “No, we think gay people are gay.”

Daniel Douglas: “I am a man. I am not a gay.”

Jake: “I trust you.”
Huck: “Yeah, well, you shouldn’t.”

Cyrus: “I’m sure if I was from your neck of hickland that would make some semblance of sense.”

Olivia: “He’s not the monster. She is.”

one out of four molars


  1. Great review! I hated this episode as much as you did and am so, so tired of the crap that women on this show have to go through. For a show that is meant to portray an incredibly strong woman, written and produced primarily by women, it is teetering on the edge of "no longer worth watching."

    The other real problem I have with this episode is that now two (seriously, two!) of our main characters are now beyond redemption. How, in the name of all that's holy, are we meant to see Cyrus and Huck as anything other than completely despicable? Moving forward, how am I meant to root for these two when, frankly, there is nothing left to root for.

    I am worried about where this show is going. I loved the first two seasons, loved the stories and the twists, but now? I'm not sure I can watch yet another character go so dark or watch another woman suffer.

  2. I kept thinking, "what are they doing!!" They just ruined Quinn *and* Huck for me, and they were once so interesting and cool together. I'm glad you mentioned what happened because I just couldn't watch that opening scene.

    Cyrus's treatment of James was despicable, too, although that was easier to take because Cyrus really is despicable and having his marriage so sweet was sort of unbelievable.

    Yes, they must be writing Kerry Washington's pregnancy into the show because they're dropping clue anvils. I guess she can afford a nanny. I've also been wondering if she's going to lie to Fitz about it. She'll have to, because if she doesn't, he'd leave Mellie and give up his job.

    Is Fitz going to handle Irina Derevko directly? If she's a terrorist, then he's in some serious danger. Did I not follow that situation?

    Loved your review, sunbunny.

  3. I'm really glad you guys are calling this show out on this. It has always really bothered me that the team used Abby's history of abuse to manipulate her... was it last season? When Olivia told Harrison that she'd been abused and to use that to get Abby to do what they wanted. It was just disgusting... and quite frankly, the Olivia character hasn't come back from that for me. And yes, this whole YOLO episode was one long misogynist... something... I don't know what to call it.

  4. I'm so glad you guys are with me. My original review was much more negative and I went through all the abuse present in every. single. relationship. This review is so late because I was actively putting off watching it the second time. I feel like Cordelia in "Faith, Hope, and Trick" where she tells Xander to "find a new theme."

  5. This show's taken a turn for the Alias! The unreliable parents trope, each more awful than the other... Damn. Finished the first two seasons in 5 days and lived for them but S3 has gotten way off track. It's one thing to watch people do moderately shitty things to each other because they are flawed but something totally different to watch them become inhumane. I agree with what everyone's said here--love the review--especially the restraint because you kept it classy, Sunbunny.


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