let me start by being honest: i never really cared about quinn perkins. so aside from the fact that it was the big cliffhanger and so obviously something that i was meant to care about, i didn’t care about who quinn perkins really was. whatever her secret was going to be, it was definitely going to be something that happened to her, because (again, being honest), the girl was too dumb to have happened to something. plus we all know olivia takes in strays and fixes things that are broken so... come on, even quinn could have figured out that quinn was clearly not going to be some criminal mastermind. so, for me, the biggest surprise of the season two premiere was not who quinn turned out to be, but the fact that i turned out to care.
so having said that, we’ll jump right in.
oval office. fitz is brooding as only fitz can. and my night is already made. because:
a. the man makes melancholy look good. and
b: the man is melancholy!
while in truth, it could be something as inane as him thinking about the latest episode of grey’s, i have already decided it’s because he misses olivia. disrupting his (and my) quiet reflection is mellie and a baby room color scheme. from future dialogue we learn that 6 months have passed since the first lady "olivia-pope'd" olivia and mellie is now visibly pregnant with what she’s calling “america’s baby” but I’m calling “treachery’s child”. she uses her two minutes of scandalpace to exposit that they have an upcoming television interview, that there is trouble in the sudan and then to criti-shame fitz into help choosing a color for the nursery (red, which is also the color of blood & the devil, just saying), with the skill of practiced master.
elsewhere, on the opposite end of the mastery scale, quinn qerkins is dressing for her day in court. as her legal team arrives amid protesters and news crews, quinn changes from her prison orange into her best skirt suit. the bailiff comes to collect her and finally speaks the words you were waiting feverishly for all summer “ready for court ms. dwyer.” RIP #whoisquinn. also RIP seven people lindsay dwyer is accused of blowing to smithereens. if our good frenemy david rosen’s version of events is to be believed, lindsay dwyer was a woman scorned who first left her cheating lover a voicemail laced with PG f-bombs and then snail mailed an actual bomb to his office. a bomb that killed his cheating ass, the object of his affection and 5 other bystanders. whoops! lindsay dwyer then skipped town, changed her identity and began life anew as the well-meaning dope we all came to know as quinn perkins. quindsay is being represented by a lawyer who we’ve never seen before and never get properly introduced to. forget #whoisquinn, #whoisthischick?! and #whodugherupfromwhereandwhy?? anyway. quindsay’s story is that she had nothing to do with the bomb. she maintains that she was drugged, kidnapped and relocated by a mysterious stranger in an act of malevolent benevolence. as it seems that the only evidence tying to quindsay to the crime is motive, the voicemail and the fact that she ran, her lawyer asks for a dismissal of the indictment for insufficient and circumstantial evidence. the judge politely declines and david “i’m the sheriff” rosen gleefully informs us all that ms. dwerkins has just been nominated for the death penalty.
i’m not gonna go much more into the details of the trial. it’s a farce. i’m not sure if we, as the viewers, were ever meant to question whether she actually did it or not, but i never even considered it. how anyone who heard that voicemail could keep a straight face at the thought of that freaking dope masterminding anything at all is beyond me. also, the crime happened in california, but the trial is happening in DC? i can’t take it seriously. and neither it seems could pope & associates as in spite of having had 6 months to get ready, they seem strangely unprepared and are losing from the get. looks like Stephen was the brains of the operation. but he’s gone. gone to Georgia to marry boston and live normally ever after. i may have gotten some of those details mixed up, but the point is, he’s gone. “people move on.” says olivia, referencing stephen as part of her refusal to speak to fitz, when cyrus presses her to. and some do move on, but from the way she walks away and how she’s watching newsfeed of fitz in the next scene it’s pretty clear that the lady doth protest too much.
but the world keeps spinning and clients keep needing spin, so the associates’ latest recitation of how soundly they are losing the dwyer case is interrupted by a flustered intern who has been sent to summon the olivia pope. the congressman from rhode island has discovered a recording device in his office. olivia quickly deduces that he has something to hide since he called her and not DC security. olivia’s first thought: bribery scandal. my first thought: sex tape. one of us was correct. and it wasn’t bribery that had abby jumping up from her perch on the corner of the congressman’s desk.
and speaking of sex tapes… across town, fitz is fielding a phone call from the ?? (president? king? le poisson?) of france. it seems that everyone wants fitz to go to war with sudan. as he and cyrus walk and talk, we learn that while mellie’s approval rating is through the roof, fitz’s is somewhere between a window sill and a low hanging picture frame. Cyrus says something pope-like and fitz asks “how is she?”
she is brooding in her office, all olivia mope when abby offers herself as a “person who talks” should olivia need a non-stephen shoulder to lean on. olivia brushes off her concern as lady lawyer mcNoName shows up in the office at a time when she should be in court. yeah, about that…
quindsay has clearly lost her (non-master) mind as she fires olivia and prepares to sign off on a plea deal that will have her serving 7 consecutive life sentences. (side rant: how is that even a deal?! even if she lost, she still might not get the death penalty. and even if she did, it would be a lifetime before she was executed. so she was about to take a deal that’s best case scenario was pretty much the same as the worst case scenario. this is your evil genius, ladies & gentlemen.) thankfully, olivia shows up just in time to save quindsay from herself and lawyer mcNoName # 2 (the male prototype). pope and dwerkins go head to head in an awesome emotional cage match that has quindsay all worked up about the mystery and hopelessness of it all and olivia answering all of her questions with answers that don't answer anything, then setting her straight with a gem of a speech that I’m considering making my new twitter “about me.”
having been rehired, olivia dismisses mystery lawyer #2, has a staring contest with david and then heads back to the office a.k.a. more bad news…
they have deduced who has the congressman’s sex tape but there’s nothing they can do to stop it from being released. also, the congressman is single and likes to mingle, and has mingled with quite a few ladies in very recent history. also, they have also gotten a hold of their own personal copy of his sex tape which has quickly become abby’s favorite movie. olivia tries to chastise mr. rhode island for not telling them everything, but he asserts that he’s a single man and his private life is his business and he won’t be sorry for it. so there.
also not sorry: Mellie. during their tv interview just after learning that Treachery’s Child is a boy, she heavily implies to the watching world that fitz is just about ready to go upside sudan’s head. fitz is enraged and once away from the cameras, he delivers a scathing reproof that is also a strong contender for my new twitter blurb. still not sorry, mellie is wounded… or at least says she is and fitz is quickly contrite. “i know you might miss her,” says evil queen mellificent, “but it’s no reason to take it out on me.”
and she’s right. he does miss her. so he disrupts olivia’s third viewing of the rogue interview with a phone call. and forgive me for being a big old girl, but the time is now swoon o’clock. these two can project more passion and angst with silence and one word sentences than most TV couples can with a season’s worth of words and musical montages. after the world's longest pause before saying “hello” and a brief trip back to junior high love (“hang up.” “you hang up.”) olivia asks fitz the question that EVERYONE has been asking fitz, but finally at ease he finally talks about why he is moving so hesitantly on the sudan issue. olivia hears him out then does what she does and gives him the spin strategy he needs. they end the phone call with professions of hate. but hate is totally the new love, y’all.
having helped her boo, olivia is suddenly inspired re: the congressman’s dilemma. they release the tape before anyone else can and thereby control the narrative. instead of being completely publicly shamed, the congressman becomes a minor rockstar and all’s well that ends well. unless your name is quinn perkins and/or lindsay dwyer. not so fast. huck has found security tape footage from the hotel Quinn Perkins mysteriously emerged from two years ago but “someone” has erased parts of it. so they have come up completely empty and quindsay is most certainly going down. so olivia makes a phone call of her own. to who? we don’t know. but the next day when attorney mcNoName makes a last ditch appeal for the judge to grant an aquittal based on insufficient evidence, to the surprise of absolutely everyone, the judge agrees. and just like that, quindsay dwerkins is free as a dodo bird.
back in the oval office, fitz totally presents olivia’s spin idea as his own and reprimands cyrus for how out of control things have been. cyrus takes it. then makes it clear that he knows fitz’s great plan is olivia’s handiwork and that keeping mellie on her leash is actually not in his job description. and i wonder who’s job description it is in? my guess/hope: olivia’s. because that rematch needs to happen.
and speaking of mellie’s nemesis, she is directing the associates on how to handle quindsay’s imminent release. but there is dissension in the ranks. abby wants to know how what happened, happened, but olivia’s not in the mood for questions or answers so she leaves and leaves’em wanting more. abby tries to stir harrison and huck, but huck ain’t having it and returns to his HackCave as we time travel back to that one time when lindsay dwyer really was drugged and kidnapped and woke up in a DC hotel room with a brand spanking new identity and a pile of starter money. we watch as someone who looks a lot like… oh wait, oh! it actually is huck! so huck watches her leave the hotel and then he gets into a waiting car where he informs someone else that quinn took everything they left for her. someone else who turns out to be none other than our very own olivia pope. dun dun dun!! SCANDAL! #whoisoliviapope