Scandal has always centered around strong women with big careers and even bigger ambitions. Two episodes ago we saw Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Abby (Darby Stanchfield) both reveal their main priority — their careers — which surprised no one.
They unapologetically made that decision and it was refreshing to watch. They didn't endlessly talk about it, or give it all up at the end for a man (please, Shonda, however this show ends, let it not be like that). But there was a weird feeling about how they had to choose their career or their friendship. It's been nice to see two women on TV be both driven bosses and supportive friends.
Yet tonight, Scandal presented us with a dramatized version of how media everywhere depicts successful career women — emotionless and crazy (because that is the "woman card," right?). Liv and Abby's cat fight in the name of "power" made them anything but powerful. Surprisingly, Sally gave us the best line of the night about it:"It's hard to watch two smart, talented women tear each other apart like this...and equally hard to look away." Don't worry, Sally stayed true to her own brand by making a quick retort about never wanting to be called a feminist.
The tension peaked when Abby pretended Air Force One was dealing with a mechanical issue, which grounded Mellie's (Bellamy Young) plane. All the Democratic presidential candidates were looking for the support of Florida's governor at a dinner and punctuality was important. With Susan's (Artemis Pebdani) plane in air this put Mellie at a disadvantage. While Olivia and Abby fought with each other, Mellie — with the help of Marcus (Cornelius Smith Jr.) and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) — handled things.
Mellie publicly asked her ex-husband for his help. She also reminded him that he is the President of the United States and doesn't have to listen to his Chief of Staff. It was nice to see the two of them acknowledge they have a past and do care for each other...and see that they both care for Liv. (Let it sink in that they bonded over their feelings for the woman who caused the end of their marriage.)
Shortly after Air Force One and Mellie's plane were up in the air — and with some creative brainstorming — Mellie was able to join the Governor's dinner...an hour late.
While the Republican candidates are fighting for delegates, the Democratic candidates are just figuring out who their actual campaign managers are and what their strategy is. (Let's hope the two parties get on the same time table by the general election.) Vargas' brother finally learned exactly who he was playing against. He was fired by his own brother because of Cyrus' (Tom Perry) sabotage. Cyrus can now "make the next President," but he lost two people in the process. He used Michael in his scheme, and after being cheated on, lied to, and now blatantly used, Michael (Matthew Del Negro) reached the end of his patience. He left Cyrus and took Cyrus' daughter with him. Honestly, it's a move that James (Dan Bucatinsky) would be proud of.
It turns out planegate and the dinner didn't matter because the people ignored the GOP suggestion and voted for the one candidate no one even considered a real contender — Hollis (Gregg Henry) over either woman candidate. In his acceptance speech he pulled his own "woman card" comment of the night by saying, "If you gals don't stop hissin' at each other, I may just end up running away with this thing."
Liv eventually did let her emotions out about killing Andrew, about her dad telling her he'd slit Jake's (Scott Foley) throat if she got near him again, about not wanting to be like her dad, and about losing the White House and influence she had before. Abby also broke down in tears about the guilt she's feeling about possibly pushing Liv to kill Andrew. The two of them made up and decided to join forces against Hollis.