This season of Scandal is really all about one thing — what people, especially women, give up in the name of love. In the first episode, we saw Princess Emily give up her freedom to marry the Prince of Caledonia. And, the last two episodes explore what the two women who love Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) have to lose because of that love. I've been waiting to see what Mellie's (Bellamy Young) reaction would be to Olivia (Kerry Washington) admitting to the affair on live TV. I knew she would be mad, but I hoped she wouldn't automatically start slut-shaming. With all of the affairs on this show, including Mellie's, it doesn't sit right for her to say, "It's the girl who can't shut her legs, or her mouth" about Olivia. However, Fitz doesn't even notice. As always, he is only thinking about himself. This is why I have never picked a team. I'm not Team Jake (Scott Foley) or Team Fitz. Neither of them deserve the amazing (but, yes, let's complete the cliché — flawed) woman that is Olivia Pope. Shonda Rhimes really needs to write a man for Olivia that can think beyond himself, or the commands of other powerful men. Speaking of people who only think about themselves — Cyrus (Jeff Perry) is back. And, he gives a really great motivational speech. I want "Zero to Hero" from Disney's Hercules to play while he tells Mellie to "think like a champion, think like a warrior." It would be perfect. Although, Mellie has never been a zero. Her list of demands? Not champion-worthy enough. She wants money, Olivia and Fitz to be discreet with their relationship, Olivia not to take the Grant name (why would she want to take his name anyways?!), and him to be around for seven campaign stops. Not unreasonable, considering the whole world now knows her husband has been cheating on her for years, and she's about to start her own presidential campaign. (Let's pause to think how similar some aspects of this are to real-life politics.) The sky is the limit here. She should have asked for unlimited hooch, staged press photos to help her campaign for president, the name of the person who makes Olivia's coats, and free service from Pope & Associates. Once she is in office, their number is going to be on speed dial anyways. Speak of the hooch, and the hooch appears. The best line of the night was from Mellie when she says, "I'm looking for my hooch. You didn't drink it. Did you, Olivia?" #Priorities.
This brings us to the part of the episode where Mellie gives one of her famous drunk monologues. She brings us back to that original question: What will Olivia have to give up to be in a public relationship with the president of the United States? This is a valid question, but Mellie calling Pope & Associates "that little business" is too far. Has Mellie forgotten how many times "that little business" has helped her and her family? Naturally, President Grant decides to go apologize and break up with Mellie (again) on the balcony. It's ridiculous that every single time someone on this show wants to have a private, touching moment or conversation they go OUTSIDE. Why does that make any sense? And, why has the show not made the balcony backdrop more realistic-looking if all these important scenes are going to be shot there? This whole episode, we go back and forth on what the White House is going to say about a possible affair while the Louvre is in flames. I repeat, THE LOUVRE IS IN FLAMES. That is quite a big piece of sub-plot to bring in with only 10 minutes left. If the Louvre is important enough for this episode to be titled "Paris Is Burning," you would think we would learn a little bit more about it. Does this mean B613 is back? It seems like it's back, and so is Papa Pope (Joe Morton). Wait, is Jake still Command? Just another reason Jake is not a suitable suitor. Jake's desirability doesn't matter, though. Olivia, like Felicity before her, just can't pick Scott Foley. She has officially decided to be with Fitz (and, let's point out to Felicity-haters, the Scandal love triangle lasts even longer). The episode ends the same way it begins, with Olivia being slut-shamed. Although, this time she at least chose how it would happen — by her best friend, in front of all the White House press. She goes big, or she goes home. I don't know if I am okay with Olivia losing so much for a man, even if she loves him. How do you feel about it? And, who do you think set the Louvre on fire?