Scandal Returns: Chicago Scandal Watch Party

Thursday night, #ScandalThursday was reinstated. Gladiators, as the fans are called, waited and waited. The wait was over, and I had to see it. There was a gathering at BlackFinn AmeriPub downtown to watch it.

So, what do Scandal fans in Chicago look like? Women. All women sipping on the specialty cocktail menu or as Olivia would, a nice full glass of red.

I entered the room and met the organizer, with her posse of friends making head cutouts of the characters and doing crossword puzzles to recall season 4 happenings.

She brought me to a table of two, which happened to be cousins.

I bought a Scandal shirt. Wow. I went there. If I was going to buy a shirt for a TV show, I would think it would be Friends or Gilmore Girls. But, I feel like after you Netflix binge watch three seasons of a show, you are somewhat committed. You become the person who doesn’t know what to do with herself when caught up with the current season. It hurts so bad. You have to wait a whole week or in this case over two months to find out what happens next.

The show came on. And, I was confused.

This episode, “Run”, began with Olivia running. We were all intrigued. The girl next to me shouted, “I love that she’s wearing her hair natural.”

The show began recalling the scene where we left off—moments before piano sex. We danced along with Olivia and Jake. We went to the bedroom with Jake to get friction for the piano and then learned that Olivia Pope does not lock her door.

Lesson One: Lock Your Door

Why? We don’t know. Powerful women or not, lesson one of Scandal: lock your door. Hell, have three or four locks. Dead bolt that door.

Her infamous red wine is then splashed over her infamous white couch. Gladiators had a meltdown and neat freaks cringed. We needed to take a moment.

From there, Jake, always trying to be the hero, ran downstairs in his underwear and chased a decoy car. Little did he know that Ms. Pope was duct taped in the apartment next door. Olivia then witnesses her neighbor being shot and then the most horrifying thing happens. Olivia is placed in a body bag. Not alone, but she is placed in the bottom of a body bag with her dead neighbor on top. Woah.

Take a moment. Breathe. Sip wine.

Then, after all that. Not locking her door. Spilling her wine on her white couch. Seeing her neighbor killed. Having her dead neighbor laid on top of her in a body bag. She shows that she is the woman we all love. She still has fight in her. She doesn’t offer money, her life, her dog that she doesn’t have.

She says to her kidnapper,” I only negotiate with people who have the power to say yes or no. You don’t have that. You’re not in charge. No one in this ambulance is in charge. The guy back at the apartment who had his hand on my mouth, he is in charge. He never said a word, but you all looked at him every time you spoke. You were checking for approval. He was in charge. He says yes or no. So me begging and bargaining here with you is a waste of my breath and you can’t kill me unless he says you can. So no I don’t have a death wish because he’s not here to be afraid of.”

Lesson Two: Women are Always Armed

Olivia then wakes up somewhere disgusting in a cell with another man. The only was out seems to be through the bathroom. One time, when she goes, she notices a window and she uses the underwire from her bra to try to unlatch the lock. Her five minutes are up in the bathroom and her prison guards see her. They can’t kill her, so they take out her cell mate and she hears the gun shot from afar.

Now, she’s alone in the cell. Sitting with a bra only partially underwired. She doesn’t give up. It’s time for round two.

Only, then, something crazy happens. Jake comes to her rescue and picks her up from the cell. Only he doesn’t. The next scene we see Olivia and Fitz in the shower. Does Olivia get Vermont with her White Hat jam? We think so. But then, best friend, Abby is there. She tells Olivia what every friend would tell her.

Lesson in Women Empowerment: You don’t Need a Man

“Jake and Fitz can’t help you. There is no man to rescue you. Do you hear me? No one. No one is going to help you. You are the only gladiator in the place. You are all you’ve got. You have to rescue yourself.”

Olivia doesn’t get to wait on a man to rescue her. Wow. Olivia can rescue herself. Talk about women empowerment. This felt good to hear as a women. She may have the most powerful man in the world on her side, but she can get out of this herself without a man.

She asks to go to the bathroom again. She is ready with her underwire. She gets into the bathroom and the window is sealed.

Hope is sealed. Olivia losses it. Her whole body breaks down and she begins weeping. This is a moment of despair if I have ever seen one. It is the last chapter in Madame Bovary. It is the ending of Anna Karenina. But, Olivia doesn’t throw the towel in. She sees a metal ring.

She comes out of the bathroom and hits the prison guard with a pipe. She grabs his keys and his gun. She’s running for the exit. Our hearts are beating. We are running with her. We are sprinting.

Bam. The second prison guard comes. We don’t know what Ms. Pope has in her. But she does it. She shows her gun. She has it ready to fire. She does it. She pulls the trigger and kills him.

Now, she has to unlock multiple locks. We are all anxious. Is this going to happen? What is on the other side of the door? Where is she?

The door opens and we all lose ourselves. We are Olivia Pope on the floor minutes before. She is on what looks like a movie set. WHAT! WHAT!

We can’t handle it.

Surprise number two is that her cell mate, the one she was trying to save, is the one who put her here. He’s the one in charge.

It ends with Olivia going into another door with him.

Where is the gun she had just fired? That is my only question.

What an episode. What a Thursday night. I took the last sip of my cider, wished the girls well, and thought about the episode on my train ride home sitting in my new Scandal shirt.

How did you feel about the episode?

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