Scandal Season 7 Premiere Review: It’s Olivia’s World

The final season of Scandal kicked off last night, giving a preview into a season filled with drama, sass, and a shit ton of girl power.

Shonda Rhimes is known for her use of girl power and pushing the limits. She is no stranger to taking a risk, and talking about taboo topics no one would dare to touch. She is fearless, and that’s what has made her a legend.

That fearless energy easily trickles into these complex characters that she has created. Olivia Pope is a powerhouse. She’s always been a force to be reckoned with, and always had leverage with the oval. Now more so than ever. Not only is she Mellie’s right hand woman, she’s Command. She’s calling the shots, and by the end of the episode, everyone knew that.

This is Olivia’s world, everyone else is just a pawn on her board. She’s staying true to herself, though, the white hat is staying on. She’s determined to make this work, but do it right.

This episode almost gave a look at what could have been. Mellie is the first female president on Scandal. The US almost had a similar outcome — I will not get into that right now, as that needs a whole post to itself — and we see the differences that could have been. The idea of a woman in charge is a novelty, but to make it the norm you have to fight for it. Olivia wants to make this the norm, she wants to make Mellie a monument and not an asterisk. No one is better for this job than Olivia Pope.

Olivia knows what she wants and she goes out and gets it. She’s got everyone doing what she wants them to do. She knows how to get what she needs, even if it involves some not-so-orthodox tricks — blackmail, threatening to kill a child, etc. No matter what, she gets what she wants, and she’s calling the shots now. Everyone has to live by that or get burned.

She’s not the only badass woman on the job, OPA is now QPA. Quinn has taken over and is calling the shots. She’s still a bit over her head, but with Abby by her side the two of them have got that running smoothly. Olivia still has her old lackeys ready to go at a moments notice, though.

Mellie has also taken it upon herself to show that she is more than capable for this job. She is the Hilary Clinton story. The first lady turned senator, who wanted to be president. Of course in Shondaland, it’s a girl’s world, and she gets to play it out. There is one specific scene that stands out, a group of Girl Scouts is visiting the White House — something girl scouts do on the regular — and are excited to meet the president. Mellie goes in and asks “Who is going to run for president?” and all the girls raise their hands. This moment right here is what it’s all about.

Showing little girls that they can do whatever they want, not just what society says they can, is so important. When Clinton lost, a lot of young women decided to stand up and do something, that energy is still there to a degree, but we need to show the newer generations to go out there and fight to do whatever. Yes, there is still a glass ceiling that needs to be broken in the real world and there is a lot of work left to do. This society is still dwelling on misogyny and racism. As much as we thought we weren’t, we are, and Shonda Rhimes brings light to that every week. We have work to do.

Scandal kicked off it’s final season saying that they are pulling out the big guns — not actual guns because, really, we need to regulate guns and automatic assault rifles, who needs one? No one, you want an assault rifle join the military, that’s not what the 2nd amendment was talking about — and going all in. Rhimes mentioned at upfronts that she’s not holding back and plans to go out with a bang.

Scandal returns with an all new episode next Thursday, October 12, at 9pm on ABC. 

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Anam Ahmad

Anam is a self proclaimed TV nerd who loves all things TV. Anything with a fantastical or SciFi twist, a drama, or a show produced by Shonda Rhimes usually catches her eye. She’s a DC native so naturally she’s an activist when she’s not sitting in front of the television.

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