Scandal S03E08 "Vermont is for Lovers, Too" Review: Don't Wait Up!

By Audible

Nov 23, 2013

‘Vermont is for Lovers, Too’ definitely earned its mature-audiences-only warning last night. There was lotsa lovin’ going ‘round. There was the usual super-sized helping of scheming, manipulation and intrigue, as well. Not to mention a little bloody chomping worthy of The Walking Dead...

So what sort of scandalousness went down this week?

Rowan has tucked Maya away in what looks to be a deep, dark hole of a prison cell somewhere. Now, with Olivia kicking up the dust, Rowan’s cleaning house:

Maya then proceeds to chew her wrists open. This was, for me, a squeme-factor 10 moment. Unfortunately, it was difficult to look away for the endless time it took for Mrs. Pope to take several juicy bites out of her forearms.

The doctor informs Rowan that his ‘prisoner’ is a very disturbed woman. YA THINK?!

Does Rowan look a little remorseful, hovering over Maya's bed? Maya may have brought all this upon herself. My guess? Maya did something bad, very bad, something that made Rowan give that order for Fitz to shoot down that civilian jetliner.

Maya is clearly pretty damn cray-cray. It is easy to believe that the evil Rowan has kept her prisoner all these years, away from her daughter, and wouldn’t that make anyone nuts, right? Her desperation and the way she stands up to Rowan and even snippets of their conversation makes me think it isn’t all him. And then…

Maya puts the doctor in timeout while she makes her escape.


Our cabal of two is back at it. Mellie and Cyrus are busy at work on their plans for the VPs big gay husband, Daniel. Ah, I love their evil machinations, scheming away in the halls of the West Wing. Hearing this line out of Mellie’s mouth was, indeed, precious:

Mellie baits the trap by dropping a bit of gossip in Daniel’s ear about Cyrus and James ‘open marriage’.

Cyrus has a plan all worked out. He has cleverly tantalized James with the opportunity of writing a puff-piece on Daniel. James, of course, doesn't know he's the honey.
Really, James? REALLY?! Yeah, because Cy is always such a nice guy to you?!

Could Daniel have made a skeevier pass at James- lord, leading with how close he was to his college lacrosse buddies during all those long nights on the road? EW.

Wow, suddenly, James' bs detector grumbles to life with a wheeze and a bang.

Finally! Oh, yes he did, James. Whatcha gonna do about it?

Quinn/Team Pope
Even though I find Quinn mildly annoying, I am really enjoying this storyline.

Team Gladiator has taken Maya Pope on as their ‘client’ and is hard at work finding who killed their lead (you know, the security guard Quinn killed?).

Quinn, for obvious reasons, looks like she’s about to crap her pants several times throughout the episode:

She’s being blackmailed into spying on Olivia and team for Rowan/B-613. She begins a sad attempt to outmaneuver Huck and Jake. Sorry Quinn, you got game, but they have more. She knows time is running out so she does the obvious:

Too bad shooting Charlie won't stop B-613. Do you think Charlie is actually a little fond of Quinn? She did kinda save his life once, right?

Poor Quinn, she's no super spy. Charlie gives her a ride home.

I almost feel sorry for Mellie, especially after last week. Almost.

Mellie is engaging in a little self-indulgent back-patting. Has she finally gotten what she wanted by outing the Prez's affair?

She’s clearly watching her own press a bit too much:

Fitz's response:

Fitz is off to, you guessed it, call Olivia. He wants to explain. He only needs an hour.

Olivia ignores the fitz-phone at the beginning of the episode but.. but.. she puts it in her purse and takes it to the office with her?!? Wha?

She answers one last time to really lay down the law:

At which point she hangs up and bashes the Fitz-phone to bits.

Olivia gets a visit from our fave Secret Service agent, Tom. (Just an aside, Tom, you should be doing everything in your power to put a fork in this. Olivia will be a total pain in your ass if she ever does become First Lady.)

Olivia is delivered to a house in Vermont where Fitz is waiting for her. She concedes one hour. They go back and forth about Rowan and B-613. Fitz lists all the time she could have told him and then make his case:

Fitz and Liv give an impassioned go around to who needs protecting: Liv from her father or Fitz from Liv and her father. Then Fitz starts rambling about this mysterious, god-forsaken house that they're in. We know it is all just foreplay.

Fitz says, "This house is yours. Ours. I had it built for us. When it looked like there was a chance for us, I bought the land and had it built. I couldn't really be mayor, but... you can make jam. There are bedrooms for lots of kids. This was going to be you and me raising a family and growing old together in this house. It was supposed to be ours, Livvie. And I just wanted you to see it at least once, once before I sell it. I wanted you to see the dream."

Meanwhile, back at the White House, Mellie's spidey senses are tingling.

Um. Yeah. No one's picking that up.

The morning after? Fitz has a feeling:

I know it's wrong but I'm feeling just a pinch of pity for Mellie.

And what about Olivia's father?

That's right, she just sicked POTUS on Rowan. It really is ON. I'm just thinking there is a lot more to this story now.

Olivia leaves but not before planting a seed of hope:

Josie Marcus/Team Pope/Candygate

In probably the least entertaining storyline tonight, Candy blows up the Josie Marcus campaign buy staging the theft of a laptop full of campaign secrets, calling her own press conference and all but accusing Reston of the theft.

Candygate does give everyone an excuse to hop into bed. Harrison, shocker, is getting busy with Candy herself. Abby and David wake up all cute and cuddly in bed and David spills that they've pretty much figured out the robbery was faked.

SO... How does it all end???

Cyrus gets a taste of his own medicine.

What did you do, Cy? WHAT. DID. YOU. DO?

Josie Marcus
And.. that's a wrap.
Olivia advises Josie to fire Candy and salvage her campaign. In a bold move, she resigns her candidacy in order to save her daughter.


What Mellie wanted to say:

What she really says:


In maybe my favorite Quinn/Huck moments this season, Quinn walks into her house to find Huck waiting for her.

And he brought presents.

Yep- they figured out it was Quinn who killed the security guard. Now Huck wants answers.

I think this could go two ways. Either Charlie is going to come to her rescue, or Huck will save the day. I’m hoping she’ll break down and confess everything to Huck and things’ll roll from there. After all, Huck and Quinn are pretty much the only ones who didn't get any lovin' in this episode. Huck annoys me but I figure he's here to stay so I'm like 'alright, already!'. Let's just get this Huck & Quinn thing done.

Oh, except Jake... but I'm pretty sure Olivia told him not to wait up for her.

So, what about Olivia’s mother?!?!

Olivia and her mom get their very own ‘hi’ moment.

This wasn't even the midseason finale!

Are we happy that Olitz is back on? I love it and I hate it.
What about Cyrus? Did he get what was coming, or what?
Will Huck really torture, kill and dispose of Quinn in a dumpster?
If he doesn't, will Charlie?
Rowan's goose is pretty well cooked(and just in time for Thanksgiving!), isn't it?
Is Olivia's mom scary as hell, or is it just me? Should we be fearing for Liv's life right now? I kinda think I am.

Can't wait for next week!
Okay, I'm done now.
  • Comments (51)
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  • davidsu1675 Dec 03, 2013

    I've recently taken up this show and liked it a lot despite its several glaring flaws:

    • B-613 is Gestapo and a joke. That's what is. It's secretive, has unlimited power of killing. No organizational oversight... And it allows someone like Rowan to rule for 20+ years. Who gets to say he stays or goes? Board of Directors? LOL. Of course it was created by the writers for the sole purpose of over dramatizing. It was meant to be a pain in the butt for Fitz Grant. But... just a touch of reality please.
    • Whatever beef Rowan had with Olivia's Mom - why did he have to kill a whole plane of innocent people? If B-613 just wanted her to disappear i'm sure there were a million other ways.
    • Olivia seemed to put half the blame on Fitz of killing her mom. But what if he was just following orders? Also prior to the recent shows nobody ever called "Rowan" by his last name. Isn't this a big joke that we knew everyone else's last name on the show except stupid Rowan. For Fitz to now know the connection was beyond reason. I like twisted plots the more twisted the better! but some logic please.

  • opinicus Dec 02, 2013

    This show is utterly brilliant and compulsive but I can't help feeling people here are missing the point. The story is about a series of Type A personalities in a Nietzschean bear pit that just happens to be the US government. You're not meant to like any of the characters, you're meant to marvel at how low they will go. There is no conventionally "good" character even the insipid DA or the Congresswoman - all are wonderfully flawed. Flawed in the case of Huck who uses an AA meeting to help overcome his love of torture, (but who is otherwise one of the nicest and most moral characters) or his colleagues who know about it and are fine with it as long as he is torturing for them, being something of an understatement. What is delightful is to see their schemes come to fruition at a personal cost they are single minded enough to bear with fortitude if not always with complete equanimity. The whole series is predicated on rejecting the importance of conventional love as a motive. There have been series with a bad character, who gets his come uppance or is redeemed by love. There is no good character whose winning through to happiness can end the series.
    I am just hoping the writers will not sell out.

    My money is on Olivia's mum being a terrorist who has been locked up by her husband as a kindness - out of love - rather than having her tried and shot even if the plane was blown up to save him embarrassment, as well as the Republic.

  • TeresaBranco Dec 06, 2013

    Seems you were right about her mother!! genious!

  • xubxerox Nov 27, 2013

    Thanks for the review :)

    There really was a lot going on this episode...

    • To bad they got rid of Josie Marcus - but I guess they had to concentrate on the reelection campaign.
    • on the Cyrus front - I think James played him together with the other guy in a seldom moment of intelligence :)
    • I (contrary to many others) really like Quinn and her storyline. I really hope she and Huck can/will turn this situation around.
      You wrote in your review that they figured it out - I disagree. Huck said in the office that he couldn't clear up the image. So he knows, but hasn't told the others. Maybe to protect them and Quinn?
      I agree that she will break down and confess. She seemed ready to do that when they started on that image. I think all those tools are just there to shock her into it.
    • Well the Maya story sure seems to be taking off. What I wonder though: if she is as skilled and badass as stabbing the doc with his own tranquilizer suggests - why has she waited till now to escape? There seems a lot more going on. I like it :)

  • Audible Nov 28, 2013

    I was sorry to see Josie Marcus go, too. I kind of liked the idea of Pope & Assoc. working on an opposing campaign. Kudrow brought good energy to the part- but something was falling flat about the storyline...
    Actually, I thought maybe Jake knew, too... but you are right, Huck did make a big show out of saying they couldn't resolve the image.
    I think Huck will be opening a big can of worms if he goes too far with the Quinn thing. Hopefully he ends up protecting her from Charlie. Remember, too, Huck has a serious problem- he *likes* torturing and killing people. I think he thought he was giving her an opportunity to come clean at the office when he told Quinn that he appreciated her. I thought he sounded sad but its hard to tell sadHuck from madHuck from crazyHuck from anytimeHuck. :)

  • xubxerox Nov 28, 2013

    Yeah, you never know with Huck and his moods. Almost like a bear - but not a cuddely one ;)
    He would have to protect Quinn from Eli Pope as well, after all he gave the order to use her. But maybe Huck and Quinn will use the situation to get some misinformation into B613. Since the B613 thing seems to be the main story arc this season, there are many ways this thing might go.

    And since this is a Shonda Rhimes show, somebody is probably going to die in the end. :D

  • xubxerox Nov 27, 2013

    Man, I want an edit button!!

    On Maya chewing her wrists... totally gross. I'm not usually squeamish but I had to look away on that. It was painful just looking at that....

    But a scene that showed her desperation very well.

  • othsmallsuplost Nov 27, 2013

    Oh my!!! That moment when Fitz explains to Olivia that's the house he built for them was one of the best moments of that epic yet complicated relationship! I love it and I love how Mellie, despite her different manipulative and evil plots, manages to be touching while being upset that Fitz is back in Olivia's bed. I think the photos Cyrus got were a trick from James for him to taste his own medecine, I certainly hope so!

  • Audible Nov 28, 2013

    I don't think the photos were a trick since they were taken by a photographer that James didn't know was there. I think Mellie's character is a great deal more robust- we could see alot of regret in her in this episode with how she approaches Fitz and also her giving advice to Cy (it was so ominous how he said 'my husband is not your husband' *wah* kinda guessed what was coming there).

  • othsmallsuplost Nov 29, 2013

    I guess if James figured out Cy's plan, he must have known that this was all to take Sally down so he might have figured out there was some kind of surveillance on them. I hope so!!!

  • othsmallsuplost Nov 27, 2013

    Why do you call Olivia's father Rowan? It's Eli Pope

  • Audible Nov 28, 2013

    He is both Rowan AND Eli. This was a little confusing but he was known as the head of B-613 as Rowan while his wife and Olivia call him Eli.

  • othsmallsuplost Nov 29, 2013

    Oh I didn't remember that!

  • marcusj1973 Nov 27, 2013

    This episode single handedly encapsulates everything that's wrong with this show and has driven me to the brink of cutting it from my viewing rotation.

    But first, the great moments. Huck, who clearly hit the fact that it was Quinn in the photo showing up at her place for a "talk"...fantastic!

    Okay, maybe just one great moment because I was completely indifferent to the rest. Was there ever a doubt that Liv's mom was going to break out or that Josie was going to drop out of the race? I'd like to include James banging Daniel as great, but that was about as hard to see coming as a freight train. I like that Cyrus got stung by his own poison, but the second he told James about the "interview", it was only going to end one say. Too bad, because if they'd been more subtle, that could have been a fantastic reveal.

    And now what drives me absolutely bananas about this show. It's complete and utter hypocrisy!

    Olivia Pope is supposed to be the ultimate DC badass. The woman NOBODY messes with because she's smarter, stronger and more principled than anybody else. So fierce that she can control uncontrollable situations by reputation alone. A veiled threat is taken seriously because everybody knows not to get on Olivia's bad side, because she's a killer and will crush anybody under the heal of her boot. Based on her actual work, Oliva Pope is the strongest female character on television...which is why her personal portrayal drives me nuts!

    I've never a woman who's smart and strong and principled act so stupid, weak and easily manipulated into acting in complete opposition to everything she believes. Why? For a man she likes. A man who time and time and time and time again has treated her, at best, like worst, like a complete whore. Fitz is a petulent child with power. He'll use his secret service in ways that would have most people in jail for stalking and embodies most of the characteristics that have many women in support groups or shelters. He doesn't hide this fact. It's not a secret. It's a VERY well established pattern of behaviour. And this smart, strong and principled woman transforms into a complete twit any time he bats his eyelashes or says, "I built us this house". "Hey Fitz! Take this house and go f*ck yourself with it! You killed my mother and 320 innocent people making you the biggest mass murder and war criminal from any independant nation!"

    But no, instead of having Olivia actually act like a normal human being, never mind the ultimate DC badass, she gets naked, spends the night and tells him not to sell the house just yet. Are you freakin' serious?!?!?

    Cyrus has always been a dick and Fitz established the same fairly early on. I've stopped feeling bad for Quinn because she's twit and all of the bad things that happen to her she brought on herself. I've stopped feeling bad for Millie because she's twit and all of the bad things that happen to her she brought on herself (save for last week's reveal). Olivia has now officially joined my apathy club. Apparently she enjoys being treated like garbage, so I'm not going to feel bad each and every time it happens.

    That makes four main characters who, if something good or bad happens to them, I'm indifferent. That's a problem. Huck, Abby and Harrison are great secondary characters and all, but I don't think they're enough to keep me invested.

    I dunno. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I'd had enough of Liv and Fitz midway through season 2. Now, it's at the point where it's actually turning me off.

    ~Rant complete~

  • citizens13 Nov 25, 2013

    1. I am happy that Olitz is back on sorta. I too felt that it was kind of rushed and probably could of waited a couple more episodes. I felt sorry for Mellie last episode mostly because of the rape. However, this episode not so much. Why? Because she condones the affair, she's not a victim. Fitz gave her a perfect out last season but she decided not to take it. Why? I mean its not like she enjoys being first lady. I just don't understand why she's holding so hard onto Fitz. Honestly, their marriage was dead way before Olivia came into the picture. Was it because of the rape? Maybe. Who knows? I would have more respect for Mellie if she stopped being "the Wife". Go do something proactive. Find somebody that loves you. Move the F on. Olitz will only end on a good note for me if they actually realize the magnitude of what they're doing. It would be nice if they didn't live in this fantasy land where it's just them. I guess I just want Fitz to acknowledge that he has 2 or 3 kids that still need him. I'm for him moving on with Olivia if he's like "kids here your new stepmom and were going to be an awesome extended family."
    2. Oh Cyrus, you totally got what was coming to you. I don't feel sorry for him one bit. He doesn't deserve James. I love James.
    3. I still like Quinn. She annoys me but I'm not drinking the Haterade like everyone else is. I think that Huck will torture her but I don't think that he'll kill her.
    4. Oh Olivia's mom, the great unknown. I honestly thought it was awesome that she chewed off her wrist. Honestly, how desperate would you have to be to chew off your own wrist?
    5. I love reading everybody's comments and opinions on the show. At the end of the day all of these characters are really flawed but that's why we love/hate them. Keep it crazy Scandal because that's why we love you.

  • Badforthefish Nov 25, 2013

    Cool! I didn't have time to do a review this week. I'm glad someone else went ahead with it. :)

    I think Maya is BIG trouble. I guess the wrist chewing tipped me off.

    I'm really bummed to see Josie Marcus go. No room for good people on Scandal.

    I am not feeling sorry for Cyrus at all! Payback's a James.

    The whole 'house in Vermont' thing left me cold. Liv and Fitz back to doing the naked pretzel seemed more a 'mid season network imperative' than storyline logical progression. It felt terribly rushed - as was the Marcus storyline. There should have been more time between the moment Liv smashes her phone which was a hugely symbolic gesture and her going back with Fitz and their jam making lovebirds talks. It's not that I don't want those crazy kids back together but the timing felt really off.

    Mellie, darling, you have to stop breaking my heart every single week. She knows Olitz happened, she knows this is not a fight she can win. So she gives her husband what he wants: Olivia in the White House. Doesn't this makes you sad? It makes me sad...

    Tis gonna be fun though, Mellie and Liv under the same roof - it'll be like shoehorning a hornet's nest inside a Wasp's nest. (AH! pun!!!)

    Of course Huck was gonna find out what Quinn had been up to. I know nothing says I love you like a pair of pliers and a power drill, Huck, but is it really necessary to torture Quinn? I mean, chances are she'll blurt everything out as soon as you clear your throat up. Again methinks this is merely a network, "OMG the mid season finale is nigh, we got to get the big flashy guns out, I know let's torture Quinn! " move. I am not really buying it character wise.

  • nezmoi Nov 25, 2013

    i loved this episode totally.... Quinn ever since i saw this girl she has been getting onto my nerves pple don't like Hunk but i actually don't mind him,Quinn is very annoying.i wish i could be able to help hunk when he begins questioning her.
    As for Cyrus what he got he had t coming,i mean u don't keep pushing meat in-front of a dog n don't expect it to eat it so Cy i love u but sorry for u.
    Liv n Fitz aka Olitz well these guys r ship is very unpredictable today they r happy,tomorrow they r mad at each other but as they say true love knows no boundaries.
    Papa Pope n Mama Pope i really don't know what liv's mum did to deserve such treatment geez Papa Pope aint a man to screw abt with.
    finally Hunk will most definately toture Quinn though he maynot kill her,Olivia's mom well its too early to call her a victim or perpetrator until we get her full story.....
    till Ep9 Chao....

  • Audible Nov 25, 2013

    *lol* "i wish i could be able to help"... Me too!

  • nezmoi Nov 25, 2013

    U can *just be nice to Hunk*

  • flintslady Nov 25, 2013

    This show is pretty awesome when it gets crazy, but everything has it's limits, and I think I may have just reached mine. The on again off again thing with Olivia and Fitz isn't working anymore because they don't give it any time to sink in. It's literally one episode she hates him (or him her) and the next episode they're so in love and screwing around again. Does it even matter if they get their happily ever after at this point? They chat on the phone, screw around, and confide in each other daily, does it really matter that he can't put a ring on it? Olivia has gone from confused and blinded by love to just plain stupid.

    At this point the only thing that would redeem Olivia to me, is that after manuvering Fitz into locking up her father and dismantling B6-13. She laughed in Fitz's face and drove off into the sunset with Jake.

    "Ha-ha, darling, I was just using you to get rid of my father, so I could leave you to be with Jake, you drunken bitter murdering apt reflection of your father. See you when I see you. Peace!"

  • LadyJaye13 Nov 24, 2013

    Man, I wanted to feel sorry for Mellie and I did for a few minutes. I don't understand why she really stays. I did feel awful for her last week but as jacked up as it sounds, it takes both she and Fitz to keep that marriage semi alive. She could have walked at any point.

    I have personal reasons for wanting Liv and Fitz to make it so I won't even get into that whole thing.

    CYRUS!!!! O M G! As much as I truly hate his relationship, this episode ranks second only to the heart attack episode in terms of how much I enjoy Cyrus.

    Speaking of last week, the Veep sure as hell knew that her husband played for the other team when Mellie tried to say a female had complained about him. I am dying to find out what goes on with that whole sordid scenario. Cyrus, James, Mellie, Veep that's got me hoppin!

    I think Quinn should die now. I'm sick of her and I really hate how whiny and petulant she's been. What the hell kind of sense does it make to want to be B613 when she knows what it really means? Instead of acting like a two year old who was told she couldn't have cake when Huck was ignoring her she should have sat her ass down and waited. Now she's a carpet stain. I find zero redeeming about her character. I like Huck and Jake.

  • Audible Nov 25, 2013

    *glee* If Huck really did torture and kill Quinn (which would make alot of fans super happy), that would be a pretty juicy storyline when he had to go back and deal with the rest of the team. I guess one of the downsides of working with a B-613 super-spy is having to worry about when he might show up in your living room to torture and kill you. On the upside, he's a good guy to know if Cyrus ever takes your lunch money...

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