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'Scandal' Series Premiere: Olivia Discovers The President's Secret

Thu, April 5, 2012 11:00pm EDT by Andy Swift Add first Comment

‘Scandal’ brings public figures to their knees & proves they’re just as seedy & disgusting as the rest of us. More please!

The April 5 series of premiere of ABC’s Scandal introduced viewers to Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, a veritable Xena: Warior Princess of crisis management experts, and one of Washington D.C.’s most powerful women. Episode one found Olivia’s crack team defending Sully St. James (Wes Brown), the most decorated war hero since Vietnam, against a murder accusation — and that was the least shocking part of the episode.

Not one to shy away from an opportunity to multitask, Olivia also reluctantly took an assignment from her former employer, the President of the United States (Tony Goldwyn), after a pretty young aide started telling people they were having an affair.

OK, three… two… one… spoiler time!

It turns out the president was sleeping with the aide, and the reason Olivia figured it out was because he called her by the same nickname (“sweet baby”) that he called Olivia during their affair! As for Sully, Olivia’s team proved he didn’t kill his girlfriend, but only because they caught him on camera at the time of the murder — kissing his boyfriend!

Yeah, I’m starting to see why Shonda Rhimes decided to call this show Scandal.

Of course, Olivia could never have accomplished all of this by herself. Her crack team consists of silky smooth Harrison (Columbus Short), tenacious investigator Abby (Darby Stanchfield), womanizing Stephen (Henry Ian Cusick) and former CIA hacker Huck (Guillermo Diaz). Joining them in the pilot was Quinn (Katie Lowes), a Bambi-esque lawyer getting her first taste of Olivia’s tense — and slightly terrifying — world.

As was explained to Quinn, the members of Olivia’s team weren’t just assembled because they’re good at what they do, but also because they’re in desperate need of fixing. This week’s fixing was done to Stephen, as Olivia convinced him to propose to his girlfriend; she literally set up the dinner and gave him several engagement rings to choose from. We’ll learn about each team member’s sordid past as the episodes roll on, and I’m already dying to know more.

Here’s the bottom line: Not only is Scandal smart, fast-paced and instantly addictive, but it couldn’t came come along at a more perfect time. The average American’s fascination — and, let’s face it, distrust — with public figures has never been more feverish, so to see high-powered politicians being brought their knees is kind of a guilty pleasure for us all.

The FBI may be sick of Olivia bugging them at all hours of the night, but I’ll definitely be welcoming her entire team into my living room every week.

Will you?

— Andy Swift

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