What's Worth Watching: Scandal on ABC for Thursday, October 15

Matt Roush
SCANDAL - "Paris is Burning" - Olivia and Fitz face some very big consequences and Mellie brings in an old friend to make sure she gets her way. Meanwhile, Abby shows Olivia she is fully capable of handling working at the White House, on "Scandal," THURSDAY OCTOBER 8 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/John Fleenor)
KERRY WASHINGTON, TONY GOLDWYN
John Fleenor/ABC

Scandal, "Dog-Whistle Politics"( Thursday, Oct. 15, 9/8c, ABC)

How fabulous is it to see Mellie (Bellamy Young), the cunning First Lady-who-would-be-President, join forces with master manipulator and unscrupulous Oval Office pariah Cyrus (Jeff Perry).  They lifted Scandal's game last week, nearly blowing the lid off the White House in the wake of Olivia's (Kerry Washington) public confession that yes, indeed, she is the mistress of President Fitz (Tony Goldwyn). This is the sort of highly twisted romantic melodrama, like something the late Jackie Collins might have concocted after a full bottle of wine, that made many of us fall in love with this outrageous guilty pleasure in the first place.

Now let's see if Scandal can keep up this frantic pace, with the focus back on the conflict we can't get enough of: Mellie vs. Fitz vs. Olivia vs. Cyrus vs. reality, because who needs it. We can only hope for a few more juicy set pieces like Mellie's one-on-one with Olivia in the First Lady's spacious closet, advising the President's Mistress ("the girl who can't shut her legs or her mouth" in Mellie-speak) to be careful what you wish for, all the while desperately seeking a hidden stash of hooch.

The teaser for this week's episode suggests impeachment may be in the air, with Cyrus and Mellie chomping like sharks at the blood in the political waters. That sounds promising—a lot more than whatever "Lazarus" is, which imprisoned Papa Pope (Joe Morton) made reference to when Jake (Scott Foley) visited him to point out that while all eyes were on the White House mess, the Louvre in Paris was in flames. The last thing Scandal needs to distract us from the main event is another international conspiracy. The show barely survived all that B613 nonsense. Can't we just be satisfied with the spectacle of love as war?