It’s “Scandal” Thursday! Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) returned to ABC on Thursday, Sept. 25, for the Season 4 premiere of “Scandal.” Picking up about two months after Olivia jetted off with Jake (Scott Foley), the premiere tackled an emotional subject – the death of Harrison (Columbus Short).
Episode 1, titled “Randy, Red, Superfreak and Julia,” introduced a whole new side of Pope & Associates. The “Julia” of the title turned out to be Olivia, who took on the identity of Julia Baker while living 100 miles off the coast of Zanzibar with Jake. And while Olivia thought that Pope & Associates would go on without her, she discovered that she was the glue that held it all together. A letter addressed to Julia Baker arrived on the island – revealing that Harrison’s body had been found after weeks of being missing. When Olivia and Jake returned to Washington D.C. to bury Harrison’s body, she discovered that her associates had disbanded.
Randy was the new name that Huck (Guillermo Diaz) took on after he began working as a tech repair guy. Abby (Darby Stanchfield) became known as “Red” after she began working for Fitz (Toby Goldwyn) as the White House Press Secretary. And “Superfreak” was Abby’s nickname for Quinn (Katie Lowes) after their falling out when Pope & Associates shut down.
But while Huck and Abby moved on, it was Quinn who stayed behind at their old office to track down Olivia – using Olivia’s love of wine to get her out of hiding.
Olivia’s return didn’t mean that the gang was back together. Olivia insisted that she was only in town for Harrison’s funeral. Huck refused to talk to Olivia unless she was back for good. Abby on the other hand blamed Olivia for Harrison’s death – something that Olivia did not take kindly to.
“You blaming me for Harrison’s death is unforgivable,” Olivia bellowed at Abby outside of the White House. But she didn’t stop there. Olivia continued to berate Abby for abandoning Huck and Quinn when they needed each other the most.
As Olivia had an unwelcome reunion with her former associates, Jake used his time in D.C. to visit David Rosen (Joshua Malina). However it wasn’t a happy reunion either. Jake was unhappy that David Rosen didn’t use any of the files he stole to take down B613. Fortunately David Rosen was going to get a huge break and the chance to change things from the inside – Fitz offered him a position as the attorney general.
While everyone was ready to bury Harrison, Olivia had to speak to one person before moving forward – her father, Rowan (Joe Morton). Of course, Rowan already knew Olivia was in town before she showed up at the restaurant was at. In fact, he even had a glass of wine waiting for her as a bribe to return to the island with Jake.
“Harrison died,” she told him, watching him closely.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” he responded. After a couple moments of silence, Rowan said something that “Scandal” viewers were thinking.
“Ask me,” he continued. “It’s okay.”
“Did you have Harrison killed?” she asked her father.
“No, I had nothing to do with your friend’s murder,” Rowan told her with a straight face. But as “Scandal” fans know, Rowan had everything to do with Harrison’s murder. Rowan didn’t dwell on Harrison death though.
“I did not kill Harrison,” he added. “I did, however, take care of your mother.”
Confused at what Rowan was saying, Olivia had to ask if her mother was dead. Rowan told her that Fitz ordered her death and that it was for the best that the world thought that Jerry (Dylan Minnette) died a quick death rather than “at the hands of the President’s mistress’s mother.” Olivia agreed, telling her father that he did the right thing.
“She was a terrorist,” Olivia said with a shaky voice. “She killed his child. She ruined our lives.”
What Olivia doesn’t know is that Rowan didn’t kill Maya (Khandi Alexander). Instead he has her locked inside the hole at the B613 headquarters.
Olivia’s meeting with her father ended on a good note – with her father apologizing for the loss of her friend. “He was smart, gifted, always loyal,” he told her of Harrison. “I imagine a tremendous loss.”
The rest of the Season 4 premiere of “Scandal” found Olivia battling whether to stay in D.C. or return to paradise with Jake. Fitz on the other hand, was struggling with Mellie (Bellamy Young), who resorted to alcohol since the death of her son. While she did walk around the White House, she wasn’t the cool and collected Mellie that “Scandal” fans have come to know and love. She was now disheveled, uncaring of whatever was going on – including learning that her husband’s mistress was back in town. Fitz promised Mellie that he would stay away from Olivia, however Mellie didn't care. But she did reveal one shocking secret -- Fitz had a suicide attempt following Jerry's death and Olivia's disappearance.
Olivia and the gladiators managed to put their differences aside for Harrison’s funeral. After realizing that her help was still needed, Olivia decided to stay in town – but definitely not for Fitz. Instead, Olivia chose to stay because of something Harrison would say – “Are we gladiators? Or are we b------?”