For the most part, it's been a great pivot, leading to some of Scandal’s strongest character moments. Long-suffering First Lady Mellie (Bellamy Young) has been freed from the shackles of a cuckolded political wife, and a recent episode showcased one of Olivia's finest monologues as she defended her affair to both a fictional audience and Scandal’s own viewers, many of whom were hoping she would move on to one of the other haphazardly shirtless men the show kept throwing her way. (We're still on team Jake, for the record.)
Still, we can’t help but be a bit underwhelmed by how... predictably it has all played out. “Exactly what you imagined” rings disappointing for a series that has specialized in dishing out twists, cliffhangers, and the trapdoor option for nearly half a decade. Indeed, the lone surprise (spoiler!) was the source of the reveal: Olivia herself, who answered affirmatively when confronted with a camera crew asking point-blank if she was the president’s mistress. Scandal may simply have waited too long to let its Olitz genie out of the bottle. While Olivia vs. the world is our favorite Olivia, the oomph of her disclosure didn't quite rival of the melodrama of the couple's many near-misses.