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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the season five premiere of ABC’s Scandal.]
ABC’s Scandal took a page from history and featured a storyline based on Princess Diana’s death during its season five premiere.
Everything unfolds after Princess Emily of Caledonia is killed in a crash that happens after a White House state dinner and Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is enlisted to prevent images of the princess’ body from going public. Eventually, Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Olivia piece together that it was an attempted murder. David (Joshua Malina) tells Olivia the truth about the princess’ death: she was pregnant and they realize she was having an affair with her bodyguard. They point their finger at the prince as the man who killed her.
Olivia, now back together with Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) — who serves Mellie (Bellamy Young) with divorce papers — tells the president but he refuses to charge the prince. The Queen, who hired Olivia, also doesn’t want her son punished, and, as it turns out, knew the princess was having an affair, and she was the one who had her daughter-in-law killed to protect the crown.
The debate about the prince also creates a rift between Fitz and Olivia, as he won’t press charges and threatens to prosecute Olivia if she goes public with it. Olivia winds up telling the prince, who gets his mother to abdicate the throne.
The royal story is a bit of a parable for Fitz and Olivia — that not all fairy tales have happy endings, as the Queen tells Olivia when she effectively confesses to killing her daughter-in-law.
Olivia, meanwhile, seemed genuinely surprised when Fitz informs her that he’s served Mellie with divorce papers. The first lady, now sworn in as a senator, is beyond stunned and vows to never sign them. She turns to Cyrus (Jeff Perry) for help saving her marriage, though he rejects her, too.
Ultimately, Olivia tells Fitz that she’s not ready to go public with him yet. “The minute the world finds out about us, we stop being you and me and become a spectacle,” she tells him, comparing their relationship to the public scrutiny that the prince and princess had. Olivia believes they can’t make it work in public yet, since they can’t make things work in private yet — and insists that he not interfere with her work. She wants to slow things down and be ready for the world when they decide to go public and Fitz happily agrees.
However, Abby (Darby Stanchfield) observes the tail end of things and realizes that Elizabeth (Portia de Rossi) was right — that Olivia has been undermining both of them and was the one who got Fitz to go to Mellie’s swearing in ceremony. Only Abby isn’t their biggest problem.
Former vice president Sally Langston (Kate Burton), now with her own talk show, effectively outs the president and says that Olivia is “back in the president’s bed” and produces photos of the duo together at the White House after hours.
The premiere sets the stage for the season to come as Huck (Guillermo Diaz) seeks help from Jake (Scott Foley) and Quinn is Gladiating all on her own. It’s a fitting ending to the premiere and sets the stage for the series to (finally) explore what happens with a potential presidential divorce.
What did you think of the premiere? Do you think Olivia and Fitz will try to hide their romance (again)? Who do you think leaked the photos of Fitz and Olivia to Sally? Sound off in the comments section, below.
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