Olivia Pope's empowering message to women on 'Scandal' season premiere

Kylie Mar
Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

White hats on, gladiators: Scandal is back for its seventh and, sadly, final season. But we don’t have to say goodbye just yet. For now, we can sit back and watch Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) do what she does best — be the boss.

Quinn Perkins and Associates has a new client — a young woman who reported her father missing. However, her father, Professor Stewart, ended up being an undercover spy for the CIA and, after Quinn (Katie Lowes) took the file to Olivia, Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) immediately came up with his own solution. “We need to kill him, and we need to do it without Mellie or Quinn or anyone else in this town knowing about it. I put together a plan. We can do this off the books using the B613 budget,” Jake said to Olivia, who did not agree. “This isn’t my father’s B613. It’s mine. I run this show. I decide. You do what I say. Bring my guy home alive, Admiral Ballard. Now.”

Well, Jake ended up going behind Olivia’s back. He turned to the now-President Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) who, after hearing all of Jake’s possible scenarios, ultimately decided that killing Professor Stewart was the best option. Of course, Olivia was not happy about both of them deciding not to follow her orders. So she did what she always does: She took her own action. After blackmailing the ambassador of Bashran, Olivia successfully rescued the hostage, who was then delivered to the U.S. embassy unharmed. But a “thank you” isn’t what Olivia received from Mellie. Instead, Olivia was confronted by an angry Mellie, who was attempting to find her own power. “The only thing I care about right now is making it crystal clear that you follow my orders. You have my back. You don’t sneak around behind it and freelance after I give an order,” said Mellie.

Mellie’s brief attempt to stand up to Olivia was cute, but Olivia made sure to put her in her place. She did so by delivering one of our her intimidating, classic monologues. “The men outside these oval walls? ” she said. “They want to take it all away from us. Because they are terrified. Because they are outraged. Because they have come to the realization that all those centuries of misogyny and privilege and status quo are finally over.” She continued, “That is why you never listen to a man over me. Your success as president is my only agenda. I, alone, have your back. Always!” But it didn’t just stop there. “You want to keep having it all —reverse the tides of injustice, redraw the map, flood the darkness with light, earn our place, and make it so that a woman holding this office is no longer a novelty but the norm? Then you have to stop thinking of me as an employee and start thinking of me as what I am: the boss.”

However, quite possibly the most empowering — and Twitter-worthy — exchange of the episode was when Olivia said to Mellie, “Put your faith in me and me alone, and you will become a monument. Ignore me, allow them to come between us, and you will become an asterisk. So you tell me: which one do you want to be?”

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of Scandal for free on Yahoo View.

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