Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

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  • Well. I don’t think anyone was sitting around saying, “I want Scandal to give me a brief Papa Pope romance and an even more complicated shadow government!” But, here we are. Fine.
  • I hate the use of flashback this season. I am so tired of reliving election night and seeing the same scenes over and over again, but from slightly different perspectives.
  • If we do have to relive the same scenes, at least we get to hear Jake say “the liquor cabinet is over there” almost every week.
  • This episode pretty much 100 percent confirms that Mellie and Olivia should not be in the White House. They’re supported by a shadow government and even Papa Pope thinks Mellie is a weak leader. Who are we supposed to root for right now?
  • I like that Papa Pope confirms he has someone do regular sweeps on Olivia, but she still acts shocked that someone could trace her phone every week.
  • Eli’s reading of “Young Thug” was the only good thing in this episode.
  • There’s no reason for Olivia to trust that a visit from her father is innocent, but they needed her to be stupid this week, so she is.
  • So… Olivia knew before the assassination that Eli tried to rig the election, but really believed him when he tried to pin it on Cyrus? Why haven’t any of the Gladiators been like, “Hey Olivia, you know your dad tried to rig the election so maybe he has more to do with this than we think?”
  • Eli’s romance with Sandra feels pointless. We’re supposed to care about this woman we’ve known for 20 minutes? We’re supposed to believe he cares about her? The bullet she gets in the head was not a surprise. Eli put the mother of his child in prison, of course he murdered his college crush.
  • Olivia’s self-righteousness is pretty much the reason Vargas gets killed and all of this happens. I guess she should’ve overlooked the rigged voting machines.
  • It’s bad enough that they’ve introduced a new shadow regime above Papa Pope, but does the white woman leading it need to be so annoying and slightly racist? Calling Eli “coolio”? Really? The stupid Beyoncé reference? The character is entirely irritating and the performance is grating.
  • Oh cool, looks like next week Olivia is back to wanting to kill Eli. Fine. Here we go again.

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