Lights, Camera, Mellie: 'Scandal' Sheds Some New Light on the First Lady We Love to Hate

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Perception and reality are completely the opposite of each other.

Look — as "Scandal" fans, we all think of Mellie as the villain, right? She's in the way between and Fitz and Olivia. Even when the show has painted her in shades of gray, she's been one of those characters you love to hate.

But tonight's episode made us realize that for all her political machinations, for all her scheming, Mellie is a real woman, with real problems, with real heartaches, with real tragedies.

Let's just say it: Mellie was raped by Fitz's dad.

It's disgusting. It's horrifying. It's hard to talk about.

And in that vein, she never tells Fitz. She brushes the topic away with his dad the next morning. She just ignores it — to be a good wife, a good candidate's spouse, a good First Lady.

We now better understand why she clings to Fitz, why she doesn't just dump his cheating, uh, butt.

In our eyes, Mellie is no longer the villain. And in any case, she's the least of the problems standing in the way of Olivia and Fitz — if those two people even belong together anyway.

Some other thoughts on this week's episode:

So, Quinn was basically seduced into joining B-613. She is duped into killing a security guard and now she's in. On one hand, we get it — a handsome guy sweet talks you. On the other hand, though ... he is a killer!

We are Jake fans, so we're not huge fans of what he's become: Olivia's personal detective. At least it demonstrates how much better he is for Liv than Fitz. All those Fitz/Mellie flashbacks showed how useless Fitz was. Everything Jake says he'll do, he does.

OK, did anyone not think Olivia's mother was still alive? Yeah, this is the least surprising development in "Scandal" history.

Watch the full episode:


Bellamy Young talks "Scandal" on "omg! Insider":

"Scandal" airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.