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Denette Wilford Headshot

'Scandal': How Much Crazier Can This Show Get?

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"Scandal" has been insane this season, no? I mean, it's normally crazy but last week's "YOLO" was bananas. Freaking. BANANAS. Scandal's Season 3 may be cut from 22 episodes to 18, but since the edge-of-your-seat drama is always jam-packed with a little bit of everything, cramming four more hours into what's left is nothing for Shonda Rhimes and the rest of her amazing writers.

More bad news for "Scandal" fans: this week's episode is the last until late February, when the season's final eight episodes air. And the synopsis for "A Door Marked Exit" (from ABC's media site) is vague, at best: "Now that the truth is out there, things will never be the same and everyone will have to face the consequences of their actions." Really, that could be the copy for any post-bananas episode but after last week, it means so much more.

After watching the opening scene of "YOLO," which had Huck Dexter-ing Quinn (which, and I don't know what this says about me, I was totally on board with after her character's wide-eyed fascination with the dark side), my husband had to leave but told me he didn't need to watch it and to just tell him what happened later. Silly man. His face as I verbally recapped was kind of awesome in a jaw-drop kind of way and when I finally finished yammering, he couldn't believe how much was jammed into one hour.

Huck, Quinn, the pliers, that metal mouth thing keeping Quinn's trap open, THE TOOTH, that part he saw but the rest? Quinn escaped (with the help of Charlie, whom she found time to have sex with), but then viewers quickly learned that she's really working with the Gladiators to bring Wonderland down; Sally decided to drop everything she believes in to run for president; Cyrus realized he screwed up his marriage by pimping out James to David and then showing photos of the two men to Sally, who reacted like everything was OK -- but not-so-much; Cyrus having another political mess to clean up after potential murderer Sally called him with four simple words: "I've committed a sin," as David's bloodied body lay behind her; the team managed to get Liv's mom out of the country -- but, of course, just as the plane took off, Olivia put two and two together, flashed back to the morning her mother supposedly died, and recalled something that implied Maya is really the psycho, not Rowan. Gah!

That heart-pounding, breath-holding, fist-clenching, eye-bugging-out hour could easily have been the winter finale but, please. Shonda et. al have more in store for us this week, and with a two-month hiatus (waaaaaaaaaaaah!), you know it's going to be another wild one.

What happened between Huck and Quinn was horrifying but not surprising. Huck's loyalty is and always will be with Olivia so he was just doing what he felt needed to be done to protect her and that's how he protects people. It's whacked but I would be fine if he was my protector, you know? But how will the two characters' relationship recover from that? Can it? Perhaps after years (and years) of therapy, but will they even get the chance? Can Quinn really beat B-613? Alone, hell no. But if Huck and Jake are there to back her up, they might have a shot.

We got more bits about Harrison and the Adnan Salif story but they are tiny, rice-grain-sized crumbs compared to everybody else's stuff. I want to know more about Liv's right-hand man and hopefully we get some more insight soon but with less episodes, I'm pretty sure that won't be happening until 2014.

Cyrus will obviously have his hands full and will be challenged, perhaps, like never before. Sally killing her husband seems like a golden opportunity in terms of getting rid of Fitz's competition but when the dead guy just slept with Cyrus' husband -- and there are pictures to prove it -- Cyrus will have to help Sally hide what she did, right? RIGHT?! Or will there be another shocker? Cyrus may love James but in his warped mind, his husband is also despensible. So far, he's already put out a hit on him, and purposely sent him into another man's arms so framing his baby daddy for murder wouldn't be completely out of left field. Plus, with Mellie breathing down his neck, anything is possible.

With Michael Jackson's "Ben" (about a boy who loves a rat) dominating those Olivia/Maya flashback scenes, I think it's safe to say Mama Pope isn't as sweet and lovely and innocent as we believed. Come on, girlfriend chewed at her wrists like a wild animal to get one step closer to her daughter. Or not. Maybe it was all a ruse so she could escape and do more evil things (that, hopefully, we will learn more about this week) and Liv was just a means to an end.

With "Scandal," so much goes on in any given episode and even though we're prepared to be shocked, I'm always surprised by how buggy my eyes get, how much more my mind is blown, and how stunned into silence I am. What do the kids say? YOLO? When it comes to "Scandal," thankfully it's not just one delicious hour we get to live out once. The cast and crew somehow manage to make every episode better than the last. How is that even possible?!

Scandal's winter finale airs Thursday, Dec. 12 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC and City. New episodes return Thursday, Feb. 27.

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