Towards the end of season four of Scandal, I was weary and ready to throw in the white flag on the show and find something else for my Black ass to watch on Thursday nights (like The Blacklist in real time). I had been a loyal gladiator, but the show had gotten ridiculous even by its own ridiculous standards. I openly expressed exhaustion with the direction of the show—specifically that “Olivia has been kidnapped” plotline that felt like it would never end.

However, something changed at the start of season five. Everything that was supposed to happen—particularly Fitz and Olivia being outed and functioning as a couple in the public eye—finally did. The other characters, specifically Mellie (Mel) and Abby, finally seized more control of their own destinies. The second half of the five season was outstanding. So, not surprisingly, many of us were anticipating what would come next. You know, especially after Olivia switching from a white coat to a red coat being made to be a big deal. (To be fair, it is a big deal and I quite like that color on Liv, to be perfectly honest.)

In any event, all you Negroes watched the show last night, so let’s discuss it as a family.

Daddy Pope is the Papa Joe of the intelligence community.

Despite him being an awful human being who’s made her adult life pure terror in numerous and ever increasingly complicated ways, I liked that the episode began with Rowan and Olivia having father-daughter time. Nothing says family like your parent judging your lifestyle choices and telling you that you could be doing more with your life but you blew it.

In this case, Rowan is mad Liv left the White House and has let her celebrity go to her head. While I do believe that if you’re a power-hungry jackass, staying with Fitz was your best option, Rowan was not the one who had to keep having sex with that whiny man who killed Patrick Swayze in Ghost. Mind your business, Daddy Pope.

That said, this was a great line: “Jake has come home; so should you.”

New coat, new sex tricks, new me.

I am really into Olivia’s new red trench and her aggressive sex acts with Jake. Jake looked like a snack last night, and I’m glad I got to watch Liv take a bite. Granted, their relationship is complicated, but what relationship in her life isn’t? Somewhere Edison is happy as hell he no longer has these problems.

I’m glad Quinn found another psychopath. She needed a boo considering what they did to her first one.

I know hating Quinn is the move for many, but she doesn’t bother me as much as she does the rest of y’all. I mean, Olivia did ruin her life. She was supposed to be married and bringing store-bought cookies to an elementary school event by now. To that end, I’m glad that other psychotic serial killer and her bae have managed to regroup and continue their weird relationship. Believe in love, folks.

Cyrus can’t be that other woman.

I hope you are currently singing Changing Faces, because that is what I’m referencing. (Black History Month points to you if you are.) Anyway, Cyrus had nothing else going on in his life, so he schemed his way back to the White House. Unfortunately, Fitz treats him like that cheating lover that he took back, only to psychologically punish by not playing that nice. I feel this is the part where I should insert some sympathy. Hard pass.

Is New Harrison annoying?

I like him more than old Harrison’s monologues, but on the flip, I liked looking at pre-breakdown (or whatever that was) Columbus Short more. Whatever… they don’t give him that many lines anyway so it doesn’t matter much. I’m glad Huck doesn’t want him to end up batsh*t crazy like the rest of the Gladiators, though. That’s sweet of him.

Abby doesn’t care about power. She wants a life.

My initial reaction to Abby becoming Fitz’s new office wife was, BOSS UP, ABBY! I then felt a little bad about her because Fitz is lonely and just needs a BFF he can drink and drown in work with. After she read Fitz his rights and reminded him that she is the press secretary, not office buddy and faux VP, I smell a promotion coming. Good for her. I think Abby is fantastic and she’s one of my favorite characters. I’m sorry about Leo, girl.

Jake the Snake.

On the villain scale, Jake murdering the head of the NSA’s boyfriend and forcing her to lose her job so he could snatch power ranks hella high. However, dude, she finally found a man and you had her thinking she was dumb and a sad R&B track. So disrespectful.

Salt-N-Pepa’s here.

After being pissed smooth off with Jake and Rowan’s power grab at the NSA, Olivia stopped treating Mellie (Mel) like an annoying second cousin and will now plot with her as she plans a presidential bid. If Shonda is a just deity, this show will conclude with Mellie winning the presidency. I want Mellie to be president. I absolutely adore Mellie. She is funny and ruthless and charming and smarter than Fitz. Please write a presidential burn book, ladies. The streets need this to happen on the show.

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem, and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him @youngsinick.