Last night's Scandal had a few surprises and a cliff-hanger to carry us through to January, but more important, it had a major shout-out to Beverly Hills, 90210. Scandal's not the first bonkerstown TV show, thank you very much, and Olivia Pope reciting "I choose me" was a direct flashback to Kelly and Brandon's aborted wedding. So Olivia is Kelly, and the match-ups don't stop there.
Kelly and Olivia
Olivia's "I choose me" moment last night was by far the Kelly Taylor–est thing she's ever done, but it's not the only similarity. Like Kelly, Olivia was raised mostly by a single parent. Like Kelly, she has had bangs. Like Kelly, she has had serious relationships with people we all knew she'd never end up with. (Sorry, Edison.) She is by far the fanciest and most fashion-conscious of her friends, and she's also frequently in danger: Kelly had cults, fires, a coke problem, gunshot wounds, and lingering trauma from being raped and then later killing her rapist. Olivia has all that bunker stuff.
Brenda and Mellie
Some of us feel bad for the moody, chronically heartbroken brunettes of the world. Mellie tried everything to get Fitz to really pick her, but just like Brenda and Dylan, he picked the Kelly/Olivia option. Mellie, like Brenda before her, is always going to be a little bit on the outside, a little bit rejected, and a little bit dismissed for being a drama queen. Move to England, Mellie!
Brandon and Jake
It's weird to call Jake "the good guy," since he's a supermurderer, but he has weird competition, so in this field, he's the good one. Plus Brandon had a gambling problem, so even our golden boys have a dark side. Jake and Brandon are both rules-oriented, and then every so often, they chose to break those codes when it suits them. Oftentimes they call up an associate with a dark side. Like …
Dylan and Fitz
Fitz carrying his dead son's body was just shy of Dylan watching his wife's car explode, but either way: These are bad boys who've known pain. Particularly pain caused by people around them, like Olivia's dad, or Dylan's own father. They're broody and boozy and dangerous and callous, and they scowl their way right into people's hearts. If Fitz had a personal voice-mail, it would definitely suggest that we know the drill.
Andrea and Quinn
Every crew needs a know-it-all. Also, she has run out of stories. Have a baby, Quinn — it worked for Andrea.
Donna and Abby
Abby and Donna are both very self-righteous. They're both survivors of domestic abuse. And they're both obviously going to wind up with guys named David.
David Silver and David Rosen
They dweeby outsider who is initially dismissed but eventually welcomed into the fold after proving his devotion. Also adjacent to someone who has shot himself. Also David Silver wore so many awful hats, and David Rosen sometimes mangles the "white hat" lingo.
Steve and Huck
Who has more terrible ideas than these two? So many terrible ideas. They also have an old-school bond with Olivia/Kelly.
Nat and Cyrus
He's older and wiser than everyone else, and if Olivia ever does get married, he's going to be walking her down the aisle, not Rowan.