Scandal, Kerry Washington, Scott Foley

ABC/Nicole Wilder

Have we all recovered yet from what we're now calling our Great National Heart Attack?

Sure, the pains we're feeling could be attributed to the large amount of Chipotle we stress-ingested at record speed as we watched tonight's crazyballs winter premiere of Scandal, but we're tempted to blame them entirely on that hour of watching Olivia Pope attempt to escape her kidnappers, only to have all our hopes and dreams completely shattered beyond belief not once, not twice, but at least three times.

We're actually struggling to breathe, let alone type, but we'll do our best.

Basically, that was Kerry Washington's Emmy performance. She was phenomenal. Hell, we would even give her an Oscar for that, since that episode could have been a movie if it were half an hour longer. However, if it had been half an hour longer, we might not have survived it. We barely survived as it was. We don't even think we're exaggerating.

Because the good people over at Scandal like to see us suffer, we started off the night just before the winter finale ended: Jake and Olivia were still dancing, and then decided to have sex on the piano. "You don't need a blanket!" we yelled at the TV as Jake padded off to the bedroom, but he didn't listen. He never listens. 

Scandal, Kerry Washington, Robert Baker

ABC/Nicole Wilder

First, we saw things from Jake's perspective. He comes back to the living room, discovers Liv to be missing, and runs out the door, and into the elevator. Still in his undies (Bless you, Shonda Rhimes), he runs through the street after a car that has just pulled away. He takes in the license plate. He returns to the apartment and makes a call.

Then, we saw things from Olivia's perspective. The car was just a decoy. Olivia was actually dragged right across the hall into her neighbor's apartment where the kidnappers watched Jake's movements on a screen, yelling "Run Forrest, Run!" because they are heartless jackasses. She tries to cry out, but a hand over her mouth prevents it. The kidnappers kill her neighbor and then disguise themselves as EMTs to get her out of the apartment in a body bag.

Once in the ambulance, the kidnappers tell Olivia it's time for her to negotiate and beg for her life, but she tries to fight back, pure Olivia Pope-style. She knows who's in charge, and he's not there, and they won't kill her without instructions. It works for a second, but then she's injected with something and she's out like a light. 

Scandal, Kerry Washington

ABC/Nicole Wilder

She wakes up in a cell in what seems like some sort of Middle Eastern country. She's got a cellmate – a guy named Ian. He doesn't know how long he's been there, but he discourages her from escaping. He's "seen things." Half of Twitter decided he was definitely not to be trusted, and Olivia should have listened, instead of telling him that if she was missing, the President of the United States would come save her.

Time passed with a montage of Liv being allowed to visit the grungy bathroom. "Five minutes and I'm coming in," she was told by one of her guards, over and over and over again, until it was stuck in our heads as a strange chant. "Five minutes and I'm coming in."

At one point, she looks up and discovers a window, which she can reach by climbing on the sink. She tries to escape, but she gets caught. As punishment, Ian is (supposedly) killed.

At one point, Olivia wakes up on the floor to the sounds of gunfire. Jake arrives to save her, and we're both jumping for joy and knowing it can't be this easy. We had serious Brody hallucination flashbacks as Olivia went to live and have shower sex with Fitz in Vermont, and then Abby showed up to basically Tell Liv it was up to her to save herself, and not to rely on the President or Jake.

Scandal, Jason Butler Harner

ABC/Nicole Wilder

Olivia wakes up back in her cell and makes a plan that mostly involves the underwire from her bra, but the entire world falls apart when she goes into the bathroom that day: the window has been sealed with bricks, ruining Olivia's plan and breaking our hearts as Liv totally falls apart.

Her guard seems proud: "Bricked it myself," he says, and so Liv hits him over the head with a pipe from the bathroom. She steals his keys and gun and makes a run for it. She encounters the other guard, and after he teases her about how she can't pull the trigger, she does, and gets him right between the eyes. She unlocks the big red door she's been staring at, and EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE.

In front of her is just a big screen showing sun and sky. She's in some sort of warehouse, and none of this has been real. Suddenly, out walks Ian, who was indeed not to be trusted. This has all been a ruse to extract information out of Olivia Pope – starting with the fact that the President loves her enough to potentially come after her – and the nightmare is not even close to being over.

We're going to go ahead and call that the best hour of network television this season so far at least, on par with some of the best episodes Homeland has ever done. That was truly incredible, in that sort of way that makes us very mad. As if real life isn't stressful enough! 

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