Scandal Recap: Command Performance

Scandal Season 3 RecapThis week on ABC’s Scandal, the Gladiators got to meet Olivia’s father — though only one of them got to truly know him.

RELATED | Scandal Scoop: Which Gladiator Will Lisa Kudrow ‘Mentor’? How Will Paul Adelstein Surprise You?

In flashbacks to five years ago, we learn that Olivia and her father had a standing appointment for Sunday dinner (after which she’d leave a doggy bag off with homeless Huck on the Union Station platform). Dad’s a docent of sorts at the Smithsonian, full of anecdotes about “the far more dangerous beast,” the mastodon.

One evening, Huck saves Olivia from a mugging, raising questions for her about his background. He reveals he was a trained assassin for a CIA offshoot called B613, which runs out of the shell company Acme Limited aka “Wonderland.” Liv asks Dad to check this story with his FBI friend, and he comes back empty, claiming Huck instead is some oft-arrested crackpot. But when Olivia asks a friend of a friend, Scruffy David Rosen, to confirm Huck’s rap sheet, Poppa Pope’s story begins to unravel — especially when Liv realizes (20 minutes after I did) that the pen she picked up at his house has the Acme logo.

When Liv confronts her father, he tries to order her to calmly behave-slash-non-react (“If you push to know me well, that would break my heart), but she storms off. Olivia later parries by getting engaged to Edison David, whose Senate intel committee will crack down on funky spy business. But Eli then counterattacks by having Edison beat within an inch of his life. “We are done!” Liv declares.

RELATED | Scandal Season 3 Scoop — Who’s the New Person in Quinn’s Life?

Now in the present day….

While Olivia readies to fix First “Mistress” Jeannine Locke’s problem, Rowan chides Cyrus about the White House’s silence on the sitch. Olivia isn’t quiet, though, giving a presser on the front lawn declaring that Jeannine “absolutely, positively” didn’t bed POTUS.

When Olivia’s dad visits OPA unexpectedly, the team’s abuzz, while behind closed doors the two mime happiness as they trade threats. “What did you to do Jake?” she asks. His response: “Ask your friend Huck.”  When Liv does just that, Huck tells of “the hole,” sending Liv racing to urge Fitz to “get Jake away from them.” Cyrus is unable to help his president with this request, since B613’s “only concern is the stability of the republic,” and they don’t even answer to the White House.

The Gladiators prep Jeannine for her live TV appearance, during which she’ll deny the affair. But Mellie gets a hold of the girl first and apparently changes her tune with $2 million. After Liv urges Jeannine to do the right thing, Fitz calls to report that Jake is alive but his hands are tied to do more. “There’s a reason this isn’t Vermont!” she rails, saying that they forwent their dreams so he could be an all-powerful president. Fitz later preempts whatever Jeannine was to say with his own live TV appearance, where he confirms the affair himself.

At hour’s end, after Quinn presents the latest findings of her hacking of Olivia’s email, Huck puts the pieces together and confronts Liv in the parking garage. “Is your father Command?!” he roars, near-throttling his boss lady. She answers, “Yes. He is.” Once home, Liv begrudgingly takes a call from Dad, who tells her to open her door. There, she finds a bloodied, beaten, worse-for-the-wear Jake Ballard, collapsing in her doorway.

RELATED | Ratings: Scandal Season 3 Premiere Hits All-Time Highs

What did you think of this week’s Scandal? How do you think Huck will process his discovery?

In the new Spoiler Alert!: Operation Remington Theories!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. McGee says:

    This show!

  2. Chelsea Forbes-Terry says:

    I didn’t think they could top the premiere and yet episode 2 is even better! Seriously addicted. Even though I love Fitz and Olivia, I’m kinda hoping for some JAke and Olivia this season.

    • dsm says:

      I actually thought the premiere was sort of a let down (it was still good because it’s Scandal you know…) but THIS episode had me rewinding, relistening, trying to put the details together (way after the fact unfortunately) and by the end I was exhausted. The way I want my tv experience to be! Love this show!

    • Amy says:

      I loved the episode and as much as I love Flitz and Olivia.(those two sparkle onscreen together)..I have to admit that I really like Jake….I’m kinda routing for him….*SIGHS* there I said it…*I’m going to go hide in my Scandal fan black hole now*

  3. azu says:

    Scandal is getting silly, I must say, no surprises whatsoever. Now SR is about to force olake down our throat. Not as excited to watch this season as I was last year

    • Chanty B says:

      So don’t watch it!!!

    • meah says:

      So tired of the insecure olitz fans!!I actually don’t mind olake,they’ll be nice together.olitz fans know olitz is the endgame so why are you insecure about olake happening?am sure the olake relationship won’t last long so get over it.
      Loved the episode,olivia’s father is soo weird,but I love the scenes btwn him and livvy..
      Yay!!jake is back

      • mmel says:

        I respect your opinion, however this is not about insecurity. This is about a show not relying on overused tools (from soap operas) to create tension. It is about thinking you are watching a show that you would not have watched ten years ago, a show that thinks that if I am smart enough to look at the nuisance of an affair between the main characters and not judge it unfairly as others have, then I am smart to not be given a d$$$ triangle.( anything but a triangle, it takes no imagination, that why no one watches the soaps anymore) I am so ashamed that I defended Scandal to everyone who thought it was a silly show for women.

        • Devin says:

          scandal is a soap opera. a very good soap opera, but a soap nontheless.

          • mmel says:

            I never though of it as one, I guess the joke is on me. I hope Shonda stop getting mad when someone calls it a guilty pleasure.

          • j says:

            agree, I’ve always thought of scandal as a primetime soap opera. Addictive nonetheless but the twists and plot lines could have easily been ripped out of a soap

  4. Alichat says:

    Um….am I remembering this incorrectly, or wasn’t Rowan there when Huck was tossed in the hole back in the day? He was in the room right? So, shouldn’t Huck have known Rowan the moment he saw him at the office?

    • Bee says:

      i don’t think he was? but even if he was there, that was way back. after he got out, huck got to the point where he didn’t even properly remember his family. so i doubt he would still rememeber the face of one of the men simply in the room.

      • TvPeong says:

        I agree. Remember he saw his wife and kid and didn’t fully remember them. He doesn’t remember all the details from before the hole.

      • Alichat says:

        I don’t know. I think Huck remembers his wife and kid. That’s why he lived on that platform when he was homeless……because he could watch them get on and off that subway stop. Even if he didn’t remember who they are at that time, he remembered them enough to track them down and was compelled to watch them. I think he remembers a lot. He remembers his training, his spy techniques, other members of B316, how to contact them, locations, special codes, protocols, policies, and procedures. He remembers enough to blame Charlie for the loss of his wife and son…..he remembers being in the hole. I just have a hard time believing he didn’t have at least a “do I know you?” moment when ‘meeting’ Olivia’s dad.

    • chi says:

      He was… I don’t know if he saw him or not, but you (the viewer) knew he was there. I was surprised that Huck didn’t know about Rowan…

    • Eloise Minn says:

      No, Rowan was not in the room when Hulk was thrown into the hole. He was in the scene when the Hulk file was thrown on the desk marked terminated. I think Charlie plotted that escape when Hulk failed to kill after he said he did not have a family and was released. Anyway, Rowan was not in the room then. He just said that Hulk would have been great when he saw the termination file dropped on his desk. I am having FUN piecing together the “WHY” of the many situations. I love this show. It is so much more than Fitz and Olivia. So much more. But they are the tease. LOVE IT!!!!!

  5. ronnie says:

    Favorite scene tonight was when Cyrus and Mellie were brainstorming and he just called her evil. Perfection.

  6. dalphine says:

    I love this show, it hasn’t been a show like this since Dallas. I love the Dad but Quinn may me mad at her tonight.

  7. Mark says:

    Confusing episode. Didn’t really enjoy it.

  8. Favorite part of the ep… “How Presidential are my balls now, Cy?”

  9. haani says:

    so excited to finally see olake happen!!

    • fiberlicious says:


      I cannot imaging why Olivia is so besotted by POTUS. He’s a weaselly, whiny dweeb. And not in a good way.

  10. greysfan says:

    Just when i thought this show couldn’t get any better it continues to grow even more. The Huck slamming Olivia into the car shocked me. I never thought he would ever do that to her. Its a great 3 hours of television right now on ABC on Thursday nights.

  11. sladewilson says:

    Fitz had me cracking up all night. Sometimes that man is truly clueless. And I love me some Mellie… So, who thinks Huck is gonna start stalking Daddy Dearest now?

  12. Justin says:

    One thing I didn’t get: if Jeannine admits to the affaire, Jake lives. If she doesn’t, Jake dies. Huh? Why?

    • Marc says:

      It was Eli/ Rowan’s bargaining chip to get Olivia to do his bidding. Rowan wants Jeanine to admit to the affair in order to ‘save’ the presidency, Olivia can make that happen, Olivia wants Jake back alive, Rowan can make that happen, IF Olivia does what he wants. Remember when Cyrus told Fitz that B613 wasn’t too happy with him right now because their sole purpose was to protect the republic? Well, if Jeanine and Fitz could admit that they slept together then the presidency wouldn’t crumble.

  13. Justin says:

    One thing I didn’t like: after 2 seasons of build up, 5 months hiatus, the whole series has been building up to this moment, “The Big Secret is Out”, only to be “covered” within an episode. What a cop-out. I feel cheated. Had they not revealed the affaire as the big season finale cliffhanger I would’ve been fine. This bait-and-switch I didn’t like.

    • allen says:

      I really don’t understand why it is easier to lie about a fake affair than telling the truth about a relationship with Olivia Pope, and why Olivia had cold feet. The man proved her so many times he’s ready to be with her no matter what. And all he gets is Olivia yelling at him in s3e2. All he gets is Olivia telling him to do his best to free Jake her paramour. All he gets is Olivia fixing people life not theirs. If Fitz is frustrated, I really can understand that. She doesn’t want to be the mistress, but she’s still acting like one. So now, we have a controlling Dad, who loves power and meddles her daughter’s love life.

      • Overthinking says:

        Harrison explained it best why it couldn’t be Olivia having an affair with Fitz when he called Cyrus in last episode. I agree on the surface it would have been easier to tell the truth about POTUS and Olivia affair but things got complicated when Janine’s name was leaked to the media. Then got really complicated with all the blackmail that was going on (1) Janine been paid off to admit the affair and she went for the deal (2) saving Jake from the hole (3) power houses Rowan, Cyrus & Mellie doing everything in their power to make sure it was Janine’s name out there and not Olivia. Too bad they might all be thinking that they got the president to side with them and say he had an affair with Janine when all along the president said it was Janine because Olivia asked him to get Jake out of the hole. Mellie might fight to keep her title of first lady but Olivia is the first lady and has been since the beginning just not officially.

        • sladewilson says:

          Mellie wants power. If Fitz went with his heart and broke up with Mellie while on the campaign trail, he might have survived it and Mellie probably could’ve landed a cabinet position. But lets face it, when it comes to the women in Fitz’s life, he’s weak. Pure and simple. He can bluster all he wants, Olivia yelled at him and he folded. Mellie simply out played him for this round. Rowan won this round hands down. Olivia’s only card to play against Rowan is the daughter card and that will wear thin – remember their last dinner….

        • Eloise Minn says:

          Overthinking, you are definitely NOT overthinking this. It is so true that Olivia is the REAL first Lady. She is super intelligent also. It is so sad that the two of them Fitz and Olivia only want to live NORMAL lives together. Fitz was weak and got caught up in a Political Marriage with Mellie, who really has always wanted POWER. He was her ticket there. But in reality, as Rowan schooled us The First Lady has no power. Only through the husband. That’s why she partners with Cyrus who wants power also. Hoping the writers have Fitz standing strong and intelligent.

    • jenna says:

      I don’t understand how the video of fitz leaving olivia’s apartment was simply swept under the rug. I agree with you, after all this build up it seems like a cop out to have someone else so quickly take the blame

  14. dregari says:

    Is B613 real?
    I have a feeling Olivia will blow whistle on B613
    This season
    Don’t like Eli pope the father playing with his daughter life!
    When she save someone someone else get hurt

    The actor who play Eli pope is one scary father he’s good

    As for Mellie she should have gave up long time ago and run a potical office herself

    I’m happy to see that fitz has balls this season
    I think he’s dosent care just finish his run as president
    And have normal life with Olivia

    I feel so for huck he’s himself will have some revenge
    The ?? Is will he ask Olivia can I or do it himself in seceret
    And possible partner with jake??

    So damn looking forward to this season

    Yeah this season Olivia agaist Eli who will win DC

  15. GS says:

    OMG! I love this show! Olivia’s dad is one bad ass dude! Joe Morton is knocking it out of the park with this role. Not sure why Huck didn’t recognize him unless it’s because he was so far gone, he just can’t remember. No wonder Olivia has so many issues. That man is a monster and I can’t wait to see more of him. Fitz and his presidential balls line was great as was Cyrus telling Mellie she’s evil and her thanking him. She is one shrewd chick and I like that she’s getting more meaty roles in the episodes. Finally, JAKE IS FINALLY BACK! Love Scott Foley and I love the way he changes the dynamic. Loving the season…this show is my must watch every week!

    • mmel says:

      You know I have to agree with you Jake does change the dynamic of the show, but is that for good or ill? The only good thing that came out of the back 9 episodes was Joe Morton, he is fantastic. Remember last week that was one of the best hour I have ever watched on television and did not have Jake Ballard in it. Last night right in the middle of the show everything abruptly changed , the feel , the tone it was so weird and unwatchable I actually turned my TV off ( this a show I have watched every Thursday since the beginning). I wonder if the writers in the middle of the show changed their minds and decided Jake would be the focus, it just felt off.

  16. Marc says:

    I was shocked when Huck grabbed Olivia by the throat. Quinn! What have you done???? Olivia’s father is a piece of work…the words coming out of his mouth… “I’m going to teach you out to behave…” what a guy!
    I like Abby’s hair, but those overdone eyes, yikes!!!

  17. Marc says:

    I knew something was up with the pen, but I thought that it maybe had a camera inside so he could spy on Olivia, just seemed kinda careless of him to give her a pen only a week after she told him about B613.

  18. LaLa says:

    I loved it. There were so many nuances in this show. I loved the flashback cause it gave background on Liv’s relationships with Edison and Huck. Now those relationships make so much more sense to me. I was struck at how Huck didn’t recognize Daddy Pope, but I can go with him being so damaged he blocked that part out – or of Huck never actually seeing Daddy Pope when he was thrown in the hole. I was blown away at the idea of Fitz’s mistress asking Fitz to save her other man – and whether or not he would do it, knowing that he was then introducing said other man back into her life. Because you know he knows Liv cares for Jake – she wouldn’t have asked for him to do that if she didn’t. Which tells me that he (Fitz) is for real, for real in love with Liv, because he’ll do anything for her – even help save a man that she could end up being with instead of him. That’s just crazy. And the way she, Daddy Pope and Fitz all negotiated – so good! I loved it. Cy and Mel, also very cool to watch. The VP realizing that she had lost whatever advantage Fitz was going to give her – also good. I look to see her figure more prominently in upcoming episodes. And I was left wondering how Huck will process his newfound knowledge. Will he ever trust Liv again – will their relationship survive? How will his work with OPA be affected? Will he eventually go after Daddy Pope, and if so, will Liv know? And if so, will she let him?
    OK – did anyone else notice that Harrison seemed to be aware of Liv and Eli and their relationship? I don’t think we were allowed to ponder that because SO MUCH other stuff was happening, very quickly, but I thought I caught a hint of that. Am I wrong?
    I thought Ep 2 was more low key. Kinda getting settled into the season, which is OK. Every ep can’t be wired. However, ep 3 looks like it’s going to be high stress levels, again. I cannot wait!

    • MiaB says:

      Yes, yes, yes! I think Harrison is Liv’s brother. Liv, Rowan and Harrison are just playing it off for now. The Scandal folks promised we’d see Harrison’s backstory early this season, so I’m hoping it all comes out in the next episode.

  19. Overthinking says:

    2 million!!!! C’mon Janine if you are going to sell your soul to the devil then your selling price should be higher than 2 million tax free. I know Mellie is a hard ball but still……..she was desperate and she might have gone higher than 2 mil. I am not for love triangles but Jake needs to be back so they can advance the operation ?Remington storyline.
    Quinn’s character has always gotten on my nerves. She was meek and now she is too bold. She needs to find a happy medium btwn meek & bold then maybe her character will be more likeable.
    I am L-o-v-i-n-g the new ballzy Fitz!!! He needed to be more assertive as the president even though we have the likes of Cyrus and Rowan running the government in the background.
    I got teary eyed when Huck lost it and attacked Olivia. This is one of the relationship that is pure and I wanted it to stay strong. We will see if it weathers the storm. Jeff should have won and has to win an emmy for Cyrus character. He plays the villian Cyrus to a t.

  20. Jill says:

    I’m glad that Jake is back! (perhaps, maybe, just because I adore Scott Foley.) $2 million seemed low – she’ll have to survive on that forever (What’s Monica Lewinsky doing to make a living these days?).

    • Marc says:

      Two million does seen like a paltry sum in exchange for destroying your career and reputation. I loved how they threw in the ‘tax free’. Can you imagine trying to explain that one on your federal return?

  21. Amie says:

    I loved the episode. Very twisty and turny. And Fitz is emerging as just as much of a badass as the other players and it looks good on Tony Goldwyn. I don’t care about Jake as a character all that much, but I still thought the central conceit — that Olivia wants him out of the hole — was a good one for this episode, since it’s really a battle between Olivia and her awful father (Joe Morton is SO GOOD at being bad) and just another chapter in a long story between them, with Huck as another part of that. I’m impressed at how well all these pieces are coming together as we find out the role Daddy Demento plays. I don’t know if Olivia and Jake will be a romance now — How could they if he is half as damaged as Huck was? Or is he a programmed Manchurian Candidate a la Homeland, set to blow up in Olivia’s face? — but it makes for some interesting future developments as we find out what his agenda is, what this Remington thing is, and how Fitz and Olivia can possibly move back in each other’s direction with damaged Jake on her doorstep. And poor Edison! I love Norm Lewis and that character has really not been treated well by his association with Liv, has he? And how come Dad didn’t surface when she started dating him again?

    Meanwhile, Jeff Perry, Joe Morton and Tony Goldwyn are all ON FIRE. I would like to see less of Melly and Quinn — for me they aren’t as strong as the other characters. I’d like to see some female characters who can rival the male supporting players. Kate Burton’s VP isn’t around enough, and they killed off Verna. That leaves a vacuum. Although I suppose we might see Olivia’s mom resurrected. I will take Alfre Woodard, thank you very much. She’s another powerhouse.

    Oh, and mastodon is spelled mastOdon, and parries is spelled parrIES. You may want to invest in an editor.

  22. Chablis says:

    I wonder about Harrison and Olivia’s relationship. I thought that we might find out they were brother and sister but now don’t think so.

    • jules says:

      Could be her Mom’s other son. Maybe she had to fake her death or was forced to by Liv’s dad and Harrison is the result of a later relationship she had while she was staying hidden.

  23. MrTemecula says:

    So I thought I’d try Scandal to see what the hype is all about. I’m still mystified. How can Olivia go from resenting her doddering, docent father for abandoning her to rich European boarding schools to trainer of killers in about half a day? Based on an unstable bum? That’s quite the leap and I could not make it. I guess I’m not a gladiator.

  24. GTS says:

    It wasn’t include in the recap, I don’t believe, but Olivia only got Jake back in exchange for weekly Sunday night dinners again.

  25. Kre says:

    Read a really interesting theory that Fitz and Jake may have had something to do with Olivia’s mom death and Rowan is covering it up.
    Don’t know how that would work out, but it’s interesting.

    • Sami says:

      Could Fitz also be B613? Jake and Fitz ran operation remington together. perhaps it was a b613 op. Fitz was able to skillfully murder Verna. Cyrus asked Fitz “How do you know about B613? You aren’t supposed to know about that.” Fitz didn’t answer him. Was operation remington about murdering Rowan’s wife? Maybe Rowan discovered she was a traitor, a double spy or something and ordered Jake and Fitz to kill her. Rowan uses “save the Republic” as an excuse to break up Fitz and Liv, but maybe he really doesn’t want Fitz to find out Liv is his daughter and tell Liv about how her Dad had her mother killed?

      • j says:

        I don’t know if I would call smothering a frail dying woman skillfully murdering someone. I also doubt that Fitz would be able to become president with that much darkness hiding in his past, could you imagine him having an argument with a foreign leader that suddenly triggers a B613 reaction

  26. Cheyenne says:

    Did Rowan have Edison beat within an inch of his life? I thought he managed to have him run over by a car. Which was it?

  27. QueenB says:

    I’ve only seen this episode and the one before which I assume is the season premiere and the second episode of the season and I’m hooked!