This week on ABC’s Scandal, Olivia confronted Fitz about Operation Remington while also readying his election rival for a fight, and Jake’s search for the truth led to a dead end.
The hour opens in flashback, to 12-year-old Olivia reading Bridge to Terabithia and saying what would wind up being a final “bye” to her mother (Hi, Khandi Alexander, in white!), who was leaving for a business trip. As Liv reflects on that memory in her office, the Gladiators are outside wondering which client she will choose — the White House, or congresswoman Josie Marcus. Dashing to the ‘vator, Liv is confronted by Huck and Jake (the “stupid superspies”) about the Remington reveal. Citing the circumstantial evidence, she is off to confront the one man who knows the truth but won’t kill her for asking: Fitz.
In the Oval Office, Fitz, Cyrus and Mellie await Liv’s arrival, anxious to hear if she’ll run their campaign (as much as Cy worries it’d be akin to “winged mistresses flying too close to the sun”). But upon entering, Liv asks for a moment with her president — and then asks bluntly: “Did you fly air support for Operation Remington? Or were you on another mission some place?” Fitz feigns ignorance, then sternly says that in bringing up this topic, she is talking to the Commander-in-Chief about a highly classified mission that doesn’t exist — “so like I said: I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Liv thus declines that job — then must explain to OPA why, touting the chance to “make history” by installing the first female president into the White House. So, “White hats, people!” But Josie needs campaign dollars. And even after epically sucking up to assorted fat cat donors, things look bleak because no one thinks she can win. “You’re too nice,” Liv notes. You need claws. But when Josie snaps at her advisors, Liv and Abby get an idea….
Prior to Josie’s primetime TV sitdown with James, Olivia and Abby show her a sexist attack ad “leaked” to them by the Reston campaign. This lights a fire in Josie, who proceeds to go off on James and his line of questioning and the “Cinderella”-themed intro to their segment, condemning all such sexist coddling/couching by the media and Reston himself. Smelly cat’s got claws!
Meanwhile, without Liv to steer their ship and noting Josie’s momentum, Cyrus tries to blackmail Harrison into having OPA drop the contender as a client. Seems some shady sort named Adnan Salif has applied for a visa, to re-enter the United States — and as Harrison tells Huck later, if that were to happen, Harrison’s a dead man. Huck deletes Salif’s visa application, but even when Harrison calls the chief of staff’s bluff, Cy isn’t truly deterred, and sets the wheels back in motion for Salif to get a visa.
When Olivia expresses her need for more evidence of Fitz’s role in Remington, Jake agrees to get it for her. (“I’m only digging up dirt on the most powerful man in the world. How dangerous can that possibly be?”) He asks a friendly intelligence lass to pinch the cockpit recording, but when they rendezvous later for the handoff, a guy tailing Jake caps the gal in the melon — then reveals that she was about to shoot Jake. (Shades of The Sting!) The tail delivers Jake to the president, who urges his friend to stand down. Meanwhile, Olivia — after draining a bottle of red — leads her father to answer one and only one question. Her pick: “Did you give the order to have my mother killed?!” He says no.
As the hour closes, Fitz shows up at Liv’s, using his bedroom eyes to invite her back on the campaign trail and “be us again.” But all she wants is the truth. When Fitz insists that she stop digging, Olivia reveals the darkest fact at hand: that among the 300 fatalities, one was her mother. “Do you still not know what I’m talking about??” Fitz seems visibly surprised by this bombshell, but holds firm: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
* Sally and Leo plot to use her pro-Grant appearances to start laying out her own agenda. And when a celeb reverend rails against Fitz on TV, Sally is summoned to calm him — but instead courts him to support her ticket. (Thing is, the reverend is in Cy’s pocket.) Bonus: After dining with the Langstons, Mellie tells Cyrus that Sally has a liability: her handsy husband.
* Quinn starts practicing at a gun range, where Charlie shows up and offers some tips/encouragement — at Rowan’s bequest. (I assume this is the new scene partner Katie Lowes was excited about?)
What did you think of this week’s Scandal? What could be Rowan’s plan for Quinn?