This week on ABC’s Scandal, Quinn was pressed to tell the tooth, Cyrus’ honeypot trap stung someone unexpectedly hard and Olivia’s mother of a reunion stirred up an explosive memory.
QUINNTERROGATION | Wise to Quinn’s alliance with Charlie, Huck binds and gags her in the name of offering a “friends and family” discount on his torture skills. “I’m so sorry,” he sorta-apologizes, “because I’m going to enjoy this,” marring her “fresh, new and soft” skin (and licking her temple for good measure). Quinn is briefly saved by the Ma Bell when Olivia rings Huck to say that her mother is alive. Before he rushes off, Huck decides, “What the hell, we have time for one” and goes to pluck a molar using pliers…. Later, Charlie finds Quinn a bound and bloody mess and cleans her up — and beseeches her not to sob. (“That’s against the rules,” akin to as in baseball, I guess.) “A few teeth are nothing. So you don’t eat steak anymore!” When Quinn laments that Huck, her “only person,” hurt her, Charlie counters, “You have me” — and with that cue, she drops towel and they do the B-613 boink. (More on this story in a bit.)
RENT BOY, OH BOY… | James can’t sleep, “wired” as he is from getting Daniel Douglas “to go deep.” And it’s all a seething Cyrus can do to keep from exploding. Meanwhile, Sally meets with Leo Bergen, who asserts that for her to unseat Fitz, she’ll need to abandon the Christian conservatives and come out as pro-choice or “lose, lose, lose.” Shortly after Sally loops the hubby in on the timetable (she’s announcing tomorrow) and commends him on his “discipline,” Daniel confronts James about the feature he’s writing, urging him not to reveal his “despicable temptation.” Later, Cyrus rushes home, thinking that James is there to finish his business with Daniel “quick and dirty,” only to find his husband alone. Cy reveals what he knows — “You had sex with him!” — and James asks: That was your plan all along, no? Or did he not follow the right “rent boy” script? “Why would you pimp out your own husband?! Like a cheap whore?!” James roars. After dressing down Cyrus for being “a gay man going out of his way to shame a gay man,” James reveals his want: divorce.
Sally meanwhile reveals her want to Fitz: the Oval Office. That she’s merely taking his advice to “climb through” the window of opportunity. Fitz warns Sally she is exacting political suicide for both of them, and that he will make her pay for it every day of their lives. Fitz then calls Cyrus on the carpet: “My back’s now got a Sally shiv in it you may as well have handed her!” Mellie, gleaning what Cyrus set in motion with James, reassures, “It won’t break you” — then echoes Fitz’s charge to “see it through.”
Shaken, Cyrus proceeds to blackmail Sally with the photos of Daniel — but she pretty much shrugs them off. “You know you won’t release these and destroy your husband and your immoral future together,” she scoffs. “The plan backfired. You lost.” But as the hour closes, Daniel is the one who lost -- his life, at Sally’s hand. “Cyrus, I have committed a sin,” she repents over the phone.
MONSTER MASH | As OPA tries to process the news that Olivia’s mother is alive — “You can’t show up with Dead Momma Pope and expect us to fall in line!” — Maya spells it out for everyone. To paraphrase: “I found out my husband was a monster, so I stole some of his files and was on my way to blow the whistle when Eli caught me and put me in a prison.” After Jake and Huck quickly excise from her a B-613 tracking chip, they all flee the safe house and plot to get her out of the country. Rowan meanwhile declares “threat level midnight” (oooh!) and charges his men to “hunt them down.” In a fleeting moment of quiet, Maya relates to Olivia the story she had in her head all these years — that her daughter was married to a dentist named Ray, with a son named Sam. Instead, she observes, Liv isn’t as happy as she hoped, that she’s too much like her father — a comparison Olivia doesn’t care for at all.
Jake visits Fitz, knowing that Liv’s mother will never be safe as long as Rowan is alive, but Fitz balks on OKing the hit, saying he’d need Liv’s permission to pop her pop. This sends Jake into a rant about how post-Remington he got “sucked into the wake” of Fitz’s “political destiny,” enslaved to B-613 while Fitz ascended to the highest office on handshakes. “Get off your ass and give me the assets I need,” Jake asks, but Fitz stands firm, retorting: “You wanna be her hero. Word to the wise – she doesn’t need one.”
When Abby’s appeal to David to get Maya off the no-fly list fails, Liv makes the call — to Fitz, to talk about “jam and Vermont and kids.” But Fitz knows what she really needs, now. “Consider it handled,” he declares before ringing the Pentagon. Liv’s next stop is an airfield, where Maya is to board a military plane to Hong Kong and slip past Customs. With Abby’s push, Liv gives her mother a hug before what very well may be their final goodbye. But as Maya boards the plane, Olivia’s memory is triggered, and she recalls a phone call to the house after Maya left for the doomed Global flight — a strange man asking for “Marie.” Liv calls Huck, confirming that the “made up” terrorist name Rowan put on the no-fly alert was also “Marie.” Olivia realizes, “My father was trying to protect me this whole time. He’s not the monster. She is.” Huck says they thus have a new problem — in that, we learn, he covertly assigned Quinn to get a meeting with Rowan for the purpose of killing the B-613 boss/Liv’s father with a lethal syringe, which she is about to do as we… wait for next week’s fall finale.