Scandal Returns: The 7 Craziest Reveals About Olivia's Vanishing

Scandal Olivia Kidnapped

Where in the world is Olivia Pope?

ABC’s Scandal left viewers with that question, when at the close of Season 4’s winter finale Liv vanished into thin air, in the midst of a romantic rendezvous with Jake. The short answer, as the season resumed?

Olivia was only taken about 15 feet away, to the apartment across the hall from hers — while Jake sprinted to the street below in nothing but his BVDs, to chase after a red herring.

Here are six other reveals/fun facts about Olivia’s disappearance, who was responsible and where she ultimately ended up.

♦ If you’re in the kidnapping game, Olivia Pope is not someone to grab. She’s crafty (deftly leaving her ring behind, for Jake to hopefully find) and sooooo much smarter than you (quickly assessing the hierarchy among her kidnappers, thus gleaning who isn’t calling the shots/is not to be afraid of).

♦ If you are among the similarly kidnapped, Olivia Pope is the person you want sharing a dingy cell with you. One of her motivational speeches — especially when fueled by an anecdote about your young daughter — will put the pep back in your imprisoned, gruel-gobbling step. (Then again, Liv might freak you out a bit by having you search her body for a tracker. Oh, and her smart mouth might get you killed. Or, “killed.”)

♦ No, really — Liv is crafty. Like, Sydney Bristow levels of crafty, hacking into her underwire bra to jerry-rig a lock pick of sorts.

♦ Olivia’s nightmares are clever, even a bit fun — populated with wink-wink props like White Hat Jams — and highly helpful, leaving her with clues about where a loose copper pipe aka weapon might be found.

♦ Olivia’s a good shot. “Heart, hips, head…. Heart, hips. head.” Or, you know, just head.

♦ But most of all, most shocking about Olivia’s “captivity,” is that is was an elaborate facade. So that when she finally put down Otto and got past the locked red door, she wasn’t in Qatar or the like, but inside a warehouse, emerging from what was basically a fancy movie set. And Ian, the “dead” journo (played by Alcatraz‘s Jason Butler Harner)? He’s the puppetmaster here, having put Liv through this ruse to extract intel from her — at the very least, the fact that POTUS will never stop searching for her.

What did you think of the episode “Run”?

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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183 Comments
  1. Rachel says:

    Knew Ian wasn’t dead … such a great return!

  2. Ella Wade says:

    Worst episode ever. Run out of storylines?

    • ML says:

      It was completely ridiculous. I can’t believe I sat through it.

    • H says:

      Least I wasn’t the only one who thought it was tad ridiculous.

    • james says:

      The beginning started out cool but as soon as “the leader” didn’t show his face and when he “went on ahead” it was quite obvious he would be undercover later on and as soon as I saw the other prisoner it was obvious. Then you had the sedative they gave her. I knew it was all fake when she got to The prison because we never saw outside. We only heard sounds and saw desert like lighting. you add that to the sedative and the quick jump to the prison it was obvious to me. Then you had all the prison cells, yet they only used the one.

    • Lesley says:

      Agreed! So crappy. I had such high expectations, only to have them dashed.

  3. Mika02 says:

    Such an awesome episode love that it was Olivia Centre. I called the ending though.

  4. Anon says:

    I don’t understand. What did I just watch? I’m not being facetious. I literally don’t know what I just watched.

    • also anon says:

      I don’t get why they took Olivia if they didn’t know who would pay to get her back (Futz).

    • mercedes says:

      It would be easier if you watched last season’s last episode the vice president was working for a terrorist group. He even faked a bombing to start a war. He threatened the president just before hiring someone to kidnap olivia pope. The reason why shes been captive so long is because her father is no longer helping her. Thus the explanation of war, and capture. The vp wants the pres to start a war, the only reason pope was kidnapped.

      • Ram510 says:

        Finally someone says something intelligent!

      • dharris15 says:

        Thank you. Apparently all the negative commenters really don’t follow the show enough to know whats going on. Yet, they comment anyway.

        • MLPR says:

          I follow religiously, and I agree that it was just ok. I’m not really sure what I watched either. I knew when she was put in the cell that her cell mate was one of them. So obvious. And the negative commenters are right about the whole “information” thing. Everyone knows about Liv and Fitz. I miss the old Scandal. I was bored last night after the first 10 minutes.

        • bj says:

          I have followed the show from the beginning and this was my first negative response posted here. Why is it that fans of the show aren’t allowed to dislike an episode without being “true” fans?

          • Exactly! Because gawd forbid that anyone who actually has been watching the show from the very first episode not like it when a misdirection is taken by the writers & producers. I have enough terrorist, ISIL, ISIS, Islamic State BS consuming my everyday life; I don’t need or want it in my guilty pleasures because they then are no longer guilty pleasures. I began watching a show about political scandals, the aftermath, & the cleanup in WaDC. What I watched last night is not what I originally signed up for. For plot-lines such as this, give me two hours of “Olympus Has Fallen” or “White House Down,” and let’s be done with it. When shows become train wrecks (the second seasons of “Revolution” & “Heroes,” the last couple of seasons of “Lost,” the current messes that are “Revenge” & “Glee)), there’s only so long that viewers won’t look away, and then a night comes along where they have something else to do & think, “I’ll watch it later on DVR.” That “later” never comes as the series descends down the proverbial rabbit hole while the shark is jumping overhead.

      • Shannon says:

        The VP is intimately aware of Fitz’ affection for Olivia. Why the song and dance to “find out just HOW important she is”? They could have skipped this whole episode/sham and gone straight to next week’s events in demanding the president go to war. Not to mention if the VP is behind it he is there to see how upset the POTUS is at her kidnapping so that pretty much dispels the mystery. Maybe they will shed light on the reasoning behind the charade in further episodes but right know I think most fans are justified in their “Well that seems excessive and an unnecessary waste of time.” conclusions.

        • Gwen says:

          to break her. Duh. It was all about breaking her.

          • MLPR says:

            Why? Who cares about breaking her? If it’s about breaking Fitz, I guess I get the kidnapping, but why did they need to break her to start a war?

          • Shannon says:

            Duh? Are you 5? And like other people said, Olivia isn’t the one that needs to be broken.

        • herman1959 says:

          I agree that the reason she was given for the charade didn’t make sense if it was done on behave of the VP and the Republicans. Maybe there is more to it and the people who are holding Olivia hijacked the original kidnapping, and now the VP/RNC doesn’t know where she is. Hmmm…Shonda, can I have a job?

        • G$ says:

          if you break her, she will legitimately seem in horror when she talks to fitz so they can break him and try to get him to make a rash decision to go to war to “save” her. I do agree it was a bit predictable. But all of this is necessary so they can drag out the show. This is the second half of the season and if they are going to have another season, because the show was played out to me last season, they need to drag this thing out. I mean how many more events are going to happen before Fitz finishes up his terrible a** presidency, I mean when is Piper going to get out of jail? If this is the last season for OITNB, I’m canceling netflix, this stuff is just tiring now.

    • @ad_chick says:

      I totally agree

  5. Tran says:

    Can’t imagine seeing Olivia Pope’s freaky new hairdo.

    • TD says:

      Its called natural hair. If she does not have a perm (which some of us do not) It goes back to its natural state after going a while without having it straightened.

      • Belle says:

        Thank you TD. Well, unless you are Mama Pope. Because I swear being held captive all those years, Papa Pope must have arranged for a stylist to come in every 8 weeks to give her a touch up. :-)

  6. TaMara says:

    As soon as her cell mate appeared, I knew he was the leader. Lost interest after that. Came to read the recap instead.

    • SweetTweeny says:

      I kind of figured that the cell mate was the leader also. Because I asked myself, why would they put her in a cell with another person. What I found hard to believe is that as savvy as Olivia Pope is, why didn’t she figure it out herself.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        As soon as I saw him, I knew he wasn’t really a prisoner. I also had doubts about the exotic location, since they never showed the actual outside — though that one glimpse past the open door Liv got threw me for a bit.

        • herman1959 says:

          The biggest clue was the window that she was able to open with a wire! No way. As for the ending – WHAT?!!!!

        • herman1959 says:

          I meant to add that, although I dldn’t know the actor, I kept thinking it was odd that he was so easily believed what should have sounded like a crazy story told by Liv.

      • Alichat says:

        Yeah….there were loads of clues if you didn’t get it immediately. Olivia should have caught onto any one of them. He’s an unknown journalist, and they’re holding him for ransom. Really? Something tells me Olivia would know of a journalist being held for $2mil ransom who’s been missing for what looked like weeks. Or the unknown Bradley who had been held, the ransom paid, and he never came home? The location….why would they take her to another country? Even if they just wanted her and not a ransom, why take her out of the country? The same outdoor sounds kept playing over and over, and the lighting too consistent. Why weren’t they hot? If they are in Qatar or Sudan, why wasn’t it hot in her little cell or anywhere in the building? Ian’s questions were too on point. and odd, and he’d toy with her when she wouldn’t answer. They didn’t kill Ian in front of Olivia. If you’re going to punish her by killing him, you kill him in front of her right then and there. Just too many things screamed fake.

        By the way….anyone else notice that the newspaper Olivia is holding in the preview for the next ep is the Clarion International? A clarion is a war trumpet.

        • SweetTweeny says:

          I thought the same thing. Olivia is a political animal. It would have been all over the news that a journalist was being held for ransom and an American hostage was killed. President Grant would have been involved in this one way or another. Even though I loved this “Olivia centered” episode, I thought that it could have been written a little better.

        • Absurdist says:

          And also a hotel chain.

      • chocolatfrog says:

        Exactly. It was so obvious! I was sure she would find out.

    • GeoDiva says:

      It was so obvious, that I spent the hour waiting for Olivia to confront Ian that she knew he was the boss. The best part was when she shot the guy right between the eyes.

  7. Ella Wade says:

    60 minutes I’ll never get back.

  8. SEH1982 says:

    Granted through the episode I was all “WTF is going on?!?” But based on the upcoming promos, I’m actually not sure if I’m feeling it on the direction of this storyline. I can see a couple various options that they can (and will inevitably) take it/who will be behind it/who will fight for her, etc.etc etc and they all just seem predictable, mundane, and all around meh. Wouldn’t hurt to get back to the original format from season 1- the campiness is unfortunately wearing out it’s welcome.
    Blacklist may win the “live” viewing fight with Scandal taking a backseat on the DVR

  9. Kathy says:

    three words… jumped the shark!

  10. Suz says:

    Three words – jumped the shark

  11. C. says:

    I feel like this is going to be one of the most polarizing episodes of the series. Personally, I liked it. Super ambitious and very strange, and I’m still a little confused about the details of her kidnapping/kidnappers. It was tense and suspenseful when it needed to be. I honestly didn’t think they would make Olivia a killer, but I think these set of circumstances will make her character more interesting. BUT HOLY SMOKES KERRY WASHINGTON. They asked a lot of her, and she delivered.

  12. angela says:

    Does anyone know who played Ian? He looked so familiar!

    • Alichat says:

      Jason Butler Harner…..mentioned in the recap. He was most recently in the movie Blackhat. He’s been on The Blacklist, Homeland, Alcatraz, and The Good Wife.

  13. Pat V. says:

    Didn’t trust Ian from the start. The true Olivia wouldn’t have either!

  14. Jennifer says:

    I was willing to suspend disbelief, logic, and reason (this is Scandal, after all) until the promo for next week… Declare war in 48 hours, blah, blah, blah. I’d give the verbatim quote, but I already deleted the episode from my DVR.

  15. Matt says:

    Okay, seriously: you have no idea where you are or what’s outside that door, why the hell do you leave the gun behind when you run out? Keep the gun, shoot the obvious plant, and then continue escaping. It’s not rocket science.

  16. bjohns says:

    I’m sorry some people found it dull or weird, the fact is the VP took her to force the President to start a war. Like Tom said, the face that launched 1000 ships. That’s really where we will see what Fitz would do for her. Yeah I spotted the guy a mile away but I liked the ride I was on. RIP to dude from Grey’s I just posted about being sad he died from getting shot on there. Can’t say the same here. Shonda takes care of her people. LOL

  17. Juju says:

    I was kind of hoping she would get rescued before the end of the episode, just because I don’t know if I can take this much angst through another whole episode!

  18. Dude says:

    Here’s my biggest problem with the ep…if they needed Olivia alive, why give the captor a loaded gun?

  19. Amy says:

    I thought it was supposed to tie back to Season 1?

  20. Gem says:

    I ABSOLUTELY FREAKING LOVED IT!!! And for those hating on Scandal please go away bc you aren’t needed – you never liked the show anyway and only on this board as TROLLS!!!

    I was glued to the screen as to what would happen next. I did not know and did not care to know and I think that’s the problem with some Scandal viewers believing like they know everything. You are taking away the enjoyment from yourselves. A show cannot shock you at every turn. Tonight I decided to enjoy the writing (Tom Verica directing excellente!) and Kerry Washington doing great acting. BRAVO!!!!

    • Gabriel says:

      The people who never liked this show, by and large, never post on here about Scandal. I’m one of those people. Such people have better things to do.

      Nearly all of the people who post on here and are unhappy WERE actually fans at one point, but they got turned off by one thing or another.

      TL;DR — you’re kind of an intellectual lightweight, Gem.

    • herman1959 says:

      Yup, anyone who has been watching since season 1 should know that an episode written by Shonda and directed by Tom will be WAY out there. KW was good.

  21. Kat Aston says:

    Great episode. Shonda needed to flip the script. She took us away from the Whitehouse and showed Olivis’s strenght and how she’ll have to make it on her own. I enjoyed an episode centered around Olivia. No Mellie screaming at Fitz to leave Olivia alone, I enjoyed the dream scene with Fitz. It told us it’ll take awhile before they get there. The next episode looks good. You can’t allow a show to continue down the same road. New storylines need to be implemented. Scandal set the groundwork for alot of the new shows with poc. If Scandal was not a hit, there wouldn’t”t be an Empire, HTGAWM, or Sleepy Hollow. We would still have shows with black people only playing the black best friend.

    • Gem says:

      ITA with your critique and especially your last couple of sentences. TVLine is a prime example when you go through their stories and the faces you see. Of course its not their fault but I was so ecstatic when Scandal came along. I desperately needed to see someone who looked like me in the lead and it also has great writing. Shows ebb and flow and not going to knock it when it falters (Give me my OLitz Shonda LOL) . Scandal is a victim of its own success and now ppl want to pick at it at every turn. Well I’m going to continue to sit back and enjoy the ride while ignoring the HATERS!

    • #TRUTH. The episode still kept me engaged even though I figured out much of the misdirection that Olivia was right here in the USA and not middle east

  22. Sean says:

    I kinda have mixed feelings about this episode. It was very thrilling and that was some fine acting by Kerry Washington, but just didn’t really feel like Scandal. I agree with those who say the episode will have polarizing reception from fans and critics.

    • SweetTweeny says:

      I agree. Kerry Washington did some amazing acting in this episode. I especially liked the scene in the bathroom, when she saw that her “little window” had been sealed and and she dropped to her knees and screamed in her hands. My heart bled for her at that moment – I really felt her fustration.

      • Lucie Loing says:

        I know this isn’t a very popular opinion, but I’ve never really liked Kerry Washington as an actress in this series. My opinion changed with this episode. Girl can act.

  23. Leo p says:

    What happend to scandal this is like some other show that has nothing to do with the previous seris

  24. Semaj Debose says:

    Olitz in Vermont ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️💍💍💍💍💍💍💍💍

  25. Dennis says:

    Olivia is the worst part of this show, I just binged watched it over winter break seeing it for the first time and at first I liked her but as I continued to watch I saw how weak and pathetic she is instead of the strong character I first saw he as. How can she still give a crap about Fitz he’s treated her horribly and yet he still cares for him? wtf. She’s like a battered woman that keeps going back to the man that beats her because he keeps saying he’s sorry and loves her.

  26. abz says:

    I actually enjoyed it. It was very thrilling and Kerry’s acting was very good and believable. A few nitpicky things like that fact that why was the gun was loaded and why would she throw away the gun after she shot him (come on!), but overall I liked it. I found this Olivia missing storyline so far more entertaining than the end of last season island getaway.

  27. Show was good But they could have got information out of her another way instead of a disgusting dirty old warehouse

  28. Eric7740 says:

    I believe that Kerry Washington just won herself an Emmy!!!

  29. Terri says:

    If the guy in the cell with her had been there for that long he would have had long hair and a beard. Olivia Pope would have noticed that. Also the windows so high I guessed right away she was in a warehouse in DC. I hated this. Get back to doing your job its not always about Olivia Pope! You are the fixer so fix other peoples problems.

  30. When Olivia had the gun and killed the guy why didn’t she hang on to it she could have killed the head leader and gotten out Crazy Olivia

  31. Three words: Jump The Shark

  32. Alichat says:

    I must be jaded……None of this was a surprise to me. I knew the location was an elaborate ruse. I knew Ian was the leader. I knew the car Jake spotted was a fake-out. I don’t understand why Olivia didn’t try to pull off the duct tape. Even though Ian was holding her, her hands were near her face. One good pull and scream “Jake!” Why drop the gun? Why stand around and look at the fake scenery?…..just keep running! I take that back….the only thing that made me say “Oh, didn’t see that coming” was that the gun she took from Kidnapper Douche #2 didn’t have blanks.

  33. lemonlime623 says:

    Did anyone else think, “damn, Chalés, shoot again???”

    No? Just me? Ok.

  34. lemonlime623 says:

    Did anyone else think, “damn, Dr. Percy, shot again???”

    No? Just me? Ok.

  35. Grey's Fan says:

    Dr. Charles Percy is alive and well. ;)

  36. dennis says:

    Am I the only person who got a “saw” vibe from this whole episode?

    I’ll wait to see where it goes before I say anything besides the fact that Kerry W did an amazing job.

  37. Joe says:

    People like complaining about how procedurals are so predictable and serialised dramas are so much better because of their unpredictability, now apart from that slick move of moving Olivia to the adjacent apartment everything about this episode was PREDICTABLE. P.S. I like Kerry Washington’s natural hair, but I think I might be in the minority with that opinion.

    • lkh says:

      agree with you–using that apt was a surprise. probably the only one tho, cell mate so obvious. can’t believe there will be another week of this. KW did do an excellent job in some of the scenes.

  38. Raymond says:

    It was definitely one of Scandal’s best episodes in the past three years. (Only thing that puzzled me: she had a gun when she broke out of that ‘prison’ – so why didn’t she off her captor?! lol)

  39. TAL says:

    Reblogged this on Cerulean Chronicle and commented:
    Attention ‘Scandal’ fans! The following is a recap of ‘Scandal’ 4.10 – “Run,” courtesy of TV Line:

  40. TAL says:

    I think Kerry Washington’s performance was awesome tonight. Olivia Pope tried to be smart, displayed a lot of smarts but still got played. Oh well. She will figure this out. This episode was weird though, I hope Shonda can tie it together well with the next few episodes or else it’s not gonna be good. I’ll wait for all the pieces to fall into place…

  41. Lynnsey says:

    Shouldn’t have wasted the whole hour with her in captivity. I found this very boring,although Kerry Washington performance was good.

  42. christopher bee says:

    Saw everything miles ahead, no unexpected twists for me tonight and that sucks big time. Love Kerry as always.

  43. Maria says:

    I knew Ian was the leader. It was predictable. Kind of annoyed that the whole episode was just about her trying to escape. Would of liked to see what the rest of the crew was doing but I guess we will find out next week.

  44. ? says:

    Dumb. Dumb idea. So dumb.

  45. Ram510 says:

    This is the type of episode that would’ve benefit from being 2 hours so people could get a better feel of where it’s going. I fear many people will be upset and stop watching since they deviated from the comfortable/predictable case of the week. Which judging by the copius amounts of people who watch those plain old procedurals on CBS, people like comfortable and predictable.
    Anyhow, it was a well done episode, great directing, wonderful performance by Kerry and I’m sure good things are to come in the next few episodes. My only blunder was why did she leave the gun. Great show Shonda!

    • C. says:

      Couldn’t agree more! This feels super risky for a network show. I felt like the biggest risks on network is happening on The Good Wife, but Scandal is up there. That being said, this episode could be very alienating for people who are expecting a fixer fixing other people’s problems.

    • Lovely says:

      I agree. The episode wasn’t as bad as some are saying. To me it was suspenseful; it kept me watching… Some parts were predictable but it was still entertaining… Definitely feel Olivia dropping the gun was totally UNBELIEVABLE, UNREALISTIC, FAR FETCHED… you name it. You don’t know what’s on the other side is of the door and you drop the gun??? Really… She should have put a bullet between the leaders eyes and that’s it . You have to sort of suspend disbelief when watching this show.

      • zivia says:

        I don’t think they were real bullets in the gun. But I do agree it was the stupidest move ever to leave the gun behind. They tried to make Olivia look clever in this episode but she just came off stupid as could be!

    • Lost_Liv_to_Lunacy says:

      Great directing? Seriously? The structure was insanely flawed, the narrative betrayed itself beyond redemption and as is evidenced in the plethora of comments here – the first four minutes gave everything away so completely and so embarrassingly that it was insulting to still try and sell the ending as a ‘twist’. This story was predictable to a fault and most of us only kept watching under the mistaken belief that we must be wrong… sadly we were not. As for the leaving of the gun I thought it was not as big a blunder as leaving the keys…. but somehow they magically come back into her hand at the door… thank goodness!

  46. Ram510 says:

    And the only thing that threw me off from thinking Ian was the leader was the fact that after the “shot” him the hired henchmen had blood splattered all over his face. I guess we know now that was fake. I wonder if the hired help also knew they were going to die, unless that was fake too

  47. LKE says:

    Olivia was able to assess who the leader was in the apartment, but wasn’t able to see thru her cell mate. I don’t buy it. Isn’t olivia smarter than that?

  48. Et al says:

    I liked it. Definitely a concept episode but a well executed one. The show has to evolve and this episode left me excited to see where they’re going. And seriously, for those yearning for the Scandal-o-the-week episodes, this show hasn’t been that for a very long time. Kindly direct your attention to CBS or CBS-lite (formerly known as NBC). There’s plenty of that junk there.

  49. SELBFAN says:

    If I wanted to watch a Zero Dark Thirty imitation, I’d have watched ZDT. Bring back the Scandal we fell in love with. Bring back Pope & Associates. Enough of this CIA intrigue crap! Really disappointing. If it doesn’t shape up soon Scandal is gonna lose a couple of viewers.

  50. Isabel says:

    are you kidding me? this was the most predictable episode i’ve ever seen! the idea of the cellmate being in charge has been so overused in other series already, i wouldn’t have thought scandal would sink to this level