Scandal Recap

Scandal Recap: Go Big Red

Is it merely a coincidence that on the same day ABC cancelled Of Kings and Prophets, we watched an entirely new David-and-Goliath tale unfold on Scandal?

Armed with proof of Cyrus’ connection to Governor Vargas in her slingshot, Abby — the David of our story — prepared to face off against the White House Chief of Staff. Following her initial battle cry, which included charming phrases like “slit his throat” and “bathe in his blood,” Abby brought her proof to Fitz, who needed a little convincing that firing Cyrus wouldn’t do more harm than good.

Frankly, I expected our Goliath to put up more of a fight. Though Cyrus did try to prevent Abby from bringing her findings to the President — going so far as to claim that Vargas was the one courting him — he seemed to accept his termination with unsettling ease. Could he have a Plan B(eene) up his sleeve?

Either way, while he’s stewing at home and plotting his next move, Abby will be clinking glasses with Fitz and Susan Ross in the Oval.

FOOL ME ONCE… | Meanwhile, Olivia’s relationship with Jake took another bizarre turn, which means it must be Thursday again. After failing to spy on Jake in his apartment — it doesn’t really count when the subject knows he’s being watched — Olivia resorted to an unorthodox method of coping: actually moving on. “I miss you,” she told him. “That’s why I’ve been acting like this, with the cameras and the stalking. It’s because I miss you. … I’m so sorry, Jake.”

Though I’m not really sure why Liv owed Jake an apology, I was willing to leave the conversation at that, as was Liv… that is, until the final piece of the puzzle clicked in her brain: She realized that Jake is playing Vanessa the exact same way he played Liv all those seasons ago. The phone-dropping, the unexpected follow-up meeting — all of it. So, new mission: figure out what the heck Jake is up to this time.

HUCKED UP BEYOND ALL REPAIR | It should be noted that Liv’s impulse to let Jake move on with his life was inspired, oddly enough, by Huck’s near-fatal encounter with his ex-wife’s new boyfriend, someone he mistook for a former (failed) hit. But the realization that this man wasn’t who Huck thought he was, and that he really does love Javi and Kim, hit a little too close to home for Liv. In a way, Liv saw herself in Huck as he apologized for believing this man’s actions were motivated by revenge, just as Liv had accused Jake a few hours earlier. (That said, it would’ve been convenient if Huck had this little revelation before he kidnapped the guy and brought him out to the woods.)

FOILED BY DOYLE | Of course, the mess that is Liv and Jake’s relationship still can’t hold a candle to the catastrophe that is the 2016 Presidential race. Taking a real-world cue from Donald Trump, Hollis Doyle — colorfully referred to by Mellie as a “slimy, slithery, hell-raised son of a whore” — threw his hat into the Presidential ring this week, stealing Mellie’s platform, slogan (“Embrace America’s tomorrow!”) and even the location of her announcement in the process. But does he stand a chance against Governer Vargas, whom Sally Doyle called “two-faced” for lying on her show, or Susan Ross, who stood her ground and proved her worth against Fitz? I want to say no, but if watching Trump has taught me anything, it’s that Doyle likely has a snowball’s chance… in Antarctica.

Your thoughts on this week’s Scandal shake-ups? Drop ’em in a comment below.

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. niloofar says:


  2. Cena Gomez says:

    The writers are making Olivia look like an idiot. She knows Jake is not to be trusted. He’s been killing from day one. Please end it now…Of course Rowan and Jake are up to something. But Olivia wanted to play with the big dogs, instead she’s acting like a chickenhead. Big dogs means power and the white house, not dealing with those B613 clowns.

    • Cheyenne says:

      Olivia’s not a big dog, her convictions of being one to the contrary. She’s more like a yapping little chihuahua.

    • Al says:

      ‘Though I’m not really sure why Liv owed Jake an apology’.
      I guess she’s sorry she ‘made him’ spy on her, hospitalize her, make a sex tape of her, threaten to kill her, choke her, publicly slut shame her and regularly gas light her?
      Look, this is the same show that had Jake tell Liv he’s too good for her and she’s a fool. I guess we’re supposed to believe it.
      Apparently everything he’s done is her fault, because heaven forbid Jake ever be held accountable for his misdeeds.

  3. madhatter360 says:

    I nominate “You can’t yell at me here” “Where can I yell at you? Take me there, I’m not done” for quote of the week. Susan is amazing and I burst out laughing when she said that.

  4. blah says:

    Do you mean sally langston, instead of sally doyle

  5. Amy says:

    I hope that Susan doesn’t go to the dark side.

  6. Amanda Griffin says:

    I just want one question answered, how can someone go from being press secretary to Chief of Staff without any type of nomination or vetting or anything. This season has just been all over the place, I’m still going to watch but they need to come correct next season.

    • Bigdede says:

      I never heard of a person being nominated for Chief of Staff. The president can pick his cabinet members. And most likely Abby was already vetted when she was press secretary.

      • Amanda says:

        They do go through a process, they hold one of the highest security clearances in the country. the president nominates his choice, just like the SCOTUS and they are vetted. A press secretary doesn’t hold that much power!

    • Press Sec, Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief, and any all other staff members are just that, Staff! They are not political appointees, they work at the pleasure of the President. There is no nomination, no hearings… and since she went from one position to another, no vetting is needed.

      The West Wing did the same thing with CJ!

    • On a side note – you might want to brush up on your civics. Senate hearings are held for federal court judges, and the leaders of Administrative Agencies that are Congressionally formed. Your Secretaries (State, USDA, HHS, HUD, Labor, Treas, Interior, Defense, Homeland Security, etc), Departmental under secretaries & the Departmental Bureau Directors (of agencies congressional mandated), your agencies not affiliated with a specific Dept (EPA, OPM, GSA, etc), your point people on key issues (i.e. The Surgeon General, Federal Reserve)… staff that work for all these people are not.

      Hope that helps.

    • Margaret j watson says:

      The chief of staff is not an elected position and is selected by the president, just like a secretary would be. They are usually those who have worked digilently on the campaign trail and have the trust of the president. Olivia would have been right for that position, but that would be so beneath her, just like being First Lady. So, Chief of Staff is mirror image of First Lady.

  7. Al says:

    Olivia has lost face and she’s never going to get it back until she calls out Jake’s misdeeds against her, gets revenge and stands up to Mellie’s constant insults.
    The writers are never going to let that happen and it’s the only way to get back the lost viewers.
    People don’t tune in to watch a show’s protagonist be regularly disrespected and abused in this way, it’s not compelling television when the protagonist keeps losing.
    Even Walter White didn’t work for people who insulted him the way Mellie insults Olivia, yet they’re going to have her actually work for and take money from a woman who is still insinuating she’s a whore and has never apologised.
    Then again, the only person who ever apologises to Olivia is Fitz. Jake tapes and chokes her, Huck chokes her, Quinn pulls a gun on her, Mellie pimps her out and the narrative blames her for all of it. Rowan killed her friend and Fitz’s child yet we’re supposed to hail him as a truth teller.
    on another note, after 5 seasons of marketing a great romance between her and Fitz, having her say she doesn’t miss him but does miss Jake is a departure from canon. It also means they can no longer play the Olitz card because the relationship is no longer convincing or romantic.
    And let’s face it, ratings wise ‘Olitz’ was their trump card. Now it’s so tainted, few people even want it anymore. They shouldn’t put them back together now, because it would be Olivia returning to Fitz after Jake left her for another woman and it won’t help the ratings. She’ll look like a user and Fitz will look stupid for taking her back.
    They SHOULD allow Olivia to triumph but they haven’t since the arrival of Jake and B613 in late season 2, and they’re not going to start now. The only way to really do so is to kill off Rowan, Jake and B613 as unsympathetically as possible and that’s never going to happen. At this point, I think Scandal will end and B613 will still somehow be on air.
    I really don’t see how they can fix this show now, and worse I don’t think they’re going to try.
    I suspect they’re just going to ride out season 6 and end it.

    • Al says:

      PS: Before people start saying Mellie doesn’t owe Olivia an apology, she doesn’t, but realistically, it’s the only way Olivia would feel guilty enough to work for Mellie, a woman who participated in the affair but still made her life a misery and kept insulting Olivia after berating her for leaving, begging her to come back and continue the affair and having an affair of her own.
      Although in all reality, Mellie wouldn’t hire her husband’s former lover as campaign manager anyway, it’s a guaranteed path to failure with women voters and the Republican family values base.
      the whole ‘Mellivia’ thing is contrived.

      • quang says:

        She has never worked with Mellie out of guilt. It has always been of her own volition. From the diplomatic immunity case from season 2, to the filibuster, to the presidential campaign. All of this matters far, far more than any grudge over a stupid affair.

  8. Bigdede says:

    The whole Abby story is plain stupid. What’s wrong with Cyrus working with Vargas? Fitz has one year left in his term. Everyone will be out of a job. What’s wrong with Cyrus trying to find employment? And why is Abby scheming for a job she will only have for a year? Everyone knows the president last year in office just goes by. This makes no sense to me. Right now Trump hasca democratic strategist working for him. Heck Cyrus gay so it’ll be easy for him to switch sides.

    • gts says:

      His job is chief of staff. He needs to be doing that job, not another one. Also Fitz is trying to get his Republican VP elected. He can’t have her competition knowing everything she’s doing. What is he going to do, hide their meeting with Hollis Doyle from his chief of staff?

      • bigdede says:

        But isn’t Cyrus already out the loop? Isn’t that why Cyrus even started looking at other people who help run for President? Also the COS doesn’t have to help Susan get elected. I know that Cyrus is basically backstabbing Fitz but my point is that it has nothing to do with Abby. Abby has backstabbed a man who she knows is ruthless for a job she will only be holding for a year? Even if Susan won, Susan isn’t going to hire her as COS. Mellie and Hollis aren’t going to hire Abby either. Abby needs to start thinking about her future beyond the White House. We all saw Fitz kick Cyrus out the loop so Cyrus isn’t privy to secrets anymore

    • herman1959 says:

      It’s a serious campaign violation to run/plan/discuss a presidential campaign from the White House. This is why even a sitting president running for reelection has to have a separate office and campaign staff. Cyrus could have been brought up on charges, but he was allowed to “resign”. As it is, he will be on the outs with the Republican Party when they find he has switched sides which and he won’t be able to call in a lot of favors.

      • bigdede says:

        I may have worded it wrong but Cyrus had a woman murdered, was about to murder his own husband and helped cheat to get Fitz elected. So when I say there’s nothing wrong with Cyrus helping another person run for president, in Cyrus world, there’s nothing wrong with that. Abby needs to worry about herself and what will she be doing in a year. After being COS, she’s not going to just want to work for Olivia again.

  9. Bigdede says:

    I can NOT believe they had Jake scold Olivia for doing the EXACT SAME THING HE DID!!!

  10. Imzadi says:

    I was a little disappointed that my favorite ship seems to be fading away. First Quinn turns away as Charlie tries to kiss her, and then she says he’s an investigator when he says he’s her lover! Please bring Quarlie (Chinn?) back strong. They were so cute during the kidnapping a couple of episodes ago!

  11. Imzadi says:

    Nessun Dorma (from Puccini’s Turandot) may have been appropriate to the story line, but it is meant to be sung by a tenor (Prince Calaf sings it in the opera and Pavarotti has made the ultimate recording) and it should either have been sung totally in English or totally in Italian, not a mixture of both. That was just WRONG!

    • herman1959 says:

      Do you know the back story? Pavarotti was supposed to sing it at an event, but he was ill at the last minute and asked that Aretha Franklin sub for him. She had recently learned the song and sang it for him, and he enjoyed it. Plus, it’s just a TV show!

    • Leslie Krull says:

      I completely agree! Don;t mess with the great classics.

    • Barry B says:

      Yes, the Nessun Dorma was really bad. I usually think Aretha Franklin (if that’s who it is) can do no wrong but yikes. And it didn’t really work with the story. Just confused me.

    • I completely disagree. It was freaking divine! DIVINE I say!

    • FootSoldier says:

      I agree. I don’t know who it was that was singing but she had the voice of a washerwoman who;d drunk one too many doses of bleach. She ruined that aria completely.

  12. Eran says:

    I can’t. I’m sorry but I just can’t. No more. This is week two now that I’ve been choosing recaps over watching and frankly, it looks like it’s going to carry on this way, until Jake Ballard is as dead as a door nail. I don’t understand the writers’ end game here and it is mindboggling to me, because the longer this sick, twisted and symbolically incestuous relationship between Olivia and Jake carries on, the more respect I am losing for the main protagonist. This isn’t dark and twisty, it’s dark and pitiful. And there is not a single redeeming quality left in Scott Foley’s character that could somehow turn this ship around. None. Are we honestly expected to root for an utterly remorseless, homicidal sociopath?

    So yeah. I’m stepping away. And will happily step back in the moment Jake is over once and for all. But enough is enough. The whole thing’s just too disturbed to watch any longer.

  13. tvfan says:

    Question…when Olivia said she just missed Jake, did you all think that she was saying that to let his guard down? I thought she was saying that so that she could continue to figure out what he’s up to. I didn’t think she really meant it.

    • Tennisnsun says:

      I think she just wants him to believe that but she has an other agenda. I really doubt Jake is stupid enough to believe her either even though he said OK. Cat and mouse

    • Nina says:

      You never know with this show, you practically need a guide to interpret the staccato subtext. I’m pretty sure the writing and the interpretation are left ambiguous on purpose so people stay tuned thinking Olivia is turning a corner. She hasn’t turned one in three seasons but alrighty then. 👌🏾

      • herman1959 says:

        It wasn’t ambiguous when Olivia called Quinn and said to double down on Jake’s surveillance. The game is back on.

  14. j saunders says:

    Yes, the writers are making Olivia look stupid, ok she was kidnapped but enough already get over Jake & Frith and stop letting her wear all dark clothes. Really liked her in the pastel colors and let her be a good lawyer again….Because the show is going down right now.

  15. robandco says:

    So now Olivia’s storyline is just being involved with all the lousy characters that exactly no one care about. Great. She does nothing. There is no more case of the week, OPA is a joke that acts like Olivia’s personal assistant. No wonder Scandal lost a full point in ratings in a matter of weeks.

    That said, I am pumped for the election storyline. The writers will have a field trip with that Donald Trump-esque character !

    And it’s Sally Langston not Doyle (or you have a spoiler that I have not heard yet).

    • Brian says:

      It’s hard to not be pissed at what the writers have done to Olivia’s character. I now cringe when she comes on screen and I absolutely dread any scene she does with Jake. The only thing i’m enjoying in this arc is Abby.

  16. Pam says:

    As I was watching the other night, I realized that Abby is the only good one in the bunch (so is Susan Ross, but she’s more of a minor character). I really hope they don’t let her get corrupted. I’ve reached a point where I hate almost every character.

  17. Phil says:

    Abby was the best thing about this episode. Susan Ross needs to be a main character. Now let’s talk about hypocrite Olivia. Was Jake a hypocrite for calling her out on stalking him? Yes. What people seem to conveniently forget, is that when Jake did that, he was a B613 agent, acting on Rowan’s orders. Here, Olivia is the one who ordered surveillance on Jake. Olivia in her discussion with Quinn. She was upset because she was put up for auction. The auction which was her idea. And only after a long time, being kidnapped suddenly becomes something that rattles her. On the topic of power, she tells Quinn she misses running the country, but tells Abby not to grab power when she can. And the crown jewel of bad writing for Olivia, it took her actually seeing the phone drop to realize Jake met Vanessa the same way he met her. Jake can be a lot of terrible things, but one thing he is is right, Olivia has fallen a long way down from being the smartest person in the room.

  18. Carla says:

    That was a barn burner of an episode. Wow. one question: who sang Nessun Dorma. Fabulous cover

  19. marie a pickens says:

    Scandal is no loner my favorite show cause Olivia no longer has the brains or guts she on ce had during season 1. I’m very disappointed with Shonda for allowing Olivia’s character to stoop so low. Usetobe fan, Pookie

  20. Aren’t we all tired to death of the Nth rewriting of the main arcs, plots and characters on this show? I mean how hard it is in the writters room to stay concentrated for 3 hours session and choose what story they whant to tell us?

    P.S. I’m glad that the number of shritless and bed scenes was slightly reduced. But it only makes the rest of the scenes insane absurdity shine. Olivia yelling in the woods to Quinn?!? Jake telling Olivia “she is the dumbest person in the room”? Olivia “apologising” to…Jake, because she “misses him”?!?! All this BS in the modest less 1/3 of the epi Olivia was part?!? Do the runner want us to atteign the point that we will be gratefull and relieved to not see the once upon a time LEAD character on the screen at all? It is how it feels. Someone have to put an end of this misery. Someone who is able to give Mrs Rhimes a new show on whatever she wants to write about with whatever characters she loves. This cast is not anymore able to play beliveably those characters because they were rewritten so many times that they are not making any sens. Almost all of them except few supportng ones like Hollis, Susan and Sally.