Scandal Recap: 'You Had Me at Dismantling the Patriarchy'

Scandal Recap

Thursday’s Scandal found Olivia Pope returning to her White Hat roots, while her former Minions focused on that whole “Who hijacked Air Force Two?” debacle. (Spoiler alert: As we already knew, it was Cyrus. It’s. Always. Cyrus.)

When a distraught man showed up at Liv’s doorstep looking for his daughter Alisha, a Congressional intern as well as an Olivia Pope super-fan, she felt it was her personal obligation to help him out. Little did she know just how personal this mission would soon become. It turns out Alisha shot herself after being blacklisted from Capitol Hill, all because she was put on a list of interns that wouldn’t sleep with Congressmen.

That’s where things got personal, as Alisha’s furious father lashed out at Olivia, blaming her for inspiring his daughter to come to D.C. in the first place: “I know who you really are. … You’re at the top of the heap, and everyone knows who you screwed to get here. … She couldn’t see how disgusting this place is, and how you fit right in. She was better than you because she wouldn’t play this sick game. She followed you into the swamp and it sucked her under.”

Down but far from out, Olivia turned to Alisha’s roommate who did sleep with the Congressman, for which she was awarded a full-time position. With a little prodding on Olivia’s part, she held a press conference to expose the man responsible for setting Alisha on the path to an early grave.

Sexual harassment was kind of the theme of this week’s episode, actually, with Mellie planning to introduce legislation that would change the way it’s dealt with in the workplace… only to find herself in an uncomfortable situation, asking Jake to politely leave the Oval Office after he placed his hand over hers for a little too long. He also gave her those weird, lingering Jake Ballard bedroom eyes, like this was Season 1 or something and that might actually work.

“Clearly I misread the situation,” Jake told Mellie during a next-day post mortem. Mellie laid things out pretty plainly, informing him, “I am not starting an affair in the Oval with a subordinate. … I will not be another Fitzerald Grant and Olivia Pope. Nor am I interested in sleeping with someone who was slept with Olivia Pope.” She then accused him of hitting on her as a “power move,” which he denied. “I made an advance because I was attracted to you. Forgive me.” But Mellie wasn’t buying it.

Even Fitz got in on the discussion, asking Olivia if she thought he was “inappropriate” with her when they first got together. “Did I cross the line?” She replied, “No, that was different. We crossed that line together.” As for whether she regretted it, she said, “No. I would cross that line again.” Between that conversation and the lingering handshake they shared at the end of the episode — underscored by Whitney Houston’s “I Believe in You and Me,” for crying out loud! — I think it’s safe to say that “Olitz” will be crossing the line again before this show is over.

But while one couple was coming together, another was being torn apart — literally. The episode ended with Charlie being hauled off by the FBI as the prime suspect in the Air Force Two hijacking investigation. Obviously we know that it wasn’t Charlie, but the fact that Cyrus was able to frame a member of QPA so easily makes me think he’s still got a dog in this fight. Or he… is the dog in this fight? Look, all I know is that if this show ends with Cyrus Beene alive and well, I’ll riot in the damn streets.

That said, there is one upside to Cyrus posing a very real threat: It’s inspiring the women of OPA/QPA to reunite. I especially got emotional during the re-formation of Olivia and Abby’s alliance: “You had me at ‘dismantling the patriarchy.'” Praise. Hands. Emoji.

(Also, I didn’t really know where to mention this, so I’ll just leave it here: I gasped when Marcus told Mellie, “When it comes to you, I never get what I want.” I’m still rooting for those two crazy kids.)

Your thoughts on this week’s twisty Scandal? Hopes for the final three — yes, three! — episodes? Whatever’s on your mind, drop it in a comment below.