Scandal Recap: That's a Helluva Second Act

Scandal Recap Season 2 Episode 3This week on ABC’s Scandal, the Fitz/Olivia romance got winged during a hunting party, Mellie started making plans, Quinn made a name for herself and David’s quest for the truth found him going under covers.

SPY ANXIETY | The Client of the Week was Artie (Lost/Mad Men‘s Patrick Fischler), a data wonk for the NSA who stumbled across a super-double-top-secret program called Thorngate (?), which with a few keystrokes can spy on any American citizen. (Frankly, it was pretty cool, though I will now be sure to be clean-shaven when working in front of my MacBook.) Olivia reaches out to an old beau, Senator Davis (played by Norm Lewis), for intel, but he warns her not to mess with the NSA: “Their ball, their bat, their rules.” Soon enough, Cyrus tells Fitz about the Artie problem — and the all-too-familiar fixer fending for him.

SHOT THROUGH THE HEART | Secret Service gents come calling for Olivia, who is escorted to the site of Fitz’s hunting party with an NRA bigwig. Liv resents being summoned, but Fitz is in no mood for games: “Get out of the car!” He straps proper footwear on her and they get to talking about how she’s committing treason and harboring a fugitive by fronting for Artie. Fitz then lobs in a mention of her senator sweetheart. “Stop walking!” shouts Liv, and Fitz turns, heads to her and they start going at it so, so, so ardently, the Secret Service guys can only look away. (Makes one wonder what Clinton’s detail could dish on!) When Fitz heads for second, Liv tears herself away: “I am not yours! I don’t show up in places because you want me!… This is over.”

LIGHTS, CAMERA, DISTRACTION! | When Artie’s only confidante turns up dead, in a staged OD, Liv preps him to go on primetime TV and tell his tale. When the government files an injunction to squelch the sit-down, Liv calls their bluff by presenting the network boss with “compelling” evidence of Thorngate’s power. But later, alone with Huck, Artie stages a stove fire as a distraction to steal back his copy of the software and sneak out a window. Turns out he was playing Pope & Associates all along, knowing they’d help open up Thorngate. Huck isn’t one to be idly hoodwinked, though, so, after Olivia secures 12 hours to recapture Artie on behalf of the NSA, he tracks down Artie and pops him with a tranq dart.

FURIOUS LADY | Coming off a cozy moment they shared over an antique hand-sewn layette for America’s Baby™, Mellie arranges a quiet dinner for her and Fitz, but he comes back from the hunting hot. The First Lady quizzes Secret Service Agent 1 and Secret Service Agent 2 on what happened by the lake, and gleans all she needs to. “You took her hunting?!” Mel tells Fitz she needs to start making plans for herself, because his foolishness is fating him to have a one-term presidency, while she has a “bright, bright political future… a helluva second act” ahead of her. Mellie’s last warning: Get. Over Her! And for good measure: “If you ever see her again, I’ll blow you away — and I’m an excellent shot, remember.” (Hunting joke callback!)

SAY MY NAME! | While celebrating at the bar Huck’s own “hunting” expedition, Abby refers to Quinn as “Lindsay” for the umpteenth yet final time. “Go screw yourself,” Quinn tells her colleague with an intensity that the TV-friendly “screw” didn’t quite convey. “I go by one name now, and it’s not Lindsay!” Or as Harrison translated for Red: “I’m Quinn, bitch!” Left alone, Abby is approached by David, looking to have a drink… but as the hour closes, we realize they wound up having a whole lot more than that, in bed. (Joshua Malina called it!)

What did you think of Scandal‘s “Hunting Season” episode? Did you see the hook-up coming?