Scandal fans, are your jaws still on the floor after last week’s game-changing final moment? Would you vote for Olivia’s carefully measured, emphatic “Yes” as the single most satisfying word ever uttered in the history of Shondaland? While the latter question is up for debate (though I can’t imagine a more appealing alternative), there’s no denying Liv’s shocking, long-awaited public confession to being Fitz’s mistress has left plenty of highly entertaining carnage in its wake. Let’s recap, and then discuss!
RUN, ABBY, RUN! | As Fitz and Mellie begin what they think will be a face-saving TV interview — their PR strategy boils down to, ‘Hey, America, our marriage is fine, and Olivia is our friend!’ — we cut to a wild-eyed Abby in gladiator mode, racing through the White House in full-scale damage control mode. The storm troopers — blaming a false alarm in the White House — get there to shut down the cameras, but not before the first couple publicly pledged their love (caught on tape, of course).
MELLIE GOES TO WAR | Meanwhile, after a delightful mini-meltdown upon seeing Olivia’s newsfootage (“Yes? Yes? Yes?”), Mellie decides it’s time for war. Her determination to craft some Olivia payback starts the moment she lays eyes on her in the White House. “Oh look, it’s the girl who can’t close her legs…or her mouth.” Advantage, Mellie! With shots fired, a critical decision must be made: Fess up and tell the truth or start spinning. Fitz quickly ends any further negotiations, telling Mellie, “We cannot lie!” while informing her she will do the interview. Melllie fumes, and while Abby begs her to face the cameras, in walks Cyrus to save the day! The two begin plotting, and Mellie’s ultimate goal is revealed: “I want the Oval.”
DO NOT LIE | Of course, Quinn and Huck find themselves totally left in the lurch by Liv’s confession (they’re swamped with phone calls), but nonetheless instinctively go into ‘let’s help Olivia’ mode. Jake, on the other hand, is having none of it, saying Liv has betrayed them all. “Liv finally stood on her own and we are done,” barks Jake, as he reaches for the vodka. Later, Olivia calls Jake lamenting her decision, and Jake’s “just say the word and I’m on my way” almost knocked me over. Don’t go there, Jake!
GIRL FIGHT | In one of the night’s most explosive moments, Abby finally confronts Liv re: lying about Olitz. Liv’s defense? She was merely trying to protect Abby, who finally let all her frustrations, hurts and disappointments fly. “You didn’t want to tell me because you didn’t think I’d be good enough at my job to handle it…did you?” But near the hour’s end, Liv and Abby mend fences, and Olivia affectionately confirms her faith in Abby’s on-the-job skills, and all is well (for now).
WELCOME BACK, CYRUS | OK, he’s only been AWOL for a few episodes, but have you kinda missed the frantic, eye-bulging energy Cyrus brings to the proceedings? If so, you were in luck, because Cyrus is back in a big way. His ultimate demand for Mellie is crystal clear — Fitz’s full support of her bid for the White House, while Olivia stays on the sidelines. Olivia and Fitz agree they can stomach the deal, at least for now. But later, Mellie balks that it’s too weak, and blames a hobbled Cyrus (“the Cyrus I knew was an animal, a monster!”) for failing. Later, when Cyrus literally begs for his old job back, Fitz once again shows him the door.
FADE TO BLACK | As everyone prepares for the big interview, Olivia (unsettled by Mellie’s booze-fueled warnings of surviving life in the White House) tearfully reminds Fitz of all she’d be giving up by being with him. On the balcony, Fitz gives Mellie a heart-felt apology, and, just like that, the interview is on. But before the cameras roll, Mellie has a change of heart (was it Cyrus telling Mellie “you got played” that did it?) and refuses to do the interview, exiting the White House. Cue Abby, who’s taking Olivia’s advice and doing her job, so she faces the press herself, ultimately deferring all questions to Olivia herself. Oh yes, Abby finally gets to shine in front of the press! But of course, we’re not quite done: In the last scene, we see Jake, paying a visit to Rowan in prison about that mysterious fire at the Louvre. Rowan responds, “Lazerus won?” After a pause, Rowan shakes his head and adds cryptically, “And Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” (Loose translation: Mama Pope’s at it again?!)
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of this week’s episode? Hit the comments!