While Thursday’s Scandal stuck to the usual script for much of the hour — Olivia’s in a pickle, Jake still has an ex-wife, and hey, Mellie really hates Olitz! — things eventually heated up in Shondaland as Cyrus was placed firmly back in the driver’s seat. Let’s recap and discuss, shall we?
LAW & ORDER | We open as the White House staff furiously debates what actually defines an “impeachable offense” – Fitz doesn’t think a high-profile date with Olivia cuts the mustard – and David reminds the leader of the free world that congress wields that power, and he needs a crackerjack lawyer. Enter Patty Snell, who storms into the Oval Office like a snarky, delightful house of fire. Her non-stop digs at Elizabeth (“Do you let this woman anywhere near the Prime Minister?”) aside, Patty asks for “trucks full of files” delivered to congress to keep them busy.
OLIVIA FINDS A FIXER | Meanwhile, since David has forbidden Fitz from even talking to Olivia – the threat of pesky stuff like obstruction of justice and witness tampering hangs in the air – she turns to fellow fixer and sly fox Leo Bergen (Paul Adelstein), who wants to spin their “tawdry” affair into a true love story. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Olivia Pope, woman of the people (Quinn’s idea). Liv loves it, while Leo calls the strategy “utter crap,” but eventually agrees. And the Gladiators get to work rehabbing Liv’s image. But who can convince America Liv is “human and not some man-eating, husband stealing” vixen (Leo’s on a sassy roll already!)? Olivia swallows her pride and pays a personal visit to former flame Senator Edison Davis. Edison has not forgotten Liv’s words — remember when she dressed-him down with that “criminal, a whore, an idiot and a liar” defense way back when? — and demands that she fess up and admit she never loved him. Then, he’ll play ball. Liv swallows the bitter truth pill, because — boom! — there’s Edison on TV, calling out the media’s racism and sexism. With that, we see Cyrus have a fit of the giggles, and Mellie’s face turn to stone. But soon, when the press find another bombshell – the diamond ring Fitz gave Olivia — Leo demands she act like a “love-struck teenager.”
OLIVIA FACES JAKE, AND THE PRESS | Maybe it’s just a form of B613-inspired PTSD, but it’s going to take a few more glasses of Malbec for me to get on board with whatever’s going on with Jake and his new, sorta ex-wife Elise. But for now, we had to settle for Olivia dropping by Jake’s pad and coming face-to-face with Elise, who Jake calls an “old friend.” Jake then tells Olivia if she sells the love story angle, she will be “tied to the White House” forevermore. “Just tell the truth,” he advises. Later, Olivia faces the cameras to talk ring-gate, and — after a long pause — spills, “I wish I never laid eyes on him” because she’s hurt her friends, her business, but mostly, America. “I tried and failed … to stop loving him,” admits Olivia, tearfully. “But don’t ask me to fall out of love with Fitzgerald Grant.” Tug on the heartstrings and pass the tissues! Before hour’s end, Jake fesses up and tells Olivia he was once married to Elise, and then they share some laughs and order takeout. Guess we’ll have to wait ‘til next week (or next season?) to catch up with Lazarus One!?
PAJAMA PARTY | With Mellie still seeing red after she’s asked to step down from the impeachment committee, she drops by Cyrus’ crib and confides to him that she tipped the press off about the ring. “That’s a real Big Girl move,” smiles Cyrus.
DANGER ZONE | Meanwhile, Marcus gets a not-so-veiled threat from Senator Allen and Moskowitz — either be a “good citizen” and spy on Olivia, or face the music (they’ll go after his brother, too!). Marcus leads the high-powered duo into thinking he will cooperate, then he fesses up to Liv and the gang. As they pour over the committee’s evidence log, they fear they have Olivia’s kidnapping tape, which they know will take everyone down. Olivia rushes off to the White House and, during some sexy time with Fitz, whispers, “They know about West Angola,” reminding him that going to war for his mistress is an impeachable offense. They soon realize that Cyrus is their greatest danger, because he would sell them out in a heartbeat. Get on the phone, Fitz!
IN CONCLUSION | To save his behind, Fitz summons Cyrus back to the White House and offers him his job back — alas, not Chief of Staff. After a long-winded speech, Cyrus plays hardball and rejects the offer. “I do not need you, not anymore,” he says, before Fitz reminds him of the good times, and apologizes (were those tears?). Cyrus is moved, but he has a few conditions to keep his mouth shut: He wants his old Chief of Staff throne back, a presidential pardon, a fancy new carpet and — surprise! — Elizabeth fired.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of this week’s episode? Hit the comments!