On Thursday’s Scandal, Cyrus makes his return to the White House a memorable one, Olitz prepares for a wedding, and – holy Shondaland! – Mellie pulls off one of the greatest single-episode comebacks in the ABC juggernaut’s history. Let’s recap, shall we?
WEDDING BELL BLUES | We open with Mellie in some major hot water: She’s caught lying in front of the Senate judiciary committee, claiming she knew nothing of Olitz until, like, a few minutes ago. But the Senators had damning testimony to the contrary (remember the bribe she paid Jeannine Locke, the former White House staffer, to lie about having an affair with Fitz?), so Mellie feebly taps the “I don’t recall” defense. As Sally Langston drools with delight, the White House changes strategy – it’s time to invoke Executive Privilege.
But according to Cyrus (is he happy to be back in the White House, or what?), there’s still one magic bullet that will make Olitz’s troubles magically disappear: Put a ring (a real wedding ring) on it, Fitz! An Olitz wedding would prevent Olivia from having to testify at the Senate’s impeachment hearings. Olivia, however, balks, “A shotgun wedding on the heels of a quckie divorce?!” Cyrus and Fitz try to twist her arm, but agree to find another way.
Later, during a heart-to-heart with Abby in the president’s (soon to be First Lady Olivia’s?) bedroom, Liv decides that perjuring herself is a better option than Fitz’s otherwise certain impeachment. “I love him too much to let that happen,” says Liv, who then calls marriage a “last-minute get out of jail free card.” Even a candle-lit, rose petal laden marriage proposal on the White House balcony can’t change her mind. “We’re not ready,” sighs Olivia. Counters Fitz: “You’re not ready, and you never will be.” Ooooh, burn.
ROWAN’S RETURN | Did anyone really think a silly little legality like extortion/embezzlement would keep the ever-sinister, unpredictable Papa Pope on the sidelines? It may take me an extra glass of Malbec (or three) to get on board with the latest Papa Rowan plot — good riddance, B613 (maybe), hello Lazarus One! — but it goes something like this: Elise (Jake’s wife, remember?) drops by to visit Papa Rowan, and they’re apparently planning (what else?) a prison break. But when Rowan survives an attack by a murderous prison guard, all bets are off. Jake confronts Elise on her secret prison visit, and she fesses up that she’s in the U.S. on behalf of Lazarus One — to kill Rowan. “The world will be a better place without Rowan in it,” she says. Amen, sister! With nowhere else to turn, Rowan calls Olivia — who wisely hangs up — and then Quinn, who decides she’d rather tell him “no” to his face. Later, Abby comes up with Olivia’s best option, and boom, she’s visiting Rowan in this hospital (who’s faking arrhythmias to avoid going back to jail and certain death). “Get me out of this prison, and I’ll get you out of this mess,” he tells his daughter, citing those B613 files stored in his memory bank. Watch out committee members, it’s blackmail time, courtesy of Papa Pope!
WE’RE ALL GOING TO HELL | Meanwhile, the Gladiators continue to circle the wagons around Olivia, and plan to counter the Locke cover-up mess and avoid a perjury trap. So what’s the genius plan? Blame it on dead Gladiator Harrison.
I HATE YOU SO MUCH | As she melts down at the prospect of Olitz’s unholy matrimony and her disastrous Senate testimony, Mellie meets with Olivia, who says if she springs Eli Pope — aka Damascus Bainbridge, Mellie’s faux rich contributor — they’ll all be off the hook. We get a quick recap of B613, before Mellie unleashes her anger at Olivia (“I despise you” “Your father is a murderer”), before rejecting the offer. But Olivia has one final card to play: She finally decides to tell Mellie that Rowan was responsible for her son’s death. Later, Mellie meets with Fitz to finalize their divorce, and they play the blame game. “You have blood on your hands,” screams Fitz, while Mellie hisses back, “My life would have meant something, if it wasn’t for you!”
EYE ON THE PRIZE? | In a (so far) small side plot, VP Susan Ross turns to David for advice — she wants to resign her office. Later, over wine coolers, David tosses out the idea of her taking over the Oval office. “The President’s behavior is disgusting!” she shouts, before admitting she doesn’t want the job. But David convinces her she would still be better than Fitz.
JAKE’S NEXT ADVENTURE | After deciding that a wedding is the best way out, Olivia calls Jake with the news. “Congratulations,” he says coldly, before heading off on a Lazarus One adventure. When he gets to the train station, he finds Elise, and gets a big surprise — she’s got a bullet hole in her back.
HELLO, OLIVIA | By now, we’ve come to expect the final minutes of a Scandal episode to provide plenty of shock and awe, and tonight’s closing scenes didn’t disappoint. Just hours from Olivia’s testimony, Olivia (wearing white, what else?) shows up for the quickie wedding, but gets a last-minute call from Mellie. Before we know it, the wedding’s off (Abby returns the ring to a puzzled Fitz), and Olivia and Mellie are face-to-face in an underground tunnel. Mellie’s had a realization! “You are not my enemy, you are my freedom,” she says. Then, as the Senate committee announces they’ve abandoned their investigation — Rowan really delivered on his blackmail on promise! —the former First Lady drops her bombshell on Olivia. “You are going make me President of the United States.”
But wait, there’s more (of course there is)! In walks Rowan (with old friend Tom), with a glint in his eye. “Hello, Olivia.”
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the action-packed episode? Hit the comments!