Scandal Recap: 'A Snake in the Oval'

Scandal Recap

I’d say that Olivia Pope was finally beaten at her own game on Thursday’s Scandal — but that would imply I still know what game is being played here.

Picking up immediately where last week’s staff-changing episode left off, Mellie answered Olivia’s question (“What did you do?!”) before demanding answers of her own. Liv admitted to organizing Rashad’s assassination — boldly employing a “What else was I supposed to do?” tone all the while — at which point Mellie demanded her public resignation. Again.

This is where Olivia started to panic, sending her into full puppet-master mode. Don’t ask me the mechanics of how she accomplished this, but Liv used Jake and Vanessa’s open marriage to launch an international incident, linking Vanessa’s side piece Robert — who just to happened to work in the State Department — to Russian agents. (I assume David immediately regretted telling Jake, “It’s not like you asked Russian hookers to pee on your or something” earlier that day.)

For a whole other set of reasons, Cyrus also activated his inner puppet-master, convincing Vanessa to go on national television and claim that she was working with the CIA to expose Robert’s involvement with the Russians, thus absolving her of any actual scandal — and allowing Jake to remain in the running for Chief of Staff.

He then took all of this information to Olivia, including the kicker that Mellie convinced the head of the CIA to falsely corroborate Vanessa’s little story, essentially guaranteeing Liv’s safety in the White House. And with Mellie exposed, impeached and eventually fired, Cyrus would be promoted into the office he’s always dreamt of running. “If there’s going to be a snake in the Oval, it might as well be me,” he hissed to Liv after revealing the details of his master plan.

But much to everyone’s surprise, Olivia chose to announce her resignation.

Odds and Ends:

* I loved Olivia’s line to Cyrus: “You’ve done far worse for much less.” She’s not wrong.

* I’m glad that Mellie made her mammogram a priority, but is anyone else worried that this might be leading somewhere… not good?

* The scene between Olivia and Rowan, the one where he was stitching her wound and talking about dinosaurs, was… Sweet? Creepy? Both? With those two, I can never really tell.

* While we’re on the subject, I was actually surprised that Olivia ended up getting shot — though I’d be a lot more concerned if it happened closer to the finale. (Not that it’s going to end that way… right?)

* Admit it: You at least came close to crying when the Gladiators saw Quinn, alive and well, for the first time.

* Lastly, since Rowan told Quinn, “Because of my biology, I can’t allow anyone to hurt my child,” does that mean he was always bluffing when he threatened Liv throughout the years? Like, every single time? Even the times we thought maybe he was being serious? This is an outrage.

Your thoughts on this week’s ScandalDrop ’em in a comment below.

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