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Scandal recap: A Divorce, a Proposal, and a Conspiracy

Olivia’s involvement in rigging the election gets an origin story, and Fitz struggles to resume his Presidency post-coma

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Richard Cartwright/ABC


TV Show
Drama, Thriller
run date:
Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young
Current Status:
In Season

Scandal left us with a delightful cliffhanger last week. Quinn Perkins/Lindsey Dwyer finally got up the courage to confront Olivia about Hollis Doyle. You know, the guy who killed her boyfriend (and some other people), framed her for it, and forced her to live the rest of her life in hiding? But of course they were interrupted by a phone call. Fitz woke up. Sorry Quinn/Lindsey. So, will they address the Hollis Doyle problem this week, or are they building up to that for the season finale?

We begin with another Olivia and Edison showdown. (So…they didn’t break up? Last week was just a fight? Political relationships are weird.) He’s figured out that she must be the President’s mistress. Olivia is aghast. “In the past three minutes you’ve called me a criminal, a whore, an idiot, and a liar.” (Oh heyy, that’s the title of the episode!) And she tells him she never wants to see him again. “You’d never suggest that Scooter Libby was screwing Dick Cheney,” Olivia says in her defense. Of all the political pairings to put in our head, you choose Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney? No Ted Sorenson and JFK? No Valerie Jarrett and Barack Obama? Or is the Scandal-verse a world where Obama was never President? Wait, so did Fitzgerald Grant precede George W. Bush? This is going to bug me.

Over the course of the second season they’ve been relying more and more on flashbacks to Fitz’s campaign to fill in the gaps and inform what’s happening in the present. In “A Criminal, a Whore, an Idiot, and a Liar” we see the moment of truth. The moment where The Hollis Doyle Collective decided, as a team, to rig the election. We know it’s flashback mode when Olivia has full-on bangs. When they’re side-swept, we’re in present day. Got that?

In the campaign, we find out that Fitzgerald Grant is trailing behind Governor Reston in the polls. His staff is in panic mode, and everyone thinks they should call in his father to help. Fitz resists and Mellie suggests that Olivia talk to him, which obviously means that we have to cut to what is essentially soft core porn right down to the cheesy soundtrack. But it’s not just sexytime for Olivia and Fitz; she also manages to convince him that his father would actually help his chances of winning the election. Then they get back to what they were doing.

Back in present day, the doctor is explaining that Fitz’s recovery should take at least three weeks. That he might experience a change in personality. That walking across the room will feel like a marathon to him. Basically,  Fitz needs to chill. But there’s no rest for the weary when Sally Langston has taken control of the country. So, Fitz puts on a suit and storms into the Oval Office just as Langston is convincing her cabinet to support her acting Presidency while Fitz is in recovery. Good timing, Fitz.

NEXT: The Cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon…