Scandal recap: 'The People v. Olivia Pope'
If your friends won't point out your penchant for assassinations, who will?
Scandal is nuts. Bonkers. Fully nutty. But we’re here, and over the cliff, and Gladiators for at least the next eight weeks. We’re invested.
So, let’s do a catch-up. Remember when Charlie was going to kill Rowan? Well, that’s stopped by Quinn, and in a very chill fashion, she introduces him to their new child. Then Fitz shows up and super casually says that he and Olivia should go to Vermont. That all gets turned on its head when that’s revealed to just be a big intervention to finally set Olivia straight because she knows that her closest circle knows everything: having Quinn killed, having Rashad killed, having our hopes for a reasonable Scandal series finale killed, EVERYTHING.
You know, at this point, we’re all just riding through this, which is why Quinn and Rowan singing Britney Spears (“Hit Me Baby One More Time,” no less) is actually perfect.
Back in Vermont, Abby presses Olivia, telling her it’s their time to save her. After that, Rosen sits outside of her door announcing all of the laws that he can have her locked up for. You know, it’s your standard combination of sisterly solidarity, legal prowess, and sexual energy that is supposed to save Olivia from all of her demons.
In Cyrus’ office, Jake holds him up against the wall to demand some answers about all this nonsense that’s happening. But when Cyrus calls his bluff, with Jake holding a pair of scissors to his neck, he backs off. He immediately goes to President Mellie to discuss the insanity that has come in the wake of Olivia Pope, but when he alleges that Olivia and Mellie may be so in cahoots that she’s clouded Mellie’s judgment, Mellie excuses Cyrus because SHE IS A STRONG WOMAN, OKAY?
Back in the house of murderers who love Britney, Charlie and Rowan share a few moments where they put aside the fact that Charlie tried to kill Rowan and talk about baby stuff. But when Charlie talks about how he’s going to, you know, take his wife and child home, Rowan shuts that down. Quinn needs to stay with him. Of course, that doesn’t fly because this show is 100 percent off the rails, but even Charlie can’t get on board with this whole cockamamy scheme to “save Olivia.” There’s a super crazy standoff that goes unresolved.
Returning to the “let’s talk Olivia off her sociopathy ledge” story line, Huck stops by Olivia’s door before retreating. But it’s in his retreating that Olivia finally opens her door and invites him into her room — not because she’s ready to change, but because she needs him. GIRL, maybe you shouldn’t think-you-killed-but-didn’t-kill his best friend before you go asking for favors. Nevertheless, she asks him for a favor: get her out of the house. That’s when Huck loses his mind and says that they are not the same because she killed Quinn (LOL no she didn’t guys, but sure, fine), and he’s not her Gladiator anymore.
In the house of Britney, Charlie leaves that standoff to talk to Quinn about how they need to get out of there, and you know what? Up until that point, I was totally on board. But Quinn makes a point: She wants Olivia to pay. She wants her in prison, and part of that is hanging back, being in Rowan’s house, and letting justice come to fruition, Double Jeopardy-style. Speaking of logical people, Mellie brings Jake in to discuss why Olivia had Rashad killed, but when she’s not happy with his answer, Jake launches in and SLUT-SHAMES THE PRESIDENT (which, in these trying times, shouldn’t surprise us, but alas). He tells her that Olivia did what she did because Mellie wanted to go to war over the president of Bashran because she couldn’t keep her legs closed. LORD BE. Mellie is shook. America is shook. I practically can’t lift my glass of red wine to my lips.
Following that failed coup with Huck, Fitz shows up at Olivia’s door to tell her that she’s wrong (which, this time, is just) and that even though she was wrong, he’s going to wait — wait for her to stop being a sociopath. And when she’s done, he’ll be ready for the two of them to get their business back together. That’s clearly going to take a minute because Olivia is Messed Up. Capital M, capital U.
In the wake of that, Charlie goes to visit his and Quinn’s baby. Rowan shows up when the baby starts crying, and there’s this actually really sweet moment when Rowan teaches Charlie how to hold the baby. In a really effed up way, Rowan’s kind of always been a dad to his B613 murder children.
After all of that, Olivia finally emerges to tearfully make her case for all her indiscretions. She maintains that she’s fine. She’s doing the right thing. She’s wearing the white hat. But Fitz explains that she’s not fine. And you know, even if it’s complicated and messed up, it seems that maybe…just maybe…the Olivia Pope Redemption Tour is finally on the tracks.
And you know who’s not interested? Mellie. When Jake returns to the Oval to talk with her, Mellie reveals that she knows Olivia has been in Vermont with Fitz, and it’s ironic because Jake called her out for having her legs open when Fitz had his legs open for eight years. But here they all are, in Vermont, getting down to business. And you know what? Mellie makes a point: Olivia is the problem. If that isn’t clear enough, Olivia is set to resign as chief of staff, but instead, she’s hooking up with Jake as “Rhythm Nation” plays in the background. That Olivia Pope Redemption Tour? Looks like it’s been delayed again.
The next morning, Olivia asks, nay, orders Jake to have Mellie shut this Olivia-resignation down. So he does. He threatens to expose Defiance, Ohio, and her affairs and everything else in between. While that all happens, Olivia marches herself back into the White House because she has no limitations — but it seems that the one person she had on her side has turned against her. Jake steps in to take her job, and that leaves Olivia with no one except her own bouncing hair. She bursts into Mellie’s office to ask, “What did you do?” but Mellie has no interest in her business.