Eric McCandless/ABC
February 09, 2018 at 01:36 AM EST


TV Show
run date
Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young
Current Status
In Season
Drama, Thriller
We gave it a B+

You know that feeling of betrayal when you kill for your boss, and then she has the nerve to replace you? Yeah, it’s insane.

But that’s where Olivia is at, and it marks the end of a road for her: There’s no one left in her corner, at least not in the way she wants them to be. Charlie, Quinn, and Rowan are playing a very strange game of house at Rowan’s place. Fitz and the gang tried to intervene in Vermont, and now Mellie has taken Olivia’s lap dog, Jake, and made him her chief of staff. Of course, it’s all for the greater good, but Olivia? Well, all she can see is betrayal and revenge.

When Olivia calls Mellie stupid, Mellie brings up that whole situation where Olivia killed Rashad, then retreats behind the Oval Office desk and tells her, “You have to go.” Olivia has one week to announce her resignation before Mellie announces it for her…as a termination. Of course, Washington is buzzing with the news before it’s announced, so David hops into action to finalize vetting Jake. That’s when Vanessa pops back up. Hey, girl! What hole have you been hiding in? Jake announces that he and Vanessa have an open marriage, but David believes it’s fine, saying, “It’s not like you asked Russian hookers to pee on you.” Oh, David, someone’s been watching the alternate-world news.

Meanwhile, at the Stockholm Syndrome House of Britney Spears Lullabies, Quinn tells Rowan that this is their time to strike and build a case against Olivia that will put her away. But Rowan reminds her that Olivia is the one who makes the news and twists the headlines. There’s still a very real chance that Olivia is in charge, and if she’s not, she’s merely getting ready to rise again. And at OPA-turned-QPA-turned-Charlie-Keeping-a-Secret-and-Associates, a State Department employee shows up with a crisis. To save face, Charlie tells Abby that the team should continue taking cases, so this State employee is now a client: a client with $12 million dropped in his account by an unknown source.

Back at the White House, Mellie comes to visit Jake, who’s explaining that his B613 is her B613 when the monitor goes down, along with all the computers. He attempts to call Olivia, but she’s busy drinking straight whiskey. Where’s the popcorn, girl? The red wine? The white hat? She finally answers him to commend him on his big win and remind him of one thing: You can’t take command. It looks like she phreaked the system — and no, that’s not misspelled. It’s like old-school hacking. Jake tells Mellie that he’ll get Olivia under control, but she’s not as convinced. You see, Mellie is over being underestimated. That comes to a head when Cyrus assumes that Jake leveraged his way into the chief of staff position. Mellie is also over being made out to be a victim.

At Rowan’s place, he’s taking care of Quinn’s baby when she comes in and interrupts, commenting on how sweet is is before saying that HE’S GOING SOFT. You know, on this crazy show, maybe that’s not the move you want to make with a known murderer holding your baby. Then again, you know, do you. Actually, no, don’t do you. Because just moments later, Rowan is threatening Quinn’s baby. But that’s to make a point: She can’t force him to take Olivia down because Olivia is his baby.

At QPA, Huck and the team dive back into the case of that State employee, Robert, to find that he’s been having some secret meetings. Abby jumps to conclusions to guess that he’s involved in some treason, to which Charlie says, “Like you haven’t committed a little treason.” But it turns out that he’s not treasonous as much as he’s just a cheater. Robert is having an affair, and he’d like to keep it to himself, you know? Huck turns his computer around to reveal that the affair is with Vanessa Ballard, and people are assuming this poor guy is a Russian spy. Of course, this has Olivia written all over it, and she sits in her bed snacking on popcorn (there it is) as Jake calls to confront her about it. Of course, Olivia just recites a speech for him to give, withdrawing his name for chief of staff. Jake hangs up because Liv needs to chill.

At the White House, Jake and David try to calm Mellie down about the entire situation, but Mellie doesn’t want explanations. She wants a mammogram. A calm day getting a mammogram, which has been on the to-do list since the day she moved in…to no avail, because no one’s ever had to schedule one for a president. So today, all Mellie wants is that damn mammogram. Elsewhere in the White House, Olivia goes to meet with Cyrus, who isn’t any more ready to forgive her than anyone else is. Olivia tries to explain herself as moral and just, which is honestly just insane at this point. She’s full crazy. And at that very moment, her latest victims have moved over to QPA to solve this Russian affair situation with Jake, Vanessa, and her newly wealthy beau.

With no other certainty on how to move forward, Cyrus steps up with a plan. Next thing you know, Vanessa shows up on the news to lean all the way in and admit to “playing spy.” She says that her beau Robert was a Russian spy and that she was merely doing her job. As for Robert, well, he’s got an extensive list of defense attorneys. Sounds like he’s getting the bad end of the deal, but hey, someone’s gotta take the fall. Following that stop by the news, Cyrus swings by Olivia’s place. Of course, the help he brings Olivia is the lack of corroboration the FBI can provide for Vanessa’s statement. That links Mellie back to the crime, which will lead to her impeachment. It all leads Cyrus to the Oval. For some reason, this almost feels easier to swallow than Olivia’s total reign of terror. (Recap continues on page 2)

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