Ugh, Charlie. You got screwed, my friend.
And all by Gary Clark. And now they’re going all through OPA-turned-QPA. Quinn Perkins and Associates is shut down, and all the while, Charlie is getting tortured for information. Of course, the torture can stop if Charlie signs a document admitting fault. He can walk, too! But the complication is in the paperwork — because the paperwork? Well, it says that Mellie hired Charlie to hijack the plane and kill Cyrus. Charlie knows exactly what’s going on, but lo and behold, it looks like Charlie is a man of good morals. He turns down the offer.
For the time being, Quinn decides to work with Olivia, even though Olivia almost had her killed. But that’s what you have to do when your fiancé is in FBI custody, ya know? They take the case to Fitz, who says that maybe they need to head to Mellie and tell her. Whatever it takes to lock this whole situation down, implicate Cyrus, and set Charlie free. Meanwhile, Lonnie/Gary Clark/the man of my nightmares goes back to tell Cyrus that Charlie won’t crack, and that’s when Cyrus has the idea to switch up their approach. And that launches us back to QPA, who are meeting to discuss who this Lonnie guy is. Looks like he’s a good guy and an excellent public servant. Sounds like another character he’s played. (Oh my God, Justin…let it go.) But while QPA investigates, Quinn gets a call. All of a sudden, she’s in Cyrus’ vice presidential limo. Here we go.
Cyrus insists that Charlie has to sign that deal, but Quinn holds strong. That totally sets Cyrus off, and he launches into a diatribe about how Olivia Pope has everyone under her spell. Cyrus passes a phone number off to Quinn and says if he doesn’t hear from her in 24 hours, he sends his condolences to her and her family. Yikes! Meanwhile, Fitz goes to Mellie and fills her in about Cyrus’ plan, but Mellie isn’t game for it. The longer this episode goes, the more it seems like Olivia’s plan to save Charlie is falling apart. Mellie doesn’t believe it, and when Quinn returns to Olivia, it seems that maybe she’s lost some ground as well. It makes sense, considering that Olivia…you know…had her ordered to be killed, essentially.
Mind you, while that all falls apart, Mellie starts wondering. She pulls in Jake, who immediately asks, “How did Olivia get to you?” It’s the classic case of the Fixer Who Cried Wolf too many times. But if anyone is still on Olivia’s side, it’s Huck, who goes to Fitz and asks him if he’s the only one who’s seeing the old Olivia, because he’s not sure he can trust himself anymore. Everyone wants to stand in the light with Olivia. Whether or not they should? That’s to be seen.
Even Jake heads to Cyrus’ office to address this hijacked plane situation, but Cyrus plays with Jake’s head and insists that Jake is simply a second choice: a second choice for Mellie’s chief of staff, just like he was a second choice for Olivia when she couldn’t have Fitz. It shakes Jake up a little bit, and if that weren’t enough, Cyrus tells him the offer to work with him is only available for a limited time. So now we have Jake and Quinn working against the clock and their better judgments.
Meanwhile, David Rosen sits down with Lonnie to talk about this insanity going on with Cyrus. Lonnie immediately dismisses it, but when Rosen pushes, Lonnie tells a story about how his son died in a mass shooting, which is ironic to those viewers who are tried and true through all Shondaland shows. But it all boils down to the fact that Mellie loves her guns, and he knows that change has to happen.The deck is looking more and more stacked against Mellie. Even when Marcus goes to visit her, you can almost tell on Mellie’s face that she knows the odds aren’t on her side. She misses Olivia. She misses normalcy, whatever that looks like. But as she has a quick, innocently intimate moment with Marcus, Jake is watching on. You can’t help but think that those conflicting emotions might push him out of Mellie’s good graces and into Cyrus’ circle. (Recap continues on page 2)
While all of those relationships fall apart, Olivia goes to visit QPA, where she finds the entire place torn apart — and the White Hat lying on the ground. She’s come there to meet Quinn, whose frustrations about nearly being killed at the hand of Olivia’s father are freshly uncovered. But Olivia opens up and apologizes, sincerely, about everything she’s done. And that’s when Quinn says that Olivia can’t ask Charlie to protect the Republic after all she’s done. But more than that, she can’t ask Quinn to do that because she doesn’t trust her gut anymore. Olivia follows up: “I trust you. Whatever you choose. It’s your call Quinn. It has to be.” And Olivia passes the White Hat to Quinn.
So Quinn calls Cyrus to say that she can’t make Charlie sign the confession to implicate Mellie, but it’s too late. Cyrus doesn’t need Quinn because he has Jake on his side, and with that? Who knows what comes next. The next thing we see is a completely unrecognizable Charlie. Jake tells Charlie that he’s going to have to kill Quinn if he doesn’t sign the papers. And then he gives the whole speech about what happens when you join B613: There’s no family, and he knew that. So he asks Charlie again…will you sign the papers?
Meanwhile, in the White House, that innocent hand holding between Marcus and Mellie turns into quite. the. sleepover! But that’s interrupted when Mellie is pulled out of bed after being served a subpoena because she’s being accused of hiring Charlie to hijack that plane. Looks like Charlie signed the paper, and Jake is sitting in the Big Chair to deliver the news to her. Let the record show: Men have too many emotions to fulfill the highest duties of our nation. So that leaves (framed) Mellie at the mercy of the justice system.
As the news comes in, Olivia apologizes to Huck for everything she did, but she’s interrupted yet again. Mellie has brought her to the White House. She wants Olivia to be Command again. And this time? The target is Cyrus, and now we’re stuck, y’all. Good Olivia…White Hat Olivia…Olivia on the side of Justice is being asked to kill the man who found it acceptable to see his husband die. The same man who has exacted so much pain on others is in the crosshairs of B613. Can she do it? Will she trade it in for one more kill? We have three episodes left, and the jury is still out.