'Scandal' Season 3 Premiere Recap: Mistress in Distress
'Scandal' Season 3 Premiere Recap: Mistress in Distress
Kelly Schremph
Kelly Schremph
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Welcome back, Gladiators, to a brand new season of Scandal, which is already promising to be filled with that non-stop action and fast-paced intensity we've grown to love. "It's Handled" picks up right where May's finale left off, just seconds after Olivia dropped the big "dad" reveal regarding our B613 boss man Rowan (still not over it, guys). And now that she's been outed as President Grant's mistress, it's a race to see who can handle the situation the fastest. Tempers are raised as loyalties are tested. Oh, and the source who leaked Liv's name to the press is finally revealed -- and it's someone you'd never expect. But hey, it's just a typical day in politics. Let's dig in!

Daddy Issues

The media is buzzing with the news of Olivia's affair with Fitz, but the name of the source who leaked the story has yet to be revealed. Olivia, however, is enjoying a nice car ride with dear old dad. And by that, I mean it's completely awkward and terrible. "Why did you try to have me killed," Olivia spouts. Rowan confesses that he wasn't trying to kill her -- he was trying to kill Jake.

Rowan takes Olivia to a plane and tells her he's going to make her disappear from society and given a whole new identity. He goes on to chastise her for everything that she's let happen, basically calling his own daughter a slut. It's a little unnerving to see Olivia get put in her place like that since she's usually always in control. But she gets on the plane and makes one last phone call to Cyrus to say goodbye. He begs her to let him fix this, guaranteeing that he can sweep this all under the rug. He just needs time. Olivia gets off the plane, this time ready for a battle. Even Daddy Dearest's demands can't get her to change her mind. "The White House will destroy you," Rowen warns, to which she responds, "That's what Mom used to tell me about you." Burn!

Gladiators Assemble!

The President wants Vice President Sally Langston to serve as a buffer between him and the press (kinda making her his own personal Gladiator of sorts). At first she refuses, not wanting to help a cheating man, but Fitz manages to woo her over with a few well-placed words and charm. He takes responsibility for his actions and apologizes for failing her as a leader and colleague, but he just needs time to sort everything out before facing the consequences of his indiscretions. She agrees to help. Later on, he even encourages her to condemn him for his actions when he makes an official statement to the press. She questions why he's so willing to help her, to which he responds, "We aren't married to each other." Looks like Fitz is ready to pay the piper.

Meanwhile, Olivia heads back to her office and is immediately greeted by a swarm of press. Luckily, Huck was there to help get her inside safely. She assures her team that everything is being handled and they just have to focus on their clients. But it turns out they may not have any clients left -- they're calling the office left and right to fire Pope and Associates. Yes, things aren't looking good for Ms. Pope and Rowen knows it. She meets with her dad again, and let me tell you, the guy's got a serious God complex. He just goes on and on about everything he does to protect the American people's democracy. (We get it, you have an important job!) But Olivia refuses to back down.

However, the odds just keep getting stacked against her. A video gets released showing the President leaving Olivia's apartment late at night, further solidifying to the public that she is indeed the mistress. Mellie begins questioning the President's security guard Hal, asking if he revealed Olivia's identity to the press at Malloy's -- a popular bar where journalists go to get scoops. (Maybe think about switching bars from now on, alright fellas?) But he swears he never gave away her name, just the fact that she was a close White House advisor, which is still not great, Hal.

And now that the new video evidence has come to light, Cyrus orders his team to start making a "kill folder" for Olivia Pope. 1. Way to be a good friend, Cy, and 2. How about we think of another name for those folders? "Throwing your closest friend under the bus" may be a long label, it at least it's not misleading. In the end, they make a plan to portray her as an ambitious slut. This is why you're not a Gladiator, Cy.

An Affair (Not) To Remember

Determined to handle the situation, Olivia makes a very high-security phone call, which results in her ending up with Fitz in a secure vault-type room. Romantic! But don't get too excited -- this was not for some steamy hookup. Olivia invited Mellie as well in the hopes that the three of them could work together to make a solution. Mellie suggests that they simply deny that the rumors are true and play the happily married couple on TV. Only one problem -- Mellie just went on national TV and admitted her husband was having an affair. Fitz says they should just tell the truth and come clean about everything, a plan which Mellie immediately refutes. Telling the truth would be admitting that her husband was in love with another woman and she will not be made a fool of as a product of their fairytale romance.

Olivia asks Mellie what the adequate number is for the amount of times she and the President slept together. What number would satisfy her? Twice, Mellie decides. They'll announce that they slept together once right after Fitz's inauguration and the other sometime after the assassination attempt. That way it looks like it was just about sex. It didn't mean anything and is something they both deeply regret. They all agree and Mellie storms out while Fitz and Liv share a tender embrace.

Mellie, however, has a secret plan of her own, but it must come from the outside. Cut to Pope and Associates where Harrison's rallying the troops and pushing for a non-Olivia-approved plan. (I love how Quinn suggested just killing another intern to make the problem go away. Like the worst one, of course. Oh, Baby Huck, you terrify me). At first the others are wary about this plan involving mystery DVD, but he asks if they're Gladiators or Bitches. They're Gladiators, of course! These leads to the mystery DVD being handed through a town car window to the one and only, Cyrus Beene.

And just what does said DVD contain? A drunken video of White House communications aide, Jeannine Locke, professing her longtime crush on the President, saying that he's "super doable." No arguments here! Suddenly Olivia's in the clear and the press has found their new mistress.

Secrets Uncovered

Mellie confronts Fitz about what she did and admits that she got the idea to leak Jeannine's name from him -- just like how he leaked Olivia's name to the press. WHAT?!?! Yup, the President himself is the one responsible and asked his security guard to tell the reporter at the bar Liv's name. Mellie assumes he did it because he still thinks him and Olivia will end up together in the White House, but Fitz says he did it so Olivia would no longer be at Mellie's mercy. Now she's free. And as for the state of their marriage -- get ready for some War of the Roses action in the near future.

Olivia, however, is very unhappy with Jeannine reaping the consequences of her actions, so she decides to take the aide on as her client. But there are bigger problems brewing over on Capital Hill. Rowan abducts Cyrus for a secret meeting and presents him with a mysterious folder regarding what went down on Operation Remington -- Fitz's mission with Jake back when they were in the Navy together. Cyrus opens the folder and looks positively mortified at what he sees. But as for what that folder contains...we'll just have to wait until next week to find out. Darn you and your mind games, Scandal! (Just kidding, I love it).

So what did you think of tonight's season premiere of Scandal? Where you surprised to find out that Fitz was the one to leak Olivia's name to the press? What do you think is inside that folder? Take our poll and feel free to sound off on your predictions in the comments below!

Scandal airs Thursday nights at 10pm on ABC.

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(Image courtesy of ABC)