This week on Scandal,
we travel back to 15 years ago, where we learn just how Fitz got into politics.
Meanwhile in the present, things heat up between Quinn and Jake, and Olivie digs into Operation Remington with a brand new client.
Mellie is with guests in the East Wing. She shows a reporter through the White House collection of art, laughing about her duties as First Lady while she leads the crew closer and closer to the Oval Office. She giggles with the reporter, pushes through the Oval Office doors, but the place is empty. Fitz isn't there, and the camera is still running. Mellie covers, of course, but you can tell, Fitz is gonna get an earful later.
To Catch A Spy
Remember how Quinn has been trying to become a better shooter, and Charlie the dreamy and wildly unethical assassin, has been helping her? Well, this week on Scandal things really heat up.
Quinn is getting good. She's hitting her targets, and she's proud enough of herself to get all impetuous with Charlie. She asks him about his next target.
He shrugs her off. Nothing big, he says, just some security guard. He slips her the address in sideways, almost accidentally but not quite.
What's a hot-for-teacher young trainee to do but follow him? Quinn stakes out Charlie's stakeout at a crummy motel. Charlie sees her, of course, and confronts her, basically ending up with Charlie pushing Quinn up against the building and giving her a hot-ass kiss. I mean, at this point I think it's fair to point out that Charlie is seducing her on orders from some mystery client, but still, I would definitely not mind getting kissed like that.
Charlie walks away all dramatically, telling her before he goes that next time she can give him a call first.
Pope and Associates' New Client
Just as Olivia is getting ready to head in to the office, her Fitz Phone rings. Is she gonna go back for it? Liv, lemme give you some advice: don't go back for it. You don't need that in your life right now. Yeah... she goes back for it. She never listens to me.
This is not a world-changing phone call. Really, Fitz? You called to tell her to stay away from Jake? Olivia and the Leader of the Free World breathe heavily at one another for a couple minutes. We do learn, though, that Olivia is hurting, and why wouldn't she be? As she puts it, "I'm surrounded by murderers." She's not okay. Her family, her friends are betraying her, and she doesn't know who to trust. And she's certainly not going to trust Fitz. She hangs up and heads to work.
Since Pope and Associates' other candidate, everybody's new feminist icon Congresswoman Josie Marcus, is preoccupied writing her stump speech, Olivia is free to devote her energy to a new client: her mother. Another photo goes up on that genius backlit window thing they have going on there. What is that? Do you guys know? It's cool though, right?
It takes a while for the gang to get everything straight. Abby's super confused, but eventually she gets it: Rowan, Olivia's dad, gave the orders to shoot down the plane her mother was on, and Fitz was the shooter. Jake keeps giving Olivia these worried looks like, "Watch yourself, this is dangerous." Olivia's not having any of it. As always, she's committed to doing everything she can for her client.
Following the meeting, the gang disperses to start working on the case. We learn that the Flight 522 was cleared for takeoff, but it sat on the tarmac for a while, which doesn't happen. Like, that's not a thing, nobody has the authority to make a plane just sit there. But it turns out, the plane had more passengers than the manifest showed, and during that time the plane was sitting on the runway, a federal marshall was leading somebody off the plane. It was dark out, and nobody really saw what happened, but somebody left the plane before it took off.
Questions are everywhere. Who left the plane? And most importantly, why did it get shot out of the sky?
Here's the thing about Scandal: the only thing we know is that everything we know is probably wrong. This week, we travel back in time to Santa Barbara, California, 15 years before all this drama with Operation Remington is coming to light. Fitz and Mellie are in love, young and happy together, and they're on the campaign trail to get Fitz elected Governor of California.
Finally the lovebirds come downstairs and - buzzkill - Jerry Grant, Fitz's horrible old dad, is down there. He's got somebody with them and you guys! Get this! It's a young, bearded, energetic Cyrus Beene! I already love this little Cyrus of the past. He's so fluffy.
Cyrus has a plan. He can see Fitzgerald Grand going all the way to the White House: all Fitz has to do is capitalize on his military career. Fitz refuses. Point blank, flat out refuses. Jerry gets all "I made you, you have to do what I say," and Cyrus gets all "Do you want to be President or don't you?" but Fitz refuses to run on his military career.
And this is where it gets real, you guys: turns out, old Dad knows something about Operation Remington. More than knows something: he covered up Fitz' involvement. Turns out, there was a bomb on the plane. It was aimed for London, and if it reached its destination, it would have detonated all over Europe. Things would have gotten bad. Like, World War III bad. So really, Fitz did the world a favor, and Rowan Pope had to give the order. Jerry gives us some context about the cover-up, too: there's no way a government can apologize for shooting hundreds of people out of the sky. Blaming it on a mechanical failure wouldn't confuse anybody with brains, but it takes the blame off the people who can't take it.
Oh right, there was also that time when Vice President and Hateful Shrew Sally Langston was planning to abandon Fitz and run for President as an Independent. Which Mellie just won't have, of course. Can't you just see her shaking her head in gentile disgust? Mellie and Cyrus conspire to hire a hooker to seduce Sally's handsy husband.
But Sally is many things, and stupid isn't one of them. I don't know how she figured this out, but she finds time in her busy day to passive aggressively let her poor husband know that the family is the core of her campaign, and he has to keep his hands to himself. Mr. Langston tucks his tail between his legs: he understands.
Fitz Gets an Earful
Mellie is pacing barefoot on the seal in the Oval Office. I love this: she goes: "I thought I'd get some estrogen on this seal and see what happens." You tell 'em, sister.
It's time for Fitz to get an earful for that time he stood Mellie up in front of those reporters. She confronts him, and she's not so much angry as hurt. She misses him. She needs him to be her friend, to follow through for her.
And Fitz listens! Next time the reporters come around, trying to fix the faux pas the president pulled in the Oval Office the last time, Fitz covers for Mellie, kindly and firmly, and brings the American people back onto his team. He does a great job. Maybe his approval ratings will even top 30% now.
S#!& Just Got Real In California
Back in Santa Barbara, after Cyrus leaves without much conclusion with his would-be candidate, Jerry and Mellie sit by the fire, discussing their candidate. Jerry has something to confess, and this is how Mellie finds out about Operation Remington. She's shocked, upset maybe, but not nearly as upset as she's about to be.
Daddy Grant gets handsy. Like, in a bad, scary, unacceptable way. As in, it's time to bring out the R-word. Fitz' dad rapes Mellie. I was not expecting that. Makes you think, right? Mellie Grant has put up with so much for Fitz, and now this? Wow.
In the morning, Mellie basically uses the rape as a blackmail tool to use on Jerry. And it works: Jerry backs down off of Fitz. He doesn't have to run on his military career, at least not yet.
Apparently Omar Dresden Has Something To Do With It
Back in the office, the team has turned up another lead: Omar Dresden. Apparently Dresden was working on the tarmac the night Flight 522 didn't take off on time, and he might have seen who the marshall took off the plane.
Somebody's missing, though: Quinn isn't at the meeting, because she's making out with Charlie on their stakeout. Seriously? Is it just me or is the windshield fogging up? Hot damn. After a little banter, Charlie lets Quinn do some legwork for him: she takes a vial of what seems like M99 to knock out the security guard in some swanky office building. The plan, he tells her, is for her to knock out the guard, and then for him to go steal something from upstairs.
But Charlie's still playing his game: it's not M99 in the vial, but something much more deadly. The guard spews up some blood and dies, and Quinn freaks out and runs away.
Pretty soon, the cops are on the scene, and so is Jake. As they pull the body out of the building, Jake gets a good look: the guy Charlie got Quinn to murder was the only lead Pope and Associates had on Operation Remington.
That's funny. It almost seems like Rowan Pope had his finger in it.
Back in the past, Fitz is having a campaign party, and Mellie, funnily enough, decides not to drink the champaign. Fitz figures it out: she's pregnant! He's thrilled. The lovebirds hug and laugh and kiss, until Fitz says, "You know if it's a boy, my father's going to make us name him Jerry."
Aaaaaaaannnnd there we have it. In the Scandal universe, Mellie would be pregnant with her husband's father's baby.
Handsy Mr. Langston
There's a big party at the White House celebrating the art collection there. It's time for Mellie and Cyrus' hooker to seduce Sally Langston's husband. Problem: he's not into her. Is it because Sally knocked some sense into him? Or is it because Mr. Langston is more interested in Cyrus' husband, the handsome and slutty James Novak?
Holy Crap, She's Alive!
As things rocket to a close, Rowan Pope heads into a prison cell, all secretive. He sits down in front of a huddled lump under a blanket in the dark, dank cell. The lump rolls over, and you guys, I'm not even joking right now: It's Olivia's mom. She's alive.
M16 Has A New Spy
Quinn is freaking out. She just killed a guy! Panicked, she calls Huck, but before she can pick up, Charlie is there. "Are you sure you wan to call Huck?" he says. It's true, Huck would be so disappointed in her. But that's not the point: Quinn's whole life is about to change.
Charlie's taking her to Wonderland. Quinn, our little angelic Quinn, is the newest member of M16.
airs Thursdays at 10pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)