is great at blurring professional and personal lines. The characters were first introduced to have a thick exterior, as though nothing could break them. But slowly, their resolve has been tested and we've started to see them as people and not just whatever role they play.
Mellie has always been the one you either hate or mildly hate. She's not meant to be with her husband, she loves her position as first lady so much so that she tolerates him having a mistress.
Then we found out said husband's father raped her, and she's not certain exactly which Grant fathered her child. When this storyline unfolded, some fans were disappointed and angry that the show forced them to become sympathetic for her.
And last week, we sensed that there's some past history with Mellie and Fitz's running name, giving those same critics the satisfaction that, "Ha! Mellie also had an affair!"
In "We Do Not Touch the First Ladies," we see into Mellie and Andrew's past. And it's a little ugly.
The Secret is Out
Broken after being raped, we see via flashbacks Mellie and Fitz fighting over him not being able to touch her. She's obviously shaking and flinching like there's something wrong with her, and all Fitz can focus on is that something must be wrong -- but he's hardly sympathetic. He's angry.
Andrew is right outside listening. One day, he comes into a room on the phone doing business when he hears moaning -- and it's Mellie. She's passed out on the floor after finishing off a bottle of pills. He takes her to the bathroom and forces her to throw up, thus saving her life.
They've had a moment, and Andrew is wanting more, but Mellie isn't wanting any part of that. After he questions why she wanted to end her life, she reveals to him her deep secret -- both about her father-in-law and the possibility of fathering his child. It's surprising he's kept that secret all these years.
Indulging ... Then Holding Back
In present day, Andrew being Fitz's running mate has hit a bit of a snag. That's because someone leaks the fact that Andrew took pills while he was campaigning -- it sounds innocent on the surface because he threw out his back, but the pills weren't exactly obtained legally.
At first, Olivia thinks it's her father who's trying to sabotage the campaign, but she figures out it was actually Mellie who shared that piece of information because she believes the two had a thing. And she goes off on her typical Olivia speech about having to end it.
Well, Mellie coldly reminds Olivia that they are not the same, and even proves it later. She and Andrew are making out (I'm surprised it even went that far) but she then runs off. Say what you will about Mellie, but even after everything, she's still not willing to go against her wedding vows.
Scandal always manages to show what a weakling James is. Yeah, he's put his foot down, but it always didn't last awhile. He's freaking out about being found out that he's Publius because Cyrus is so set on finding out the leak.
James' cowardice act almost gets David killed. Cyrus had Charlie on the White House reporter who was supposed to meet with Publius and then tapped her phone, which led to finding out where they were meeting. James was against making himself known, so David offered to go instead.
Just when he's about to cross the street, he's taken hostage and thrown into the back of a trunk. But this fright is short-lived -- it turned out to be Huck and Abby! Hooray for tapping into your boyfriend's emails!
Getting Settled In
Jake spends the episode getting caught up on official B16 business, including finding out that one of them is inside the White House, acting as all eyes and ears, and likely how Rowan knew his daughter was sleeping with the president.
And that mole is ... Tom! The Secret Service agent. He's been in the background all this time, yet he's been delivering videos of what goes on inside the Oval Office this entire time. Man, it's no wonder Fitz has all these trust issues. Can he even trust the man that's appointed to protect him?
Welcome ... Back?
Adan Salif has gotten to Harrison with her pretty face -- and now apparently tons of cash. She's actually someone who's donating a lot of it to Fitz's campaign, and then it turns out Cyrus is the one who helped her get back into the country.
And just as the episode's about to end, we find out she's brought along a friend of hers -- Olivia's mother! The witch is back. Well, she's been here all this time, but what's she doing with Adan?
Scandal airs Thursdays at 10pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)