We’re back, Gladiators! It’s been more than two months since Olivia Pope was kidnapped on Scandal. Luckily, this show knows how to deliver on a cliffhanger. Not only do we see what happened to Olivia, but that’s ALL we see. The entire episode follows the aftermath of the kidnapping from Olivia’s perspective.

But that doesn’t mean we get all of the answers, as Olivia is just as in the dark as we are about the reason behind her kidnapping and her prison’s location. Unless you’ve ever seen a TV show or movie before, in which case you see the big twist ending coming from a mile away.

Olivia’s Abduction (Jake’s Perspective)

We get to see Olivia’s abduction in great detail, including her conversation before with Jake. As he’s getting pillows and a blanket for hot piano sex, a masked figure just walks in and abducts Olivia, forcing her to spill her wine on the couch. Jake immediately senses danger and runs outside (still in his boxers), but all he sees is a car. He runs back inside, checks the apartment for bugs (there are none) and calls Huck and Quinn for help tracking the car. Then he leaves.

Olivia’s Abduction (Olivia’s Perspective)

Then we flash back to see Olivia’s perspective on the abduction. The man didn’t take her out of the building, he took her across the hall to another apartment where a whole group of mercenaries have taken the resident hostage and have cameras set up monitoring everything. Once Jake runs outside, the team goes back into Olivia’s apartment to remove the bugs while keeping an eye on him and setting up the car Jake saw as a decoy.

Olivia is smart enough to take off her ring and leave it behind, but after Jake leaves for a second time, they kill the resident and take Olivia out in a body bag posing as EMTs in an ambulance. In the ambulance the main kidnapper (aka the late Dr. Charles Percy from Grey’s Anatomy) says she’s supposed to beg for her life, but Olivia is smart enough to know that this guy isn’t the boss, so she has nothing to say to him. Then she gets injected with something.

Where in the World Is Olivia Pope?

The next thing we see is Olivia waking up in a prison cell. She has a cellmate named Ian who claims to be a journalist kidnapped for ransom in Egypt.  If Olivia weren’t so frazzled and disoriented, I like to think she’d be smart enough to figure out what’s really going on here because it was so incredibly obvious to me, so I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

Outside they hear the Islamic call to prayer, suggesting that they’re somewhere in the Middle East. Olivia assesses the situation, gets a lay of the land, and immediately starts hatching an escape plan. Olivia bonds with Ian and assures him that the President of the United States is looking for her.

Escape Attempt #1

After an uncertain amount of time passes, Olivia is in the bathroom for her daily five minutes and tries to escape through a window by using the wire in her bra to unhook the latch. She manages to open in, but then the kidnappers come in and attack her. One of the guys wants to kill her, but the Kidnapper in Charge won’t let him. Instead, they take Ian out of the cell as he begs for his life. Two gun shots are heard and Olivia is left horrified.

Olivia’s Dream

In an obvious dream sequence, Jake storms in and rescues Olivia. Then she’s in Vermont having sexy showers with Fitz, who is the mayor, while she makes jam. She’s happy, but it’s not real, as proven when Secret Service Agent Tom shows up. Then Abby arrives to talk some damn sense into Olivia, telling her that no man is going to save her, she needs to save her damn self. Dream Abby is every bit as much of a bad-ass feminist as regular Abby.

Escape Attempt #2

Olivia takes more wire out of her bra to try escaping again, only this time when she’s taken to the bathroom, the window is bricked up. She collapses in tears and frustration, but that’s when she sees the same metal object on the pipe below the sink that Abby showed her in her dream. So Olivia unscrews it to grab the lead pipe and proceeds to bash the guard. She takes his keys and gun and tries to get to the big red door. At this point I should point out that her hair is frazzled and absolutely insane. For a show that is all about fashion, it’s amazing to see Olivia Pope looking so unglamorous.

The kidnapping leader walks out and stops her. She points the gun at him, but since she doesn’t shoot right away, he believes that the scared little girl isn’t willing to pull the trigger. Clearly he wasn’t watching her with Papa Pope in the last episode, because she does pull the trigger, only this time the gun is loaded. Wow, Olivia just killed someone. And for the second time on a Shonda Rhimes show, actor Robert Baker gets shot and killed. RIP Dr. Charles Percy. Again.

The Truth Is Revealed

She unlocks the big red door and finally escapes, only to see what I (and I assume many of you) had already figured out. She’s in a warehouse and the prison was just a fake set designed to extract information from her. And the true leader of this kidnapping plot? You guess it, Ian, the “journalist” who is definitely NOT dead. Seriously, Olivia, you need to go rent the movie Saw when you get back home.

He talks about needing to get information from her (namely that the president will do ANYTHING to save her), and now it’s time for the real plan to begin. At this point, I’m pretty sure Olivia has PTSD, only the “P” stands for “present” because her traumatic stress is still happening.

Question: Why didn’t Ian just stop the charade after he got what he wanted? Did he really have to let Olivia beat one of his men with a pipe and shoot the other in the head?

Also: What was the point of this? The only “info” they learned is that POTUS will do anything to save her, but didn’t they already know that? Isn’t that why Olivia was targeted in the first place? I just feel that the lengths the kidnappers went to (and sacrifices they made) weren’t worth it at all.

Next week on Scandal: We head back to Washington D.C. where Fitz gets a message from Olivia that he must go to war with West Angola or else she’s dead. Is Fitz more of a man than Meat Loaf, because I know he’d do anything for love, but will he do THAT?

(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.