Scandal loves secret plans. There are always a group of people working together for some secret mission. In this episode, that honor goes to Olivia, Jake and Fitz, who team up to take down Papa Pope. But they clearly haven’t been paying attention, because when you think you’re two steps ahead of Rowan Pope, you’re actually three steps behind him.

While that’s going down, there’s another, far more sinister alliance looming on the horizon. It seems all of those other random storylines that have been unraveling throughout the season come together and form one big storyline that could spell trouble for Fitz. Yes, Jake, Olivia and Fitz aren’t the only unlikely trio working together.

The War Against Rowan

Jake, Olivia and Fitz meet in the bunker to go over a strategy for declaring war on Rowan. Jake just wants to kill him, which is smart, but Fitz wants to find a more legal remedy to the problem. Olivia backs up Fitz, so the plan is to have a secret trial to take down B-613 without ruining the Republic. Jake pitches in my telling them about the storage locker filled with secrets, but he has to stay locked in the bunker to keep Rowan in the dark.

They bring in David Rosen, as Attorney General, to find a legal-ish way to bring a secret trial against Rowan. In the bunker meeting, Jake subtly intimidates David to make it clear that he should not disclose how much he knows about B-613 or that they were working together.

Amid all of this, Jake and Fitz can’t stop fighting over Olivia’s attention like school boys. Jake talks about standing in the sun, Fitz kisses Olivia and it’s all so high school.

Instead, of storming B-613 to arrest Rowan, Olivia concocts a scheme to agree to go to dinner with him by crying about how he’s right about Jake and Fitz just wanting to win her like a prize.

Life Without Rowan

At dinner, Rowan talks about how much he loves Olivia and everything he’s done was for her. As this happens, Fitz and Jake watch from the situation room as soldiers get into place for the takedown and David Rosen begins going over the B-613 files.

But then Rowan tells Olivia that he knows she betrayed him. Yes, Papa Pope always wins. He has his men kill all of the soldiers outside the restaurant as Fitz and Jake look on in horror. Elsewhere, David learns that all of the files are blank, meaning Rowan must’ve switched them out at some point, so now there’s no evidence against him.

Papa Pope isn’t going down. Instead, he’s just going. He tells Olivia that she has chosen the boys over her own dad, so now she’s going to see how bad things get without him. He leaves, victorious.

Cyrus vs. Elizabeth North

RNC Chairwoman Elizabeth North asks Olivia for help finding out who is bugging her phone. OPA takes the case, but it gets complicated when they find out it’s Cyrus. Cyrus tells Olivia about Michael the gigolo and how Elizabeth hired him. He asks her to help him instead of Elizabeth. As if Olivia doesn’t have enough problems being the center of a love triangle, now she’s in the middle of a powerful Republican hate triangle.

Olivia lies to Elizabeth that it was just a harmless computer virus, deciding to help Cyrus handle the fact that Elizabeth has photos of videos of Cyrus in very compromising positions with Michael.

When Huck digs deeper, he discovers that Michael had access to a lot of confidential information, but the only thing he gave to Elizabeth was about the military base closings tied to West Angola. So I guess Michael really likes Cyrus after all.

Mellie and the Veep

Vice President Andrew Nichols’ car is blown up, allegedly by West Angolas angry at the administration. He’s fine, but the near-death experience prompts Mellie to reignite her affair with him. They agree to get back together and give their relationship another shot.

The Threads Come Together

Huck spends the episode watching Elizabeth and hanging with his son Javi while Quinn watches Kubiak, the security guard at Jeremy Winslow’s law firm. And by the end, Huck and Quinn run into each other.

At an apartment, Elizabeth North meets with Kubiak, and then they’re joined by Vice President Andrew Nichols. WTF? So all of these separate storylines are coming together, and it seems like Olivia isn’t the only one capable of secret alliances. Is this just an attempted coup, with Andrew wanting the presidency by getting close to Mellie as Elizabeth spies on Cyrus and Kubiak watches Olivia (aka the three most important people in Fitz’s life)?

As Elizabeth and Andrew hook up (sorry Mellie, he’s just using you), Kubiak attacks Huck and Quinn outside. Huck manages to kill him, but the bad news is that Javi sees it go down.

Next week on the Scandal winter finale: Olivia wants the kill shot. I suspect things are going to get insane.

(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.