This week, Scandal takes a page out of 24‘s playbook and crafts an episode that basically plays out in real-time. After Olivia told the press that she’s the president’s mistress, we see the next hour unfold as Fitz, Mellie, Olivia, Abby, Liz and Cyrus try to work out what comes next. And thanks to Cyrus being full-on evil, the solution for this extremely feminist show boils down to public slut-shaming.

Meanwhile, Jake, Quinn and Huck get drunk. Oh, and someone sets the Louvre on fire, which is very important for some reason that involves the return of Papa Pope. Only on Scandal could the most famous museum in the world getting burned down be a minor subplot.

The Fallout from the “Yes”

As Olivia confirmed being the president’s mistress, Fitz and Mellie were doing their interview claiming to still be together. Abby puts a quick stop to it to fill them in on Olivia’s admission. Fitz can’t hide his smile.

Olivia shows up to handle the next step, which involves another interview with Fitz and Mellie telling a version of the truth, that they grew apart after their son died and are getting a divorce. Mellie doesn’t like this idea, so she makes the bold move of hiring Cyrus as her chief advisor to get what she wants.

The Negotiation

Cyrus negotiates the terms under which Mellie will agree to the interview. She wants Fitz to be on the campaign trail with her and help her become president when she runs. She also wants Fitz and Olivia to stay out of the public spotlight. Fitz isn’t on board with the second part, but Olivia convinces him that it’s best to let her win this one.

Mellie then asks for the California house and a guarantee that Olivia will never take Fitz’s last name. Fitz and Olivia agree to everything, but when Abby prints out the agreement, Mellie refuses to sign it. She wants MORE!

Cyrus heads to the Oval Office and though he claims to be on Fitz’s side, he suggests that Mellie will never agree and he should just take her back, putting his relationship with Olivia on hold.

Olivia’s Doubts

Olivia has a run-in with Mellie in the White House residence. Mellie delivers an epic speech about how being First Lady is like living in a prison and it’s a miserable existence where you are forced to sacrifice everything you love. And she does it all while getting drunk on her hidden hooch.

The message hits home as she agrees to throw in the towel, not wanting to sacrifice everything she’s worked for to become First Lady. That’s followed by Fitz apologizing to Mellie for breaking up their team and not being as committed as she was. That’s all she really wanted and Mellie agrees to the interview.

Cyrus the Snake

Cyrus begs Fitz for his job back with a heartfelt speech, but gets turned down. Fitz clearly underestimates how evil Cyrus can be, because one short conversation with Mellie successfully poisons her against Fitz and she stops the interview right before it’s about to start.

With no other options, Abby goes to work with Olivia’s blessing. Plan B is for Abby to throw Olivia under the bus to the press as a party girl. It’s the biggest, most public slut-shaming ever, but Olivia is fine with it because she’s choosing to help Fitz.

The Gladiators

At OPA, Quinn and Huck go into overdrive to handle the scandal, with Huck wanting to erase the entire freaking Internet. But Jake shows up to let them know that this is what Olivia wants and there’s no handling it, so they should just get drunk and watch everything burn to the ground. Jake gets a call from Olivia who expresses some doubts about her admission, but she turns down Jake’s offer to come over and help. He’s basically her escape pod if she ever decides to bail.

Paris Is Literally Burning

While the president’s affair dominates the news, there’s another story that Jake sees about the Louvre being set on fire. So while we may have thought the episode title, “Paris Is Burning,” was a metaphor, it’s quite literal. This freaks Jake out so much he goes to prison to meet with none other than Papa Pope! “Lazarus 1,” Rowan says. I have no idea what this means, but perhaps Command and B-613 will rise from the dead.

(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.