Scandal‘s fifth season is getting eerily topical. In the same week that Donald Trump locked up the Republican presidential nomination, the show’s Trump doppelganger Hollis Doyle is in the lead. Can Olivia and Abby do what the real-life Republican establishment couldn’t and stop Doyle?
That’s not all. The episode may start with five candidates running for president, but by the end, only two are left standing to go head-to-head in November. But the election may be taking a backseat to some major developments between Olivia, Fitz and Jake.
With Hollis Doyle now in the lead, Olivia and Abby call a truce to go after him instead of letting Susan and Mellie attack each other. They throw everything they can at Hollis, saying he used taxpayer money to by a private island, raped his wife and hunts with the KKK. But just like in the real world with Trump, it only makes Doyle’s poll numbers rise.
Doyle is unstoppable and makes things even more interesting when he claims that whichever lady drops out first, Susan or Mellie, will be his vice presidential pick. Liz wants Susan to take the deal, but Abby talks her out of it. Mellie considers taking the deal too, but Marcus shuts it down in a scene rife with sexual tension. By the end of the episode, the two almost kiss.
Olivia Defeats Doyle
Olivia goes to Doyle to say Mellie will accept the deal, but gets him to admit that all of the offensive things he says are just an act and that he actually hates those inbred morons who support him.
Of course she recorded the whole conversation, leaks it to Sally Langston and Sally then uses it to destroy Hollis on live TV. Just like that, Hollis is out. If only it were that simple in the real world to stop Trump.
Who Is the Republican Nominee?
With Hollis out, the race is back to Susan and Mellie, which means Abby and Olivia’s truce is over. A meeting is called in the Oval Office with Susan, David, Liz, Fitz, Abby, Olivia, Mellie and Marcus. Both sides agree to present their worst opposition research to agree which of them should drop out.
Olivia reveals that David dropped a federal lawsuit to secure the Florida governor’s endorsement for Susan. That’s bad because Fitz immediately asks for David’s resignation as Attorney General and Susan isn’t happy either, dumping David for good and ending their engagement from earlier in the episode.
Abby once again proves that she’s not a real political monster because she doesn’t drop the bombshell about Olivia’s abortion she got from Papa Pope. Instead, she has some stupid story of Mellie talking to psychics after her son died.
With the cards on the table, Susan drops out and Mellie Grant is the Republican nominee for President. In the aftermath, Olivia confronts Abby about what she really had. Abby tells her she knows about the abortion and Papa Pope told her, but didn’t reveal it because it would hurt Fitz, who still doesn’t know.
Edison the Puppet
Cyrus is a true believer in Frankie Vargas, but he’s still losing to Edison Davis. Cyrus asks Olivia for help and learns that Papa Pope is actually running Edison’s campaign. There’s no winning because Rowan was Command and he’ll be better at stealing an election than Cyrus and Olivia ever were.
She’s not wrong because Papa Pope explains to Edison that he can’t attack Hollis because he can’t act like an angry black man. He’s already going to get all of the black vote just because he’s black, so he needs to play nice for white people so they’re not threatened by him and will be OK with making him the first black president. Papa Pope also lays down the law about proposing Jake as a vice president.
Edison talks to Jake and tells him he won’t be his vice presidential pick. Jake explains that he doesn’t have a choice and basically threatens his life if he doesn’t pick him.
Who Is the Democratic Nominee??
Later, Olivia goes to Edison to appeal to his better nature. She points out that he’s just her father’s puppet and urges him to drop out. He listens and does exactly what Papa Pope warned him against doing, railing against Hollis Doyle to the press in an awesomely angry speech. However, the sad reality is that an angry black man speaking the truth means he’ll lose the election.
Indeed, Edison calls Vargas to concede. So now we officially have a Mellie vs. Frankie showdown in November, with Olivia and Cyrus running the campaigns.
In the final scene of the episode, Papa Pope and Jake rough up Edison a little bit, with Papa Pope revealing that he knows his daughter was behind the implosion. Rowan leaves and that’s when Jake shows his true colors. He tells Edison to ask Olivia for help because Jake wants out. He wants to leave Papa Pope’s clutches and “chase the sun.”
Next week is the Scandal season 5 finale and while picking vice presidents will be a big deal, the real drama comes from Olivia’s personal life. Will she help Jake get away from her dad? Will Fitz learn the truth about Olivia’s abortion? And will Mellie and Marcus finally have sex?
(Image courtesy of ABC)