Scandal Recap: Liv Uses Her PR Skills to Survive a Kidnapping

Judy Smith's got some advice for you if you ever get kidnapped by masked bandits

When we left off last season, Olivia Pope was cutting a rug, getting ready to have sex on her piano with Jake, trying to forget about Papa Pope and all the stress. Next thing you know, she’s gone; disappeared into thin air.

Now we see Liv has been kidnapped by someone who walked in the seemingly unlocked front door and swept her off. When Jake sees she’s gone, he takes off, barefoot, bare-chested and in nothing but his skivvies. And shoot, her fancy red wine has ruined one of the cushions on her bone-colored couch. This situation is a tragedy of epic proportions. (Except for Jake running in his underwear.)

So let’s try and piece together what’s going on. We get a second look at the kidnapping in slo mo. The assailant didn’t take her out the building as suspected but across the hall. And when Jake races down the steps, we find out there’s a whole team of about six guys in black covered in face masks with hi-tech equipment who have taken an elderly neighbor hostage. When it seems they’ll let her go, they kill her. Then they smuggle Liv out in a body bag beneath the dead woman into an ambulance. So that’s how we’re going to start off the second half of the season, huh?

In the ambulance, one of the men says this is the point where people usually beg for their lives and offer money to be released. He presses her to do the same. But even under these terrifying circumstances, Liv has her PR/business acumen top of mind.

“I only bargain with people who can say yes or no,” Liv says, scared out of her mind. She noticed that there was someone in the apartment that the other kidnappers silently glanced over to for approval before making a move. This one person never said a word. But she knew that must be the guy with the power. That’s the person she would negotiate with. “There are things scarier than death,” the most vocal kidnapper says before administering a shot that knocks her out.

She wakes up in a room with another prisoner, Ian, who’s a writer that says he was working on something in Egypt before he was taken and now the kidnappers are asking for $2M. He’s defeated and doesn’t believe they’re going to survive. Liv PRs him too.

“Do you have someone you care about?” she asks. He’s got a six-year-old daughter named Kyra. She calms him with a reminder that he has something to be hopeful for.

Next she has him check her back for a tracking device. There isn’t one but Ian sure is asking some probing questions about who would insert it and what Liv is all about. She does eventually say, without a doubt, that the President must be looking for her. Hmm…

The only time outside of this prison cell is during the walk down the hallway to the bathroom. During a bathroom break — “Five minutes and then I’m coming in girly,” is the repeated refrain from her captor — Liv discovers a window and tries to escape. Nearly caught, she gives her a captor a swift kick in the crotch.

Confronted by two of her kidnappers, Liv hisses, “You can’t do anything to me!” Maybe not, but as punishment they drag Ian from the cell and we hear two gunshots. With blood on his face, one of the captors tells her there’s no way out.

All seems lost! But there’s 20 mins left. And there are Twitter suspicions that Ian is not all he seems to be.

Then night falls and there’s gunshots and helicopters and Jake. Suddenly Liv’s in her bed on the island. Then she’s taking a shower and Fitz joins her with his fine self. Then she’s in the house in Vermont. surrounded by jars of jam that she makes. Fitz is the mayor (he’s resigned the presidency) and Tom the Secret Service agent is there to protect Fitz from her. (!!)

Then Abby shows up while Liv is walking her dog past some horses in a calm meadow. Of course she breaks up this dreamscape with a few truth bombs. If Fitz resigned where is the media and Mellie or Jake. “Where’s everyone if Fitz went all Wallace Simpson on America?” she asks.

“…There is no man to rescue you. You are the only gladiator in the place.”

Liv wakes to a plate crashing to the ground and she seems to have renewed resolve. But on a trip to the bathroom, she sees that they’ve covered the window in bricks. She buries her face in her hands and howls in despair.

But hey now! She sees the metal drain fixture that popped up in that scattered dream she just had. She uses the underwire from the bra that she’s been grinding on the floor (prompting the Twitter trending topic “MacGyver“). When the bathroom door opens, she hits one captor with the fixture, grabs his keys and gun, and shoots the other captor dead as she takes off out of the red door she’s been looking at day after day on her trips to the loo.

She’s free! But… no. The image outside the door is a projection on a screen. And Ian is one of the captors, using her confession about the President against her. Twitter called it. She’s his “goose that’s laid the golden eggs.” And he marches her off to lay some gold. (??)

And with that, we’re just as confused at end of this episode as we were at the beginning. But we sure are glad Scandal is back.