Scandal Recap: Abby Confronts Her Awful Ex and Liv Confronts Her Deadly Dad

Also, Olivia Pope wore something from the Limited special "Scandal" collection.

“Really?” That’s Liv’s first word on last night’s episode. Turns out Fitz is calling her every night. He’s living on hope. She’s still worried about how Jake is being treated in prison.

This episode has Liv working her magic on a lot of people, including the voters of Virginia who have to choose a new senator after the old one was caught, literally, with his pants down.

We also get a glimpse of Abby’s ex-husband, the man who used to violently attack her and is now up for a seat in government. And what’s an episode without Papa Pope being Papa Pope. Let’s jump right in.

For a few brief minutes, we deal with the case of Kaitlynn, the young woman whose mother is being charged with her murder. Quinn shows up at Mr. Winslow’s house with a theory: Kaitlynn went to the office to reveal her mother’s affair, overheard something she shouldn’t have and was killed for it. Quinn wants answers about the situation and how it involves Liv since a treasure trove of photos of her were found among the evidence from the case. At that point, Winslow shoots himself in the head. So we’re left with a cliffhanger.

Back to Virginia. Sen. Lewis McDonnell is filmed drunk, wearing a diaper, pooping his pants. Of course, he resigns and now a replacement is needed. The new candidate, Chip (or Charles, if that makes you feel better), is Press Secretary Abby’s violent ex-husband.

The next time we see Abby, she’s hiding behind her desk after getting vomit on her dress, completely freaking out. Liv has brought some new outfits. “What do you want?” Liv asks. “You can’t handle this,” Abby says. He’s already got the president’s endorsement for that Senate seat. Of course, that’s not going to stop Liv.

Liv’s next stop is the office of Susan Ross, Chip’s opposition — a political science professor, single mother, and underdog. Liv says she’ll run her campaign for free, and it’s clear they can use the help — handmade signs are hanging and the volunteers are clearly not up to the job.

“This is the big time people,” Liv says. And the first thing Liv wants to do is adjust her image.

“Research shows that if a woman candidate is perceived as too pretty or too plain, voters turn against her,” Liv says. “As a feminist, I would absolutely understand if you don’t want to make adjustments to your image.” What sort of “adjustments”? Waxing is involved.

Next is the campaign ad. But Ross is a hot mess. So they put her cute daughter in the ad instead.

The ad goes online and immediately, she’s “gaining ground,” says Cyrus. “Are you going to embarrass [the president] on election day?” he asks.

To avoid this, Chip confronts Abby in a dark parking lot to tell her that they had a “passionate” relationship and she needs to get over it and call Liv off Ross’ campaign. Clearly he wants to frighten her, but, surprise!, Abby has a gun pointed at his face.

“I’m going to shoot you. And when people ask why, I’m going to tell them it’s because you used to beat me up,” Abby says. It’s actually a chilling scene, Abby showing a mixture of fear and anger. Overwhelmed afterwards, Abby goes to Liv for advice: use her podium to tell the truth something they’ve advised clients to do in the past. We’ve seen women like Monica Lewinsky try and do this. “And where are they now” Abby asks. Here, actually.

Later, Abby’s confronted by Chip’s campaign manager Leo who’s thrilled because he found out that Susan Ross was never really married to her daughter’s father, which he thinks will get Republicans to turn against her. Abby counters with what happened to her at the hands of Charles: a pin in her jaw, a collarbone that hurts when it’s about to rain, a couple of fake front teeth. “Charles did that to me.”

Chip eventually pulls his candidacy after a leak about Sen. McDonnell being set up. The leaker is Leo, who sits with Abby to tell her face-to-face, offer her some bourbon and kiss her. What about David? Guess we’ll find out next time.

The other big story is Liv, Fitz and Jake (as usual).

David Rosen has been ignoring Liv’s calls because he doesn’t want to get involved with trying to get her into jail to see Jake. “You already have a plan. I’ve already been Poped and I don’t know,” figures out. She doesn’t want to see Jake. She wants to see Secret Service Agent Tom who fingered Jake.

Tom is talking some weird talk about how he usually doesn’t get to look at Olivia full on because he’s “scanning the room” protecting the president, only seeing her out of the corner of his eye. “And you. Are. Beautiful,” he says. Ummm…

He wants to understand how she has so much power over Fitz. Actually, we all do.

“Why did you leave him? Did you get word from Command?” Liv says her dad had nothing to do with it.

Turns out the president went to her apartment after she left and was beside himself. So much so that the president was ready to take his own life. Then Tom starts calling her Helen of Troy. Creepy!

Back to the matter at hand: She says she’ll protect him. Just come clean. Tom’s sticking with the Jake Ballard story. “Watch your back Tom,” says Liv as she leaves the room.

When Fitz calls to confirm that Jake is being treated well in prison, she asks him about the suicidal thoughts. Long pause. He changes the subject back to the hope for their relationship. “If there’s hope, come over here and prove it.” Then he starts in with a little phone sex. Oh. My. Word. Liv has to unbutton her jacket. We’re all clutching our pearls.

But what exactly did Liv mean about Tom watching his back? Tom gets stabbed by a prison guard who finishes with, “Message from Command.” Turns out, Olivia actually paid that guard to do that. In the hospital, he admits that Rowan was the culprit after all. Liv brings this information to the president. They go to visit Jake and we end with the three of them standing in some sort of secret room. Dun Dun.

Speaking of Papa Pope, Liv comes home to him sitting on her couch. “Go home dad,” she says. But oh no. Here comes the Papa Pope rant.

So it’s clearly on between Liv, the president, Jake and B613.

Finally, there’s been a car bomb outside the US embassy in West Angola. Here’s another opportunity for Lizzy Bear to try and wreak some havoc.

Cyrus is rethinking the fact that Abby knew about his dalliances with Michael the sex worker and he starts to put one and one together. He tells Michael about some phony plans to handle the car bombing and then makes a phone call to monitor anything Lizzy. She actually doesn’t say anything, not on camera at least.

She visits Mellie, who’s bored out of her skull choosing a china pattern. Later, while lying in bed with sex worker Michael watching Mellie give a presentation to the media about that china, Mellie goes off about West Angola. Now he sees what’s up.

So Mellie announces to Fitz that she’s officially back. Huck, who has been playing video games for much of the episode, ultimately meets his son. Liv finds out about those photos we mentioned at the top of this post. And, as a bit of a sidenote, the Scandal Twitter page spent a lot of time talking about Liv’s fashions because she threw in an outfit from the Scandal Limited line. Could you tell?

Let’s all recover for next week.