Scandal Recap: Fitz Goes to War While Olivia Leaves Breadcrumb Clues For the Gladiators

You really needed a bottle of wine (and maybe a couple of tequila shots) to get through last night's episode.

The Secret Service, military guards, butlers and just about everyone else in the White House is watching  everything Fitz does, down to the very toilet flush. On this week’s episode of Scandal, we find out that Fitz isn’t the most powerful man in the world. That title might go to the Vice President, Andrew Morris. But the most powerful person in the world might turn out to be Olivia Pope.

“It would be a shame if Ms. Pope was beheaded,” a Secret Service agent tells Fitz, a succinct summary of the game the Veep is playing. All of this is tied to the situation in West Angola.

Remember, when we left off before the mid-season break, the Vice President wanted to start this war and staged an attack to facilitate that. Now he’s going directly to the man up top to make it happen. But before we can get to all that, we have to catch up with the rest of the cast, who were largely absent from last week’s premiere.

We start with First Lady Mellie who is up to her old Mellie self, admitting to the President that she’s sleeping with Andrew Morris.

“I thought being with him would make me happy the way Olivia makes you happy… But now I think this is better. What we have is a partnership…” and blah blah blah she goes on until Fitz physically places two fingers on her lips to shut her up.

“Stop talking,” he says in what may have been his creepiest tone ever.

What Fitz wants is proof of life he gives in and starts Morris’ war, which is when we flash back to Liv, who’s sitting before a camera holding a newspaper, reading from cue cards.

At this point, I should interject that while I’m a Scandal fan, given all that’s happening in the world, this whole scenario is very fake and very real all at once, making it a little difficult to watch. When you know that real people are facing real terror out there in the world, it makes this plot line seem a little wrong. But we’ll press on.

So next we catch up with Huck, who has turned up in Lizzy Bear’s house, in her daughter’s room. And we all know that his devotion to Liv has few boundaries, so he’s vowed to cut open Liz’s child in front of her if she doesn’t give up some info. Thank goodness everyone watches this show with a bottle of wine.

It turns out that Lizzy actually didn’t know that this was where Andrew Morris was taking his plan, but it seems at first she’s going to go along with this and find a way to get Huck off her back.

You know who does know about this scheme? Tom, the Secret Service agent who’s in prison for killing Fitz and Mellie’s son. (!) And he’s asking for a presidential pardon (!) but Fitz wants info. Tom suggests he go to the only place where he can speak privately.

So when we get to Liv’s apartment, Jake is there. Fitz hands him the flash drive with the proof of life video that Liv made and he takes it back to Olivia Pope & Associates (OPA) to review with Huck and Quinn. During the filming of that video, Liv asks for a glass of water and takes a deep gulp from it while she’s reading the message. Twitter lit up as people tried to figure out what that could mean. Then Huck sees the reflection of Liv’s captors in the bottom of the glass. “She’s dropping breadcrumbs,” says Huck. Pretty slick.  

Another clue comes literally walking into OPA in the form of Rose, aka Florence from The Jeffersons aka Mary from 227 aka Marla Gibbs in real life aka the name that was trending for a minute on Twitter last night. She’s at OPA looking for “the Black lady.” At first we don’t know what this is about and Rose turns and leaves so we’re left hanging.

Back at the computer, Huck can’t find Liv’s kidnapper based on the lifted image from the water glass and he’s headed straight back to Lizzy Bear’s. This time, he’s brought his torture toolbox. Everyone take another gulp of that wine.

Sensing that the audience needs a break from that business, we join the President and some other VIPs in a meeting about West Angola. The VP jumps in with his two cents, which has got Cyrus freaking out in his office after the meeting ends. In an agitated conversation with Abby, Cyrus wonders why Fitz would be listening to Andrew. And why there’s a coalition against West Angola that he doesn’t know about.

With time wearing on, Fitz has got a decision to make. Standing on the balcony with Mellie, whispering in her ear about how much he loves Liv but can’t bear the thought to send soldiers in to war on her behalf, the First Lady tells her husband that he knows what he must do.

The next day in a presser, Fitz announces that troops just began an attack on West Angola.

But this isn’t enough for VP Andrew, who was sitting at Fitz’s desk in the Oval Office saying that a few drone strikes do not a war make. So Olivia stays captive.

With that, Rose comes back to OPA and we find out she’s friends with the older woman who lived across the hall from Olivia. With her spare key, the team heads over and Huck immediately finds the ring Liv dropped when she was held there briefly. Using the Internet connection in the apartment, Huck finds out that Liv’s captor isn’t Ian but Martin St. John. When they try to use his cell phone to find out where he is, the signal is mangled.

Back at the White House, Fitz asks for Cyrus’ thoughts on a report. After Cyrus unleashes his fury about being left out of the loop on the attack, he spits out, “Some meaningless PR document isn’t going to change that.” When he goes back to his office and opens the folder, he reads the message: “They have her.”

Then Lizzy Bear turns up at Mellie’s to try and get out of trouble. Getting little sympathy, she shows the First Lady her bloodied back. She’s been tortured. Damn Huck. We all take another gulp of wine.

With that, Mellie makes out with Andrew and snags his cell phones. She passes them to Lizzy who takes them to OPA. That’s when we learn Liv’s in Pennsylvania. Armed with a warrant secured by David Rosen, Jake gets the DEA, heads to PA and… no Olivia.

Last we saw Liv in captivity, she was demanding beef stew, an orange Creamsicle and a shot in the head. Ian tells her she’s in this for like two or three years so she just better settle in. But no PR worth their salt will take that for an answer.

 

“What do you want?” she asks. It’s the question she asks her clients. And she guesses that Martin would say “power,” but really, no. She suggests that he sell her on the open market. After all, she’s a great asset. Then he can have the money and she can take her chances for an escape. Win-win. As it is, he’s just watching her for someone else. And, she says, “You’d have to make me look presentable and I can really use a shower and a change of clothes.”

Next we see her, Liv’s back to her old self — hair in place, nicely dressed and sitting on a private jet with Ian talking on a satellite phone with the President. That phone calls sets off a flurry of activity that Huck can see on his satellite tracker. “She’s dropping breadcrumbs,” he reminds us. And Liv, knowing that she’s got one foot out the door and back in the arms of one of her men cracks a smile out the window.

Annnnd scene. Good thing because we’re tipsy and the wine bottle is empty.