When Air Force Two is highjacked, Cyrus must manage the situation in the air while the White House and QPA race to track down the terrorists responsible. Check out our full recap of this week’s Scandal!
“Air Force Two” opens with Cyrus sitting in his office laughing to himself. Just before we think the VP has lost his marbles, his PA Hannah comes in to ask what’s so funny. Cyrus is writing his planned speech as the keynote speaker for the Al Smith Dinner (an annual white tie fundraiser in the United States for Catholic charities supporting). Besides being able to make jokes about Sally Langston, this dinner is Cy’s opportunity to start courting donors and the party as he transitions to his presidential bid after Mellie. However, Hannah has some unpleasant news. Mellie has decided that Cyrus will attend the Digital Piracy Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. Jake (now Chief of Staff) will give the keynote speech in Cy’s place. Cyrus just knows that this is Jake attempting to snatch the presidential nomination for himself. Mellie assures Cy that no one is about to get him. His leadership in the conference and its implications for boosting the American economy is something Cyrus can run on.
On the other hand, David Rosen is pretty excited about the conference and the opportunity to meet some of the world’s brilliant legal minds, like someone named Gergenschlag. Abby isn’t that enthused, but reminds David to pack his dramamine and agrees to have dinner at a fancy restaurant, Qui.
Cyrus is not at all happy to be flying on Air Force Two to this conference, but David is pretty excited about the cable and unlimited M&Ms. As they’re talking, the TV goes out and the plane jolts… what’s going on? One of the servicewomen onboard comes into Cy’s office to share some terrifying news. Someone has hacked the plane and they no longer have control.
David’s invitation to dinner has Abby nervous. She just knows that he’s planning to propose. Why else would someone go to a fancy restaurant like that in the middle of the week? Abby accidentally/on purpose asks Huck and Charlie to dig into David’s accounts and browser history; they confirm that he made a purchase at a jewelry store in the mall. Huck and Charlie are pretty optimistic, after all Abby and David are in love. Quinn rushes in the room to tell them that the news is reporting Air Force Two is having some difficulty. The White House press secretary can only confirm that the VP (Cyrus) and AG (David) are on the plane.
On Air Force Two, Cyrus updates the crew, reporters, and staff about what’s going on. He assures them that the White House is working on figuring out what’s going on (this is likely conjecture on his part, but he is correct). When one of the reporters, Maria, starts recording Cyrus’ response, he tells that that the malware that hacked the plane was unwittingly introduced by one of the electronics that was brought on board with them. Cy asks the crew to collect phones, laptops, etc. to prevent further complications.
In the next scene, we see Hannah having a frantic conversation with Cyrus. She thinks she’s the one who’s responsible for the virus. Yesterday, her laptop went missing, but then showed up again after she got back from getting coffee. As they’re talking, the pane makes a sudden turn, causing Hannah and Cyrus to fall and bump their heads on the desk.
Mellie is in the Situation Room with Jake and her other military and intelligence advisors. No one has any idea how Air Force Two was compromised. They’ve lost all communication to the plane and there’s no way to confirm that the passengers are OK. This is likely a hostage scenario, so whoever is controlling the plane should be making their demands known. Mellie demands that they find a way to However, things escalate when whoever is controlling the plane maneuvers a turn back to the U.S. mainland, and headed for DC. This isn’t a kidnapping; the hacker plans to use the plane for an attack.
Back on Air Force Two, Cyrus is OK, but has a small scar from where he hit his head. He asks to speak to David alone and shares what Hannah told him about her laptop being used to introduce the malware to the plane… and that Jake was the person in the office when this all went down. Cyrus is sure that Jake is behind all this, a plan to kill Cyrus and remove him as a contender for Mellie’s influence and the presidency. David is shocked because he and Jake get along fine. (*SIDENOTE* BUT I really don’t know why David is pretending like he didn’t watch Jake kill three people, including Cyrus’ first husband, James Novak, back in Season 3 (“No Sun on the Horizon”, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”) to the news quiet about Sally Langston killing her husband. WELPS.)
No one in the White House or on the crew can be trusted. However, Cyrus and David decide to reach out to the lieutenant in charge of communications to see if there’s a way to send the virus on Hannah’s laptop to someone. She links the WiFi to the National Weather Service antenna and sends is able to send the virus to Huck. Just when it looks like the firewall might kill the virus, David tells the lieutenant to add a message so they know it’s from a trusted source. And when Abby sees the message “Gergenschlag says hello”, she knows that it’s from David. Huck and Charlie get to work on trying to disconnect the connection between the hacker’s IP address and Air Force Two.
In the Situation Room, Mellie is scandalized when Jake suggests that they might have to shoot the plane down before it hits DC. Is this Jake’s way to taking Cy out? This is what they did to Rashad. Jake says is he wanted to kill Cy, he could use two drops of a poison to simulate a heart attack. Mellie is till suspicious and demands Jake leave. Mellie tries to get ahold of Liv, but she’s MIA. Mellie does call Fitz, just to be in conversation with someone who has faced similar pressures. But she isn’t really interested in hearing what he would do in this situation. When Mellie gets off the phone, the orders thr F-15s to be scrambled. They fly into position for when Mellie gives the order to shoot Air Force Two down.
Elsewhere, Liv brings dinner, dessert, and wine to her mother to celebrate her birthday. Maya seems a little surprised, especially when Liv turns off her phone and promises to spend the day with her mom. (*SIDENOTE* To me, this is Liv reacting to her conversation with Annalise Keating’s mom, Ophelia, in last weeks’ How to Get Away with Scandal crossover. Liv observes this caring relationship between Annalise and Ophelia and wants to try to reclaim some of that with Maya.)
— Scandal (@ScandalABC) March 11, 2018
Maya is suspicious of Liv… if she really wants to celebrate Maya’s birthday, Liv should give her a first class ticket to Paris, a suitcase of money, “and one of those fancy coats you be wearing.” Maya accuses Liv of feeling guilt about keeping her mother imprisoned. When Liv says she only wants to celebrate her mom’s birthday, Maya reveals that today isn’t her birthday. As an operative with multiple aliases, she had multiple birthdays. It was hard to keep them all straight. So today and in Liv’s childhood, Maya’s surprise at Liv’s birthday presents was very genuine. In her frustration, Liv checks her cellphone and sees what’s going on with Air Force Two.
Understandably, Abby is having a hard time with the stress of David’s impending death, either in a crash or by F-15. She feels guilty because if David would have asked her to marry him, she would have said no. Huck tries to comfort Abby. He knows that her first marriage was terribly abusive, but with David, she could create new memories, happy memories of being married. But… David is about to die. Not exactly a happy memory.
Oddly enough, when Cyrus sees the F-15s, he’s not agitated or resentful. As he speaks to David, he says they need to prepare for the worst. That, in fact, their sacrifice of 39 (those on board the plane) would be in the service of the greater good, saving thousands of people in DC would would die if Air Force Two hits. Cyrus makes a compelling speech to the crew, staff, and reporters on board in a similar vein, about patriotism, sacrifice, and service.
“We may not know the banner under which this plane has been hijacked, but we can be certain that whomever is behind this attack is an enemy of freedom. Those jets outside represent our government’s commitment to protecting our country and its citizens. Unfortunately today, it may be their duty to take measures to prevent this plane from crashing in a major population center, killing thousands of Americans on the ground. I know none of us would have chosen this ending for ourselves, which is why I hope we can think of it as an honorable one. Our sacrifice will help keep our fellow citizens safe. It will keep our country safe. We all have things to live for. This is something to die for. I’m proud to do that with all of you, my fellow Americans.”
(And because of Maria reaching out the the lieutenant, Maria is able to live stream Cyrus’ speech to the whole world.)
Liv watches Cyrus’ speech as is dismayed that she can’t get in touch with anyone. Maya encourages Liv to relax and breathe… but it’s really Maya mocking Liv. Apparently, Maya it tired of playing these games with Liv. Liv shouldn’t be worried about the people who kicked her out of the White House. Liv is frustrated and leaves.
At QPA, Huck and Charlie race against the clock to free Air Force Two from the hacker’s control before Mellie gives the command for the F-15s fire. This is intense to watch! And with less than 30 seconds left, Huck and Charlie succeed, giving control of the plane back to the pilots and restoring communication to the White House.
In the end:
–David makes it back home to Abby. Before he can even enter the house, Abby accepts David’s proposal. She’s so glad to see him again. But, it turns out David wasn’t planning to propose, he just want to have a nice dinner at a restaurant Abby would like. He loves Abby and knows that, given her history, marriage isn’t in the cards for them. He knows her. (P.S. WHERE IS LEO BERGAN?!)
–Liv sends her mother a package–a ticker to Paris, a Swiss bank account, and a fly-ass white trench coat. Liv is tired of this game too. Maya is free. Maya is pretty overwhelmed and confirms that today really is her birthday. Liv wishes her mom a happy birthday and hangs up. But is this what Maya truly wants?
–Liv goes to see Cyrus. While Mellie and the media are singing Cyrus’ praises for his heroism, Liv knows what’s up… Cyrus is the one who orchestrated the Air Force Two highjacking! His star rises as Jake’s falls. And Cyrus isn’t even trying to wait for Mellie’s first term to end before making his move.
— Scandal (@ScandalABC) March 10, 2018
So, with five episodes left in the season, will the final confrontation be Liv vs. Cyrus, for the sake of saving the Republic?
Scandal airs Thursdays at 9p/8c on ABC.