Taking a break last week for the premiere of The Family, let’s recap the latest on Scandal before tonight’s new episode.
“Wild Card” opens to Fitz and Lillian making out in the Presidential Limo. A hindrance to the Whitehouse ability to protect its leader of the free world, our President ‘Wild Card’ gets ahead of himself in his impending freedom. Stressing to prepare for his every move, Abby finds herself taking onus, of her role in Cyrus’s absence; to the annoyance of Fitz.
Emphasising that his DNA cannot be found elsewhere; in case a tailored biological weapon is made – albeit, it seems a bit out of a stretch for Eli Pope. Nevertheless, if the scriptwriting lectures of Manchester University are to have any substance; nothing is said without a reason.
Kicking Abby out of his Limo, Sally Langston addresses the nation with her Liberty Report; discussing the empty platitudes of almost every politician – bar Fitz, apparently.
Elsewhere Eli has read Mellie’s book; proud of Olivia seizing the opportunity for power. Having learnt that Jake is seeing someone, he expresses his concern to Olivia; whose surprise is hidden in the denial of her meetings with Jake.
Whilst Mellie is only mentioned in absentia in this episode, Susan Ross is ever-present as she announces her run for president. Sadly, David Rosen is still with Elizabeth North; forced to play the game with her new candidate. Asking David over for a dinner date, Elizabeth remains oblivious, or unconcerned, with the genuine premise of Davids feelings for Susan.
Angry with his own concerns, Huck meets Jake at Olivia’s door. Jake having left, Huck wants to know what intel Olivia has gathered, hoping she isn’t simply sleeping with the enemy. To his disbelief, Huck reminds Olivia that Eli is never finished. Leaving, our typically meek and damaged Huck, tells Liv to snap back to reality.
Clearly not mourning his cousin, Cyrus is instead, profiling a potential new candidate that we saw in the episode prior; “he seems to appeal to everyone”. In disbelief that there is no dirt or corruption to be found in his new candidate, Francisco Vargas; Cyrus uses Vargas’ time in the special forces to introduce his New could-be president. With the help of Tom, the corrupt Whitehouse security detail, who was there! wet! and in a towel! (are they a couple? that’d be a twist), a plan is put into action. Later, Tom blackmails an unknown man; Wayne, to aid their mission.
Seemingly unrelated, Quinn and Charlie plan to go away on a couple’s vacation. Hesitant to leave, Quinn agrees to help him babysit the child of his old assassin buddy. Having spent little time as an assassin herself, forgoing Huck’s tragic tale, Quinn doesn’t seem to question how these Assassins have a family (or are allowed to).
After another hook up, Olivia asks Jake who he is seeing. Unlikely to be a lovely reveal in which he confesses Liv is the only girl for him, he does admit that it is nothing to worry about; which makes me think whether his lover, is anything more than platonic.
Back at the Whitehouse, Cyrus drowns out Abby’s fretting over Fitz; his loyalty directed elsewhere.
In their own Presidential campaign, Susan’s poll numbers prove to be amazing. Nearly admitting the nature of his feelings, Elizabeth encourages Davids plan to sleep with Susan; to keep her happy.
Over dinner, Olivia and Eli are discussing the greatness of Mellie’s book. Trying to seek out Eli’s agenda; Olivia wants to know if he is content, to which he confesses that she and Jake are doing his work for him.
As she flashes back to her Father’s threats against her in season’s passed; she discovers his plan was to get her to desire power. Having discovered his tell, as to when he is lying, Olivia’s return the Whitehouse is set to get grittier.
Elsewhere, Wayne – Tom’s victim, is flagged by security as he enters a building. Tom follows, and shoots them dead, handing the gun to Wayne and signalling his turn at events. Francisco is in the building, and is confronted by Wayne. With his death surely counterintuitive to Cyrus’ plan, Wayne is set to play the fool in the formation of a new Presidential candidate.
Cyrus watches the news as a segment on Mellie is interrupted. The shooting, and the story involving the governor of Pennsylvania; Francisco Vargas, takes precedence. Abby walks in on Lillian and Fitz getting busy, as she alerts him of the shooting. Arguing over her assertiveness, Fitz calls Abby out; suggesting she is mad because Lillian is not Liv – she doesn’t trust Lillian.
As the news continues, Francisco’s military background is brought to light; and thus, light is shed upon the new candidate.
Meanwhile Quinn, Charlie and the kid play happy families with a nod to Katie Lowe’s role in Frozen.
At the scene of the shooting, all hostages have been released except for Vargas. Abby calls Liv, forlorn over Fitz. Olivia doesn’t want to know; avoiding the drama for as long as she can. Back at the shooting, a SWAT team threatens to steal Vargas’ hero moment; and Cyrus urges Tom to ensure that they don’t.
At OPA, Olivia confronts Huck, says she is indeed, playing a game with her Father. Huck calls her out on her BS; calling it “all luck and no skill”.
Olivia was made, just like Huck and Jake. “Her guy”, her darker side, is coming out – which she contests as Eli is her father. Huck insists that Eli is her guy, and she needs him. Nothing Liv does is bad in comparison to the actions of her guy. Will the elimination of Eli – which is doubtful with Joe Morton’s promotion to a regular- leave Liv and her guy one in the same?
At the governor’s office, SWAT listens in on Francisco as he tries to talk the gunman down. A shot is heard, the victim unknown. The governor has been shot having overpowered his captive. Following his plan to the letter, the news anchor reveals the footage of his heroic act.
At the scene, a shirtless and wounded (and thereby hot) Vargas exits the building, as the Whitehouse press office listens in the following morning. In other news, the press has photos of Lillian at the private entrance of the Whitehouse. Abby stands her ground in front of Fitz, asserting the necessity of protocol. He thanks her, and considers them friends; as a necessity to the intimate details of his love life.
As David and Susan lie in bed, he tries to ignore the constant calls from Elizabeth, who is surprised to hear he is still with Susan, suggesting her plan to sit at the side of power may be at the sacrifice of her own personal desires.
Concluding his plan, Cyrus tells Abby to invite Vargas to the Oval to meet the president. Elsewhere, we finally learn that the child Charlie baby-sat is none other than that of Wayne. Held hostage by Charlie and the tunes of Frozen, Cyrus may unknowingly be becoming Command in the recruitment of two assassins.
In what therefore, may be the pursuit of the wrong villain this season, Olivia wants a background check from Huck and Quinn on Vanessa Moss; Jake’s girlfriend, in the fight against Eli.
Tonight’s new episode “The Fish Rots From The Head” finally sees Olivia and Fitz confront each other as his single status continues to threaten the White House.
Scandal airs tonight at 9|8c on ABC!
[Featured Image Courtesy of ABC/Nicole Wilder]