Tonight's episode of "Scandal," titled "Ride, Sally, Ride," picked up right where the midseason finale left off in December 2013, answering questions Gladiators have been agonizing over for weeks -- all the while presenting a whole batch of new questions, naturally.
Fans last saw Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, and company in the episode titled "A Door Marked Exit," where everyone in Washington D.C. seemed to be in turmoil.
Vice President Sally Langston, played by Kate Burton, calls upon Cyrus, played by Jeff Perry, to cover up the murder she committed against her husband Daniel Douglas, played by Jack Coleman. Sally commits the murder after discovering Daniel slept with Cyrus' husband James Novak, played by Dan Bucatinsky, after admitting to Sally of his homosexuality.
Things with Olivia's mother Maya Lewis, played by Khandi Alexander, didn't go over so well, as she learns that her mother tricked her husband Rowan Pope, played by Joe Morton, to shoot down the plane that killed 329 people.
When Olivia demands that her mother be arrested upon landing in Hong Kong, she is informed the plane's crew was killed at the hands of her mother, who calls Olivia at the episode's end and tells her that she will "see her soon," only to find out she is calling from outside of the White House gates.
Check out 5 highlights from the episode "Ride, Sally, Ride," which aired on Thursday, Feb. 27. Warning: Spoilers ahead.
1. Sally Langston is a "selfish quitter" and "loose cannon."
It's always been painfully obvious that Vice President Sally Langston isn't all there in the head. But running as an independent candidate against Fitz? Oh no she didn't! Langston announced her candidacy and wasted no time at all throwing her former boss under the largest of buses, saying that the "president's mural corruption knows no bounds."
She may have a point, but her first step forward as a potential presidential candidate certainly could have been more gracious. News of Sally's independent desires caused Olivia to go into spin mode, calling upon the White House troops to make Sally appear as a "selfish quitter" and "loose cannon." Sidenote: #selfishquitter and #loosecannon kind of has a nice ring to it. Tweet away, Gladiators!
Langston continued to prove that she is, in fact, a "loose canon" by choosing to live in a fantasy world where the devil enters peoples bodies and kills people. Crazy, yes, but it is Sally Langston here. When she catches wind of chatter that her late-husband Daniel's autopsy, or lack thereof, is being question, she laments, "The devil murdered my husband when he snuck inside me." Of course he did, Sally. And Fitz and Mellie lived happily ever after. There's no telling when Sally will derail off the train of denial, but for now, she is going to have to cope with her "vessel of murder ... vessel of sin," as she puts it.
2. Olivia Pope is back in the White House.
With news of Sally Langston's candidacy and just about everything in Washington D.C. in haywire, Olivia returns to her post in the White House as Fitz's campaign manager. Knowing that her man faces an uphill battle against an enraged Sally, Olivia attempts to bring the focus back to Fitz and attempts to help him decide on a reasonable candidate to run with now that Sally has abandoned ship.
Fitz, however, is hard set on his former California buddy Andrew Nichols, played by Jon Tenney. Olivia immediately feels he is the wrong choice for being a "white, straight, male," noting that Fitz should be focusing on diversity. Despite basically everyone agreeing against Andrew Nichols, Fitz remains firm and gives Olivia no choice but to move forward.
In true Olivia Pope fashion, she grills Andrew until he shows he can be relatable, as she fears his reputation of being a playboy will hinder votes. Even after getting Andrew to open up and with polls appearing to be in his favor, she still feels in her gut that he is the absolute wrong choice to run with Fitz as his Vice Presidential candidate.
Fitz officially announces Andrew as his running mate in the end, although, he better keep an eye on his old pal. While Fitz totes Andrew as someone who is loyal, little does he know that his friend has the hots for Mellie, telling her minutes before the three of them take to the stage together, "Every day of the last twelve years I have dreamed of this ... being near you again." OMG!
3. Run, Olivia, Run!!!
While everyone on the Fitz campaign might feel it is Sally who needs to hightail it out of Washington D.C. (and let's face it, she should), Olivia is the one who needs to be worried about what her father Rowan Pope will do next. After he is replaced by Jake Ballard, played by Scott Foley, as the head of B-613, Olivia attempts to sympathize for her dad, knowing how difficult it is to suddenly not be a part of something you've worked your entire life for.
Papa Pope, on the other hand, doesn't take too kindly to Olivia's sympathies, telling her she has no idea what has happened and what is currently happening, as she is "skipping around a field full of bombs and mistaking them for daisies." What a brilliant analogy!
Papa Pope warns Olivia that now that he is no longer affiliated with B-613, Fitz has made the worst possible enemy in him, given that he knows all of his secrets. He is also quick to remind Olivia that he is not opposed to using her against Fitz and further threatens that he will stop at nothing to ensure Fitz does not see the end of his term. Yikes! Doesn't it make those Sunday night dinners seem like a cakewalk, Olivia?
4. Mellie Grant: The First Lady of Shade.
Gladiators know by now that Mellie Grant is a woman nobody messes around with and when not present, she is for sure throwing all sorts of shade at somebody (namely, Olivia). Mellie cemented her status as the First Lady of Shade by inviting Olivia to a not-that-innocent lunch, where hounds of photographers and media were present inside and outside of the restaurant.
While keeping straight faces and phoning in the occasional laugh, Mellie throws dig after dig at Olivia's character and there's nothing our girl can do about it. "I'm making a respectable woman out of you, Olivia." Shade. "I know how you love your wine." Shade (also, how did she know?).
She continues her shade throwing with the following quote that will go down as a classic Mellie one-two punch: "I like it when my husband is the president. I worked very hard for it. I've done a great deal to get us here and you [Olivia] are going to get him across the finish line. But you can't do that if people know what kind of person you really are. Cheers!" Gladiators, let's hope Mellie didn't ruin Olivia's love of wine with that cheers. That would be awful for everyone.
Mellie threw one final curveball of shade toward Olivia at lunch when she presented her with a list of, what she deemed, eligible bachelors she wants Olivia to date. A ploy to keep the media off Fitz and Olivia's romantic trail, Olivia is blindsided by Mellie's list and is left virtually speechless. Joke's on Mellie, however, because by the episode's end, Olivia is photographed cozying up with her sometimes-flame Jake Ballard. Feel free to swoon at any moment, folks. The revelation doesn't sit too well with Fitz, naturally, but Olivia urges it's the only way she can continue to do her job.
5. Quinn kidnaps a child and continues to lose all sense of herself.
Just when you thought it wasn't possible for Quinn, played by Katie Lowes, to sink lower than she has, she proves that theory wrong by kidnapping the child of a woman named Linda, who was asked to destroy Daniel Douglas' autopsy record.
In order to keep Linda quiet, Quinn and Charlie, played by George Newbern, kidnap her son from school and hold him captive in the next room while Abby, played by Darby Stanchfield, and Huck, played by Guillermo Diaz, are questioning Linda. After she succeeds in keeping the information from Abby and Huck, saying Daniel died of a drunken head injury, Quinn and Charlie release Linda's son back to her.
Quinn looks out the window as Abby and Huck drive away, giving off a look of disappointment and shame for what she has done. Long gone are the days of Quinn the Gladiator, and while she waits to see if she will become a member of B-613, she continues to run amuck with Charlie. Here's to hoping she realizes the error of her ways and one day returns to Pope & Associates, if they will even have her back.
Also, Quinn, be sure to cross off "babysitter" on your list of alternative jobs. Not going to happen, girl.