Tonight's episode of "Scandal," titled "We Do Not Touch the First Ladies," saw tensions flare between Olivia and Jake, James continued to grow more and more paranoid about "Publius" and Gladiators got a glimpse into Mellie and Andrew Nichols' past.
In last week's episode, titled "Ride, Sally, Ride," Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, had her hands full of problems at the White House, stemming from the surprise announcement of Sally Langton, played by Kate Burton, that she would be running against Fitz, played by Tony Goldwyn, as an independent candidate for president. As Fitz's campaign manager, Olivia did not take the news sitting down, aiming to paint Sally as a "selfish quitter" and "loose cannon."
Olivia also faced threats from her father Rowan, played by Joe Morton, who vowed to make sure that Fitz does not see the end of his presidential term. Now that Jake Ballard, played by Scott Foley, has replaced Rowan as the head of B-613, Rowan carries the secrets necessary to destroy Fitz, even at the expense of his own relationship with Olivia.
Check out 5 highlights from the episode "We Do Not Touch the First Ladies," which aired on Thursday, March 6. Warning: Spoilers ahead.
1. Go call the police (Jake), go call the governor (Andrew Nichols).
Andrew Nichols' time as lieutenant governor of California alongside Fitz back in the day is called into question, when a story surfaces that Andrew illegally obtained prescription drugs while in office. It certainly wouldn't be the first a time a politician dabbled in drugs, but nevertheless, the story sends Olivia into immediate crisis mode and calls upon Jake to find out if her father, Rowan, is behind the leaked story.
Olivia instructed Andrew to "fall on his sword" and own the story, after he confessed to her that it was true. Mellie, however, did not take lightly to the idea, when it was revealed through a series of flashbacks that it was in fact Mellie who got her hands on prescription drugs. Gladiators, or at least this one, gasped at the sight of Mellie's near death-by-overdose, only to be saved by the hands of Andrew, literally, as he stuck his fingers down the future First Lady's throat to stop her from dying. Phew!
In another flashback scene, Andrew confronts Mellie as to why she would attempt something so drastic. It is then that she confesses that she was raped by her father-in-law and she does not know if her child is Fitz's or her father-in-law's. Not knowing, she says, caused her to attempt suicide. Gosh, that's heavy. Mellie may be a lot of things, but it takes one strong woman to fight through the life hurdles she's had to endure while Fitz rose to political prominence.
2. "I did not do this for you. I did this for me."
Preach, Olivia, preach! She may like her man and definitely aims to please him in more ways than one, but Olivia let it be known that she is not sticking around as Fitz's campaign manager for his benefit, but for hers and hers only. When Fitz aired his jealousy over Jake being used as Olivia's arm candy while out in public, to deflect attention away from the rumors surrounding their affair, Olivia sternly urges that the relationship is purely to save face (and probably to keep Mellie off her back, let's be real).
Unable to let go of the matter, Fitz berates Olivia for her "relationship" with Jake, saying that he will not be able to trust him. Okay, calm down, Fitz. Olivia then takes things up an octave, screaming at her sometimes lover, "I did not do this for you. I did this for me." Her point being that while yes, she has had, and obviously still has, feelings for the president, she has dreams of her own, she has a picture of what her life will be like, what her career will be like and how she will get there. She assures him that, as odd as it seems, "Jake by my side is for me." YOU GO, GIRL!
By the episode's end, Fitz still cannot let go of the twisted love triangle he's found himself in. Now you know what Mellie must feel like, right Fitz? Doesn't feel so great. He asks Olivia point blank if she has feelings for Jake, to which she replies, "I don't know," all the while Jake is watching miles away on his laptop, thanks to his B-613 clearance. Ah, love, isn't it sweet?
3. Publius is busted.
James Novak, played by Dan Bucatinsky, continues to feel paranoid over his alias "Publius" getting on the radar of his "monster" husband Cyrus, played by Jeff Perry. Fearing for his life, he enlists the help of David Rosen, played by Joshua Malina, to help get Cyrus off his tracks. Since James, aka "Publius," is responsible for calling the death of Daniel Douglas and his missing autopsy into question, he fears that if Cyrus finds out it is him, he will have him killed. These two, in case a reminder is needed, are married. Yikes!
Despite David informing James that the proof he obtained regarding the cover up of Daniel Douglas' autopsy is inadmissible in court, they devise a plan to disseminate the information to reporter Vanessa Chandler, the person James was corresponding with as "Publius," anyway. When Cyrus learns of a possible meeting between Vanessa and "Publius," unaware that it is James, he calls upon Charlie, played by George Newbern, to take care of the situation. Since James cannot be identified as "Publius," David attempts to embark on the meet up, only to be kidnapped and placed in the back of a trunk.
Facing dangerous uncertainty, David calls Abby, played by Darby Stanchfield, to say, what he thinks, might be his last words. He confesses to her via voicemail that he loves her, and that he should have said it sooner instead of greeting her previous confession of love with silence. To his surprise, it is Abby and Huck, played by Guillermo Diaz, who sprung David from the trunk, to which Abby tells David after he says "I love you": "You better, because I just saved your life." Awwwwwww.
4. "I'm violent now": A continuation of Quinn's downward spiral.
Kidnapping innocent children is one thing, and a horrible one at that. But pointing a gun at Olivia Pope. Quinn, girl, you're barking up the wrong tree, honey! When Olivia realizes that Quinn was spying on her disastrous dinner with her father, she storms into her vehicle and warns her that attempting to become a member of B-613 will destroy her life. Talking up the decision to little prospects elsewhere, Quinn does not take Olivia's invitation to return to Pope & Associates lightly.
Quinn feels as though she cannot come back because of how she was treated by Huck, feeling as though she wasn't treated as a human being after he, strangely, licked her face. To be fair, that's pretty weird. She can have that one, Gladiators. Unable to get through to Olivia that she does not want to return "home," Quinn resorts to her newfound violent tendencies and points a gun directly at her former boss. "I'm violent now, or hadn't you heard?"
First things first: LOL Quinn, your point was clear enough that you were, suddenly, "violent" the second you pulled out a gun. No need to state the obvious. Second, while your skill set is certainly strong enough for something like B-613, take Olivia's advice. She's a fixer, she knows what she's talking about.
5. Seal it with a kiss.
Olivia had sensed that there might have been something going on between Mellie and Andrew, and while she was half right - Andrew certainly jumped at the idea of being Fitz's vice presidential running mate to admittedly get closer to Mellie - she assured Olivia there never was, nor would there ever be, anything between her and Andrew. Mellie especially didn't take too kindly to Olivia's attempt at relating to the situation, firmly telling her they were not the same. Ouch!
Near the end of the episode, Mellie and Andrew find themselves alone in a room full of portraits of former First Ladies. After assuring to Andrew after he attempts to make a pass at her that you "do not touch the first ladies," she passionately plants a kiss on him. OMG! After the two share the steamy embrace, she storms off in a panic, and he places his hand on the portrait of famed First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. A full-circle moment. It's too soon to tell what will become of the now Pandora's box opened by Andrew and Mellie, but one thing is certain, it could get very tawdry.
BONUS MOMENT: In the last seconds of the episode, as "Scandal" likes to do, it is revealed that Adnan Salif, the women Harrison, played by Columbus Short, is seen with in the beginning of the episode in not-so-innocent states of undress, has teamed up with Olivia's missing mother Maya, played by Khandi Alexander, as part of a ploy to fund the Grant presidential campaign. Talk about twisted!