In tonight's episode of "Scandal," titled "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," we learned in the first 30 seconds the answer to the one question Gladiators have been begging to know for the last week: who got shot?
In last week's episode, titled "No Sun on the Horizon," Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, longed for a simpler kind of life, one where the people around her didn't have to worry about potential murder plots. She confides in Jake, played by Scott Foley, of these feelings, ones that he shares. He asks her to run away with him, to which she replies, "Take advantage of me Jake."
Sally Langston, played by Kate Burton, began to crumble as she struggled to hide the secret of the murder she committed against her husband, Daniel Douglas. She planned to reveal all during her first presidential debate, in order to get on God's good graces, but was ultimately thwarted by Fitz. Her secret remained in tact -- her sanity, however, is another story.
By the episode's end, David Rosen, James Novak, White House journalist Vanessa Chandler and a woman from NSA met in a plan to expose the murder, only for the two women to be taken out by gun fire, with David and James left in the crossfires.
Check out 5 highlights from the episode "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," which aired on Thursday, March 20. Warning: Spoilers ahead.
1. Who got shot?
Fans saw that Vanessa Chandler and the woman from the NSA were shot at the hands of Jake Ballard in the previous episode of "Scandal," and ultimately, the third victim in the Daniel Douglas murder cover up was James Novak, played by Dan Bucatinsky. He is shot as he attempts to run away, leaving David Rosen, who was by his side, speechless.
After learning that it is James who was shot, Gladiators find out that the shooting is being covered up as a carjacking by the members of B-613. Jake sends Quinn, played by Katie Lowes, and Charlie, played by George Newbern, to find someone who can take the fall for the shooting to, in Jake's words, "keep the world spinning." At this point, let it just be clear that any fond sentiments that were previously said about Jake are now as good as broken.
When Olivia realizes that it was, in fact, Jake behind the murder of James, she is beside herself. The trust she had in Jake melted away faster than Sally Langston's sanity. He attempts to explain to Olivia that it was not a decision he wanted to pass onto another member of B-613, as to not have it torment them for the rest of their life. In other words, he attempts to justify the shooting, saying that it was his call and he has to deal with the burden it will bring. Olivia does not take lightly to Jake's flippant nature about the shooting, something she makes him very aware of. He warns her, however, by saying, "Bad things happen to good people all the time."
The feelings of shock are still very, very real after the shooting of James, feelings that fans will experience throughout the entire episode. Of course Gladiators expect shock and awe out of "Scandal," but nevertheless, this one packed a punch that will be remembered as one of the most shocking in the show's history. Truly a shake to the core.
2. What is Mama Pope up to?
We are treated to the resurfacing of Olivia's mother Maya, played by Khandi Alexander, as well as Adnan Salif, who has been somewhat romantically linked to Harrison, played by Columbus Short. The two are seen in a hotel room, where Maya is essentially fanning herself with wads of money that Adnan has presented her with. The two are teaming together in a corrupt plot against the Grant campaign, one that Maya feels needs a terrorist. Her words, people, her words.
Adnan is immediately caught off guard at the idea, thinking the two were a regular "Thelma & Louise" in their mission. WRONG! Maya makes it clear that she will not be taking the fall for anything they're attempting to do, essentially hinting that if they don't outsource help, Adnan is taking the heat. When the two attempt to meet with potential clients, if you will, Maya is put off that she did not meet with the person she requested, and shoots one of them instantly to get her point across.
What Maya and Adnan, who seemingly is ready to bolt on the job, are up to is still yet to be fully seen, and is sure to be one of the bigger catalysts of the season as the finale nears. But one thing is certain: it is definitely clear were Olivia gets her flair for fashion. Rocking a slick gray suit, Mama Pope let it be known she is not one to be messed with, kind of like Olivia, only well, not.
3. Rowan Pope is so over being Olivia's dad.
Faced with the murder of James Novak and the uncertainty of her future, Olivia attempts to have a moment of condolence with her father. Upon greeting her, all Rowan, played by Joe Morton, has to say is "What." "What do you want." "What." The poor thing is going through a lot right now, cut her some slack.
When Olivia asks that he just be nice to her and be a dad, she asks what is the point to everything in life if forces that are out of her control seemingly take away all that is good. She asks whether or not people are worth saving, to which Rowan replies, "Everyone is worth saving." Nice, but he then delivers the harsh reality we would expect him to say, leaving Olivia trembling on the park bench. He says, "You drag everyone into the light, that is the point. At least, I'd like to think that is the point for you."
Rowan Pope is perhaps the coldest, most cruel force in Olivia's life, but man, if Joe Morton doesn't deliver some of the best performances on the show. It's one thing to be evil and rotten to the core, but there is something so raw and captivating about Joe Morton's performance in every episode, that it's almost easy to forget how twisted he is to Olivia. It's hard not to get lost in the emotion and passion of his every word. Albeit frightening at times, but the scenes with Olivia and her father are always an event.
4. Those flashbacks. Those heartbreaking flashbacks.
Cyrus, played by Jeff Perry, cannot seem to deal with the loss of his husband James. He's in such a state of shock that he pleads with Olivia and Fitz, played by Tony Goldwyn, to let him do his job. While he tries to deal with Sally Langston's attempt at hijacking their gun lobby bid, Cyrus experiences flashbacks of his relationship with James all throughout the White House.
Gladiators are treated to the moments where James and Cyrus first meet, including a glimpse at Cyrus rocking a full beard. The two are seen sharing on and off longing glances, until James makes the first major move during the night of a successful speech by Fitz. Cyrus initially is put off by James' advances, as he has not been public with his homosexuality. James, however, tells Cyrus that he likes him, to which Cyrus passionately kisses him back. Fans later find Cyrus attempting to confide in Fitz that he has been seeing a journalist. He refers to James as a "person," and Fitz, seemingly, sees through Cyrus' blind confession when he asks him, "Are you in love?" Cyrus says yes, to which Fitz replies, "Then that's all that matters."
Toward the end of the flashbacks, Cyrus is seen standing alone during a state dinner, as he watches Fitz and Mellie, played by Bellamy Young, dancing the night away. He then rushes to the press line to grab James onto the dance floor, where everybody can, and did, watch the two of them take their first public romantic steps as a couple. It is that moment that completely breaks Cyrus, as it comes to him as he is revealing to the press that James was "killed in a carjacking." He breaks down in complete hysterics and is consoled by Fitz, who asks Olivia to complete the press conference. Heartbreaking, just heartbreaking.
5. Odd couple alert.
In between the gut-wrenching loss of James, fans were treated to a couple of odd hookups and make outs between to couples: Andrew Nichols and Mellie, and Quinn and Huck!
While in Texas attempting to beat Sally Langston to the gun lobby bid, Andrew, played by Jon Tenney, and Mellie share several libations over a casual conversation about gun control. Mellie feels strongly about her stance on the right to bare arms, and while Andrew feels differently, he is in awe of her passion. In a moment when the two catch each other's eyes, they vigorously kiss and, seemingly, hookup. What was that thing you said about knees a few episodes back, Mellie? Yeah, might want to revisit that.
Fans also saw the intense, and gross, kiss between Quinn and Huck, played by Guillermo Diaz. He breaks into her apartment to get answers after he learned she stole files out of Olivia's safe. He pins her against the wall, where she spits on him. Yuck! Unfazed by the gesture, Huck proceeds to kiss Quinn, and she kisses back. The two go at it for a minute, and when they realize the oddity of it all, she says, "If you're not going to kill me, get out." And who says romance is a dying art?