‘Scandal’ Recap: A Thin Line Between Love and Hate

Fritz and Olivia are back. James and Cyrus may be on the outs. And Harrison finally gets some action. But what’s up with Olivia and her mom?

Fitz (played by Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia (Kerry Washington) are back on.
Fitz (played by Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia (Kerry Washington) are back on. Screenshot from Scandal

After last week’s gut-punching episode, you’d think Scandal might want to cut us a break. You know, give us a chance to catch our collective breaths. Why not try a very special musical episode? Or even a “Where are they now?” recap of the gladiators who mysteriously went missing? What ever happened to Olivia’s old partner, Stephen? Or David Rosen’s sassy assistant, Alyssa?

But alas, there is no rest for the emotionally wrung out in Scandal land. Let’s face it—we’re all “Pope heads.” We need a bigger fix after every hit, and this week’s episode, “Vermont Is for Lovers, Too,” delivered all the blows.

Just a few minutes in, we got the most grisly scene in Scandal history. Desperate to see her daughter, Olivia, one last time before getting transferred to some prison in Siberia, Mama Pope digs through her own flesh with her teeth until she strikes gold and gets sent to the hospital. No amount of Walking Dead reruns could prepare you for that.

Meanwhile, Mellie, who we all know is harboring the biggest secret of them all, can’t ever seem to catch a break with her cheating husband, Fitz. Just when she thinks he might be drifting back to her by default, Fitz steps into the other room to call Olivia, who, as always, doesn’t know whether to hate him or love him.

Actually, everyone with the misfortune of falling for someone on Scandal is toeing that thin line. All relationships on the show, whether Cyrus and James, Mama and Papa Pope, Liv and Fitz or even Huck and Quinn, teeter on the verge of complete bliss or total destruction. Here’s a list of the best quotes about the show’s ever-fraught relationships.

“I’ve been sitting in this cell for over 20 years hiding in the bowels of our justice system. You have to give me something, one thing before you throw me out with the trash, please.” —Mama Pope to Papa Pope

We still have no idea why Olivia’s mother is in a supermax prison. But we do know that Papa Pope—aka owner of the only “World’s Most Murderest Dad” mug—is responsible for locking up his wife and keeping her from her daughter. With Liv getting closer to the truth, Rowan Pope decides to transfer Mrs. Pope to an even deeper cell somewhere in Nowheresville and refuses to let her see Olivia one last time. Talk about family drama.

It’s much more fun to pretend I’m your boyfriend.” —Spy Charlie to Quinn

Now that B613 pretty much owns Quinn, she’s trying to make the best of things by not getting found out by the rest of the gladiators at OPA, especially Huck. This poor girl found herself mixed up in a real-life murder-mystery romance and has no clue how to get back to reality. Also, why hasn’t someone put Charlie’s photo on dontdatehimgirl.com yet?