Olivia Pope was sold to Iran. Or not.
ABC screenshot

Thursday’s episode of Scandal was laced with excellent quotes, major changes in plans and plenty of unanswered questions, like, what was the plan when you proposed this auction, Olivia? And why is Andrew still alive?

Olivia’s friends suddenly decide that they should bid for Olivia in the auction. I’m not sure why it took them so long to think of that. Was this Olivia’s plan?

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Another question: it’s Black History Month. Is this whole auction plot a timely reminder about America’s history of buying and selling black people? I don’t know. I do know that a portion of the money raised from this auction needs to be donated to an HBCU.

Nonetheless, the White House finds some terrorists to access the auction and bid on Fitz’s behalf. 

Jake, Quinn and Huck are also trying to bid in the auction. Quinn says that Sallie Mae has dibs on her past, present and future money: “It doesn’t matter how many times you reinvent your identity, Sallie Mae will find you.” But we learn that Huck has 2 billion of B613’s dollars. Hold up, Huck! You were just going to sit on that money after you guys worked together to take down B613 and not tell anyone? And you’ve got Quinn out here eating ramen (not the trendy hipster kind, either) while she’s trying to pay back Sallie Mae? He’s not your friend, Quinn.

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Ian finally informs Andrew that there has been a change in plans and Andrew is no longer in charge. I’m still trying to figure out Andrew’s original plan. He thought he could have Olivia held hostage and just keep clocking in every day, eating the White House bagels and using the free White House Wi-Fi?

The auction begins, and everything seems to be going according to plan (seriously, whatever that plan was), but then Gus kills Ian, and he’s like, “I’ve got the juice now.” Cyrus has whipped up a fresh resignation letter for Andrew to sign unless he wants to go to jail, but Andrew is like, if I’m going to jail, Fitz is going to jail for “going to war over his side piece.” Why hasn’t anyone thrown Andrew down a flight of stairs and onto a pile of broken glass yet? Sorry. ShondaLand has my moral compass all out of whack. 

Huck, Quinn and Jake need a terrorist of their own to grant them access to the auction. Mama Pope is the obvious choice, but Mama Pope wants something in return. She asks for her freedom but ultimately settles for a flat-screen.

In exchange for getting to watch basic cable (#TGIT is going to blow her mind, by the way), Mama Pope introduces Huck to a big-time drug dealer who can get them access to the auction, but he needs Huck to kill a few of his enemies first. No problem. Huck goes full-throttle horror movie and hacks up an entire room of bodies, and Jake casually cuts off one of the guys’ heads as proof. OK, OK. Cool, cool.  

Meanwhile, Elizabeth North is trying to cover what’s left of her back, but Cyrus was like, you aren’t going anywhere, Lizzy Bear. You’re going to be my “bitch until the end of time.” First things first: You’re going to testify against Andrew. Then go make me a sandwich. 

When Andrew finds out that Elizabeth is going to testify against him, he threatens Mellie that if she turns on him, too, he’ll tell the world about their affair, so Mellie tells Fitz that they have to let Andrew walk because Mellie wants to run for president! I called it! Now I just need Olivia to get free so she can be Mellie’s running mate. Then they can run against Andrew … unless, of course, someone (anyone, please) kills Andrew before then.

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In the meantime, Olivia is still trying to save herself. She warns the two guys running the auction that Gus is going to kill them and take all the money, but if they find a way to fake a sale and hand her over to the United States, she’ll protect them. She’s saying a bunch of words, but all they see are dollar signs.

And just as Huck is able to hack into the auction, Liv is sold! A buyer came directly to Gus and offered him cash. It’s Iran. (Everyone knows it’s not Iran.)

Fitz feels terrible because of the 43 Americans who have died in this war. In a gorgeous scene, we see Mellie at Dover Air Force base in Delaware mourning all of other people’s children who, like Little Jerry, died because of Fitz and Olivia. Fitz is determined to get Olivia back safely so their deaths won’t have been for naught.

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I’m saying, though, 43 innocent people are dead, and Andrew is still walking around able-bodied?

Huck has given up. When he declares, “Olivia Pope is dead,” Quinn attacks him, yelling, “Stop saying that! How dare you!” … And I can’t believe you didn’t give me any money to help pay back Sallie Mae!

The final scene shows Gus and crew preparing to hand Olivia over to her buyers. We know it’s not the Iranians. For Olivia’s sake, I hope it’s Papa Pope. 

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Akilah Green is a recovering Washington, D.C., lawyer-lobbyist-politico turned TV and film writer and producer living in Los Angeles. She currently works for Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show, Chelsea. She has also worked as a staff writer for Kevin Hart’s production company, HartBeat Productions, and as a consultant for Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO. In addition, she co-wrote and is producing Scratch, an indie horror-comedy feature film, and is a regular contributor to The Root. Follow Green’s adventures in La La Land on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.