On last week's episode of Scandal, the world finally found out about Fitz Grant and Olivia Pope's affair when Sally Langston outed them on national TV and had the receipts to prove it. This week's episode picks up right where we left off. Fitz wants to make a joint statement with Olivia confirming their love to the world, but Olivia immediately skips town and, like Beyoncé and Jay Z, goes on the run.
After Fitz realizes that Olivia doesn't want this life, he tells Olivia that he loves her too much to ask her to throw away her whole life for him and invites Mellie Grant back into the White House. But just when you were wondering why you still watch Scandal, in a literal last-minute twist, Olivia finally and definitively came out of the dark, dingy, dusty mistress closet. When a gaggle of reporters asked her point-blank if she was having an affair with Fitz, Olivia responded with a powerful one-word answer: Yes.
This is the game changer that fans have been waiting on for four seasons and counting! Before we move on to the next leg of this drama, here are five takeaways from episode 2:
1. Olivia can't even sidepiece right. If, as Cookie Lyon told Anika on Empire last week, "You can't even dyke right," then Olivia can't even sidepiece right. After all these years she was sidepiecing, Fitz is finally able to make an honest woman out of her and Olivia has a case of cold feet? Most mistresses have been gunning for the No. 1 spot their entire tenure, but when finally given the chance, Olivia dips out of the White House and takes on a case of the week that leads her out of town as she attempts to lay low from the bloodthirsty reporters. (The case of the week isn't worth mentioning at all, but how great Olivia looked in the disguise she created from Quinn Perkins' T-shirt, leather jacket and baseball hat certainly is.)
Mellie was right when she told Fitz that Olivia is not just a mistress now, "she's America's mistress," and maybe Olivia realized that that's not what she wanted on her Wikipedia page for all eternity. Although Olivia ultimately decided to free herself from shame and stand boldly before the nation and declare her sidepieceship, it's clear that while Olivia knows exactly what she's doing as America's No. 1 fixer, she doesn't quite know how to be America's No. 1 sidepiece.
2. Jake Ballard is still the human equivalent of hoop earrings. When Jake followed Olivia all the way to an island 100 miles off the coast of Zanzibar at the end of season 3—only to follow her right back to Washington, D.C., where she went back into Fitz's arms at the beginning of season 4—I compared Jake to a pair of hoop earrings, the backup pair of earrings that you keep in your purse and pull out only to wear on those occasions when you can't find your favorite pair.
When Jake showed up to help Olivia solve her case of the week and ended up agreeing to her request that he spoon her while she cried mistress tears—which are almost but not quite as offensive as white tears—I booed at the screen. He soothed her by saying, "Loving the president isn't a crime," and encouraged her to do what felt right, which apparently was to come out to the world. Audible sigh. Jake continues to be Olivia's ultimate fallback accessory. Can Jake puh-leease get his own girlfriend this season?
3. Abby Whelan needs to lean in. Throughout this episode, Abby kept urging Fitz to make a statement to the press about the veracity of those affair rumors, but Fitz wouldn't do it without Olivia. After Cyrus Beene advised her to "Bring Mellie back to the White House. Be the adult," Abby went behind Elizabeth North's back and over Fitz's head and announced to the press that the president and first lady's marriage was intact. Abby took a stand, so it seemed …
You see, in this episode, David Rosen was reduced to "Dave the IT Guy" when Fitz asked him to scan Mellie's computer to figure out if she leaked the photos. In the process, David apparently found some interesting gems in Mellie's email correspondence, and he turned them over to Abby.
Instead of snitching on Lizzy, extorting her for money and/or getting rid of Lizzy altogether, Abby only asked Lizzy if she would just treat Abby like her equal going forward. That's all? Abby didn't even ask Lizzy to pick up her dry cleaning first? What a letdown. Hopefully the stacks of emails that David gave Abby are the new B613 files and Abby has a slick plan to use them that she hasn't revealed yet. Hopefully.
4. Love triumphs over hate. Cyrus hates Lizzy. And Lizzy hates Mellie. And all three of them hate Olivia because her sheer existence puts their relationship to the White House in jeopardy. And all three of them love power more than they hate one another. If and when these three form an alliance to take down Olivia once and for all, it's going to get ugly, and it's doubtful that Fitz, who has proved time and time again to be the weakest link, will be able to protect her. It's a good thing Jake is still around.
5. Huck and Quinn blah, blah, blah. Quinn was mad at Huck for being a psycho killer, but Huck was like, "I'm fixed," but then he grabbed a pencil and almost killed a reporter with it, and Quinn was like, "No, you're not … but that's OK … because I'm a psycho killer, too." She loves him. He hates her. She's his sister. He's her lover. We don't know … or care. I hope they put this conflict to bed once and for all.
How quickly do you think Olivia will regret coming out to the world as the president's mistress?
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.