Last week, after telling the world that she is President Fitzgerald Grant III’s mistress, Olivia Pope gave White House Press Secretary Abby Whelan permission to throw her under the bus in front of the press in order to take the heat off Fitz. This week the media had a field day with this story as they took audiences on a trip through Olivia’s past. While the media drummed up old photos of Olivia and interviewed her grade school teachers, the rest of the gladiators, goons and Grants were busy.
Everybody wants to impeach Fitz. Mellie Grant’s new female colleagues in the Senate want to impeach Fitz because “he broke his vows, disturbed the office of the presidency and distracted the country with his libido, and the only person who gets raked over the coals is the woman he screwed.”
Cyrus Beene, who has had a personal vendetta against Fitz since Fitz kicked Cyrus out of the White House and never looked back, encourages Mellie to give the Senate women permission to impeach Fitz, telling her that his impeachment will make it that much easier for Mellie to move into the Oval Office.
Additionally, a group of male Senate Republican leaders threaten to impeach Fitz unless he agrees to dismantle his Brandon Bill, Fitz’s comprehensive police-reform bill that he signed into law after Brandon Parker, a black teen, was fatally shot by a police officer in the Ferguson, Mo.-inspired “The Lawn Chair” episode.
A new gladiator in a new suit. Speaking of “The Lawn Chair” episode, do you remember Marcus Walker, the community activist who pulled Olivia’s black card during that episode? Well, in a nostalgia-inducing throwback to the pilot episode of Scandal (the very first episode), Quinn Perkins recruits Marcus to join Olivia Pope & Associates (“OPA”) and become a “gladiator in a suit” in the same bar and at the same spot where Harrison first recruited her. #warmfuzzies. However, unlike Quinn, Marcus turns down the offer to “slay dragons” with Olivia Pope … until he goes home and checks his bank account.
On Marcus’ first day on the job, Quinn tasks him with deflecting press inquiries about Olivia, but Marcus quickly gets Huck and Quinn on board with a plan to change the conversation from Olivia to a conversation about the way the press has been reporting on Olivia. The trio hit the talking-head circuit and take the nation to school on what Marcus refers to as “dog-whistle politics”—bigotry, e.g., racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and misogyny, in a language so coded that it operates like a dog whistle—only the person it’s targeting is insulted by it. Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes’ tweet lays out many of the words the media uses to describe Olivia in this episode (and black women all the time):
Jake has a wife?? Jake accuses Eli Pope of working with the people who set fire to the Louvre Museum, saying that the fire was used as a distraction while they stole some paintings to sell on the black market in order to refill B613’s coffers. Jake teams up with former B613 spy Charlie, who has nine lives and a backup pair for good measure, to go to Paris and find out who is working with Eli.
While in Paris, Charlie introduces Jake to a spy who can help them, but it turns out that Jake already knows this spy … she’s his wife, Elise! And many moons ago, she stood him up at Grand Central Station while they were fleeing a precarious situation. He assumed that she was dead, but it turns out that she was just done with him. Apparently that’s neither here nor there because after Elise is mysteriously shot during an art deal gone wrong, Jake asks her if she will come back to the States with him. Apparently, Jake has always been a sucker for a woman whose feelings aren’t mutual.
Oh, right … Teddy! Remember when Mellie had a baby to distract America from the revelation that Fitz was having an affair with Amanda Tanner? And then she induced labor prematurely so that she could have America’s baby before Fitz left her? Wow. That was so many scandals ago that I probably got my facts wrong. Nonetheless, we’ve seen baby Teddy maybe twice since he’s been born, but he surfaces during this episode in an adorable game of hide-and-seek.
Date night. Everyone knows that you should never read the comments, but Olivia slips down the rabbit hole to find thousands of rape threats. Frustrated, she asks Fitz, “How come whenever a woman does something that people don’t like, the only way these men on the Internet know how to express themselves is threatening rape?” Then she threatens to shoot the next man who put his hands on her.
After hearing this, Fitz, who has been panicked about Liv’s well-being ever since Abby threw her under the bus, decides that he isn’t going to cave to Republican pressure to roll back the Brandon Bill to avoid impeachment. Instead, he takes his motorcade to Olivia’s apartment and whisks her away for their first-ever public date. This move sends Olivia over the moon and Mellie straight to an emergency Senate meeting, where she finally gives her female colleagues the green light to impeach Fitz. Uh-oh …
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.