This week’s Scandal episode flashed back and forth enough times to make your head spin, but here’s what we learned:
If Mellie and Marcus had a super-couple nickname, it would sound like “malarkey,” which means “nonsense,” which is exactly what Olivia deemed their relationship when she found out about it. It looks like that light flirtation we picked up on between presidential candidate Mellie Grant and gladiator Marcus Walker last season turned into a full-blown affair on the campaign trail. And it wasn’t just sex—although it was the kind of sex that made Mellie weep during the middle of it because it was so good. No, it was love, she told her campaign manager, Olivia Pope, the kind that made colors seem brighter and smells seem stronger. That’s some good stuff.
Mellie is distracted by her relationship with Marcus, and we know that Olivia won’t let anything keep her from getting and staying in the White House. She’s already rigged an election and killed Andrew Nichols. This time, Olivia warned Mellie that Marcus is known for climbing his way to the top by sleeping with powerful women. Then she got Abby Whelan to offer Marcus a job as White House press secretary to get him off the campaign team. Olivia’s plan worked because when Mellie found out that Marcus was leaving the campaign for the White House, she accused Marcus of using her as a stepping-stone and then dumped him.
Cut to the present, when Mellie finds out from Marcus that Olivia got him the press secretary gig. When Mellie confronts Olivia, Olivia tells her she broke them up because Mellie can either become president or have an affair with her black campaign staffer during her presidential campaign, but not both.
Well, if Olivia ain’t the pot-calling-the-kettle-a-black-campaign-staffer-having-an-affair-with-a-candidate-during-a-presidential-campaign, but I digress. Mellie accuses Olivia of destroying every relationship Mellie’s ever had—Fitz, Andrew Nichols and now Marcus—and wishes Olivia luck finding her way back to the White House without her because they (Olivia and Mellie) are done.
Later, Mellie goes to the White House to see Fitz and also asks to see Marcus, but while she waits for Marcus, Mellie has a few moments to stand in the Oval Office and envision it as her own. That’s enough for her. Before Marcus shows up, Mellie is already off to tell Olivia that she does, in fact, want the presidency more than she wants Marcus. Sorry, Marcus.
There’s still the matter of who the next president will be. Recall, President-elect Vargas was assassinated after he accepted the presidency, and Fitz chose Vargas’ running mate, Cyrus Beene, over Mellie to succeed him.
Well, Cyrus offers Mellie the opportunity to be his vice president, which Mellie rejects cold. She says she worked, bled and was born to be president. Plus, she accuses Cyrus of killing Vargas. So, hard pass. Cyrus still swears he had nothing to do with Vargas’ death.
But Olivia thinks Cyrus did, based on a voicemail left for the FBI from Vargas’ campaign videographer, Jennifer Fields. Before Huck and Quinn Perkins could catch up with Jennifer, her cabin in the woods exploded with her inside it. Meanwhile, all other evidence points to Nelson McClintock, a white nationalist, being the murderer, but he won’t confess. Abby wants to put this whole ordeal behind them, so she gets Jake Ballard to come scare the piss (literally) out of McClintock until he signs a confession.
But Olivia isn’t done. She tells Quinn to find some evidence from the FBI headquarters while Olivia distracts FBI Director Angela Webster over drinks. It turns out that Olivia and Angela go way back ... so far back that Angela has to ask Olivia for permission to pursue Fitz. Oh, my. Olivia tells Angela to go for it, but if Angela had the kind of discernment you’d hope for in an FBI director, she would have read through Olivia’s shady lines.
Nonetheless, Quinn returns with Jennifer’s old laptop. Huck works his magic and finds footage of Cyrus and Vargas having a fight, during which Vargas says that his first act as president will be to throw Cyrus in jail. “Over my dead body will you get away with what you did,” yells Vargas.
I don’t know who allows Olivia to stroll up and through the White House and into Fitz’s bedroom without announcing herself, but she does, and this time she strolls up on Fitz and Angela on the balcony having a private moment. Well, that was fast! And we know it’s about to be furious, but first Olivia, referring to the footage of Vargas and Cyrus’ fight, asks Fitz and Angela, “So are you ready to investigate the murder of Frankie Vargas yet?”
Yep, I am, but I’m even more interested to see how this Olivia-Fitz-Angela thing plays out.