Scandal Recap: You Can’t Take Olivia Pope

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope (ABC)
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope (ABC)

At the end of last week’s Scandal episode, Mellie Grant had been voted president-elect, Olivia Pope and Fitz Grant were sleeping together ... again, and Fitz had rescued Olivia’s father and placed him in custody at the White House.


This week’s episode begins with Olivia waking up in Fitz’s bed wearing Fitz’s Navy T-shirt, just like old times. Unlike old times, Olivia leaves Fitz’s bed to visit her father, Eli Pope, downstairs in the basement, where he’s being held in a room that looks as if an Edible Arrangements factory exploded. Olivia and Fitz try to assure Eli that he and his multiple, assorted fruit platters are safe, but Eli knows better, and he’s ready to escape to Paris, Zanzibar or anywhere but there.

Eli seems to grasp that Sarah and Peus are some real bad hombres. Mellie, on the other hand, hasn’t fully caught on yet, which is surprising given that Sarah—Mellie’s new, self-designated chief of staff—bludgeoned Elizabeth North, Mellie’s former chief of staff, to death with a golf club right in front of her last week. Yet somehow Mellie still thinks this is her show, so she hands Sarah her Cabinet-member wish list, at which Sarah scoffs because she and Peus have other plans.

When Olivia arrives at her office, Peus is there to greet her with some big news: Jake Ballard will no longer be serving as Mellie’s vice president. After they exchange a few unpleasantries, Peus informs Olivia that he will be Mellie’s new veep. Olivia talks tough to Peus’ face, but she promptly informs Jake that he has to get off the ticket or Peus will kill him because, unlike Mellie, Olivia gets it.

Sarah and Peus’ extreme White House makeover is well underway as Sarah barges into the Oval Office with Mellie, ready to give everyone their marching orders, when a drone flies into the White House airspace. Per security protocol (or so they tell Sarah), Sarah and Abby Whelan have to be whisked away to the White House safe room until the threat has passed.

Of course, Huck—who has miraculously made a full and complete recovery from the time he got shot three times and thrown in the trunk of a car that was submerged in a lake, Houdinied himself out of that car, and was left for near dead on the shore JUST TWO EPISODES AGO—is controlling the drone. It was designed as a way to separate Sarah from Mellie while the rest of the gang—Olivia, Fitz, Cyrus Beene, Jake, Marcus Walker and David Rosen—gather in the situation room to figure out a plan to get rid of Sarah and Peus once and for all.

Papa Pope, coming in hot off a fresh-fruit high, gets the party started with the revelation that he killed Frankie Vargas. It’s quite the icebreaker. Next, he makes Fitz beg for his help and then rejects his request anyway. Finally, he reminds Fitz that he killed his son and implies that Olivia is a stripper. It’s fun for the whole family, really.


Everyone takes five as they figure out how to proceed. Cyrus asks Eli to join him in Fitz’s new White House wine cellar, where Cy plots to kill Eli with a corkscrew. Ever one step ahead, Eli smashes a wine bottle and holds it to Cy’s neck. As it turns out, Cyrus is angry because he really loved Frankie. Eli offers the least sincere condolences and returns to his cell to reunite with his fruit platters.

Jake tells Olivia that he can tell she’s sleeping with Fitz again and calls her insane for it. So now she’s an insane stripper. David and Fitz talk about how powerful women who don’t wear headbands or stand in their men’s shadow are the best if they love you. *Shoulder shrug.* And Marcus, who was Mellie’s lover not so long ago, gives Mellie a pep talk about how her job is to lead, and it’s everyone else’s job to worry about the gun to her head.


Marcus’ pep talk works, and Mellie confidently strolls back into the situation room and declares that Luna Vargas, Frankie’s widow, will be her vice president. Two women in the White House and Olivia Pope as Mellie’s chief of staff—this could actually be really exciting.

Of course, Sarah is hot about it, but who cares? Olivia promptly has her arrested and carted away, but not before warning her, “You can’t take Olivia Pope. Olivia Pope takes you.” Recall, that’s exactly what Jake and Huck have been saying about Olivia’s father for several seasons now. To be clear, that is not a good sign.


Here’s my question: how many politicos will it take to take down Peus?

Akilah Green is a recovering Washington, DC lawyer-lobbyist turned TV writer-producer living in Los Angeles.