Remember a couple of episodes ago when Olivia Pope belittled Abby Whelan, Abby exacted revenge and as a result, Olivia bashed Andrew Nichols’ head in with a chair? Well, Olivia and Abby are now engaged in a gladiator-vs.-gladiator death match as they try to deliver a win for their candidates, Sen. Mellie Grant and Vice President Susan Ross, respectively, on the presidential campaign trail. This week's challenge is to win the endorsement of Gov. Baker of Florida over a dinner at her house. Baker’s endorsement will ensure that the candidate will win Florida’s primary, forcing the loser to suspend her campaign.
As Olivia and Mellie wait on the tarmac to take off for Florida, Abby claims that Air Force One is having a malfunction, which means that Mellie can’t take off until Air Force One takes off. It's a standoff.
Marcus Walker convinces Mellie to get off the plane and appeal to Fitz Grant directly, so Mellie does as he says. At this point, it’s just a countdown to Marcus and Mellie striking up something steamy. Fitz comes out to meet Mellie over Abby’s objection, and Fitz and Mellie have a sweet moment bonding over their concern that Olivia isn’t taking care of herself. Fitz agrees to let Mellie take off.
Meanwhile, Susan is already in Florida. Elizabeth North has been forcing Attorney General David Rosen to accompany Susan on the campaign trail to keep up appearances, even though Susan dumped him after learning that he was cheating on her, so Susan has been making David sleep on the floor.
Gov. Baker stops by to visit David and says she’ll endorse Susan if David agrees to drop his investigation of one of the sugar companies in her state. David refuses to accept the deal, and Susan decides that she doesn’t want Baker’s grimy endorsement.
The next thing you know, Olivia, Mellie and Fitz arrive at Baker’s dinner. Olivia knows that showing up with Fitz is the only way that Baker will let Mellie join the dinner so late. At the dinner, Susan calls Baker out about having a blind spot for the big sugar companies in her state, which are polluting the Everglades. Bloop.
That night, as David lies on the floor next to Susan’s bed, Susan tells David that his refusal to accept Baker’s deal reminded her of the kind of stand-up guy that David really is. They hold hands and David says, “I will do my very best never to hurt you again.” Awww. The next thing you know, Baker has endorsed Susan. We find out later that David did make the deal with Baker. Now, that’s romantic.
Now Olivia is shattering tea cups against walls and drinking brown liquor, and Huck tells her she should still be at home trying to forgive herself for killing Andrew, but Olivia says she feels both good and great about killing him. What’s ailing her is her father telling her that if she tries to save Jake or goes anywhere near him ever again, he’ll slit Jake Ballard’s throat. Then she breaks down into uncontrollable sobs as Huck holds her.
At the end of the day, the showdown on the tarmac hurts both Susan and Mellie and allows billionaire Hollis Doyle, who was in third place, to weasel his way to a win in Florida.
Abby and Fitz and Olivia and the White House
Abby blows up at Fitz for overruling her earlier that day, yelling, “I run you so you can run the country!” Then Abby shows up at Olivia’s office, and she wants to know why Olivia was so mad at her in the first place. Olivia explains that she made that president and built that White House. Now she wants the White House back, and she’s done losing. Then, after realizing that their fighting allowed Hollis to win, Abby and Olivia agree to team up to take Hollis down. This should be good.
Cyrus and Michael and Alex and Frankie
While the Republicans are duking it out, Cyrus Beene and Alex Vargas are still engaged in their own death match over Democratic Gov. Frankie Vargas’ campaign. Alex wants Frankie to reveal the news that Frankie’s young daughter is battling cancer, but Cyrus and Frankie think that doing so is distasteful.
Alex has found proof that Cyrus is sleeping with Tom Larsen—yes, Secret Service/B613 Tom—and has presented it to Cyrus’ husband, Michael—yes, the former prostitute Cyrus was forced to marry when the news broke that he was paying for sex with a hooker. Alex is pressuring Michael to provide him with proof that Cyrus masterminded the Capitol-building shooting that transformed Gov. Vargas into a political star.
To my surprise, Michael is really upset to find out about Cyrus’ affair. Nevertheless, Michael confronts Cyrus with hopes of working things out, and Cyrus basically tells him to know his role and stay in his lane or Cyrus will put him out. The only person surprised by Cyrus’ response is Michael.
Now a husband scorned, Michael finally gives Alex a USB key that he thinks contains proof of Cyrus’ involvement in the Capitol shooting. However, Cyrus had gotten Michael to give Alex a different file, which automatically emailed pictures of Frankie’s sick daughter to a news outlet. Of course, the information is traced back to Alex, so Frankie fires him. When Cyrus goes home to thank Michael and promise to try to fix their marriage, Michael is gone … and he has taken Cyrus’ daughter, Ella. I’m going to go ahead and say that that move was a mistake, Michael. Good luck, though.
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.