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Scandal 2×15 “Boom Goes the Dynamite” Recap

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“You have nothing.”

PREVIOUSLY ON SCANDAL…

Olivia and Fitz are still on bad terms, after Fitz found out that Olivia was involved in presidential election rigging… but that doesn’t stop either of them from bumpin’ uglies in a dark closet during a baby’s christening.

David Rosen, who has since lost his job and is forced to teach at a high school, is being framed for murder. He begrudgingly turns to Pope & Associates for help.

A fictional terrorist group has captured American spies and are holding them hostage. Fitz struggles to resolve the situation but continuously makes bad calls – now that he’s alienated Cyrus and has developed a bit of a drinking problem. He also discovers that there is a mole leaking top-secret information to the terrorists.

Olivia’s romantic prospects are looking up after she meets a new guy – Jake Ballard. But it turns out he’s spying on her through a series of hidden cameras planted in her apartment. (She cannot catch a break.)

ON THIS WEEK’S EPISODE…

Olivia Pope

Captain Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) and Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) are on what she is calling a ‘business meeting’, and what he’s insisting is a date. They would be cute if he wasn’t such a creeper.

She questions him about Albatross, which is the name of the file Wendy – the girl that David Rosen (Joshua Malina) found dead in his apartment in the last episode – had been working on before she died. Jake tells her that Albatross is a legend, about a long undetected mole in the Intelligence community. But as people are beginning to find out, Albatross isn’t such a legend after all.

Olivia cuts the business meeting/date short because she has to get back to work.

Back at the White House, Fitz is in the Oval Office when… in walks none other than Jake. Apparently, they’re friends.

We find out that the reason why Jake is stalking Olivia is because he was asked to do so as a favor by Fitz, who asserts that he “has his reasons”, and that “Olivia Pope is not a good person”. True love, y’all!

Throughout the rest of the episode, Jake continues to spy on Olivia at Fitz’s behest. He also continues proposing dates – even asking her out as he’s watching her in a very vulnerable moment. He at least has the decency to turn off the screen when Olivia goes to change her clothes, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s spying on her – going straight-up Carrie Mathison-level crazy on Olivia’s ass.

The Gladiators

Someone is stalking David Rosen (Joshua Malina). He goes to Pope & Associates for help, and Olivia dispatches Huck to watch over him and make sure he’s safe.

Everyone is disturbed by Huck’s (Guillermo Diaz) lack of hygiene, but no one feels comfortable telling him about it. We learn that the rainy weather has been triggering for Huck, resulting in him having flashbacks to when he was being waterboarded by the CIA. Quinn (Katie Lowes) is the one who finally tells Huck that he “smells” and that she did some research on what happens to people after they’ve been waterboarded, but Huck insists that he’s fine and that he’s endured worse.

The firm is hired by the notorious Caldwell family to arrange a political marriage for Will Caldwell (Sam Page). He’s running for Governor of the state of North Carolina and he needs a wife in order to look good to the public. There is speculation over why he’s stayed single for so long. Abby (Darby Stanchfield), for example, is convinced he must be gay.

During the firm’s auditions for potential “political wife” candidates, we find out a little bit more about Abby’s past: that her previous marriage, the one that left her with “three broken ribs, a busted jaw, and a restraining order”, was politically motivated.

Abby shares some sex scenes with on-again, off-again lover David Rosen, as well.

In a dramatic scene, Harrison reveals to Olivia that one of the women talked to the press about the arranged political marriage plot and he rushes to fix the problem – which, surprisingly enough, is resolved with relatively little fuss.

At the fundraiser, Olivia (after a staring match with Fitz) learns that the person who leaked the information to the press wasn’t any of the auditionees, it was Will’s sister-in-law. Turns out Will isn’t gay after all – instead he had been having an affair with his brother’s wife. (We totally called it.)

Later on, we find out that the older Caldwell brother (Eric Mabius) knew about the affair the entire time. His end goal was not only to get his brother elected and into the Governor’s Mansion, but also to separate his brother from his wife – otherwise his brother would have never had a political career.

White House Shenanigans

Fitz is being extremely aggressive with finding the mole. In the midst of a staff meeting, Cyrus interrupts with some heartbreaking news – a hostage was executed because of Fitz’s attempts to attack the Kashtarians in the last episode. Fitz’s incompetence as a leader is showing, along with his dark side.

Mellie (Bellamy Young) and Cyrus (Jeff Perry) discuss what to do about the hostage situation and the public’s growing fury that the matter isn’t being resolved. Cyrus is wondering why Fitz is shutting him out so much lately – and Mellie offers her (fake) condolences saying, “he can’t keep shutting you out like this, you’re too valuable to him.”

Eventually, Cyrus finds out that Mellie sold him out, and that she took his “blood for blood” speech word for word and pitched it to Fitz as her own idea.

Frustrated with being kept out of the loop, Cyrus goes to Olivia for advice. She tells him to just wait it out; “Eventually [Mellie’s] going to go too far and you just need to be there when she does.”

In typical Cyrus fashion, he decides to speed that process up a little by manipulating the First Lady into an awkward situation with the press. When Fitz finds out about the reporter’s recorded phone calls to the families of the hostages, he’s furious.

Jake, who is still monitoring her, is starting to put two and two together when it comes to the nature of Olivia and Fitz’s relationship. His suspicions seem to be confirmed when Fitz calls him into his office towards the end of the episode to assertively ask him who Olivia Pope is dating. Fitz had previously seen Olivia at the fundraiser talking cheerfully on the phone (and not mooning over him like she’s supposed to).

Jake lies and insists she isn’t dating anyone.

We also discover who the elusive Albatross mole really is, thanks to David Rosen’s stalker (who is apparently just Wendy’s best friend and witness to who really killed her, and is trying to get justice for her friend).

Next episode will most likely delve more deeply into that drama.

Memorable Quotes

Olivia: You have nothing. You have a pile of secrets and lies, and you’re calling it love. And in the meantime, you’re letting your whole life pass you by while they raise children, and celebrate anniversaries, and grow old together.

You’re frozen in time. You’re holding your breath. You’re a statue waiting for something that’s never going to happen. Living for stolen moments in hotel hallways and coat closets – you keep telling yourself they all add up to something real because in your mind they have to, but they don’t. They won’t. They never will, because stolen moments aren’t a life.

So you have nothing. You have no one. End it now.

Rating: B

Scandal airs Thursdays on ABC at 10/9 central.

Photo credits: ABC

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