Jake is leaving the apartment, saying it’s because he knows it’s what Olivia wants.
When Olivia tells him he doesn’t have to protect her from her father, Jake lets her know exactly what a threat her father is to everyone, including her. Jaysus, what Jake must have gone through in and out of The Hole is harrowing to hear. (Also, typing “in and out of the hole” just now made me snicker for a good minute. I have the maturity of a badly adjusted twelve year old.)
Olivia freaks out. She disavows both Jake and the dark side of her past, choosing instead to play it safe and be a “good girl.” Papa Pope’s control over the previously unshakable fixer is frightening, to say the least. Before he came into the full picture, we would’ve never heard Olivia say “I don’t want to know, see, or help.”
Jake gives her a wounded look then skedaddles. Shortly thereafter, Olivia gets a call from Harrison saying they’ve got a new client.
Quick cuts to the Gladiators abound! Abby and David Rosen are finishing up their date. Rosen asks her to look into a case of his, where a married senator sexted and then murdered his mistress, but Abby declines since they already have a case. Harrison is dancing around the office in sheer glee over potential paychecks. Huck is speaking at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and flashing back to when he “fell off the wagon” as Quinn spies on him in a very obvious manner.
The details of the case-of-the-week start to trickle in. Turns out Olivia and her team of Gladiators are taking the sexting-and-murdering case after all… only, they’re going to be defending the senator and not the woman he murdered. As Olivia says, “We need the money, we need the money, we need the money.”
Before her untimely death, Desiree, the woman the Senator Meyers had been texting, had saved all the photos and tried to blackmail him with them. She ended up murdered not long afterwards with the senator’s fingerprints all over her apartment. Open and shut case, right?
Not if Olivia can help it. She aims to shape public perception of Meyers to be as positive and innocent-sounding as possible. The senator’s wife, Shelley, is shown to be both supportive and forgiving, stating that he made one mistake and deserves a second chance.
Of course, this is easier said than done, because righteous David Rosen swoops in with witness after witness testifying to the lewd messages that Meyers sent them. “One mistake” my ass. He was sexting tons of girls. And Olivia needs a new plan of action.
Over at the White House, Cyrus, Mellie and Fitz are watching the news as Congresswoman Josephine Marcus slams Fitz for his adulterous ways. Fitz and Cyrus are unconcerned, but Mellie is annoyed and worried that the continued discussion of Fitz’s private bits is going to harm their chances for re-election.
As Mellie and Cyrus argue, Fitz’s eyes narrow in on an article in the newspaper about the guy Huck accidentally murdered last episode – you know, the dude who knew something about Operation Remington. His expression of shock tells us something big and potentially bad is up.
Back with the Gladiators, Olivia’s new plan is to turn the public eye on the victim rather than the suspect. “You had other women, maybe she had other men,” Olivia reasons. Damn, gurl. The things we all do for money.
Next step is to prep Shelley and make sure her alibi is airtight. The team sets off to do their thing, but Quinn stays behind to privately conversate with Huck. And by privately conversate I mean, she tries to tell him how worried she is, he tells her not to bother and then rushes away.
Huck then runs into Jake in the car park. Jake tries to get Huck to join him in his quest to take down Command, but Huck isn’t interested.
Mellie, meanwhile, is making the biggest foot-in-mouth mistake of her political career when she’s recorded making disparaging comments about Congresswoman Josephine. When Cyrus hears about it he is pissed. They already have problems with getting female voters to support the party – if Jospheine were to become a presidential candidate, they would probably lose all those votes to her. Mellie tries to handwave the whole ordeal but eventually caves and promises to apologize.
Later, the Gladiators are prepping Meyer and Shelley on what to do and say when she’s called to the stand, when they’re interrupted by a breaking news story: Senator Sexts A Lot has struck again. Shelley leaves in disgust.
Fitz begins his investigation into Last Week’s Dead Dude. He decides to go to the funeral and talk to Dead Dude’s sister in person. A little ways away, Huck, too, is attending the funeral.
Cyrus, by the way, keeps finding out about things after the fact, the poor guy. That can’t be good for his stress levels. Anywho, after his husband bustles in and tells him all about the impromptu funeral for Pete Foster (which is Dead Dude’s actual name, in case y’all were wondering) Cyrus immediately skitters away to meet with Eli Pope. Jake is lurking nearby trying to listen in on the conversation but he – and we – only catch snippets of what’s discussed: Foster had some sort of flight plans relating to Operation Remington, and he’d intended to use them against Fitz.
Olivia dispatches her team to find Shelley, not wanting to give up on the first case she got since deciding to keep her head down and just do her job. Jake With The Bad Timing chooses that exact moment to run in and tell her all about what he overheard. Olivia forces him to leave, but Huck overheard everything – there seems to be a lot of that going around this episode – and sneaks into Olivia’s office later on to look at the files Jake left behind.
Cyrus is still mad over the Mellie fiasco, and lets her know just that by yelling and jumping and being very angry looking. He sends one of the office boys, Ethan, off to dig up some dirt on Josephine.
The search for Shelley wasn’t going all that well until Olivia figured out what alias Shelley had used to check into a fancy schmancy hotel. She goes to meet her, and they have wine and bond. Shelley tells Olivia that she’s done helping her husband, and that if she has to pretend that her husband is a good man the jury will know that she’s lying.
Olivia’s solution? Don’t lie. Shelley tells the court exactly what she thinks of her husband, and surprisingly enough it works pretty damn well. And then the “shocker” of the episode reveals itself. Shelley knew her husband didnt kill Desiree because she was the one who killed Desiree! Man, that was so freaking obvious. Senator Meyers gets off scot-free, as does his killer wife. Cases like these where Olivia has to let the bad guy go need to never exist again.
Later that night, Quinn tries again to be a shoulder for Huck to emote on, but huck shuts her down and rushes off to Olivia’s place. There, he and Jake show her all the cool evidence they’ve gathered. Apparently Operation Remington was a secret rescue mission on Iranian soil, and the president was the pilot of the plane that took the team there.
Ethan actually comes back to Cyrus with some useful dirt: Congresswoman Josephine abandoned her baby when she was 15. Cyrus tells Fitz the good news, then segues into warning him about dredging up the past (like Pete Foster and his veteran’s funeral) when he should be focusing on the future (getting a second term).
Fitz agrees not to do anything like that again.
And we’re back to the series of quick scenes. Huck calls Quinn out on her interest in his addictions, telling her to stop while she still can. Abby and David Rosen repair their not-a-relationship. Jake and Olivia spend some quality time together that Fitz somehow knows to interrupt because he’s got spidey senses when it comes to Olivia getting it on with other men. Harrison is nowhere to be seen because he’s not getting any in any way shape or form.
The episode ends with Fitz hanging up on Olivia, marching over to Eli Pope’s office, and saying something about a reunion… Because HE KNEW ABOUT PAPA POPE THE ENTIRE TIME OH MY GOD.
Jake: Olivia, he would hurt you. Your father? he would slit your throat and drink your blood if it served the republic, and I think you know that. I think you have nightmares about that.
James: [scoffing] The personal life of a senator? He took a picture of his wang and then killed the woman he sent it to. This, in a party that already has a wang problem because of your boss.
Mellie: G8. No one pays attention to G8. Half of America can’t even spell G8.
Quinn: Are we really going to –
Abby: Slut shame a dead girl? All aboard.
Olivia: I’m not crying. I’m trying not to scream.