Fitz thinks he’s prepared for the first presidential debate, but a surprise awaits him. Meanwhile, unexpected news leads Olivia to make tough choice; and Olivia’s team represent a CEO who’s been accused of murder.
Sally has completely lost it. She flies off the handle during a practice debate session, causing a desperate Leo – under pressure from a vengeful Rowan Pope, who needs a malleable Sally to win the election so he can fuck up Fitz’s life – to turn to Sally’s family pastor for guidance. Unfortunately, the pastor ends up advising Sally to confess her sins to the world during the live debate.
After David Rosen brings the audio recordings he and James made of Cyrus covering up Sally’s crime, Olivia is now finally in the loop. A loop that she probably wanted to stay far, far away from. She tries a hands off approach at first – refusing to help both David in uncovering the truth, and Cyrus in keeping it hidden – but eventually she tells Fitz about it, and asks him to throw the presidential debate so Sally will keep her mouth shut a little while longer.
Cyrus starts the episode off riding high; Fitz is acing all his debate practices, he’s energized and passionate, and Cyrus really thinks they have a shot at winning the election. And then Olivia walks in the room and tells him that she knows about Daniel Douglas, and it kinda goes downhill from there.
Leo approaches Cyrus and tells him to get the debates pushed back or canceled, because Sally is about to confess, and Cyrus and Mellie are about to go to jail. Cyrus tries (unsuccessfully) to put a hit out on Sally and then pretty much wallows in despair for awhile.
Towards the end, thanks to some shoddy surveillance equipment, Cyrus discovers the true identity of Publius. He tearfully tells James that he deserves whatever it is that James decides to do with him.
Though he refuses at first to throw the debate, Fitz does gives in. Reston and Sally gleefully jump on the opportunity to bag on Fitz and it’s assumed he continued to do badly in the debate. Later, Fitz angrily asks Olivia what happened to “running clean,” and she snaps at him that honesty between them comes at a cost. Now he’s going to have to know about all the things done in his name, and can’t turn a blind eye anymore. ”
And then they kiss, because what Scandal episode is complete without mentions of Vermont, jam, “Hi,” and/or a makeout session?
Oh, Jakey, Jakey, Jakey. There was like half a second during this episode where I full on shipped Jake and Olivia together (it was their first dinner scene where he dropped the subject when she asked him to), but that all exploded into a tiny million fragments when he tasked his Pocket Secret Service Agent with assassinating Sally Langston if she tries to confess.
He was also being all decent for seeming to give into Quinn’s demands for a B613 job and then delegating her to phone duty – and then he ends up giving her Agent status. Looks like we’ll be seeing more of Quinn psychotically murdering/kidnapping people.
And then that episode cliffhanger. That cliffhanger, you guys. James has decided to forgive Cyrus because what he really wanted from Cyrus was an apology – seriously, James, he covered up a brutal murder and all you needed was “I’m sorry”? – so he meets up with David Rosen, Shelby Moss, and Vanessa Chandler to tell him he’s pulling out. Which is, of course, when Jake rolls up and murders Shelby and Vanessa in cold blood before turning his gun on Rosen and James. We hear the sound of one gunshot, and then it’s a cut to black; no idea which one of them he shot. (My theory is that it’s James, and when Cyrus finds out who killed him there will be a reckoning not unlike Will Graham’s from Hannibal.)
Our boy Jake has totally embraced Command status. Shit is going so far down, and I for one can’t wait to watch it go.
Jake: Little by little, you’ve been places, and you’ve done things, and there’s been so much blood. It becomes your home. This becomes your family, and you can’t imagine any other life.
Leo: I called you and put you on plane, a private plane, because apparently God’s servant won’t fly coach, you son of a –
Olivia: I’m sorry it’s not funny it’s just that…
Cyrus: What? It’s just what?
Olivia: They’re all murderers! Reston, Sally, Fitz. The presidential debate, it’s literally murderer’s row. No matter who gets elected, they’re all murderers!
Cyrus: … Nobody’s perfect.
Olivia: I want to walk into the light and feel the sun on my face, Cyrus. You’re on your own.
Olivia: I also brought wine, but this is for me. I’m drinking the whole bottle, you’re on your own.
Olivia: Let it go. I don’t want to talk, okay? Yes, something is wrong, everything is wrong, but I don’t want to talk about it. I want to eat too many fries and drink way too much wine and have a relaxing evening with my fake boyfriend.
Jake: I’m through the looking glass, and what’s on the other side… some days, I really do wanna just be the guy who sells paper.
Run away with me, Live. Save me.
David Rosen: What would Olivia Pope do? Someone really needs to put that on a bracelet.
Cyrus: The fate of the Republic may not hinge on me, or Fitz, or Mellie, but it does hinge on the American people continuing to believe that their elected officials are not mur-der-ers. Sure, there may be a war here, a dubious FDA approval there, but not murderer murderers. Not “I stabbed my husband of twenty years with a letter opener and watched his blood seep into my carpet,” murderers.
Jake: You’re a mouse, Cyrus. A mouse on a wheel thinking, truly believing, that if I just run a little bit faster, I’ll finally get to the cheese. You’re small. And while I would love to explain to you how the world really works, I don’t have the time, and you won’t understand.
Sally: You are not a woman of God. I don’t condemn you for that. It just means that you cannot understand, without Him, without the sign of His love, I am worse than dead.
Sally: Ladies and gentlemen. I have a confession to make.
Cyrus: Oh sweet lord.