‘Scandal’ Recap: Fixer Olivia Pope Goes Public With Affair
Scandal concluded last week with Sally Langston (Kate Burton) outing the President Fitzgerald Grant/Olivia Pope affair on national television. “Yes” picks up just as Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia (Kerry Washington) are watching the shocking broadcast from The Residence.
Fitz needs to head to the Oval Office immediately to meet with Liz (Portia de Rossi) and Abby (Darby Stanchfield) and try to figure out what their next move is. The hapless Vice President Susan Ross (Artemis Pebdani) and Attorney General David Rosen (Joshua Malina) join the meeting as well. The VP is stunned to find out that the rumors about the affair between the president and Olivia are true – and everyone else is suprised to hear Fitz say that the only way he’s going into the press room is with Liv at his side. Problem is Liv has made a mad dash out of The Residence through one of the capital’s underground passageways to vacate the premises before she couldn’t.
Liz and Rosen determine that the only way the pictures of Fitz and Liv could have gotten out is from someone on the inside. Abby is less concerned about the who and the how, and more concerned about whatever version of the truth she needs to give to the hungry press. Fitz, still unwilling to talk to them without Olivia, lets Abby dodge questions alone. He then gets a visit from Mellie (Bellamy Young), who offers him an opportunity to apologize for handing her the divorce papers and to help him deny the affair.
Mellie tells him that bringing Olivia into the White House was a selfish, short-sighted move that not only hurt their political standing but Olivia’s life. Now, the purported love of his life is known internationally as America’s Mistress, a title she won’t soon shake. Fitz becomes convinced that Mellie leaked the pictures so that she could give this same speech, but Mellie adamantly denies it. Who wants a senator, or a future president who can’t keep her husband faithful, she asks him. Fitz throws her out all the same.
Olivia, meanwhile, has distracted herself the only way she knows how – with work. The case she takes on involves a woman who claims her stepson has killed his father/ her husband and is on the run. Eventually, Olivia finds the young man named Gavin at a casino, and with Jake’s (Scott Foley) help, brings him to a motel room for questioning. He claims that it was is step-mother who killed his dad to get his money, as his father had just changed his will the day before he died. Olivia and Jake believe him enough to bring him to a diner and let him head to the bathroom himself. When people in the diner start to recognize Olivia from the news, Gavin escapes. They find him at a house he had been building with his dad’s money, where he confesses to writing checks in his dad’s name and that his father had recently found out. After hearing his father call him “weasel” too many times, he killed him. Case closed.
After their work is done, Jake presses Olivia about why she’s running from the man she’s been in love with for so long. With the secret out, can’t she now get what she’s wanted? Olivia seems incredulous about there being any way that she could be with Fitz now. With Jake spooning her back at the motel room, Olivia wonders how she got herself in this position in the first place. Jake tries to ease her anxiety, telling her it’s not a crime to love a president.
Back in Washington, Abby finds an unlikely mentor in Cyrus (Jeff Perry), who tells her that if she wants things done a certain way, then she has to start acting like the adult – both with Fitz and with Liz. If she asserts herself as the adult, they’ll fall in line like children. Her first order of business as the adult is to tell reporters that Mellie has been living at the White House and that the First Couple is just fine. Meanwhile, VP Susan schools Fitz on what it means to be a president; it means you don’t get to have affairs, even if it’s for love.
Fitz sees a recording of Olivia getting mobbed at a diner – with Jake at her side – and takes to his balcony to wallow. Abby comes in and twists the knife a bit, informing him that Olivia is never going to want this life of scrutiny. Out of arguments, Fitz agrees. He then apologizes to Mellie and does a joint interview with her to squash the rumors. While Fitz is talking to the press, David Rosen gives Abby the intel on the leak, which reveals that it was Chief of Staff Liz’s handy work. Instead of running Liz out of the White House, Abby decides to use the leverage to be treated as an equal.
On her way back to D.C. with Jake, Olivia checks her voicemail to find one from Fitz. In it, he tells her that he’s doing the press conference with Mellie and that he understands that she doesn’t want “this” and that he loves her too much to put her through it. She wipes away tears as she steadies herself to face the reporters waiting outside her apartment. Just before she enters her building, a lone voice calls out, “Are you the president’s mistress?” After a beat, Liv replies, “Yes.”