Fitz takes Jake back from Command after Liv tells him there might still be hope for them in Scandal’s “An Innocent Man.”

Leonard Carnahan

Randolph Cooper, a revered former President, has died of a stroke, and his death rekindles hope for Leonard Carnahan, a man who was convicted of attempting to assassinate the president decades ago. Carnahan was convicted of shooting President Cooper, an assassination attempt that left a bullet in the President’s brain. At the time of the trial, Carnahan’s defense asked that the bullet be extracted to test ballistics, but the courts deemed it too dangerous for Cooper. Now that he’s dead, all a defense would need is to recover that bullet. Carnahan professes his innocence to Liv (Kerry Washington) and begs her to take his case. Liv believes him and Pope & Associates get to work. They trick David Rosen (Joshua Malina) into filing murder charges against Carnahan on the grounds that the bullet in his head could have led to his stroke. The new case allows for the defense to ask for an autopsy to extract the bullet. When they do, the bullet is a match for Carnahan’s gun. It was all a ruse. Carnahan wanted to be found guilty of a President’s murder – he didn’t want to go down in history as a failed assassin, but as a man who murdered a United States President.

Needless to say, the ordeal puts a bit of a crimp in the White House funeral plans. President Cooper’s wife arrives and immediately takes over Mellie’s office to plan while also giving Mellie (Bellamy Young) some much needed First Lady advice. Cooper’s wife reveals that she was the one pulling the strings throughout Cooper’s legendary presidency, and admits that she is sad that she will always be remembered as the wife of a man who did great things – something Mellie can relate to.

Cyrus Continues Affair With Michael

Meanwhile, Cyrus (Jeff Perry), who is continuing his affair with his escort, Michael (Matthew Del Negro), opens up a bank account for his new lover and puts money down on an apartment and a secure cellphone so that they can communicate and stop meeting in hotels. The arrangement gives Michael ideas, and, the next time Michael meets up with Lizzie (Portia de Rossi) to discuss Cyrus, he tells her that he read a classified e-mail on Cyrus’ phone that morning. If she wants it, she’ll have to pay. The e-mail detailed the President’s plan to close military bases, something the Republicans do not want. In an effort to push Fitz into a corner, Lizzie stirs up a rumor that the President is looking to close military bases, which makes him look bad to Republicans. The second Lizzie puts the information out there, Cyrus knows there’s a leak and he tasks Abby to find it. Abby is walking on thin ice in the Oval Office after she asked Fitz to let Olivia see Jake. Fitz and Cyrus are looking for any reason to fire her, so she better find that leak!

Lizzie then heads over to the White House to talk to Mellie. She admits that she leaked the news about the military bases, and she wants Mellie to go on the record denying it. Mellie doesn’t bite, but after a few conversations with Cooper’s wife, Mellie decides she wants to be a more influential First Lady, and if that means betraying Fitz to keep a few military bases up and running, then that’s what she’ll do. Walking out of the funeral with Mrs. Cooper, Mellie tells the crowd of reporters that Fitz would never close military bases.

When Mellie’s declaration hits the presses, Cyrus calls Abby (Darby Stanchfield) and demands to know who the leak is. Abby informs him that she has looked into it, and the only suspicious activity she has found is his own. She knows about the cell phone and the apartment, and she suggests to Cyrus that he take a look at his own life before blaming someone else.

Fitz Gives Jake Over To Rowan

After Abby tells Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) that Olivia is having nightmares about Jake (Scott Foley), Fitz storms into Liv’s apartment, not to grant her a visit with Jake, but to hand over all the evidence against Jake. He tells her that Tom’s testimony proved that Jake ordered to have Jerry killed and then framed Liv’s mother to ensure that there would never be hope for an Olitz reconciliation, allowing him to be with Olivia.

Liv laughs at Fitz for believing Rowan (Joe Morton), but the evidence is somewhat convincing, and Liv’s interactions with Carnahan made her doubt trusting her gut. Later, Fitz meets with Rowan, who is trying to get Fitz to give Jake over to him instead of putting him through the judicial system, where he would receive a fair trial. Rowan tells Fitz that he feels he need to take responsibility for Jake since he was the one who trained him, but when Fitz refuses, Rowan changes course. He encourages Fitz to let Liv see Jake so that she can stop idolizing him in her mind. Fitz agrees and takes Liv to see a very badly beaten Jake.

Jake barely tries to declare his innocence – he is resigned to his fate. Instead, he gives Liv the number to his offshore account and tells her to give the money to his mother. After Liv leaves, Fitz goes straight to Rowan and gives him Jake. Rowan boasts about his victory to Jake, admitting that he played the President and tricked him into handing Jake over. Jake, he says, only has himself to blame. He could have had Olivia, but he wanted power and he wanted the truth, and now he’ll die at Rowan’s feet. “I handed my greatest treasure to you on a silver platter. All you had to do was pay your respects to her father,” Rowan tells Jake.

Hope For Olitz

Oh, but Rowan’s victory speech was presumptuous. When Liv discovered that Jake was no longer in the Department of Justice’s custody, she went straight to Fitz and said that the man she elected, the man she loved, would never hand over a man to B613. If Fitz doesn’t get Jake back, then there will never be any hope for the two of them. (They are never ever ever getting back together.) Fitz doesn’t believe her. He doesn’t believe that this one act would squander any chance of them because he doesn’t think there’s any chance now. But, when Liv admits that there is still hope for them, Fitz decides to take Jake back and transfers him to prison. Jake will get his day in court.

Finally, over at Pope & Associates, Quinn (Katie Lowes) has been desperately trying to find the locker the key she recovered – from the teenage girls who were murdered – unlocks. Unfortunately, Huck (Guillermo Díaz) is too distracted to help. Instead, Huck is busy playing an online video game in an effort to get closer to his son, who is unknowingly playing with his dad. Quinn finds the locker eventually, but is not prepared for what’s inside: photos of Olivia Pope.

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

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