Scandal’s Olivia Pope found herself a hostage in the White House when a grieving mother, desperate for answers, walked into the building wearing a homemade bomb in “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington.”

Liv (Kerry Washington) was whisked away from bruised and beaten Jake’s (Scott Foley) side when Pope & Associates got their first client since a rumor identified Liv as the President’s mistress. The client, Mary, says she has to run to a meeting on the Hill and leaves the office before explaining why she’s hiring the firm in the first place. Quinn (Katie Lowes) does some digging with her new hacking skills and figured out that, to pay Pope & Associates, Mary cleaned out her bank accounts and that her son was killed during an FBI raid of a suspected terrorist cell. Before Liv can even think about trying to go after a missing Huck (Guillermo Diaz), who is secretly following her father after last week’s reveal that he is ‘Command,’ Liv runs to the Hill after Mary.

By the time Liv finds Mary, it’s almost too late. Mary, desperate for answers, has taken her Congressman and a few of his aids hostage. She wants to know the truth about what happened to her son – she refuses to believe that he was involved in any kind of terrorist activity. The only person Mary trusts is Liv.


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Now acting both as a hostage and hostage negotiator, Liv has her team work on the case from outside the White House while she tries to keep Mary calm. What Mary wants is simple: she wants to read the classified file detailing the FBI raid that led to her son’s death. Mary believes that the file will prove that her son was accidentally (or not) murdered by the FBI and will clear his name once and for all. Liv sympathizes with her, and saves her from being killed by snipers outside – she goes with her gut, and her gut is telling her that something is off.

With the government dragging their feet, Abby (Darby Stanchfield) goes to David Rosen (Joshua Malina) and bargains dinner for help with the case while Quinn tries in vain to hack into the FBI database in an attempt to declassify the documents herself and Harrison (Columbus Short) does his best to keep tabs on the FBI response outside the White House. There, Harrison is approached by a woman claiming to be an FBI operative. She knows that he is a member of Pope & Associates and says she wants him to know the truth and communicate it to Olivia. Mary’s son was a terrorist who worked in recruitment for Al Qaeda, she says, and she has a video to prove it. Convinced, Harrison calls Liv to tell her the news, only to realize that this FBI agent isn’t who she says she is.

With Abby and David’s help, Harrison and Liv find out that the woman who showed Harrison the video is not, in fact, an agent at all, but leads them to discover a cover-up. As it turns out, all operatives involved in the FBI raid that killed Mary’s son were promoted (with generous salary bumps) save the team commander who was let go. David takes this up with Cyrus (Jeff Perry) and threatens to release the names and the conspiracy theory to the DNC, which would no doubt hurt Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) run for re-election.

Finally, Liv gets a call from the President: Mary is right. Her son was not a terrorist, but a CIA agent placed in deep cover. He infiltrated Al Qaeda, became a head of recruitment so that he could recruit other CIA operatives to infiltrate the terrorist organization. The FBI, unaware of his true allegiance, killed him in the raid, and all of this cannot be revealed to Mary because it would put all the operatives her son ‘recruited’ in danger.

Unable to tell Mary the truth, Olivia lies, despite her strong reservations. She promises Mary that she will make sure that she has the best attorneys and legal team to fight charges of terrorism herself, and that their job is not over. Mary has other plans. She lets the Congressman and Olivia walk out of the room, slams the door shut and then hits the detonator, killing herself.

Still in shock from her whirlwind of a day, Liv is again surprised when Quinn tells her that she decided to do some digging on Huck because she was worried about him being MIA all day. Huck had spent the last 24 hours researching everything and anything there is to know about her father. He wants to kill Rowan/Command (Joe Morton), and we know he came close. In a teary confrontation with Liv at her office, Huck confesses that he couldn’t pull the trigger because Command still controls him. He killed a man for Command, even though he really only wanted to kill Command, he followed orders because ‘He still owns me.’

After her encounter with Huck, Liv is determined to find out how and why Jake was released from the Hole. If Jake is alive and ‘free,’ that means Rowan has a plan and finds him useful to Command some way. Jake swears he has no idea what Rowan might have planed, but he knows one thing: it was Liv’s face that got him through his time spent in the Hole. But, Liv is too angry and sad and confused for romance. She tells Jake that she knows that her father will find a way to use him to hurt her, but he shouldn’t feel bad about it. Her father still controls her too. The episode ends with Jake and Olivia sitting side by side on her couch while the phone rings endlessly in Liv’s apartment – her dad is calling.

In more Presidential news, Mellie (Bellamy Young) and Fitz are bickering more than ever, and Mellie drunkenly confronts Fitz, making it clear that she plans on using Olivia, his weakness, against him to win their “little war.” And Cyrus and Rowan continue to try to keep Operation Remington under wraps.

Next week, Scandal will tackle the (completely fictional) premise of a government official who is caught sexting and may or may not have killed one of his sexting partners in “Say Hello To My Little Friend.”

Scandal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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More on Scandal:

'Scandal' Recap: Huck Finds Out Liv's Father Is Command Of B-613, Jake Is Released From The Hole

'Scandal' Season 3 Premiere Recap: Olivia Pope Is 'Handled'; Fitz Is Revealed As The Source Of The Leak

'Scandal' The Complete Second Season: The Addictive Drama Reveals More About Pope & Associates In A Fantastic Season

Lisa Kudrow Joining ‘Scandal’: 'Friends' Actress Cast In Recurring Role As Politician

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