We open on Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia (Kerry Washington) doing what they do best … bitterly arguing in between bouts of boinking. The sheets aren’t even dry following some hotel room romp and they’re already making with the bickering. The gist … she’s still upset he made Jake Command, and he’s all jealous about her making Jake her beard.
And it doesn’t help matters that everything out of Fitz’s mouth is some offensively derogatory term, as he calls Liv a “Hen” and “Prize” (not to mention “Sweetie,” “Honey,” “Doll,” “Tootsie,” and “Toots”). Hey, Liv, don’t be so upset! He also uses those terms of endearment with waitresses, lap dancers, and the Israeli Prime Minister.
They exit the room and promptly wipe their feet all over the doormat outside — the doormat being Jake (Scott Foley) who is stationed there waiting to escort Liv home in fake boyfriend mode. Also with him is Secret Service Tom. Make sure you remember that guy! No reason in particular. (There is a reason.)
Over at the White House, Mellie (Bellamy Young) walks in to find a dreamy, charming VP Candidate Andrew Nicholls, making me fondly remember the time Jon Tenney played Anne Hathaway’s father on Get Real.
Mellie asks him out right if he’s running for VP in order to get close to her. He says, “No!” Then: “Maybe.” And finally: “Okay, yes! … But it’s only to watch over you, since your lame-ass husband clearly won’t.”
Which is enough to send Mellie flashbacking 14 years, to that horrible time after her loathsome father-in-law violated her. We’re inside the governor’s mansion, and Andrew can hear Mellie and Fitz in the other room, acting out scenes from the worst storyline in Downton Abbey history. Fitz angrily wants to know why Mellie suddenly shies away from his touch and won’t have sex with him. And also, coincidentally, why she suddenly can’t stand being around his father.
Sigh. Fitz, how did you get to be President when you can’t even put two and two together.
In a series of successive flashbacks doled out through this episode like doses of Oxycontin, we see Mellie swallowing a bunch of pills. Andrew is the one to find her, and he shoves his fingers down her throat to make her puke, a sight I didn’t really need to see firsthand while I was scarfing down my Scandal-viewing snack of
nachos and Oreos baby carrots.
Later on, Andrew asks Mellie why she tried to kill herself, and after being a bit defensive, she actually tells him everything that happened. I honestly found this really moving. I was glad that Mellie found someone sympathetic to confide in, because having to keep something so terrible to herself must have been horrible.
Speaking of Oxycontin … back in the present day, the Fitz campaign is derailed by a TV news reporter threatening to go public with a story about Nicholls getting illegal drugs delivered to the governor’s mansion back in the day. And to think that somehow the Gladiators’ meticulous Googling somehow missed this!
Liv is all ready to discredit the story, when Andrew pipes up all sheepish, saying the only problem is the story is true. But it was only because of his bad back and only that one time, pinky swear!
Fitz demands Liv handle it or else they might have to drop Andrew from the ticket. Liv has a theory that her father might be responsible for drumming up this old story and proceeds to follow up.
Later on, Mellie approaches Fitz in his office to plead Andrew’s case and ask they reward his loyalty by not dropping him from the ticket.
When Fitz pretty much ignores her, she says she’ll take it up with Liv personally, and he explodes and says she should stay away from Liv. And by the by, he’s really pissed at the whole fake boyfriend plan that Mellie came up with. Mellie responds by asking him what it’s like to be so hot for someone you’re willing to throw away everything for them – does it feel good or suck balls?
This scene doesn’t do much in terms of moving the plot forward, but it does confirm that Mellie is a genius with the cutting remark. In this world of political power plays, language equals power, and Mellie is a grandmaster at it. And here endeth the doctoral portion of the recap.
Meanwhile, Jake is sitting in his office worrying his pretty, vacant head about what he’s supposed to do all day long now that he’s the big cheese. He’s just about to commence making rainbow loom bracelets for his staff when two dudes come in with big news. It seems when a new Command takes over, they’re given an iPad they have to say their name into and then they get a magic box! Containing all the nation’s top secrets, including the fact that B52 has an inside man inside the White House! Cool beans!
Then Liv calls Jake and asks him to use his Command powers to stop whatever her father is up to. So Jake calls Charlie the Lollipop Assassin, a.k.a. B52’s single employee, and has him spy on Daddy ex-Command (Joe Morton) on one of his dinners with Liv. Charlie doesn’t realize that Quinn (Katie Lowes), driven even more psychotic by days stuck at home with nothing but The View for company, has followed behind him to do her own spying.