We open on Liv’s bedroom, where the newly returned Ballard (Scott Foley) is passed out on the bed, even though if I were released from The Hole, the first things I’d do would be shower, shave, and eat about 20 donuts.
Liv (Kerry Washington), for her part, is cowering on the floor, with this haunted, shell-shocked look on her face, like she just realized she’s out of wine and/or watched the season finale of Breaking Bad.
For recapping purposes, she’s helpfully remembering scenes from last week (in flashback-friendly black-and-white). You remember — confronting Daddy about being Daddy Command … getting choked by Huck … and “Ding, dong, special delivery. Here’s that battered, emotionally shattered husk of a boyfriend you ordered. With a side of garlic knots.”
She gets a call from Fitz (Tony Goldwyn), who says they need to talk about Ballard. She says, “No!” and hangs up.
Then she calls Huck (Guillermo Diaz), and says they need to talk about the whole choking incident.
He says, “No!” and hangs up.
Then my doorman calls to ask if he can send up the pizza delivery guy. I say, “No!” and hang up. And immediately smash my head against the coffee table for being such a moron.
To cheer herself up, Liv – wearing an atypically colorful ensemble that’s simply to die for – heads to the office, for what will no doubt be a restful day of paperwork and Candy Crush.
The Gladiators greet her but wonder where Huck is. They’re surprised to hear Liv’s claim that he’s taking a personal day, given none of them get personal days. Or weekends, or holidays, or paychecks. In fact the only day they get off is President Fitzgerald’s birthday. And that’s only so Liv can go to the White House and give him his traditional birthday BJ for old time’s sake.
But good news! They have a client! One Mary Nesbitt (Cynthia Stevenson), a sweet-faced, super-nice lady with a midwestern lilt in her voice, so she’s obviously a raging psychopath (like all nice people from the Midwest).
She hands over her retainer and says she’s got to dash to a meeting on the Hill, let’s talk later, nothing suspicious here.
Although it does quickly get suspicious when Quinn (Katie Lowes) does some snooping and discovers that a) Ms. Nesbitt emptied out her savings account to pay them; and b) her son was suspected of being a terrorist and was killed during an FBI raid. Ruh-roh! This gets Liv’s spidey-fixer senses tingling, so she heads to the Hill.
Meanwhile, in the White House, President Fitzgoldwyn and The First Mellie (Bellamy Young) sit at the dining table, getting a debrief from Cyrus (Jeff Perry ) on their terrible approval ratings post-Fitz affair.
Fitz is astonished to see Mellie feeding their baby through this, marveling that she even knows which orifice the food goes into.
She says she’s prepping for a number of “Look What a Great Mom She Is!” photo shoots Cyrus set up. I know just the kind of photo spread she’s talking about, just like all those annoying celebrity moms in their three million dollar nurseries, and obviously as phony as those “Body after Baby” and “Stars Without Makeup” magazine spreads.
Cyrus says they can win the public back by showing how as a couple they’re plowing through their problems and still devoted to each other. Which is why he’s sending them off for a “Love Weekend at Camp David,” (which is coincidentally the name of a romance/YA novel I’m working on).
Mellie wonders how she’s supposed to fake affection with a guy who could hardly “get it up” to get her pregnant, and I’m pretty certain slandering the Presidential Penis is a Federal offense. He tells her to “Shut up!” and she says “No, you shut up!” back, and if I were Cyrus I’d put both of them in time-out and take away their iPad time.