'Scandal' recap, 'Say Hello to My Little Friend'

For The Baltimore Sun

We pick things up at Olivia’s, where a disappointed Jake is packing up to go home. Olivia’s safer if he’s not there. She says Fitz will protect her, but Jake scoffs. Her father is Command and Fitz can’t defend her, because he doesn’t even know who her enemy is. Olivia tries, in a convincing tone, to say that her father would never kill her, but Jake has seen the full extent of Eli/Rowan’s wrath and describes the torture he endured in that hole: beatings, starvation, isolation, then being nursed to health for a second round.

“Your father would slit your throat and drink your blood if he knew it would help the republic,” says Jake.

Eli/Rowan had Huck kill just to remind her that he could. And it has definitely shaken her up. She has resolved to be a “good girl” – go to Sunday dinners, pretend she never met Jake. She wouldn’t even kiss him goodbye.

Mood changer: Harrison calls. They got a job. He dances, “Mary Jane” by Rick James comes on, and we’re all reminded that one of the best things about this show is the music.  

David and Abby are on a date, of sorts, when Harrison calls her with the good news. He’s trying to help her hunt down a job, which means their relationship may be on its way to being interesting again.

Meanwhile, Huck’s back in AA, coming clean about being forced to binge on “whiskey” and liking it. For some reason, even knowing that Huck is addicted to murdering people, I still just want to give him a hug.

Quinn’s still being annoying this week, in case you had any doubts. She’s at the meeting, stalking Huck. Her phone rings, interrupting Huck’s admission. Harrison again. With all this hype, this job better do more than pay their electric bill.

James and Cyrus appear to be getting some boo-loving in – nope, James is straddling him and begging for a quote.  It’s the Weiner + murder episode, guys! Senator Richard Meyers sent a woman a picture of his manly bits and she wound up dead. James wants a quote about the Republican Party’s new PR crisis.

Back at P&A, they are all having ethical issues with their new job. It’s Senator Meyers, obviously. The woman he sent a sext to, Desiree the Dental Hygienist, attempted to blackmail him, and wound up bludgeoned to death.

The redeeming quality is his wife, Shelley Meyers. She looks good on paper, so if they have her on his team, there’s a chance the public will buy his innocence. Shelley tells Olivia that they shipped their daughter off to Bethesda to work on a history report on Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She and her husband have been in therapy. He is innocent and she won’t let the world hang him. She thinks Olivia would understand, given her recent run-ins with the press. Olivia says everyone deserves a second chance.

Outside the courthouse, Olivia wades through a sea of press, once again trying her best to sound like she really believes Meyer’s innocence. David and Abby share a look. He’s disappointed at who their new client is, because David, of course, is the prosecutor. How will P&A make him lose an all-but-won case this time?

Other women the senator has sexted take the stand, reading off the increasingly pervy messages that he sent them. He wanted to shave them, see pictures of them on the toilet, have them squeeze things – I don’t even want to know what those things really mean. (Can’t pretend to be completely dainty when I watch “American Horror Story.” Bestiality and incest in one episode…)

It'sa not looking good for the senator, at all. All of the women are pretty, young and seem incredibly disgusted, which could easily sway the jury in the prosecution’s favor.

Mellie, Fitz and Cyrus are watching Lisa Kudrow’s Josephine Marcus, a democratic presidential hopeful who wants Fitz to “tame his cobra,” deliver zingers on a cable news show. Fitz is checking out the competition and doesn’t seem outwardly perturbed, but that, of course, is because he is busy discovering that Pete Foster (who Huck killed) is dead.

Olivia is imploding back in her office, searching for a new tack. They decide to paint the late Desiree as a slut. No one on the team seems happy.

In court, Desiree’s mentor takes the stand, testifying about her fears that Meyers would kill her. It is all very damning, until the defense lawyer begins to question him about his relationship with Desiree, suggesting that he bought her lavish gifts and had dinner with her far too often to just be her “mentor” and not her “sugar daddy.”

The press eats it up. A slew of news reports paint Desiree as a gold-digging opportunist whose rent, car payments and gym membership were all paid for by her various suitors. An interviewer asks Olivia if this is actually prostitution. Olivia says whatever it is, someone else could have killed her.

Mellie is also dealing with the press, charming them about some nothing project that she’s been working on. A journalist asks her a question about Marcus and she gives a fluffy answer about all women having to break the glass ceiling, but as she leaves with an unnamed congresswoman, Mellie whispers a snarky comment about Marcus involving a push-up bra and a fried twinkie. Of course, the congresswoman’s mic was still on; Mellie’s squeaky image may have just been blown.

Back at P&A, Quinn has cornered Huck about his AA meetings. He’s upset that she followed him, and Quinn has seen all through his whiskey metaphor. She wants to know who he killed and asks if it felt good, like a high. Huck, of course, walks away from her in disgust.

In the parking deck, Jake approaches Huck from behind. Guns are drawn, but Jake just wants to talk. He wants to know who Command had him kill. He wants to pin it on Command, once and for all, to free all of the former members of B613 and Olivia. Huck refuses.

Back at the White House, Cyrus is pissed because Mellie was supposed to know better. A mic is like a gun, you always assume it’s loaded, he says. Women voters weren’t behind Fitz before, due to his infidelity, and now? Mellie has just ruined it. She says she’ll form an apology.

At P&A, there’s a bigger problem. Another woman has come out, saying the senator sent her nude photos. There’s a mole on his penis as proof. She didn’t even know who he was, until the news story broke and she recognized him.

Olivia and Harrison demand Meyers’ phone. He refuses, but his disgusted wife confirms the mole. He caves and admits he has a problem, but his wife isn’t hearing it.

Fitz is really disturbed about the death of his other former Navy acquaintance. After finding out that he only had one living relative – a sister – Fitz takes the funeral arrangements in his own hands, and even shows up to pay his respects.

The sister is shocked, having not expected so much “pomp and fuss.” She didn’t even think her brother qualified for burial at Arlington Cemetery. Fitz pulled some strings. She asks him why, and Fitz says that Pete Foster was an American hero, and should be buried as such. Knowing Fitz, this is all a selfish attempt to assuage his guilt, but for what reason?

James, having come across an Instagram video someone took of the funeral, storms into Cyrus’s office, accusing Cy of keeping good news from him. He could foresee a segment on the President’s heart at “the time when the only organ people care about is his penis,” James says. Cyrus tells him that not everything Fitz does is a scheme. He had no idea.

It takes a minute for the words “Pete Foster” to sink in, sending Cyrus running to meet Eli/Rowan. Cyrus is furious that Daddy Pope didn’t tell him that he had Foster killed, but we don’t hear the details because our focus shifts to Jake, who is busy spying on them. He’s using a recorder, but a group of singing children is garbling most of the audio.

The news is speculating about how Liv might feel about the waning respect people have for her, even saying that her name is becoming a punchline. Abby and Harrison want to jump ship.  The senator lied about everything else, so he may well be guilty. They offer to work for free until they find some income. Olivia says she’ll use her savings to pay them, which they refuse, but she insists that quitting is not an option.

Enter Jake, with the news about Pete Foster being the man that Huck just killed. Foster had something dangerous on her father and Fitz: a flight plan. He was a Navy pilot, and one of the records of one of his flights was missing. Olivia tells Jake to leave, and he does, tossing the file and the recording on her desk. Huck, of course, is listening.

Huck listens to the recording and pieces together some of Jake’s research. He remembers a tattoo that was on Pete when he killed him – numbers of some kind.

Josephine Marcus is giving a press conference, saying she accepts Mellie’s apology as a joke that goes flat. Of course, Cyrus is still furious, because her approval ratings have shot up. Fitz demands that he leave Mellie alone. They share a tender moment – hands held, him telling her everyone makes mistakes. Then Mellie storms off, upset she forgot they were at war.

Meanwhile, Cyrus sends a dough-cheeked aide out to find some dirt on Marcus.

Abby enters David’s office, not to talk about the case, but to ask him to lunch. A jaded David (see what I did there?) is through playing games.

Meanwhile, they’re trying to track down Shelley by figuring out which alias she would use to check into a hotel. Of course, it’s Elisabeth Cady Stanton. When Olivia gets there, Shelley is drunk and ranting about how she felt guilty for even near-flirtations with other men, while her husband was sending pictures of his penis to every attractive woman in his phone book.

Shelley is a partner at a law firm, and he has made her look like a weak anti-feminist. She doesn’t feel like a role model for her daughter any more. The Weiner allegory is thick here.

Olivia offers to help her get a divorce lawyer, but insists that she can’t let her husband go to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Shelley says that she can’t pretend he was a good man, and Olivia assures her that she doesn’t have to.

Shelley testifies, saying Richard was with her the entire night Desiree died. David makes a good show of reminding the jury that marital privilege means she doesn’t have to incriminate her husband.

But when he asks if Shelley loves her husband, she shocks the courtroom by saying no. He is a pervert and a creep and she hates him. But you don’t go to jail for adultery – you can for murder, and she doesn’t believe he killed that girl.

Huck is searching the coroner’s photos when Quinn starts asking him details about how he killed Foster. She wants to help him, to have him confide in her. To not call it whiskey, but what it is.

Jake stops by Olivia’s, but this time, Huck is in tow. The numbers on his body were a tattoo – a flight plan for Operation Remington, a Navy mission. But Fitz was the pilot, not Foster.

Ethan the aide is back from Montana, with nothing but a pair of cowboy boots, or so he thinks. He tells Cyrus that when Josephine Marcus was 15, she gave birth to a baby, but walked out of the hospital with no baby or birth certificate. Cyrus sees hope.

Senator Meyers meets with Olivia, saying that Shelley won’t forgive him. She lied for him. She couldn’t be certain that he didn’t kill Desiree; his wife was out shopping the entire night of the murder.

Olivia, of course, puts together the pieces and confronts Shelley. She was the one who murdered Desiree, thinking she was the only woman that Richard was sexting. Shelley just throws Olivia’s comment about second chances back in her face and walks away.

Cyrus gives Fitz the good news about Marcus being a “slutty teen” with an abandoned baby. Then he confronts him about the funeral he attended. Cyrus is worried that Fitz won't win the election if he keeps focusing on the past. (What did Fitz do?! It’s clearly eating him up.) He silently agrees to leave the past in the past.

Quinn keeps pestering Huck. He finally screams at her that she’s not worried, but interested -- she wants to do what he does, maybe because she saw him going through murder withdrawal. All her questions have answers, but she doesn’t really want to know them. He wants her to stop asking questions while she still can.

David is watching the news and sulking, foiled by Pope & Associates yet again. Meyers tells the press that he wants to focus on his career and repair his marriage. David receives a dirty photo and a phone call from Abby. He says he doesn’t want to play games, and she’s not. She’s outside his door, and would like to come in. I like them as a couple. I don’t know why.

Liv and Jake are drowning their problems in booze. She’s anything but OK. He thinks she’s going to cry, but no. She’s trying not to scream. She’s scared, and he offers to hold her. She resists at first, but he holds her and assures her that she is not alone. I really hope he doesn’t die because of that. They kiss for the first time since that ill-fated sleepover where she found out that he was spying on her, got a concussion and woke up as Fitz’s virtual prisoner in the hospital.

The phone rings, and of course, Liv must answer. It is Fitz. She wants to know what she can do for him, and he is offended at her formality and her thinking he only calls when he needs something. She asks if he’s OK, and he says he doesn’t know how to answer that. Jake loudly, and pointedly (like the side-boo that he is), asks if she wants more wine. Fitz hangs up, because she has company. He is both visually hurt and, I suspect, the owner of a flip phone in 2013.

Fitz's limo arrives at its destination: Eli/Rowan’s office, for a reunion. Because Fitz knows Eli/Rowan! Is Fitz in B613! Why did he lie to Olivia? Is he in on all of it? How does Cyrus not know? Are they playing all of them? Just when I’m starting to drift, “Scandal” reels me back in.

Next episode: Marcus hires Olivia to fix her abandoned-baby scandal, and Fitz takes it very personally. Also, Olivia rocks an awesome faux-asymmetrical cut and funky gown combo. 

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