Well, I think it’s pretty obvious why the writers of Scandal essentially titled this episode “WTF,” because if you weren’t saying that by the time this episode ended, then you are much better at predicting what’s to come than I am, as I most definitely ended this week’s episode with that particular question continually swirling around and around in my head. In fact, I’m pretty sure it still is. Because, I mean really now, WTF?
Olivia is swimming. It’s ten months after Verna’s death and Olivia is swimming to try and keep her mind off of the fact that the man she loves knows that she betrayed him. He knows. As she swims, we get glimpses of a love scene between her and Fitz. If you’re like me, you’re thinking that this is a flashback and Olivia is remembering this as she swims. She gets out of the pool, and her mind has been cleared of the dirty thoughts swirling in her mind.
Fitz is still in a funk all this time later after discovering the truth behind the election that made him President. He’s been drinking more, starting as early as 7:00 in the morning, and it has Mellie worried, but she placates him anyways and she tries to spice up their love life with an early morning romp in the shower, but it’s interrupted when Cyrus has news of a new crisis taking place in the Middle East.
Things have taken a drastic, nasty turn for David, who awakes to a dead woman in his bed, covered in blood. After lying to the police who have responded to a call about a disturbance coming from his apartment, David makes a call to Abby for help. Abby, in turn, calls Olivia to come to his aid. Olivia is at the coffee shop when Abby calls, having just met a charming new man and flirting with him while waiting in line. But when Abby calls with news of David’s predicament, she assembles the team to meet at his apartment and figure out what happened – and what to do from there. As a result, we learn that David has lost his job as the Assistant US District Attorney and attempted to open his own law firm, but after that was a massive failure, he turned to teaching. After determining that David was drugged and there was no possible way that he could have killed this woman in his bed, Olivia has David decide whether to move the dead girl’s body back to her own home, which will make it much more difficult for the police to catch the actual killer, or to keep it at his apartment, which will most certainly lead to his arrest and further downfall (not that he has much further to fall after the team discovers that David’s grandmother paid his rent for the previous month because he’s so broke). David agrees to moving the body, a task that is left to Quinn and Huck, as they place the dead girl back in her own bed and make the scene look like a breaking and entering crime has occurred – including additional stabbing of the dead woman to ensure fresh blood spatter around where they’ve placed her.
Cyrus realizes that Fitz has been freezing him out, and he decides to make an attempt to address it, but ultimately drops the subject. When Olivia meets with Cyrus to make sure that he didn’t have David framed for murder, Olivia confesses to Cyrus that Fitz does, in fact, know about Defiance, which is something Cyrus is hesitant to accept, but Olivia makes her point: that what they did in Defiance is never going to really go away, even with Verna’s death. Olivia’s team find several pictures of naked men on the dead girl’s computer, and go to work to figure who actually killed her, assuming they have about two days before her body is discovered – a time span that is severely crunched when they figure out that the girl has ordered cable, which is getting installed as they speak, and it will only be a matter of hours before the police come for David. Ultimately, the team is able to discover that the dead girl had been hoarding and selling secrets to the highest bidder, but David grows suspicious of Olivia’s motives as result of her involvement with Defiance and so he refuses her help any longer. Unfortunately for him, time has run out, and David has officially been brought in for questioning.
Cyrus fills Mellie in on the fact that Fitz knows about Defiance and Cyrus pushes her to make an attempt to win Fitz’s trust back for both of them. Mellie is more cunning than Cyrus realizes, however, as Mellie takes the opportunity to throw Cyrus under the bus and lay the entire Defiance plot on his shoulders, effectively framing him as the mastermind behind the entire plan and convincing Fitz that he needs to not trust Cyrus any longer. And the plan seems to work on Mellie’s behalf, as Fitz opens up to her about things going on in the White House, and Mellie smiles to herself, pleased that her plan has worked.
David is brought in for questioning in what used to be his old office and Harrison is there as his legal representation. Although Harrison coaches him to stay quiet and say nothing, David instead goes off on a monologue of his own to make the case they are questioning him for seem entirely crazy and idiotic, and appealing to the idea that this man who has taken over David’s position won’t want to embarrass himself, and it works and so David leaves.
The Pentagon has been calling the dead girl’s phone – a lot. Olivia makes her way down to the Pentagon and asks to talk to a Jake Ballard, who, as it turns out, happens to be the same charming man she ran into at the coffee shop that morning. Olivia attempts to question Jake to figure out what he might know, but realizing that Olivia is not really a detective, Jake doesn’t divulge much to her. The entire conversation becomes a stand-off between the two, as neither one really wants to tell each other anything, and so they go their separate ways… but not before Jake makes the bold move of asking Olivia out on a date.
At the christening for Cyrus and James’s daughter, Ella, Olivia and Fitz see each other for the first time since he turned her away, as she is godmother and he is godfather. The two can’t keep their eyes off of each other, and the minute she gets the opportunity to get away, Olivia flees the party, but Fitz chases after her, dragging her into the control room for one of the single hottest sex scene I’ve ever seen – a scene I kind of can’t believe they got away with showing on network television. And, suddenly, we realize the flashes we saw from the beginning of the episode were of this and we’ve been duped – again. But, yet, that’s OK. Because, uh, did you see that?! I’m surprised the control room didn’t light on fire as a result of their chemistry.
The high, however, doesn’t last long, as the pair exit the room after their romp, and when Olivia tries to apologize for her role in Defiance, Fitz shoots her down, telling her their encounter had been a mistake and Defiance was a betrayal, and he can’t help that he can’t control his erections around her. They are done. And after that horrifying put-down, I just want to hug Olivia for days.
Fitz has been dealing with a situation in the Middle East involving a bunch of spies that have been taken hostage. When he send a team to try to extract them and nothing is found, the White House realizes they have a mole on the staff, and while Cyrus tries to get on an investigation right away, Fitz says he needs time to process and figure out who he can trust.
David finds the dead girl’s flash drive in his apartment, and so he reunites himself with Olivia to share what he’s found with her – that the dead girl had been in possession of the most highly classified information in the nation. David confesses that he needs Olivia at this point in time, and Olivia agrees to help, realizing that he wants justice for what has been done. They drink together and I get flashbacks to the frenemy dynamic they had in season one.
Mellie tries to finish what she started with Fitz in the shower, but Fitz, being drunk and broken, loses his cool and almost attacks her. He doesn’t, instead apologizing, and he tries to kiss her, but that doesn’t quite work, so he cries instead.
Olivia calls Jake, and in the span of just one minute, their conversation goes from charming to creepy as Jake details how quiet freaks him out as he stands in his giant, empty, quiet apartment. And then he sits down on the couch, where he watches Olivia. On his TV. Because he’s watching her. He has cameras. And they are watching Olivia Pope. And we can see Olivia smiling, but instead we’re just creeped out because, well, because WTF?
We’ve jumped ten months in time, and yet Scandal has returned just as gripping and thrilling as ever. I’m really excited to see where this new mystery arc leads us, as there is obviously much more to Jake Ballard than meets the eye. And I mean, seriously, why is he stalking Olivia Pope?! It’s also clear that the White House mole storyline will stretch through these final nine episodes as well, but it will be interesting to see if it ties in with whatever is going on with Jake too. And this is Scandal, so there’s no point in even trying to guess where any of this is going to go. I’m just thrilled to be along for the ride.