Scandal returns exactly where it left off, with Olivia Pope in a car with her DAD. Remember that small cliffhanger we were left with when we found out that the man trying to kill Olivia was actually her father? Yeah, crazy, even for this show. Anyway, Papa Pope is a bit intimidating, to say the least, but he quickly clears up that he was not trying to kill Olivia, but was actually trying to kill Jake Ballard (Sex Tape Jake, as he will now be known). Olivia, of course, doesn't listen to her father when he forcefully suggests she leave D.C. for "opening her knees" to the President. Instead, she heads back right back towards the White House, where we know Olivia will deal with this situation brilliantly.
After leaving her daddy issues in the dust, Liv calls a midnight meeting with Fitz and Mellie to discuss a game plan for dealing with their own scandal: the affair of Olivia and Fitz being leaked to the press. To say the least, this may be one of the best scenes I've seen on TV... like, ever. It's perfect. The three actors are at the height of their ability, making plans to manipulate the public in such a cool and collected manner. Olivia says they will save the presidency by having Mellie and Fitz hold a press conference in the rose garden. The two will hold hands, call in the kids, and create the illusion of the perfect American family. Olivia will issue a public apology and everyone will get over it. Mellie, of course, is not okay with this and finally convinces Fitz she's not as dumb as he thinks, revealing she knew every detail of the Liv/Fitz affair, snidely whipping out dates and details that fly like daggers at the two adulterers. When everyone has a chance to breathe after Mellie's amazing, amazing speech, the three eventually agree that they will go with the story that Fitz and Olivia slept together only twice, once on inauguration night, and once after Fitz got shot. A number that both Mellie and the American public can live with.
After pounding out the details, Mellie leaves the bunker that they are holed up in, and Fitz immediately asks Olivia if she's all right. Olivia replies "fine" so many times that we of course know she's lying. Then Fitz hugs her, and the always calm, cool Olivia cries. It's heartbreaking, and wonderful... Fitz, we love you.
Back at Pope & Associates, Harrison makes the decision to fix the Olivia scandal for her. He rallies the team with the best quote of the night: "Are we gladiators or are we b**ches?" The team must decide they're gladiators, because one scene later, footage airs of White House intern Jeneane Locke drunkenly slurring about how hot the president is. Olivia Pope is immediately cleared of any wrong doing, and she is no longer the public face of the president's mistress.
In case your head wasn't spinning enough, we cut to Mellie, the First Lady of crazy, calling out Fitz, saying he was the one who leaked Olivia's name... and, you know what, she's right! Fitz doesn't even try to defened himself and Mellie calls him "idealist, romantic, optimistic, and idiotic," finishing by saying his "whore" will never be First Lady. Of course, this is Scandal, so there is one last, awesome twist. In the final seconds, we cut back to Jeneane, sitting in Pope & Associates, waiting for the team to come in and fix her image as the new mistress of the President.
Okay, you can breathe now. It's over. And we are reminded exactly why we can't get enough of Scandal.
While you're waiting impatiently for next week's episode, check out Olivia defending Jeneane in next week's promo below.