Previously on Scandal, ‘No Sun on the Horizon’
I put off writing about this as long as I could.
This episode begins seconds before last week’s episode ended. Jake gets out of his car and calmly shoots Vanessa and Shelby. James takes off running, but Jake pulls a second gun from his pocket and shoots him the back. David begs for his life. Jake tells him he always liked him because he seemed smart. He wants to know if David is going to continue to be smart.
The answer to that, for now, is yes because the next thing we see is David being walked over to James’ dead body as a detective explains that he was the victim of a carjacking gone wrong. As the DOJ is taking over the case, David demands to be the first to know when they get more info.
Olivia tends to Cyrus, who’s in shock in his office. Ethan is hysterical and Olivia threatens to fire him if he doesn’t get it together and focus on Cyrus. This is the worst day of his life.
Flashback to the best day of Cyrus’ life: when he met James. It’s during the primary election in Indiana and James approaches him for a quote.
Olivia advises Fitz to call off campaigning for a few days, but Mellie and Andrew worry that missing an event with some gun lobbyists will open them up to endorse Sally. And while Sally is also calling off her campaign for a few days, we see that Leo is advising her to swoop in so that’s exactly what will happen.
At a White House press conference about James’ death, Olivia notices that Vanessa isn’t there. She has her team check on Shelby as well. Abby pieces together where Liv is headed and rushes to find David to make sure he’s okay. Abby finds him at work and warns him that he’s in danger. He tells her he’s handling James’ case and is upset that he’s gone. He needs her to back off so he can get through it by doing his job.
Olivia calls Jake and tells him her suspicions. She asks him to look into it and he says he will, but he’s in the middle of something right now. That something is burying Vanessa and Shelby in the deepest grave ever. At this point, I sent out a tweet that was immediately retweeted by Jeff Perry (Cyrus) and responded to by Scott Foley (Jake). I may have fangirled all over my bedroom.
Adnan makes it rain cash and a Gucci bag on Maya’s hotel room bed. It seems that’s Maya’s retainer in exchange for some terroristic acts Adnan wants performed, but Maya corrects her and says she just facilities finding the terrorists she needs. Don’t get it twisted; blowing up that plane was personal. Maya doesn’t make bombs. She makes money. She will find terrorists to do the job and take the fall cause it sure as hell ain’t gonna be her. Welp.
Harrison reports in that Vanessa and Shelby are missing so Olivia orders him to look into Leo Bergen. Sally benefits the most by getting rid of them. Cyrus is having a fit because Sally is planning to meet with the gun lobbyists. Olivia says she’ll handle it, but Cyrus said he needs to handle it. He needs to work.
Back on the Grant campaign trail from years ago, James approaches Cyrus on the campaign bus and asks why Fitz hasn’t spoken out about gay marriage when his campaign manager is gay. Cyrus insists he isn’t gay, but James calls him out on shaving the beard that James had previously criticized.
Huck reports in to Olivia that it wasn’t Leo and Sally so she tells him to go over all the info in the safe to find something they may have missed. When he does it, he remembers that there’s a camera in the safe and decides to view it. He sees Quinn taking out the files.
Speaking of Quinn, she and Charlie approach a mechanic with liver cancer, who has about six months to live and no medical insurance. They get him to take the fall for the carjacking, but David holds off on charging him because he wants to wait for the ballistic report. At least, that’s what he tells the detective. Really, he’s not ready to let an innocent man go to jail.
Another flashback and Fitz is inside stumping in Defiance, OH, while Cyrus is outside pacing, and saying the words of the speech along with him. James approaches him, but Cyrus can’t make a move back until James walks away and then Cyrus grabs him, throws him up against a wall, and kisses him.
Cyrus is pacing the Oval Office, fretting over Sally. Fitz starts in on sending him home, but Cyrus and Olivia tell him to let it go. They agree to send Mellie and Andrew to meet with the gun lobbyists while Fitz delays Sally by having Air Force Two grounded.
Mellie and Andrew are shooting clay pigeons and flirting.
Meanwhile, Maya and Adnan are meeting with two Russian men in a hotel room (Arnold and Dmitri). She’s a bit confused because she’s supposed to be meeting with Ivan and she only speaks with Ivan. Maya shoots Arnold and tells Dmitri to pass along her condolences to Ivan. Double welp.
Huck tells Olivia about Quinn and she immediately goes to B613 to confront Jake. She thinks someone put him up to it, but he reminds her that he is the one who knocks. He’s different from her father because when something awful needed to be done, he didn’t pull some broken soldier out of a hole. He did the awful thing himself. He tells her that she needs to accept that James died in a carjacking so the world will keep spinning. And if I don’t, she asks. He reminds her that awful things happen to good people all.the.damn.time.
Cyrus walks into his office and is greeted by a ton of condolence flowers. He remembers a fight with James in which he refused to take him as his date to the inaugural ball. James bought a tux and everything! But Cyrus isn’t ready to come out the closet.
Adnan approaches Harrison in a parking garage and wants to know if Olivia has connects in the Department of Justice. She’s looking for an escape route. When Harrison presses her for more, a screeching car nearby spooks her and she leaves.
Jake visits David in his office and wants to know why they’re taking so long to arrest the mechanic. He knows that David set up a meeting with the attorney general, but David insists it’s not a meeting to snitch. Jake is all, “Yeah, well, you better get on that.”
Olivia meets with her dad by the uncommon valor statue. She wants to know what the point of democracy and freedom is if everyone is evil. If no one is worth saving, what’s the point? He tells her he is responsible for killing 183 people. He explains that being Command is being responsible for who lives and dies. You become the hand of God. The stain of what he’s responsible for is always on him. It never leaves him. So, whatever she thinks of Jake, however she wants to punish him, being the hand of God is already the worst punishment in the world. And the point is, if the deck is stacked, if everyone is a monster, then EVERYONE is worth saving. In the face of darkness, you drag everyone into the light. That is the point, or he would like to think that is the point of her.
Man, that shit was deep.
Andrew and Mellie meet with the gun lobbyists who are going to put their support behind Sally. Mellie convinces them to consider Fitz is he agrees to make a pro-gun speech. Andrew tells Fitz, who thanks him but Andrew says he should be thanking Mellie. Fitz doesn’t talk to Mellie, but Andrew tells her that Fitz thanked her anyway. Cyrus tells Fitz not to make the speech. He should court the liberals and use the fact that he was shot and that James was shot, and he won’t look like a flip-flopper.
Flashback to the fifth day of Fitz’s presidency and Cyrus tells him that he’s dating someone, but doesn’t say it’s a man. Just that it’s an opinionated journalist. Fitz asks if he’s in love and Cyrus says yes, and they make him happy. Fitz says that’s all that matters.
Fitz gives a speech saying they need to put an end to gun violence and, as promised, the gun lobbyists back Sally. It works. Fitz goes up 4 points, but Mellie and Andrew are in shock. Later that night, Mellie and Andrew are drinking and debating gun restrictions. The debate turns into a passionate kiss and then Mellie FINALLY gets her some.
Abby finds David at home in the middle of the day and he says he’s sick. She forces him to tell her what is really bothering him and he does.
Quinn arrives home to find Huck waiting for her. He says he’s there to kill her. She tries to draw her gun, but he overpowers her. He says he knows she wanted him to see her. She’s still a gladiator. She spits in his face and tells him to fuck off. Then he kisses her and my soul died. She tells him to get the hell out if he’s not going to kill her. So he leaves.
Can we all pretend that didn’t happen? Please.
Olivia is sitting her office when Abby rushes in wanting to talk about what Jake did to David, Harrison wants to talk about Adnan, and Huck wants to talk about Quinn. Olivia looks like she’s waiting for Calgon to take her ass away.
Olivia goes to see David and tells him he needs to arrest the patsy. They need to take down B613. The problem isn’t Jake. It’s the whole damn organization. They need to be patient and alive. More importantly, alive.
Later, Olivia tell Cyrus that the carjacker was arrested and she lies and confirms that it was a carjacking. When she tells him that Sheila is handling the press conference announcing the arrest, he rushes to the press room. Along the way, he remembers a bunch of moments between him and James. When he says James’ name at the podium, he remembers the night of Fitz’s first state dinner where he went to the press area and dragged James on to the dance floor to him.
Then he breaks down at the podium and Fitz hugs him, then leads him away as Olivia takes over.
Her team watches from their office, David watches from his, and Jake watches from B613. Then Jake remembers what happened after he put the women in the trunk of his car. He went to James, who was still alive in the middle of the street. He told him he was sorry for doing it so messy, but it had to look like a carjacking. Like an amateur. So, it’s going to hurt and it’s going to take some time. But he’s going to stay there with him until it’s over. He’s not going to let him die alone. James barely gets out Ella’s name and Jake assures him that she is safe and will remain safe. Jake tells him he’s almost there. And then James dies.