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Scandal – S4E20 – First Lady Sings the Blues

Previously on Scandal, ‘I’m Just a Bill’

Time to Make the Doughnuts

Quinn arrives at OPA to find Jake dead on the conference room table. So, he’s been there all damn night? See. This why it doesn’t pay to come in early. She pulls her gun and calls for him to answer her, but he doesn’t. She’s about to call someone on his phone when Huck enters and almost gets his head shot off. He notes that no major organs have been stabbed and Jake is still warm. One swift pound on Jake’s chest and Jake is breathing.

I give zero fucks whether this makes sense or not because Jake is alive. Hallelujah!

Scandal S4E20 - Quinn finds Jake

Olivia rushes in with David, who wants to call 911. It’s like David is new or something. Olivia has to explain that’s not smart because a digital trail will tip off Papa Pope that Jake is still alive. They all need to go underground. Now.

David takes over trying to plug up one of Jake’s many leaking wounds so Quinn can call Charlie. Of course, Charlie knows a guy so they all head to some warehouse where they wait for his doctor contact to arrive. Huck takes off to check on his wife and son.

The doctor arrives and recognizes Olivia. Instead of money, he wants her to help his KGB friend, Black Sable, a notorious killer. She agrees, right there in front of the Attorney General. While everyone else runs to get the doctor’s supplies from his car, the doctor and David Rosen (a.k.a Scared Man With Glasses) roll Jake over to get to work.

Scandal S4E20 - Jake on the table

Being a Bitch is a Full-Time J.O.B…. For Sally

Mellie’s stumping in Virginia and fileds a question about how she can do two jobs (First Lady/Senator) with a tested/scripted answer. Still, Sally doesn’t miss a chance to twist it on her talk show, and cast doubts as to how ethical or legal it is to have the First Lady run for Senate.

The press isn’t being kind to Mellie. Being married to Fitz is a liability. Abby suggests they give the impression they live separate lives. Oh, so tell the truth. Also, there’s a little problem of no one bothering to check if her candidacy is legal. Abby calls David, who lies about where is he, and he tells her it is legal because no one ever thought a First Lady would have the desire or gall to run for office. Abby will route some calls to David, so he can assure the press that Mellie running for Senate isn’t illegal.

Black Sable

Olivia and Huck arrive at a very nice suburban home to meet Black Sable. She’s a kindly grandma named Mary Peterson. After she ushers her grandkids off to play, she explains she was recruited into the KGB as a young woman. She did so because they offered her food and a life. 27 years ago, it all stopped and she settled into being a true American. Until the night before when a dead drop note was placed on her windshield. If she doesn’t do the job, they’ll kill her.

Back at the warehouse, Jake is stable, but needs surgery. For that, he needs blood. Olivia sends Quinn and Charlie out for some while David postpones the grand jury hearing he’d scheduled for later that day.

Huck watches as Mary meets with her new handler and then follows the man when he leaves. Turns out, her new handler is butcher. Olivia looks over the info Mary was given – the deputy under the Secretary of Defense was a Russian spy and Mary needs to kill him.

You Had One Job, Russell Franklin Franklin Russell!

RFFR reports in to Papa Pope: Jake Ballard is dead. Except he’s not. Papa knows this because Olivia has not yet called to jump in his ass about it. FRRF says, “If he’s alive, he’s hanging on by a thread.”

“Then find him and cut the thread.”

Can we talk about the fact that RFFR is a shitty B613 agent? I’m pretty sure I could stab someone multiple times and hit at least one major organ. Hell, I’m fairly positive I know where the heart is. So, he had all that time to play Operation on Jake, and he didn’t get one fatal hit in? Shit. He could have stabbed him in the neck. This fucking show.

FRRF calls Liv for a booty call, which is really a way to track her location, but she blows him off too quickly for him to get a bead on it.

“What have I always told you, Olivia? Against me, you will never win.” – Papa Pope
Bite, Bark, and Beef

Olivia confronts the butcher at his shop and asks what it will take for him to leave Mary alone. He’s not interested in money. He comes from a town in Russia where they leave traitors to freeze to death, as they should. He ain’t no snitch and he’s not a traitor to his cause. She should tell Mary that. Olivia takes this bad news back to her client, who insists she cannot go through with it. She cannot kill another person again. Olivia promises a way out.

While it’s not illegal for Mellie to run for office, polls show most people still think it’s inappropriate for her to do so. Abby thinks someone needs to go on Sally’s show to debate it and call Sally out for her outdated views. And it needs to be a man. When Cyrus realizes both Fitz and Abby are looking at him to do it, his “Are you stupid?” face is everything.

FRRF reports in to Papa Pope, again, telling him about his failure, again. Papa Pope shoots him in the arm. Maybe Olivia will pay attention to him now. I just want to point out that RFFR’s “I’m shot” face looks a lot like a “I really have to take a shit” face. 

Get With the Program

Cyrus refuses to go on Sally’s show. Fitz yells at him, insisting he will. Cyrus doesn’t under why any of this is happening. Fitz’s answer is simple: I am supporting my wife. Forgive him for being confused, Fitz. This isn’t really something you’re known for. 

Cyrus goes on Sally’s show as he was told. He does very well – first, making it clear that First Lady isn’t a job and calling motherhood a job is also insulting. When she puts him on the spot saying that he’s secretly jealous of Mellie and wanted to run himself, he pauses, but recovers quickly.

Scandal S4E20 - Cyrus and Sally

Not only are the numbers slipping for Mellie, but for Fitz as well. Lizzie comes up with a radical idea: leak to the press that the Grant marriage is failing. Mellie will pile up a ton of votes from conservatives, moderates, and maybe even a few progressives. Mellie ain’t down with that plan. She will not lie to the American people about their marriage… again.

Fitz calls Olivia for advice on Mellie’s campaign. After being indifferent for a bit, she advises him to use their marriage to their advantage, not run from it.

Trojan Horse

Olivia and Huck visit RFFR in the hospital. He says two guys attacked him. They assume it’s B613 and Huck gives RFFR a sedative so they can take him to the safehouse. Huck wants to go on the offensive against Rowan, but Olivia has a better idea.

They go back to the butcher shop and offer Mary’s handler Papa Pope’s name and burner phone number. If he can kill Command or turn him over to Putin, he’ll be a national hero. In exchange, he has to leave Mary alone.

Jake is partially sedated with a tube down his throat. The doctor instructs him to stay still and rest. When he leaves the room, Jake looks over and sees the other patient in the room: Russell Franklin Franklin Russell!

Scandal S4E20 Brian White

FRRF slits open one of Jake’s wounds and he begins to bleed out. The doctor gets Jake stable again and Olivia tells everyone they’ll be able to go home soon. She has given her father up to the KGB. RFFR hears all.

While Olivia sits with Jake, she apologizes to him for everything. She says he was right: they never should have left the island. When Jake awakens, he spies RFFR (who has been listening – again) and begins to struggle against his constraints. FRRF comforts Liv just as Huck runs in to announce he can’t find the butcher.

Scandal S4E20 - Jake and Olivia

Always Two Steps Ahead

Olivia rushes to Mary’s house and finds her, and her grandchildren, dead. She runs out to her car and finds the butcher’s body in the trunk of her car. Papa Pope calls.

“What have I always told you, Olivia? Against me, you will never win.”

Not if they keep writing her so damn stupid.

Olivia informs everyone they’re done trying to bring down B613. Jake is in no position to testify, Papa Pope outchea killing everybody, it’s over. David doesn’t like it, but agrees. You know who else is done? The doctor. Olivia fucked around and got his friend and her grand babies killed.

And, again, RFFR hears all.

The Spin

The spin Olivia suggested works. Mellie stumps and gives a cute speech about how she has the president’s ear and he has hers. While her numbers rise in Virginia, Fitz’s sink elsewhere. But he doesn’t care. Cyrus sure cares. He tells Abby everything they’ve worked for will be for nothing because Fitz allowed himself to be viewed as a whipped husband to the nation.


RFFR calls to report in to Papa Pope. This time: success! Olivia has shut everything down and even though Jake is still alive (much to his annoyance), Papa Pope instructs FRRF to leave him alone and move on to Foxtail.

Olivia straddles FRRF on her bed and tells him to close his eyes. Then she puts a gun to his forehead and demands to know what the hell Foxtail is.

Too bad those poor grandchildren and this show’s credibility had to die before they decided to write Olivia as having half a brain.

Scandal S4E20 - Olivia on Russell


About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

5 Comments on Scandal – S4E20 – First Lady Sings the Blues

  1. Papa Pope really hates his daughter. He ain’t shit, always sending these men to get close, have sex, play with her mind and emotions and then destroy her. What kind of Father are you!?

  2. Much better episode than most this season. I was happy that Jake was not actually dead and that we got more info from Cyrus on why he has been such a hater towards Mellie running for office. I never thought that he may want to be senator himself or that he is afraid about the Fitz legacy being eclipsed by what Mellie does. Ok, so to the B613 stuff. I was really glad for the recap this week because I jumped the gun and thought that Olivia suspected Russell before she did. I thought that When her and Huck went to the hospital, knocked him out, and then took his phone that they had somehow put two and two together. I at first thought that the phone she gave to the butcher was Russell’s phone, but I forgot that her dad had given her that phone. It wasnt until Russell was laying in the bed next to Jake that I was like huh? Because I thought why do you have a B613 agent in the same room with Jake! But then the recap let me know they thought Russell was attacked and was innocent. But even after this realization, I was still like why are yall having these discussions about her father and B613 in front of Russell! Now’s hes surely going to end up dead if you really think he’s innocent. I was happy though that he got his at the end of the episode. Based on the previews, Im expecting Huck to work his powers of sick persuasion on him. But he is a sorry agent though because somebody like Jake could’ve maneuvered away from her and snatched Liv up pretty fast, not like she trained or anything. Lol. Cant wait till the podcast

  3. Let me start off by saying that I’m GLAD that Jake is alive, I was not ready to see him go. I couldn’t with that unsanitary room they had him in. Papa Pope on the other hand needs to die. What type of father constantly sends men to sleep with his daughter? He is disgusting and has no remorse with killing innocent children.

    Not going to lie, all I could focus on was Jake and his health. I got a little emotional when Olivia apologized to Jake and confessed that she wished she could do more for him after the amount of times that he saved her life and told him that they should’ve stayed on the island.

    Russell you know you aint shit when the woman you are screwing has no issue confessing her feelings for another man in front of you. Take that

    I could’ve done with out the Fitz phone call. Calling your mistress to get advice for your wife’s campaign. Really Fitz? Get it together

    I was so happy at the end when it was revealed that Olivia had been playing Russell and had been onto him, I was wondering why the heck they were discussing B613 in front of him. Russell needs to go.

    Can’t wait for the next episode but I’m mad we have to wait two weeks. Didn’t we just have a break?

  4. This was actually a great episode & I really enjoyed it. Jake LIVES!!

    I’m loving Mellie’s angst over her floundering campaign & I especially Iove that she’s taking it all out on Lizzie.

    Cyrus’ catfight w Sally on her show was EXCELLENT! The execution of that glorious dialog is what I’ve always loved about this show.

    …& now I have to say my piece about triflin-ass’d Liv…

    1- this woman who has an all-access pass to the fucking White House, went to fancy European boarding schools with Kings, AND! is allegedly the best Fixer residing in DC — BUT — has absolutely NO surgeons (or veterinarians) listed in her little black book?!?!

    …ok, I’ll suspend disbelief & move on…

    2- sooo, she wisely comandeers a secret lair to get her ventilated & leaky boyfriend patched up when her jump-off calls to say HE just got shot. Huck, who knows that B613 never leaves anyone alive, conveniently forgets this fact & allows her to bring this suspicious new dude to the SAME SECRET LAIR AS VENTILATED-JAKE?!?!

    …oh, but wait — isn’t Huck’s own family stowed away someplace ELSE..?

    3- knowing she now has a new pair of unvetted ears & eyes at the lair, she automatically start flapping her gums about her KGB-style hitman she sicc’d on her Daddy — THEN takes an obviously intimate phonecall from her ex-boo, POTUS

    …ok Liv, ur messy & triflin’ & now they’ve made u stupid. I guess we’re in Daytime Soap territory with damn this show…

  5. So first I agree with Cessi but here’s my question why did they have to take RFFR to the secret hospital at all? He ddn”t need too much medical help if they found him IN A HOSPITAL. Shonda, you write a doctor show, his arm wound was most likely superficial he would’ve been sitting in the lobby waiting for Olivia not in a bed.
    So they get RFFR out and to a reglular safe spot he doesn’t neeed to be on a bed next to Jake at all! But of course I can’t think too hard when I watch anymore so why get worked up now. Moving on…
    I …actually.. want Cyrus to run. THAT would be a storyline! He and Fitz have so much mutual dirt how would they work as true enemies? I love Mellie but interest wise I’m not caring about her becoming president or senator. I’m also tainted by the real life presidential nepotism going on. VP Susan Ross is more invested in the work of the presidency than Mellie. She just wants the title and recognition because SHE thinks she deserves it. *cough WhitePrivilegeCoughcough*
    The writer’s room wrote their own issues into the show via Papa Pope. HE knows how Olivia should/would act in any given situation. The writers have reimagined Olivia too many times to count and now she’s just running from personality to personality with no purpose.
    Last note: i am tired of Papa Pope. Ever since I watched The Soup and they said drink whenever you think Eli is done with his monologue but isn’t I’ve been counting the breaks in his speeches and laughing. I’m sticking with Scandal on a fun level but they are making it harder and harder to do.

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