Resisting temptation isn’t a strong point for any of "Scandal’s" main characters and this week even the loyal, long-suffering Mellie Grant proves to be no exception. But does Olivia also have eyes for another man besides the president? Fitz seems to think so. He isn’t too happy with Olivia’s fake boyfriend, especially since it seems he might not be so fake.
Fitz and Olivia barely have time to argue over the issue when they’re informed of allegations of drug abuse in the governor’s mansion during Fitz’s first term. New vice president candidate, Andrew Nicholls is quick to take the fall, explaining he had a back injury and needed access to pain meds fast.
However, a flashback reveals he’s lying. Turns out, it was Mellie who had ordered the pills and attempted suicide. Andrew finds her on the ground and saves her life.
He agrees to keep the incident a secret, but wants to know why. Mellie doesn’t mince words.
“Because my father in law forced himself on me and I don’t know if my son is and and sometimes that makes me not want to be alive,” she says, sealing their bond by trusting him with a secret she won’t even tell her husband.
Back in the present, Olivia is sure that her father is responsible for leaking the story to the press and pushes Jake to have B613 look into it. Charlie gets the assignment and shuts down an eager Quinn, who is desperate to help. Unfortunately, he’s under strict instructions to keep her uninvolved.
What happens next is like a game of “I Spy” gone wrong. Quinn is watching Charlie, who is watching Olivia, who is trying (and failing) to manipulate her father over dinner into revealing this is part of his plan to take down Fitz.
Exiting the dinner, Liv’s surprised to catch Quinn in spy mode. She tries to reason with her, explaining no good can come from B613 and begging her to come home. That's when Quinn unloads, revealing the torture Huck put her through.
"He licked my face like I was a piece of meat, like I wasn't human to him,” she tells her former boss, before pulling a gun and demanding Olivia get out of her car.
Back at Pope and Associates, Huck apologizes to Olivia, who tells him that he went too far with Quinn. He reminds her that she shares some of the blame.
“You should have never given me someone to love. Monsters eat people Liv, its what we do,” he says.
Meanwhile, Cyrus also enlists Charlie to help stop Publius, who has sent new information on Daniel Douglas’ death to a journalist. James, worried his alter ego is in jeopardy, goes to David Rosen for help. David agrees to pose as Publius to meet with the reporter, unaware that it’s a set up. Luckily, Harrison and Abby rescue him just in time.
After squashing the drug story, Olivia confronts Mellie about her relationship with Andrew. Liv implies Mellie and Andrew had an affair, and demands she end it. The first lady is quick to put her in her place.
“When I was given a chance to cheat, I kept my knees together and said no, we are not the same,” Mellie tells Olivia.
Another flashback proves her story is true. Although it is clear Mellie and Andrew have feelings for each other, she ultimately rebuffs him when he tries to make a move.
Back in the present day, Mellie finds Andrew staring at a portrait of Jackie Kennedy in the White House. She cheekily says “we do not touch the first ladies,” before letting him know the drug story has been shut down. He asks what would happen if he were to kiss her, but she quiets him.
As Andrew turns away, Mellie proves she might not be so different from Olivia after all. The first lady grabs the potential vice president and plants a big, passionate kiss right on him before high tailing it out of the room.
His wife isn’t the only woman Fitz has alienated. When he and Liv find themselves in the oval office, he asks point blank if she has feelings for Jake. Unaware that being the head of B613 gives Jake access to the security cameras, she answers honestly, saying, “I don’t know.”
Better than a no, right Jake?
For most of the hour, Adnan Saliff did very little besides imply that Harrison has much darker secrets than he let on. However, the episode’s end provided a classic "Scandal" twist. After offering Cyrus a big donation she returned home and is greeted by none other than Olivia’s mother!
“Are we in?” Maya Pope asks.
“We’re in,” Adnan confirms.
"Scandal" airs Thursdays on ABC