‘Scandal’ doesn’t waste a minute resolving last week's cliffhanger.
After shooting two innocent women, Jake Ballard fires another shot. James, who had attempted to make a run for it, drops dead on the street. David Rosen? He’s left with a choice, cover it up or die.
The beloved press secretary’s murder rattles everyone to their core. None more than Cyrus, who’s nearly catatonic when Olivia attempts to comfort him. She promises justice will be served but begs him to take some time off. Cyrus refuses, demanding they stop Sally Langston, who plans to steal endorsements from gun lobbyists.
The president sends his first lady and potential vice president to a Texas gun range to win over the NRA. Mellie and Andrew make quite a team, negotiating a successful endorsement, which Cyrus then instructs Fitz to turn down. He explains that following the president’s own assassination attempt and now James’ murder, they would gain more politically from speaking out against the second amendment.
Mellie and Andrew celebrate their small victory over drinks, prompting a confession from the president’s right hand man.
“It’s a shame that he can’t see you the way I do,” Andrew states wistfully.
That’s about all it takes for Mellie. Seconds later, the duo are on the floor, tearing each others clothes off.
Back in D.C., Olivia makes it her mission to find out who killed James. Determined to cover his tracks, Jake sets David up with a patsy who will take responsibility of the crime. A guilt-stricken David is reluctant to make an official arrest.
His hesitation lasts just long enough for Olivia to discover that Jake’s other victims have gone missing. She sends her gladiators out to find out more, prompting Huck to discover the files on Daniel Douglas’ murder have gone missing. After checking the security tapes, he catches Quinn in the act and pays her a visit.
“Did you come for some more teeth?” Quinn asks.
Huck matter-of-factly explains that he came to kill her. The two struggle and Huck informs her that while he’d planned to take her out, he realized that she'd let herself be recorded on purpose.
“Somewhere deep inside, you’re still a gladiator,” he says.
She spits in his face and he kisses her on the mouth, thus cementing television’s most disturbing relationship.
Olivia realizes the missing women must be tied to James’ murder and that it all points directly to B613. She arrives to confront Jake and demands to know who put him up to this. He plainly explains that he is command, that he not only made the call but also did the deed. Jake tells her to accept that James was killed in a carjacking because “bad things happen to good people.”
Who does she turn to for comfort? None other than ex-command of B613, Ronan Pope himself. She begs him to temporarily act like her father while she spills her guts. A disillusioned Olivia asks him what the point of democracy is when no one wears a white hat.
“Everyone is worth saving, even the monsters, even the demons. In the face of darkness you drag everyone into the light, that’s the point of you" Ronan explains.
It turns out to be just the pep talk she needs. She meets with David and tells him to make the arrest. He may want to make Jake pay, but Jake isn’t the problem. They need to take down B613, together.
“Lose the battle, so that we can win the war,” Liv explains.
Once the arrest is made, Cyrus insists on making the announcement to the press. We flashback to the beginning of their relationship. The day they met on the campaign trail, their first kiss, Cyrus tiptoeing out of the closet and a sweet slow dance at the President’s first state dinner.
Finally coming to terms with what he lost, Cyrus bursts into tears. Fitz takes him in his arms and escorts him out of the press room while Cy continues to break down.
Still lurking around the corner? Maya Pope who is now officially going by Marie Wallace. The self described facilitator explains, “I don’t make bombs, I make money,” and later shoots a business associate right in the chest. It's enough to scare Adnan Salif into asking Harrison for help.
Especially after watching the last scene, where it's revealed via flashback that James’s death was neither quick nor painless. Jake apologizes as James gasps for air and bleeds out on the street, but promises to stay so that he doesn’t die alone.
After weeks of tears and declarations of love, its refreshing to see Liv with a renewed sense of purpose. Whether there’s any hope for Jake remains to be seen, but Olivia Pope is finally a force to be reckoned with again.
‘Scandal’ airs Thursdays on ABC.