'Scandal' recap: 'Paris is burning'

[Spoiler alert! The following contains spoilers from "Scandal"]

Olivia Pope and President Fitzgerald Grant have just one hour to convince the First Lady to appear in a sit down TV interview or risk having lies about their adulterous relationship exposed on this week’s all new episode of “Scandal.”

Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Mellie (Bellamy Young) are in the middle of lying to the press about how happy their marriage is when Abby (Darby Stanchfield) busts in with the Secret Service. There is an intruder in the White House she announces (an obvious lie).

The President is escorted to a room where he sees Olivia on television confirming their affair to media. Millie is horrified. Fitz begins to grin.

But TV news reporter Noah Baker has figured out that the security alert was a rouse and threatens to broadcast footage of the first couple lying about their marriage if both don’t return for a sit down interview one hour later.

Fitz wants to tell the truth but is advised by everyone else to make a deal with his wife and have her lie on his behalf.

But Mellie wants blood. She recruits Cyrus Beane (Jeff Perry) to return and act as her advisor. “I want to destroy Olivia Pope!” she tells him.

Back Olivia Pope and Associates, the phones are ringing off the hook and hackers are trying to get into the computer system. Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) shows up and unplugs all electronics in the office. He tells Huck and Quinn that Olivia doesn’t want or need their help.

Cyrus, meanwhile, gets both sides to agree to a deal: Fitz will support his wife’s campaign for president, Olivia will not move into the White House and they will keep the affair out of the press for the next 18 months.

But suddenly Mellie wants more.

Cyrus goes to negotiate with the President. He tells Fitz to take her back and to put his relationship with Olivia on hold until he leaves office and the spotlight shifts to Mellie.

At the same time, Olivia finds Mellie is ripping her room apart looking for booze.

Mellie tells Liv how hard it is to be in the President’s shadow and how much of her own life she will have to sacrifice to be with him. Liv is moved by the conversation and tells Fitz to give Mellie whatever she wants.

It’s almost interview time. Cyrus corners Fitz in the Oval Office and begs for his job back. “I am your guy,” he says. “I have your back forever and always.”

But Fitz doesn’t care. “You do not work here anymore,” he tells him, refusing to make eye contact. “You can go.”

Cyrus, upset and perhaps hoping to generate some leverage, tries to sabotage the interview at the last second. He tells Mellie that she didn’t really get what she wanted and convinces her not to stand by her husband’s side.

When it appears that Noah Baker is about to make good on his threat to show the tape, Abby goes to the briefing room and throws Olivia under the bus, reminding the media about her previous romantic liaisons with powerful Washington DC men.

Three thousand miles away, a fire is burning at the Louvre museum in Paris.

Jake rushes to see Rowan Pope (Joe Morton) in jail and give him the news.

“Lazarus won?” he asks. “And Nero fiddled while Rome burned.”

Who is behind the blaze? What does it all mean? Perhaps the mystery will be resolved next week...