Scandal Recap: The Rise of Mellivia

Kerry Washington as Olivia and Katie Lowes as Quinn. Photo: Kevin Estrada/ABC


It’s Hard Out Here for a General Season 5 Episode 10
Editor's Rating 3 stars

Welcome back, #Gladiators! It’s been so long since the epic winter finale, and I don’t know about you, but I was pumped for Shonda Lynn Rhimes to blow my mind with this mid-season premiere. And then it underwhelmed me.

It was kind of like when you get ready to make a move on a guy by shaving your legs, waxing your vajeen, and listening to him talk about his boring-ass fantasy league, and then he suddenly hits you with the …

… and you think, That’s it? I let some Russian broad get intimate with my intimates so I would look fly in my Victoria’s Secret 5 for $25, and this dude wants to put me in the friend zone?

So, yeah, I was kind of disappointed by “It’s Hard Out There for a General.” It’s cool to see Liv wearing more colors than she has ever worn. It’s nice to have another case of the week that’s actually important to the show. I loved Abby and Liv rekindling their friendship even though they just talked about boys the whole time. But overall, this episode feels like it’s setting up the rest of the season, as opposed to be being a banger with genuine jaw-dropping moments. That said, it was nice to see everyone back in the action. Let’s dig into the premiere and see what everyone has been up to, shall we?

We open six months after Olivia got an abortion without telling Fitz, and the couple breaking up because they realized their love is like that month-old bag of baby carrots in my refrigerator: spoiled and trifling as hell. Even though we Scandal watchers know that Olitz will be back to bumping uglies sooner or later, let’s go through the motions of sitting shiva over their “dead” relationship. Okay? Great. Shiva over and on with the show.

Even though it’s six months later, things are still the same because the episode begins with Sally Langston’s TV show I’m a Petty Heaux Who Shops at Talbots The Liberty Report. Basically, this is the kind of program that the O.G. Aunt Viv (Janet Hubert) would kill to host in real life if BET were like, “We have a spare hour we need to fill. Either we give that 60 minutes to some old lady named Geraldine who sits on her porch judging young black folk even though her slip is always showing underneath her housedress … OR we give it to Janet Hubert and let her cuss out famous black people.” If you ask me, those are basically the same option. I’m really hoping BET makes this happen.

Anyway, Sally is as messy as usual, talking about all the power-hungry people in D.C., and then we cut to Liv having dinner with Rowan. He says she never should have left Fitz because she was the one running things at the White House. She says she felt like a prisoner as a First Lady and wants to know why Jake is at Rowan’s house. Apparently, Jake has “come home.” Nope. Not here for this mess. I love Jake the Bae, but nope. First, he was looking under seat cushions for himself at B613, but that ended poorly. So then he went a-knocking on Liv’s lady-walls, and she pretty much slammed the door on her vajeen the way I do when Jehovah’s Witnesses come by my crib on Saturday morning, so now Jake is back trying to work for Rowan? Please tell me this is one long con for him to get revenge on Papa Pope for killing Elise. Only time will tell, I guess.

Liv arrives home, and Jake is waiting for her outside her apartment. They stare each other down in the hallway, then make out, then go inside her crib. He goes down on her while she’s basically wearing that colorful tent the Ringling Bros. use to house their traveling circus. I approve! Across town, Fitz calls Abby at 2 a.m. because he’s lonely as heck and wants to talk about work. Look, I get that he is sad about the breakup, but does this dude not have Amazon Prime? Can’t he eat fro-yo and watch Transparent to get over Liv? Why does he have to tire Abby out to the point that she’ll have to use Maybelline concealer to get rid of the dark circles under her eyes? Fitz sucks, guys.

Later that night, Huck comes to Liv’s place because OPA has a new client: The head of the NSA, Diane Peters. Turns out her home computer was hacked, and hundreds of files for a government spying project called Project Mercury were stolen. WUT? Why does she have confidential files on her computer in the first place? That is suspect as hell. It seems the files only could’ve been stolen by someone who was inside her house. The last person was her programmer boyfriend, William Torrance, who looks like a less-hot Martin O’Malley, but I still would because I’m single AF. Despite all the evidence — him ghosting on her, turning off his cell, and so on — she’s still like, “My baby didn’t do this to me.”

Liv tells OPA to go back to work, then she goes home to bone Jake again. Someone put Liv on a Black History Month stamp, please. I’m loving her priorities right now. She makes her employees work around the clock while she gets sexed on. Post-boning, Cy calls Liv to ask if Abby can handle being his replacement as Fitz’s inside person. Liv says yes. The next day, she shows up to work and Mellie is there. Mellie wrote a book about her dirty laundry and wants Liv to read the manuscript in hopes that she’ll join her campaign. Meanwhile, Abby is stressed because the Post knows all about Project Mercury and tells Liv, so now OPA needs to find Billy before the documents are released to the press.

Meanwhile, Jake goes to visit Fitz at the White House. Fitz wants Jake to handle the Project Mercury fiasco and find the whistleblower. Fitz says that he chose Jake to do this because he trusts him, then Jake lies about seeing Liv. Great. Jake is already lying out the gate about hooking up with Liv. This is not going to end well. Argh!

At this point in the episode, Abby is fed up with Fitz being all up in her grill. Cy explains that Fitz needs a wife — work or romantic or otherwise. That’s not pathetic or anything. #SideEye. So it looks like Abby will have to figure out how to handle this. Meanwhile, OPA has tracked down Billy, so Quinn and Marcus go to the house. And Jake is there. It seems like Billy dumped his phone there to throw everyone off his trail. Liv finds out what happens and goes to Diane, who is officially being investigated. Liv tells her that there was a call to the Post from Billy’s phone. Damn. Diane trusted the wrong peen. Happens to the best of us. In my case, when I trusted the wrong peen, the guy selected a season’s worth of Masterchef Junior off my DVR. And, yes, in my eyes, that is just as bad as a major security breach. Anyway, Diane wants Liv to convince Fitz to save her job because if she goes down, another woman won’t be hired to lead the NSA for a long time. Good. Point.

Liv goes home and has girl time with Abby. They drink and Liv says she doesn’t miss Fitz, but she’s missing the rush of the job. She then tells Abby that she can’t call Fitz to save Diane because she doesn’t want to ask for a favor. Abby says she’s scared of falling back in with Fitz. Abby leaves and Liv calls Fitz, but he has his secretary tell Liv that he isn’t available. Liv is shocked. LOL. What did she expect? Did she think Fitz was going to be like, “Hey, girl! Heard that Yeezy Season 3 fashion line is coming out. Let’s go buy some hole-y jeans from this line.” Seriously, Kanye is great, but his clothes are trash and look like they were actually taken out of the trash and put on hangers. No thanks!

Charlie asks Quinn about the whistleblower, and it seems like maybe Billy is a spy? Anyway, Diane has resigned from her position and wants Liv to try and get her in front of Fitz. Pretty soon, it dawns on Diane that Liv is on the outside because Liv is clueless to the fact that Fitz already has a replacement. Ouch! Later, Quinn runs to Liv and tells her that someone framed Billy to make it look like he was the whistleblower. Liv calls Abby to see who Fitz will appoint as the new NSA head, and then she and OPA go back to the house where they found Billy’s phone. Billy’s dead body is in the fridge. Jake killed Billy! And is the new head of the NSA!! WHOA!!! Liv goes to Rowan and tries to cuss Jake out about the NSA job, and Jake is like:

Rowan tells her to take her ass back to the White House and get some power. As usual, she’s shocked by how trifling her dad is. Has she not been paying attention to her life at all? She should have killed him two seasons ago. She’s dumb. Later that evening, Abby reaches her breaking point with Fitz and hangs up on him. She then goes to the White House and chews him out. Hopefully, Abby will get some sleep now.

Liv goes back to OPA and has Mellie meet her. Liv tells her the manuscript is wack, so she needs to write a better book that tells the public about her life and all of her hardships. That book will help make her president. Oh snap! They’re gonna team up! These white boys done messed up! And I’m here for Mellivia. They are a much better duo: They’re all about that business and won’t fight over Fitz and his three eyebrow hairs because they know that running the country is more important. Jake and Fitz, though? They are going to break up like a bad one-hit-wonder band on Behind the Music. I’m also here for that.

All righty, #Gladiators. What did you think of last night’s episode? Were you as underwhelmed as I was? Did you predict Jake being the whistleblower?

Scandal Recap: The Rise of Mellivia