Scandal Recap: Susan’s Big Secret


The Miseducation of Susan Ross
Season 5 Episode 16
Editor’s Rating *****
Ricardo Chavira as Francisco, Jeff Perry as Cy, Danny Pino as Alex. Photo: Richard Cartwright/ABC

#Gladiators, I think we can all agree that last week’s episode was a high mark for the season and a sign that the show is getting back on track after some stumbles. Tonight’s episode, “The Miseducation of Susan Ross,” continues the trend. The acting is on point, the character motivations mostly made sense, and most confusing of all, I might … like … Fitz … again? After seasons of acting like the equivalent of a three-month-old, all-beef, non-biodegradable McDonald’s patty, he is finally being a grown-ass man. These times, they are a-changin’, folks. So let’s dig in and talk about everything that happened, ’kay?

We begin with Mellie, Hollis, and Susan knee-deep in the GOP debate. While Mellie-Mel and Hollis are killing it, Susan is basically making the same face I make when a white friend offers to bring the sweet-potato pie:

She is looking straight-up confused and can barely eek out a coherent sentence. Maybe the pressure is getting to her? Maybe it’s because she just broke up with David? Poor thing. Anyway, Mellie and Hollis are going at it — he brings up Fitz’s heaux ways while she talks about how Hollis is misogynist and racist — and then it’s commercial time. Lizzie cusses David out for the Susan relationship drama. Man, I miss the days when Dabby was thing and he was innocent. This douchebag version of David blows. Back to the debate. Fitz calls Susan during the commercial break and gives her a pep talk. Guess the call helps because she finally starts talking during a question about women being their husband’s keepers. Susan’s bae, John Latner, was in the Army and worked for Hollis’s shady company and he died overseas. She blames herself because she didn’t want him working for Hollis, but never spoke up because she’s not her husband’s keeper. After his death, she made the decision that she is never going to be silent again. She is going to speak up and be America’s keeper.

She ends up being the toast of the debate. While she gets all the good press, Sally wants Mellie to drop out of the race. Damn! Mellie tells Olivia that America hates her (yep!) and that maybe she should give up (yep, the sequel) but Liv thinks they will win. Uh, based on what evidence? Her stint as senator before she decided to run was shorter than my last period, she’s never really been in a leadership position, and every five seconds, she talks about how she wants to give up. I want Mellie to win in life, but honestly, she acts like a punk 93.2 percent of the time. I wouldn’t even put her in charge of renewing my Amazon Prime subscription, let alone running the country. For some reason, Liv believes in her and vows to fix things. She leaves Mellie, goes to the rest of OPA, and is like, “John is not Susan’s husband. She’s a liar and we need to find out why.” WUT?

OPA start their investigation. There’s no marriage license, so they try to see if she received veteran’s benefits when she was ineligible. Nope. But there’s something juicier: Turns out John isn’t Casey’s father. HOLD UP! Y’all telling me that Susan was out in deez streets, heauxing with multiple peens? Does anyone on their show keep their gahtdamn legs closed for five minutes? Apparently not. Damn, Susan!

Speaking of S-dawg, she’s pissed that a photo of of her and David is all over the press; now everyone wants pictures and interviews of the couple. David again tells her he loves her and she is over it. And she’s not the only one mad. Liv assigns Marcus to be on the road with Mellie. He doesn’t want to go because he thinks Mellie’s personality is about as good as a weave that’s been lit on fire and thrown in a dumpster behind a Kohl’s. Although that is true, I’m hoping he can get over her whiny ways and give her some sweet D, if only so she’ll cheer up. Because guess what? She’s scheduled to go on Jimmy Kimmel Live and do the Mean Tweets segment, which means reading mean things about her.

Later, Liv goes back to Francisco’s brother, Alex, to exchange more information. She gives him the name of a nurse at Meridan Terrace, Leslie, who will corroborate the Edison story and he tells her that the baby daddy is in prison. OPA visits Ronnie, Casey’s baby daddy. She tells him that if he submits a paternity test and goes public, she’ll get him out of prison. He says he needs to think about it; he doesn’t want to snitch or ruin Susan’s chances of being president. Aww, what a nice dude. Huck questions Liv about going down this path because Casey is just a kid and he doesn’t want to rip apart a family just to win a campaign. Once again, Huck is the only person on this show with sense. Olivia is being an asshole. Thankfully, Francisco doesn’t want to go public with this dirt since it’s a personal matter. After some time, though, Francisco tells his brother to leak the Edison stuff to the press. Oh damn!

Cy warns Francisco that this rumor isn’t confirmed, so if he talks about it, they will be screwed. Across town, Edison is with Rowan as the story breaks. Papa Pope tries to calm him down, but Con Ed cuts him off and says that Olivia is behind this. He tells Rowan that he needs to control his daughter. Rowan was like, “Did you just interrupt me?” And then he’s screams: “Don’t act like you’re a boss. I’m the boss.” Lol. Yeeeeah, probably not a good idea for Con Ed to yell at a dude who will kill anyone. My favorite part of this scene? Jake the Bae chilling in the cut, eating some Popeye’s chicken while the whole fight goes down. I’m strangely attracted to Jake eating chicken, which is a sign that I’ve been single too long. Oy.

Hours later, Leslie goes to the press and is like, “Edison was never at Meridian.” Cy is like, “Oh, well,” which makes me think he’s behind this whole mess. Alex goes to Liv and is like, “Da faq?” She responds with, “Obviously, you didn’t get to Leslie and make sure she wouldn’t flip for you. Your fault.” They gonna bone. Cut to Marcus and Mellie. They’re fighting like hell, too. He’s tired of her whining and tells her she will never be president. Okay, they’re not going to bone.

Liv goes back to the prison. Ronnie said he can’t ruin the lives of the people he cares about. Liv loses it and says Susan doesn’t care about him, and then she threatens to plant Oxycontin in his cell so that he won’t get out of prison when he’s supposed to. Quinn and Huck look at each other and both agree Liv is going HAM, but when Liv demands Quinn back her up, she does. Facing such a serious threat, Ronnie agrees to Liv’s plan. FUCK. YOU. OLIVIA. CAROLYN. POPE. What happened to the damn white hat? This is someone’s child!

After Liv tells Quinn and Huck to leak the paternity test to the media, Huck tells Quinn they can’t do this. THANK YOU! Quinn goes to Abby and says that Liv is crossing the line. Along with Fitz and a secret-service agent, they go to OPA to wait for Liv. Fitz tells her that he needs to keep it real and that she’s back to silly tricks and nonsense to win. Liv doesn’t care because, as she says, “Susan is a LIAR!” and can’t be president. Okay … Liv is so hung up on Susan lying, but she helped organize Defiance to get Fitz elected. Liv has been a liar for years, but now all of sudden, Susan is unfit to be president? I don’t understand. Why does Liv think she can take the moral high ground when she is basically a liar too? The fact that Fitz asks the same thing to her is shocking. I don’t even know why he’s wasting his breath.

Fitz goes back to the White House and tells Susan he can make this go away. He also suggests an alternative: Just come clean. Susan doesn’t think the truth is a good idea. Fitz is like, “Just explain that you made a mistake, but something as good as Casey came out of it and he was raised in a loving home.” He believes that confession is the right path; if the public forgives her, they’ll feel closer to her than ever. She’s worried about Casey, and Fitz calls B.S. on her. As he says, not being president because you lied is not the answer. He then tells her about Defiance. Yoooo, Fitz is being amazing again. I’m … surprised? Impressed? Feeling like maybe he and I can be friends again and I’ll let him use my Walgreens balance rewards card to get a discount on toothpaste? Y’all. I’m pretty sure I like Fitz again. Whoa!

Back in L.A., Marcus tells Mellie that when people dragged him on Twitter, he ended up trending. She needs to have fun with this segment and use it as a chance to show her fun side. She takes his advice and has a great time on Mean Tweets. I’m low-key shipping Marcus and Mellie. #TeamMarlie

The next day, Susan goes to tell Fitz that she’s made her decision, but he says he has news for her. At the same time, Liv is telling Huck to take a suit to Ronnie for the interview — until Quinn comes in and says that Ronnie hung himself in his cell:

I. HATE. LIV. WAS IT WORTH IT, GIRL? SOMEONE DIED BECAUSE MELLIE DID BADLY IN A COUPLE OF POLLS! THIS IS COMPLETELY IGNORANT AND MAKES ZERO SENSE. And the fact that neither Huck nor Quinn cusses her out makes me even more upset. Hell, they didn’t even have to do it — they could have hired an old black lady. Seriously, this goofy heifer needs to be told, “Sit your black ass down and act like you got some sense.”

Back at Vargas’s campaign, Francisco is freezing Alex out and Cy is doing everything. We learn that Cy had Tom bribe Leslie to screw Alex over. That’s my Cyrus! Across town, Susan and David are doing interviews, but she makes it clear to him that he is just a prop and she hasn’t forgiven him. Meanwhile, Liv has Fitz come over. She says she wants to win cleanly. No more illegal crap. Mhmm. Anyway, the two agree to do things on the up and up. They share a drink and maybe they’re on the path to friendship? That’s fine by me. If Olitz starts dry humping in a pantry closet, though, I will reach through my television to personally tell Olivia to sit her ignorant ass down and be the hell by herself.

Alrighty, what did you think of tonight’s episode? Surprised by Susan’s secret? Do you like the newer and nicer Fitz? Are you shipping Marlie?

Scandal Recap: Susan’s Big Secret