Scandal Recap: Abby v. Olivia v. Rowan

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SCANDAL - "Trump Card" - Olivia and Abby have to put their differences aside and work together to try and take Hollis Doyle down. Meanwhile, Edison realizes he may have made a deal with the devil as Rowan and Jake continue to try and pull the strings behind his campaign, on the penultimate episode of ABC's "Scandal," THURSDAY, MAY 5 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Byron Cohen) KERRY WASHINGTON Photo: Byron Cohen/ABC
Scandal
Show
Scandal
Episode Title
Trump Card
Season
5
Episode
20
Editor’s Rating
5/5

#Gladiators! Sorry for the tardy recap. Life got in the way, but I’m here and ready to get down to business with this week’s episode of Scandal, which is keeping the streak alive! Two weeks in a row, we’ve gotten really good episodes, chock-full of jaw-dropping moments (Rowan revealing one of Olivia’s secrets to friend-turned-enemy-turned-frenemy Abby), great musical numbers (of course Shonda can get Prince’s music licensed), an amazing summarization of race and racism in two separate scenes, and Artemis Pebdani, who plays Susan Ross, should definitely get a best supporting actress Emmy nomination for her work this season. If she doesn’t, I will be shocked.tumblr.com. All in all, “Trump Card” was fantastic, so let’s discuss it all, shall we?

We open with Abby and Liv behind closed doors at OPA. Marcus and Quinn are perhaps naïvely hopeful that whatever is happening between the two women is good; meanwhile, Huck is like, “UHHHHHH, they 'bout to cut each other.” But maybe not! We go inside the meeting. Abby and Liv are still agreeing to the terms of teaming up to take Hollis down together because he is still leading the Republicans in the polls, despite straight chilling with the KKK (LOL. Wut?). His reaction to his ex-wife claiming that he sexually assaulted her amounts to “I’ve never had to convince a woman to have sex with me” and he’s just constantly being ignorant and/or trifling about everything else. Great! Meeting adjourned ... and both Liv and Abby return to their camps and request getting dirt on Mellie and Susan, respectively, just in case. Oof. This is gonna be ugly, y’all!

Next, we catch up with Cyrus who is meeting with Liv in the park. He’s all like, “Liv, Frankie Vargas is the real deal, but he’s still behind Edison in every poll. Is it just because I’m screwing up and don’t have the goods anymore to lead a campaign. HOLD. UP. Y’all, Edison is basic, meanwhile Frankie is hot, charming the Fruit of the Looms off everybody. People know about his dying daughter, and he has sound policies. In short, Edison is the equivalent of a bowl of lukewarm borscht or whatever it is that orphan kid Oliver Twist had to eat, and Frankie is an entrée that would appear in an episode of Chopped. How the hell is Frankie still losing? Oh, that’s right. Papa Pope is running the show and fixing the election so that Edison can get the delegates. In that case, I get it. And so does Cy when Liv tells him this and he’s, like, “Okay. Cool. Look, I know you don’t want me to kill your dad because he’s Dad, but I would totes do it,” with the casualness that I have when pouring an extra scoop of Crystal Light powder in my drink. The point is, Cy is too chill about wanting to kill Rowan and Liv is like, “We can’t beat my dad. I’m out. Figure this mess out on your own.” But maybe Liv should rethink having her dad killed, because …

Rowan meets with Abby and he gives her a confidential file with the information that Liv aborted the baby that she would’ve had with Fitz. Yooooooo, what the hell, Rowan! I know you want to win, but this is your daughter. Do you not give zero damns about this?!?! Fitz doesn’t know this happened. Mellie doesn’t know. No one knows. This is just foul, and I’m pretty much ready for Rowan to die in a fire.

But wait a minute. Then, he has this awesome conversation about race and racism with Edison, who was saying things basically downplaying it. Rowan says Edison has been pampered and sheltered his whole life, whereas Rowan grew up in the ghetto and dealt with tons of horrible racist things. I stood up and applauded. YAAAAAS! And then Rowan bullies Edison by stating that if he knows what’s good for him, he will do everything that Rowan says (like make Jake his VP) and not make him angry because, fill in the blanks, a.k.a. Edison will get beat up/murdered/or some other horrible thing. Yikes! Poor Edison!

At the White House, David and Susan are talking. He’s really working overtime to win her heart back, and I’m guessing that, since last episode, they are officially a couple again. That was quick! They’re talking about his boring-ass job, and he basically proposes to her. Huh? This is uber quick. Like quicker than an Uber coming to my crib to pick me up. Susan starts crying and says, “Yes,” and I’m ... less than enthused. This is way too soon! Haven’t they seen the Sex and the City when Charlotte and Trey rushed to get married and she didn’t learn until the night before their wedding (she wanted to save herself for him even though she’s not a virgin. That is real basic-B ignorance if I’ve ever heard of any) that Trey’s dong is always hibernating. In short, this engagement is a banana sandwich, and I don’t think their rushing things bodes well for them in the long run, but maybe I’m wrong.

Back to Operation Hollis. Rowan sees Liv and tells her to take Hollis’s deal before Abby does. She scoffs and tells him she’s not falling for his tricks. Next, we see Mellie and Marcus working hard on the campaign, and obviously they’re feeling each other, but, more importantly, he tells her she is going to win the nomination, and they won’t have to team up with Hollis. Yay! Except Liv goes to see Hollis ... and makes a deal. NOOOOOO! But it’s all good because it turns out Liv was secretly videotaping Hollis during their meeting and got him on record saying that he’s only saying these crazy things to get tons of supporters, and, once he’s the nominee, he’ll be way more moderate. Liv leaks this tape to Sally who airs it on The Liberty Report. And, just like that, Hollis is out of the race! If only it were that easy to get rid of Donald Trump. Moving on.

Now, that Hollis is gone, Abby and Liv are back at odds. So Quinn and Huck dig up some dirt that is enough to torpedo Susan’s campaign. Ruh-roh. Next, Liv goes to see Edison, who is on edge after being threatened by Jake to make him the VP nominee. Liv tells Edison that she knows Rowan is calling the shots and stealing the election for him. She says his only way out of Rowan’s control is to tell the press what he really thinks about Hollis and his racist antics. Cut to the next day. Edison is about to get on his campaign bus when a reporter asks him about Hollis — Edison delivers an epic speech about Black Lives Matter and about what America should be. It’s raw and real and he knows he crushes it when he finishes because he basically does this:

Which has me like:

Maybe Edison isn’t so basic and I underestimated him. Anyway, this plan works and he drops out, leaving Frankie as the Democratic nominee. Rowan is supremely pissed, but more on him in a second. We have to deal with Susan and Mellie first.

Abby and Liv summon both camps to the Oval so they can share the dirt they have on each other. And say that if the other stays in the race, this info will be made public, but if they drop out it will remain private. Oh. This is literally a horrendous idea. Liv’s abortion is going to come to light! Liv goes first and reveals that David made a deal with Annie Potts, a.k.a. Gov. Baker, in exchange for her endorsement of Susan. And Susan loses her shit. She can’t believe David lied to her again and Fitz wants David to resign. YIKES! Susan, devastated, asks what dirt Abby has. Instead of revealing the abortion, she just talks about when Mellie hired a psychic after her son died. So glad Abby didn’t go to the dark side! So, with that, Susan says she’s dropping out of the race and leaves the Oval. Fudge. She’s amazing.

David finds her in his office and he pleads his case. She tells him that if he really believed in her, he would have let her try and win on her own. He goes, “I do believe in you. I think you’re amazing.” She goes, “I know I am” and launches into an amazing speech that every woman should say to herself because the message of it is this: I know I’m the shit. I don’t need a man to validate me. I need a man who believes in me because I’m going to do amazing things. You don’t fully believe? Then get the hell out of my life.

A THOUSAND TIMES YES. Thank you, Shonda & Co., for being the champion of women, people of color, and people in the LGBT community on all of your shows since day one. That will be your biggest and best legacy, in my opinion. Back to the show.

So Susan officially ends her engagement to David and withdraws from the race. Mellie celebrates with Marcus and they almost kiss until she’s called on to speak to the media. I’m loving this potential ship!!

Liv swings by Abby’s with a bottle of wine and wants to know what she didn’t say in the Oval. After some prodding, Abby says it’s about the abortion. Liv says that no one knows about it and wants to know how Abby found out: Rowan. That’s when Abby warns her that Papa Pope is far from done with her. Eeep!

Speaking of eep!, Rowan and Jake pay Edison a visit and threaten him. Rowan leaves, and that’s when Jake gives a message to Edison that needs to be passed onto Liv: I need her help. I want to escape. I want to “chase the sun.” AAAAAAH!

Alrighty, what did you think of this episode? Are you digging Mellie and Marcus? Do you think Jake and Liv can team up without Rowan finding out? Did anyone else’s heart break for Susan?