Scandal Recap: When Ohio Brings You Low


Flesh and Blood
Season 3 Episode 17
Editor’s Rating 3 stars


Flesh and Blood
Season 3 Episode 17
Editor’s Rating 3 stars
Photo: Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Pissing contests, Russian roulette, and a wayward bag of jizz — can this season be over now?

Well, Pope and Associates brought down B613, and now everyone is in Liv’s office screaming at her. The president is mad! Jake is mad! Cyrus is going to have another heart attack! Papa Pope comes over just to fume with everyone else! Olivia, not surprisingly, doesn’t care. She’s defiant and proud of it. She’s the come at me bro” meme sprung to life, even if her decision means her boyfriend might get blown up.

Everyone is up to speed on what’s up — Adnan Salif financed Mama Pope so she could bring a ring of terrorists to the country to kill the president — and now they’re looking for Dominic Bell, the blond Pepe Le Pew type who is part-time lothario, part-time bomb-maker, full-time about to get murdered person. Thanks to Liv, no one knows where he or the bomb might be, so it’s crucial that they find him. Papa Pope and Jake have to get in an epic pissing contest first, the rules of the patriarchy clearly stating that you have to strut around like a rooster, whip your dick out, and start yelling at each other the minute you’re in the vicinity of another dude who can do your job, and Papa Pope — a grown-ass murder machine of a man — actually said “either he goes or I do” like a jilted lover giving an ultimatum. How about you both go, and then Fitz will get blown to smithereens and after a brief mourning period Olivia can get back to the business of making sure Huck and Quinn never touch parts ever again.

Jake leaves, but not before enacting his broken record of a gypsy curse — Your dad is a monster! He made me a monster! He’ll take off his mask! You better run! Your dad is a monster! He made … Jake, I love your big, beautiful face, but does someone need to beat you in the head with a copy of He’s Just Not That Into You for you to get it? Take a weekend off, watch a few rom-coms, and run around your apartment singing “Since U Been Gone” a few dozen times until you finally get Liv out of your system.

Leo Bergen, following a tip from Sally that Mellie was nosing around for a paternity test, turns himself into an inept sperm wrangler as he makes a deal with Mackenzie Miller, the teenage girlfriend of Fitz the Younger who basically sells her virginity for the promise of getting into Harvard and Yale. I am not okay with this. And it doesn’t even work — after Papa Pope stone-cold murders Dominic Bell in a game of Russian roulette, Abby plucks a hair from his head, takes it to a lab, hands over a wad of cash, and has the results fudged so it looks like Fitz is Gerry’s dad after all. Is it really Russian roulette if you just keep popping caps until the bullet comes out, though? Props to homegirl for using a bag of jizz to barter her way into the Ivy League, but also gross, Scandal. Gross.

Fitz is on lockdown thanks to the missing bomb, but is angling to get to the funeral of Senator Hightower so he can try to wrangle some votes with his badass eulogy. He wants to win this election fair and square, well aware that he’s never legitimately won the presidency. Trolling funerals for votes? Stay classy, Fitz. Liv convinces him to stay in the White House, but not before he whines about how much he misses her and how much he hates her sleeping with Jake. At least they didn’t mention jam or Vermont.

Charlie and Huck have a pissing contest of their own when deciding the best way to find Dominic Bell — Charlie wants to track the bomb parts, and Huck wants to sit in his car and creepily watch people move around the city until they find him — while Quinn eats all of this attention up. Huck wins by finding Bell first, and then everyone takes turns yelling at him while he’s tied to a chair.

Olivia put on a jacket that looked like bleached French fries and headed over to the White House for all of the press junkets she set up. Mellie was drunk the entire episode, and it was amazing — if she survives, Mellie should be drunk in every single episode next season, I insist. Liv tried to come at her about the paternity test, and Mellie let loose like an unmanned fire hose, ranting about how much she wants to destroy Fitz’s life, that she’s lost her life for the past 15 years and made him president, and now it’s her turn! She wants him to suffer, she wants him to hurt, and she wants him to burn. This was less of a rant and more of a hex, and her wig stayed firmly in place for all of it. In the end, Liv put two and two together when Mellie let Big Ger’s name slip, and Mellie was like, “Oh, well, you can clean this up, too, fixer — you owe me.”

Jake “Can’t Take a Hint” Ballard calls Liv to find out if she still has feelings for him, and in true Olivia style, she tells him about how much she loves Fitz first before admitting that maybe she feels something for him, too. Olivia is every terrible high-school girlfriend cliché rolled into one. This is an important phone call, though, because Olivia, smartest woman in D.C., finally figures out that her mother is a psychopath. Well, Jake, now that you’ve been relegated to pinch-hitting shrink, will you back off? Probably not, Puppy Eyes, probably not, as you are loyal to a fault.

Fitz would rather be blown up than miss his chance at winning Ohio, so when Sally pulls into the lead, he runs into a helicopter and flies to Defiance. Rowan sends Liv to Ohio, thinking that Mama Pope won’t kill the president if she’s there, too. Right around this time, Harrison finds Adnan’s secret bunker with plans sprawled out to make it look like the bomb is in Ohio, but Adnan is there and pulls a gun on him. Liv gets to Ohio in about three seconds, tells Mellie (drunk, perfect) that she’ll help her with the paternity tests after all, and tells Fitz to get the hell off the stage.

Huck is waiting for Quinn to come back after she leaves to move the body of Dominic Bell, and when she gets back they … um … they … well, I tried to pour hot water from the tea kettle directly into my eyes to scrub the image, but Quinn and Huck had sex. On the hood of a car. After he spit a huge goober on her neck and then licked it off. After she smacked him repeatedly and made him say that he wants her. There has to be a way to get them into the church; blowing them up means I never have to see a Quinn/Huck sex scene ever again. I will never forgive you Huckleberry Quinn shippers for this. Ever.

Jake intimidated David into finding Mama Pope with new facial recognition software, which is how they find out that she killed Senator Hightower — it wasn’t a heart attack after all! And as the pieces all click into place, Mama Pope walks into the Pope and Associates offices where Rowan is waiting, and tells him to get her baby out of Ohio. When Liv finally comes back, Papa Pope is lying on the floor, bleeding (shot? Stabbed?), and Mama Pope is gone.  

But the bomb is not in Ohio — it’s in the basement of the church where Senator Hightower’s funeral is set to take place! Mama Pope knows Olivia and Rowan better than they know themselves. Cyrus gets a call from Jake, telling him about the bomb, and then Cyrus gleefully, cold-heartedly lets Sally go to the church while he intentionally holds Fitz back. It makes sense that Cyrus wants to murder Sally, seeing as her murdering Daniel Douglas set off a chain of events that caused Jake to murder his husband (so much murder, you guys), but I thought he was still too sad to be such a bastard. Nope – Cyrus is back and in rare form, ready to kill for Fitz again.

Leaderboard of Arbitrary Points, Week 17

+ 800,000 points to Drunk Mellie for keeping her wig game on point while ranting around the room like a fox on fire. Her ornery comments, her bitchy refusal when Cyrus offers her a mint, her willingness to be drunk in public, and her sheer dedication to ruining Fitz’s life makes her No. 1 in my heart.

– 3,922 points to the possible death of Rowan, which was done in a very Alias-y way. We don’t want him to die, we just want him to stop making 23-minute-long speeches every week!

+ 300 points to Olivia for using her black-dar to promise that the NAACP isn’t going to vote for Sally.

+ 400 points to Abby for telling David he should “stay useful so Jake won’t kill you.”

– 6,435 points to anyone who lets Mama Pope just walk into a room without shooting her immediately. Y’all know what she’s there to do! Take her down already!

+4,655 points to Quinn for pointing out that the gladiators make their own coffee now that she’s gone, and that B613 and Pope & Associates aren’t that different.

+ 500 points to Mellie for saying, “If we’re going to die, can we do it now so I don’t have to listen to you two?” while stranded between Liv and Fitz in Ohio. Don’t we all feel that way when Liv and Fitz talk now?

Next week is the end of the season! Who’s going to get murdered? Will Sally survive? Will Rowan? See you then!

Scandal Recap: When Ohio Brings You Low