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A Scandal Refresher: Every Last Thing to Remember From Season 4

You just got Rowan’ed. Photo: Nicole Wilder/ABC

#Gladiators, I’m Phoebe Robinson and I’m your new Scandal recapper. As we all know, after many months of waiting, the season-five premiere is here at last! Now, don’t get me wrong, as delightful as the teaser-trailer is in proving that Olivia and Fitz’s intertwined bodies do look like a cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream:

… there are so many questions that need answering such as, since Mama Pope’s release from jail has she been:

a) Traveling the country, telling young women why the men they love ain’t s**t and that because these women love these men, that means the ladies themselves ain’t s**t;
b) Making tons of money killing people; or,
c.) Teaching a Learning Annex seminar to black women on how to have perfectly straight, relaxed hair despite being locked up in prison with nary a beautician or a shower cap in sight?

Okay, so maybe this is the only question. But that doesn’t mean I’m not curious about what Cy has been doing since Fitz fired him or wondering how Jake the Bae, aka Jake From State Farm, aka Captain Goose-Down-Pillow Lips is recovering since Olivia dumped him for the 7,313th time, or if Huck is just sitting in a corner somewhere staring wide-eyed like he just saw what was in the suitcase in Pulp Fiction. Anyway, the point is there is a lot that us Scandie viewers need resolved, but before that happens, we need a refresher on all the sexiest, juiciest, craziest moments that happened in season four, which we’ll do with this handy GIF-infused guide. So let’s get to it, shall we?

Last season began with a bang, more specifically a finger bang from Jake From State Farm that was so good it apparently made Olivia’s hair go from straight to curly. Normally going “full Frederick Douglass” makes it difficult for a black lady to get a job, but when that black lady explains that she, like Miss Olivia Pope, went full Freddy Dougs because of sex, the HR director interviewing her will be like:


(Before I continue, please note that I am the captain of #TeamJake and the treasurer of #FitzAintSh**. I realize that this may upset some of you, but none of these people are real so don’t come at me because I will deflect your crazy the way Wonder Woman deflects bullets. Let’s just have a bunch of fun here, please and thank you!).

Olake’s sex-cation comes to halt when she learns that Harrison has been murdered, so she and Jake return to Washington, D.C., which means Jake has to put on a shirt in order to board a plane, which means all is wrong in the world. But seriously, it turns out life in D.C. is a three-layer bean dip of wrong: Pope & Associates is dismantled, Huck is working as an IT guy at a low-budget tech store, and Abby is now the White House press secretary, but she’s not that good at her job, which makes me go, “Did Aaron Sorkin write this?”

Meanwhile, Mellie is understandably grieving over the death of her son Lil Jerry. Said grieving involves not showering, eating pita chips and Sabra hummus, and being overall sad. Nice to know her grief is the same as mine when Dirty Dancing is taken off Netflix. Anyway, everything is terrible. And just when it seems things couldn’t be any more awful, Fitz and Olivia see each other and there’s clearly still a spark. Boo, but also, okay, because Tony Goldwyn is beautiful.

Moving on. Olake talks about them not being able to stand in the sun for the 100th time and I’m like, maybe you guys should break up because Al Roker’s weather reports have made it clear that most days, they will be, in fact, standing in the sun. This conversation aside, they decide to have a booty-call relationship because they’ve never seen any episodes of The Real World. And speaking of sex, Cyrus is still hooking up with Michael, the shady dude that Liz hired to spy on Cy, but because he is apparently that good, Cy still hasn’t realized that maybe Michael is not to be trusted. Cy, when not fooling around with his boy toy, has managed to blackmail Liv into working for the White House again. While David has managed to use blackmail to get his job back as U.S. Attorney, so he and Jake can take down B613:


Look, I love David & Jake, but this Scooby Doo duo is no match for Rowan and B613.

Huck and Quinn’s relationship is strained, which is fine by me because they have the grossest sex in the history of sex and my eyes simply can’t take watching them grind anymore. Similarly, Abby and Fitz’s relationship is about as thin and strained as a piece of prosciutto on a meat-and-cheese board, but thankfully Abby calls him out for not remembering her name (Trifling) or respecting her as a valuable member of the White Staff (Trifling, the sequel). I just love how Shonda & Co. take time throughout this season to drop knowledge on men for their sexist ways (see: Olivia reacting Fitz to calling Abby a bitch):


Meanwhile, Jake lets Rowan know that he knows Rowan had lil Jerry killed and Rowan is all like, “I’m going to threaten you by almost stabbing you in the hand even though Olivia is in the next room.” So you know how when you threaten people so they will act right, you then give them a chance to act right before following through on your evil plans? Well, Rowan decided to skip the middle part and tried to kill Jake by blowing up his car, but Jake is a super spy, so he didn’t get in the car right before it blew up. But that’s not the only explosion here, folks. Fitz’s daughter Karen (which is the most basic of basic white-girl names, so you know the show’s writers couldn’t care less about her character) filmed a sex tape in which she Eiffel Tower’d with two dudes, and if your reaction to this news after looking that up online isn’t this:


… Then you are a dirty, dirty minx, and I like it. Anyway, Fitz asks for Liv’s help, admits he’s a terrible father, so they make out. Somehow this makes zero sense and all the sense in the world. Then mid-kiss, she tells him that she went away with Jake. Fitz loses his boner, she instantly regrets saying this, and I laugh and laugh and laugh because this is all so incredibly dumb. But I immediately stop laughing because thanks to Cy doing some investigating, he finds out that Secret Service Tom killed Lil Jerry and SS Tom tells Fitz that Jake ordered the hit. At this very moment, my vajeen and I say a couple of Hail Marys.

Then things start to get ignorant, as this show is wont to do. Fitz beats the mess out of Jake while Jake brags about turning Liv out like a reversible rain poncho, aka boning her super well. This is not either man’s finest moment, but life is complicated, I suppose, so I’ll let it slide. Liv eventually finds out that Rowan is behind all this foolishness, so she tells him that she has weapons at her disposal (her goodies) that he can’t possibly possess and can get Jake and Fitz to do what she wants:


I get their relationship is jacked up, but no daughter needs to be telling her pops how good her sex game is. So while I try to cleanse my soul with Lever 2000 after this Liv/Rowan convo, we learn that Jake really loves Liv. She goes to see him and he’s prepared to die for her and has also accepted that she will never love him the way she loves Fitz, which is true because even though she learns that Fitz is the one who beat up Jake, she still has phone sex with Fitz. Le sigh. This is all very sad because Scott Foley’s is playing, yet again, a character who is second fiddle to the main bae (see: Felicity and the saga of Felicity, Ben, and Noel), but then I remember it’s not all that sad because those checks still clear, so Scott is living the good life that OneRepublic was singing about in all those Walt Disney commercials. Moving on.

Liv visits SS Tom, who is still held in custody and he gets all creepy talking about how amazing and beautiful Liv is and I’m like, “Can we chill on all these white dudes lusting after Liv for a min?” But Shonda & Co. have no chill, so we get more of his speech and he compares her to Helen of Troy. She’s not amused and decides that she (and her vagina) are going to wage war on Rowan. Sing it with me, CeCe Peniston: “Finally!”

Next, we meet Abby’s abusive ex-husband Chip, who is the top contender to replace deceased Senator McConnell. Chip is appropriately disgusting and Abby almost kills him. Thankfully, she doesn’t and instead teams up with Liv and they take him down together. Glad these ladies are repairing their relationship by getting rid of a good for nothing type of brother. Speaking of trifling dudes, Cy, thanks to Abby, finds out that Michael is shady, so he leaks some misinformation to him to see if it gets back to Liz. But it doesn’t because I guess Michael caught baby feels for Cy/is not a total piece of human garbage.

In other scheming plans news, Liv, Fitz, and Jake decide to team up to take down Rowan. As suspected, their plan fails horribly as not only do they not manage to kill Rowan, but he has all the B613 files destroyed. Meanwhile Huck and Quinn are working on this big mystery that somehow involves Liv being in danger. They find out that Andrew, who has been smashing Mellie on the side, has also been smashing Liz. Whoa! “Pass the peen like they used to say” should be how the lyrics to that song goes.

Liz finally take a break from sexing on Andrew to leak pics of Michael and Cy, so Liv goes into damage mode and suggests the two guys get married. Everyone in the White House has that same reaction like when someone on Family Fued gives a trash answer, but the family has to say, “Good answer! Good answer!” Meanwhile, Cy is like:


But after much hemming and hawing, Cy agrees to this foolishness and Michael signs on if he gets paid. Everything is set until pictures of Michael making out with a random dude at a bar get leaked. Wedding is off! But this being Scandal, there are tons of speeches given and the two men eventually get married. There’s also other good news. Huck has been reconnecting with his son Javi, which is very sweet, but obviously will not end well.

Then a whole bunch of stuff happens that I don’t want to talk about either because it’s too ignorant (Lena Dunham and her wig guest-starring in an episode) or too sad (Abby tells David that she’s dating Leo) or too intense (Liv tries to kill Rowan but she can’t), and because all of these things pale in comparison to Jake reaching the highest level of white boy swag by dancing with Liv:


Sadly, this moment is ruined when she gets kidnapped from her apartment by … Andrew’s men! Turns out Andrew is trying to make Fitz have America go to war (because there’s money in war) by betting that Fitz will do anything to save Olivia. I love how Andrew’s character went from being a lovelorn puppy dog for Mellie to the most evil dude of all time.

So Liv is locked up and we know the struggle is real because her hair looks like an amalgamation of all of Katt Williams’s hair in his mug shots. She’s in a cell with Ian, who is conveniently too sweet, but Liv trusts him anyway until she discovers he’s one of the bad guys (Mama Pope is probably somewhere laughing like Vincent Price at the end of Thriller and saying to herself, “Silly heaux, you stay trusting these white dudes”). Liv is not in Saudi Arabia, like she was misled to think, but is just in a random room with a projection screen of Saudi Arabia:


Yes, this is so ridiculously insane that it’s amazing. What’s not amazing is Mellie telling Fitz that Andrew has been hooking up with her. This causes Fitz to 1) go on and purchase because only an accredited school can fully explain all the ways in which Fitz’s L has been F’d, and 2) eventually go to war, with Mellie’s encouragement, once he obtains proof from Ian that Liv is still alive. Liv manages to convince Ian to try to sell her in the hopes that someone will notice and try to save her. Huck and Jake do, and try to buy her back using the B613 money they stole. Hell. No. Putting aside the fact that with the way black women are viewed in this world, we would be lucky if someone wanted to trade half a monthly bus pass and a sleeve of Lorna Doone cookies for us, watching all these white dudes attempting to buy and sell a black woman makes my skin crawl. I know it was Liv’s idea, but still. Anyway, Huck and Jake fail to buy her back and Cy’s attempt to oust Andrew as VP doesn’t work and Andrew keeps being evil as hell by telling Mellie that he’ll tell the press they’ve been sleeping together if she does anything against him.

Liv ends up being sold to Iran:


But it turns out Stephen (’memba him from season one?) is behind the purchase.

Hooray! He declines her offer to be a Gladiator, gets back in his helicopter and flies away to go be hot somewhere else. Liv returns to D.C. and resumes living in her old apartment again. Fitz comes over to get a “We Are the Champions” blowie, I guess, but Liv is like, “Um you were mad stupid to go to war to save me.” Ungrateful? A skosh. Completely on point? Yes, he is the president and can’t be making reckless decisions like this, so they’re over for the 38th time and I don’t even have the strength to muster up a dusty tear because we all know they will get back together again.

You know what else I don’t have time for? Another attempted takedown of B613. Huck, who has slowly gotten back into the joy of killing people (or paralyzing people for life like Andrew), scared his son Javi, is finally believed by Javi’s mom, Kim, that something is going on. So she teams up with David to try and take down B613 via private testimony. All seems to be going well, until it’s not, and Huck decides to not go on record about B613 anymore. And I’m like, “Well why did we waste two and a half episodes on this story line for nothing to happen? My body is losing eggs by the day on this foolishness. I need to get my life together.” Then I realize “getting my life together” mean more than just saying that phrase, and that I actually have to do stuff. Namely get off my couch and put on pants. #NoThanks. So instead of doing that, I watch Liv hook up with a SEXY ASS BLACK DUDE:


Named Russell, who, it turns out, is WORKING FOR ROWAN. You know the kind of laugh you have when it is 3 a.m. and you’re hungry and the only thing you have in the house is two slices of bread and some cheese, and then you accidentally burn the sandwich? That’s the kind of laugh I had at this twist. How many damn times is Liv going to have sex with a guy that Rowan picked out for her? And how many times am I not going to see that twist coming?

Meanwhile, Mellie wants to take her first step toward running for president by running for senator. I’m fine with this. There are also periodic flashbacks to Cy and his Swiffer duster wig and I’m not fine with that. Hopefully, this third marriage, this time to Michael, while completely not about love, will at least work because he has a companion and someone to take care of his child, who is alive, I’m sure.

Now, we’re in the home stretch. B613 takedown is happening once more as Liv and Rowan keep threatening each other. But Rowan ups the ante by having Russell attack and kill Jake From State Farm. Simple enough, right? Wrong. You know how assassins are trained to kill perfectly. Russell is like, “Oh, lemme stab your pinky finger. Then I’ll stab the fattest part of your thigh, which will take the longest to bleed out, and while I’m at it, lemme give you a straight-razor shave because you have some stubble growing in. Peace out.” Point is, Russell stabs him everywhere except the two places for instant death — neck and heart — so Jake ends up living. And then, later, Liv pulls a gun on Russell.  

Naturally, when your face is the face that can launch 1,000, you’re not going to die. At least, not yet. So Liv and her crew keep Russell in hiding until they can take down B613 via testimony from Jake. Speaking of takedowns, Mellie and Fitz’s partnership is over once he learns that she inadvertently had the busload of jurors in the B613 trial killed. Per usual, Rowan is one step and no steps back. Next, Fitz fires Cy because he knows that Mellie came to Cy to fix the mess she made. While this is happening, Liv & Co. manage to get Rowan arrested for stealing money. He will stay in jail for 6.25 seconds, but it’s nice to see a moment when Rowan successfully gets one-upped! We end on Fitz as he reunites with Liv. They make out on the balcony of the White House for literally everyone to see. My reaction to this:


This seems a little too neat, and watching them get together after four years only proves how over it I am when it comes to them, Vermont, jam. And knowing this is a Shondaland show, their happiness will be short-lived, which means maybe Jake still has a shot? Here’s hoping! Now, in the comment section below, you tell me what you’re hoping goes down in this upcoming season.

Scandal Season Four Refresher