The face that launched a thousand ships. No, not Helen of Troy - it’s Olivia Pope! On the Nov. 6 episode of Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal “Baby Made a Mess,” someone finally asks what we’ve all been wondering - what is it about Olivia that makes strong men fall to their knees? This week’s episode introduced us to someone wicked from Abby’s past, and finally reunited Huck with his son - who inherited some of his dad’s impressive hacking skills. Quinn continues to dig into Kaitlyn’s murder and how Olivia’s involved - only to have their main source commit suicide. Oh, and how could we forget that U.S. Senator in a giant diaper! Us Weekly breaks down the five biggest moments from season 4, episode 7 of Scandal.
1. Olivia and Fitz Have Phone Sex
Liv gave President Fitzgerald Grant “hope,” and, boy, is he focused on it. Olivia is receiving repeated late-night calls from Fitz - he wants to spend time together. She wants more than talk of Vermont and Jam, however, and quickly changes the subject to imprisoned Jake. She grills Fitz about the treatment Jake is receiving, but the President wants nothing to do with it. Olivia’s concern for her other beau is not the “hope” he was looking for.
Fitz later relents on his embargo on Jake info. He reports the prisoner’s calorie intake, outdoor time, and even reading materials - Olivia is pleased, but her concern is now for the President himself. She mentions his suicide attempt and he quickly shuts down. He wants to focus on lighter things - mostly, what he would do to Olivia if she let him visit her. The serious conversation quickly devolves into some very graphic phone sex. Olivia and Fitz, at it again.
2. Abby’s Abusive Ex-Husband Makes an Appearance
We know little about the Gladiators’ lives before joining Olivia Pope & Associates, but the horrific stories of Abby’s marriage to an abusive man have permeated all of her relationships. This week, we finally meet the ex-husband who left her jaw wired shut. After a Senator’s embarrassing sex tape hits the media and forces his resignation, the President endorses Charles Putney as his replacement. Putney is revealed as Abby’s awful ex, and his presence at the White House leads the always poised Abby to unwind.
When Putney corners her in a parking garage, the clearly rattled Abby pulls a gun to get him to back off. The situation seems dire - even with Olivia’s help, he’s got the election in the bag. A win would lead to Putney’s continued presence at the White House and in Abby’s life. She refuses to go public with the abuse - she doesn’t want to end up like “Monica Lewinsky.”
Abby does, however, reveal the trauma to Putney’s new campaign manager, Leo Bergen (recurring guest star Paul Adelstein). She’s shocked when Bergen announces the Putney campaign is doomed - someone apparently leaked his involvement in that other Senator’s demise. And that someone was Leo. Abby is overwhelmed by his show of loyalty, and when he kisses her, she doesn’t resist. Move over David Rosen, Leo’s got his eyes on Red.
3. Rowan and Olivia are At War
Rowan has an uncanny knack for sneaking around. Olivia comes home to find her devious dad calmly waiting for her at her apartment. He had her followed, and is less than happy she went to visit Tom in jail. He’s furious she’s still digging into Jake’s case. “You do not disrespect me ever,” Rowan tells Liv. “I have spent a lifetime keeping you safe from harm. A lifetime worrying about your fate.”
His anger could be misconstrued as that of a frustrated and concerned parent, but the real motivation lies in his frustration with Olivia challenging his power as Command. He threatens her that if she rebels again, their will be grave consequences. In particular, he doesn’t want to be second-string to Fitz and Jake. Too late, Rowan - you’ve already lost that battle.
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4. Mellie has Become Liz's Puppet
Mellie is up to her old antics! Still feeling inspired by her chat with a former First Lady, Mellie has decided she wants to leave her mark on the White House. Relegated to picking new china patterns, Mellie jumps on the chance to “shape foreign policy.” Liz North (Portia de Rossi) has found Mellie’s weak spot, and is using any opportunity she can to use a clueless Mellie to further her agenda. Using the information that Cyrus’ “boyfriend” feeds her, Liz employs Mellie to tell the nation information about the President’s military and diplomacy plans.
Cyrus, however, is one step ahead this week. At first relieved when the incorrect information he fed Michael doesn’t come to light, he realizes he’s been tricked when he hears Mellie touting the “news” during a TV appearance. Cyrus is the unintentional mole, and his boy toy is not to be trusted. Does this mean cutthroat Cyrus will be making a reappearance? We hope so.
5. Liv Emulates Command to Get What She Wants
Liv is determined to exonerate Jake, and prods David to get her into the super max prison where he’s being held. After gaining access, however, we learn she’s not there to visit her boyfriend - she’s visiting Tom, the secret service agent who killed the President’s son Jerry. After an uncomfortable speech from Tom about her obvious beauty, he drops the news of Fitz’s suicide attempt. “I can protect him from everyone except you,” he tells Olivia. He isn’t as revealing when it comes to Jerry’s death, however. He still maintains that Jake ordered the murder.
Olivia leaves frustrated, but Tom soon has another visitor. An officer stabs Tom in his cell, revealing the attack as a “message from Command.” Only later, when Olivia visits Tom in the hospital, do we learn that the attack wasn’t orchestrated by Command. Liv knew the only way to get the information she wanted was to use what Tom is most scared of - Command. And her vicious plot worked - Tom finally admits that Rowan was behind Jerry’s death, not Jake. The episode ends with Fitz and Olivia confronting Jake in a secret bunker. Let’s hope they have a plan up their sleeves to take down Rowan once and for all.
Tell Us: Do you think Olivia can defeat Command?