Scandal Season 4, Episode 5 Recap: Jake and Fitz Go Head-to-Head in “The Key”

Kerry Washington
Olivia Pope confronts her father Rowan on the Oct. 23 episode of Scandal. ABC/Mitchell Haaseth

Rowan Pope, the master manipulator! The former Command is at it again, and this time, his deception runs deep. The Oct. 23 episode of Shonda RhimesScandal left Liv in tears, Jake bleeding, and Mellie finally taking a shower. OPA continued to work on the case of Catherine and her dead daughter, with Quinn taking point. Meanwhile, Huck had a heartbreaking reunion with his former family. Needless to say, it really wasn’t a good week for any of the gladiators. Us Weekly breaks down the most jaw-dropping moments from “The Key” episode.

 1. Mellie Totally and Completely Loses It

The First Lady’s unraveling has been clear — from her rambling antics to her wardrobe choices, it’s obvious she’s not handling the death of her son Jerry well. The only thing that is keeping Mellie tied to the White House is the fact that she gets to visit his grave, every day.

When Fitz misses their daily grave visit, he abates her anger by telling her the truth about how Jerry died. Mellie’s reaction, though, shows she’s reached a whole new level of crazy. She rationalizes that murder makes his death important. “It wasn’t random, it wasn’t senseless. It had meaning,” she says. “He died so we could stay in the White House for four more years.”

This new attitude is too much for Fitz — he’s disgusted. Mellie, however, feels renewed. She finally slips off the Uggs and the robe, and takes a much needed shower. 

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2. Rowan Continues to be Sick and Twisted

Rowan is a masterful actor — he is able to take on whatever role is needed of him, and completely deceive his audience into believing whatever story he tells. This week, the victim is his daughter Olivia. While Olivia is nursing a glass of red wine and endlessly trying to reach boyfriend Jake, Rowan shows up. He plays the part of a good father, giving her relationship advice. “I’m turning into one of those people I hate, who wanders around going, ‘Oh, my boyfriend, why doesn’t he call me?” Liv laments. But Rowan dissuades her fears, telling her, “sometimes you have to let a young lion roam free,” all while knowing exactly where Jake is. Argh!

After Olivia finally tracks down Jake, she confronts Rowan for manipulating her and blaming Jake for what he himself did. As usual, though, Rowan is able to talk his way out of it. He preaches to her that Jake not only killed Jerry, but also Harrison, and that Jake did it so that he could have her all to himself. “I just wanted you to be happy,” Rowan tells her, revealing the motivation for why he committed the murders. Olivia, however, buys the misplaced blame. She leaves at least somewhat convinced that her boyfriend is capable of treacherous things. (Let’s be honest, though, he is)

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ABC/Mitchell Haaseth

3. Fitz Lands Some Serious Punches

Captain Jake Ballard is at the Pentagon being interrogated about his involvement in the death of the President’s son, Jerry. Jake is refusing food and water until he can speak with the President, as he thinks that some one-on-one time with Fitz will clear everything up. The interrogator’s repeated questions leave Jake daydreaming about his “time in the sun” with Olivia.

Patience pays off, as Fitz finally arrives to the interrogation chamber where Jake is being held. What starts out as a friendly exchange — Jake and Fitz have a little Otis Redding sing-along — quickly goes south, as it becomes clear that the President truly thinks Jake is responsible. 

Jake adamantly tries to appeal to Fitz’s logic, telling him “you’re one of the good guys, it’s why she loves you.” It becomes clear that Fitz’s anger is about more than just poor Jerry’s murder, however. “It doesn’t matter what the truth is, does it? The only thing that matters is that I put my hands where you think they don’t belong, and now I’m in chains,” says Jake. He realizes that between Rowan’s manipulation and Fitz’s jealousy, he really never had a chance.

Later in the episode, Fitz returns with a vengeance. He mercilessly beats a helpless and chained Jake, repeatedly asking, “Did you kill my son?” Jake takes the beating in stride, countering with sly remarks about his romance with Olivia. “I think you want me to be guilty,” he says, “…Two months I spent on an island screwing your girlfriend.”

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4. Huck’s Family Rebuffs Him

At the end of Scandal’s third season, it was revealed that the family Huck was forced to leave behind is still alive and well. Huck continues to watch his family, obsessively parking his car in front of their home every night. His ex-wife Kim is on to him, though, and threatens to call the police if he shows up again. She thinks he’s totally lost it — that his stories of spies and secret agencies are the ramblings of a seriously delusional man.

After Huck ignores her threats and gets caught spying yet again, she seems to relent. She tells him he can come by later to see his son, Javi. Huck gets into full Daddy-mode, buying and attempting to wrap a present for his long-lost kid. When he shows up to Kim’s house, his son isn’t there, but a doctor is. She’s staged a psuedo-intervention — which Huck doesn’t take well. It’s safe to assume that he is definitely not welcome back after he puts the doctor in a choke hold.

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ABC/Mitchell Haaseth

5. Abby and Liv Finally Reconcile

Abby and Olivia are having major BFF issues this season, and their strained phone call at the beginning of the episode is a clear indicator. When Liv reaches out to Abby to track down Jake, she is immediately shut down. Abby wants nothing to do with her. 

Things come to a head when a drunk and devastated David Rosen admits to Abby that he was partially responsible for Judge Sparks’ death by using the B613 files. “Why are we all trying to be Olivia Pope?” he cries. That’s the final straw for Abby, and she storms over to Olivia’s to confront her. “You are poison and everyone who touches you pays the price,” she screams at Olivia. Olivia finally breaks down, telling Abby that Jake is responsible for Harrison and Jerry’s deaths. As Liv sobs, Abby comforts her. Here’s to hoping the reconciled duo can work together to get Jake’s name cleared.

Tell Us: What do you think will happen to Jake?

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