How do you fix betrayal?
t's a question posed to Olivia by her client, Sarah Stanner (Lisa Edelstein), and one that Olivia herself has yet to really solve.
"All you can do is to not let it ruin you," Olivia replies, with a haunted look in her eyes. Because her betrayal of Fitz has ruined her. Will she ever escape from their tormented, passionate relationship and heal? Will he? Will we?
The whole truth
Olivia meets with Jake and they engage in a little flirtation before she gives him the goods: intel on where the hostages taken in Kashfar are located. She can't go through the White House, so congrats Jake … you're the the runner-up!
Interesting, Olivia trusts Jake enough to deal with the hostage info she has #Scandal— Yahoo! TV (@YahooTV) March 22, 2013
But their sexy bantering is interrupted, though, with an urgent summons for Olivia. Seems that CEO Sarah Stanner has been implicated in an affair with President Grant's Supreme Court nominee (to replace the deceased Verna), Murray Randall. Gladiator time!
When they arrive at the house, Sarah mistakes Abby for Olivia. It's just a gone-before-you-registered-it moment, but props to the writers for not pretending the world is color-blind.
Shonda Rhimes slides in her racial undertones every now & then. I respect it. #Scandal— Bené Viera (@WrittenbyBene) March 22, 2013
Once it's established that Olivia is the boss, she runs down exactly what they expect -- the media will dig painfully deep into their lives. And it's in Sarah's best interest if she tells them the truth.
Olivia might be the fastest talker in the entire world #Scandal— Yahoo! TV (@YahooTV) March 22, 2013
Sarah fesses up: She did have an affair with the professor 15 years ago. Olivia arranges a press conference for her to tell the world, which infuriates Cyrus. He wants this nomination to go smoothly and Olivia just torpedoed his efforts. Plus, the furor only sinks him further down on the list of people Fitz trusts -- though not quite as far as Mellie.
Cyrus can't believe Olivia would do this to him or Fitz, but as she points out, her client is Sarah. To that, he shoots back what might be the best line of the season:
He warns Olivia that he's going to fight her and portray Sarah as a hussy. "Cyrus, do your best," Olivia says.
Oh no he didn't ... Cyrus assembles his own gladiator team! #Scandal— Yahoo! TV (@YahooTV) March 22, 2013
Cyrus's team engages in an all-out blitz, using Sarah's old Facebook photos and damning commentary from former law school "friends."
For anyone trying to get a good job, put your profile on private. You never know what people can do with old party pics. #Scandal— Marco (@MarcoHTX) March 22, 2013
All that leads to Sarah's company threatening to fire her for violating her contract's "morality clause." Harrison argues with a company rep that this wouldn't be happening if Sarah were a man. They back down and she keeps her job.
Meanwhile, Mellie is snooping around because she thinks Fitz is still having an affair with Olivia. After learning of his regular late-night mystery meetings (with Jake), she goes to Cyrus, who is just on fire with the zingers in this episode:
"Where your husband is leaving his signing pen these days isn't my primary concern." -Cyrus, withall the best lines tonite #Scandal— Yahoo! TV (@YahooTV) March 22, 2013
Meanwhile, Jake meets with Olivia. The intel on the hostages seems solid, but can he really trust the source? She assures him he can. Suddenly, a photographer pops up to snap a pic of the two of them. Olivia brushes it off, but Jake looks mighty concerned.
The news photographer just turned the tables for the guy that's "spying" for the president. He's gonna get rid of him… #Scandal— The Original (@ImKingShawn) March 22, 2013
More dirt starts coming up on Sarah and Randall. Turns out the two of them rekindled the affair a couple times, and one time was a year before her daughter was born! Her husband, Phil, wonders whether he's even the father.
all of the sudden #scandal turned into Maury. You are not the father!— Andrea Dre Domingue (@dredomingue) March 22, 2013
Phil freaks, storms out of the house, and knocks down some cameramen until Harrison finally corrals him inside.
Elsewhere in the gladiator-verse, Huck is teaching Quinn how to stalk people. They're tracking CIA Director Osbourne to see if he makes (or picks up) a drop. When Quinn follows him to a dry cleaner though, she doesn't have a good plan and ends up shirtless.
But she is onto something: Why could a big shot like Osbourne pick up his own dry cleaning? She goes back, uses the number she overheard him say, and picks up a bunch of his suits. In one of the pockets, they find an envelope full of cash. Bingo! She stuffs the money back in and returns the suits to the wary dry cleaner.
Quinn is enjoying this assassin in training too much, I think #Scandal— The Real Housewives (@Real_Housewives) March 22, 2013
Back to the case: The new revelations about Sarah's infidelity has put her job back in jeopardy. Olivia assigns Harrison and Abby to work on that while she babysits the couple.
Her phone rings -- it's Fitz (deep breath). He's pissed and drunk. Why didn't she think he was good enough to be president, he wonders. Tears form in Olivia's eyes; of course, she thought he was good enough.
"I trusted you, you know. You were all I had," Fitz spits out. "You ruined me. I'm ruined."
"I'm ruined," Olivia shoots back.
"I don't care," Fitz sighs. They hang up.
few things ache more than realizing the one you love has become the one who hurts. #scandal— L. Proverbs Briggs (@ProverbsthePoet) March 22, 2013
Olivia goes back into the house, after overhearing Phil demand a paternity test.
"Don't judge me," Sarah says, not knowing Olivia is the last person who would #Scandal— Yahoo! TV (@YahooTV) March 22, 2013
"You have some job. Fixer. How do you fix betrayal?" Sarah continues.
"You did what you thought was best at the time. Even if it was wrong, you thought it was best," Olivia says about Sarah/her own situation. "You can't change the choice you made. All you can do is to not let it ruin you."
She really needs to start listening to her own advice.
Meanwhile, Jake gives the hostage intel to the president, who subsequently orders another rescue attempt. As he and his staff watch the rescue unfold, Jake breaks into that photographer's house, beats/kills him, and takes the camera.
Whoa, guess that photographer got Jake's bad side in that pic #Scandal— Yahoo! TV (@YahooTV) March 22, 2013
(The hostages are rescued, BTW.)
At gladiator HQ, Harrison still hasn't found a way out of the morality clause. Abby snarks about what he did to her and David's relationship, and he apologizes. But she says she's over it. "I now live in a world where I know you're a gladiator first and a person second," she shrugs. Ouch.
Countdown to Abby and Harrison hooking up #scandal— Cassandra Centeno (@IamCassandraNow) March 22, 2013
They come up with a plan to save Sarah's job: bluff! They take a box to the company's board meeting, which they claim is full of dirt they dug up on each one of them. Abby is about to open Pandora's (empty) box … but one of the board members stops her just in time.
Thanks to the hostage rescue, the media blitz is over. Sarah is grateful to Olivia and team for all they've done, but they're not quite done yet. Olivia has the results of the paternity test and slides it over to Phil. It doesn't matter what it says, though, she tells him. He thinks about it for a moment and then tears it in half.
At the White House, Mellie's snooping paid off and she obtains information that Cyrus might find interesting. Fitz isn't cheating on her, she gloats while handing him a picture of Jake. He's cheating on Cyrus!
Jake, meanwhile, comes over to Olivia's apartment. He's still bruised from the skirmish with the photog, which he explains away as a mugging. Poor thing! Olivia goes to get him some ice, he settles down on the couch, and smiles into his own planted camera. Supercreepy.
And that's not all. CIA Director Osbourne gets a call … from his dry cleaner, who texts him a photo.
Oh snap! The CIA Director has Quinn's picture ... dun dun dunnnnnn #Scandal— Yahoo! TV (@YahooTV) March 22, 2013
Guess Quinn needed a few more lessons in stealth from Huck before trying to be all assassin-y.
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"Scandal" airs Thursdays at 10 PM on ABC.