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Scandal - The Noise - Review: "Reaping What You Sow"

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For the first of the last four Scandal episodes EVER, “The Noise” sure was a doozy! It was a largely character-driven episode, with Olivia being held accountable for her past actions and others showing us more of who they have always been. And that ending? Don’t even get me started! Right off the bat, the characters that I wanted dead at different points of this episode were Cyrus, Jake, Mellie, and Quinn. The latter was more out of annoyance, but we’ll get into that in a moment.

Of note, “The Noise” was directed by one Darby Stanchfield aka Abby Whelan! It was her first and only time behind the lens for an episode, and she did a solid job. Kudos to you, Darbs!

Now let’s get into this bad boy.

Bringing Trouble to An Already Troubled House

The episode kicks off with a dozen of FBI agents packing up various items from QPA’s office suite. They are going through every inch of that place, and at one point, an agent gives Olivia’s white hat a cursory look before carelessly tossing it onto the floor. As this is happening, Special Prosecutor General Lonnie Menken can be heard (and then is later seen) giving Mellie an update on what he knows of the Charlie, who has been flagged as the alleged suspect in the plot to take down Air Force Two.

Lonnie relays that “Charlie” has no last name, which indicates that his name in itself is an alias; and that he held dozens of false IDs, including one that granted him access to the White House. (Duh! He’s a former super secret spy!) He says that Charlie’s “place of business” aka QPA has been secured and protected as a crime scene, and that a search of the premises led to the discovery of a “massive stockpile of electronics” that are now all being decrypted. (Huck probably already has some self-destruct feature on them, so the feds are unlikely to find anything of value.)

Lonnie states that Charlie’s coworkers were briefly questioned and released, but that for the time being QPA remains shut down until further notice. Aside from Mellie, Cyrus and Jake are also in on this Oval Office meeting. Mellie asks if the suspect is talking and Lonnie says that despite their “methods of persuasion” (aka torture), Charlie has remained “remarkably tight-lipped”.

So how many people among the four knows why Charlie won’t be talking? He’s B613 for God’s sake! He’s trained to withstand any method of torture you throw at him. Cyrus knows this and so does Jake. You would think that at least Jake would question Charlie’s supposed motives here, right? He’s got to have some measure of deductive reasoning!

There I go giving him more credit than he is due. Neh’mind.

We get flashed back at bit to Charlie being roughly dragged into everyone’s favorite black cell, and he is dropped down into a chair and then cuffed to the table. His face is beat up as he stares at Lonnie, who is already seated in a chair across from him. Lonnie states that all of this could stop, and Charlie quips that he has never felt better. When Lonnie asks him if he is ready to talk, Charlie tells him what he had apparently told him before and that is that he is being set up. Outside of that, Charlie says that he has nothing more to give him.

Lonnie interjects then to say that when he asked if Charlie was ready to talk, he meant that the talking involved him addressing Charlie. (This man is so going to die…) He goes on to state that he has no interest in keeping Charlie there and that it gives him no great pleasure to see Charlie in pain. He says that he is merely a guy who is there to do his job and that his job today is to see Charlie walk out of that cell a free man. As he is saying this, he pulls out a typed up document and presents it to Charlie. He says that he’ll cut Charlie a deal, that all he needs is for Charlie to sign the document, and then he’ll be free to go home.

Charlie gets to reading the document and he is startled when he realizes that it is a confession that he says is “filled with lies”. Lonnie remarks that he knows that Charlie was hired to assassinate Cyrus, but that it isn’t Charlie who they are after. He again states that should Charlie sign that confession, he would be set free. All they need is for him to affirm that the person who hired him to do the deed was Mellie!!

Charlie is gobsmacked when he reads Mellie’s name, and in that instant, it all came together in his head. Cyrus really is the one behind all of this. Charlie verbalizes what he has worked out about the situation, including his on the money guess that Cyrus also recruited Lonnie. The older man dismisses Charlie’s conclusion as some admirable concoction of his imagination, and he warns Charlie that his only way home is via him signing the confession. Charlie is steadfast as he says unequivocally that he won’t be used by Cyrus to impeach Mellie, and adds that he isn’t a traitor.

Lonnie replies that what Charlie would actually be is a “patriot, a liberator, and a free man”, stating that once Cyrus is President, Charlie would receive a full pardon. He again presses for the confession to be signed, and after a moment’s contemplation, Charlie tosses the document at Lonnie and tells him to “go to hell”.

Don’t you think this is the end of it, friends. Oh, no. With Cyrus Rutherford Beene, there is more than one way to cook a goose.

Elsewhere in DC, we pick up from where the last episode left off with Olivia opening her apartment door to find Quinn standing on the other side. The two stare at each other in awkward silence for a bit before Quinn states that the feds have taken Charlie. Olivia replies that she knows, and more awkwardness ensues. Olivia motions an uncertain invitation to Quinn to come in, and the other woman accepts.

Once inside, it is clear that Quinn did not come to Olivia in peace. She shares that the federales are crawling all over QPA and that they’ve arrested Charlie. As Olivia states that she is sorry, Quinn cuts her off to say that she doesn’t give two damns about Cyrus or whether he stated the hijacking for publicity. Olivia interjects to say that what Cyrus wants is the Oval Office, and Quinn couldn’t care less about that either. She says that he can have whatever he wants other than Charlie. (Weeeeeell, one should kind of care if the Vice President is looking to take out the sitting President so that he can take her position, but whatev.)

Quinn goes on to say that Olivia shouldn’t have gone behind their backs and brought the Cyrus matter to them, and Olivia explains that she didn’t think that they would take the case if they knew it was from her. Quinn replies with disdain that Olivia is right about that, but now the case isn’t just for Olivia anymore now that QPA has been disrupted. Olivia asks what it is that Quinn is suggesting, and Quinn reluctantly says that they have a common enemy now, so she proposes a partnership. Whatever their differences are, she says that they are to put them aside. When Olivia immediately agrees to this, Quinn is quick to state that she is doing this for Charlie and not for Olivia, and Olivia says that she understands.

I swear, homegirl looks shook AF in this scene. It’s like she’s bracing herself for a physical throwdown, but none is coming. Instead, she stands up against the gale force that is Quinn’s ire and endures the assault. It is, after all, the least she can do given the stunt she pulled with with Quinn and Robin’s lives. I don’t recall Olivia being so humbled ever. It’s a bit jarring.

Jump ahead some time and that same evening (presumably), and Olivia and Quinn are at the Grant Institute. Present are Fitz and Marcus as well as Abby and David. Conspicuously missing was Huck. Fitz and Marcus have just been briefed on the Cyrus situation, and both men are stunned. Fitz remarks that “this is a new low, even for Cyrus” and suggests that Mellie be warned that Cyrus is gunning for her. He addresses the latter part to Olivia, who nods in agreement.

Quinn adds that they must also inform Mellie of Charlie’s innocence and asks if that’s something that Mellie could fix, and Fitz says that it’ll be a hard sell politically. Olivia states then that it shouldn’t be too difficult if it can be proven that the special prosecutor is working with Cyrus. At this point, David expresses his disbelief at the idea that Lonnie is involved in this plot, saying that Lonnie is a man with an impeccable record. Quinn counters by reminding David of all that Cyrus has done thus far. She then asks if he thinks that Cyrus would leave to the chance the appointment of a special prosecutor.

Fitz brings the conversation back to the original point at hand by asking Olivia if she wants to talk to Mellie about this or if he should be the one to do it. Before Olivia has the chance to respond, Quinn jumps in to say that she wants Charlie alive, so it can’t be Olivia who talks to Mellie. (Ha!)

I guess that answers that question. I mean, Olivia truly is not the best person to go speaking to Mellie about anything. Not after the way their relationship was severed. No siree Bob! So tag, you’re it, Fitzgerald.

Olivia speaks then to say that she and the others will see what they can find on Lonnie while Fitz is working on Mellie. The goal is to find something that will help in breaking the Special Prosecutor away from Cyrus, adding that they will do whatever it takes to bring Charlie back home safely.

Next we see Cyrus in his bunker-like hideout and he is restlessly pacing around the worktable that is set in the middle of the room. It isn’t long before the heavy steel door beeps and in comes Lonnie. Cyrus guesses that Charlie didn’t sign the confession and Lonnie confirms. Cyrus goes on to say that they knew going into this that Charlie was going to be a hard one to crack because “old spies...never do anything they don’t want to do” thanks to all of their training. (Ding, ding!) Lonnie says that his men have training, too, and that what he and Cyrus must exercise is some patience. Cyrus reluctantly agrees with a nod.

Lonnie asks if there is anything else, and when Cyrus shakes his head that there isn’t, he heads for the door. Before he can make it out, something occurs to Cyrus and he stops Lonnie’s departure. He proclaims that they are handling this situation all wrong, stating that it isn’t Charlie that they ought to be pressuring.

The Girl Cried Wolf One Too Many Times

The following day, Olivia arrives at the Grant Institute and she heads directly for the conference room. She pulls up short when she spies Huck on the other side of the glass doors, her expression questioning as she takes in the fact that he has papered up the doors and shuttered the room’s blinds. As she steps into the room, she offers Huck a “hey” and asks him what it is that he is up to. Huck explains that since they will be discussing sensitive information and so they can never be too careful when everyone has a “phone in their pocket”.

Huck isn’t able to look at her directly as he speaks. This is the first time that the two of them have seen each other since the attempted intervention some months ago (710), so they are understandably stilted in their conversation. Huck is noticeably hesitant. He asks if she is “back” and Olivia replies that she is back for this situation. To this, Huck simply replies, “Okay”. I don’t think that Olivia understood exactly what it was that Huck was asking her...or maybe I’m the one reading more into his question than was intended.

Soon, the others are coming into the room. Quinn, Marcus, Abby. They go directly into OPA/QPA gladiator mode and start to give details on what they have been able to put together on Alonzo “Lonnie” Mencken. Abby puts up his picture on the board, but when she lets go of it, it goes sailing to the floor. Marcus explains that he was unable to find the sticky paper that is used back at their office, so they end up using magnets to hold up their images.

In their research, they uncover that Lonnie and his wife lost their only son 20 years ago when he was gunned down in a mall mass shooting. He had been nine at the time. The child died in his father’s arms. (Damn.) Olivia says then that she recalls this incident, that it is what inspired Lonnie to become a prosecutor and dedicate his life to keeping violent offenders in jail. Marcus adds that Lonnie did all of this while earning a reputation of being tough, but fair. He states that Lonnie is the “epitome of an honorable public servant”.

Given what they know about Lonnie, Quinn asks the room how it is that someone like Lonnie would end up in bed with Cyrus. She speculates on him possibly having money troubles or if he has recently received a Cézanne by chance. Olivia is lost as to the reference to the painting, and Huck explains that they believe that Cyrus may have used the painting that Glackland gifted him to fund the coup.

Huck doesn’t get farther than that with his explanation because Quinn impatiently cuts him off and says that they don’t have time right then recap, and she immediately tosses out more finances-related questions in an attempt to find what could be Lonnie’s motivation. Huck replies that he doesn’t see anything out of the ordinary as far as mortgage and credit card debit. Nothing shady going on with Lonnie Mencken. Abby adds that his web history is pretty unexciting as well, proclaiming the man a “goody two shoes”.

Just then, Quinn’s phone vibrates. After reading it, she claims that her nanny just texted her that Robin’s ear infection is flaring up and that the child is screaming bloody murder as a result. She says that Charlie was supposed to pick up her prescription, but obviously he didn’t get a chance to do that. Olivia tells her to go handle her business, and Quinn hurries off.

Where is Quinn going? Not to see to her child, that’s for sure! She is heading to a waiting car and Cyrus is on the inside. He reached out to her because he wants her to convince Charlie to sign a confession saying that Mellie staged the hijacking as some way to assassinate him. Quinn tells him that she won’t be assisting him and demands that Charlie be let go. (Is this their first ever scene together??)

Cyrus tells Quinn that if she wants to help Charlie, she will have to have to help him. He presses her on getting that confession signed, stating that she should do so while Charlie still has a “hand left to hold a pen”, but Quinn doesn’t bite. She instead repeats that she won’t be helping. Cyrus doesn’t allow her to finish when he shares his assumption that Quinn voted for Mellie despite all that she knows about Madam President, and that Quinn probably wore a “cute little ‘Future is Female’ T-shirt” when she went to the polls to cast her ballot for “girl power and all that crap”. (Ooo, look! Sexism from the cisgendered gay guy!) Cyrus says Quinn ought to be focusing on Charlie, and he asks if she is really choosing Mellie over the father of her child. (Slick.) It is at this point that Quinn declares the conversation over.

As she makes her way towards the door, Cyrus asks in frustration what it is about “you people and Olivia Pope”. He states that it is as if they are all “little wind-up toys, aimlessly fluttering about”. Of course, this stops Quinn cold and she declares that none of this has anything to do with Olivia. Annnnd like a fool, she has confirmed something that he already knew: Olivia remains a sore spot, especially for Quinn. He didn’t bring up the former Head Gladiator nor insinuate that Quinn and the others are but unthinking robots who do her bidding for nothing. He pressed on a seeping wound and hit pay dirt.

Following her denial, Cyrus presses yet another sore spot, stating that Olivia still believes that she has a shot at getting back to the White House and that she needs Mellie to remain where she is in order for that to happen. He adds that Olivia doesn’t care about Charlie, that Olivia has already made her choice, and he asks Quinn if it isn’t time that she herself made her own choice. Quinn has no response to give to this, and Cyrus takes that has his opening. He hands her a slip of paper with the number of a burner phone that he says he will have for the next 24 hours. He tells her that if he doesn’t hear from her before those hours are up, Charlie will be a goner.

Soooooo Cyrus presents Olivia’s purported quest to return to the White House as the boogieman that Quinn ought to fear, yet the alternative that he’s proposing is her convincing Charlie to confess to a lie so that Mellie will be ousted from office and Cyrus installed as President? Those choices are like trying to decide between dying by firing squad or by a school of piranhas.

Over at the East Wing, Fitz is waiting in the living area when Mellie comes into the room. She asks of Teddy’s whereabouts, and Fitz tells her that the nanny went to get the child. Fitz uses the opportunity to ask for a moment of Mellie’s time, and when she grants it to him, he tells her that he would like to talk about Charlie. Mellie lets out an exasperated sigh as Fitz says to her that Charlie is innocent. Mellie guesses that Olivia sent Fitz to her, and Fitz replies that no one sent him. He goes on to say that it was Cyrus who staged all of this and that he is also gunning for Mellie’s job.

Unsurprisingly, Mellie believes none of this. She dismisses Fitz’s claims as something that a bored Olivia came up with since “no one wants to hire an ousted Chief of Staff”. (Olivia has never been that bored.) When she asks what reason Cyrus would have to hijacked his own plane, Fitz says that it is so Cyrus would garner himself some public attention. He adds that Cyrus wants the presidency and has no intention of waiting until the end of Mellie’s term.

Mellie still finds this all to be far-fetched and nonsensical, and I can’t even blame her. If I were in her, I’d be looking at Fitzgerald sideways, too. She goes on to say that what does make sense to her is that Olivia paid Charlie and “whoever else from that gang of criminals she employs” to help her plan a takeover, and now Olivia is trying to cover it all up because Charlie got caught by the FBI. (Really? LOL!)

I guess I can see how she would believe this. After all, Olivia did momentarily band up with Cyrus and used the dirt that he brought to her to force Mellie to resign (711). Olivia pulled back at the last minute, but that’s the kind of move that leaves a nasty taste in one’s mouth.

Fitzgerald (being the silver lining kind of dude that he is) says that Olivia has made some insanely bad choices, but that she, in her own way, has always had Mellie’s and the country’s best interests at heart. He adds that Cyrus has motive to come after Mellie and that there is no way that Olivia would go this far to eff things up for her. Mellie takes in what he says, but when she looks up at him, she warns that he ought to careful or he will mess around and end up being Olivia’s accomplice. (LMAOOOO!!)

When has Fitzgerald ever been careful when it comes to Olivia? He might hesitate for two seconds and then he dives in right in face first. He is who he is.

Back at his office now, Fitz shares with Olivia and Marcus his failed attempt with Mellie. He says that she won’t hear it, at least not from him. Marcus remarks that Mellie has a lot of people in her ear, and Olivia lists those people as being Cyrus and Jake. She says that Mellie would rather trust those goons than to “listen to reason” because she….

Olivia can’t continue along that train of thought, but Fitz finishes it for her: that Mellie won’t heed their warning because Olivia had lied to her, and he says that he doesn’t blame Mellie for having her guard up. He is matter-of-fact when he says this, not at all cruel, but Olivia gets all up in her feels about it and she slinks away from their little circle like a kitten who has had her hand swatted upon trying to claw at her owner’s face.

Seeing her reaction, Fitz says to a retreating Olivia that all he means is that Mellie isn’t to blame for not taking her/them at their word. Marcus says that they also can’t give up on trying to convince her that what they are saying is true, and he proposes being the one to talk to Mellie about this. He says that he may be able to get through to her, and Olivia tells him to go set up the meeting.

Once Marcus departs, Fitz turns back to Olivia to find her staring desolately out into middle space. He asks her if she is okay and Olivia turns back to him with a feigned act of everything being all good, but the mask doesn’t hold for long. Fitz attempts to pull her out of her funk by reminding her that she did some good that she did in the White House, and as he is set to say more, Olivia interrupts to tell him that she knows and that they ought to return to work.

Oh, Fitzgerald. He speaks the truth, realizes that it stung and then tries to make it hurt a little less, but she’ll be alright. She just has to sit in the harsh facts of her past wrongness and muddle her way through it.

Now back in the conference room with Huck and Abby, Olivia tries to think of what else they may be overlooking with the Lonnie situation. Huck wasn’t able to uncover anything more, and Olivia suggests that they look at it from the angle of the missing Cézanne. She says that Cyrus didn’t just stick a $100 million painting in a closet, and Abby shares that there isn’t anything in the White House logs to show that he carried it out himself. She then wonders if maybe Cyrus may have used Hannah to get the artwork out, and Huck gets to looking to see if that was a possibility.

Quinn enters into the room then, and when she is noticed, everyone turns towards her. Huck asks her how Robin is doing and Quinn answers that her daughter is fine, but she isn’t looking directly at anyone when she says this. She appears to be struggling with something and Olivia asks if all is well. It takes Quinn a moment to finally spit out the whole of it, and when she does, she states that “they” are offering Charlie a deal. He is to get immunity in exchange for his cooperation. That cooperation involves him confessing that he hijacked that plane on Mellie’s orders.

The others in the room are dumbfounded. Olivia asks if it is Lonnie who Quinn spoke to, and Quinn replies that it was actually Cyrus. Olivia is aghast that Cyrus would bring this deal to Quinn directly, and Quinn snaps that he came to her because she is the one in charge. (Um, okay.) Olivia absorbs that hit and then after a beat verbalizes what she believes Quinn wants to do, which is have Charlie take the deal. Quinn assumes that Olivia would make the same decision, and Liv tells her that she wouldn’t. Quinn counters by saying that the deal would save Charlie’s life, and Olivia replies that it would ruin Mellie’s.

Huck and Abby are sitting silent as mice, probably wishing that they were anywhere but in that room right then. Olivia has said the wrong thing, which from Quinn’s perspective, substantiated what Cyrus said to her in the car about Olivia’s priorities: she only cares about protecting Mellie. Quinn snarks that she’s not surprised by what Olivia cares most about, and Olivia replies that the accusation isn’t fair, arguing that Mellie is the President. Quinn counters by saying that Mellie is Olivia’s President, that she is the “trophy that [Olivia] won for all [her] years of chasing power”. She then adds that even after Mellie kicked her out that Olivia still can’t seem to let her go. (Eek!) Olivia replies that that isn’t what any of this is all about, that if they stop this coup from happening, they will be responsible for what happens next!

Huck interjects here to ask if they can discuss this matter more calmly, but neither woman is hearing this. Abby tried some moments before, but her words fell on deaf ears. Quinn is going to say her peace today!

Foolishly, Olivia gets to moralizing about this matter being between what is right and wrong and democracy (SMH), and Quinn shouts that Olivia lost her right to give such lectures when she ordered Rowan to shoot her in his basement! (Chile…) She goes on to say that this isn’t about right or wrong or democracy, but about family --- their family, not Olivia’s.

Another shot straight to the chest and this one hurts something fierce. Olivia’s eyes shine with unshed tears as she looks to Huck and then Abby. Huck lets out a regretful sigh at the whole thing and Abby appears to be struggling with her own emotions as she stares up at Olivia. Liv then looks back at Quinn who defiantly stares her down. Taking this as her cue, Olivia angrily packs up her things and leaves the room. Once she is gone, Quinn’s tough facade crack a bit and I just want to kick her in the face.

Yeah, I was the woman who once wanted to drown Olivia in a vat of acid for all the foolery that she engaged in, but I can’t take this anymore. Can’t we fast-forward to the happy parts now? This is hurting my heart. And no matter how entitled I know that she is to her anger, I’m about thisclose to tossing Quinn in a box and shoot her straight into the sun.

The Truth Comes Spilling Out

Later we see Mellie in the Residence watching a news report where Cyrus is being asked for his reaction to the news that a suspect in the hijacking has been arrested. He is asked if he would like to send a message to the suspect, and Cyrus says that he is putting all of his faith in the special prosecutor (Lonnie). He adds that he survived the hijacking for a reason and that reason was not for him to send vindictive messages to the person responsible for his ordeal. He then tells the reporters that he has a job that he must get back to, and off he goes.

Mellie is now staring at the image of Cyrus with suspicion, Fitz’s words clearly having made some impression. Jump ahead a bit and she is now in the Oval with Jake. She has shared with him what she was told about Cyrus, and while Jake concedes that there is a possibility that this could be true, it can’t see a reason as to why Cyrus would go through all of that. He then asks Mellie if she has a reason to suspect Cyrus, and when Mellie remains mum, Jake guesses that this came to her via Olivia and he wants to know how she managed to do that. (LOL! Olivia is resourceful, Pete.)

Jake is now flustered as Mellie remarks that the accusation is worth ruling out. She brings up what he said on television about him surviving the hijacking for a “reason” as if he is someone who was anointed, and when she states that they were working to push him out, Jake snaps and says that the only person that they succeeded in pushing out is now being let back in by Mellie. He asks her who is running the Oval, and Mellie replies that she is and that she wants him to look into Cyrus.

Here is another bozo who should have been dead long ago, but here we still are.

I’m still trying to work out what his beef with Olivia is. Maybe in one of these upcoming episodes we will be told because right now, his anger towards her has me all kinds of confused. Didn’t he declare to Fitz that Olivia was turning into the person that she was destined to be (704)? So when she ended up eating her young, he’s upset? He thought he was her special snowflake, didn’t he? Up here asking Mellie who is running the Oval. He ain’t have a damn thing to say about who was running the Oval when Olivia was serving as Mellie’s puppeteer and he was her B613 sidekick. He was all about serving Command and keeping Mellie in the dark. Now he mad.


Back over at the Grant Institute, Fitz is approaching his office when he sees that Huck is waiting for him. He comes into the room and asks Huck if there is something that he wanted, and Huck wants confirmation that the woman that has been in the conference room with them is Olivia. Fitz moves to close the office door to afford them privacy before turning back to Huck to ask him clarify what he means. Huck is referring to the “old Olivia, from before all the bad stuff happened”. Fitz asks Huck what it is that he thinks, and Huck replies that the woman looks and talks like her, but that he cannot trust himself because he badly wants this to be true and could just be seeing things that aren’t there. (Aww…)

Huck asks Fitz what it is that he sees, and Fitz replies that he sees the “old Olivia”, too. But he adds that he is in the same situation in that he also wants that Olivia back as much as Huck does, so it could be that they are both seeing things. Huck accepts that, but then says that Fitz feels like he does, and Fitz concurs that he does.

Sigh. Olivia’s main bae and platonic brother bae aren’t about to have me curled up in a fetal position, man. Huck using Fitz to confirm his suspicions about Olivia’s present mental state has been one of the best character moments to come out of this season. Who better than the two who know her best and love her most to signal to the audience that change is afoot with our girl?

Returning to the White House, Jake has arrived at Cyrus’s office. When he is invited in, Jake proceeds to tell Cyrus that he just had a meeting with the Deputy Attorney General and that the man is under the impression that Lonnie Mencken found his way onto the hijacking case thanks to Cyrus’s recommendation. Cyrus chuckles at this as he stands from behind his desk, expressing surprise at this. Jake replies that he isn’t sure as to what he was told, hence the reason he has come.

Cyrus wonders aloud if Jake just randomly ran into the Deputy AG or if he reached out to him because he heard a rumor. Cyrus goes on to say that he can assure Jake that the rumors are true! Dafuq…

Jake is startled as Cyrus outright confesses to having hijacked his own plane. He stares at the old man for a long moment, dumbfounded by this unexpected turn of events, and says that this was not at all how he expected this meeting to go. (LOL!) Cyrus says that he didn’t expect it to go this way either, and he states that he is sure that Jake has a pair of scissors or some other “lethal office supply” in his possession that he intends to use to threaten him into talking. Jake merely claims a nearby seat and stares up at Cyrus in stupefaction.

Cyrus continues by saying that they should skip the threatening part since it’s a boring waste of time and proposes that they get right into the good stuff. Jake asks what the good stuff is, and Cyrus says that he has a plan that ends with him installed as President and includes a job for Jake in his Administration. Jake appears to still be stunned as he remarks on Cyrus thinking that he will work for him, and Cyrus replies that he thinks that Jake will work with him. Jake tells him then that if this is actually part of his plan, then it is flawed, but Cyrus says that he doesn’t think so.

Sitting down across from Jake, Cyrus says that the Admiral can refuse his offer, but in doing so, Jake would be dooming himself to a “life as a second-class citizen”. He goes on to say that Jake could take him down and save the day, but that Jake will still be nothing more to Mellie than a “consolation prize”. Jake’s interest is piqued now as Cyrus explains that Jake is the thing that Mellie got when she couldn’t have Olivia. He then takes this a step further by saying that it would be the same as how Jake was Olivia’s consolation prize when she couldn’t have Fitz.

Sweet Baby Jesus on the Cross…

Cyrus is one hell of a gamemaster. He studies all of his potential roadblocks, finds their weaknesses, and then aims with threadlike precision. He tells Jake that in refusing his offer to join up with him, Jake will always remain in second place, always be the second choice. Remember when Jake claimed that he doesn’t play “second fiddle to anyone, even the President” when Olivia only agreed to go to the White House Correspondents Dinner with him because she wanted to see her boo thang (305)? Or when he tells Olivia that he’s in love with her, but that she is in love with Fitz (422)?

Yeah. Second fiddle. Forever.

Homeboy must have had a quick flashback of all the times that Olivia burned his behind in favor of Fitz. Lest we not forget what she told him in “Til Death Do Us Part” (518), you know, where she referred to him as a “lesser version of...the man [she] truly deserve[s]”. Some of y’all still outchea peddling that she didn’t mean what she said, butteruh….

Cyrus states that Jake is investigating him because Olivia succeeded in putting a “bug in Mellie’s ear”. He says that if Jake blows his cover, Olivia will be proven right and her relationship with Mellie will get back on track. Mellie will get her “first choice” back and Jake will be out on his ass.

Cyrus acknowledges that he and Jake don’t like each other, but the future he sees is of them or it will be of Olivia and Mellie. Jake finally speaks here, saying that Cyrus seems fairly certain of what he is saying, and Cyrus replies that he is and that he believes that Jake will feel the same once he takes the time to consider his offer. As Jake makes to leave the office, Cyrus tells him that he shouldn’t take too long to make his decision, for the offer is only available for a limited time. (LOL...I can’t.)

Over at the Justice Department, Lonnie is seen coming into David’s office. David asks him over to check in on him and see how the investigation was coming along. He invites him to take a seat, but Lonnie chooses to stand. He tells David that he can’t discuss anything regarding the case with him, and David says that he just wondered if Lonnie needed a sounding board. Lonnie turns stone cold serious as he says that he is going to leave now before he has to charge the Attorney General with obstruction of justice.

David follows Lonnie to the door and says that the man that is being questioned is actually innocent and that Lonnie knows this. Lonnie counters by saying that what he knows is that Charlie worked on Mellie’s campaign on behalf of a firm that was founded by Mellie’s former Chief of Staff. The campaign, he reminds David, ended with Mellie’s opponent being assassinated and Cyrus wrongfully being arrested for that matter. Lonnie says that this may all be a coincidence, but he can also put Charlie on the tarmac at the time that Rashad’s plane blew up and he can link him to the virus responsible for hijacking Air Force Two. (Y’all are good.)

As the conversation progresses, David learns that what has put Lonnie on this path is Mellie’s position on guns. Lonnie speaks of how a disturbed young man walked into a superstore and bought a whole bunch of semi-automatics that he would a week later use to shoot up his son during a trip Lonnie and Adam took to the mall. Lonnie says that Mellie may be the most progressive Republican that the country has had in a century, but that she is exactly like the rest of them when it comes to the guns. David realizes then what compelled an otherwise upright man to fall in with the likes of Cyrus Beene.

Elsewhere and right across from the White House, Olivia sits on a park bench in deep contemplation. (Shout out to the AU! [610]) After a moment, she looks up at the big white building and just stares.

Meanwhile inside of it, Marcus has arrived for his meeting with Mellie and Mellie is annoyed that yet another one of them has come to warn her about Cyrus. She likens them to door-to-door salesmen who keep knocking even after she tells them that she doesn’t want what they are selling. Marcus asks her to consider that maybe what Olivia is saying is indeed true and that those who care about her the most are the ones who keep knocking.

Sighing, Mellie says that she isn’t just going to believe Olivia’s word without any hard evidence. (Smart.) Marcus nods in acknowledgement of that as he comes over to take a seat next to Mellie. He tells her that Olivia isn’t trying to trick her, but instead trying to save her. Mellie asks Marcus how it is that he can just trust Olivia after everything that she did to him. Marcus corrects her to state that what Olivia did was done to the two of them (i.e. break them up by getting him the press secretary job).

Marcus asks Mellie if she recalls why Olivia did that and Mellie says that it is because Olivia is a “condescending, small person”. (Zzzz….) Marcus points out that Olivia was trying to make Mellie president and succeeded (Erm….), and that she is right now working to keep Mellie president. (I don’t know why.) When Mellie says that Olivia lied to her multiple times, Marcus acknowledges this and says that despite that, he knows that Mellie misses Olivia. Mellie admits to missing having Olivia in her corner and says that she misses her.

Give me a break. Sorry Mellie stans, but I just can’t. She misses Olivia, she says. More like she misses having competence keeping her company and propping her up. Go argue with someone else about this.

Marcus assures Mellie that Olivia is still in her corner, adding that he, too, is in Mellie’s corner and always will be. The two of them get to making fire eyes at each other and Mellie places her hand on top of his. It’s about to be on like donkey kong!

Over in the B613 lair, Jake is engaging in his usual voyeuristic activity of watching others unobserved. He watches and listens in on what’s happening in the Oval thanks to the camera that hangs from the ceiling of the room. (“The cameras.” [106]) As it becomes obvious that things are about to get hot and heavy between Mellie and Marcus, he shuts down the feed. He not only got confirmation that Mellie misses her former Chief of Staff, Jake also learned that he apparently is second place with Mellie in one other way. Welp.

Olivia arrives at her old office suite to find the entryway covered in crime scene tape and the door left slightly ajar. She makes her way inside and notes the mess that the agents left in their wake. She makes it to the big office and sees the white hat where it had been tossed on the floor. As she bends down to pick it up for examination, Quinn comes in and says that the hat doesn’t belong to Olivia anymore. (Okay, sheesh. Calm all the way down.)

Olivia extends the hat to her as she thanks her for meeting with her, but Quinn just stares at her with hard eyes and doesn’t accept the hat. Olivia slowly starts her way around the other side of the conference table when Quinn remarks on how difficult it is to look at the mess that the FBI made of the office. When Olivia says that they really trashed the place, Quinn agrees and adds that the feds don’t care about them. Olivia states then that the agents were merely doing their job, that none of this was personal, and Quinn replies that that is what scares her. She says this whole thing is like a giant meat grinder that Charlie is stuck within, and she asks Olivia if she can blame her for wanting to pull him out. Olivia replies that she doesn’t blame her for wanting to do that, and she is going to say more, but she stops herself, stating that there is no reason for them to go over it all again. Quinn disagrees. She believes that they ought to.


Quinn recalls what Olivia said to Rowan about Quinn having to die for the Republic if necessary, and Quinn scoffs at the absurdity of that ideal, asking what it is about this idea that is so pure that would justify the deaths of thousands in order to keep it intact. Olivia answers that the United States is worthy of such a sacrifice for it is a nation that is built on the idea that its citizens are “its best stewards”. (The irony of a Black woman advocating this is not lost on me, friends.) Quinn questions if Olivia truly means America’s citizens or the country’s “anointed band of secret assassins”.

At this, Olivia admits that she was wrong in what she said and did that day. She says that she tried to tell herself that what she did was for the Republic, but that that was a lie. What she did was for herself and ambitions. She states that she believed that she could fix the world with a “few smart chess moves” and that the ends justify the means, but then Quinn came along talking about justice, and she was afraid that Quinn would screw her carefully crafted world up. Quinn interjects then to say that she would have indeed screwed it all up, and Olivia calmly replies that Quinn would have had every right to have done so.

After a brief moment, Olivia apologizes to Quinn for all that she had done to her. (Aww…) She then essentially says that she had no ground to tell Quinn that Charlie shouldn’t accept the deal because of “some principle”. Quinn tells her that she knows taking the deal is wrong, but that what they aren’t choosing between right and wrong here, but between being wrong and dead. (Well, that’s a slight remix from what she had said earlier.)

Olivia says that she hears Quinn, but that her gut is telling her to protect Mellie. When Quinn sighs over this, Olivia adds that the problem is that she doesn’t trust her gut anymore, and that she of all people hasn’t the right to tell Quinn to stake Charlie’s life on an idea. She says that at the present moment, she no longer knows what is right or wrong, but that what she does know is that she trusts Quinn. She says that unlike herself, Quinn never lost her way. She goes on to say that she called Quinn there to tell her all of this and to let her know that whatever it is that she decides to do with Charlie, that she will support it. (Double aww!)

Olivia tells Quinn that this call has to be hers to make, and she extends the white hat to her once more, and this time Quinn accepts it.

This was definitely a moment that these two stubborn ass women needed, and it couldn’t have happened without Quinn’s initial nastiness and Olivia as a result being forced to contemplate all that has been said to her about her past behavior. Fitz still has her at some distance, Mellie won’t trust her, the gladiators are still mad at her, credibility is freakin’ shot. She did this all to herself, but at least, she’s owning her ugly and making amends for it. My girl is emerging from the fog, y’all!

A really well done scene here between Kerry Washington and Katie Lowes.

Moments later, Cyrus is seen answering his burner phone. It is Quinn calling to tell him that she declines his offer. She says that she gave it some thought, but that she can’t have Charlie sign the confession, that it’s right. Cyrus calls her decision “adorable” and says that it was considerate of her to have made the call. He then says that unfortunate for her, he no longer needs her help. Quinn asks him what he means by this and he replies that it means that he has made alternate arrangements. Upon Cyrus hanging up on Quinn, the camera pans out to reveal that Jake is in the office with him. He has decided to team up with the devil.

I should have known. Or so it appears. We have been down this path with Jake in the past only for Shonda to fake us out (418, 517-18, 605), so I’m expecting something similar to happen here. I’ll live in the moment though, and in so doing, I declare that Jake is trash.

Charlie is seen being dragged back into that interrogation room and this time, he is bloodier than he had been when he was brought out to speak with Lonnie. The person he is being summoned by this time is Jake, and Charlie assumes that Jake is there to free him, stating that it was about time that they figured out a way to get him out. Jake soon disabuses him of this belief, telling him that he isn’t there to free him. When Jake says nothing more, Charlie studies him for a moment and soon realizes that Jake has been got, too. (Supposedly.)

Jake says to him that they need him to take the deal. When Jake starts in about what will happen if Charlie doesn’t sign, Charlie sarcastically asks if they are going to torture him. He tells Jake to look at his face, and Jake has a hard time keeping his eyes on him. Charlie asks if he believes that there is anything else that these people could possibly do to him that they haven’t already done. And he wonders if Jake believes there is anything that he himself could do to make matters worse for him. (Chaaaaarlie….)

Jake replies then that what he would do wouldn’t be directly to Charlie, and realization hits Charlie too late. Jake says that his assignment is to make Charlie signs that confession by any means necessary. Charlie warns Jake not to go anywhere near Quinn and Jake tells him that he can’t put whatever happens next on him. He says that he doesn’t want to kill Quinn, that he actually likes her and that even Charlie is on his “nice list these days”, present circumstances notwithstanding. He states that he doesn’t want to make Robin an orphan, but that Cyrus has brought in his closer and so he is there to close. (I’ll be the happiest girl when Charlie kills him.)

Charlie argues that he can’t just take down a president as they are proposing, and Jake tells him that he can and will because he stood next to him at Quinn’s funeral and saw how much he loves her. He states that it is the “reason why rule number one is rule number one” of B613, and that is “no family”. Jake says that when they break rule number one, they lose control, and when that happens, somebody else seizes it. He states that in this situation, it is himself who is in control, that he has seized that which used to be Charlie’s. (Diiiiiiiie….) He declares that Charlie will sign the document or he won’t have any control as to when Quinn “goes in the ground”.

The following morning, Mellie wakes up purring with Marcus enveloping her in an embrace. (Note: this episode was given an “S” rating, but at the last minute, Marlie’s sexy was cut out. We know this because Darby tweeted about the moment, but we the audience didn’t see it. I ain’t even mad since because this ain’t the swirl hookup that I’ve been waiting on.)

I guess them cobwebs got cleaned out last night.

The two are being cute with each other in bed when Rachel knocks on the door and immediately enters without warning. She gets an eyeful and quickly turns away. (Hahaha! Sho wasn’t expecting to see that.) Mildly annoyed by the intrusion, Mellie asks Rachel what the matter is.

Mellie is next seen hurrying down the White House hallway and directly to Jake’s office. She informs him that Lonnie Mencken just served her with a subpoena because Charlie is claiming that she hired him. (Ah damn. Charlie signed.) Mellie goes on about how a man with no last name is accusing her of hijacking Cyrus’s plane and that people are actually believing him. Mellie says that something is very wrong here, something that is “very Cyrus Beene”.

She tells Jake that they (meaning he) immediately need to handle this, stating that they need to get rid of the special prosecutor and bury the subpoena, but Jake speaks up then in a drawl tone, stating that he doesn’t think Mellie’s plan is wise. Mellie is startled by his response and then steps closer up to his desk to ask him if he is hearing what she is saying. She says that POTUS has been served and that when the press gets wind of this, the stock markets will crash and polls will sink, and that the Administration will go down.

Jake interrupts then to say that it is actually Mellie who will be going down. He informs her that B613 no longer serves her and that he doesn’t believe it is wise for her to try to take on the special prosecutor without the organization backing her. He tells her that she and Olivia can take their chances. (Bitch….)

Mellie takes a step back and stares at Jake in disbelief. She mutters about how Olivia had been right about the whole thing and Jake being wrong. Mellie then goes on the attack, asking if Jake got his feelings hurt because a woman did his job(s) better than he did, or if this is all because she didn’t want to hold hands with him in the Oval. (LOL! It’s all of the above and more, Mel.) She frustratingly exclaims that she needs him right now, but Jake is closed off. He tells her that he tried to serve as her adviser and give her his loyalty, but that Mellie didn’t want that. He then wishes her luck and leaves the room.

Can a house drop on his already? UGH!

As Mellie predicted, word of the subpoena hit the news, and it’s hot ass mess. The gladiators are watching the report with Marcus, Olivia and Fitz in the latter’s office. They all look helpless.

Flashing slightly forward, Olivia is seen sitting alone in the reception area of the Grant Institute. She is clearly experiencing a moment of internal crisis as she bobs back and forth on her perch while pinching on the bridge of her nose. Huck comes out to join her, and like Fitz did earlier, he asks Olivia is she is okay. She looks up at Huck, but isn’t able to answer him.

Huck comes to sit down next to her and after a beat, Olivia apologizes to him. Huck says to her that they haven’t yet lost, and Olivia tells him that she isn’t talking about the Mellie situation. Huck replies that it was the old Olivia (this time he means the bad gyal Liv) who did all of those things, and that she is now gone. It is when he seeks confirmation from her of this being true that her phone starts to vibrate. Olivia looks down at her phone and is stunned by what she sees. She tells Huck that she has to go, but before she leaves, Huck has a few things to say to her.

Huck speaking to her is interspersed with Olivia stomping down one of the tunnels that is underneath the White House. Huck tells her that they have all done bad things and hurt people, and that it is what they do next that matters.

Over to the tunnels, Olivia makes it to her destination and finds Mellie waiting there for her. Mellie says that she needs her to do something for her and Olivia nods without hesitation. Mellie asks her to be her Command again and kill Cyrus!

Say what? Oh hell nah! This woman will not be pulling Olivia back down into the dark with these temptatious shenanigans of hers. No, no, and no. Olivia is a chaos fixing addict who should not be given back any part of the roles that he previously inhabited. Is this why Mellie supposedly missed Olivia? Because she handled everything? ARGH!

And you know something? Olivia made a damn big mistake in bringing B613 into the White House. It has NO BUSINESS there. It was never meant to operate under the same roof, let alone be at the beck and call of the President. Now you have Melody outchea talking about Olivia coming back to serve as her Command as if Command is there specifically to do as she needs of them.

Frankly, none of these mofos should even be in that House. Somebody find me Susan Ross STAT!

Anyway, my guess is that Olivia ain’t killing anybody. First of all, there are only three episodes left in this series, so, yeah. Second of all, she’s not about to take 10 steps back after having just apologized to Quinn AND Huck for her past betrayal. She’s heading back towards the light, baby! She’ll find some way to rectify this without resorting to murder. If she doesn’t, someone else will handle the situation instead. My bet is on Rowan and/or Charlie.

So what did you guys think of the episode? Good, bad, eh? Did you wish dead the same characters that I did or am I being a tad over dramatic with the death wishes? Answer carefully, people.

What do you anticipate will happen is set to happen next?? My guess is that she’ll make good with Mellie by offering her some apology. I assume that she’s good with Abby now and that nothing else will be forthcoming on that front. She may apologize to Jake because, you know, she has repeatedly bruised his second place ego. It would be to her benefit to admit that she used him as toy and that that wasn’t cool, even though his entry and constant presence in her life has brought her nothing but bad news. Charlie maybe? He deserves something. Even Marcus. Sheesh, she’s done a lot of people dirty. And last, but definitely not the least, will be Fitzgerald. That’s my guess anyway.

Get to chopping it up down in the Comments section below or tweet me your thoughts!

This is the conclusion of the recap-review of Scandal episode 715. (The last one was 714. My bad.) Thank you all so much for hanging with me and I will see you next week!!

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