Tensions are higher than usual this episode of Scandal because Rowan is free and everyone is scared. Olivia is afraid of Fitz finding out that she’s the reason why her dad is out, Rowan is scared for his life, and Navid is scared too because he’s a snitch. Who is Navid? We’ll get there…
In the opening scene, we see that Liv’s fear of Fitz finding out has come true as Fitz interrogates her in a cell about her involvement in releasing Rowan.
But let’s back up to just two days before to Liv’s arrest when it was still all good. Liv and Fitz are at a fancy dinner full of diplomats and powerful people, where most of the powerful people in the room are gushing over how amazing Olivia Pope is, and you realize that Olivia has been running the country this entire time. Actually, Rowan and Olivia really run the United States and UOENO. Anyway, Liv meets Navid, from the fictional country of Bandar, and he asks her to help him get asylum after dropping a dime on Lazarus 1. We don’t know what Lazarus one is just yet, but it ain’t good.
After the dinner, Liv gets a visit from Papa Pope, who tells her that he’s being hunted (by Jake, of course, all the rest of the B6-13 goons he abused and brainwashed, and various other people). In a rare soft and pink moment he tells Liv that he is proud of the woman she has become and that he’s not the devil she thinks he is. Most of his antics have been about protecting her and the country. He seems genuinely afraid, but we’ve seen him play Olivia before, so you never know.
Later on, Abby tells Liv that Cyrus is working with David Rosen behind Fitz’s back to find her dad, but her main concern is still Fitz finding out what she did. Liv tries to get Jake to fall back on his search, but Jake basically tells her to go eff herself–not in those words–but the sentiment is there because he’s still heartbroken. Think about it, Liv broke his heart several times, and then he finally gets his wife back only for her to be murdered by Rowan, which is technically Olivia’s fault since she let Rowan out. So, yeah, he’s definitely no longer interested in keeping hope alive that he and Olivia will one day stand in the sun again. Truthfully, he is too good for her.
Back to Lazarus 1…
Huck and Jake realize that someone activated it and seem to be mildly panicked. Earlier in the episode, Liv asked Huck what Lazarus 1 was and he played dumb. Eventually, we learn that Lazarus 1 involves the Bandar president sanctioning espionage against the United States, nuclear weapons, and all that wild ish that can lead to war.
Meanwhile, Fitz is supposed to sign an epic deal with the Bandar president, but Olivia realizes that it’s probably best to put the kibosh on whatever this Lazarus 1 situation is first.
Finally, we’re at the point where FBI agents arrest Olivia for aiding the escape of a prisoner. Cyrus is thrilled (like the hater that he is), but it’s like, why hasn’t he figured out that them Popes are tricksy, and that Liv will be free soon enough? She’s never going to get out of his way. Ever. Anyway, we’re back to the point where Fitz is questioning Liv about whether it’s true or not. She goes into the details about people trying to kill her dad over a musical montage of “Be my Baby.” You can’t actually hear what Liv is saying during the scene, but you get the gist of it, and based on Fitz’s dramatic reactions we know he’s not taking it well. She tearfully pleads with him not to go, but he leaves and it’s a wrap…siiiiiiiike. Fitz is mad for like, 12 hours, but eventually caves and gives Olivia her freedom. Actually, he forgave her so much that he moved her into the White House while she was gone, much to her horror. Let me make this clear, before she was officially free, Fitz had his folks take it upon themselves to go into Liv’s house, pack up her clothes and move it all into the White House. If that ain’t crazy, I don’t know what is…but we’ll deal with this next week because you know Liv ain’t trying to live that first lady life. As much as she does love Fitz, she also loves her freedom, and being followed around 24/7 by Secret Service is not the life she imagined.
Fitz signs the historic treaty with the Bandari president and smoothly informs him that the jig is up with Lazarus 1. He knows about the spying and Bandar’s base of espionage in the U.S. has been destroyed. But they did sign the deal though, so they’re good. And Navid didn’t die, by the way.
We end on Papa Pope tied up in a chair with Huck preparing to go in and do what he does best. Prepare for another, “What the Huck?” moment next week. But like…could this really be the end of Rowan “I AM The Hell And High Water” Pope?