Scandal is back, and the election is looking good for Mellie, pending the results from San Benito, California. But you already know how this world works, so it’s not a shock when Frankie Vargas did what is seemingly impossible by becoming the 45th President of the United States. Mellie believes this is the result of voter tampering and demands a recount, but Liv urges her to concede. Mellie and Liv are devastated, and it puts most of us in our feelings because it reminds us of real life in some ways and makes you think about Hillary Clinton’s situation.
This is historic in Scandal world (and would be in real life too) because we’ve got the first Latino President. Let’s also be reminded, though, that Cyrus is the Vice President. Laaawd help us all.
Mellie and Liv are drinking their sorrows away only to be alarmed by news that Frankie Vargas has been shot. We’re already thinking that this assassination attempt was either Cyrus’ call or Rowan Pope’s comeback, but there’s a fall guy in fed custody—and it’s not Jake. They caught some deranged man who seems to have acted alone. Vargas doesn’t die yet, but Olivia finds out that his condition isn’t good (we later find out that Huck voted for Vargas and is saddened by this).
Cut to Abby at the hospital watching Vargas’ wife cry over him right before he flatlines. It’s sad because you know that Vargas was one of the good ones, he definitely didn’t deserve that, and he probably would have been a great president.
David tells Fitz that Mellie may still have a chance to become president because Vargas won the popular vote, and because they’re still waiting for the electoral college votes in December, Fitz has the power to call the winner. That winner could still be Mellie.
Olivia goes to see her dad and find out if he ordered the hit. Rowan Pope says he didn’t, but he did think about it, and that’s believable because we know how Papa Pope does. He then goes on a tirade/lecture to Olivia for allowing herself to lose to Cyrus, and for not allowing him to help her win like he offered. Read between the lines here. Olivia doesn’t think Cyrus would order Frankie Vargas’ assassination because “Cyrus loves Frankie,” but Rowan Pope begs to differ (and you know Papa Pope be knowing).
Olivia informs Mellie that Cyrus may have been in on it, but she wants Mellie to still try to make a play for the White House. Mellie has a meltdown and feels like the White House is cursed. Fitz got shot there, she lost her marriage there, and her son died there. Olivia doesn’t care that Mellie is done with the White House because she’s not done. Letter on, Mellie actually changes her mind and tells Fitz she still wants it.
Fitz delays making the announcement about Frankie because he realizes that it would look shady if he backs Mellie now. Liv gives Fitz the Cyrus theory, but Fitz doesn’t buy it. Meanwhile, the gladiators are at work, trying to figure out what’s really going on, but they have trouble finding proof that Cyrus is involved. At the moment, the person detained is still a lone wolf. Olivia doesn’t buy it though, so she heads to the hospital to speak to Cyrus only to find Cyrus in shock. He’s in a catatonic state, staring off into space, mumbling incoherent things with a big blood splatter on his shirt.
Fitz then goes to see Cyrus at the hospital, who is still in shock, but kind of snapped out of it, to tell him to uphold Frankie’s values in the office and to be better than he was as a president. Cyrus gets America, like he always wanted, and pledges to take care of it.
The Gladiator team gets wind of the fact that they missed something — a call on the FBI tip line about what happened to Vargas was deleted (someone hacked into the server and deleted it before investigations began). They recovered that call. It’s a tip from a woman — who is now dead — who tipped them off that it was Cyrus who did it after all. Olivia paid him a visit at the end of the episode to congratulate him on his acting chops and to inform him that he’s going down once she can prove it.
The only good thing that came out of this episode is that Charlie proposed to Quinn and she said yes — and that might not even be a good thing.
Either way, in this bizzaro world, happiness is fleeting, but we’ll meet back here next week for more drama.