Tonight’s episode of Scandal marks the 100th episode. Big deal, much? Yes! It starts with Olivia, Jake and Fitz trying to figure out how to get Abby immunity, but also how to figure out how to clear Cyrus’ name and deal with these agents who engineered Frankie Vargas’ death. Jake says that if killing them isn’t an option (because you know he went there) then perhaps they just give them what they want and let Mellie become president. But then, would that mean that Cyrus remains in jail? Fitz isn’t with the idea. He wants them to clear Cyrus and get to the bottom of things. You know Olivia really wants Mellie in the White house, but she also loves Cyrus, so she’s conflicted. Fitz tells her to really think about this so she goes off, and then the episode delves into an alternate universe, via Olivia’s mind, showing us what life would have been had Defiance never happened.
For starters, Fitz never would have become president. Fitz leaves Mellie and gets married to Olivia. In this life, Olivia is still a fixer, but with nowhere near as much power as she has in real life. Abby, Huck and David Rosen are the gladiators while Quinn is a reality TV star. Seriously, she’s a contestant on a show similar to The Bachelor, one of Huck’s guilty pleasures. Fitz retires as a politician, but because TV commentator with his own show, The Grant Report. Cyrus and Mellie end up getting married, but Cyrus is on the down low!
At one point James Novak visits Mellie and Cyrus at home to interview them because Mellie put her bid in for president. At one point in the interview, Mellie stepped away for a second and that’s when James confronts Cyrus about being in the closet and denying their secret relationship. Mellie overheard that convo. Looks like she still can’t catch a break, even in an alternate universe.
Fitz and Olivia’s marriage is not without problems, though. Olivia is still putting work before home because she is still seduced by obtaining as much power as possible. She also still has her old apartment, where the gladiators work until she eventually gets office space, while Fitz is pushing for them to buy a home. Fitz is no fool and he sees that she’s power hungry, and it pisses him off. Fitz reveals that he’s irritated that Mellie plans to run for president, but Olivia is all for it. That’s when Fitz really gets angry because he realizes that if Mellie wins then that’s Olivia’s in in the White House. For context, Olivia has been working with Marcus on his prison reform lobbying. They both realize they need a White House connect in order to make real move. So, of course Olivia would be happy to have Mellie in office! Unfortunately, that is a source of many contension between Fitz and Olivia. During one particularly ugly argument, Fitz Olivia of sleeping with Marcus (they’re not, but there is an underlying sexual tension) and being power hungry and only marrying him because of the lure of the White House. Olivia then reveals that she could have made him president (two years ago) but talked them out of rigging Defiance. Fitz tells her she should have done it, but he doesn’t really mean that. He’s a wreck behind Olivia and really just wants to live a peaceful life. You know, Vermont-style.
Mellie’s opponent in the primary is Sallie Langston and when Cyrus obtains photos of Sallie Langston’s husband having an affair with a man, Cyrus wants to leak it. However, Mellie is no fool. She refuses to allow the leak and informs Cyrus that it wouldn’t be a good for obvious reasons.
Meanwhile, Abby tells Olivia that she should just file divorce from Fitz since they both seem miserable. Fitz interviewed Quinn, who by this point has been dubbed, “America’s Sweetheart,” on his show. It becomes apparent that Quinn, like any reality star, really just wants to be fames. She later slipped in to Fitz’s dressing room and they almost got it on. They have a heated make out session and Quinn makes her way downtown, but Fitz stops it before things get really out of control.
Back to Mellie and Cyrus. Cyrus takes it upon himself to leak the photos anyway. Mellie confronts him and he basically tells her that she knew what it was from jump. She knew their marriage was a sham and that if she divorces him, she’d never survive it politically.
The episode concludes with Fitz and Olivia finally having a tame chat. Fitz tells Olivia that he’s glad she talked them out of defiance and that he’s happy to be free. He tells Olivia that he still wants her if she’ll have him. In turn, Olivia tells him that she still wants him by giving him a photo of the home she bought for them.
At the end of the episode, we flash back to the present with Fitz asking Olivia if she made a decision. She says she’s in.
Operation #FreeCyrus is in full effect next week.