Olivia and company thought they were just going to move forward with Mellie as president like nothing happened, but Olivia gets word that Peus has set up 9 armed drones around major cities in the United States, and if he doesn’t get what he wants—control of Mellie Grant then the drones will go off at random. One goes off in Dallas before the conversation ends just so Olivia knows it’s real.
Liv goes to see her dad and all he wants to do drink with her before he skips town. Olivia begs him not to leave, but he’s not into being a puppet so he’d rather be out.
Jake pays Samantha (the female agent) a visit try to offer her immunity if she snitches on Peus’ whereabouts. You know that’s not going to happen, though. Instead, she reveals that Peus knows where she is at all times because she’s valuable to his team and if she goes missing he will know where she is. In fact, the only way she disappears is from someone’s bullet, either Peus’ or theirs. This information is part of what Jake is looking for so he cuts her neck open and removes a tracking device. This is Jake, he knows the tricks.
Huck is on the technical side to try to figure out where the drones are with no luck. Peus calls Olivia again and demands Mellie and Samantha] or Philly gets it. Olivia does not negotiate with terrorists so Philly gets the D (d for drone, that is). Fitz and Olivia once again scramble to try to talk some sense into Rowan again.
Rowan is shook and really just wants to get out of doge with Olivia. It’s the only way he feels he can protect her. Obviously, this conversation doesn’t go well. Rowan reads Fitz for filth again. You know how that goes. Nothing gets accomplished. Olivia is freaked out because she has never seen him like this and asks what they did to him. Later on Olivia finds out that Rowan received a package from Peus not too long before this started happening so Olivia taps Huck for surveillance. In the footage, we see Rowan opening the box and it’s not clear what’s in the box at first, but he gets freaked out. Eventually, Rowan tosses the box and a brick comes out. Later on, Rowan reveals to Fitz one-on-one that the brick represents Olivia’s severed head. It’s a message for him to stay in Peus’ pocket, a message he has received.
Back to Jake and Samantha Jake makes up a lie saying they have Peus and that she’s screwed if she doesn’t sign a deal in exchange for names. She agrees, but then Rosen messes it up. Rosen is the one who gives her the deal to sign. You know she and Rosen were a couple, so it’s hard for him to keep a straight face with her. She tries to bait him by claiming she wants to start over, yatta yatta. Rosen, who was explicitly told not to engage with her, engages with her anyway, and she figures out that this is all a bluff.
The current death toll is at 63 thus far, and the army informs can’t strike the drones just yet without even worse collateral damage so Fitz is upset and even considers giving in to the terrorists. Olivia tells him not to and that’s when Rowan comes in and asks for a moment with the president. He starts with an apology (and hell freezes over), and then says he thinks he knows how to make Samantha talk.
When Rowan gets to Samantha’s cell, he pulls out a gun, shoots one of the guards, and says that he’s leaving with her if she can guarantee his immunity from Peus and allow him to disappear. Samantha says she doesn’t have the authority to give him immunity, but she can get him off the hook if he takes her with him. That’s good enough for him. Olivia yells after him and he reminds her that he told her that he would run, but she’s hardheaded. And we’re all like…
Finally, Rowan brings Samantha back to Peus and demands to be freed. Peus congratulates him and says he’s emancipated and they leave him alone. Rowan then calls Fitz and we flash back to Rowan’s one-on-one convo with Fitz. This is a set up. He told Fitz that he’d gain Samantha’s trust and set the big payback in motion. Cut to Jake, who finds Peus and executes him and then to Rowan, back at his museum sanctuary, who gets the honor of assassinating Samantha.
Rowan Pope saves the world.
‘Scandal’ Recap: Olivia Pope Declares What Will Be A Short-Lived Victory