Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating are respectively revered and despised so it was only a matter of time that they meet and we’re so glad that this day has finally come! SHOOK! Tonight’s TGIT crossover event is How to Get Away With Scandal, and it’s everything we needed our Thursday night TV session to be, especially as our lit Black History Month ends and gives way to Women’s History Month.
The first portion of the show is the Scandal hour. We pick back up at Olivia’s lecture. She is moonlighting as a professor since her people in Washington DC are done with her, and the lecture is about How to Survive a Scandal. Her students aren’t doing so well answering her questions, but Annalise fills in the gaps where they lack and Olivia is impressed.
Annalise shoots her shot at the end of the lecture. Olivia is not interested in taking the case at first, citing that she knows about Annalise is a hot mess and wishes her luck with the case. Annalise urges her to look the case over and think about it, and we all know what will happen. Olivia has been trash the past few episodes, but we know she’s about social justice too. She talks it over with Marcus and he obviously gives her the push she needs to move past Annalise’s past and give the case a shot. You already know how he feels about black and brown people in numbers at disproportionate rates. Prison reform for the win!
Olivia informs Annalise that she’s taking the case on, but she has to play by her rules now that she’s in DC. The problem is, Olivia is not on good terms with Mellie, who can get the case seen by the supreme court without a problem.
Olivia tries her luck with Fitz because you know his post-presidency work with the Fitzgerald Institute is about prison reform. He’s cold and distant, rightfully so. But Liv humbles herself and explains what she’s doing, and he gives her a much-needed pep talk and gets them a meeting with Mellie.
Now its Annalise, Olivia, Fitz, Michaela and Marcus meeting at the oval office. It’s cute to see Annalise’s excitement to be at the White House for the first time, but of course, she gets down to business. Unfortunately, Mellie decides to pass on the case because it would be a headache to pass it to the Supreme Court. It’s a huge case, judges resigning, there’s politics involved, and ain’t nobody willing to make time for that. Liv speaks to Mellie privately and asks her if she’s doing this just to spite her. Mellie says that she’s not shutting it down completely, but she wants to hold off for now. Liv accepts the challenge and tells her she’s going to get this case to the supreme court with or without her. Mellie tells her that she only took the meeting as a favor to Fitz and, if she does go around her then Liv will find herself an adversary of the White House vs. her current standing, which is that the public still views her favorable because they don’t know all that she did. Liv reminds her that this wouldn’t be her first time at the rodeo.
Game on. And it is going to be a major battle.
First, Jake gets Quinn to urge the gladiators to find dirt that can discredit judges and keep the case out of the Supreme Court by blackmail.
Meanwhile, Annalise expresses disappointment in Liv. But instead of just owning up to her mistakes, Liv makes Annalise think that Mellie isn’t sold on the case because of her past. This is the start of their frenemy tension and they continue to bump heads as they reconvene and figure out the next steps, and you know they both have sharp tongues. Michaela and Marcus are the only ones keeping them kind of level-headed for now.
At some point, Annalise asks Olivia where she can get her hair done and they end up at the beauty where they’re bonding at first, but their #BlackGirlJoy is stolen swiftly by a news story about how “sources” are saying that Olivia is only taking the case as a vendetta against Mellie because contrary to popular belief, she didn’t leave the White House on Good terms. This item is obviously a plant by the ops and the jig is up for Olivia. Liv asks the stylists to leave so they can talk and it gets ugly again. Annalise reads Olivia for filth for judging her and for thinking she’s better than her (since she grew up privileged), and says she’s no different than the racist white people she has to deal with in the courtroom. Then Liv gets her turn to berate Annalise. She calls her pathetic and broke. Lordt. Basically, they’re frenemies again and this is kind of serving jigaboos vs. wannabes from School Daze.
Olivia visits Quinn and tries to talk sense into her because Quinn really does what justice for people. Olivia reminds her that it’s important that she put her negative feelings toward her aside. Quinn plays hardball, but you know she’ll come around.
And through all of this, Olivia feels defeated, but it’s Fitz who talks her off the ledge and reminds her who she used to be, who she still is at her core.
Then Charlie gives Quinn dirt on Spivey, one of the Supreme Court judges, but hold that thought. Olivia’s next line of offense is a media tour. She has been appearing on various outlets with Annalise to talk about the case and she admits in an interview that she was fired by Mellie Grant without admitting that she’s a criminal. The admission is part of Olivia’s philosophy, which Annalise reminded her of, that the truth can be your greatest weapon. And it is. Unfortunately for them, Marcus delivers the news that Spivey won’t hear the case. Olivia apologizes Annalise but keeps up the good fight and luckily for her, Quinn is thinking about the 90 inmates who didn’t get a fair trial. She shows up at Olivia’s place and hands her an envelope.
The envelope contains the dirt. Basically, Spivey’s son killed someone in a hit and run years ago and Spivey paid off the witness to not speak about it. This means that the White House can control him with this secret. However, the witness Spivey paid off died two years ago so there’s still a chance to salvage this. Olivia pays him a visit, hands him the envelope, and encourages him to do the right thing. She’s not even trying to blackmail him here but she urges him to think about how he would feel if his son would have gone to trial. He would have wanted him to get the best representation. Those 90 people deserved that too.
The Supreme Court got the case on the docket.
Now that Olivia got Annalise what she wanted, they could part ways but they lowkey like each other and decide that they want to keep working on this together.
And then we get into the How to Get Away With Murder portion of this.
Annalise’s kids are headed to DC because they’re obviously super excited about this. Olivia and Annalise are hard at work on the case because they fight to win but there’s always a hater lurking in the shadows fighting harder. In this case, that would be Ingrid Egan, the opposing lawyer. She has been doing interviews talking reckless about Annalise and Olivia. She brings up their shady reputations and claims that they’re doing this case as a distraction, but it only ends up working in their favor and they even get offers of help from lawyers from the ACLU. Annalise denies the help, but Liv points out that if she loses this case it will set criminal justice reform back decades. Duh! And it’s important to mention that Nate’s father is the face of the case so he’s going to DC.
Pressure. Lots and lots of pressure.
Back in Philly, Frank tells Bonnie that Laurel’s mom told him that she paid Wes $100K to stay away from Laurel and he took the money. But, Frank says he can’t find electronic proof of the money. Hold that thought.
Michaela and Marcus finally end up getting it on. The chemistry between them has been undeniable, and at the trial, Connor, Oliver, and Laurel pick up on it and question her about what she did. She tells the truth but begs them not to tell Asher because it will destroy him. Connor can’t promise that he won’t because he’s feeling salty that Michaela took this case from her. Plus, all these people are messy so it’s going to come out at some point, but this ain’t the episode for that.
Annalise then gets a call from a blocked number. It’s Jacqueline (Isaac’s wife). It turns out that he overdosed, but he’s not dead, but his kidneys are failing and Jacqueline blames Annalise. Jacqueline tells Annalise that she ruined him just like she ruins everyone on her life and that is a major trigger. This is why we don’t answer blocked numbers.
Annalise is in the bathroom crying and freaked but Olivia gives her a Pope-style pep talk and gets her back in the game. Annalise gets down to business in the courtroom but the judges play hardball and aren’t feeling Nate’s father as the face of the case. As far as one judge, in particular, is concerned, Nate’s pops is just a criminal and not a victim. And then the judge gets really annoyed when Annalise says that race is a factor in this case. Statistics show that black and brown people are policed heavier and receive longer sentences for the same crimes as their white counterparts. When Annalise’s facts don’t work and the judge is close to dismissing her, Annalise asks for a break so that she can get herself together, and has Michaela research a specific case. It turns out that the case was a case based on race tried by the judge who was antagonizing her. Basically, his words in that particular case is that race can be an issue in certain legal situations because the legal system was not built in favor of certain people. Annalise uses these words against the judge, who even forgot that those were his words, and things start to look up as the other justices challenge him. Everyone on Annalise’s team, including Olivia looks proud.
Back in Philly, we discover that Frank went digging to find the cash and finds a hard drive instead. It contains audio of a convo between Wes and Laurel’s mom that proves Laurel’s mom is lying to her.
Finally, Olivia tells Annalise that she got a call from President Grant who says that the case might swing in their favor. Annalise says she’ll believe it when she sees it in writing and they part ways, but we all hope they keep in touch because they ended up bringing out the best in each other once they got through all the BS. But the bad news is also not far behind. Annalise gets another call, and it’s from Bonnie.
Simon is awake.
They all better pray that he has amnesia.
See you next week!