Tonight’s episode of Scandal begins with a young woman buying a gun. Then we see Olivia seeking help from Abby. She explains what Cyrus is up to, but Abby is not thrilled to hear from her. Abby is torn, she’s still rightfully upset with Olivia, but also wants to find the good in her again. There’s also the fact that if people hear that Abby has been consorting with Olivia then they might cut her off too.
Marcus is the only one who will actually talk to Olivia, and in the middle of their most recent pow wow, a man named Gary shows up and asks for help finding his daughter, Alicia. Apparently, Alicia was inspired by Olivia and wanted to follow in her footsteps so she attended college in DC and even got an internship at a Congressman’s office. Olivia initially wanted to turn him down, but there’s still a part of her that likes to fight for the underdog. Olivia is on the case, with Marcus and Fitz’s help.
Upon their research, Olivia and company delve into a sordid underworld of sexual extortion. Basically, there’s a “fresh meat list” that involves female staff. The women on this list are forcefully encouraged to sleep with and perform sexual favors for powerful men if they want to get ahead in their careers. The ones who don’t comply get blacklisted. Alicia didn’t play the game, according to another male staffer, and the rest is obviously downhill, but Alicia is still missing.
Meanwhile, we see Cyrus and his co-conspirator chatting about the Olivia Pope problem. They know she’s on to him. The co-conspirator is freaking out, but Cyrus urges him to keep doing his job and that he will handle Olivia Pope.
Finally, there’s bad news. Alicia’s body turns up and it’s a suicide. The theory is that she killed herself because she lost her job after declining to perform sexual favors, and you know the rest. This is enough for Olivia to get her passion back, full throttle, and she tries to convince one of Alicia’s former co-workers, who was also on the “fresh meat list” to be the whistleblower on this disgusting situation. The co-worker went a different route from Alicia, if you catch my drift, so she got her promotion. But obviously, whistleblowing would be quite embarrassing for her, so we’ll have to see what she decides in the long run.
The gladiators come to a theory that Cyrus hacked his own plane and obviously they’re confused because why would he do that to himself. Abby confirms this theory is correct, but once they hear that Abby got this tea from Olivia, they do not want to hear anything else Abby has to say. It’s cool though, Abby is still secretly in Liv’s corner and knows that they will figure out a way to prove that Cyrus did this.
Another interesting tidbit is that Mellie and Jake are getting closer.
Nothing has happened yet, but Jake lowkey tried to shoot his shot with a suggestive placement of his hand. Mellie shut him down, for now. We’ll probably revisit this before the season ends.
Alicia’s old co-worker decides to do the right thing by blowing the whistle, word to Too Short. This leads to other female Capitol Hill staffers coming forward and putting the whole dirty operation on blast.
Mellie Grant announces that she is going to tackle the issue of workplace sexual harassment even if it means taking a hit to her popularity among the DC boys club.
Abby stops by Olivia’s place to check on her and it’s almost like old times. They cap their meeting with Olivia telling Abby that she won’t stand by as these power hungry men try to push Mellie out of office. Abby says she’s in. Actually, her quote is, “You had me at dismantling the patriarchy.”
Finally, Huck discovers that the virus came from Charlie’s IP address. Quinn confronts Charlie about this and he claims that he’s not working for Cyrus and has nothing to do with the hijacking. He says someone put the virus on his laptop. Quinn believes him and tries to get him out of there, but it’s too late. The FBI shows up and then Rosen announces, on the news, that they have a suspect.
Rosen recuses himself from the case since he was on the plane. Then Lonnie Macon, who turns out to be Cyrus’ co-conspirator that we saw earlier, steps in to take over the case for Rosen.
Cyrus is a genius.
But he’s not smarter than Olivia plus, his karma is coming. Game on.