Army of One – RECAP
It’s Olivia v. the White House as Scandal returned last night. Facing termination, Liv prepares for war. Rowan and Quinn wait to see where the debris settles until making their next move. And OPA receives a client in a compromising situation.
Liv sees red when Mellie threatens her with termination. With no plans of leaving her post, Olivia orchestrates her revenge. First she snatches the power Jake thought he’d have at his disposal as the new Chief of Staff – B613. She reminds him he’ll never take Command.
While Olivia plays puppet master with the White House, Rowan and Quinn sit in the rafters watching everything play out. Quinn sees Liv without the power of the Oval behind her, thinking its the perfect time to strike. However Rowan views things differently.
As much as Quinn wants to settle justice for Rashad and protect her child, Rowan also feels the same sense of security for his daughter. In a harrowing scene, Rowan casually threatens Quinn’s child’s life in front of her, reminding her who is in charge.
Quietly Olivia plots her next move – chess to these amateurs’ checkers. The office formerly known as OPA receives a new client. Robert Bancroft, a middling State Department employee, being implicated in some Russia spy conspiracy (shade to their president). He swears he is innocent, even after withholding a truth about an affair.
When he reveals who the other woman is, Olivia sees blood in the water. It’s none other than Jake Ballard’s – NSA chief and candidate for Chief of Staff – wife. The story leaked to the media conflates Bancroft is a Russian spy who compromised Ballad’s wife for NSA secrets. It seems Liv has them pinned in checkmate, until Jake, Mellie and QAP devise a plan.
Mrs. Ballard sells the story that, yes, she did have an affair with Bancroft, only because she was working on behalf of the NSA. The switch works and sends Liv in a tizzy. Her next maneuver – get to Cyrus Beene.
Olivia persuades Cyrus to her side highlighting Mellie’s lack of true ability to do what’s necessary as POTUS. She also warns him how Jake will come for his position next. The fear of losing power works, turning the VP against his boss. With an accusation of obstruction of justice in the Bancroft case, Liv forces Mellie’s hand: to deflect impeachment Mellie must resign.
Tensions have bubbled to the surface back at the Pope residence. Seeing no other way out, Quinn bargains with Rowan. She promises not to seek vengeance on Olivia if he allows her, Charlie and their daughter to leave unharmed. Rowan’s softened heart agrees, and allows Quinn to leave. But when Charlie stops by looking for her, Rowan realizes he’s been duped.
Quinn with daughter in tow visits an old friend – Olivia. Frightened to see Quinn alive, Olivia pleads her case. Quinn doesn’t want to hear it as she brandishes a gun. She wanted Olivia to see her goddaughter one time before the end. With her life on the line, Olivia begins to stall insisting if Quinn shoots her, a litany of B613 snipers station around her apartment will kill her. Calling her bluff Quinn goes to shoot, but never gets a shot off. A random bullet pierces the window, brazing Olivia on the arm.
Bloodied and wounded Olivia waves her white flag paying her father a visit. He stitches her arm back to normal, explaining how none of this would happen if Olivia had just returned his bones. With all bridges burned, Liv finally admits defeat. The next morning Olivia announces her resignation from Mellie Graham’s administration.
An excellent episode that acts as a backdoor to the highly-anticipated TIGT crossover event. Olivia Pope meets Annalise Keating March 1.