WashingTelevision: Scandal Recap, Season Two, Episode 21, “Any Questions?”

We find out who the mole is, and Cyrus holds the least informative press conference ever.

By: Tanya Pai

Well. With just one episode left in season two, we finally find out who the mole is—and I can honestly say I did not see that coming. Then again, that’s because the mole turned out to be a character I thought was killed off in season one, so maybe I haven’t been paying close enough attention. To the recap!

After FLOTUS’s announcement last week that El Prez had been stamping his presidential seal on another woman’s envelope, Cyrus is desperately trying to do damage control. He holds a press conference in which all he says, over and over, that the state of El Prez’s marriage is a “private matter.” He’s filled El Prez and Olivia in on the situation, and once they actually get out of bed, she’s in fixer mode, but El Prez tells her to stand down. “I made a decision, and I will deal with it,” he says. He wants to handle everything on his own, and she seems charmed by his forcefulness, and they’re both as giddy as adolescents. It’s kind of cute.

Mellie, meanwhile, is interviewing a fixer of her own, a creepy guy who looks like a less attractive Tom Cruise. He asks her for total honesty, but she tells him she’s going to do whatever is in her best interest—which includes keeping the name of El Prez’s mistress to herself for the time being.

Cyrus goes nuclear on Ira Glass Lite for doing the interview with FLOTUS, and James is all, How many scoops of the century do you want me to give up? “This was my big break,” he says, and Cyrus laughs in his face and calls him naive. He brutally says that FLOTUS got IGL that job to hurt both him and El Prez, and James is too stupid to understand that. He leaves IGL alone, eyes full of tears. Divorce him, IGL!

Olivia gets back to HQ, where the Dream Team are still trying to figure out who the mole is. Olivia first goes to her safe to make sure the memory card from the Cytron voting machine is still inside, and Abby finally admits to Jerk Jeremy that she stole it, to which he’s like, Duh. They think the mole is VP Sally for, like, one minute, but then hacked into her computer and saw someone logged on looking at Albatross files while she was doing a televised press conference, so they know it’s not her. JJ, who announces he’s part of the team now, keeps making cracks about how the President “banged someone,” and everyone else has awkward face. Harrison tries to convince Olivia she needs to let him take care of her. “You’re not the fixer here—you’re the problem,” he says. Instead, Olivia, who’s weirdly calm and happy, just tells him to focus on the mole investigation.

Next up on the list of things giving Cyrus a hernia: El Prez’s announcement that he is not going to seek another term (which at this point seems like a pretty good idea). Cyrus appeals to him, and when that doesn’t work he tries Olivia. He meets her in their favorite park and tells her if VP Sally (who pops up briefly to misquote the bible and verbally spar with Cyrus) gets her claws into the Republican party their rights will be impinged upon. “If I really thought this is what he wanted, I would fight to the death to give it to him,” he says. But Il Papa is unmoved. As she leaves, Ballard’s creepy boss comes up. Turns out Ballard’s whole mission was to get between El Prez and Olivia, and now his boss wants Cyrus to show El Prez the tape of Olivia and Ballard having kitchen sex. He also wants Cyrus to have no further contact with Charlie, whom he says used be one of his guys.

And where is Ballard? After turning over the tape to his boss (I really should learn this guy’s name—anyone know it?), he tries to track Charlie from his favorite doughnut place but loses him. Charlie first calls Cyrus for help, who shuts him down, then goes to HQ to ask Olivia to hire him. Instead, she turns him over to Huck to find out who the mole could be. Charlie writes the name of the mole on a piece of paper and, after eating another of his favorite doughnuts, is prepared to die—but Quinn stops Huck right as he’s about to shoot him in the head, repeating the line he used on her when she wanted to get revenge on Hollis Doyle.

El Prez has decided he’s going to make a speech announcing he won’t run for reelection, and Cyrus is so exhausted he basically gives up. “We’re not supposed to be here anyway,” El Prez points out as they’re in the Oval Office, and they joke about how it’s been a hell of a ride (with some action in the backseat). Cyrus goes to ask a staffer to get the papers El Prez filed for candidacy, but she says El Prez never signed them.

So Cyrus goes to tell Olivia, and she shows up at the White House to talk to El Prez. “Were you planning to run or not?” she asks him, and he says it doesn’t matter, but she has a different opinion: that Defiance destroyed his confidence and made room for all the negative ideas his father planted in his head, and he doesn’t think he can win an election on his own. “If you give up your chance to run again I’ll blame myself, and someday so will you,” she says. “Take back your chance. Run and win.” FLOTUS, meanwhile, has tasked Ugly Tom Cruise with getting a copy of El Prez’s statement, but she knows her husband well enough to know he won’t throw away all his hopes and dreams.

And sure enough, when El Prez takes the podium, he announces that his marriage is none of the press’s business, and oh, by the way, four more years for Fitz! Olivia and Cyrus both look delighted, but when he leans over and whispers, “I know what you’re giving up,” her face falls.

Huck and Quinn arrive back at HQ, and everyone wants to know whether they got the mole’s name. Except for Harrison, who has bad news: The Cytron memory card has been stolen from the safe Olivia had it in. JJ suggests that Charlie stole it, since he was alone in the office for a bit, and Harrison says at least Huck killed him. Then Quinn admits they let him go—but they know who the mole is! So who is it? It’s . . . Billy Chambers? Yep, our favorite psychotic, murderous VP chief of staff has been behind the whole thing. We see a shot of Killer Billy in a limousine getting handed the memory card. “Nice,” he says as the camera pans to his companion, who is—Jerk Jeremy.

Some thoughts:

So, uhh, I guess I was wrong about Charlie killing Billy in that elevator. My bad!

Ballard’s boss instructs him to stay “as close to Miss Pope as possible.” Is the intent just to keep El Prez in the White House? Or does Olivia serve some kind of larger purpose?

“That’s not from the bible—not everything is from the bible.” Snappy, sarcastic Cyrus is my favorite Cyrus; unforgivably-mean-to-IGL Cyrus is not.

What do we think is in the black folder Olivia gave Harrison as a “last resort”?

Jerk Jeremy is so sneaky! Is he out for revenge? And will he have the resources (and the cojones) to bring down the Dream Team once and for all?

What did you think of last night’s Scandal? Let us know in the comments.