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WashingTelevision: Scandal Recap, Season Two, Episode Five, “All Roads Lead to Fitz”

Cyrus and Huck meet their respective matches, and the conspiracy plot gets even twistier.

Power players meet at the shady round table. Photograph by Ron Tom/ABC.

We open where we left off last week—at the shady round table meeting with Olivia, the Supreme Court justice (whose name, I finally discovered, is Verna), Hollis Doyle, Cyrus, and FLOTUS. Doyle exposits that if Jerk Jeremy finds a connection between Doyle Energy and Cytron, where Quinn’s ex worked, all of the people at that table are going to jail fo lyfe. Doyle suggests he can “take care of it” like he did last time (read: with a bomb), and FLOTUS says he shouldn’t even say something like that in her presence. Olivia says she’ll take care of it—which she does by getting Verna to pull some strings and get JJ reinstated at his job, on the condition that he forget about his whole Olivia Pope/conspiracy theory thing.

JJ, meanwhile, meets with a guy at the “Griddle Cafe” who claims he has information about the explosion at Cytron. JJ thinks this guy is going to say Doyle was behind the explosion, but instead the guy tells him the bomb was the worst thing that could happen to Doyle because Cytron had been hired to fix a hole in Doyle’s firewall and left it half-fixed. JJ looks crestfallen. It’s so obvious this guy is a plant (and that this scene was filmed in Los Angeles), but JJ goes back to his job, anyway.

The Dream Team get called to the home of the governor of Maryland, who has shot and killed his contractor, whom he believed was raping his wife. The governor hates Olivia because two years before, he ran for the party nomination against El Prez and was on track to beat him, until Il Papa came on the scene. Still, he needs a “fixer” and so is willing to constrain his hatred to passive aggressive comments while she helps him. What at first seems like a straightforward case gets twisty as the Dream Team find out a) the governor has only had the gun he used to shoot the contractor (who basically looks like a brunet Fabio) for two days rather than years as he claimed, and b) the governor was drunk at the time. Oh, and also the governor’s wife wasn’t actually being raped—she’d been having an affair with Fabio but panicked when they were discovered and screamed rape. Classy. Also predictable. When the press gets wind of the affair, it looks like both the governor and the missus are headed for jail, until she decides to fall on her sword to protect her husband. She tells Olivia that after he lost the election he lost all hope, and she gave up on him and their marriage—but now she’s willing to go to jail to save him. Il Papa thinks she’s doing the right thing, but when the governor goes to make a statement to the press, she finds photos on his desk of the governor’s wife and Fabio (under, like, two pieces of paper on his desk—I mean, REALLY?), proving he knew about the affair. As mustache-twirling TV bad guys are wont to do, when she confronts him, he spills his whole dastardly plot: He was going to kill Fabio, then his wife, then himself. But then she screamed rape—“such a beautiful word,” he says—and he saw how he could get a second chance. Now his approval ratings are through the roof, meaning he can run for any office he wants, and if Il Papa gives him up and he goes to jail it’ll ruin her professional reputation. “It’s amazing what this feels like,” he says to Il Papa’s shell-shocked face. “Like winning.” All he needs is a white cat and some sort of facial scar and he’s basically a Bond villain.

At the White House, FLOTUS complains to Cyrus that she will no longer attend meetings of the Shady Round Table, and he tells her she most certainly will. He said she wanted a seat at the table, and “that’s the table”—the actual table, you guys. He also says that while El Prez is out of the country she is to fly so far under the radar that were her water to break she should change her pants and cross her knees, because he doesn’t want any attention diverted from El Prez’s work. “All roads lead to Fitz,” he says. He comes out the winner in that situation—but not so much with his husband, a.k.a. Ira Glass Lite, who has resumed his job as part of the White House press corps because Cyrus won’t give him a baby. Cyrus is none too thrilled, especially since IGL is hell-bent on making Cyrus’s life miserable. He tries to convince IGL to leave his job, to which IGL replies, “You must be hiding some very dirty laundry.” This should be interesting.

Senator Davis is bringing his A-game to asking out Olivia (causing Harrison to whip out his mental Moleskine and take notes), but she keeps turning him down. Eventually he points out she always says no but never tells him to stop. She tells him she doesn’t want him to, but she’s just not ready to say yes. It’s mildly charming.

After fighting with IGL, Cyrus sulks off to Olivia’s house, where they adorably snuggle on the couch with wine and talk about their problems. She spills the beans on the governor’s deception, to which he says, “We owe him one.” They do? He asks about Senator Davis. He wants to know why she’s hesitating, and by her silence, he infers that “all roads lead to Fitz.” They both say it, like, four times. We get it.

Also experiencing some romantic drama is Huck. His twitchy AA fan steamrollers him into asking her out, then writes her phone number on his hand in pen, because that’s a thing people still do. He goes to ladeez man Harrison for advice, and the rest of the Dream Team chime in with terrible advice (Quinn recommends he order her a nice glass of wine, which is a fantastic idea for two people who met in AA. Stop being terrible, Quinn). Abby sees the phone number in pen on his hand and goes to type it into a computer, where she sees a note about JJ’s meeting at the Griddle Cafe and figures out the guy was a plant. Huck and his lady end up at the fanciest restaurant in DC, where they awkwardly drink ginger ale and try to puzzle out what bouillabaisse is. But all’s not lost—they end up in the car outside a family’s home. Huck apparently likes to stalk[strike through] observe them from outside, and tells AA girl every detail of their life. Instead of running screaming from the car, she makes out with him.

Abby takes her information about the plant straight to JJ, and tells him one of the programs Quinn’s boyfriend worked on at Cytron was ostensibly used for slot machines but was actually used for voting machines. “You did the right thing coming to me,” says JJ. But turns out his apartment is bugged, and Il Papa is hearing every word of it. “You want me to notify the others?” says the tech guy. “No,” says Olivia with a steely face. “This one I handle alone.”

Some thoughts:

Apparently Doyle is responsible for getting everyone at the Shady Round Table exactly what they wanted, though it’s unclear how. Also unclear to me is exactly why so many people were willing to go to great lengths to get a lovestruck frat boy elected President.

The most interesting part of the evil governor plot is that it shows the ripple effects of Olivia’s constant machinations. Her part in getting El Prez elected indirectly resulted in a man dying and a woman going to jail. How much longer can she continue to see herself as the good guy?

What is going on with Huck’s lady friend? Obviously she’s not who she says she is, because no one ever is.

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

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