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WashingTelevision: Scandal Recap, Season Two, Episode 12, “Truth or Consequences”

Everyone spills some secrets, and FLOTUS plays her trump card.

The Dream Team frantically searches for information tying Hollis Doyle to the attempt on El Prez’s life. Photograph by ABC/Danny Feld.

A lightning-pace episode finally gets some of those secrets everyone’s carrying around
out in the open. Jerk Jeremy proceeds with his case against Doyle, El Prez proceeds
with his plans to divorce his wife, and Olivia continues to stomp all over poor Senator
Davis’s heart. To the recap—this week organized by plot point.

El Prez Wants Out

The still-pregnant Mellie goes to see Cyrus and whisper-yells at him that El Prez
wants to divorce her. “Is he insane?” asks Cyrus. So he goes to see El Prez and, quite
reasonably, explains that because they’re “not French,” El Prez cannot kick his nine-months-pregnant
wife out of the White House and move in his mistress, who, btdubs, might not be the
kind of person his Republican constituents have in mind as First Lady. But after El
Prez’s near-death experience he’s insistent that A) he will divorce FLOTUS, and B)
he will remain President afterward, and demands that Cyrus make it happen. (Maybe
I should change his nickname to Il Duce.) Meanwhile he calls Olivia, who is in bed
practically catatonic with guilt, and tells her to wait for him. Instead she tells
him Senator Davis proposed, then hangs up on him. Oh, dear.

Cyrus tells Mellie El Prez is serious about the divorce, which will be “political
suicide.” Mellie complains that she found El Prez, cleaned him up, listened to him
blather about his hopes and dreams—in short, she did all the work and is not about
to let Olivia reap all the benefits. So they team up to change his mind—Cyrus by showing
him a survey that shows his approval rating dropping to 10 percent in the event of
a divorce, and Mellie by . . . going into labor a month early so her husband remembers
how close they were when they had their other two children. El Prez is about to go
visit Olivia “in broad daylight” when he gets the news—so instead he shows up at the
hospital, kisses her on the forehead, and calls her “champ,” just like he did during
her previous two births. Point: Team FLOTUS.

The Dream Team Tells All

Hey, Quinn does something useful for once! She and the rest of the Dream Team are
gathered at HQ, and she says obviously their “do what Olivia says with no questions”
strategy is no longer working. Instead, she suggests they just lay all their cards
on the table, with no judgment and no repercussions. So finally the truth comes out:
Quinn knows Huck was the one who drugged her, schlepped her to DC, and created her
new identity to save her from being framed for the Cytron bombing. Abby knows Doyle
arranged the Cytron bombing because she and Jerk Jeremy figured it out, and by the
way, she was sleeping with Jerk Jeremy, who wanted to have Quinn executed. Abby also
knows Doyle used voting machine rigging software, but Huck, by way of nonverbal cues,
fills them in that the rigging had nothing to do with the natural gas pipeline he
wanted to build, as Abby thought. So why hasn’t Olivia turned Doyle in? When the Dream
Team recalls Olivia and Doyle met during El Prez’s campaign, they put two and two
together. Secrets that didn’t come out: Harrison and Olivia lied to break up Abby
and Jerk Jeremy. Olivia used to sleep with El Prez. Quinn is secretly a robot.

Olivia Has a Breakdown

Jerk Jeremy calls Doyle into his office to tell him he’s being investigated for conspiring
to rig the presidential election. He tells Doyle there is exactly one seat available
in the lifeboat and he’s got limited time to claim it. Doyle spouts off a terrible
metaphor about bulls into steers (clippers are involved), then goes to see Olivia
to alert her to the continuing JJ problem. She, in turn, goes to see Cyrus. Who the
hell would offer Hollis Doyle a deal, and who does JJ think he is? Cyrus wonders.
“He’s the good guy,” says Olivia, who looks like she might cry. He’s the good guy
and they’re the bad guys, and rigging the election in the first place was a mistake.
Cyrus, keying in to the fact that she’s about to snap, tells her he’ll take care of
Doyle. “Go home and get some sleep,” he says (incidentally the same advice he gave
FLOTUS). So she goes home and gets into bed—and doesn’t get up for, like, three days.
Even when her maybe-fiancé Davis comes to see her. He asks her what’s wrong, and she
basically tells him to GTFO.

So instead he goes to visit the Dream Team. “She doesn’t talk to me like she talks
to you,” he tells them. He says they’re her family. (Uhh, maybe you shouldn’t get
married then?) So Huck pays Olivia a visit. He gets in bed with her (on top of the
covers) and offers to take care of Doyle. “You have to stop killing people,” she tells
him. Because it’s wrong. “In certain circles, that’s not true,” he replies, but she
rebuts that in this particular circle it is. But then he breaks it to her that Cyrus,
who is “taking care” of the problem, doesn’t belong to their circle, and tells her
Cyrus knows his old friend Charlie. Olivia realizes what taking care of the problem
means, and gets out of bed. A+ for Huck. Which leads to . . .

Doyle Gets Arrested

Olivia shows up at HQ where the Dream Team has just figured out she helped rig a presidential
election. She offers to answer any questions they have, but Harrison is all, “I don’t
want to be subpoenaed as a witness,” to which even Quinn is like yeah, good point.
Instead, Olivia asks them to help her prove Doyle was behind the attempted assassination
of El Prez. Quinn finds her dead boyfriend’s (Jesse, not Gideon—remember him?) bank
account information via his old laptop, and Huck goes to see Becky in jail to get
her information. She’s reticent at first, but he tells her although he can’t get her
off death row, he can at least come visit her. “You’re the only person I can be myself
around,” he says, and it’s sweeter than it should be given that they’re both murderers.
He then gives her a piece of paper with his real name on it, and she gives up her
account information.

Meanwhile, JJ obtains a warrant to search Doyle’s office, and they seize the phone
he used to communicate with Becky, which is enough to arrest him and hold him for
48 hours. Cyrus, though, has other plans, calling Charlie and telling him to kill
Doyle as soon as he’s released and to “make it look like an accident,” which wouldn’t
be suspicious at all.

The Dream Team cross-references Jesse’s and Becky’s bank routing numbers, finding
$500,000 to Jesse from Doyle the day after the presidential election and $5 million
to Becky the day after the assassination attempt—but from a different bank account.
Olivia immediately calls JJ, who tells her she’s too late anyway—Doyle has already
been released. The episode ends with Charlie getting into the elevator with Doyle.

Some thoughts:

Cyrus and Olivia are fun as friends but even more fun when they’re butting heads.
I’m interested to see how their relationship proceeds now that she knows he’s of the
“let’s kill people” camp.

I like that Harrison is filling the role Stephen used to have, of being Olivia’s confidante,
but what exactly is the root of his unswerving, unquestioning loyalty? White-collar
prison couldn’t have been
that bad, right?

Either FLOTUS induced labor early to keep her husband, or it was a whopping coincidence.
Anyone think it was the latter?

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