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TV Recap: Scandal, Season 4, Episode 12, "Gladiators Don’t Run"

Billion-dollar baby.

When this is your best hope, you are in very big trouble. Image via ABC.

The big twist from last week’s episode—in which Olivia convinces lead kidnapper Ian to ditch his deal with VP Andrew and sell her at auction to the highest bidder—provides all the action this week, as Ian and co. gleefully watch the price tag go up while Fitz, Jake, and the gladiators try desperately to save Olivia from a fate worse than death. Let’s recap the major takeaways.

Huck should really look into counseling

Our favorite whisper-voiced psycho killer starts off strong, revealing he took control of the more than $2 billion B613 had siphoned from the government budget and will use it to bid on Olivia. But when the gladiators turn to the still-imprisoned Mama Pope as their ticket to getting invited to the auction, it somehow leads to Huck murdering like six guys and ending up looking like Carrie at the prom. Jake may have been the one to saw off the cartel members’ heads as proof, but if even Quinn can’t handle Huck, he may be at the point of no return.

Olivia is the “billion-dollar baby”

Liv’s momentary triumph quickly dissolves into terror, when Gus—a.k.a. the diminutive kidnapper she pistol-whipped while trying to get out of her soundstage prison—kills Ian and takes over, with none of the niceties Ian promised. In addition to being really bad at wiping the blood off Olivia’s face, Gus decides to sell her to Iran for $1.1 billion before the gladiators can even enter the bidding war.

True love means never having to say you’re sorry you made the US go to war over your “side piece”

Somehow Fitz has gotten his entire cabinet to agree to let him secretly negotiate with terrorists to get back the woman who is ostensibly just his former campaign adviser, and refuses to let her be killed even when she gets sold to Iran, posing a massive threat to national security. Meanwhile, Cyrus’s attempts to blackmail Andrew into resigning as Vice President fail when Mellie points out if he reveals their affair she’ll be ruined, because “America can forgive a man a hundred infidelities, but can’t forgive a woman even one.” Why does that matter? Because Mellie plans to run for President! #FLOTUS2016, guys.

Abby doesn’t have any friends

Somehow our favorite redhead has just cottoned on to the fact that Liv is missing, and immediately sets about finding out what’s going on, which mostly involves storming into rooms and yelling at people. It was cute hearing her admit Olivia’s her only friend, even if Huck’s assertion that they “can’t trust the White House” doesn’t really make sense given Fitz’s involvement in all of their plans.

Some more thoughts:

  • Mellie and Cyrus explaining to Fitz which countries have more money than the US made me LOL. He is really bad at being President!
  • I call BS on that wine glass still casually hanging out on Olivia’s sofa—there is zero chance she doesn’t have a regularly scheduled cleaning service that’s trained to get red wine out of every conceivable surface.
  • “We sleep better when she’s lying between us.” Mellie dispenses truths about her marriage while getting drunk on a balcony—and can apparently hold her liquor way better than her husband. Also, her meeting every plane carrying a soldier killed in the US’s new sham war: true compassion, or a brilliant move for her future campaign?
  • Was it my imagination, or did someone actually mention Stephen?
  • Mama Pope will do a lot of things for basic cable, apparently.
  • No matter how many times you change your identity, Sallie Mae will find you.