We open moments after where we left off, with Jake (Scott Foley) letting go of Olivia (Kerry Washington) long enough for her to gurgle out the word, “treason,” of which he is accusing her for bringing down B613.
The two bicker a bit, just in time for Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Cyrus (Jeff Perry) to come in and hear Jake talk about how Liv boinked him just to hack his phone. Hilariously, Jake himself observes how he was meant to be the protector of the free world and lost it all over a good lay, thereby acknowledging even to himself that he is in fact a complete imbecile and the worst Command ever.
They all quickly realize that even though they have an image of the guy Mama Pope was buying bombs from they know nothing about him. So they call in the one man who can help …
… and we get that thing TV shows love to do where we follow some mysterious person’s footsteps, like it’s going to be this big surprise. But of course it’s Daddy (back in) Command (Joe Morton), who strides in like he owns the place. Fitz tries to make clear that he isn’t officially Command again, and we all laugh our asses off over that.
Also called into the meeting … Charlie (George Newbern) and Quinn (Katie Lowes), moments after she swore to Charlie that she had no allegiance to Liv and would never set foot in her office again. Charlie walks in and greets Papa Pope all, “Hi Command!” And then to Jake: “Oh, and you too, empty jar of hair gel that thinks it’s Command.”
So the gang’s all back together again. Party at Pope and Associates, BYOB!
Daddy Command says the bomb guy is some Dominic dude who was in terrorists cahoots with Maya going way back – and someone he’s personally got an issue with. He offers advice on how to try to track him.
Jake keeps offering up his own pointers, so Daddy Command starts acting like a tweener whose former BFF showed up uninvited to a slumber party, all, “If he’s staying, then I’M LEAVING!!!” Liv, no dummy, doesn’t even hesitate to kick Jake out, and he bursts into tears running from the room all, “I HATE ALL OF YOU!!!” and Liv is all, “Oy, see what I have to deal with here?”
So Liv chases him down the hall and … Good God, what are you wearing Liv? It’s like they exhausted the fashion budget for the whole show and are reduced to draping her in shredded files.
Anyway, she chases after Jake and tries to soothe him, saying, “You wanted out of B613. Well now you’re out, you should be happy.” He’s all, “Blah blah blah you’re never out,” and for good measure, tells Liv she shouldn’t be so trusting of her father because he’s totally going to screw her over.
At Liv’s insistence, Fitz is in lockdown at the White House, which means he can’t actively campaign. And there are only 6 days until the election! We know this because someone says “6 days until the election!” every 6 seconds of this episode.
Fitz bemoans how someone’s out to kill him, and Mellie (Bellamy Young) snarks, “Get in line.” Mellie is guzzling mug after mug of “coffee.” “Coffee” that’s shaken not stirred and garnished with an olive. “I’ve got to staaaaand byyyy my maaaaan,” she slurs, and if this First Lady thing doesn’t work out, she’s definitely got a career ahead of her as a country music singer and/or a reality TV star.
Fitz is also upset because some Senator died – upset not because the guy had a heart attack so much as there’s this great opportunity to give a memorable eulogy and win major votes. Really? Do people really base votes on eulogies? I thought everyone based votes on Saturday Night Live sketches and advice from their pets, but what do I know.
Anyway, Fitz can’t go to the funeral on account of the lockdown, and VP Sally (Kate Burton) is having orgasms over this windfall that’s come her way. So Fitz calls Liv to mope about it, for good measure mentioning how the thought of her with Jake sends him into a seething rage.
In full-on wallow mode, Fitz moans about how he’s losing the election, fearing he’s even going to lose the NAACP endorsement. Liv reassures him he’s got it, and she knows this, she says because, “I’m black.” And Fitz is all, “Hey, I thought we weren’t ever supposed to talk about race on this show.”
Fitz emphasizes how badly he wants to win this election because it would be his only legitimate win, on account of the whole Defiance election rigging thing. He’s such a crybaby! You think all those other presidents cried about their rigged elections? Grow some balls.
Liv promises him that if he stays safe in the White House, she’ll run a winning campaign for him from there. And we get this montage of Fitz, coached by Liv, giving TV appearances from the White House to local news affiliates across the country — mangling Spanish in Arizona, pretending to root for teams he doesn’t know in Michigan, and promising to personally French kiss each person who votes for him in Indiana.
Meanwhile, Sally’s sleazy campaign manager Leo (that guy from Private Practice) is up to something sleazy, meeting up with some high school girl during her field hockey practice. Leo wants her to do something for him, and she says she will if he guarantees she’ll get into Harvard. At this point, I couldn’t imagine what Leo was up to with an underaged schoolgirl, and any scenario I came up with was really, really gross.
It turns out Field Hockey Girl is a classmate of Fitz Jr., a.k.a. Jerry (Dylan Minnette), creepy as ever, except now creepy and horny. The two of them get it on, and she asks him if he’s got a condom. (Are the Secret Service standing like right outside during this? Do they know to keep out if there’s a sock on the door?)
Later on, she meets up again with Leo and hands off a bleachy-smelling paper bag. Leo says a toothbrush would have been fine for DNA purposes, that he didn’t need Jerry’s actual “man chowder” (ugh — let’s all agree never, ever to call it that). Apparently Field Hockey Girl is the type who goes the extra mile. Talk about showing some spunk.
(Joke’s on you, Field Hockey Girl! Now you’re stuck going to Harvard! Ha!)
Leo calls up Daddy Command (remember the two of them decided to team up like three episodes ago and then proceeded to do nothing?) to tell him he’s heard rumors that the First Lady was looking to do a paternity test. Leo plans to do his own test, and having secured Jerry DNA, now he needs Daddy Command to get some Fitz DNA.
Daddy Command, though, to prove his loyalty to his daughter, tells Liv about the whole thing. (Oy, people change their affiliations so often on this show it gives me whiplash.)
So Liv goes to confront Mellie, who at this point isn’t bothering with coffee mugs and is guzzling hooch right from the barrel. Imagine that! A First Lady getting drunk in the White House! This show is so crazy!
Liv asks her if she went to the White House doctor asking for a paternity test. Mellie drunkenly slurs that she thought it was confidential. Liv lays into her about how nothing is confidential these days, how there are only 6 DAYS UNTIL THE ELECTION and Mellie is going to blow the whole thing. Only an idiot would do something so stupid and Mellie is …
… wait a second. Even drunk, Mellie is no idiot! Liv realizes Mellie must have done all this on purpose. And Mellie admits that’s the case. She wants to bring Fitz down and watch him suffer while it happens, cackling, “It’s MY TURN!”
Okay, I love me a good Mellie scene. But this one is so over the top, so beyond campy, that it makes Valley of the Dolls look like Chekhov.
Finally, Mellie mumbles about the secret she’s kept for 15 years and brings up Fitz’s dad, Big Jerry. Liv, with horror, realizes what happened, as Mellie, having an apparent change of heart, asks her to fix it for her.
Liv manages to fix it by having Abby (Darby Stanchfield) bribe somebody at the DNA center. I think? It was really confusing, honestly. And like there’s only one place where DNA is analyzed, and only one person who hands over the results? Whatever, it’s enough to satisfy Leo and Sally that it’s all a dead end.
Meanwhile, Charlie and Huck (Guillermo Diaz) have been bickering over the best psycho-assassin- torturey strategy to find the bomber guy – but Huck wins this one when he delivers the guy all tied up like a Christmas goose. (What am I saying? I’m Jewish. I have no idea what a Christmas goose looks like. It’s just something you say, right?)
Liv comes rushing back to the office, while Daddy Command orders Huck to get whatever he can from the guy and have fun with it. Liv says that he’ll do no such thing. Her office is a happy place. Happy place! Filled with unicorns and rainbows and cabernet!
When the non-violence approach of course yields nothing, Daddy Command takes matters into his own hands, grabbing a gun and telling Liv he just wants to scare the guy. Oh, and by the way, he was the only man Liv’s mother ever loved.
So Daddy Command, apparently a fan of the movie The Deer Hunter, puts a single bullet in his gun and points it at Dominic’s head. Then he uses Dominic’s phone to call up Maya (Khandi Alexander), her number helpfully on speed dial under “My Terrorist/Lover.”
Maya – the most wanted woman in the country – is naturally strolling the city streets without a care in the world. She answers the phone and isn’t at all surprised to hear her husband’s voice. Shooting a few rounds at Dominic to show how serious he is, Eli tells her about the gun and threatens he’ll keep firing it at Dominic until she reveals where the bomb is. And Maya is all, “Fine by me,” and hangs up. Yeesh! Cold.
So Daddy Command fires the gun and Dominic’s brains splatter, and Liv hears this and is PISSED, not least of all because she’s totally going to lose her security deposit over those floor stains. Daddy tries to defend himself, explaining that Dominic was the one who put Liv’s mother up to marrying him in the first place to try to secretly gather intel from him.
Moping at home, Liv calls up – of all people – Jake, who is willing to talk to her because he’s still thinking about how good the sex was. She tells him that she’s disturbed that her mother coldly let her father kill the only man she allegedly loved, thinking this means her mother can’t possibly love anyone. But Liv can feel love, she tells him, and she feels it for Fitz. Being with Jake, she says, felt like a betrayal of that love.
And Jake is all, “So I’ve got a chance? Yes!!!”
Anyway, Fitz is totally tanking in the polls, and he decides enough of this. He announces he’s going to go give a big speech in … wait for it … Defiance, Ohio. Ha! Nice detail, writers. Subtle as always. I love it.
Liv, overhearing helicopters while on the phone with Fitz, figures out that he’s on the move. She’s certain her mother is going to set off the bomb wherever Fitz is, so Daddy Command advises her to join Fitz in Defiance. His reasoning is that while Maya is a cold-hearted blood-sucking succubus with no soul, the one person she truly loves is her daughter. He thinks she won’t blow up the building if Liv is there.
That seems to me like a remarkably risky gamble, but she’s willing to take it and joins Fitz at his rally in the Defiance High School auditorium. She takes her place on stage with Fitz, both of them nearly passing out from the fumes emitting from Mellie’s mouth, as Fitz coyly says, “I’ve been a baaaad boy.”
Meanwhile, Harrison (Columbus Short) has been conducting his own little investigation, tracking Adnan’s money. Somehow this leads him to this warehouse that had been Adnan and Maya’s bomb-prep lair, where they’ve helpfully laid out all these plans and photographs.
He sees photographs of the Defiance high school and is just about to call to warn Liv when … Adnan (Nazanin Boniadi) naturally shows up right behind him with a gun. Oh Harrison, would you really be so dumb?
Quinn has had a busy day too! Having tired of hearing Charlie and Huck bicker over how to dispose of Dominic’s body, she’s taken matters into her own hands and done it herself. Atta girl! Score one for equal pay for equal work.
She returns to the office garage to find Huck waiting for her. They get all up in each other’s faces, and she asks him what he wants, then she slaps him and kisses him and slaps him and that’s when I black out.
That’s right. I totally black out, so I’m spared having to type what happens in the next few minutes of this show. Trust me, you don’t want to know.
What you do need to know is they’re so busy going at it, that they don’t see this great set of legs in a great pair of heels stride by. (Again with the close-up of the feet? Did some sort of fetishist direct this episode?)
Of course it’s Mama Pope, and of course she just strides right into Liv’s office which of course has zero security, like not even a lock on the door or a buzz-me-in protocol.
She marches right up to Papa Pope and says, “Bring my baby home.” So Daddy Command calls up Liv, who answers her phone in full view, right behind Fitz, during his televised speech. Even better, she then goes up to Fitz mid-speech and whispers in his ear.
Fitz listens, then says, “EVERYBODY RUN! THERE’S A BOMB IN THE BUILDING! … Ooops. I mean problem with the sprinklers.”
So the building is evacuated and Liv returns home … to find her father’s bloody body on the office floor barely alive. Whoops. Looks like Mama Pope got sort of stabby.
Meanwhile, David (Josh Malina) calls Jake with some rather interesting news. You see earlier David had come into his office to find Jake there waiting for him — the Department of Justice, like OPA, having no security to speak of. Jake, who thinks he owns David on account of letting him go free when he shot all those other people, commands him to use his resources to use face recognition software and surveillance cameras to try to track Maya’s movements.
Wouldn’t you know it, David gets a hit, and in record time too! He discovers that Maya was the one who killed that senator, the one everyone thought had a heart attack. He thinks she wanted there to be a nice big funeral attended by Fitz that she could promptly blow up. Jake takes this news to Cyrus and warns him he’s got to evacuate the funeral, which is about to start.
We see Sally and Andrew and Leo all at the funeral …
We see the bomb underneath the floor …
We see Mama Pope activate the bomb via her phone to go off in an hour …
We see Mellie read the real paternity report …
And then we see Cyrus decide … to do nothing. He asks Ethan (yay! Ethan sighting!) if Sally made it to the funeral. Ethan confirms this, then asks if anything is wrong, and Cyrus says, “Nope.” Then walks through the hallways with a sinister smile on his face. SO EVIL! And kind of stupid too, I’m thinking? Like I can’t imagine a major terrorist attack days before the election is going to do much for Fitz’s presidency?
End of episode.
For the last 10 minutes alone I’m giving this one 5 Gettysburgers.
Your average show would have made the season finale us seeing the bomb activated. A better show would have the bit about Cyrus not preventing it from going off. But it’s only a show like Scandal that makes this the episode before the finale.
What are they going to do for next week’s cliffhangers? I have no idea. And I can’t wait.