‘Scandal’ Season 2, Episode 20 Recap – 'A Woman Scorned'
Gladiators! This week Olivia kissed two boys and Mellie made good on her long-standing threat—the ultimate ultimatum. Here's what went down on Scandal this week!
Jake turns stalker: Everywhere Olivia is, Jake is. Hovering over the pool while she does her morning laps, standing right outside of her apartment door—she can’t get away from him! She demands he leave her alone, but he tells her that he can’t. His orders come directly from the President himself, and if Jake doesn’t do his bidding, he’ll be carted off to jail.
Olivia takes matters into her own hands and calls the White House directly. Fitz tells her that Jake will remain there to keep her safe, and that Mellie has moved out. When she and Fitz finish their phone call, the President rings up Jake, who’s still standing right in front of Olivia. We don’t hear the conversation, but the gist is this: If Olivia doesn’t allow Jake to protect her, Fitz will have the U.S. Attorney obtain a material witness warrant and she can park it in a jail cell, away from public and thus safe from harm. At least then he’ll know where she is at all times.
Meet Cyrus, the spin-doctor: Cyrus is seen barking orders at his secretary; she’s to tell the press that Mellie traded the White House for Blair House simply because baby Teddy caught the chicken pox and the First Family wants to quarantine him to keep this infectious disease contained.
And meet the new Anderson Cooper: James pops by the White House to share a bit of good news with Cyrus: BNC News has offered him an on-air job! James tells Cy that he knows that he promised not to work and that he’d stay home with their baby, but with this gig, he can bring home the bacon and still bring up baby. Cyrus is too distracted to care; he congratulates James and tells him to take the job.
Over at Olivia Pope & Associates: Harrison, Abby, David Rosen and Quinn are going over the surveillance footage from the storage facility taken the night Huck was assaulted. They see the perpetrator, but all they can clearly see are his baseball cap and his ear. Huck walks in and offers to help; he takes one look at screen and tells everyone it’s Charlie. He says he knows this, because “that’s his ear.”
Cyrus keeps spinning: Cyrus visits Fitz and tells him that he thinks it’s time to take Mellie’s threat more seriously, but Fitz tells Cy that he knows Mellie and she’ll blink. The President wants to stand firm and call her bluff.
Cyrus then heads straight for the tunnel—he’s on his way to Blair House to see if he can coax Mellie back over to the other side of the street. But she’s standing firm; in fact, she’s scheduled a primetime interview tomorrow night on BNC News where she plans to tell the world that her husband, the President of the United States, is a whore-loving bastard. Fitz has a mere 36 hours to make it right. Tick-tock.
From there, Cyrus heads back into the tunnel and makes a call to Olivia, who’s just arrived at the office (with Jake in tow, of course). He asks her flat-out if she’s still seeing the President and tells her about Mellie’s plans to out their love affair on national TV. Olivia tells Cyrus that she and Fitz are done and says, “I’m not going to meddle in his life, and I’m certainly not going to meddle in his marriage.”
A new suspect: After hanging up with Cy, Olivia sees her team huddled and speaking in hushed tones. She demands to know what they’re discussing and is shocked when Huck tells her that Charlie, Cyrus’ go-to goon, is the guy on the surveillance videotape. They think Cyrus is the mole. Cue the gasps!
Olivia is understandably flabbergasted—her BFF can’t be the man who sent someone to kill her. The team sees that she’ll need a little more convincing and they start to make their case. Huck says that Charlie and he worked together at the beginning of his career—Charlie knew what locking Huck in the box would do to him. Abby says that Cy is one of the few people who have access to the highly classified Albatross files. Quinn and Harrison remind Olivia that Cy was infuriated when she tried to tell him that Osborne wasn’t the mole, and that Cy refused to pass that info on to the President.
Olivia asks Huck if Charlie has any other clients that Cy; she needs to be 1000% sure if she’s going to accuse him of treason against his country, “especially since the last man they wrongly accused ended up dead.”
More about Charlie: We see inside of Jake’s apartment; he’s watching intimate video of Jake and Olivia making out on his kitchen counter. Charlie calls his boss and shares the news. Cyrus tells him to hold on to the proof—they don’t want to have to use it unless they absolutely have to.
Over at OP&A, the team is busy making a file on Charlie. So far all they know is this: Charlie isn’t his real name, he used to live at 20th and Biltmore and he has a thing for sugar—cinnamon buns, bear claws, donuts, danishes. Olivia tells them to start right there; who has the best pastries in town?
Quinn and David Rosen head over to Heldon’s Bakery and learn that Charlie comes in every Thursday evening and orders one dozen cannoli. But that’s three whole days away! In the mean time, the team decides to hack into Cy’s personal cell phone and see how often he calls Charlie—good thing phone records don’t lie.
Back at the White House, Cyrus is still pleading with the President to take a walk through the tunnel and make up with his wife. Fitz still refuses, but offers Cy a bit of insight: He can dangle Mellie’s bright political future in her face to get her to come around. And if that doesn't work—remind her of the concept of mutual assured destruction that awaits her should she try to take Fitz down.
Speaking of Fitz: The President makes a call to his ladylove and asks that she come to see him at the White House right now. Olivia says no, so Fitz says he’ll come to her—in fact, he’ll be there in ten. But that won’t work, because then Olivia’s entire team will know that she’s the mistress of the most important man in the free world. She doesn't have a choice—obviously she has to go to him. (With a still-hovering Jake in tow.)
When she arrives in the Oval Office, another shouting showdown commences. Fitz professes his love for her once and again, and Olivia tells him that he has to stop getting her hopes up—if he wants her, he has to earn her.
Mellie for President?: Cyrus takes Fitz’s advice and shows Mellie a political plan for her future. If she comes back to the President and supports him through his reelection campaign, she can own a big issue like gun control or immigration, which will propel her into a Senate seat, maybe even governor of California once Fitz’s term is up. (Those are the steps she needs to take to get her into the White House as the first female President of the United States, since that’s what she really wants.)
But hat-tip to the First Lady—she holds firm on her stance; a loving and faithful husband is what she really wants. That pushes Cy to reveal their backup plan: Freezing the First Lady out. If she exposes Fitz’s infidelity, she won’t have one friend left inside the Beltway when all of this is said and done. Mellie informs Cy that she knows Olivia Pope just left the Oval Office—she’s confident she’ll have plenty of friends in the White House for years to come.
Secrets exposed: Back over at OP&A, Huck reveals to Olivia that Charlie killed Amanda Tanner last year (the original story arc from season one). While reviewing Charlie’s cell phone records, Huck realized that it was Cyrus who ordered the hit. Olivia asks why Huck decided to tell her this now, and he replies, “One of the last women the President was sleeping with ended up dead in the Potomac, and I want you to stay alive.”
Cyrus looks torn: He’s in his office looking as if his world is about to come grinding to a sudden halt. And then he has a revelation—he heads back into the tunnel and over to Blair House and hits Mellie with with one hell of a zinger: "What if I can get rid of Olivia Pope?"
We’re not sure what Mellie says, but we have an idea. Just as Jake sees safely Olivia into her apartment, he gets a call from the White House. It isn’t President Grant; it’s his secretary Lauren. Fitz has requested he come down to the White House immediately, without Olivia. When Jake agrees and starts to make his way over, we see Cyrus telling Lauren to tell Jake that the President had a sudden emergency when Jake arrives. Sneaky, sneaky!
But is Jake really that stupid? We see Cyrus in the elevator of Olivia’s apartment building on the phone with Mellie—he’s telling her to pack her bags and take a trip through the tunnel. But when he steps off, Jake is there. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to pull a fast one on old Jakey!
Cyrus tells Jake that he’ll tell Fitz about Jake and Olivia sleeping together, and Jake tells Cy that he’ll tell the President that Cy tried to lure him away from Olivia. Cyrus tucks his tail between his legs and gets back on the elevator.
And Olivia overheard it all. She invites Jake in for a glass of wine and a chat and they decide to come clean about everything. Jake admits that he broke into her apartment and copied her Albatross flash drive, and after reviewing them, he believes Cyrus is the mole. Olivia tells Jake that Cy is her friend, but she agrees it’s possible that Cy could be the mole, but that requires being disloyal to the President, which Cy is not and will never be.
Olivia tells Jake that he can sleep on her sofa, but she’s locking her bedroom door. She also asks him why he slept with her that night, and he says he did it because he knows that there’s something between them. Jake asks what’s the extent of her relationship with the President, and Olivia answers by passionately kissing Jake.
The hunt for Charlie begins: Huck and Quinn get a great deal of info from Charlie’s cell phone trail and the team learns that he spends his Thursday evenings at a book club meeting with a woman he’s dating named Tammy.
They track Tammy down and bring her in for questioning under the guise of a background check for Charlie; she thinks he’s up for a high-level government job. She tells them all she knows, which isn’t much—they’ve only been dating for a week! They dismiss her and ask that she not reveal anything about their meeting until Charlie tells her that he has the job. She happily agrees and leaves.
Welcome home: Cyrus finally settles down in bed after what’s presumably the longest workday ever, and is greeted by his happy husband James. James tells Cy that BNC is giving him a set of suits to wear on-air and he couldn’t be happier—he now has everything he’s ever wanted: a successful career, a baby and a husband. Everything is right as rain in the Beene household once again. (For now.)
34 hours and counting: It’s two hours until Mellie’s deadline and Cyrus takes one last run at Fitz who refuses to budge. Cy tells Fitz that Mellie is no longer just the First Lady; she’s an actual scorned woman, which makes her a credible threat. If Fitz loves his job and loves being President, it’s time for Fitz to fold. He needs to sacrifice love for his career.
Cyrus thinks he’s successful when the President immediately summons his personal Secret Service escorts, but he couldn’t be more wrong. The President shows up at Olivia’s doorstep and sends Jake on his merry way—Fitz will sacrifice the Presidency for his love of Olivia.
Atonement: Olivia lets Fitz inside and they discuss their tedious relationship once again. Fitz tells Olivia that he’ll sit there on her couch while the clock on his marriage runs out—Fitz wants the love of his life to have a front row seat so that she can see him choose her, or earn her.
We see a worried-looking Mellie sitting alone at Blair House all dressed up—presumably for the cameras, but also to welcome her husband back into her all dolled up arms in case he does decide to choose family over Ms. Pope. But sadly he doesn’t. Time's up, the clock strikes and Fitz has kept his word to Olivia. He wants her; now it’s up to Olivia to decide if she wants him. She responds by passionately kissing him.
Tammy, take two: The team have called Charlie’s girlfriend back in for another interview, but it looks like things are already over. Charlie stood her up! She mentions that she hopes that this doesn't affect his chances for getting the job; he’s a really good guy. He even bought her a new laptop when her old laptop was stolen.
Then a light in Tammy’s head goes off; she remembers David Rosen’s face. Turns out, she’s court stenographer and she transcribed all of her work cases on the laptop that was stolen. It doesn't take a genius to figure out who took it, so the team quickly excuses themselves to reconvene.
David remembers that Tammy worked on the Defiance grand jury case; Charlie wanted those private notes, which is why he pursued her to begin with. Cyrus can’t be the mole—he actually planned Defiance. He’d want the details of Defiance dead and buried; not leaked to the entire world.
Jake and the mystery man: Jake is back in the park taking a late stroll with his boss. Jake tells him that Cyrus knows enough to blow his cover but he’s not sure how. Mr. Boss says find out who is working for Cyrus, but don’t kill him—he could prove to be useful to them in the end.
When Jake heads home, he watches the video feed from his apartment. He sees Charlie enter, grab a soda and park it a seat to watch he intimate tapes of Jake and Olivia. Charlie knows full well he's on camera, so he offers Jake a sly smile.
Mellie makes good on her promise: Fitz’s secretary Lauren goes into Cyrus’ office to tell him he should watch the interview. Mellie is on live TV with James! Cyrus is seen running through the tunnel at top speed trying to get over to Blair House; he wants the cameras to cut to commercial so that he can get to James before Mellie blows their administration to bits.
But it’s too late. Mellie tells America that she found out that Fitz was unfaithful. James looks shocked but they carry on.
Speaking of carrying on, Fitz and Olivia aren’t even watching the interview—he’s in bed making love to Olivia. And when they’re done there, they make their way into the shower for round two.
And now, our questions—inquiring minds want to know:
-Now that the cat's out of the bag and the whole world knows Fitz is a philanderer, what does that mean for his career?
-Why didn't Mellie go ahead and name drop Olivia Pope as the other woman?
-James mentioned that Mellie specifically requested he do the primetime tell-all interview… Did she pull some strings to have him hired at BNC in the first place? James did say the job came out of thin air…
-So, again, who is the mole?