We begin with a flashback from five years ago. Olivia’s getting off the "Metro" (that train looks nothing like any WMATA train I have ever ridden) and spots Huck. She’s on her way to an incredibly awkward dinner with Daddy Pope (she promises to bring Huck a doggie bag) in which Eli Pope struggles to make convo and she mostly grunts and sighs.
She only agreed to these dinners so he'd pay off her law school loans, but he demands that she stop acting like a sullen teen and be civil. He won't be extorted for cash and disrespected. He wants to make up for shipping Olivia off to boarding school while he grieved over his late wife. This is his second chance.
She gives, offering up the news that she has a boyfriend (Edison) as a peace offering. He, of course, wants to know if the guy is good enough. They then begin to discuss some "mastodon exhibit" he's working on as a "curator" at the "Smithsonian." This is one of the most elaborate covers I've ever seen.
After dinner, she chats with Edison, who proposes via cell phone. Of course she refuses, because...ewww. A proposal by phone? I see why she left him for Fitz.
After they hang up, she is mugged on the Metro platform. Huck quickly beats up her attackers, using the skills he learned in assassin training, as one does. Liv runs, both terrified and relieved.
Present day: Liv’s jogging, Jeannine Locke is still being put through the ringer by the media and Fitz calls Liv, wanting to know what happened to Jeannine.
He can’t come clean without looking like an indiscriminate perv, so he switches gears and brings up the Dalai Lama's recent visit. Fitz played basketball with the Dalai Lama, who not only had a decent jump shot, but fouled him twice. Of course, the first person he wanted to tell was Liv and blah blah love blah.
She warns him that she’s going after the White House, and he asks her not to hold back, because the girl is an innocent kid. In another reality, he says, they are married, living in Vermont with four kids. And I make jam, she adds.
Later, Mellie is in Cy's office, imploding, when Eli Pope calls, demanding that Cyrus push Fitz to let Jeannine take the fall.
They need to act fast. Olivia and Jeannine are giving a press conference outside the White House. She talks of Jeannine’s credentials, calls the accusations slander and claims she is repping Jeannine pro bono because an anonymous source leaked her name, too. Olivia demands that the Grant administration stop hiding behind anonymous sources.
Another flashback after the break: Olivia asks Huck about where he got his fighting skills. “Maybe I took karate in high school,” he answers. She assures him that he can trust her and he spills it all, like he's been waiting to tell the truth. He tells her all about B613, and being an assassin, Wonderland, the hole, all of it. That he can still kill a man “with very little effort and a lot of joy,” but he tries to avoid it. She offers to get him some meds, or to call someone for him, but all he wants is a cheeseburger.
Sunday dinner is at Eli's, and it is there that Olivia falls in love with wine. Ha. He gives her the address to his favorite fine wine store.
It's like watching Stephen King write his first sentence.
The convo turns to the mugging.
He’s upset that she not only didn’t call the police, but told him about it via email. She tells him about B613, and Eli pauses. Olivia doesn’t notice, and he pretends to be oblivious. She asks him to asks his friend at the FBI to look into it and he agrees.
In the Oval, Cyrus and Mellie urge Fitz to confirm that he had sex with Jeannine. He pushes back, demanding that they deny it when the media calls, and ask Jeannine for an apology. Wait -- is that Fitz becoming more likable this season?
He leaves them to it. Mellie has a plan, to match the dates that she was out of town with Jeannine's West Wing logs, and Cyrus is impressed by Mellie’s evilness. Seriously, if Mellie could just put all of this to good use...I would definitely watch a show with a Mellie-type as a female anti-hero, networks. Get on it.
Olivia's at work, trying to piece together an alibi for Jeannine. She suggests the time-stamped IMs between her and Ethan.
Olivia's almost pleased, but fades when she sees that Eli is waiting at the office, chumming it up with her team. He’s menacing even when he’s pretending to be pleasant, especially when he greets Huck.
Flashback: Liv and Eli dinner date. He tells her that he couldn’t find any info about Huck, but that there was info about a man fitting his description (paranoid-schizophrenic, violent, etc.) that had just been arrested. (Wait. That is supposed to be UNION STATION? C'mon now.)
Quinn, back to being annoying, is curious about Olivia’s normal, D.C.-living dad, whom she’d never mentioned. Behind Olivia's closed office doors, the Popes fight while smiling for the associates’ benefit. Eli says that if she ever wants to see Jake again, she’ll sacrifice Jeannine. Olivia asks what was done with Jake, and he suggests that she ask Huck for insight.
Apparently, each time a body resembling Jake is taken to the morgue, the attendant calls Olivia and she comes to check, which is just awful and sad.
Olivia finally musters up the gumption to ask Huck what B613 will do if you disobey the order. He says that at first, unwilling to lose their investment, they try to reprogram you, using the hole, isolation, pain. If it doesn’t work, they “make you wish you were dead.”
Desperate, Olivia calls Fitz. Jake saved her life, and she wants to know if he’s alive.
We flashback to the day Olivia met David Rosen and his sad, little facial hair. As a favor, he traces the prints Huck had left on her purse during the mugging. They aren’t in the system, which means Eli lied, obviously.
Olivia remembers Huck rambling about Wonderland, and goes to Wonderland Ave. She notices the ACME Unlimited building, and recognizes the name from a pen she stole from her father.
At their next dinner, she demands he tell her what he really does for a living. Unsurprisingly, he looks back at her stone-faced. He tries to reach for her hand, but she recoils, and he spits that she is not to ask questions she doesn’t have answers to. So this is when her dad became truly awful. He demands that she go along with the tradition of Sunday dinner, and she promptly leaves.
Present day: Quinn is hacking into Liv’s email and digging up info with her dad. Huck’s still aghast at the monster he created, and suggests Quinn be less like him and more like Liv.
Fitz demands that Cyrus ask B613 to have Jake released. Cyrus says it's impossible, because the executive branch has no power over them -- to ensure “plausible deniability” in case trouble arises. They also aren’t Fitz’s “biggest fans,” so Fitz just orders Cyrus to find out if he is alive.
Abby finally gets something to do: arguing with Jeannine's uncooperative co-worker, Ethan. Abby threatens to let the White House know about all of the porn he’s been downloading at work, and he quickly caves. *Abby smirk*
Olivia and Co. prep Jeannine for her upcoming interview, finding an outfit that sends the right message and practicing the kinds of questions she will be asked.
Jeannine begins to cry. All of her hard work has gone to nothing, over an affair that she did not have. The staff all knew he had an affair, but they didn’t know who the woman was. Olivia’s relief is only noticeable to us. Olivia promises that she will get her through this.
After Olivia leaves her apartment for the morgue, a sleeping Jeannine is awakened by her buzzing phone.
Of course, it's Mellie, in a car outside Olivia's, to discuss Jeannine's "future."
Flashback: Olivia brings Edison to Sunday dinner, mainly because he was just appointed to the Senate intel committee. Edison has no idea that Liv is threatening her father. When Edison goes to open the wine, she demands that Eli give Huck back to her. The "or else" is implied.
Abby’s still harassing Ethan, who has yet to hand the IMs over. He says he can’t, because Jeannine told him to delete them. Olivia realizes that someone in the WH had to have gotten to Jeannine, and she’s about to confess to an affair she didn’t have.
Fitz calls to tell her Jake is alive. He can’t force them to release him, however, and she has a bit of a meltdown. She says they have sacrificed their happiness so that he could have the power to make things happen.
If Olivia lets Jeannine off, Jake dies. If she tosses her to the wolves, he lives. She calls her dad, offering to put Sunday dinners back on the table. She confronts Jeannine, who admits that she is being given $2 million in a Cayman account. Olivia urges her not to take that road, but Jeannine is determined to be stupid.
But then, Fitz preempts them, going to speak live in front of the press corp. As he walks down to the press room, he says that Cy can either have him tell the press the truth, or admit to the Jeannine affair, on condition that Cy get Jake released. I like the new Fitz.
Flashback: Huck's back in the Metro station, sporting a black eye. Olivia gets a call from Eli, who tells her Edison was in an “accident.” So that’s why she broke up with him, because her father had him attacked. She says she’ll stay away from Eli and what he does; they are done.
Present: Fitz apologizes for the affair with Jeannine. Olivia is disgusted, while Jeannine is shocked that what she wanted happened, just not on the terms she agreed to.
Sally Langston confronts Fitz, suspecting it’s some kind of dodge, a way to avoid keeping the promise to her. He says he’s not lying, and that his constituents will forgive him for it. So we're done sympathizing with Sally? Cool. Feeling sympathy for bigots always makes my head hurt.
Jeannine’s shocked and frustrated, but Olivia has officially checked out. Abby promises that they’ll set her up on her way to a book deal, and for once, her Abby-meanness is great.
Quinn's still digging, and hands over a copy of an email about Huck and Eli. Huck finally realizes that Olivia really did get a deal for him from her dad.
He confronts her in the parking deck. He asks if her father is Command, B613's leader. He chokes her, and it is terrifying. He stops, disgusted with himself, but he still wants to know. She admits that her father really is Command, and Huck walks away, feeling betrayed.
Olivia’s home, wine in hand, when Eli calls. She never wants to speak to him again, but he insists that she open her front door. Outside, there is Jake Ballard, bruised, bloody and collapsing. But Eli gets back his Sunday dinners.
And we got back our Jake. Beaten and with a "Cast Away" beard, he is still just beautiful.
Next up: A bomber holds a building hostage and Olivia is trapped inside.