I’m going to begin by saying that I was not sure about this episode from the preview. Hostage situation? It’s been done so many times that I feared that we may be getting the first predictable episode of “Scandal” ever.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
Jake is resting in Olivia’s bed, wrapped in bandages and bruised all over, but still managing to be beautiful. Olivia’s huddled on the floor, reeling from all that has happened. Fitz calls, wanting to explain Jake, but Olivia can’t talk.
She is worried about Huck, but he doesn’t want to talk. He says he needs “time,” which is code for “I’m currently stalking, and planning to kill, your father.”
Bright side? Olivia & Co. have a new client: a Mary Nesbit, who wants their help with a family matter. She just paid the retainer, but is headed to a “meeting on the hill.”
Quinn asks about Huck, as if it’s not her fault that he’s off trying to murder people. Liv says he’s taking a personal day, and the entire team is shocked. A personal day?! An incredulous Abby asks if they get vacation days, too, now. (My Twitter feed exploded with jokes about Pope & Associates needing to form a union after that one.)
Cyrus, Fitz, Mellie and America’s baby are seated at the breakfast table. Cyrus is trying to talk strategy, but Mellie and Fitz are busy bickering about whether or not Teddy can feed himself. (He is clearly too young for that, Fitz.) Fitz suggests that Mellie give him to the nanny to feed, but she refuses; she doesn’t want him to grow up and ask for the nanny instead of his mother in front of the press one day.
The faceless other Grant children, “Jerry” and “Karen,” are coming. Cyrus is sending them all to Camp David. Neither of the parents is down for that plan, so Cyrus has a mini-fit, and Teddy fixes him with a perfect side-eye.
Cy wants the Camp David visuals, to show the people that their love is real and special, that they are fighting for their marriage. Mellie snarks about the baby being dirty, and she and Fitz tell each other to shut up, in turn. Really mature. Great job, fighting in front of Teddy.
Back to P&A. Mary is the mother of Christopher Lawrence, a man who was killed by the FBI months ago in a raid against a Chicago-based Al Qaeda group. A smug Quinn hacks her account and realizes the check she’d given them cleaned her out. Bad sign. Olivia runs to follow Mary to the Hill.
The White House. An older man sneaks off from a tour, causing the Secret Service to go into crisis mode. People are running from Jim Struthers office, too, so of course, Liv goes inside.
Near the Oval, the unidentified man is being tackled. He says he wanted to talk to Fitz about Operation Remington.
Liv walks into Struthers’ office, where Mary is strapped with a bomb and yelling that they could have prevented her son’s death. She’s dismayed to see Liv come in, but I doubt that means she’ll let her leave.
The Capitol and White House have been evacuated, according to news reports. Mellie and Fitz are stuck in the bunker from last episode. They have to stay there, or the Secret Service will be forced to tackle Fitz. This is the only occasion in which that would be OK.
Olivia, with her awesome feathered side swoop, is trying to calm Mary down. Mary had tried everything to get someone to investigate the death of her son. She had begged Struthers, her congressman, to look into it, but nothing happened. So now, she’s willing to kill him to get answers.
The story is that her son was a member of Al Qaeda, working out of Chicago, and was killed during an FBI raid. His father had died when he was 16, and he found religion, converting to Islam (uncomfortable by this part of the story, at first…) and rising through the ranks of Al Qaeda. As a result, all documents regarding his killing were sealed under the Patriot Act.
Mary had read of profile of Olivia in the Post, and knew all about her clairvoyant gut. She believes her son is innocent, and that Olivia is just the woman to help her get proof.
The phone rings, and Mary is not having it at first, but she allows Olivia to answer. It’s the FBI hostage negotiator, played by Ernie Hudson (“Ghostbusters"). Liv tells him that Mary wants her son’s file declassified. If she doesn’t get the file, she plans to use the bomb. Good luck doing anything about his death from Gitmo, Mary.
The White House intruder is determined to be a lone wolf, unrelated to Mary. He mentions Operation Remington and Fitz lets him go, without any explanation.