When I checked the episode guide and saw that last night's episode was titled "YOLO," I knew that things were going to get insane. And they did, quickly.
Huck's in full-on torture mode. He's got a naked Quinn on the floor, tied up with duct tape, and is narrating the ways that he plans to hurt her. Because they are friends, he'll yank out her teeth with pliers instead of taking off toes or fingers. Thanks?
At one point, he licks the side of her face and apologizes because he is going to enjoy hurting her; it is one of the creepiest TV moments I have ever witnessed. I hate Quinn as much as the next "Scandal" viewer, but that scene was disturbing. Especially since Quinn already knew how Huck's interrogation tactics work. She was ready to tell him everything about B613 the second she got in the door.
Huck's interrupted by a call from a frantic Olivia, who doesn't know what to do with her not-dead mother who is in her apartment. Huck tells her to take the battery out of her phone and head for the safe house. I don't ever want to get to the point in my life where I have to have a designated safe house.
Disturbing torture scene or not, I laughed until my sides hurt when Huck decided to stick around a few minutes to pull out the first tooth and justified it with, "What's that stupid thing the kids are saying? YOLO?"
Hey, Sally Langston! Haven't seen you around these parts much lately. Now that Josie Marcus isn't running for president, Sally's more determined than ever to run against Fitz as an independent. But her campaign manager, Leo Bergen, needs her to do one thing before he's fully on board: she must become pro-choice. He's not asking for ideological reasons. He's demanding it because she won't win women's votes if she's against abortion, and he refuses to support a loser.
Of course, Sally doesn't want to betray her personal beliefs or give up the support of the religious right, but eventually she comes up with a stance on abortion that Leo can live with.
Cyrus is still reeling over James's betrayal, and James is milking it, dropping as many sexual innuendos about his interview with Daniel Douglas as he can. Love it that James finally has the upper hand, but this cannot end well. Cyrus is only going to spend so much time in sobbing in a fetal position before he gets up and starts wrecking things.
Cue a flashback of Young Liv at her parents' kitchen table eating Fruit Loops and listening to Michael Jackson's "Ben" while reading "Bridge to Terabithia." (If Young Liv and Young me met, we'd definitely be BFFs.) It's that same memory of Maya rushing off to catch her flight that Liv had a couple of weeks ago. She's trying to replay that moment in her mind, to figure out where things went left and Maya ended up in an underground prison for 20 years.
Present day: all of P&A (except Quinn, who is busy) is at the safe house, freaking out over Maya. Abby demands Maya tell them where she's been all this time. Maya claims she'd found some of Eli's files and was going to give them to a reporter, take Liv and run, but he caught her in time and boom: underground prison. But she escaped before he could move her out of the country.
Jake and Huck know better, though. No one escapes Command. They pin Maya down on a table and surgically remove her tracking device, just as Charlie and one of Eli's other goons are on their way to the safe house. They get out just in time.
Liv decides that they'll ship her mother off to Hong Kong. Now they just have to figure out a way out of the city. Eli is shutting down every way out of the District that he can think of and tracking clusters of burner phones to find them.
Abby and Harrison are at the recently ransacked office when Harrison gets a visit from a mysterious woman who I'm assuming is getting a fake passport for Maya. Can't really tell, because she and Harrison both talk annoyingly fast. She also knows Saleef, the criminal that Cyrus let back into the U.S. when he was upset with Harrison. Harrison freaks at the news that Saleef's back in town, but since we still don't know why, it's hard to care just yet.
At the White House, Mellie badgers Cyrus about the status of the Daniel Douglas situation. Cyrus insists that they're holding, but Mellie, worried about Fitz's re-election, isn't hearing any of that.
Liv gets back to the safe house with breakfast for Maya. Olivia is obviously freaked and uncomfortable, and Maya doesn't make that any better by telling Liv that she's disappointed by the woman she's become. She wanted Olivia's life to be happy and simple. While in prison, she'd fantasized about a life for Liv: married to a dentist named Ray who comes home every night to eat dinner with her and her son. Instead, she says Eli raised Liv in his image.
Jake and Huck are outside, planning the next move. Jake suggests killing Eli, but Huck says it will be difficult. Command keeps agents nearby at all times. So Jake seeks help from Fitz, who is shocked at the idea of killing Eli.
Jake isn't letting him worm his way out of this so easily. Just by being at the wrong place at the wrong time during Operation Remington, Jake became a slave to B613 and was forcibly tied to Fitz's political destiny, while Fitz got his freedom by taking a few oaths of office.
Jake believes that Fitz only cares about himself and Liv, but Fitz insists that Jake just wants to be Liv's hero. Of course, she doesn't need one. (That doesn't mean she doesn't want one, Fitz.) Jake leaves, telling Fitz he's off to fight his battles.
Sally tells Daniel that she's announcing her presidential bid tomorrow. He seems genuinely supportive, but pales when she mentions God because he's been off, fornicating with Cyrus's husband.
James shows up to Cyrus's office before he meets with Daniel Douglas, as they "barely scratched the surface" during their interview. He further twists the knife when he asks Cyrus if he still has a donor dinner to attend that night. Cyrus says yes, and James replies, "That's too bad. It could have been a threesome."
James runs into D.D., who immediately pulls him aside to give him the "I'm not gay. That just happened once. I love my wife" speech. It is so sad to watch. He begs James not to embarrass his family by writing about them having sex. All of the self-hatred D.D.'s been harboring is just pouring out right in front of James. That "I'm a man, a Christian" bit was especially awful.
Olivia, still trying to recall the day her mom left, remembers Maya talking on the phone with the reporter. If they can track him down, and he corroborates Maya's story, they can stop Eli. But Maya isn't with it. She knows that will just jeopardize the reporter's life, and she refuses to put another person at risk.
Jake has gathered a team of killers at some secret B613 place to try to get to Eli. After an explosion, Jake and his team go inside and discover that it is a trap. Eli and Charlie get away in a limo, while a bunch of soldiers lie in that building dead.
Charlie, being a sociopath, is gleeful, but Eli isn't pleased. He hates taking lives, surprisingly, and only does it when he has to. Well, that's an interesting layer for his character.
Eli sends Charlie to find Quinn. They need somebody on the inside. But Quinn's a little busy, breaking glasses with her feet to try to cut open the duct tape. Huck shows up again, just as she's made progress. She begs him to listen, but he's furious that she betrayed Liv and just prepares to pull another tooth.
All of the arrangements are made for Maya to head to Hong Kong, and there's a cute second of Liv speaking Chinese (of course she speaks Chinese). There's only one problem: Eli put Maya on the No Fly List.
Abby heads down to David's office to ask him to speak with someone from Homeland Security. She promises that Maya's file is full of trumped-up charges from two decades ago. David, of course, is hesitant, especially since this isn't a favor that a "normal" boyfriend would be asked to do, but agrees to look into it.
The drama is really ramped up during this episode. It's like every storyline that has been building up (except Harrison's, because…Harrison) is finally converging in this one hour.
Sally finally gives Fitz her letter of resignation, and of course, he's not happy. She refuses to listen when he tells her that she can't do this, when he tries to offer her anything she wants, and when he tells her that she'll be committing political suicide. Realizing that Sally has made up her mind, Fitz promises that she will live to regret this day. Ooh, fun!
Unable to take it anymore, Cyrus rushes home, convinced that he would find D.D. there. He tells James that he knows that he had sex with D.D. But James says he's confused. He thought Cyrus wanted him to have sex with D.D. He's also confused as to why Cyrus would choose to pimp out his own husband, rather than hire a male escort. He knows that this has something to do with Sally, but he wants to know exactly what.
Cyrus rants that he trusted James to respect their marriage, but instead, he got naked. James is not about to let Cyrus gaslight him into thinking that all of this is his fault. He tells Cyrus that he has ruined their marriage, not to mention the fact that he is a gay man who is trying to shame another gay man for being in the closet. James is disgusted with him on a personal and ideological level. Goodness.
He shows Cyrus the "article" he's working on, and it's just "I want a divorce" written about 30 times in all caps. When he tells Cyrus that he's taking their invisible baby and leaving him, Cyrus freaks and threatens James with the photos. Of course, James is disgusted that he took photos, but of course, Cyrus would need proof in order to blackmail D.D.
Fitz calls Cyrus and asks him to come to the Oval to get yelled at about Sally's betrayal. Fitz storms out after whining for a bit and Mellie demands to know what happened with James. Cyrus finally breaks and begins sobbing on the spot. Mellie gives him a moment to gather himself, then tells him that it won't kill him. Eventually, he will become numb to the fact that his husband cheated.
David drops by to tell Abby that he couldn't get Maya's name off of the No Fly List. Trying to remove it actually flagged it for Homeland Security. Maya's ready to give up, but Olivia promises to find another way. Of course, that other way involves her calling Fitz to vent and sob about Vermont and jam and kids.
At first, Olivia insists that there is nothing Fitz can do, because her father put Maya on the No Fly List with a file full of crimes against the country. If Fitz helped, word might get out that he helped a terrorist, and he would be labeled a traitor and thrown in jail. In the end, Fitz promises to help her, despite her pretending not to want him to.
Charlie goes to Quinn's apartment, as Eli ordered, and finds her all duct-taped and bloody. He unties her, has her take a shower, gives her some vodka to swish around in her mouth to prevent infection and numb the gums. She begins to cry, which he tells her is against the rules. But dude, her best friend in the world just yanked out her teeth with pliers. She gets to get a sob or two.
Of course, her crying leads to Charlie kissing her and them becoming an official couple. That should be awful.
Cyrus presents Sally with the photos, but she is unmoved. She knows he would never release those pictures, thereby destroying his husband and his marriage and testing the will of the party. No way they'd support Fitz if his chief of staff's husband were having an affair with a married man.
Cyrus calls James to apologize. He promises (lies) that Sally will never see the photos and says he burned them. He asks for forgiveness, and I really don't see that happening.
Quinn and Charlie set out for Wonderland. She promises that she can help B613 find the rest of P&A by triangulating the signal of the burner phones, since she knows the signatures. No idea what that means, but it makes Charlie kiss her and declare her to be the "best girlfriend I've ever had."
Olivia and Co. put Maya on a military plane bound for Hong Kong. Liv's friend will make sure she gets through customs. At first, Liv just tries to send her off like any other client, but Abby insists she go hug her.
Hugging her triggers another memory from the day she left. A man called their house asking for "Marie" and Liv, thinking her mother's name was Maya, hung up. Liv quickly realizes her mistake and calls Huck to find out the name Eli had placed on the No Fly List – the name of a terrorist.
Turns out her mother's real name is Marie Wallace. Liv realizes everything that Eli did was to protect her…from her mother.
And THAT is how you get locked in a secret prison by your husband for 22 years, folks.
Flashback to a moment we didn't see while Huck was torturing Quinn in her apartment. When he went for another tooth, she promised him that she would do something to make it right.
Of course, that "something" is killing Eli. As she meets him with Charlie, we see a close-up of her hand, slipping the cap off a syringe.
But if you thought that's where this episode was going to end, you clearly forgot what show we're talking about. Cyrus is awoken from what looks like an incredibly uncomfortable sleep on his office couch by a call from Sally…who has just murdered Daniel Douglas. Welp.
Next week: All hell breaks loose...again. (Side note: How long ago would Fitz have been impeached in real life?)