Scandal recap: Presidential Balls

Olivia's daddy issues run deep, Fitz lies about his affair to save Jake, and Huck freaks everyone out
Ep. 02 | Aired Oct 10, 2013

POPE AND LOCKE Lyin' Liv urges Jeanine to tell the truth.

Danny Feld/ABC

WHAT THE HUCK. I have not in any way recovered after seeing Huck choke-slam Olivia against a car at the end of this flashback-heavy episode 2, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" Their relationship was so special. In Grey's Anatomy parlance, Huck was Olivia's "person." And now what? Is Huck about to go kill Daddy Pope, the "Command" of B613?

I'll back up in a minute, but the episode ended with another surprise: Capt. Jake Ballard is alive, bloody, and collapsing at Olivia's doorstep. And horror of horrors: get this. He says "Hi." HI. What! That's supposed to be Fitz's simple greeting to Liv after he survives a near-death situation. Not Jake's. What's next -- Noel tossing Felicity a simple "Hey"? That's Ben's line. Scott Foley can't win. #BadJake.

Jake looks like he's been plucked straight from the hole and deposited at the door by -- I don't know, a magical zip-line attached to Daddy Pope's cell phone? He needs to be dipped in an epsom salt bath, stat. But all Liv has in the house is wine!

I'm calling him Daddy Pope because the Rowan/Eli switch is confusing me. And because "Daddy Pope" is trending on Twitter. Twitter is my puppeteer; I apparently have the same relationship with it as Olivia does with her father. (Also, I'm sorry I'm not Katie Atkinson, who did a killer job on last week's premiere recap. Katie's out of town. I miss her almost as much as you do.)

First, the flashbacks. Five years ago: Olivia and her dad have a standing date for Sunday dinner. He wears some really sharp sweaters (sartorial pride clearly runs in the family) and speaks serenely about his boring Smithsonian job. These dinners are paying off her student loans…and feeding her buddy Homeless Huck back at Union Station.

After Huck saves Olivia from a mugging in his typical ruthless-killer fashion, Olivia gently asks for the scoop. He tells her all about B613, veering off into a somewhat incoherent ramble involving "Acme Limited," "Command" and "Wonderland." So Liv asks her dad to look into it, and I can't say enough about Joe Morton's acting here. Throughout the episode, he's able to convey both "extremely terrifying" and "fiercely kind," with a sort of baseline "steely-eyed, tremendously composed monster" running in between. He barely flinched when she brought up the CIA offshoot…that he runs. This guy controls everything. His daughter, the President, the country, possibly the world. Four things, at least.

He's also responsible for Liv's love of fine wine.

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 7.17.26 PM

"I don't like wine. I've never had the taste for it." A truly haunting Olivia Pope flashback.

NEXT: 'We're family, sweetie. We're never done.'

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