Scandal recap: The Mellie Missile Crisis

Olivia confronts Fitz; Mellie threatens to go public with the separation; The Gladiators investigate Charlie
Ep. 20 | Aired May 2, 2013

THE GLOVES COME OFF Olivia storms into the Oval Office to throw down with the President. She removes her white gloves with the anger of a Victorian duchess who hasn't been served her tea. Sadly she doesn't use one to slap Fitz across the face. 

Eric McCandless/ABC

Olivia is understandably not cool with Jake tracking her every move. She hasn't forgotten about those security cameras and certainly doesn't want Fitz dictating who is keeping her safe. What's unclear to me when Olivia is bickering with Jake and boldly calling the President directly to "call off your puppy" is whether or not she thinks she might actually be in danger. Because, as Jake says, yes he was watching her via security camera but there was an actual person who broke into her house. Whether or not that person intended to kill her is clearly speculation, but he had a mask on. He probably wasn't breaking and entering just to talk.

Meanwhile, Cyrus is having a rotten time. Mellie moved out of the White House and the Chief of Staff is freaking out, barking orders to his secretary to issue a CYA press release about Teddy having chicken pox. He doesn't even notice that James is in his office, he and barely stops working even though his husband is clearly so thrilled about something that he's practically shaking. It turns out James has been offered a high profile on-camera job at BNC. He believes that he's going to be the next Anderson Cooper. Cyrus is so overwhelmed with the imminent divorce that he says he's fine with James taking the job. Which is...interesting. Perhaps he believes that an on-camera James will be less likely to go digging for stories. Or maybe Cyrus is just too frazzled to think about the ramifications of his approval, which he'll come to regret by the end of the episode.

Cyrus' plea for Mellie to act like a grownup is shot down pretty immediately. Mellie is holding her ground with perfect makeup and a smile. She informs Cyrus that Fitz has 36 hours to apologize to her in person, or she goes on live TV to tell the world that he's having an affair. Cyrus believes her. It doesn't seem like him to retreat from Mellie so easily. On one hand, it keeps the story moving along. He has to then present the problem to Fitz, go back to Mellie with a solution, and so on, just like a regular diplomat. On the other hand, we also know that Cyrus really has never liked dealing with their relationship, so perhaps he's just flustered that the situation has reached this level. Either way, Cyrus is VERY invested in how these 36 hours play out. For all their talk of history and legacy, poor Cyrus might only be known as the Chief of Staff who mediated the quibbles of an on-the-outs couple. Cyrus can't even get Olivia to care. He's on his own here. And it is stressing him out.

Back at OPA, the Gladiators are pouring over the security footage from the hospital, but they can't figure out who the guy in the hat is. But, Scandalites, Huck is back, baby. He knows it's Charlie immediately because of that chewed ear. And they don't hesitate to make the connection that we've all been fretting over for weeks now: What if Cyrus Beene is the mole? Olivia is floored when they connect the dots for her, but she wants them to do a deep dive into this one. Last time they thought they'd figured Albatross out, an innocent man ended up dead. Even Gladiators learn from their mistakes.

NEXT: Charlie, the mercenary who's killed kings, is in a book club...

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