Scandal recap: The Lesser Evil

Hollis Doyle is subjected to an investigation, Olivia begins to regret her ethical breaches, and Mellie goes to desperate measures to get Fitz back
Ep. 12 | Aired Jan 31, 2013

TWIST THE KNIFE Hollis chastises Olivia for not protecting him from federal investigators, but Olivia's allegiances have shifted.

DANNY FELD/ABC

Olivia refuses to talk to Edison too, which prompts him to go to Olivia Pope and Associates to ask them to figure out what's wrong. "I think we have our next client," Quinn says. And finally, Quinn takes some initiative. It's been building to this. She asks that everyone tell what they know. And with the honesty dump, they start piecing things together. For the audience, it's been hard to keep track of who knows what, so I'm glad they did this. It makes more sense that Olivia's associates would be more curious about things, considering a building bombing and a Presidential assassination attempt is involved. They figure it out fairly quickly: Olivia hasn't persecuted Hollis because they're in on the election rigging together.

Huck goes to check on Olivia and reminds her that when Cyrus says he's handling things, that means a murder is about to happen. And so Olivia takes a different route -- she tells hospital-bound Verna that she's going to blow the lid off the whole operation. Verna agrees that this is the best route. Cut to federal agents arresting Hollis Doyle for the attempted assassination of the President. David can hold him for 48 hours only, and needs Olivia's help to obtain more evidence -- proof money changing hands, etc. Cyrus does not agree with Olivia's choice. He wants vengeance. She wants justice. She doesn't even care if she goes under for it, but Cyrus sees something more at stake here -- the fate of the Republic.

But Olivia has things to do, and she gives her associates the task of trying to find some proof of an exchange of money between Hollis and Becky (the one who pulled the trigger on the President, and who orchestrated the Cytron framing). Huck goes to see Becky in prison and gets her to give him her bank account information by giving her his real name. He says it's so he can hire her a good lawyer and can continue seeing her. This may be a half truth -- Huck did seem to be conflicted about Becky, but his true allegiances are to Olivia.

Mellie is back at Cyrus' doorstep about Fitz. He tells her that she needs to deal with it, that he has no influence over him since the shooting. So Mellie goes to the hospital to ask for a favor, and Cyrus gives the go to his guy to kill, or at least slow down, Hollis Doyle.

Olivia confides to Harrison that her White Hat was starting to eat her alive. He tells her he's got her back. Everyone should have a Harrison. David goes head-to-head with a fast-talking lawyer who basically tells him he has no case while Hollis Doyle reads Family Circus. Cyrus gives Fitz one last plea to stand down on the whole divorce thing and they are interrupted by an "emergency" with the First Lady. And then things get tense. Olivia Pope and her associates find out Hollis didn't pay Becky and that, presumably, he didn't arrange the shooting. Mellie induces labor and gets Fitz back on her side, and Cyrus' guy gets on the same elevator as Hollis. This will not end well.

So, if it wasn't Hollis, WHO paid Becky? Who arranged for the assassination? Is there someone we haven't met yet? And what do you think about the Cyrus and Olivia argument? Is it better to manipulate the system for the greater good? What is the lesser evil? There are three more episodes left in the season. Do you all think we're going to get all the answers? What is it all building to?

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