Scandal season premiere recap: 'Are We Gladiators, or Are We Bitches?'

Olivia deals with her daddy issues as we find out who leaked her affair with Fitz
Ep. 01 | Aired Oct 3, 2013

HARRISON MAXIMUS With Olivia spiraling into crisis, someone needs to lead the Gladiators. Harrison takes it upon himself to borrow the White Hat from Liv's closet.

Eric McCandless/ABC

And... Olivia's off the plane! Let's all imagine for a second that she took her dad up on the offer. Do you think Shonda Rhimes would have fast-forwarded eight months and shown viewers the aftermath of her disappearing act? Or would we have gotten a glimpse of Olivia getting her groove back, à la Angela Bassett? We're picturing a hot island love affair with nary a cell phone or leather glove in sight. We'll just have to wait for the DVD deleted scenes -- or some ShondaLand fanfic.

Back in the real world, Cyrus is suggesting Sally Langston take on all the president's public appearances, but the VP isn't down with the whole extramarital situation. (She actually refers to Fitz "laying with another woman" -- so Old Testament!) Sally and Fitz have a scotch summit, without their guard dogs, and Fitz admits the rumors are true in order to buy him some time. Lagavulin neat, works every time: Just ask Ron Swanson.

Olivia could definitely use a scotch right about now, as she fights off paparazzi and reporters on her way into the office. Despite the madness, Olivia promises her staff that it's business as usual, but they're skeptical that things are truly "handled." (Sidebar: Abby looks amazing. Someone stepped up the redhead's hair-and-makeup budget in season 3. But we're in crisis mode here, so, you know, back to important things.)

Cyrus knows who to turn to for answers: his White House reporter husband (no conflict of interest there). Cy offers James a scoop in exchange for details on how a style reporter learned the White House's secrets. Well, it turns out D.C. reporters troll the bar Molloy's to pick up crumbs of gossip from the Secret Service agents who drink there -- but when Mellie interrogates top agent Hal, he swears he never mentioned Olivia's name.

NEXT: David Rosen loves hats

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