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

Speaking of our girl, newly reinstated U.S. Attorney David Rosen pays her a visit and brings his "white hat" metaphors with him. Before he can finish his "do the right thing" speech, the first proof of Olitz arrives in the form of a cell phone video showing the president leaving Olivia's apartment. Cyrus' totally rational, not at all hasty response? Start the Olivia Pope "kill folder." What happened to him being her friend and champion? That island vacation is looking mighty nice right about now...

Harrison tries talking some sense into Cyrus, threatening that Olivia knows too much to be silenced, but Cy is unfazed: "Kill folder" is a go. And Cyrus isn't above playing the "ambitious slut" card against his dear college friend. We don't think Cyrus and James will be invited over for sauvignon blanc at Liv's place anytime soon.

Here comes dear old dad again, for a parking-garage heart-to-heart with his daughter. Her first order of business: Where the eff is Jake? (Sorry, Olitz fans, but our girl hasn't yet forgotten that Jake existed.) Rowan's not telling, and he goes on one hell of a power trip, basically taking credit for all of democracy. He also makes the mistake of telling Olivia Pope that she's out of options. "I'm never out of options," she says -- and she's totally right. She cracks open her safe, calls up the cavalry, and is whisked away to a bunker housing her commander-in-chief beau. Yup, pretty good option.

Fitz isn't pumped that Olivia "pulled the fire alarm" for this national romance emergency -- but this is no love bunker. Mellie soon joins the duo to plan their next move, and she has a few choice words for Miss Pope. Olivia responds as respectfully as possible: "We have a job to do here, and in order to do my part effectively, I'm going to need you to refrain from referring to me as a whore."

Then, she's in full "fixer" mode, realizing that their only option is to be 100 percent honest. "It works," Olivia says. "The truth works." Not for Mellie, who drops the bomb that Fitz called out Olivia's name -- not hers -- when he was shot. They're not dealing with a cheating scandal; they're dealing with an inconvenient love story (which would totally work as an alternate title for this show).

NEXT: Mellie gets to choose the entirely fictional number of times her husband cheated on her

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