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

The contents of the DVD? A cell phone video of a drunk Jeannine Locke -- the vice president's top aide -- talking about how "hot" the president is. And just like that, Olivia Pope's name leaves the narrative, and Jeannine's enters. Her private emails refer to Fitz as "super awesome," "super cool," and "super doable." No arguments there, Jeannine.

The only one not impressed with the Gladiators' work? Olivia herself. "What did you do?" she demands, recognizing her own fingerprints all over the scheme. Fitz isn't pleased either, referring to Jeannine as a "poor, innocent girl" and pushing forward with his press conference plan. But Mellie was inspired by Fitz himself, she says -- after he leaked Olivia's name to the press. (So Deep Throat is the president himself? That would have been a twist ending to All the President's Men!) Of course, he had Secret Service agent Tom do the dirty work for him.

But despite how romantic Mellie (and we) think Fitz is, he didn't leak Liv's name so they could start their happily ever after; he leaked it so Mellie didn't have the Olivia card in her arsenal anymore. "Now she's free," he says, declaring war on his own wife.

Olivia will get through this whirlwind the best way she knows how: by getting back to work. Her first client? Jeannine Locke, who (rightfully) saw through Cyrus' promise of the weight of the White House backing her up.

We're far from done with the drama of this episode: Cyrus walks into his bedroom to find assassin Charlie in bed with a drugged James and a gun pointed at him. After a cozy ride in a trunk, Cyrus is taken straight to Rowan. Turns out, Olivia's dad has some intel about Fitz's military history with Jake, salacious enough to make Cyrus say, "Oh my God."

What is in that folder, Gladiators? How will Liv save Jeannine without burying herself? How will World War III -- a.k.a. Fitz vs. Mellie -- play out? And are some of you hoping Jake never finds his way out of that hole? Welcome back to Olivia Pope's D.C.!

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