“Scandal” Premiere Recap: “Survival Of The Fittest”
On Thursday’s “Scandal” season premiere, it was finally revealed who won the presidential election, with tragic results. Here are the most important things to know about “Survival Of The Fittest,” the first episode of season 6.
The show began with Quinn and Huck walking through the woods looking for “her” when a cabin in front of them exploded. It then cut to election night, with the results coming in. Stunning everyone, Frankie Vargas won the presidency over Mellie.
Mellie refused to concede, Olivia had a moment with Fitz as she broke down, and Jake disappeared. A distraught Mellie ultimately made the concession call at Olivia’s urging, after which the two drank in shock that Cyrus was going to be vice president. But as Frankie gave his victory speech, he was shot in the arm, stomach and head.
The shooter, named Nelson McClintock, was quickly apprehended, and Frankie died in the hospital. Fitz wondered if this meant Cyrus would now be president, but David said it was up in the air until the electoral college met the following month. “Legally, the next presidency is wide open,” he said. “The reality is the next president is who you say it is.”
Olivia asked Papa Pope, “Was it you?” He denied being behind the shooting, and taunted her over the election loss. He also suggested it was Cyrus who paid an assassin to kill Frankie, and said now there was a “second chance” at the Oval. “Survival of the fittest, Olivia,” he told her.
Olivia had Quinn, Huck and Charlie investigate Cyrus-Nelson connections, although Mellie did not want to go after the presidency anymore. Fitz, conflicted on what to do, refused to publicly announce Frankie’s death, and wanted proof that Cyrus was behind the assassination. He gave Olivia a morning deadline, and ended up comforting Mellie, who said she did still want “the crown.”
Olivia refused to give up when her team found no evidence, so she went to Cyrus herself, only to find him in the hospital diagnosed with shock. She apologized to Fitz for being wrong, and told him, “You know what you have to do.” So, he asked a seemingly stunned Cyrus to uphold Frankie’s legacy and be better than he was. “I am handing you America. Take care of it,” Fitz said.
Towards the end of the episode, the morning after election night, Marcus broke the news to Mellie that Fitz would be backing Cyrus as president. Charlie proposed to Quinn as Huck realized there was one tip they hadn’t investigated, a call from a female staffer on Frankie’s campaign, with her phone now being traced to a cabin. As Fitz announced Frankie’s passing to the media, Quinn and Huck went to the cabin, which exploded, as seen in the opening.
In the final minutes, Quinn accepted Charlie’s proposal and the team heard the now-dead staffer’s voicemail, after which Olivia confronted Cyrus over faking his grief. “It was Cyrus Beene. He killed Frankie Vargas,” the caller had said. Olivia now vowed to prove it.