“Scandal” Recap: “The Decision”
On Thursday’s “Scandal,” there was an alternate reality for the show’s milestone 100th episode. Olivia wondered what life would be like if she never rigged Fitz’s election, leading to a parallel universe. Here are the most important things to know about “The Decision,” the tenth episode of season 6.
The show began with Olivia, Fitz, and Jake arguing over how to take down the conspirators who arranged Frankie’s assassination. Jake suggested they do nothing, since they want Mellie in the White House like the schemers, but Fitz didn’t want another election to be “fixed.” Jake told Liv, “I guarantee Fitz’s life would be a million times worse if you hadn’t rigged that election. Yours, too.”
That triggered the alternate reality, with Olivia refusing to rig the Defiance results, wanting to “lose with our souls in tact.” Indeed, Fitz lost the 2010 presidential election, with Samuel Reston winning, and Mellie blamed Olivia for the defeat. Though Fitz wasn’t upset with her, Liv still ended things and said she was going to work with a reformer in D.C. named Marcus.
Two months later, Olivia was dating Leo, working with Marcus, and enlisting help from Abby, Huck and David. As Liv was leaving for a date, Fitz showed up, announcing, “I left Mellie… I came here to ask you to marry me… Marry me, Olivia Pope.” She tearfully accepted. On the wedding day, a closeted Cyrus refused to sit with James and left the nuptials to comfort a devastated Mellie, who kissed him. Huck walked Olivia down the aisle, with Papa Pope hidden among the guests. He snuck out after the vows.
Post-wedding, Olivia continued lobbying, Fitz had a show called “The Grant Report,” and Cyrus and Mellie were married. He said it wasn’t too late for Mellie herself to make a run for president, and she chose James as the journalist to break the news. Meanwhile, Fitz and Jake were apparently pals, Huck was fixated on Lindsay, a “Bachelor”-like contestant, and distance grew between Fitz and Olivia, who was focused on growing her business more than their marriage while he was dissatisfied with his post-political career.
Cyrus insisted to James his marriage to Mellie wasn’t a “sham” or a “lie” but also said he couldn’t “give up” his quest for the White House, even if he wanted to be with him. He was unaware that Mellie overheard their talk. Fitz thought Mellie was only running out of “spite,” prompting Olivia to tell him, “It’s not always about you.” That triggered a fight about country vs. ego. When he accused her of “screwing” Marcus, she revealed she almost fixed the election for him. “You should’ve done it,” he told her. When Liv said that would’ve “destroyed” them, he shot back, “At least I would’ve been president.”
Five months later, Olitz was still together but even more strained. Papa Pope, using a false identity, was working on Mellie’s campaign, with him and Cyrus wanting to expose Sally’s husband as gay. She refused, pointedly saying, “You of all people should understand why.” Fitz unhappily interviewed Lindsay, “America’s sweetheart,” on his show, after which they wildly hooked up until he abruptly kicked her out. At the same time, Olivia had divorce papers drawn up, but Abby urged her to stay with him.
Towards the end of the episode, Cyrus leaked the photos anyway, and accused Mellie of knowing all along their relationship was an “arrangement.” He insisted the Oval was most important and they should keep the charade going. The exchange led Mellie to apologize to Olivia, saying she was “right” not to rig the election. She believed she was now “trapped” while Fitz was “free.” She told liv, “You saved him. I thought you should know that.”
Now more than two years after the election, Fitz was reporting on Sally and her husband’s “life of pretending” when he walked off his show. He went home and apologized to Olivia, telling her, “I lost that election because I didn’t want it.” He thanked her for not rigging the election, acknowledging, “You tried to give me freedom.” He vowed to become the man she “deserves.” She accepted by finally agreeing to move out of her apartment into a real home.
Out of her daydream and back in the present, Olivia went to Fitz, who asked, “Did you make a decision?” She told him, “I’m in.” Next week, the exes will try to save Cyrus and get him the Oval, over Mellie’s objections and Papa Pope’s warnings.