“Scandal” Recap: “Hardball”
On Thursday’s “Scandal,” Olivia was determined to prove Cyrus was behind Frank’s assassination. Here are the most important things to know about “Hardball,” the second episode of season 6.
The show began with a flashback to the Republican National Convention, where Mellie and Marcus flirted after she formally accepted the nomination. Olivia warned her to keep her “knees together.” In the present, Olivia played the voicemail blaming Cyrus for Frank’s assassination for Fitz, David, and Abby, who rejected the evidence.
Suspect Nelson McClintock denied responsibility in an interrogation, but Fitz wanted a confession before Frankie’s funeral. Olivia continued her own investigation, as Fitz ordered Mellie and Cyrus to talk to avoid an “implosion.” She mockingly suggested he kill her, too, and he asked her to be his vice president for “unity.” She indignantly refused, but he denied being involved in Frankie’s death and insisted Olivia was “the bad guy.”
In a second flashback, Marcus and Mellie again flirted, but she bailed just as they were about to kiss. They later bonded again, and this time hooked up. But back in the present, she told him not to be concerned about her because he didn’t “choose” her. She later called him for advice, and he urged her to take the vice presidency, where she could “have a personal life.”
He went on to say, “I miss you… I did choose you. You just have to choose me.” Then another flashback showed a blissful Mellie confessing their dalliances to Olivia, asking if this is what she felt with Fitz. Liv unsuccessfully tried to dampen her affection, leading Liv to ask Abby to give Marcus a White House job to break them up. An unwitting Marcus accepted the press secretary position, and Mellie took it personally, accusing him of “using” her.
Meanwhile, as Olivia distracted the FBI director, Angela, by giving her approval to ask out Fitz, Quinn swiped evidence from her office. Abby had Jake get a confession from Nelson, after which Angela found him in tears and soiled. That prompted David to tell Olivia, “The Constitution is going up in flames.” Liv confronted Abby over the forced confession, vowing Cyrus would go to prison and Mellie would become president.
That led Abby to now tell Mellie about Olivia’s meddling in her relationship, and she in turn called Liv out for a “new low.” Olivia said she couldn’t have the presidency AND Marcus, “so I made the choice for you.” Mellie’s response: “We are done, Olivia. Good luck finding your way back to the White House now.”
Towards the end of the episode, Olivia ended her investigation since she didn’t have a candidate anymore. She told Quinn to marry Charlie and have “normal,” obviously angry that she couldn’t have the same “untethered” happiness. Following Frankie’s funeral, Mellie seemed to have second thoughts about giving up the Oval, leading her to ask Olivia, “Did it hurt this bad when you left Fitz?”
In the final minutes, in the swiped evidence, Huck uncovered footage that Olivia took to Fitz, who was romancing Angela. She interrupted to share video of Frankie and Cyrus having a fight, in which the former vowed to imprison the latter. Now Fitz finally agreed to investigate Cyrus. But in a promo for the next episode, Cyrus insists Olivia is setting him up.