“Scandal” Recap: “Paris Is Burning”
On Thursday’s “Scandal,” Olivia and Fitz dealt with the consequences of her publicly confirming they’re having an affair. Here are the most important things to know about “Paris Is Burning,” the third episode of season 5.
The show picked up with Fitz and Mellie doing an interview with journalist Noah about the strength of their marriage and the untrue affair rumors, unaware that Olivia had told the press that she is indeed the president’s mistress. A panicked Abby interrupted the taping, and while Fitz was thrilled to find out why, Mellie was angered. Noah, however, threatened to run the already-taped footage if he wasn’t given the first interview about the scandal. Fitz was game to move ahead, and he and Olivia shared a liplock.
Abby tried to convince Mellie that the interview could help her, too, with Cyrus interrupting to reveal he’s now her chief of staff and would negotiate any interview terms. “I want to destroy Olivia Pope,” Mellie told Cyrus. “I want her to suffer like I have suffered. I want her to suffer so much it makes him suffer.” He encouraged to instead think like a “champion” and “warrior.” So, what did she REALLY want? “The Oval.”
Olivia agreed with Liz that Fitz had to put aside his anger towards Mellie to work out a mutually-agreeable deal, with Cyrus saying he wanted the president to be Mellie’s “bitch” as she runs for the White House. The other conditions: Olivia doesn’t move into the White House, she doesn’t marry Fitz, and no public appearances together until Mellie wins the presidency. Olivia and Fitz disagreed about whether to keep Mellie happy, with Liv believing it would be the best strategy.
Abby called out Olivia for lying about being with Fitz, accusing her BFF of not believing she could handle her job as press secretary. Meanwhile, back at Liv’s office, the group was getting hounded by the media for comment. Jake, however, stopped Huck and Quinn from trying to protect her, saying Olivia finally told her truth. Instead, the trio got drunk, but during a phone call to Jake, Liv admitted, “I think I made a mistake, what I said to the press.” She rejected his offer to rescue her, though.
Abby and Liz later had words of their own about Olivia as the interview/split agreement was printed up, further calling for Liv to not ever take the Grant name. But despite it all being in her favor, Mellie refused to accept the deal. “I just know that I want more,” she yelled, ripping Cyrus for not being a “monster” for her. “You’re not him anymore… you’re soft.”
Cyrus went to Fitz with fake humility, and said the only way to make “this” go away would be to take Mellie back and stay away from Olivia until he leaves office. The two women then ran into each other in the private quarters, with Mellie trying to paint the worst possible picture for Olivia’s future as Fitz’s wife, comparing it to being in prison. “I hope you know what you’re really fighting for,” Mellie said to a tearful, obviously conflicted Liv.
As the clock ticked down to the interview time, Olivia told Fitz she’s “calling it” and “it’s over,” because they would never get Mellie to take the deal. She insisted they just stick it out for the next 18 months, but he accused her of “giving up.” In response, she called him out for not understanding what she would be truly, personally and professionally, giving up to be the First Lady. Afterward, Fitz offered Mellie an apology for “abandoning” her, and promised to help her become the first female president of the U.S.
Their sincere conversation led them both to agree to the interview, as Olivia apologized to Abby and they worked out their issues. Just before the taping, Cyrus begged Fitz for his job back, to which he replied, “You. Do. Not. Work. Here. Anymore.” After the rejection and just before the cameras were set to roll, Cyrus berated Mellie for accepting the deal, telling her, “You got played.” The mind game worked, and Mellie refused to do the interview.
Fitz was determined to do the interview solo, but Abby assured him she would handle it with the press. And that meant bashing Olivia for the sake of saving the president’s reputation. He wanted to stop it, but Olivia cried to him, “Sit there, and watch me choose you.” The episode ended with Liv and Fitz cuddling, Mellie and Cyrus driving away, Abby trashing Olivia to the press, and Jake visiting Papa Pope in prison… because the “Louvre is on fire.”
The promo for next week showed each of those scenarios escalating, capped off by a bombshell: “They want to impeach him.” TELL US: What do you think of tonight’s “Scandal”?