“Scandal” Recap: “Trump Card”
On Thursday’s “Scandal,” Olivia and Abby put aside their issues to try to take Hollis down. Here are the most important things to know about “Trump Card,” the 20th episode of season 5.
The show began with the Donald Trump-esque Hollis leading the Republican race for president. Olivia and Abby agreed to “no more campaigning against each other” with Mellie and Susan until they take Hollis out. But both seceretly wanted to be prepared for when the ceasefire was broken. Amid this, Susan was taken aback when David suggested they get married, but accepted his proposal.
Olivia was surprised by how much Cyrus believed in Frankie as president, and confessed to him that Papa Pope was responsible for Edison’s successful opposition campaign. Cyrus was ready to fight, and even kill, but Liv saw no way to win against her father. Meanwhile, Papa Pope told Abby that Olivia aborted Fitz’s baby. While she was hesitant to use that intel, he asked her, “What would Olivia Pope do?”
In the meantime, the two women tried to alienate Hollis from different voter bases, such as fiscal conservatives and women. But none of it seemed to have an effect, and he even vowed to make Mellie or Susan his VP, pending which one dropped out first. And when Abby suggested they focus on Hollis’ abortion stance, Olivia adamantly refused, thinking it would backfire.
Liz insisted that Susan take Hollis’ deal, and further suggested they paint Mellie as “crazy” and “unfit” because she met with a psychic following her son’s death. And as Mellie considered taking the offer, Marcus gave her a confidence boost. Just after, Papa Pope told Olivia Mellie should indeed accept it… or Abby would. “She’s not to be trusted,” he said.
Olivia met with Hollis, saying she wanted Mellie on his ticket, but was concerned about his offensive messages. He insisted he really didn’t believe the things he said, but was giving the people what they want, and would pivot for the general election. “We got a deal,” they agreed.
But Olivia had actually played him, recording his remarks, which she gave to Sally for “The Liberty Report,” leading to an on-air confrontation. Hollis’ campaign “combusted” afterward, and Liv and Abby celebrated as it seemed like his drop-out was imminent. But tomorrow… they’d be “enemies again.”
As a black candidate, Edison wanted to stand up against the racist Hollis, but Papa Pope wouldn’t let him so he would still appeal to the “paler crop” of voters. And after berating him, he insisted Edison put Jake at the top of his list as vice presidential running mates. Edison later told Jake he would not be considering him, but Jake made clear he really had no choice. He also confessed he was behind his body-shattering accident and warned, “Don’t say no to me.”
Olivia told Edison that he may win the presidency, but her dad would be the one running the country, and that he was “stealing the election” for himself. She urged him to drop out, and vowed she would help him in the future. And at her suggestion, he went on to harshly rip Hollis to the media and call his supporters “thugs,” “punks,” and un-American.
The “unfiltered talk” angered Papa Pope, as expected, and thrilled Cyrus, as Edison’s subsequent concession cleared the path for Frankie to be the unchallenged Democratic nominee. Elsewhere, Huck and Quinn uncovered enough dirt to get Susan out the race, while Abby wrestled with whether to use her Liv abortion intel. Surprisingly, the two agreed to share their opposition research.
The hope was that either Susan or Mellie, the one with the worst info, would drop out and that person’s secrets would stay buried. But if not, it was open season. Olivia started by revealing that David dropped a federal case in exchange for the Florida governor’s endorsement. Susan was devastated by his lie, and Fitz said he’d want David’s resignation.
But when Abby had the chance to spill about the abortion, she instead only mentioned the Mellie psychic story. And with that, Susan said, “I quit. Congratulations, Mellie.” Liz, of course, was furious, and Susan lashed out at David for making her want the presidency, and then essentially taking it away. She then dumped him for not truly believing in her.
Susan went on to officially suspend her campaign, and publicly threw her support behind Mellie. And as they celebrated, Mellie and Marcus nearly gave in to their growing sexual tension. Toward the end of the episode, Olivia accused Abby of losing on “purpose,” and wanted to know what info she really had. Abby finally confessed all, saying, “I didn’t want to hurt you.” Liv said she wasn’t “ashamed,” and that the only person who stood to get hurt was Fitz.
Abby was unaware that Fitz didn’t know, and admitted it was Papa Pope who told her. “And Liv, I don’t think he’s done with you,” she warned. In the final minutes, Papa Pope confronted Edison over going along with his daughter’s plan, and Jake said the only reason he wouldn’t be killed was in case he was needed in the future. But when Pope left, Jake whispered to him to tell Olivia he wanted to “escape.” The season finale is now just a week away!