It's that time again, Gladiators! Are you ready for another spectacular episode of Scandal? I know I am! Last week ended on a high-note, for once, with Mellie essentially landing the Republican nomination and Jake asking for a life raft away from the dark side. Now, let's see what new shenanigans the Gladiators get into on this week's episode, "That's My Girl".
We open with Jake as he meets with his father-in-law, who thanks him for being apart of their family. Before he can fully express his affection, he begins having a heart attack and Jake makes it clear that he poisoned him on orders from Rowan. He waits for him to die before calling an ambulance.
Meanwhile, Tom brings Cyrus news about Michael and Ella's whereabouts. Tom asks Cyrus how he wants to proceed. Cyrus decides to focus on finding Vargas a VP. He asks David if he'd be interested. David asks what he'd have to do to land that spot, but Cyrus tells him that his intentions are pure and that he doesn't deal on the dark side anymore.
At OPA, Mellie searches for a VP of her own. Their first choice is Bill Wagoner, a charismatic governor from Missouri who is loved by both parties. The only issue is that he dealt cocaine in college, a fact which he admits openly to Olivia and Mellie. Olivia decides to give him the go-ahead, despite this misstep.
Edison delivers Jake's message to Olivia and is confused by her lack of urgency. He leaves after realizing that Liv plans to do nothing. Huck encourages Liv to reconsider and tells her about the death of Vanessa's father. Huck says that Rowan is planning something and he'll drag Jake into it if Liv doesn't help him. Liv says that she can't help Jake without risking his life.
Speak of the devil, Rowan visits Vargas and offers him a ton of money. Cyrus tells Rowan that he's not welcome on his campaign. Rowan threatens to tell Vargas about Cyrus's dirty dealings unless he allows him to support Vargas and puts Jake on the ticket as his VP.
Huck and Quinn visit a man named Doug Morton, Wagoner's dealing partner from back in college. They give him a new identity and strongly encourage him to move to Albuquerque and become Anthony.
At the White House, Fitz and Abby discuss Mellie's requests for Fitz on her campaign, and his future plans following the presidency. He tells her that soon he'll be free to do whatever and go wherever he wants, possibly even landing in Vermont. Abby seems surprised by this revelation.
Vargas asks Cyrus about Jake and whether he'd be a good VP. Cyrus fantasizes about telling Vargas the truth before actually telling him that Jake would be great. Liz asks David about his meeting with Cyrus. David tells her about possibly being VP and she tells him he should do it, asking what it would take to run his campaign. David tells her that he's probably not going to do it and that he'd never put her on the campaign because she ruined his life and made him a terrible person. She urges him to do it and then kisses him. (Gross...)
Fitz finds Olivia's medical records and confronts Abby. She tells him that Rowan gave them to her to derail Mellie's campaign. Fitz refuses to believe that Liv had an abortion and walks away. Meanwhile, Cyrus tells Liv that her father hijacked his campaign. Liv tells him to just refuse but Cyrus says that he can't because Rowan knows about the Capitol shooting. Angry about Cyrus's dirty deeds, Liv tells him to deal with it himself but Cyrus tells her that the only way she'll get a fair race between Vargas and Mellie, is if she agrees to help.
Later, Mellie is upset about Fitz's self-centered speech for her convention. When Olivia is unresponsive, Mellie goes to Fitz instead, Marcus in tow. Fitz tells her that he's talking about himself to save her from the backlash of a speech about her. She calls him arrogant and says that she got where she was on her own, escaping him, just like Liv did. She faults him for treating the presidency like a prison and says that she won't squander her presidency like he did.
Liv meets with Jake to discuss helping him find a way out. She tries to apologize for leaving him before, but he demands to hear only the plan. She tells him that everything she's done has been to save him and that she's working on a plan to get him out.
Back at OPA, Huck tells Liv that if she wants Jake, she'll have to take him upfront, no sneaking around. Liv disagrees. Quinn tells Liv that they got rid of Doug, ensuring Wagoner's secret stays hidden. This gives Liv the idea to leak Wagoner's past to the press, rather than hide it. Mellie freaks out but Liv tells her that she has someone else in mind to be her VP.
She goes to see Fitz to tell him that Jake will be Mellie's running mate. He tells her that its a good choice and says that he misses talking to her. He tells her about what Mellie said about him being self-centered and apologizes for being that way with her too. He says that he'll change the speech because Mellie asked him to.
At OPA, Huck says that in order to take Command, Liv will have to become Command. Meanwhile, Tom and Cyrus discuss what to do about Michael and Ella. Tom says that he can take care of Ella if they decide to kill Michael, but Cyrus says that Tom is worth more to him than just some glorified nanny.
Olivia storms into her father's house to get Jake, dropping the bomb that Jake will be Mellie's VP. Jake is left to choose between two Popes and, obviously chooses, Olivia. Rowan puts a gun to Jake's head and tells him to stay. Olivia tells Jake to come with her, urging Rowan to shoot his "son" if he really can, knowing that he won't. Jake and Olivia walk out safely.
The announcement is made that Jake will be Mellie's VP, leaving Vargas without a candidate. Thankfully, Cyrus has one in mind-- oddly enough, it's not David. He tells Tom that he and Michael are getting back together, so their relationship is over.
Meanwhile, Fitz give his opening speech, this version Mellie-centric. Jake thanks Olivia for setting him free but tells her that he's taking his name off the ticket. He tells her that he wants to be normal with her, that he doesn't want the power. She tells him that she doesn't want mediocrity and he shouldn't either. He realizes that he's still not free, he's just under Liv's control now.
Jake goes out to stand with Mellie as Vargas announces his new running mate, Cyrus. Olivia threatens to tell his secrets if he runs but Cyrus reminds her that he knows about Andrew. At home, Rowan looks on as Liv realizes that Jake is her ticket back into the Oval.
Well, I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this episode. I can't decide who I'm disappointed in, if anyone. Everyone pulled so many bait-and-switches that I'm just trying to catch up. Cyrus v Mellie should be incredibly fun to watch though. Looking forward to that!
But what did you think? What are your thoughts on these presidential match ups? Tell us in the comments!