Bombs, brains and betrayal … just another episode of “Scandal”! Episode 17 of the hit ABC show aired on Thursday, setting up Gladiators for the bound to be mind-blowing Season 3 finale the following week. So, what happened in “Flesh and Blood”? Let’s recap!
6 Days Before the Election
Olivia “made the call” on shutting down B613 – and unfortunately it was the wrong call. But how bad are things really? So bad that Fitz and Cyrus were forced to head down to Pope & Associates to meet with Olivia and Jake. Learning that Maya Pope is on the loose with a bomb, Fitz was forced to make a call … bringing in Olivia’s father, Rowan.
Laying out all the information they have, the gang sets out to find Maya Pope and her associates – Adnan and Dominic Bell. And if Jake and Rowan in the same room wasn’t enough to cause trouble at Olivia’s office, Quinn and Charlie show up. With the whole gang working to stop the bomb, Fitz wants to return to the campaign trail. But Olivia fights him on it, saying it’s too dangerous for him to leave the White House.
Unfortunately, not everyone is getting along, and Rowan threatens to stop helping unless Jake leaves. Jake warns Olivia not to trust Rowan, but Olivia listens to her father. She kicks Jake out of the office, but Jake warns her not to call him when things go south.
The Paternity Test
As Olivia works on stopping Momma Pope and the bomb, Leo Bergen is meeting with one of Little Jerry’s classmates to get some dirt. It turns out the girl is Little Jerry’s girlfriend and hands Leo a used condom … in exchange for admission to Harvard.
But why does Leo want a “sample”? Because word got out that Mellie asked the White House doctor for a paternity test for her son.
Leo makes the call to Rowan, asking for a sample of Fitz. And in a surprising twist, Rowan shows Olivia she can trust him by revealing what Leo is up to.
Taking a break from the bomb fiasco, Olivia pays Mellie a visit to get to the bottom of the paternity scandal. But Olivia’s got it all wrong, believing that one of Mellie’s kids might actually belong to Andrew.
Mellie won’t tell Olivia anything, and Olivia quickly realizes that Mellie set this whole thing up. “I want his head in the fire and I want to see him burn,” Mellie revealed to Olivia in a drunken state. “I want to destroy him.”
Olivia’s shocked at Mellie’s breakdown, and becomes even more surprised when the first lady continues ranting about losing 15 years of her life.
“I have been destroyed while I made him president,” Mellie yells before muttering something about Big Jerry under her breath. But Olivia heard her … and begins to realize the secret Mellie has been hiding.
Thanks to Rowan, Olivia was able to “fix” the DNA test for Leo, foiling any chance Leo and Sally Langston had of leaking the paternity results to the media before the election.
Who Is Dominic Bell?
In an attempt to get to Maya, Huck manages to get his hands on Dominic Bell. And Rowan wants blood from him. Olivia’s confused about her father’s hatred for the man, and Rowan finally reveals the truth – Dominic Bell was the only man Olivia’s mother ever loved.
When Dominic won’t talk, Rowan forces him to call Maya and play a game of Russian roulette. But Maya doesn’t even flinch when she begins to listen in on the Russian roulette game. Instead she bids goodbye to Dominic and hangs up the phone.
But Rowan doesn’t stop the Russian roulette game there. Forcing Olivia out of the room, Rowan begins to pull the trigger on the gun until it finally goes off, blowing Dominic’s head off.
Olivia’s in shock over her father’s actions, but it also stirs up some memories. In a phone call with Jake, Olivia reveals that she remembers watching her mother with Dominic when she was younger. “She loved him my whole life,” she tells Jake, disturbed that Maya could just let him die.
And Dominic’s death leads her to reconsider her own love life.
“I love him,” Olivia tells Jake about Fitz. “And I felt something with you last night, and that feels like betrayal.”
But Jake doesn’t see it that way. “That feels like the first step,” he tells her.
Fitz on the Move
Fitz can’t stay still. Between the sudden death of Senator Hightower and the election only a few days away, Fitz decides that he has to be out on the campaign trail. And when Olivia finds out, she’s livid – especially after Harrison discovers photographs linking Adnan and Maya Pope to his next stop at Defiance High School. Unfortunately Harrison is a little useless … because Adnan has a gun to his head.
Rowan says Olivia’s mother would never hurt her, but Olivia doesn’t believe him. "She threatened to kill me, more than once,” she argues with her father. But Rowan insists that Maya will not kill the president if it means also killing her. Convinced by her father’s words, Olivia heads to the Defiance, Ohio, high school that Fitz is speaking at. And Rowan seemed to be right. While Huck and Quinn have a steamy hookup in the parking garage, Maya Pope walks right inside the Pope & Associates office and tells Rowan to “bring my baby home.”
Thanks to a call from Rowan, Olivia manages to successfully evacuate the building. But when she returns to the office she discovers it was all a setup. Walking into the building she discovers Rowan on the floor … with a gunshot to the chest.
After getting kicked out of Olivia’s office, Jake turned to David Rosen for help in finding Maya. Using facial recognition software, David lucks out and tracks down Maya. But where they find her leaves them shocked.
While everyone initially believed the bomb to be planted at the Defiance High School, Maya actually planted the bomb at the church where Senator Hightower’s funeral was being held later that day.
It turns out that Hightower did not die of a heart attack, but was instead murdered by Maya. Jake reveals everything he knows to Cyrus, leaving him to evacuate the church. But Cyrus doesn’t make the call. Discovering that Sally is already at the church (along with Andrew), Cyrus instead decides to ignore the warning and not tell the president.
Episode 17, “Flesh and Blood,” ended with Maya making a call – turning on the bomb with only 60 minutes until it blows.