It’s “mistress mania”! Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) are out in the open as a couple – but they still have plenty of obstacles to face in Season 5, episode 5 of “Scandal.”
Congress launches an investigation into the President’s affair to see if there are any “impeachable offenses.” Fitz knows that he never did anything that could result in impeachment, David Rosen (Joshua Malina) warns him to lawyer up. Meanwhile, Olivia needs to “fix” her side of the situation. And that means hiring some help – Leo Bergen (Paul Adelstein).
Leo wants to sell Olivia and Fitz’s relationship as the “greatest romance ever told.” However, Olivia tells him that that’s not an option. Instead the group hatches a plan to pitch Olivia as a “woman of the people.” Unfortunately, Olivia is not a “woman of the people,” and her wardrobe screams that loud and clear. Leo warns her that she can’t wear anything out of the house that she can’t buy at the mall and that she has to do little things … like food shopping.
But that’s not all. Olivia needs someone to attest to her character. And who better than her ex-boyfriend Edison (Norm Lewis), the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate! Of course, Edison suspected Olivia of being in a relationship with Fitz long before the public found out about the affair. And he’s not happy that she lied to him. He calls her a “criminal, w----, idiot and a liar.” However, he’s willing to play along and help her … if she tells him the truth about their relationship.
Edison follows through on his word and spins a beautiful story about Olivia being a “warm” and “caring woman.” But the media catches onto something else. They find out that the President gifted Olivia with a family heirloom – a diamond ring. Leo berates Olivia for leaving out that important piece of information. Now they’re only left with one plan – the love story.
As Pope & Associates deal with this new blow, Fitz hires a lawyer named Patty Snell (Romy Rosemont) to help him win the case against the judiciary committee. Meanwhile, the judiciary committee has to drop the one person that could help them nail the President – Mellie (Bellamy Young). Although she’s the one that tells them about the diamond ring, they tell her that she needs to resign due to conflict of interest. Needless to say, she’s not happy about it. But Cyrus (Jeff Perry) sees all of this as a win. When Mellie visits the former Chief of Staff, he invites her to join him for a “Super Bowl” spread of five cheeses, sparkling wine and brownies.
Fitz is working closely with Patty, but the judiciary committee isn’t playing fair. They meet with the latest Pope & Associates employee, Marcus Walker (Cornelius Smith Jr.), to discuss the situation. And although Marcus isn’t interested in throwing his new boss under the bus, the judiciary committee threatens to investigate his family for criminal activity. After returning to the office and overhearing Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Huck’s (Guillermo Diaz) plan of extortion and planting evidence, he meets with the judiciary committee again and confirms that he’s ready to be a “good citizen.”
Elsewhere, Olivia is ready to make her TV debut thanks to Jake (Scott Foley). She sits down for a live interview where she tells the story behind the ring and admits that she wished she “never laid eyes” on the President. But it’s not because she got caught. She explains that she wished she never laid eyes on Fitz because of the people around her getting hurt by the media coverage.
Olivia’s interview is a success. But Pope & Associates runs into another problem. Although it looked as if Marcus would turn on Olivia, he decided to use the judiciary committee to his advantage and spy from that side. He returns to the office with information that reveals that the committee unearthed CIA documents. Olivia puts two and two together and realizes that they found her kidnapping tape.
Olivia goes to David Rosen to get more information, however Rosen can’t spill. But when Olivia tells him that they’ll all go down for the tape he confirms that the judiciary committee dug up the tape. However, he tries to ease her worries by saying that Fitz can avoid problems if no one can corroborate that he watched the video.
Olivia immediately goes to Fitz to reveal the new piece of information. “Going to war for your mistress is an impeachable offense,” she warns him. But Fitz tells her that he’s going to deny every watching the tape. Unfortunately there is one big problem – Cyrus can attest to the fact that Fitz saw the video.
Fitz tells Olivia that Cyrus wouldn’t talk. But after a second thought he realizes that the former Chief of Staff would spill everything in a heartbeat.
Fitz calls Cyrus to the White House just as Mellie offers him a job as a junior senator. Cyrus goes running, but he knows that Fitz is up to something. After hearing Fitz talk about having “unfinished business” with him in the White House, Cyrus figures out that he needs him to cover for the tape.
The bad news is that Cyrus isn’t interested in getting the “band back together.” He goes on a rant about not needing the President and not being respected by him. However, Fitz proves Cyrus wrong just as he’s about to walk out the door. He relays personal information that he remembered from their multiple years on the road and apologizes for all the mistakes he made.
“My biggest mistake was forgetting that we were family,” he tells his old friend. “Everything you did, you did for me. You are my guy.”
Cyrus hears him out but makes his own list of demands. He wants his job as Chief of Staff back and Elizabeth North (Portia de Rossi) fired, NOT transitioned to another position. AND Cyrus wants new carpet in his office, as well as full presidential pardon from any crimes he committed while working for the White House. If Fitz does all that, then Cyrus promises to keep the tape a secret.