The world “knows” about Olivia and Fitz … now what? That’s the big question that episode 2 of “Scandal” Season 5 explored Thursday night. Episode 2 picks up directly after the jaw dropping premiere ending in which Sally Langston (Kate Burton) released photos of Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) in an intimate embrace.
“Everything is going to be OK,” Fitz promises a silent Olivia. “Scandal” fans know that Olivia always comes out on top … but the same can’t be said for the president. He leaves to go speak with Abby (Darby Stanchfield) and Elizabeth (Portia de Rossi) about the leak, demanding to get Rosen (Joshua Malina) involved to find out who was responsible for releasing the photos. As for a statement on the affair? Fitz wants to make a joint statement with Olivia – something that Elizabeth finds absurd. However, Abby has sound advice for Elizabeth. The president and his mistress won’t be addressing the nation because the president is about to get “Poped.” That’s right, Olivia bails on the White House, promising to call when she can.
With the press all over her, Olivia heads to Quinn’s (Katie Lowe) house. But Olivia’s not trying to do damage control. She wants to get lost in a new case.
As Olivia dives head first into her work, Mellie (Bellamy Young) is ready to do damage control for her estranged husband – but first she wants an apology. She tells Fitz that she’s happy to deny the affair rumors and come up with a cover story if Fitz apologizes for handing her divorce papers.
Mellie thinks that this is her way back into the White House. But unfortunately for her, Fitz isn’t interested in her help. In fact, Mellie is his prime suspect for who leaked the photos. He warns her that she’ll end up behind bars if he finds out that it was her behind the hack. However, Mellie’s not scared. Despite Rosen busting into her office to search her computers, Mellie maintains that she did nothing wrong.
Elsewhere, Jake (Scott Foley) shows up to the Pope & Associates office with Huck (Guillermo Diaz) to help Olivia. Quinn’s still angry at Huck for killing all those B613 jury members, but Huck tells Quinn that Jake “fixed” him. How? It’s not exactly clear, but Quinn calls Jake his “slaughter sponsor.”
Jake leaves Quinn and Huck alone to do research on the new case while he helps Olivia with her client. That might not have been the best thing though. Huck nearly loses his cool with a journalist who manages to get into their office. After exchanging some harsh words with Quinn about nearly stabbing a man with a pencil, he leaves the building in a huff.
Meanwhile back at the White House, Abby doesn’t know how to handle the press – especially since Fitz is refusing to release any sort of statement. With nowhere else to turn, Abby gets advice from Cyrus (Jeff Perry). He tells her to “be the adult” and bring Mellie back to the White House. Abby takes his advice and tells the press that Mellie is still living at the White House. The press eats it up … but Elizabeth and Fitz are NOT happy. However, Abby still has a job because it would be too scandalous for Elizabeth to fire her now.
Feeling on top of the world, Abby decides to use her newfound confidence to go to the president. She tells him that Olivia is taking care of herself (and is with Jake) and that she wouldn’t want to spotlight on her. Taking Abby’s words into consideration, Fitz goes forward and calls Mellie to apologize … just as Rosen returns with the results from his investigation into the leak.
Fitz doesn’t care about the leak anymore. All he cares about is protecting Olivia, and that means teaming up with Mellie to stop the rumors of the affair. He schedules a joint interview with the press, something that truly annoys Elizabeth. In turn, Elizabeth takes it out on Abby, telling her she’s fired. But Abby is the “adult” now. You see, Rosen found that the leak did come from Mellie’s computer. It was not downloaded, which means that someone used her key code. However, he cannot prove exactly who used the key code.
So, who did it? Abby puts two and two together and figures out that it was Elizabeth who leaked the photos of Fitz and Olivia. But she’s not trying to get Elizabeth fired or turn her into her whipping dog. All she wants is for Elizabeth to treat her as an equal.
It appears as if everything will smooth over, however “Scandal” delivers one more twist in episode 2. Olivia listens to a voicemail from Fitz about not wanting her to throw her whole life away because of the affair … and that leads Olivia to admit to the press that “yes” she is the president’s mistress.