This week’s episode of “Scandal,” “More Cattle Less Bull,” seemingly explained Operation Remington. Fitz’s secret mission turned out to be, like everything else Fitz does, all about Olivia. Our heroine kept busy representing his potential presidential rival and, most importantly, wearing her most fabulous dress yet.
Olivia Spins a Scandal Into Political Gold
Olivia (Kerry Washington) told Josie (Lisa Kudrow), the congresswoman who became a democratic presidential contender in last week’s episode, that she needs to project more gravitas. She tells him she needs gravitas. Josie hired Olivia on the spot. But she didn’t want a campaign manager. She wanted Olivia to cover up the fact that she gave up a baby for adoption at age 15. Cyrus (Jeff Perry) tried to hire Olivia to dig up dirt on Josie, which alerted her to the fact that the White House was trying to stop Josie’s campaign before it started.
The gladiators traveled to Josie’s rural hometown to bribe everyone who knew about the baby into keeping their mouth shut. Fitz’s team was also there, trying to get them to talk. After speaking to the nurse who delivered the baby, the gladiators realized that Josie’s mom passed off the child as her own. Josie’s little sister, Candace (Sally Pressman), is actually her daughter. It’s like “Chinatown,” minus the noir. Olivia told Josie that, given how easily her team discovered the truth, it was bound to come out during the campaign. Josie needed to publicly acknowledge it now and take ownership of the story. Josie was not willing to destroy her sister’s life for a shot at the presidency, which instantly made her the most sympathetic character on this show.
At the democratic debate, Reston (Tom Amandes implied that Josie had moral shortcomings that would make her unsuitable for the White House. Josie impulsively followed Olivia’s advice and told the sad story about her teen pregnancy and her decision to give her baby up for adoption. Cyrus, watching the debate on television, realized she had just won America’s heart. Candice did the math and realized her sister was her mom. Josie fired Olivia because she was angry that her brief experience with Pope & Associates had already inspired her to put career ahead of family.
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Olivia Gets Courted and Rejected at the Correspondents Dinner
A campaign manager, Leo, turned down Mellie (Bellamy Young) and Cyrus’s offer to run Fitz’s campaign because he thought Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) would lose. Fitz phoned Olivia to compliment her handling of Josie, but really because he was nervous about the Correspondents Dinner. Olivia turned into a teenage girl thrilled that her crush acknowledged her existence. He admitted he felt like a joke. She told him to mock his adultery. He said that he loved her. Mellie overheard.
Olivia invited Jake (Scott Foley) to be her date to the dinner. She wore an amazing black and white gown that was far more Oscars than D.C. Jake is thrilled to be out with her, until the Secret Service gave her a signal and he realizes he was more or less there as her beard. But it was actually Mellie who summoned Olivia to the Oval Office. After she snidely remarked, “I like your new boyfriend. Is he married?”, she asked her to run Fitz’s campaign. In a rich, poignant scene, Mellie admitted, ”He’s not alive when you’re not here…because you’re everything to him, Liv.” She pointed out that they both wanted Fitz to live up to his potential.
Meanwhile, Sally (Kate Burton) marched into the men’s room to ask Leo if he would be interested in managing her potential third-party presidential run. Realistically, if Sally split off the traditional values vote, the democrats would win in a landslide, but Sally has never been one for realism.
Olivia was still reeling from the unexpected job offer when Jake dumped her saying, “I don’t play second fiddle to anyone, not even the president.”
Josie realized that telling her secret to the world freed her. She wants to hire Olivia again because she thinks she could be the first female president. Olivia turned down the job, but Josie told her to sleep on it.
Operation Remington Revealed
Jake and Huck copied Rowan’s poorly secured computer files. Among them was video footage of the meeting between Rowan (Joe Morton) and Fitz that ended last week’s episode. Fitz told Rowan to leave Jake alone. The Secret Service grabbed Jake off the street and took him to play basketball with Fitz — a literal baller move on Fitz’s part. On the court, Fitz accused Jake of lying about the nature of his relationship with Olivia, saying that Jake was only supposed to watch her. The president cannot be with Olivia, but he certainly doesn’t want her to find happiness, or even just move on, with someone else.
Fitz told Cyrus he wanted to get rid of B613. Cyrus told him it was not possible because the organization operates independently of the executive branch, and will have him killed if he tries.
After the basketball diplomacy, Jake told Huck (Guillermo Diaz) that Fitz was onto him. Huck told Jake he had a program in his office that could tell them more information about Fitz’s secret Navy mission. Huck and Jake discovered that Fitz flew to Iceland. Maybe Operation Remington was a Bjork concert. Actually, Jake figured out that Fitz shot down a commercial flight to Iceland. That would put Fitz’s death toll at 300 or so innocent passengers, a Supremer Court judge and, most shockingly, Olivia’s mother! She was the fifth passenger on the plane’s manifest, and Rowan set up the mission. There’s no way that this isn’t building toward Olivia’s Mom faking her death to escape Rowan. Jake and Huck, for entirely different reasons, rushed to Olivia’s door to let her know that the love of her life killed her mother.
“Scandal” airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.