It’s easy to hate Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young). She’s the mean-spirited Stepford First Lady who is the major personal obstacle in Olivia and Fitz’s relationship. This week’s episode of “Scandal,” “Everything’s Coming Up Mellie,” upended the audience’s perception of the character by revealing the horrible sacrifices that she made to get where she is. Also, in a twist that surprised nobody who has ever watched a television show before, Olivia’s mother is alive.
Portrait of a First Lady
The episode was centered around Mellie, in perfect wife mode, doing a Barbara Walters-type feature interview for Carla Steele, complete with “candid” moments in the White House. Through flashbacks, we learned that fifteen years ago Mellie and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) really were in love. Their passionate, baby-making sex was interrupted by Fitz’s dad Jerry, who wanted to introduce them to a bearded Cyrus (Jeff Perry). Cyrus thought he could get Fitz elected governor of California. Cyrus evaluated the future first couple like race horses. Fitz was wary, but Mellie enthusiastically said it was their first step to the White House. Cyrus thought he should run on his Navy record. He refused to run as a war hero. Jerry berated him for joining the Navy and for volunteering for Back Ops, believing that as a senator’s son, he should have played it safe and let a poor kid get his hands dirty. Jerry covered up Fitz’s role in the crash and now Jerry owns him. Fitz stormed out.
In the present, Mellie was humiliated when, with cameras rolling, she brought America’s Baby to the Oval Office for daddy time only to find that he was not there.
Back in Santa Barbara, bearded Cyrus told Mellie that he had a wife! He advised Mellie that it was her job to tell Fitz he was great and hold his hand. If he was going to get elected, her whole job had to be Fitz. Mellie realized she was going to have to give up being a partner in a law firm, and not even have the time to do meaningful charity work and be, to quote the title of another show, the good wife. She told Cyrus that if he came back the next day, she would convert Fitz to the military hero game plan. She spoke to Jerry who confided to adultery and lamented that his son didn’t appreciate him. Then he told her that Fitz shot down the plane because there was a dirty bomb on it that would have blown up half of London. The government covered it up for strategic reasons. He told Mellie she was beautiful and, in an incredibly disturbing scene, raped her while Fitz slept upstairs.
In the present, a drunk Mellie blasted Fitz for not showing up, leaving her to do everything herself, yet again. She reminded him they were supposed to be partners. Fitz coldly responded, “Let’s not pretend that we’re something that we’re not.” She told him he had no idea the sacrifices that she made and the pieces of herself that she gave away for him, and in return he made her beg for scraps of attention.
Back in Santa Barbara, a shell-shocked Mellie went to her bedroom, where she lied to Fitz that she was on the phone with her father. She wanted to take a shower, but Fitz told her to come to bed instead. He told her that if his father apologized and admitted he was wrong, it would mean everything.
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In the present, Fitz shows up for their group interview. Carla grilled Mellie about her decision to air her dirty laundry on television. Fitz jumped in and told Carla not to attack her. He had the affair and should be the sole carrier of the blame and outrage. It’s wrong for Mellie to take any blame for it.
In Santa Barbara, the next morning Jerry tried to apologize to Mellie. She told him never to mention it again, but that when Fitz came to breakfast, he was to tell him he was proud of him and be supportive. Jerry told her she was an asset. She said, “I am his wife.” Damn.
In the present, Fitz told her that his strong defense of her was not an act. He meant every word of it. At a cocktail party fifteen years ago, Fitz realized that Mellie was pregnant. Yes, that means that Fitz’s oldest son is really his brother, and his potential opponent’s sister is really her daughter.
Quinn Really Goes to the Dark Side
Quinn’s (Katie Lowes) idiotic trip to the dark side had disastrous consequences. Charlie convinced her he was a private investigator now and let it slip that he would be working an adultery case at a motel. She showed up, as he hoped. He kissed her then told her to call if she wanted to hang out tomorrow night. Instead, he called her. They staked out a security building where he needed to retrieve a file. Charlie pulled out a syringe he claimed was filled with a drug that would knock the guard out. Quinn insisted she could do it. They made out. Then Quinn walked into the building and injected the guard. The guard dropped dead. Quinn fled.
Fitz phoned Olivia (Kerry Washington), apparently hoping she got over him killing her mom. When he put on his seductive voice to ask her how she was doing, she said he was a stranger to her adding, “I’m standing in a graveyard made by people I love. That’s how I am.” He told her she should stay away from Jake because he was dangerous. She retorted that it was Rowan who was dangerous. before hanging up He was shocked that she knew Rowan.
Olivia told the gladiators that their new client is her mothe. and fille them in on Rowan and the plane crash. They were hocked, especially after she revealed Fitz shot down the plane. They discovered that Jerry headed up the government investigation of the crash. The gate agent tells them that someone named Omar Dresden was taken off the plane by a federal marshal.
Rowan went to visit inmate Omar Dresden. Meanwhile, Jake, who had been staking out the guy who drove the stairs on the tarmac, called Olivia to say something wasn’t right. It turned out to be the same building where Quinn just killed the guard — who was the tarmac driver. Charlie showed Quinn the video of what she did and told her B613 owned her now.
Meanwhile, one of Fitz’s operatives told him that Rowan was Olivia’s father as Rowan told Omar, who was in a hidden prison cell, “Our daughter has been asking about you.” Yes, Omar was really Olivia’s mother.
Sally’s Husband Has a Wandering Eye, All Right
Mellie and Cyrus hired an escort to seduce Sally’s (Kate Burton) husband, thereby torpedoing her planned independent run for the presidency. Cyrus observed, “You’re way better at picking out hookers than china patterns.” Mellie told Sally that her husband got handsy with a staffer, which she dismissed as impossible. Before she left for a Cyrus-mandated trip to Iowa, Cyrus reminded Daniel that they would be under scrutiny and needed to have traditional values. At a White House party, James told Cyrus he was fired. The escort had no luck flirting with Dan, because as it turned out, he was interested in James!
“Scandal” airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.