'Scandal' recap: Nothing can stop Liv now

Kelly Woo
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Warning: This recap for the “Adventures in Babysitting” episode of Scandal contains spoilers.

Sorry, the old Olivia Pope can’t come to the phone right now — ’cause she’s dead. Instead, she’s been replaced by The Boss Bot 1000, a cold and calculating android who drinks red wine and wears fabulous outfits.

Other than that, this version of Olivia doesn’t much resemble the one we knew and loved, as Fitz points out. She’s become hard and flinty. She uses people for her desired ends. And she is not here for any of your ish. Is she past the point of redemption, as Jake thinks? Can she return to her white hat-wearing ways, as Fitz believes?

In this week’s major crisis — trying undo the coup that threw over President Rashad of Bashran — Olivia sheds the last obstacle that could have jeopardized her control over B613. Now, she truly is unstoppable.

Here’s a rundown of this week’s episode, including our live tweets:

Olivia is right where we left her — interrogating her no-good father about why he stepped out of line and went to Fitz with the information about her and B613. She warns him that his life right now is entirely upon her sufferance. And if he’s not a good boy, she will take his privileges away and not feel one bit sorry about it. Liv gives Rowan a message for Fitz: Go home to Vermont.

Mellie addresses the nation about the coup in Bashran. She commits soldiers to aid President Rashad in gaining his position back, ostensibly to ensure peace in the Middle East. But we all know why she really wants to help him — she’s got the hots for him!

Going to war isn’t easy, though. For one, Congress is the one to declare war, so they’ll have to go on a persuasion campaign with senators. Liv doesn’t have the patience for that, so she asks Jake for another option. He advises pitting the two parties involved in the coup against each other. Let them take each other out, and Rashad can remain president.

When she goes to the Oval Office to brief Mellie, though, she’s surprised to see Fitz leaving. He not-apologizes that “it had to come to this.” What that means is that Fitz told Mellie everything about B613 and Luna Vargas.

Mellie is, of course, horrified. “What’s done in my name is done by me,” she yells at Olivia. Mellie orders Liv to shut down B613 and get the war vote done through legal channels.

Meanwhile, Rashad has asked Mellie to make sure his niece at Darmouth is safe so the gladiators take charge of Yasmin. Like any millennial, she’s annoyed that Charlie and Quinn take her phone (which could be used to track her). How’s she going to Snapchat now? Charlie even offers to play cribbage with her. Cribbage!

Cyrus is meeting with senators to persuade them to vote for the war. As he doles out promises and enticements, Fenton Glackland is sitting in the corner, playing on his phone. Uh, shouldn’t he be paying attention? We thought he wanted to learn politics from Cy?

A righteously angry Olivia storms into her father’s exhibit, demanding to know why he didn’t do what she asked. Well, Rowan tried, but he’s fed up with delivering notes between the two ex-lovers like they’re 9-year-olds. Rowan just wants his freakin’ bones back. Liv just shakes her head at what a sad sight he’s become.

Right, so remember when we thought Charlie had this dad thing down? Turns out not, since he loses Yasmin while he’s writing his wedding vows. Quinn is very pregnant, very busy with wedding planning, and very, very angry that he couldn’t do this one thing.

Elsewhere in D.C., Fitz is having a drink in yet another emptied-out bar when Jake shows up. The former president tries to make small talk, first about Olivia and then about Jake’s wife (reminder: Vanessa). Jake isn’t having it, though. He knows Fitz is trying to save Olivia’s soul, but Jake thinks it’s too late. Fitz should just her become the person she was destined to be — Command.

Jake seems right when we flash to Olivia’s bedroom, where she’s in bed with Curtis Pryce. She wants him to invite President Rashad on his show and do a softball interview, to drum up support for the war. And is this all she wants from him — a booty call and a favor? When he refuses, she puts on a faux-sweet, faux-polite demeanor that humiliates him.

After another meeting with a senator, Cyrus continues to be annoyed by the bleeps and bloops coming from Fenton’s phone. When he loses it, Fenton explains he isn’t playing a game; instead, he’s collecting data. And so far, the data says that his war is a crappy product. If Cyrus and Mellie sell a bad product, the people will never buy anything from them again.

So, when Liv meets with Cy to get a headcount on the war vote, he informs her that the Senate is split 50-50. But he will the break the tie against the war! You can see Olivia’s temperature rocket.

She vows to destroy him, but Cyrus cautions her that doing so will cost her an ally and a friend, and she still won’t have his vote. He tells her as a friend that this war is no good, and the American public doesn’t want it.

Meanwhile, Huck wrangles Yasmin back to the the QPA office, but she’s not alone. She texted her girlfriend, Jillian, to meet up. Yasmin just wants to disappear with Jillian and start a new life, but Quinn says they found the two girls in no time. Anybody could track them down and torture them to get to President Rashad.

A fed-up Liv visits Fitz and needles him about tattling on her. He admits he feels good about what he did, because someone needs to remind her that she used to wear a white hat. Olivia turns mean, snarking that she didn’t just turn into a boss bitch who plays the president like a puppet. She’s been that way for years. Oh snap!

Fitz stands by his declaration not to leave D.C. — not until he sees the real Olivia Pope at least.

At the White House, Mellie and Rashad are arguing about his return to Bashran. She wants him to stay alive — not just for peace, but for herself. They finally give in and kiss. It escalates quickly and they start to tear off each other’s clothes… until Mellie comes to her senses and pushes him away.

Elsewhere in the White House, Fenton tells Cyrus he’s a “do what I say, say what I mean” kind of guy. And Cyrus kisses him.

After an illuminating, burger-filled conversation with Quinn, Olivia has a realization. So, she goes to ask Mellie a simple question: What does she want? There isn’t a simple answer. Mellie wants the nuclear treaty, she wants Rashad to stay president, she wants Rashad the man. She wants to have it all! And there’s no time to sell the war to the American people. So, Mellie takes a deep breath and wordlessly gives her blessing for Olivia to use B613. “Consider it handled, Madam President,” Liv says.

The next day, Rashad prepares to leave and goes to the Oval Office to say goodbye to Mellie. It isn’t goodbye, though, he notes. He’ll be back to talk more about the treaty. And he’ll be back for her. They almost kiss… but again, Mellie sensibly pulls away.

In return for handling this coup situation, Liv asks Mellie for one thing. “I’m sorry it had to come to this,” she tells an arriving Fitz. Mellie gravely informs him that he has to return to Vermont. This isn’t a request; it’s an order.

When Liv finds Curtis on the set of his show, he brushes her off. He isn’t scared of her; rather, he just doesn’t like her. Yeah, she’s smoking hot, but he says he made a mistake in thinking she had other qualities — human qualities. Dayum!

Though the coup is over, Yasmin’s life can’t go back to normal. Quinn tells her she should go back to Bashran with her uncle, but that it’s also her choice. Running away with Jillian won’t do any good. But if Yasmin returns to Bashran, she can help change the country.

Yasmin agrees to go, and bids a heartwarming farewell to Charlie and Quinn before boarding the plane with her uncle. Aww, those two are going to be the best parents.

And then the plane explodes.

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

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