‘Scandal’ recap: True bromance

Kelly Woo
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Warning: This recap for the “Day 101” episode of Scandal contains spoilers.

It’s the end of the world as Fitz knows it… and he doesn’t feel fine. This week’s Scandal turns out to (mostly) be a bottle episode, focusing heavily on Fitz and Marcus, as they navigate life after the White House.

It’s harder on Fitz, of course — he can barely remember a time when he wasn’t in political office. Dude doesn’t even know to activate his new debit card! But what’s even harder is living without Liv. For so many years, Olivia Pope was his North Star, his inspiration, his drive, his ambition. Who is Fitzgerald Grant if not the man who loves Olivia Pope?

Time to find out.

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

We pick up on Fitz’s story the day of the inauguration. He arrives at his pristine and completely empty Vermont home. He is, probably for the first time in a long time, alone (except for the Secret Service, of course). And as he watches the news and goes to bed, he realizes that the world is still turning without him in the Oval Office. Fitz will just have to deal.

The next day — let’s call it “Day 1” of Fitz’s new life — he meets his fleet of new staff members. Uh, who are these scrubs? He fires them all immediately (with severance and recommendations) because he wants to do his own thing. Drive himself. Buy groceries for himself. Cook for himself. Burn dinner himself.

His days settle into a routine. He watches the local news, which is dominated by a student protester who is sleeping under the statue of a Revolutionary War general who owned slaves until it’s torn down.

He also looks through boxes of his belongings from storage, and within one, he finds a wooden box containing an antique gun. Interesting. Fitz is bored out of his mind and calls up Marcus. If you recall, the former press secretary is now running Fitz’s library project. Marcus is on vacay at the moment in Cuba, hooking up with random hotties and sipping rum by the pool.

When one such hottie points out how local black girls like her aren’t welcome at the hotel, he grows uncomfortable and returns to Vermont. As the men buckle down to the task of fundraising for Fitz’s library, Marcus brings up the delicate, but necessary question of how much Olivia will be featured in it. After all, she was the very first-ever First Girlfriend. Does she get her own wing?

Fitz is visibly annoyed by this. He hates being reduced to basically “Olivia Pope’s boyfriend, who was also POTUS.”

To blow off steam, they head to a local bar to have drinks, where Fitz brings up Mellie. Oh, so he knew about M&M! Marcus sadly notes that Mellie doesn’t need distractions right now, since SHE is POTUS.

News about the student protester, Steve Candle, comes on the TV, and Marcus wistfully recalls his activist days. He wonders if he is truly making more of a difference now, at a higher level of power, than he did protesting just like that kid. Fitz tells him he is — and that they are a team.

Fitz finally tells him that Liv should be featured in the library as much as Cyrus. She was a valuable staff member, and no more.

A few days later, Fitz hosts wealthy potential donors for dinner at his house. Marcus helps him dress, despite suggesting a valet for him, which Fitz brushes off. After the dinner, Fitz and Marcus are having a nightcap with Jim Wells, a particularly rich white guy. To get him to sign a check, Fitz offers another round and asks Marcus to fetch a bottle — which irks Marcus to no end. He tells Fitz to go get it himself!

After Wells leaves, the two men have it out. “You can’t fire me, because I quit,” Marcus huffs, as he packs.

He calls Fitz narcissistic and entitled. Fitz accuses him of latching onto anyone with power, like Olivia or Mellie or himself, and riding their coattails. Fitz then calls him a coward, which riles Marcus up. They come to blows and eventually start brawling on the ground. Secret Service runs in to pull Marcus away, but he’s ready to blow this joint anyway.

Cut to Washington D.C., to the Oval Office, where Mellie is practicing a speech. She gets a phone call — from Marcus! He admits to quitting. Fitz is too selfish and lazy.

Mellie sighs. Oh, she KNOWS. Marcus has just reached “Stage 2” of a relationship with Fitzgerald Grant. Stage 1 is all heart-eye emojis and admiration. Stage 2 is where the blinkers come off and things get painful.

But she advises him to stick around for Stage 3, because Fitz might be challenging, but he’s a “golden ticket to change the world.” Then, they share a weighted, poignant silence on the phone before they know they have to say goodbye.

Meanwhile, Fitz is nursing a black eye and goes to his room… to find Rowan Pope there! Playing with Fitz’s antique gun!

Rowan isn’t there to kill him. Instead, he’s there to plead with Fitz to intercede with Olivia. Rowan informs him that Liv took over B613, killed Luna Vargas on Inauguration Day, and is becoming a dictator that nobody realizes exists.

“The woman we love is disappearing,” a tearful Rowan says. Yes, tearful. And it seems genuine. “I need you to help me.”

A thoughtful Fitz is sitting in a rocking chair on the porch when Marcus returns. They kinda-sorta apologize to each other, without really apologizing. They both said things; they both hit each other. Water under the bridge now. They’ll learn more about each other and get used to each other in the days to come.

Speaking of which, Fitz want to return to DC after the 100-day grace period is up. But first, he wants to do something meaningful in the area. So they visit Steve, the student protester. Steve was just about to give up on his campaign to get the statue torn down, but Fitz urges him to keep resisting.

“You can do this,” Fitz whispers as he hugs Steve. Then, they pose for a selfie, because of course.

Day 101 and Fitz immediately goes to Liv’s apartment. He knocks. But then the elevator door opens, and Olivia (wearing her state dinner gown from last week) emerges — making out with Curtis Pryce.

She stares at Fitz. He stares back and then softly says that one word we’ve been waiting for:

“Hi.”

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

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