Liv And Abby Team Up To Take Out Hollis Doyle On Scandal
But can they keep from backstabbing each other long enough for it to work?
Who called the meeting? Liv.
What's it about? Hollis Doyle has taken the lead in the Republican primary race, and Abby and Liv need to figure out how to take him down.
How'd it go? Quinn is happy to see Liv and Abby declare a ceasefire against one another so they can team up against Hollis. Huck isn't so sure this is going to work out, and he may be right; as soon as the meeting ends, both Abby and Liv order their underlings to gather dirt on their opponent in case the ceasefire gets broken.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Will You Marry Me?
David brings Susan lunch and when she complains about her workload, he starts babbling about how he gets through his boring work by imagining their future life together. Weren't they still broken up like a week ago? And she just took him back? And now he's saying he can't wait to take a vacation, buy a house, and grow old with her? I would tell him to slow his roll, but Susan makes him say what he really means. He proposes. She accepts. This all seems way too fast. Like, they don't need to be engaged for their inevitable breakup to have an impact.
Respect My Personal Space
Cyrus has apparently given up on finding his husband and daughter since that's not even mentioned in this scene. Instead, he meets with Liv and gets weirdly in her personal space to babble about how awesome Frankie Vargas is, and ask her to give him a reality check. Cyrus can't figure out why Awesome Frankie is losing half the time to Boring Edison in the Democratic primaries. Liv reveals that her father is behind Edison's campaign. Cyrus thinks that's great and asks what they're going to do to take Rowan down, even offering to finally have Rowan killed. Liv looks scared and says that she's not going to fight her father because she will lose. But…won't she have to fight him in the general election if all goes according to plan? I don't know.
Plot Lightning Round
Abby meets with Rowan (WHY?), who offers her dirt on Mellie. Or rather, dirt that will hurt Mellie. He knows that Liv had an abortion, and Fitz was the father. I fail to see how this will hurt Mellie, who is pro-choice, and who was divorced from Fitz at the time. I mean, it won't be great, but it doesn't seem like a campaign-stopper.
Side note: Shonda managed to sneak a Prince song into at least two of her shows tonight; this scene is scored by "Delirious." I see you, Shonda. Anyway, Abby reports to OPA with all kinds of dirt on Hollis: financial impropriety, alleged marital rape, ties to the KKK. You know, regular Trump stuff. And like Trump and Taylor Swift (you will never see those two paired up again), as each piece of dirt is revealed, Hollis manages to shake it off, shake it off.
Edison wants to give a speech disavowing Hollis's hate speech, but Rowan points out (not nicely, because he's Rowan) that Edison already has the black vote and it won't help to remind potential white voters that he's black. Edison protests, but Rowan gets in his face and says that Edison will do as he's told. And then they transition to a calm discussion of Edison's VP choices; Rowan throws Jake's name into the mix, super-caszh.
Abby and Liv have a strategy sesh where Abby super-nonchalantly brings up abortion, and Liv says that Hollis could have paid for a dozen abortions and his supporters won't care because he will always vote anti-choice. She muses that similar revelations would hurt Mellie more as Abby looks constipated. They're both distracted by Hollis announcing on television that he will make either Susan or Mellie his VP; whichever drops out first gets the spot.
Lizzie wants Susan to take the VP spot. Abby says no, and Lizzie gives her some dirt on Mellie; she saw a psychic to try to talk to her dead son.
Meanwhile, these two aren't making out yet and I don't know why not. But Marcus is telling Mellie she shouldn't take the VP spot because she's going to win on her own.
Situation: Rowan is waiting for Liv outside her apartment.
What makes it awkward? They're barely speaking and Liv is terrified of her father, though she tries hard not to show it.
How is order restored? Rowan tries to poison Liv's mind against Abby by saying that Abby's just cozying up to Liv now so that she can be close enough to stab her in the back.
Jake The Enforcer
Alert Type: Vice President Alert.
Issue: Edison tells Jake that he won't be choosing him for his Vice President.
Complicating Factors: Oh, yes he will.
Resolution: Jake tells Edison that Rowan chose Edison to run because he's easily controlled, and Rowan controls Edison's on/off switch and pushes his buttons and other robot metaphors.
Spoiler: Edison wonders what happens if he says no, and Jake reveals that he caused Edison's nearly-fatal car accident from a few years back, so he can hurt Edison again.
Liv meets with Hollis to accept the VP spot for Mellie. The problem, she explains, is that Mellie can't sign on to Hollis's racist, xenophobic message. Hollis chuckles that he's just saying that shit to appeal to the gross dumb rednecks and hicks, and he knows that once he pivots to be more Presidential, his base will think he's just saying what he has to in order to get elected. Because they're dumb followers. Liv seems relieved and they shake on the deal.
Liv meets with Abby and the gang at OPA; they're appalled that she took the deal. Liv says she stopped to talk to Sally afterwards and they all turn to the television where Sally is interviewing Hollis. Turns out Liv recorded the whole conversation and Sally has the video. She confronts Hollis with his own words, which he can't spin. Hollis's campaign is over. If only actual asshole candidates could be dispatched so easily.
Edison Is Woke
Who called the meeting? Liv, as always.
What's it about? She visits Edison's office to offer to help him drop out of the race, which he desperately wants to do.
How'd it go? Edison gives an "impromptu" press conference where he gets to refute all the bullshit Hollis Doyle has been spouting since day one and give America some real talk about race relations and our history. I feel like this was the writers' room's reward for having to write all of Hollis's terrible speeches. It's a great speech, but the reporters quickly realize that there's no way Edison can get elected now. And he does in fact concede to Frankie the next day, even though you don't concede primary races but whatever. Vargas is the Democratic nominee.
That Quote"May I say how glad I am that you've chosen to never go to therapy? It has served us so well."- Cyrus Beene, to Liv -
Wrap It Up
Huck and Quinn deliver some dirt on Susan. Liv reads it and realizes that it would be enough to make Susan drop out.
Abby meets with Liv's former Secret Service detail to verify where Liv went after Mellie's filibuster -- a health clinic. Then Abby calls Liv and says it's time for a meeting.
Abby meant to have a one-on-one but Liv has called everyone (Fitz, Mellie, Marcus, Susan, David, Lizzie) into the Oval. Abby isn't sure if this is the best way to handle it, but Liv insists and Abby relents. Liv announces that they're going to reveal their oppo research on one another and then either side can drop out, or know it will be revealed. Fitz mansplains that it's for the best, because otherwise they will both drop the dirt, one of them will have to drop out, and Vargas will beat the other one.
Liv goes first and reveals that David Rosen dropped the investigation on the sugar companies to get Susan the Florida governor endorsement (which ended up not mattering, bee tee dubs). Susan is appalled. Fitz wants David to resign but Lizzie points out that if it goes public, Susan would have to resign too so calm your Funyuns, Fitz.
Then it's Abby's turn. It's very tense as we know about the abortion, but will Abby actually say it? Turns out she won't. She reveals the information about Mellie's psychic. They all sit there for a moment and then Susan says she's out and Mellie gives a little cheer.
Lizzie yells at Susan but Susan is firm that she's done. David comes in when Lizzie leaves. Susan gets to give him a nice speech about how she knows she's awesome, and too good for him, and will change the world, and he didn't believe in her, so fuck off.
Susan drops out and endorses Mellie. While waiting to give her speech, Mellie and Marcus have a celebratory hug in the hallway that almost turns into a kiss!!! I wasn't imagining it! But they are interrupted when Mellie has to go give her speech. Get it, gurl!
Liv goes to Abby's house with a bottle of wine and wants to know what Abby knows but didn't reveal. Abby sighs and admits it wasn't even about Mellie, and Liv realizes and says, "My abortion?" She says she's not ashamed of it, but it would've killed Fitz because he doesn't know. She wants to know who told Abby, and she says it was Rowan, and he's not done with Liv yet. Liv looks surprised, which doesn't happen often.
Rowan and Jake visit Edison to threaten him some more and yell at him for torpedoing his candidacy. After Edison walks out, Jake roughs him up a bit, and then whispers, "Tell Liv I need her help. Tell her I want to escape. Tell her I'm chasing the sun." Ooh, boy. This isn't going to end well for Jake, I don't think.