Liv Shows Why She's Still Scandal's Chairman Of The Board
Emphasis on 'chair.'
Alert Type: Remember This Guy Alert.
Issue: Former Fitz-lover Lillian Forrester (Annabeth Gish) is seen visiting a doctor, raising worries that she's pregnant. Turns out she's been visiting former VP Andrew Nichols to write a story exposing the sins of the Fitzgerald Administration -- specifically, that Fitz started a war to save Olivia's life.
Complicating Factors: First, Lillian is in her mid-40s and Abby's first guess is that she's pregnant? I thought she probably had cancer or an STD. Anyway, Olivia visits Andrew and reminds him that Andrew was the one who wanted the war with West Angola, going so far as to fake an assassination attempt to goad Fitz into it. When that didn't work, he had Olivia kidnapped and then auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Resolution: Andrew's like, "Tough titties. I'm super bitter because I am in a wheelchair and have impaired speech ever since Fitz's goon injected me with something to give me a stroke. I'm spilling everything I know."
Spoiler: Liv didn't know that Huck was the one to inject Andrew, on Lizzie's orders.
Give Marcus Something To Do
Mellie's polling numbers are better, but Liv wants her to pursue the conservative Latino vote, since she thinks they won't go for Democrat Frankie Vargas. To that end, Liv orders Marcus to set up a meeting between Mellie and a Catholic Cardinal. Marcus spends the rest of the episode trying to do that and being ignored as usual when he attempts to help the rest of OPA do whatever they're up to. He finally succeeds and nearly gets Liv to confide to him what's going on, but she resists, saying she doesn't need a therapist. I BEG TO DIFFER. Anyway, Marcus gets pissed and is this storyline ever going to go anywhere because the whole "Marcus tries to get his hands dirty but no one will let him so he stomps off" thing is getting pretty old.
Difficult Consensus Building
Who called the meeting? Abby and Liv, presumably.
What's it about? Since everyone in the room (Fitz, Cyrus, Mellie, Lizzie, David, Abby, and Liv) will be implicated by Andrew's article, they need to come up with a plan to prevent that article from being published.
How'd it go? Getting this group to agree on anything is a feat. Cyrus doesn't give a shit because he somehow negotiated immunity from prosecution of any crime past and future when he agreed to return to the White House. Lizzie immediately suggests killing Andrew because I don't know if everyone knows she was having an affair with Andrew behind Mellie's back AND that she was the one who ordered Huck to paralyze him. Everyone else is like, "WTF is wrong with you?" as if they haven't all had people killed before. Abby comes up with the final plan: have Mellie talk to Andrew as a former lover, and meanwhile destroy any documentation that would corroborate Andrew's story about why the war in West Angola started. WHY WOULD THEY HAVE DOCUMENTATION OF THAT? Jesus, these people are dumb.
Huck The Non-Killer
Olivia has nightmares about her captivity but also somehow figures out that Huck was the one who paralyzed Andrew, and warns him in real life that he can't do any more damage to Andrew, no matter who asks him. Huck is like, "I don't kill people anymore," like that will last. In the parking garage, Lizzie tries to convince Huck to kill Andrew for good, and Huck is like, "I don't kill people anymore." So, does Huck kill people anymore? The past few episodes haven't really made that clear.
Plot Lightning Round
Alex Vargas shows Frankie and Cyrus a television ad, but since Alex made it, Cyrus doesn't like it and neither does Frankie, since Cyrus is his #1 man now. Later, Alex notices someone in the background of the raw footage of Frankie being helped to an ambulance after he ended the hostage situation; it's Tom. Alex doesn't recognize the guy but starts investigating.
Mellie visits Andrew and tries to rekindle their love, suggesting that maybe now they have a chance to actually make a go of their relationship. Andrew plays along at first and gently urges Mellie to give him a handjob. When she recoils, he accuses her of being disgusted by how he is now, and says the feeling is mutual. Mellie stomps out, mission failed.
After having more captivity flashbacks while Mellie reports her failure, Liv takes the fight to Rowan. She asks him and Jake to use their surveillance magic to monitor what Lillian Forrester is up to with her investigation. Rowan agrees, but points out that, eventually, Liv will have to kill Andrew. Liv vows that she would never, but Rowan and the audience all know she totally would and probably will. Meanwhile, Jake just amusedly eats a sandwich. I could watch scenes where Jake is amused while eating all day.
Let's Try Bribery, Then
After Mellie fails to convince Andrew with her vagina, Liv has Huck kidnap Andrew and bring him to that one bunker under the White House. Liv and Abby tell him that everyone else wants to just kill him, so they brought him there to keep him safe, and asks his price for silence. Andrew claims he doesn't want money, but eventually names a price. He also wants a book deal, brokered by Liv.
Andrew's Silence = $10,000,000
Who called the meeting? Abby and Liv, again.
What's it about? They need $10 million to give Andrew, and Lillian is planning to publish her story in forty-eight hours, so they need it quickly.
How'd it go? After assuring everyone that they will make Andrew sign an NDA before they fork it over, Lizzie immediately pledges $5 million, which she has because she's "been a Republican [her] whole life." Cyrus doesn't give a shit, and Abby and David have no money. Liv won't pay her kidnapper. So that leaves Fitz and Mellie. Mellie claims she doesn't have any money, but Fitz says he knows she does because he gave it to her in the divorce. Mellie sharply reminds him that she EARNED that money (but she still has it, so...), and finally, with Abby's assurances, Fitz agrees to pony up the other half.
Paying Off Blackmailers Never Works
Situation: Liv, Huck, and Abby meet with Andrew to transfer the funds to his account once the paperwork is completed. Apparently, he just lives in that bunker now, and no one at the hospital has noticed that he's missing.
What makes it awkward? Andrew never had any intention of honoring their agreement, so he starts making increasingly ridiculous demands until Liv and company storm out. Also, couldn't he offer the money transfer as evidence for Lillian that his story is true, since the President tried to pay him off? Rookie mistake, Liv.
How is order restored? Abby suggests to Fitz that they offer Andrew a Cabinet position. Fitz knows that's ridiculous, and says that he's decided he's going to publicly cop to faking Andrew's assassination attempt to drum up support for the war, and then have David Rosen publicly investigate him. That will take the wind out of Andrew's story, and Liv's kidnapping and subsequent actions won't be made public. Fitz is willing to fall on his sword, against Abby's objections.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
What About Your Friends?
Abby visits Liv for help convincing Fitz that this confession is a terrible idea. On the contrary, Liv is fired up that Fitz is finally acting Presidential and taking responsibility for the things that happened on his watch. Abby points out that it would be the end of her career, because she's become the Big Dog and the Monster in the White House. Liv laughs that Abby was never a monster, and Abby's face falls. Liv pours on the condescension and says that Abby could come back and work for her. OOHHHHHH LIV. I think even if Abby weren't already a monster, you just created one. The next day, Abby visits Andrew in the bunker. (Seriously, does he sleep there? Who is emptying his urine bag?) Anyway, when Jake reports that Lillian's story is going to be all about Mellie's indiscretions, Liv realizes that someone else got to Andrew and cut a deal. Gee, who do you think that was?
Wrap It Up
Liv bursts into Abby's office babbling that Lizzie must have cut a deal, and starts issuing orders on what they need to do next. When Abby doesn't respond, Liv slowly realizes that Abby was the dealmaker, and that Liv underestimated her greatly. Abby says that her job is to protect the President, and that's what she's doing; then she orders Liv to get out and turn in her hard pass. This is my favorite scene of the episode. Sometimes it's nice to see someone tell Liv some shit, even if you know it's going to end badly.
Liv goes to see Andrew in the bunker where he now makes his home. I think he's hung some art on the walls. Anyway, she needs him to tell her what he wants, and she can make that happen for him. Andrew starts making horribly misogynistic comments about how Liv is a slut, and various sexual speculations about her and Fitz. As Liv listens, she continues to have flashbacks to her captivity until finally she's had enough. She picks up a metal chair and smashes in Andrew's skull, like she's Negan and he's a mystery cast member to be revealed next season. Then she looks at what she's done and gives what's left of his head another smash. Guys? I think Liv might need some mental health assistance.
Fitz finds Liv in the bunker with what's left of Andrew. She's gone into a semi-catatonic state, probably due to shock, and her face is spattered with blood. Abby enters, and Liv says she has an hour to issue a press release about Andrew's death and get to Lillian to prevent the article from being published. She also warns Abby to never cross her again.
As we hear Fitz give Andrew's eulogy, we see what the rest of the gang is up to. Mellie finally meets with the Cardinal. Cyrus and Tom watch TV in bed together. Alex Vargas meets with Cyrus's husband to tell him that Cyrus and Tom are in a hotel together. I'm guessing he won't give a shit? Why would he? Marcus asks Huck and Quinn if they had anything to do with Andrew's death, and they won't answer, so he gets pissed.
Liv goes to Rowan's house, opens the door, and goes inside. Her father creepily tells her, "Welcome home."