Jaws. On. The. Floor. As one fan so aptly put it:
Forget twists and turns; "Scandal" has redefined the term "roller coaster ride." We swear we can hear Shonda Rhimes cackling away from across the country.
But let's relive it all in real-time. To the tape! And the tweets!
After Mellie's tell-all interview, a fire-breathing Cyrus shows up at Olivia's apartment. The Secret Service won't let him through, but when Cyrus wants something, he usually gets it. And so he barges in on Fitz and Olivia in bed, and orders the president to get out.
Meanwhile, at the gladiators' office, David Rosen is cackling about the poor "other woman." "I just hope she has Olivia Pope on her team," he says. Oh, the irony.
Back at her apartment, Olivia goes into fixer mode, but Fitz won't let her. He made this mess; he'll deal with it.
"You're not in charge of everything," the president gently reminds her.
Olivia meets her team at the office and they bring her up to speed on Charlie, the stenographer, and Cyrus not being the mole. That's the good news. The bad news is that the mole knows about Defiance. Stricken, Olivia marches over to her safe and reveals the Cytron voting card. Whew, it's safe and sound.
Abby glances at David. "OK, so I did steal it," she admits. He shrugs. He's over it (and her).
In her temporary abode, Mellie meets with a slick, handsome man who's there to help her with this infidelity situation.
But he wants complete honesty from her, and Mellie isn't ready to give up the name of the other woman. Yet. Later, she promises she'll reveal the name if he gets her a copy of Fitz's next press conference.
Over at the White House, Fitz drops a bomb on Cyrus. They don't need to deny or "go Clinton" on the press, because he's going to announce that he's dropping his re-election bid!
Of course, this gives Cyrus a major anxiety attack. Patch things up with Mellie and keep sleeping with Liv, he advises. We'll figure this out. But Fitz is determined.
Chasing the Albatross
Ahh, we return to the park bench of nefarious shenanigans. The Mystery Boss Guy is dressing Jake down for failing in his mission.
Jake shows him the picture of Charlie snooping in his apartment and links him to Cyrus, but Mystery Boss Guy (MBG) says that he'll handle Cyrus. Handle how?!
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At gladiator central, the team now thinks Vice President Sally Langston could be the mole. As they start to dig into her background, Harrison corners Liv alone. What is she planning to do about the whole affair-being-revealed situation? She says nothing.
But Liv, being Liv, won't let him in. She glares and orders him to concentrate on Sally.
Over at the White House, Cyrus and James are fighting about Mellie's interview. "I was doing my job!" James argues. "This fell into my lap!"
Puh-lease! Cyrus starts laughing in his husband's face. Mellie chose him to get back at both Fitz and Cyrus! Why would she choose a newbie broadcaster instead of Diane Sawyer, etc.? "It was a chess move. And you're too stupid to see it," Cyrus sneers. James sniffles.
Then the chief of staff goes to spew on Liv. He asks her to convince Fitz to run for the sake of the country. Does she really want to see Sally Langston and her conservative cabal rule?
"We changed the future of this country once. Isn't that enough?" Liv asks, before storming away. But we're kind of with Cy on this one. Fitz giving up like this seems … hasty.
As she leaves, someone else comes up -- Mystery Boss Guy! He and Cy seem to know each other well (though we still don't get a first or last name or title). "We care about everything that affects the republic," MBG intones. Uh, who is "we"? Then, MBG warns Cy that Charlie is now off-limits to him. We don't understand this conversation at all, but it's clear: MBG is one powerful dude.
Speaking of Charlie, he's indulging his sweet tooth again at that bakery. But a different girl is behind the counter … suspicious. He scans his bag and yep, there's some dust all over it. And now it's all over his hands.
Turns out the dust is being used to track him -- by Jake! But Charlie is smart and starts wiping his hands on every passerby on the street, making it hard for Jake to nab him. Charlie calls Cy, who disavows him.
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At Pope & Associates, the team tries to hack into Sally's files through her daughter's phone. But then they realize that Sally was at the State of the Union when the Albatross files were downloaded. Oops, she's not the mole. They take a much-needed coffee break.
But when they return, they find David Rosen being held at gunpoint by Charlie! Except he quickly puts down his guns. He's not there to hurt anybody; he's there for help.
Run, Fitz, run
At the White House, Fitz has finished his speech and shows it to a weary Cy. No notes, he says.
The two old friends laugh and laugh and laugh, and it's good to see Cy being human and not a giant you-know-what.
Mellie's fixer gets his hands on a copy and she's shocked to see that Fitz is coming clean -- and not running for re-election. Her fixer notes that she was still hoping for a reconciliation. Well, he can work miracles, but he can't make Fitz love her.
Meanwhile, Charlie will name a name -- if he gets a deal. Apparently, he thinks Huck is still alive due to some kind of deal that Olivia engineered. Huck decides to do things Huck-style: tie up Charlie and force him to write a name. 752!!
Charlie writes a name, but just as Huck is about to shoot him in the neck, Quinn intervenes. They're gladiators and they solve problems, right? And he solved a problem. So let it go.
At the White House, Olivia shows up in the residence and confronts Fitz with some intel she got from Cy: He never filed his candidacy papers. Fitz never meant to run. So that grand romantic gesture wasn't really grand nor romantic nor a gesture.
More to the point, she thinks he's not running because of Defiance. Because of what she and Cy and the rest did to him. Because he doubts himself. And if that's the case, Olivia will never forgive herself. They might've stolen his chance four years ago, but he can "take it back," she says. "Run and win."
At the press conference, Fitz puts away the prepared speech. Instead, he declares that his marriage is none of the public's business and that he will be running for re-election. Yes! Four more years!
Hold up … something's going down at gladiator central. Harrison is all doom and gloom -- because Olivia's safe was broken into. The Cytron card is gone! Charlie coming in for help was a ruse! And Quinn stupidly convinced Huck to let him go!
They still have the name, though. The mole is … Billy Chambers! (If you're all "who's that" -- he was Sally Langston's chief of staff, who killed that reporter Gideon during the whole Amanda Tanner crisis. We all thought Charlie killed him. But … guess he didn't.)
But wait, that's not the whole story. A smug Billy is joined in his car by none other than David Rosen, holding the Cytron card! "Now we can start having some fun," Billy smirks.
Anyone else have whiplash?
Watch the full episode:
"Scandal" airs Thursdays at 10 PM on ABC.