‘Scandal’ Tweet-cap: This Is War

·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

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

Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down… That should be Olivia Pope’s theme song.

She and her friends are in an incredibly dire situation, under the thumb of Peus and Marjorie. It seems like they’re completely boxed in to doing whatever Peus demands. The Mystery Power People bullied them into making Mellie president, now Peus is bullying them into making himself vice president.

But Olivia Pope does not back down without a fight (even though it seems her father will). She organizes the ultimate gladiator summit to find a way to defeat these villains. It’s amazing to see everyone in the same place at the same time, and it yields a number of small scenes between people that are long overdue. And one of those, between Mellie and Marcus, gives the president-elect the courage to take the fight right to Peus. This is war!

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

Olivia wakes up in Fitz’s T-shirt, in Fitz’s bed, in Fitz’s White House. Life is good. At least, for that brief moment before reality intrudes and she remembers the whole Peus/Marjorie problem.

She visits her father in his cell, where he is treated to a lavish breakfast. Seriously, it’s like someone died and went to patisserie heaven. But Rowan isn’t enjoying a single bite — especially once Fitz arrives and kisses Olivia right in front of him. Rowan wants to flee to Paris or Zanzibar, but Fitz informs him that he’s staying put for awhile. Maybe forever?

Time to catch up with everyone else. Abby is anxious and snappish, biting off Leo’s head when he asks her what’s wrong and then storming out of their bedroom. Frankie’s widow, Luna, gives an interview saying that Mellie becoming president is subverting the will of the voters and she hopes Mellie won’t forget the people. And at OPA, Charlie gives Huck the cold shoulder and snidely remarks on his close relationship with Quinn. Someone’s looking a bit green!

And Jake brings David to the spot where he buried Elizabeth North, to say a few last words for his ex (who has a daughter, which he and we totally forgot). David tries to defend her as not a terrible person. Jake reminds him that he has to keep playing the game with Marjorie for now.

Speaking of Marjorie, she meets with Mellie, who has a list of potential cabinet appointees. Marjorie bats her down when Mellie says “my cabinet” — “my” is not in her language anymore. And in any case, cabinet can wait … they will have a much bigger role to fill soon.

At OPA, Olivia arrives to find Peus waiting for her in his office. He orders her to get Jake to resign as Mellie’s VP — so that she can nominate him! Liv resists initially, but Peus shows her photos from Mellie’s bugged office of Jake disposing of Lizzy’s body. He’ll release them to the press if they don’t comply.

Liv tries to call his bluff, saying that if Jake goes down, Mellie does as well, which is not what they want. She promises to destroy Peus and his cohorts, but after he leaves and Huck asks about her plan, Liv deflates. She doesn’t have one … yet.

Liv meets with Jake to tell him he needs to resign. He doesn’t want to, because he wants to protect Mellie, but Liv sadly notes this is the only way. And if he resists, Peus will just kill him.

At OPA, Quinn asks Huck for help with Jake’s press conference, though that’s not usually his kind of job. Apparently, Charlie is MIA after his run-in with Huck the previous day. Uh oh… trouble in paradise.

After Jake gives his resignation press conference, Marjorie and David have a quickie in his office. She’s heading to the White House with Mellie to announce Jake’s replacement. She roasts Lizzy North for “abandoning” Mellie at the last minute, and David can hardly contain his revulsion. When she leaves, he makes a call informing someone that she’s on the way.

Mellie and Marjorie enter the Oval Office, where Fitz doesn’t play any games. He tells her he knows what she’s up to. Marjorie’s masks drops, but then Secret Service storms in. There’s an unauthorized drone on the grounds, and they rush Fitz, Mellie, Abby, and Marjorie away. But while Fitz and Mellie are taken to one location, Abby and Marjorie are taken to a separate bunker. And Marjorie is seriously unhappy about that. Turns out, the drone was a ruse. Mellie is shocked to enter a meeting that includes Fitz, Olivia, Jake, David, Cyrus and Marcus!

Meanwhile, Huck is piloting the drone from the OPA office. Quinn hovers, still worried about Charlie’s whereabouts. He admits that Charlie is jealous because he thinks Quinn has feelings for Huck. She declares that to be ridiculous, but the expressions on both their faces seem to indicate that it might not be.

At the meeting, Olivia and gang brainstorm how to avoid nominating Peus as VP. Congress will likely vote him through, as he’s probably bribed/threatened them, just like he did the electors. Anyway, who could Mellie nominate instead? Cyrus pipes up.

Rowan enters the meeting, at Olivia’s invitation. And because he killed Frankie, a fact which Cyrus did not know and is totally shocked by. But Papa Pope won’t participate unless Fitz grovels and asks him to help personally. Which Fitz does, gritting his teeth the entire time. And then Rowan refuses!

Mellie breaks down, saying it’s no use — Peus will start killing all of them if they don’t do what he wants. She notes they brought this on themselves, starting with Defiance. Marcus is like, what is Defiance? She and Cyrus start bickering about who’s responsible for their predicament, when Rowan roars that it’s all worthless.

Fitz tells him to have some respect for his daughter, and Rowan sneers. Should he respect Fitz, too? A man who let his son’s killer go for “a roll in the hay”? Jake and Mellie look shocked by this revelation.

Rowan then starts monologuing about how many men have whispered “mercy” to him — men who he likely killed. “All of these tired unfortunate men admitted what they knew secretly for a very long time,” he says. “They lost.” By which he means, Olivia and friends have already lost in the war against Peus. They just need to accept it.

The meeting disbands for a break. David and Fitz remain in the room, and the former wonders if there’s something the matter with him that he keeps choosing the wrong women. Women who are forces of nature — and end up leaving behind death and destruction.

Fitz notes that there are women who wear headbands and match cardigans to shoes. These women are quiet, cheerful, easy, and he’s wondered why he can’t fall for one of them. But instead, he’s attracted to powerful women and it’s the reason why he’s president. It’s the reason why David is attorney general and not a history teacher. All she has to do is love you, Fitz tells David.

Meanwhile, Cyrus takes Rowan down to the White House wine cellar, which is basically Rowan’s idea of heaven. They share a bottle of wine and Cyrus muses that they’ve both fallen so far — they were once untouchable. Rowan goes to fetch another bottle, while Cyrus grips a corkscrew — with a knife attached. He says they are a lot alike, patriots at the core. And these Mystery Power People boxed both of them in. “You kind of just have to tip your hat to them,” Rowan says.

Cyrus moves closer and takes out the knife. He’s about to stab Rowan, but Rowan breaks open a bottle and holds it to Cy’s neck. “You actually think you can kill me?” he wonders incredulously. “Or do you want to die?” Cyrus is devastated over Frankie’s death. The country needed someone like Frankie; he was better than all of them. They both drop their weapons and Rowan leaves, coldly apologizing for the loss.

More tête-à-têtes. Olivia and Jake talk, and he wonders why she’s so hell-bent on taking down Peus. Is it for justice? Or is it for Fitz, since she’s sleeping with him again? He notes that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, despite getting the same result. Olivia accuses him of jealousy and calls him pathetic.

Mellie and Marcus have more of a tender conversation. She isn’t sure she did the right thing vying for the Oval Office. Marcus tells her to stop moping and start working to make the world a better place. “You’re Mellie Grant,” he says. “You don’t give up.” He urges her to do her job: being president.

Down in the bunker, Marjorie is getting very annoyed. The drone has been cleared but they’re still stuck down there. She threatens Abby, but Abby responds that there’s nothing to take away from her — she and Leo broke up and her friends hate her.

The meeting resumes. Jake thinks they should just go after Peus and squash him like the bug he is. After all, Fitz is president and commands the military. Mellie bursts in, newly confident from her pep talk with Marcus. She has decided to name her own VP — and offers the job to Cyrus. But he turns her down!

So if it’s not Jake and it’s not Cyrus, who will it be? Olivia notes they need someone strong, courageous, able to fight with them. She has an idea and the team scatters to do their jobs.

At OPA, Huck tracks down Charlie and gives his location to Quinn. She finds him eating, as usual, in his car. She admits that she loves Huck, but not in the same way she loves Charlie. “You’re my life, my heart,” she says. Charlie melts and even gets teary, and they kiss. Aww!

Marjorie now at the peak pissed-off level and it only gets worse when she sees on the news that Mellie is announcing her VP. She takes the podium and says that she’s chosen… Luna Vargas, Frankie’s widow!

The bunker door opens and Olivia enters. She says she’s taken Mellie back. And they’re shipping Marjorie off to Guantanamo. Or maybe 3,000 feet below the Pentagon. Olivia smiles. “You can’t take Olivia Pope, Olivia Pope takes you.”

Peus won’t be happy about this, but she’s ready to fight.

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

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