Good guys turn out to be bad, bad guys turn out to be good … it's hard to keep them all straight on "Scandal."
We thought for a second that Jake was a standup guy who got put into a tough situation by his pal, Fitz. Sure, spying on the girl he's dating is creepy, but heck, the president asked him to. But by the end of this episode, it's clear Jake's got a darker agenda than making Olivia's knees wobble.
The episode starts out with Cyrus calling up his old buddy, Charlie, to dig up some dirt on Jake. Charlie wonders if James is cheating on Cyrus. Nope, it's his other husband, Fitz!
Meanwhile, the "couple" in question is at the White House, talking about the hostage situation. The president wants Jake to find out who the mole is. "If things go well, maybe we find a place for you here that's more official," Fitz says (as somewhere, Cy experiences a random heart spasm).
In Gladiator-ville, Huck and Quinn are tailing Osbourne when they see him pull up to Olivia's building. Uh-oh! The CIA director barges in, demanding to know who hired her to investigate him. (By the way, Jake is watching all this on camera until the feed gets knocked out.)
Osbourne warns her that they have a long file on her activities, but Liv icily stares him down. Half of her clients are well above his pay grade, so who really needs to be careful here?
Don't mess with Liv, even if you're the head of a superspy agency #Scandal— Yahoo! TV (@YahooTV) March 29, 2013
Despite her stance, Olivia cautions the rest of her team the next day to stop following Osbourne. Anyway, they have a new client … Hollis Doyle, aka the Devil?!
Anyway, Hollis and the fourth of his ex-wives (and his favorite) are there because their daughter, Maybelle, has been kidnapped and held for $20 million ransom. There's a video of a tearful Maybelle pleading with her parents to give over the money, but Hollis just laughs. He thinks his daughter is acting to extort money from him. "The only thing she forgot to do was to thank the damn academy," he chortles.
Well, things quickly stop being funny when the Doyles get their mail — including a letter bearing one of Maybelle's ears!
At the White House, Mellie tracks down Cyrus to find out what the deal is with Jake. He doesn't know … yet. She reminds him that he's lost his sway over Fitz and that Jake poses a real threat to his influence, which Cy knows all too well.
"It reminded me never to let my guard down, not when something Mellie this way comes." - Cyrus #Scandal— Yahoo! TV (@YahooTV) March 29, 2013
Mellie is fretting about the upcoming visit of their two (unseen) teen kids, Gerry and Karen, and tries to get Fitz's secretary to unclear his calendar. What is the first lady up to this time?
Back at the gladiators' office, Hollis is still disbelieving the kidnapping. He wants a DNA test on the ear, but that will take too long.
Wow, Hollis is one SOB. He gets an ear in the mail and shrugs #Scandal— Yahoo! TV (@YahooTV) March 29, 2013
And by the way, David Rosen is crashing in the office because his apartment was broken into. Between brushing his teeth in the kitchen and napping on the couch, he tries to convince the gladiators to go to the police. Huck is basically, like, talk to the hand. Seriously, hasn't David experienced Liv and team's awesomeness enough to know they're better than the police?
Jake calls up Olivia to make lunch plans, but she's too busy. Whatever, he doesn't care, since what he really wanted to do was break into her apartment.
I'm just wondering what you're up to = I'm about to break into your apartment #Scandal— jezebel dodai (@jezebeldodai) March 29, 2013
Once there, he copies the flash drive, takes pics of her handwritten notes on the conspiracy (really, Liv?), and adjusts the hidden cameras so they come back online.
Jake then goes to the president. He knows who the mole is — it's Osbourne. Only a few people in the world had access to that kind of classified info, and the CIA director was one of them.
Back to the case: Huck and Quinn are scoping out possible buildings where Maybelle might be kept. Quinn spots a cute family and suggests Huck make them "his" family. Nope, they've got a ridiculous dog. (How we love Huck!)
A new message arrives from the kidnappers. It's a pic of Maybelle, head all bloody, missing one ear.
I'm still on the fence with this whole kidnapping thing. Even with the ear #scandal— Jasmine (@Booji_Jas) March 29, 2013
Shaken by the image, Hollis is now convinced and wants to send the $20 million, but Olivia counsels him to send half until they've seen Maybelle alive: "Is it risky? Yes, welcome to kidnapping."
A very upset Hollis wanders into the kitchen, where he receives some comfort from – of all people — Quinn! As Liv notes, Hollis might be the devil, but "even the devil loves his kids."
I know what you did
At the White House, Cy has gotten his dirt from Charlie about Jake and goes to see the president. He knows all about Iran and some operation or something, though it doesn't matter what exactly happened. "You did things! Things you can't talk about … Things that even might endanger the foundation of the Republic, who knows?" Cyrus says. "So did I." Touché.
After getting half the money, the kidnapper gets back in touch. Maybelle says if they don't give him the rest of it, she's a goner. Olivia insists on confirmation of life, so they set a meet at an old gas station. The team arrives, sees Maybelle, and wires the money, and the girl runs into Liv's arms. Wait … that's it? That can't be all, right?
But I can't wait to see the twist in this story.. That was just to easy for them. #Scandal— meeshy johnson (@MeeshyJohnson) March 29, 2013
The job seemingly complete, Olivia is at home getting dressed (very fancily) when she gets a call from Cyrus. He wants to come over for some red wine, but she's got a date! "There's something not quite right there," Liv admits. "But I'm jumping." She doesn't mention his name.
Nor does Cyrus mention the name of the person who had the president's ear for a time. That leads them to talk about Fitz, which makes Olivia sad again.
When Jake comes to her door, she's back in her jammies. Date's off. The mere mention of Fitz made her six-inch heels unbearable. Liv admits to Jake that she's still hung up on her ex.
"I think about him. I worry about him. I wouldn't be on a date with you. He's in my head all the time." Sigh, oh Liv #Scandal— Yahoo! TV (@YahooTV) March 29, 2013
But Jake is not ready to back off. "You don't know me. I might be the worst guy in the world. Or I might be the best," he says. Then, he takes a page from Fitz's book of "How to Make Heart-Wrenching, Romantic, Sweep-Her-Off-Her-Feet Speeches" and declares:
"I like you a lot. I like how you say 'What?' when you answer the phone. How you always seem to be wearing white. How wine seems to be a food group for you. I like that you know who you are, that you fix everyone around you. But you seem sad to me, Olivia. I like you, but you seem sad. And if you let me, maybe I could help you not be so sad. Because whatever happened to you, whoever happened to you, already happened. It's done. So maybe I can help you start fresh. Maybe I'm your do-over. Because you deserve a do-over."
Then he kisses her. She swoons. He leaves. She's still swooning.
Gotta say this Jake is not so bad with the romantic speeches. Liv picks herself some good orators #Scandal— Yahoo! TV (@YahooTV) March 29, 2013
The choice is yours
At the gladiators' office, Huck is examining the ear, Maybelle's ear. Something isn't quite right. He deduces she wasn't kidnapped at all and that she set the whole thing up herself.
His theory is proven right when Maybelle disappears from the hospital. But she isn't fast or sly enough for Huck, who catches her on the way to the airport.
Her parents are shocked and dismayed. Why did she do it? Well, duh, for the money. Olivia rips Maybelle a new one for being a spoiled, entitled brat. The speech doesn't do any good, because when Hollis offers Maybelle a choice between family and money … she takes the money.
At the White House, an irate Osbourne yells at Cyrus that he isn't the mole. He's given his entire life to serving the country and isn't a traitor. So if he's not the mole … who is?
Down the hall in the Oval Office, Mellie bids Fitz good night. He confronts her about canceling their kids' weekend trip and accuses her of being cold, heartless, and a terrible mother. A pissed-off Mellie fights back, saying their kids didn't want to visit because Fitz has become a mean, awful drunkard. He's become his own father, Big Gerry! And it's all because he got his heart broken by Olivia.
Gotta respect Mellie sometimes! "You found your precious Olivia doesn't have the secrets of the universe tucked between her magical thighs" #Scandal— Yahoo! TV (@YahooTV) March 29, 2013
Somewhere in the city, Huck takes Quinn to peek into the house of a cute little family. It's a single dad and his daughter. But they don't seem to meet Huck's exacting standards, she notes. "They're not for me," he says. They're for Quinn!
News reports start coming in: Osbourne's been found dead in his car, of an apparent suicide. Hmmm, sounds very suspicious to us.
Apparently, we're right to be so: Jake meets with a mysterious man on a park bench. The man asks, "Is it done?" and if the police believe the death was a suicide. Jake confirms yes, then says everyone thinks Osbourne was the mole. Which apparently he wasn't.
Because it seems Jake is!
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"Scandal" airs Thursdays at 10 PM on ABC.