The people we love most are also the people who can hurt us the most.
It's a painful lesson, one that both Olivia and her newest client, Senator Josephine Marcus (Lisa Kudrow) go through this week, though on flip sides.
Josephine has kept a secret for 30 years and its discovery could damage the best relationship she has. Meanwhile, Fitz's big secret about Operation Remington turns out to be one that undoubtedly will tear apart his relationship with Olivia.
It's that time of the week: Olivia's dreaded dinner with her father. He seems to think that things between them are "getting better," because she's not accusing him of anything. Uhhhh, no — actually, she just knows that yelling at him doesn't do any good. Then Rowan has the nerve to say that she takes after him, not her mother.
As they finish up dinner, Jake is in Rowan's house trying to download data from his computer as Huck monitors from outside. He just manages to get the files when Rowan returns home. Whew! That was close.
At least Olivia's dinner with her evil father has one good outcome #Scandal— Yahoo TV (@YahooTV) November 1, 2013
At the White House, Mellie and Cyrus are trying to sweet-talk a strategist named Leo Bergen ("Private Practice" alum Paul Adelstein). They want his help on Fitz's re-election campaign, but Leo doesn't want to work with a "loser." And Fitz looks like a loser — aside from the character issues, he's visibly miserable in his marriage. The "optics" are bad.
"The man looks unhappy." - Leo on Fitz. Cuz he's still married to Mellie! #Scandal— Yahoo TV (@YahooTV) November 1, 2013
Meanwhile, Olivia is meeting with Fitz's potential rival in the election, Democratic candidate Josephine Marcus. But it turns out Josie doesn't need a campaign manager; her sister Candice is doing that job. What she really needs is a fixer. At the age of 15, Josie had a baby and gave it away. Only a handful of people know, and they all live in Red Springs, Montana.
In Red Springs, Abby and Harrison work on tracking down those five people, while Huck digs some dirt. He's multi-tasking, too, still working with Jake on exposing Rowan. Huck watches the footage of Rowan's meeting with Fitz, who is pissed about Pete Foster's death. Rowan warns Fitz that someone had been checking into Pete's file and that neither of them wants that.
Huck updates Jake, but the good captain is forced to go with a group of scary-looking agents. But those agents aren't Rowan's — they're Fitz's!
The president brought his old buddy around for … a game of pick-up basketball? Well, this is how guys work out their issues: through sports.
But the game quickly escalates and Fitz snarls, "You were just supposed to watch her." Jake refuses to talk about Olivia, though. We don't foresee any more basketball games for these two in the future.
Doing What They Do
After Cyrus accidentally tips Olivia to the fact that he's looking for dirt on Josephine, she warns the gladiators and they speed up their efforts to buy secrecy from those five people. So when Cyrus's lackey Ethan shows up to interview the baby daddy, he learns that it's too late — Abby and Harrison (with an assist from Huck) have gotten to him.
That's not going to stop Cyrus, of course. He decides to leak the rumors anyway, and let Josephine's primary opponent, Gov. Reston, do the rest.
Meanwhile, Huck and Jake pow-wow again. They've figured out that Fitz wasn't flying on Operation Remington and about 10 hours of his time during the mission is unaccounted for. Hmmm.
As Jake leaves the office, he runs into Olivia, who's forgotten her phone. Not her real phone — her "Fitz phone." She's sad because the White House Correspondents Dinner is coming up and she's gone every year and helped with Fitz's jokes. But this year … well, this year is different. Olivia tosses the Fitz phone in the trash.
In Montana, Abby and Harrison track down the last person who knows Josephine's secret, the nurse who delivered her baby. The nurse drops a bomb on them: Josie and her mom never gave away the baby; rather, Josie's mom raised the baby as her own.
Oh snap, Josephine's sister is actually her daughter! #Scandal— Yahoo TV (@YahooTV) November 1, 2013
Olivia confronts Josephine about this, but the senator doesn't want to reveal the truth to Candice. And if that means her campaign suffers, so be it.
In the White House, Fitz is fuming about B-613. He tried to get Rowan to back off Jake, but Command doesn't take orders — even from the president! So, Fitz asks Cyrus how they can get rid of B-613. Cyrus turns white and starts to tremble. It's impossible and trying to do so could get them both killed.
Now that their mission is over, the gladiators pack up to leave Montana. Quinn heads to the store to return some gear, but only gets store credit (don't you just hate that?). What to get, what to get … why, look at that, there are some shiny guns!
Another Democratic primary debate is taking place, and as Olivia helps Josephine prep, she realizes that Reston is going to bring up her secret. Liv encourages her to come clean about having a baby and giving it away, but the senator adamantly refuses to talk about it.
Then, during the debate, when the moment comes, Josie falters under the pressure. She looks at Olivia and follows her script, and it comes off perfectly. Watching from the White House, Cyrus and Mellie know they've been Poped again.
But while Olivia's script worked politically, it's a disaster personally. Candice is hurt and angry and rushes off. Josephine fires Olivia on the spot.
A Deal With the Devil
After drowning her sorrows in wine, Olivia hears a ringing coming from the trash can. The Fitz phone. She digs it out and answers. Fitz is dreading the Correspondents Dinner because he knows what a big joke he's become. So, make fun of yourself, Liv advises. Get them laughing with you. "I love you," he says as tears well up in her eyes.
Outside the door, Mellie eavesdrops. Because she's Mellie.