Sometimes you have to fight fire with white-hot lies.
Slimy Hollis Doyle is revealed to be the one behind President Grant's assassination attempt, and now he's manipulating the acting president, Sally Langston. So, Mellie does a very Mellie thing: She forges her husband's signature on a letter taking back control of the government.
It's a lie that could put Mellie away for treason and Olivia for aiding and abetting a federal crime. But it's a lie that they can also use to smoke out the shooter, Becky, and save Huck from torturous interrogation.
And it's a lie that ultimately becomes true when Fitz wakes up at the end of the episode.
Huck is getting waterboarded and beaten to a bloody pulp, as a troubled David Rosen watches on.
Verna admits to Olivia that she's the one who implicated Huck, but says she now believes Hollis Doyle was behind the shooting. She overheard him talking on a secret cell phone -- a burner (guess Supreme Court justices watch "The Wire," too).
Abby and Harrison break in to retrieve the only phone number on the burner. Will it lead them to Becky?
At Olivia's apartment, Edison drops by to tell her that he can't find any information on where the government is keeping the shooter. It's hard when Olivia won't even give him a name, but she insists on keeping a Chinese wall between her personal and professional lives.
Suddenly, there's a knock on the door; someone delivers a letter for Edison. It's from the president, seeking to have his powers reinstated! Fitz is awake!
A hopeful Olivia races to the hospital, but when she gets to Fitz's room, he's still unconscious. Turns out Mellie forged his signature because she doesn't want to let the man responsible for the shooting to continue having power over the country. No biggie ... that's just treason.
Langston calls to congratulate Fitz on his recovery, but she gets suspicious when Mellie answers and tries to act cheerful. But how to prove Fitz isn't awake? Hollis Doyle suggests she leak Fitz's recovery to the press. "They can ask the questions I can't," she agrees.
Olivia brings a new client to the gladiators: Fitzgerald Grant. Now that the press is asking about his recovery, they need to make it appear that he actually woke up. The team disperses to do their thing.
Huck's torture continues, but he will say only that the president is still in danger from the real shooter. A conscience-stricken David reveals the warning to Olivia, who takes it to Sally. She asks the VP to release Huck so that he can help track the real shooter. At first Sally refuses, but then she reads Huck's CIA file. Whatever is on pages 4 and 5 causes her to change her mind.
Now that Huck is free, they need to smoke out Becky. Olivia and Cyrus create a ruse that Fitz is being transferred to Camp David to complete his recovery.
Then Edison shows up demanding to see the president, but Olivia blocks him. He warns her that if she helped forge the letter, he'll prosecute her. "Goodbye, Edison," she icily replies. And good riddance!
Back at the Oval Office, Sally is frustrated about how to prove Grant isn't awake. Hollis tells her not to worry ... he'll "take care of it," meaning he'll call Becky to finish the job.
Getting the bad guys
Becky sets up her rifle on a rooftop near the hospital and sets her scope on the exit. Then her phone rings -- it's Huck. And he's right behind her.
But before he can shoot her in revenge for the family she killed, the police storm in and handcuff them both. Becky reveals her real name, Kate, and asks Huck what his is. "Doesn't matter," he says.
A triumphant Sally goes on national television to announce they have the shooter in custody. Her prayers have been answered! Meanwhile, the police release Huck into Olivia's custody. "Welcome home," Quinn tells him.
The next day, Sally meets with Mellie at the White House. Seems Sally had the letter analyzed by handwriting experts and the "t" was all wrong. Take back the letter or else, she tells Mellie.
At home, a gloomy Cyrus confesses to James that Fitz never woke up and he can report it if he wants. But James already quit his job -- he isn't a reporter anymore.
"I'm not chief of staff anymore," Cyrus sighs. "Let's go get our baby."
But the phone rings. Whoever is on the line stops him cold.
At Olivia's office, Quinn demands to know why they're not doing anything to unmask Hollis Doyle as the person behind the assassination and the bombing of Cytron. She wants Olivia to start talking, and, surprisingly, Olivia agrees.
But the phone rings. It's Cyrus. There's someone who wants to talk to her.
He hands the phone to Fitz, who is truly awake now.
"Hi," he whispers.
The president is back!
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Check out what "Scandal" fans had to say about the episode on Twitter, and then sound off in the comments below!
I want the kind of love that Olivia Pope & President Fitzgerald Grant have! That's love! #Scandal— Jawn Murray (@JawnMurray) January 11, 2013
I need Huck to go ahead and take care of Sally. I'm through with her. #Scandal— Beyoncé Reigns™ (@BeyonceReigns) January 11, 2013
"Scandal" airs Thursdays at 10 PM on ABC.