Before tonight’s episode aired, I made myself promise to write at least three nice things about Fitz, partly to help balance out my never-ending Jake love, partly to try to remember what Olivia sees in him. But luckily for you Fitz shippers, the limbo of this episode — Liv in hiding, Fitz ready to come clean — really made me want them to at least give it a shot.
We begin with another Sally Langston monologue, in which she shows the leaked surveillance photos of Liv and Fitz again, and calls Liv a “seductress.” Are we just going to let her have this show and be a crazy (but entertaining) talking head? Is she never going to be punished for killing her husband?
While David Rosen and Liz try to figure out who leaked the photos, which definitely came from inside the White House (doesn’t this feel like a tame horror movie? “The call is coming from inside the house!”), Abby is the only one focused on the real issue: what to say to the press. Liv has bolted, telling Fitz, “I had to leave while I still could” and “I’ll call you,” but Fitz, sweetly, doesn’t want to make a statement without her. Possibly because he loves her, possibly because no one words a public statement as well as Olivia Pope.
Liv flees to Quinn’s apartment (“I have water; I have tea,” Quinn suggests before turning on her brain: “I have wine.”) Of course, she grabs the wine and says, “I have to work” — just before chugging straight from the bottle. I kind of love stressed-out Liv, even if she crazily decides to take on a case in order to distract herself from the public onslaught.
Mellie visits Fitz and demands an apology. For what, you ask. “For those divorce papers,” she says. “That hurt my feelings.” Then she makes a nice little speech about Liv and tells Fitz he “outed her” by moving her into the White House. “The minute she came in here, she became what we all become when we move in here…a statue,” Mellie says. “She’s not just a mistress now: She’s America’s mistress.” Sounds like a new reality show — which is exactly how Liv’s life probably feels right now. Mellie tells Fitz she’s willing to start over and help him fix this by denying the affair rumors and playing nice for the cameras so they can be a team again.
Fitz, for his part, obviously thinks Mellie is the one who leaked the photos, but Mellie points out that they don’t really paint her in a great light. “Those photos make Senator Grant look weak and frigid and sexless, and we both know America will never elect a woman who can’t get laid,” she says. Despite the speech, Fitz is 100 percent OVER her. “Get out,” he roars. Mellie has a lot of talents, but taking hints and letting things die really aren’t in her arsenal.
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Quick pause to get through a kind of pointless B-plot: Rich lady hires Olivia Pope & Associates (which now comprises Liv, Quinn, Jake, and a newly “fixed” Huck) because her stepson has killed her husband, his father, and he’s on the run. Perfect, because so am I, Olivia probably thinks and goes off to chase him. She finds the creepy-looking guy at a casino, where he first mistakes her for a hooker, then a bounty hunter (because baseball caps on women are really confusing for him, I guess). Liv does a cool move where she sneakily handcuffs his ankle to his chair, and then Jake comes to the rescue, and they hide out with the kid at a motel. Liv sees herself on the news but tries to ignore it.
They go to a diner, and she — STUPIDLY — lets the man-child, Gavin, go to the bathroom alone. This is the No. 1 rule of having a captive: Don’t let them go to the bathroom alone. Olivia, of ALL PEOPLE, should know this, because she used her bathroom time to try to escape from her own captives last season. Maybe she blocked it all out? Anyway, she gets recognized instantly because she’s become the most famous woman in the country overnight, and Jake has to save her from a swarm of selfie-takers. Obviously, Gavin escapes in the mayhem.
Later, Liv and Jake find Gavin in this house he was trying to build with his dad’s money, he tells them about how the dad used to call him a “weasel” all the time (he really did sound like an awful dude), then he confesses. Bye-bye.
The only important parts in these scenes are when Jake is talking to Olivia and trying to figure out a) if she’s okay and b) why she’s running away if she wanted to be with Fitz so badly all these years. “You wanted to be with him so much… What’s changed?” he asks. Liv’s response is just, “What’s changed?” Cut to seeing her face on the news. Jake, I love you, but come on. I’m starting to want Jake to get a girlfriend so he can move on and stop chasing a woman who doesn’t want him and Liv and Fitz can just be together. Note to casting director: I am FREE to play this girlfriend.
Back in Washington, Abby seeks advice from Cyrus, who can’t stop using dad metaphors now that he’s unemployed and actually has to learn his baby’s name. He tells Abby that if you act like an adult, the person you’re dealing with will start acting like a child.
NEXT: Abby takes charge