The story of Fitz and Olivia’s relationship is out there. But while chief of staff Elizabeth North panics, Abby stays calm: one of the parties involved is, after all, the capital’s supreme fixer. “The President”, she asserts, “is about to get Poped”. But he doesn’t: he refuses to make any sort of statement without Olivia there, and she decides to go to ground, finding refuge in an actual case, in which Pope & Associates have been hired to find a young man who looks as if he’s skipped bail.
He’s been accused of murdering his wealthy father, but since the client is the deceased’s widow, and second wife, she might as well introduce herself with the words “Hello. It was actually me who killed my husband”. Except, as I observed last week, in Scandal the perp’s rarely the obvious candidate. To start with it’s really only Quinn who’s an Associate, but Huck turns up at the office as well, claiming to have recovered from his latest mild bout of being a murderous psychopath. “I’m fixed!”, he insists, eyes not so much bulging as more or less out of their sockets and halfway down his cheeks. Quinn isn’t convinced – even less so when a journo manages to infiltrate the office to ask about Olitz and Huck arms himself with a pencil, which he manages to make look like the most deadly object imaginable – but by the end they’re on the road to reconciliation, presumably romantic as well as office-based.
Meantime Fitz is sulking, and refuses to accept the poison-tipped olive branch proffered by Mellie – if he withdraws his demand for a divorce and apologises to her, she’ll stand by his side – blaming her for the leak of the photos of him and Olivia. Now Abby’s starting to panic, because no-one’s saying anything at all, and she has to face an increasingly truculent press room. Then Cyrus offers some advice. “Be the adult”, he tells her around a jillion times. Fitz is essentially a child, so “be the adult”. So she manoeuvres Mellie back into the White House, and Fitz into an apology, telling him that Olivia doesn’t want the kind of life that being his public lover would involve.
This looks as if it’s going to play out like seasons 1-4 of Scandal, particularly when Fitz leaves a message on Olivia’s voicemail, telling her that he loves her too much to put her through life in the spotlight. But the episode gives us a real mic drop moment in its final scene, when the press pack finally catches up with Olivia and someone asks her if she’s the President’s mistress. “Yes”, she replies. Which presumably takes the show in a new direction. I thought this was quite good fun, all in all; it would have been better, perhaps, had the Case of the Week been more than a distraction. But on the plus side, still no mention of B-613.