'Scandal' recap: More than a feeling

Kelly Woo
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Warning: This recap for the “Lost Girls” episode of Scandal contains spoilers.

Doing something for love doesn’t mean you’re also not doing it because it’s right.

This week on Scandal, Fitz takes on the case of a couple hundred missing black girls, because it’s right to get them and their families justice. And because it’s bound to get Olivia’s attention. Mellie wants to intervene in a coup in Bashran because it’s right to ensure peace. And because she has a crush on President Rashad.

Olivia is stuck in a difficult position in both situations. In the Fitz case, she wants to keep her distance but… it’s Fitz! It’s Olitz! It’s the “hi” of it all! As for Mellie, Liv is all too aware of what it’s like to balance the needs of the country with one’s personal emotions. She’s lived it for the past eight years. Maybe she can be Command and be someone’s girl all at the same time.

Here’s a rundown of this week’s episode, including our live tweets:

The episode opens right where we left off — with Fitz hanging around outside Olivia’s hallway as she and Curtis emerge from the elevator, making out. Awkward!

Curtis quickly disappears, and Olivia demands to know what Fitz is doing there. He’s got a case — 219 missing black girls. And he wants her help. She brushes him off and tells him to take it to Quinn.

Meanwhile, Mellie meets again with President Rashad of Bashran ahead of their big nuclear treaty summit with his rival country. They are flirting like two horny teenagers.

Speaking of that, Cyrus is contemplating the Cézanne painting that Fenton Glackland gave him. As his assistant points out, he can’t accept such an extravagant gift per government rules. And on top of that, accepting it would “send a message.” (BTW, that message is: Yeah, let’s do it.)

With Liv being so wary about his motives, Fitz meets with his new partner-in-crime Rowan. Papa Pope isn’t sure that the missing girls case is the way to convince Olivia to give up B613, but Fitz is sure it’ll remind her of the good work she can do without being Command. Honestly, their plan seems destined to fail.

Marcus works with the gladiators on the missing girls case. They realize they need a “face” to represent these girls, and sad as it is, it has to someone with a spotless background and with a “white” name. They eventually pick Zoe Adams, a straight-A student.

Cyrus goes to return the Cézanne painting to Fenton, who apologizes for putting him in such a bad ethical position… and then invites him in for a VR session. And Cyrus actually has fun! Can you remember the last time Cyrus really laughed? Fenton butters up Cy some more by saying that the veep inspired him to go into politics. Perhaps they could meet up on the regular so Cyrus can teach him… uh, things?

Marcus drops by the White House to visit Olivia (cough: run into Mellie). She asks him how Vermont was. “Cold… and white,” he replies. And Fitz? “Cold… and white,” he repeats with a grin. She’s still dubious about the case, and wonders if Fitz just took it on as a way to get to her. So what if he did, Marcus asks. If he does some good, isn’t it worth it?

That prompts Liv to head over to QPA to stare at the giant wall of so many missing black girls. It’s heartbreaking. When the gladiators come in, she gives them a much-needed boost. Zoe Adams can’t speak for herself, but her mother can. People can identify with a grieving parent. Liv promises to get them as much press as she can.

She runs into Fitz on her way out, and he oh-so-casually suggests they have a drink to catch up (read: do it). Maybe after the big nuclear summit, Olivia says vaguely.

Photo: ABC

That summit doesn’t go very well. The prime minister of Rashad’s rival country thinks there’s something underhanded going on. He accuses Mellie and Rashad of making some behind-the-scenes bargain — and then wonders if she’s been using her “charms” on Rashad. Rashad gets upset, and the summit falls apart.

Their closeness only grows when Mellie and Rashad have a drink in the Oval Office. They are flirting madly with each other and come close to kissing. But then he leaves.

Meanwhile, Fitz and Mrs. Adams go on Curtis Pryce’s show to talk about Zoe and the other missing girls. When Curtis needles Fitz about the fact that this crisis was happening during his administration, Fitz shoots back that the media also stayed silent. Then, Fitz admits that he isn’t returning to Vermont. Yes, his library will be built there, but he’s going to go where he’s needed to fight the good fight. And if that’s where Olivia Pope is, well, so be it.

Later, Mellie goes to Cyrus’ office where they commiserate about their boy troubles. When she realizes that he got a real Cézanne from Fenton, she gleefully chortles, “He wants you bad.” And at least Glackland has good taste — in art and in men!

Olivia visit her father in his exhibit office to ask for his advice about balancing B613 with her personal life. He says it’s impossible. And then he points out how wrong it is that she’s coming to him to talk about boy problems. She can’t reveal to her true friends, like Abby and Quinn, that she’s Command of B613. “Despite your contempt for me, I’m all you have,” he says.

Mellie once again starts up the summit, and this time things go more smoothly. But just as Rashad and the rival PM come to terms, security rushes in. Apparently, there’s been a coup in Bashran — and Rashad has been displaced as president!

Mellie wants to use U.S. forces to secure Rashad’s leadership position and, in the meantime, grant him sanctuary. Olivia is incredulous. Mellie argues that Rashad is a dependable ally, but puh-lease… we all know why she’s arguing for this. Olivia says she needs to think about their decision.

When she get home, Fitz arrives. Ostensibly, it’s to talk about the missing girls case, which has been pushed off the news by the coup. But all she wants to know is why he’s in D.C. at all.

“Because you are here,” he replies. “Because I love you.”

Reader, you know what happens next.

The next day, Olivia meets with Mellie in the Oval Office. She has two options for the coup situation. Mellie passionately argues to support President Rashad. Not just because it’s right, but because she has feelings for him. Liv smiles and reminds her they are on the same team. Of course they’ll help Rashad.

Thanks to his talk with Mellie, Cyrus decides to give Fenton a chance. He shows up with a $20 bill to “pay” for the Cézanne. And he’ll throw in some politics lessons with it. And by politics… well, you know what he means. Meanwhile, Jake comes to Olivia with intel. She asked him to look into Fitz’s activities, because she was dubious about the whole missing girls case. But Fitz is clean. Someone else, however, hasn’t been doing what he should — ugh, Dad!

She’s waiting for Rowan when he returns to his office. It’s time to talk.

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

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