Scandal Season 5, Episode 9 Recap: The Women Take A Stand

Photo: ABC/Scott Everett White.
We thought Olivia (Kerry Washington) was going to be imprisoned after last week's Scandal, and she is — just not the way we thought. Instead of being trapped by prison guards, and cells, Liv's trapped by secret service and White House holiday parties.

It seems like she's going to get a way out, since a Senator's wife is uttering the infamous words, "I have a problem." No luck. All the lady wants is a damn cookie recipe. Has Olivia ever even looked at a recipe?

While Olivia is showing her skills from Small Talk 101, Mellie (Bellamy Young) is fighting a popular funding bill that everyone supports — including President Grant (Tony Goldywn). This funding bill would put the future and budget of Planned Parenthood at risk (sounds familiar, huh?). The only other person who doesn't support it? Olivia, who calls it a "crappy bill."

To quote Fitz, "Olivia is busy" (cough, kidnapped by her boyfriend, the President of the United States, cough). So Mellie is on her own to block the bill. She embodies Wendy Davis and starts a filibuster. (Wendy Davis' filibuster lasted 11 hours to block Senate Bill 5, which would have regulated abortion rights in Texas. Her efforts delayed the passage of the bill, but it eventually passed in second session.) Mellie has to last 16 hours of standing without leaning on anything, eating anything, or taking a bathroom to block the funding bill, and she's not wearing Davis' pink tennis shoes. Her shoes of choice — red high heels.

It turns out there is a loophole for filibusters. Mellie can get a bathroom break if someone else asks a question with a long, drawn out answer. Olivia uses the senator's wife who wanted the cookie recipe as a permissible reason to leave the White House and the eyes of her captor boyfriend, and starts campaigning senators to join #TeamMellie (which let's be real is the only team all of us Gladiators are still truly on). There are no takers.

We get a surprise supporter of Team Mellie and Team Olivia with Vice President Susan Ross (Artemis Pebdani) when she interrupts the Senate hearing to ask a question about Planned Parenthood. Mellie relieves herself but doesn't know if she can continue her verbal stream of conscious. Who convinces her to keep going? Liv. Mellie goes back feeling all HBIC after hearing Liv's words — "You're the biggest bitch I know, don't tell me you can't do this." She succeeds and earns the respect of the fellow Senators finally. President Fitz better watch out. Liv, Susan and Mellie united could bring him down. Easily.

Women's reproductive rights take center stage again when Liv skips another schmoozing dinner for an appointment...to get an abortion. She comes home and channels the former Mrs. Grant with fighting words and moonshine. It's over. To put it in her words — "There is no Vermont. No jam. No future. Not anymore." Somehow Olitz go from fighting to resigning that they don't work peacefully in two minutes. Turns out Fitz is not very good at holding people hostage. Olitz is done.

In the meantime, Huck (Guillermo Diaz) had kidnapped Rowan (Joe Morton). He put aside his normal signature of skinning people alive for psychological warfare. It was nice to see a human side of Huck, who couldn't kill the father or his best friend. But, it also was pretty boring/pointless since Huck releases Rowan (why do people keep doing this?!) in the name of Olivia. Jake tracks down Liv's other ex-boyfriend, Russell, and upon learning he was responsible for Lazarus One (and killing his estranged wife) kills him. Turns out he thinks Lazarus One is a bigger danger than Papa Pope.

Olivia is now a free woman. Rowan (Joe Morton) is now a free man. Jake is helping Rowan (why?!!!). Charlie and Quinn are hooking up. It looks like when we return after the holidays, everything will basically be back where we were a couple seasons ago. But with a single Mellie. Here's to ladies nights attended by Shonda's single ladies — Liv, Mellie, Abby (Darby Stanchfield), and Elizabeth North (Portia de Rossi).

Other Plot Points:

Does anyone want this love triangle to happen?:
The odd situation between David, Elizabeth North, and Susan Ross continued thanks to a bracelet. David tried to give the bracelet to Elizabeth after one of their office hookups, and she literally laughed in his face. Naturally, he gave it to Susan next. Because that won't complicate things. The real question — what did he get for Abby?

What kind of best friend is Abby? Her best friend was acting out of character. I mean Liv had resigned to not working and talking to the housewives. Elizabeth noticed something was up. Yet, Abby? She didn't smell anything sketchy.

Can someone explain what family is to Rowan? He keeps calling all of the members of B-613 his "sons." People that you pay to kill other people for you are not children — especially if those people are now trying to kill you.

What is wrong with Jake? This might be the most important question of all. Jake has spent the last season trying to get rid of B-613 and Rowan. He almost killed him multiple times. He has orders from the President of the United States to kill Rowan. What made him decide that he now should join in? When is this storyline finally going to end?
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