Scandal Season 5, Episode 5 Recap: You Got Served

Photo: ABC/Michael Desmond.
During last week's Scandal we saw President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) decide to shut all of the media outlets up by taking his girlfriend, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), on a date. Not just any date, but one in front of the paparazzi and anyone with access to a phone, computer, or TV. The viewers at home liked it. However, Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) did not like seeing her still-husband in love and rubbing it in for the whole world. Mellie's heartbreak led to a phone call...with the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Now we are again revisiting that moment 17 years ago when impeaching the sitting President was on the table because of sex between a man and the woman he was not married to. Fitz questions the same thing I've been wondering since rumors of impeachment started last week — what part of his actions are considered a criminal offense? Does extramarital sex really count? Luckily for us, Shonda Rhimes knew we'd all be asking the same thing, and had David (Joshua Malina) answer, "Gerald Ford once said an impeachable offense is whatever the majority of Congress considers it to be at a given moment in history." Turns out anything could be a large enough offense. It's a walk down Olivia's exes tonight. Basically this is a continuation of A Christmas Carol or the pre-McConaissance movie Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past. Olivia Pope first asks her ex-boyfriend, Senator Edison Davis (Norm Lewis), to be a character witness. Yes, she has to beg the first man she broke up with because of Fitz to tell the world that she's not a bad person. Surprisingly, he agrees, and his short moment on camera is the only revisit of the great conversations around race and gender politics from last week. Next she visits her most recent ex, Jake (Scott Foley), to ask for advice on how to tell the world she is in love with Fitz. Pretty cold move considering Fitz is the exact reason her relationship with Jake ended. And just in time for him to reunite with his surprise wife. Mellie is once again being forced to step aside because of her husband, because of a powerful man. She has to resign from the committee because "As far as the American people are concerned, you are a scorned woman bitching about your ex. End of story." To make matters worse she only has one person to run to — Cyrus (Jeff Perry). She's confiding in the man that thinks God made this day for him. The most power-hungry man alive, who sees this media circus as "amazing" Their interaction did give us the best quote of the night about Olivia though, "She's managed to go from a slut, to an everywoman, to your sister-wife in 48 hours."

Olivia is finally taking Leo's (Paul Adelstein) advice and going on live TV to talk about the love between her and the President. Not only is she admitting her love for Fitz, but also all the pain it caused. In her words she has to "accept [her] faults." She finally did what Leo couldn't do — make herself an every-woman. We've all made mistakes. We've all hurt people, and paid the price. Just not on the same scale. She was a lot more honest than I thought she'd be, and apparently a lot more honest than Fitz thought she'd be too by the look on his face. It's a monumental moment — Cyrus is apologizing for something. He has never taken responsibility for anything, but he's taking responsibility for Olivia and Fitz meeting right now. Out of everything he has done, this one is actually pretty innocent. Yet, that apology to Mellie is going to mean nothing the minute President Grant calls. Which he will. Right about now... The committee knows that Olivia was kidnapped and that the President of the United States decided to risk the lives of his people in order to save his girlfriend. He put the country, well in this case, the world at risk. Now that is an impeachable offense, and we've finally connected the kidnapping plot of last season to the whole story. The only person that can connect President Grant to that decision? Cyrus. YES. It is time for Cyrus to get off the couch, and come back to the gang. Sorry, Mellie. Cyrus will always pick the party with the most power, even if his first response is "this band is never ever getting back together." (Cue Taylor Swift.) We know that in a few seconds Fitz will somehow win Cyrus over, but hearing everyone call Fitz out on his bullshit is one of the best parts of tonight's episode. While this show has tried to frame Fitz as the good guy for the last five years, it's always been more complicated than that. He is not the good guy. He is a guy. He is just as flawed, if not more so, as every other complicated character on this show. Thank you, Cyrus, for calling him out for being insensitive and selfish. Thank you, David, for telling him that he doesn't really know what he's talking about. And, thank you, Olivia, for reminding him he is always a step behind the rest of the team. Yet, as always Fitz gets the last line, and he has the appropriate apology. It's official: Cyrus is the Chief of Staff again. Elizabeth North is out. And never-ever wasn't very long after all because the band is back together. The preview for next week is talking about a wedding between Olivia and Fitz. Can they even legally get married since Fitz only gave the divorce papers to Mellie two weeks ago? What do you guys think, will next week's episode be all about a diamond ring on that finger?

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