First of all let me say that when I first saw the previews for this episode, I was a little wary of the storyline. I thought that it would be like one of those random episodes of a show where the characters go back in time or something and the episode has absolutely nothing to do with the plotline of the show (à la Cory getting zapped back to the 60s by a microwave in Boy Meets World). But, Shonda Rimes pulled it off. Somehow amidst the lady with the bomb in the Capitol, the episode was just like any other – OPA working for their client and trying to fix the problem. So kudos to Shonda – the episode was fantabulous.
Jake is very beat up and very naked, asleep in Liv’s bed – yeah, go Liv! Fitz calls on the secret “Fitz Phone,” but Olivia doesn’t want to talk to him. She calls Huck and tells him that they need to talk, but Huck doesn’t want to talk to her. Why? Because he is busy stalking Olivia’s dad, aka B6-13 Command.
Okay, let’s just take a breath here and discuss what the heck that man’s name is. Last season, Cyrus (and the internet) was calling him “Rowan.” IMBD has the character listed as “Rowan Pope.” But now all of a sudden, his name is “Eli Pope” – Liv refers to him as “Eli,” and he is “Eli Pope” in her phone. So maybe his real name is Eli, but his B6-13 alias name is Rowan?? That is what I am going to assume for now…
Then, there is this great scene where Cyrus is discussing the PR plan for POTUS and FLOTUS to recover from the affair scandal, while the family is trying to have breakfast in some fancy White House dining room. Cyrus just keeps babbling on and on about photo shoots and interviews and romantic getaways at Camp David, but Fitz and Mellie are having their own argument about Baby Teddy feeding himself. It’s a great scene, and Baby Teddy even gives Cyrus the stank eye.
Back at OPA, they finally have a new client – Mary Nesbitt. Mary doesn’t give a lot of detail about her situation, just says that she needs OPA’s help on a “family matter.” She leaves for a “meeting on the hill,” and Quinn does some digging on Mary’s financial history. It turns out that Mary cleaned out her bank account and wrote a check to OPA for everything she had left. Everyone finds this strange, so Liv goes to find Mary on the hill.
As Liv is wandering through the Capitol building looking for Mary, we simultaneously see a man on a White House tour, break from the group and start heading toward the Oval Office. The Secret Service responds and apprehends the man who is shouting that he wants to speak to the President about Operation Remington. Liv finally finds Mary in her Congressman’s office … with a bomb strapped to her!! Oh no. The President and First Lady are taken to the bunker because law enforcement thinks that this may be a coordinated attack.
We find out that Mary Nesbitt’s son, Chris Lawrence, was a suspected terrorist that was murdered during an FBI raid. Mary has been trying to find out more information about her son’s case, but everything was classified and sealed under the Patriot Act. Mary cannot get anyone to listen to her or give her answers, so she decided that people listen to someone with a bomb.When the FBI calls the office where Mary is holding the hostages, Mary decides that Liv is going to be the contact for the FBI. Liv tells the FBI that Mary wants them to hand over her son’s file, or she is going to blow up the Capitol building.
The Secret Service determines that the man in the White House is unrelated to the Mary Nesbitt situation, so Fitz is let out of the bunker. Cyrus orders Secret Service to let the man go, which doesn’t really make sense since he tried to enter the Oval, but it will make sense later…*
Meanwhile, Huck is still following Rowan/Eli, which seems really dangerous, since he is the man who runs the organization that taught Huck how to kill. Huck is about to shoot the man in broad daylight in the middle of the sidewalk (which seems dumb and not very thought out and not very Huck-like), but Rowan stops to answer his phone. It’s Cyrus, who simply says, “We have a Remington problem.”
Apparently Mary Nesbitt doesn’t care if Olivia uses her cell phone, so Liv calls all of the Associates and gives them tasks to do to find out what happened to Mary’s son. The FBI calls the office again, and informs Mary that she can have the file, but only if she turns herself in. When Mary doesn’t agree, Liv acts on her own and tells Mary that the FBI wants her to release the hostages. Mary lets most of the hostages go but keeps Liv and the Congressman.
Now in the Situation Room, Fitz gives the go ahead to the FBI to enter the building and permission for snipers to shoot Mary Nesbitt if possible. Harrison is now on sight and calls Liv to tell her that a SWAT team is coming in with sniper rifles. Mary gets nervous and starts looking out of the window and the snipers are ready to engage. Harrison overhears that POTUS wants a visual on the target before he approves the sniper to shoot. Harrison relays the message that the President is running point on the operation to Liv. Olivia yells for Mary to move away from the window. Then, Liv yanks the blinds up to reveal her standing in the window with a ton of red sniper laser dots on her face. In the Sit Room, Fitz yells, “Stand down!!! Nobody move!!”
So freaking intense!
The FBI negotiator calls back into the room and yells something about Liv being a terrorist. Oh no, he didn’t! He must not know who Olivia Pope is. Shame on him.
Liv tells Mary that she needs to make one more phone call, and when Fitz’s secret phone rings, he answers, “Olivia?” But nope. IT’S CAPTATIN JAKE BALLARD!! Oh, how I have missed you, Captain Jake Ballard. Jake tries to talk Fitz into declassifying the file, but Fitz says, “Whatever you or I might feel for Olivia personally, The United States will not negotiate with someone who walks into the Capitol building wearing a bomb, no matter who’s representing her. So I’m sorry, but you’ll have to tell her you couldn’t save the day.”
Rowan/Eli is now in a camper with the man who tried to get into the Oval Office earlier. They have a very cryptic conversation about a deal they made to keep Remington secret. The man says that he deserves to talk to the President because he is the “only honorable man in this deal.” What in the world? What is Remington? When am I going to find out? When is Shonda going to tell me? I have a feeling that it won’t be for a while …
When Rowan/Eli exits the camper, Huck is waiting for him and puts a gun to his head. However, Rowan was expecting him, AND he saw Huck earlier when he was following Rowan/Eli on the sidewalk. The, that scene is over, but we will come back to it later**
Jake calls Liv back to tell her that he couldn’t get any information and they have the cutest conversation:
J: You need to get out of there, Liv.
O: I’ll be fine. How are you feeling?
J: Are you serious? Oh, I’m a little sore. You’re in a room with a bomb. Just get out of there, okay?
O: I’ll do my best.
Harrison is still on site and when he makes a scene yelling at the negotiator, he is pulled aside by an FBI agent named Laura Kenney. She shows him a video of Chris Lawrence giving a speech to recruit people to join his terrorist network. “He was a terrorist. And now, so is his mother.” Harrison relays the information to Olivia, who now has to try and figure out how to tell Mary that her son was a terrorist without making her too mad… But then, Harrison sees Laura Kenney acting sketchy and getting into a state department vehicle and not an FBI vehicle. Abby convinces David Rosen to look up the agent’s name, and it is confirmed that Laura Kenney is not an FBI agent. What the heck is happening???? Over the phone, Liv gives a speech to David about how killing a man and then sealing all of the information and sending an FBI impersonator is not justice, and we know how much David Rosen likes justice. He goes to Cyrus and provides evidence that the agent who led the raid that killed Chris Lawrence was fired immediately after, but all of the other agents involved were given raises and promotions. Obviously, the one agent shot Chris Lawrence accidentally and was fired, and all of the other agents were paid to keep their mouths shut. Go David Rosen!
The President calls into the office to talk to Olivia. He reveals that Chris Lawrence was an American hero, not a terrorist. He was a CIA agent that infiltrated the Al-Qaeda network. He also recruited 57 other CIA agents into Al-Qaeda. No one can ever know this, not even his mother Mary, or else the other 57 agents would be tortured and killed. The FBI killed Chris Lawrence by accident because they did not know that he was working with the CIA. But, Olivia cannot tell Mary Nesbitt this or the other 57 agents would be endangered. Olivia reluctantly tells Mary Nesbitt that her son was in fact a terrorist.
Everyone starts to leave the room, but Mary Nesbitt pushes the Congressman and Olivia out and then slams the door and detonates the bomb. In the Sit Room, Fitz’s screen goes black after the explosion and he has another freak out worried that Olivia is hurt. I just love when he worries about her. But, Liv is fine and everything is okay.
Fitz returns to the White House to find a super drunk Mellie at the dining room table. Fitz thinks that she is sad that Olivia didn’t die, but Mellie reveals that she is celebrating that Olivia is still alive. If Liv would have died a hero, then Fitz would have forever worshipped “Saint Olivia Pope.” But Mellie is celebrating because “As long as she’s still alive, well, she’s your flaw. Your Achilles’ heel. Which makes her my weapon. She’s the strings that, if need be, I will pull to make my puppet husband dance. So cheers, baby. Drink up! I live to fight another day.” Scary. Mellie is scary. I am frightened for Olivia. I feel like that was a threat. For a second, I even thought that maybe Mellie had something to do with Mary Nesbitt and the bomb – like maybe she sent her to OPA or something. I don’t think that is really true, but Mellie is just so scary that she is messing with my mind.
Liv returns to the OPA office to find Scary Huck waiting for her in the shadows. “Don’t worry. I’m not here to kill you. I’m all killed out for today.” Why is everyone acting so scary today?? Of course Olivia, and the rest of America, think that Huck killed Rowan/Eli. Huck tells Liv how mad he is that she knew that her father was Command this whole time that he has been trying to figure it out. In the most heart-wrenching of voices, Olivia asks, “Did … you … kill my father?” After the longest pause in the history of pauses, Huck finally answers, “No.”
**Flashback to the camper: Rowan/Eli tells Huck that there is a gift inside the camper for him. Huck goes inside and kills the Remington/Oval Office guy, because that is what Huck is trained to do. (*So Cyrus let the man go because he knew that Rowan would take care of it, and no one wanted the man to spill the secrets about Remington if he were questioned.)
Huck:“Command. Your father, even after all that time … even after everything, he owns me. There’s nothing I can do. I thought I was free, but I’m not. He controls me. He still controls me. He owns me!”
Oh, goodness. Poor Huck. There is just so much going on in his head. He has been through so much. He can’t handle it, and I can’t handle it. I just want him to be better.
Olivia returns home, and Sweet Jake Ballard is waiting for her with dinner and wine and a sweet kiss on the cheek. Olivia responds with a cold, “Why are you here?” Dang, Olivia. That was not very nice. Jake stutters and says he can leave if she wants him to, but Olivia corrects herself, “I mean, how are you here?” Olivia’s cell phone starts ringing, and it’s “Eli Pope.” Then, her secret “Fitz Phone” starts ringing, and there are all of these ringtones going off, but no one is answering. Really, this scene is just so very great and super intense, and you just need to watch it.
So, did Jake know the whole time that Rowan/Eli was Olivia’s father? I just cannot believe that Jake Ballard is bad. He is just so sweet. But, I feel bad for him because he is so wonderful, but Olivia will always love Fitz. Maybe it would be better for Jake Ballard if he was bad, then he wouldn’t get hurt by Olivia.
I am quite upset that the internet hates Jake Ballard so much. What are you people thinking?? He is amazing and stupid hot. This situation is just so different from the Edison situation – because no one even liked Edison. But Jake is so sweet and likable. I am torn. Bethany and I had a long text conversation about how Olivia could possibly be with both Jake and Fitz. The options included but are not limited to cloning, polygamy, and marrying Jake Ballard with an understanding that she can still sleep with Fitz. None of those options are ideal, but how do you choose? I’m not sure I would be able to…
I found this gif, and it was perfect for how I was feeling after this episode: