This episode takes place ten months since the last episode. Olivia and Fitz are trying to move on and forget one another. Olivia takes to swimming, while Fitz takes to drinking in the shower. They are both using water to wash away the memories of the mistakes they have made.
Mellie joins him in the shower and tries to help him forget, but Cyrus comes into the bathroom to tell the President that there are 4 Americans who have been taken hostage. As the situation unfolds, the hostages are CIA spies.
David Rosen’s morning is going much better. He wakes up in a pool of blood in his own bed. Lying next to him in a dead woman. The police are pounding on his door, David, not sure what has happened, lies to the police that everything is okay. After they leave, he calls Olivia Pope and Associates. Huck and Quinn clean up the scene at David’s and return the body to her own place. Huck teaches Quinn the art of cleaning up, and Quinn seems to enjoy it.
The woman’s name is Wendy, and on her cell phone are pictures of different men. Hands, arms, torso, etc. Huck is able to track the men down based on location stamps. The Gladiators learn that she has been sleeping around with men in scandal-worthy situations. She learns from them the secrets they hold, and then sells them to a newspaper. She had plans to sell David’s story as well. She had asked David about Defiance.
David is arrested by the police before the Gladiators can put this case to rest. David is torn about using Olivia Pope and Associates, though. He begins to get cold feet. He accuses Olivia of having something to do with framing him. How else, he reasons, would Defiance be put to rest? Olivia didn’t frame David, but she wonders if Cyrus did. Cyrus says he did not, that Defiance died with Verna Thornton.
While talking with Cyrus, she tells him, “I think he [the President] knows what we did.” Prior to this, the thought never crossed Cyrus’ mind. The President has been keeping to himself in the last ten months. Upset by the truth that Verna told him on her death-bed, that she, Cyrus, Mellie, and Olivia protected the truth of Hollis Doyle’s election rigging. It is starting to get to Cyrus that he is being left out. Cyrus had assumed that the President was because he was bitter about Olivia. But now, he is rethinking that.
Cyrus goes to Mellie:
Cyrus: He can bathe in Scotch for all I care, that’s not the problem — the problem is that he’s not using me like he’s supposed to. I’m the guard dog, I’m the bad cop, I’m the dragon that gets released to run the meetings and make the calls.
Olivia meets Jake Ballard (Scott Folley) for the first time in a coffee shop. They exchange fake jobs. Olivia’s path crosses with Jake’s again, while working on David’s case. Someone keeps calling Wendy’s phone. The same number, multiple times. It is coming from the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, which takes Olivia to Captain Jake Ballard’s office. However, neither receives any useful information from the other.
On the way to Ella, Cyrus and James’ baby girl, baptism, Mellie gives Fitz a mint because he smells like booze. But she gives him more than that. She throws Cyrus under the bus. It was Cyrus’ idea, she tells him, to support Hollis. Cyrus convinced Mellie, Verna, and Olivia to be a part of it. It was all Cyrus, she keeps telling him. “You can’t trust him, but you can trust me.” And so the President asks his First Lady what she thinks about sending Navy SEALs in to rescue the hostages. Cyrus had thought they should wait. Mellie tells him to trust is gut. As they walk into the church, Fitz gives Cyrus the order:
President Grant: Take as many breaths as you like and recount them in your memoirs — call the SEAL team before the christening.
Fitz has been chosen as the godfather and Olivia as the godmother. Fitz holds the baby, and Olivia holds her head while the priest pours water over Ella’s head. The waters of baptism symbolizing the grace in one’s life before we know that we need such grace. The waters that tell us that we are forgiven and filled with grace before we make mistakes. Not unlike the waters that covered Olivia and Fitz at the beginning of the episode, as they tried on their own to wash away their sins.
At the reception, Fitz follows Olivia down a hall, pulls her into an electrical closet, and has sex with her. When they come out of the closet, Olivia says it was a mistake. Fitz, thinking she is talking about the sex, says that it won’t happen again. Olivia was talking about Defiance. Fitz says, “That was not a mistake, that was betrayal.”
The SEALs go in, however, the house they entered is empty. Fitz is not happy about it. He is told that there is a mole. The President tells Cyrus to stand down, he needs to think about it. “I need to figure out who I can trust.” The more sin there is, the harder it is to trust. Sin undermines our ability to trust.
David finds a flash drive in his laptop later that evening. Wendy was downloading his Defiance files to it. But on it are top-secret stuff, like the locations of the President’s emergency bunkers. Even though he “fired” Olivia Pope and Associates, he takes it to Olivia. She tells him that he is doing this because he values justice. She tells him that he is “dusting off the White Hat.”
Mellie tries to seduce Fitz in the shower again. But this time, with whiskey in hand, Fitz goes all green and Hulk-like on her. He grabs her wrists and pushes her away, but only to cry, sort of. Fitz is torn. He crossed over to the dark side when he killed Verna, and now she is like Mellie and Cyrus and Olivia. He has fallen and he can’t get up.
When Olivia gets home, she calls Jake Ballard, and they make arrangements for dinner later that week. Perhaps after having sex with the President and him telling her that it won’t happen again, she is ready to move on. However, the more troubling part was that while Olivia is talking to Jake, he is watching her on his television. Who is this guy?