This is the episode that changes everything. Senator Edison Davis continues to court Olivia, who is not ready to go all in yet. She is still grieving the relationship she had with President Grant. Edison knows that her reluctance has something to do with a former guy, but Olivia won’t tell him who the guy was. All she says is:
When something big happens in the Senate today, you should be one of the first to give a statement of support.
Olivia’s client is the Senate Majority Leader, who has been caught having sex with an intern. Olivia convinces him step down as Leader (opening the door for a new Leader, maybe someone like Edison Davis?) Hollis Doyle does not want Edison to become Majority Leader because it’ll mess up his plans. He makes a trip to the White House to tell Cyrus he better do something about it. Cyrus consults with the President after talking with Olivia (“I want my President back.”) and the President puts his support behind the other guy, guarantee Edison’s win.
Doyle returns the next day all hot and bothered. He threatens Cyrus that he will handle things his own way if he has to.
Fitz, in the meantime, cannot seem to focus on anything put Olivia. He is not paying attention to Cyrus, which is frustrating for the Chief of Staff. Mellie doesn’t seem to want anything to do with him. Cyrus and Mellie both decide for the President, while he is out of the country, that there will be a gala to celebrate his birthday. Fitz does not like the idea, but as Mellie tells him, “We don’t always get what we want.”
Tom, the Secret Service agent, brings the President a packet of pictures. Fitz tells him that the surveillance of Olivia is off. He looks at the pictures, and at first he appears to be angry and upset. But as he continues to look through the pictures, he becomes hurt and disappointed. With each picture he looks at, it becomes more and more real that it is over between him and Olivia.
The client of the episode is Skip Pierce. His father is Harold Pierce, who owns a major company and whose IPO is about to go public. Skip and his mother think that Harold has gone off the deep end and are worried about what kind of effect it could have on the IPO. Olivia puts Harrison in charge of this case, while she works on the Senator’s case. Harrison and Abby spend the bulk of the episode babysitting HP and his new, much younger, bride.
When things get crazy, and they do, Harrison calls Olivia. “You better get down here,” he tells her. But Olivia can’t (or won’t) and tells Harrison he can do it and to “see it through.” Olivia empowers Harrison. And he does it. He has a sit down with Skip and HP and they work it out. HP announces that the IPO is cancelled, the business will stay in the family and Skip will run it. Case solved.
David Rosen meets Cyrus’ boyfriend James to give him the file on Hollis Doyle. “Just take a lot at it,” David pleads. James later tells David that there is no story there. But during a dinner at the White House, Fitz tells the story about election night and how it came down to three little counties in Ohio. When he names one of them as Defiance, James’ journalist radar goes off.
Before he leaves the White House, he returns to his cubicle and double checks the file. He finds that he remembered correctly, Defiance is one of the counties on the list. The next day, telling Cyrus that he is visiting his ailing father, James goes to the Defiance to track down the 150 voting machines that were used in the election. After only finding 149, he has to track down the last machine at the local high school. The memory card is there! And so is the smoking gun of this story. James uses the machine and the tally it prints out is in favor of Grant, even though the actual votes did not go that way.
David Rosen was right. There is something going on here, and it points to Hollis Doyle.
Quinn is acting weird during this whole episode. She is continuously asks Huck questions about his former profession as a spy. She does it enough to raise Huck’s suspicions. It has to do with the night she was brought to D.C. She tracked down the private plane she may have been on to Verna Thornton, the Supreme Court judge, who is a client of Olivia’s. Huck remains silent on the issue.
Olivia knows that the White House’s decision to back the other guy to give Edison the win was intentional. And because Olivia had nothing to do with it, says to her that Fitz truly is moving on. So she tells Edison, “I’m all in.” She attends the gala as his date.
As Mellie and Fitz arrive at the gala, Mellie suddenly changes her mind. She just wants to go home. Fitz is confused because the party was her idea. “We can’t always get what we want,” he tells her, quoting her. As they get out of the limo, fires are shot.
The President has been shot. Did Hollis Doyle have something to do with it? Mellie’s behavior when they arrived was somewhat strange, did she have something to do with it and she was getting cold feet?