Fights, Coffee, and Forgiveness
Olivia and Fitz are fighting behind a door. Jake is outside with secret service, listening. They are fighting because, while they are still lovers, Fitz does not like Liv’s new “fake” boyfriend. “He will try and fight me for you,” he tells Olivia, to which Olivia responds, “I’m not a prize to be won.” This leads to another Fitz loses his temper moment that has me wondering what’s up with Fitz.
Meanwhile, Mellie (you know Fitz’ wife, the First Lady) is in a room with Andrew, the new VP running mate. Mellie wants to be sure that Andrew is accepting this position on the ticket just to get close to her. We are quickly taken back into time fourteen years ago. Flashback Mellie does not want to go attend a dinner that honors Fitz’ father. Wonder why? She won’t even let Fitz touch her, which is the first glimpse we get into when their relationship started to break apart.
The flashbacks continue throughout the episode to give us more information about Mellie and Andrew’s relationship. For example, the group finds out that Andrew had someone secretly bring prescription drugs to the mansion. Turns out, it was Mellie who overdosed on the drugs after her father-in-law raped her. Andrew found her on the throw and carried her into the bathroom. There he helped her vomit. Then, he took the heat for the drugs. So, while Mellie and Andrew know the truth, the rest think that the drugs are connected to Andrew.
Mellie, in a flashback, eventually tells Andrew what her father-in-law did to her. Andrew is the only person who knows. And he is the only person who knows that Mellie has wondered all this time if her son is Fitz’ or his father’s.
The Cover Up
David and James continue to work on pulling the curtain back on Daniel Douglass’ murder. James is determined to bring Cyrus down. Top secret B6-13 files are delivered to Jake Ballard, and he gets to peak behind that curtain. There is a trusted B6-13 agent inside the White House. Leo and Sally discuss a possible major donor for their race. Turns out it is Hollis Doyle who, after leaving Sally’s office, goes to Cyrus’.
Sally continues to have flashbacks about Daniel’s death. Huck continuously brings Olivia coffee, even though Liv doesn’t drink coffee. Jake has Charlie look into Rowan. Charlie ends up spying on Rowan while he is having dinner with Olivia. In another car is Quinn, spying on Charlie spying on Rowan. Cyrus calls Charlie with a need and Charlie goes to fill it. Quinn stays and continues to watch Olivia and Rowan.
While father-daughter dinner isn’t the best, Olivia tries to be loving and caring towards her mysterious father. On the way out of dinner, she notices Quinn and gets in the car with her. Liv asks her to come home. Quinn tells her that she cannot. As she pulls a gun on Olivia, she ways, “I’m violent now.” Is this who Quinn is now? Or is this who Quinn thinks she needs to be? As soon as Olivia gets out of the car, Quinn starts crying.
Jake unexpectedly shows up at Olivia’s apartment. “If I’m going to be your pretend live-in boyfriend, have some beer and food in the house,” he tells her. Leo thinks he and Sally have Hollis in the bag. But when confronted about the missing check, Hollis replies, “I got to circle around the building before I settle down.” Harrison, in the meantime, makes a donation to the Grant campaign.
Home is an unexpected theme. It is the place we go when life gets a little too crazy. It is the place where we are safe and comfortable. It is the place where the world makes sense. Olivia wants Quinn to come home because it is safer there. All while Liv is pretending to keep “home” with Jake. Olivia has created a home for the Gladiators – a collection of misfits. Yet, she struggles with where home is for her.
The more important job that Charlie started doing for Cyrus was pretending to be the reporter Vanessa. While James thinks he is texting with Vanessa, he is actually texting with Charlie. Later that evening, at a donor dinner, Andrew is giving a speech about loyalty, which seems a bit ironic. Fitz looks out at the crowd and sees Hollis Doyle. He questions it and tells Cyrus to refund Hollis every penny. He refuses to take money from him.
Olivia starts to put some of the Andrew-Mellie pieces together when Harrison tells her that the doctor’s recipient was not a him, but a her. Liv manages to cancel the interview that Andrew was suppose to do. Liv speaks freely: “It was you, right? Popping pain killers.” Liv begins to tell Mellie that she understands how hard it is/was for Mellie. Mellie tells her that she has no idea what she has gone through. Mellie tells Olivia that when she had the chance to cheat, Mellie kept her knees together.
Jake attempts to let Quinn down easily that she is not a trained B6-13 agent. As they talk, Quinn emails pictures of Rowan and Leo talking to Jake. It is the beginning of Jake’s rethinking of Quinn.
Coffee of Forgiveness
Huck, throughout the episode, keeps brining Olivia coffee. Liv doesn’t drink coffee. Huck knows that when someone has done something to hurt someone they love, they bring them coffee. The to-go coffee cup is a symbol of forgiveness to Huck. “I need you not mad at me,” he tells Liv.
Huck has never been one of many words. So, this action of forgiveness makes sense coming from him. He knows what he did to Quinn crossed a line, and he knows that Olivia is not pleased with him. Because Olivia has created a home for Huck, this act of betrayal the source of paint in the Huck-Olivia relationship. Huck, who looks like a sad puppy dog when he hands Liv a cup of coffee, is seeking forgiveness.
Mellie finds Andrew admiring the portrait of Jackie Kennedy in a room full of portraits of the First Ladies. “We do not touch the First Ladies,” Mellie tells him. The two have a bond that goes much deeper than they have with any other character. Andrew knows that Mellie doesn’t favor Olivia (even though she buried the drug story) as much as Fitz does. Andrew wonders what would happen if he kissed her. After a few seconds, they do, with all the First Ladies watching. Mellie stops though, unsure what to think or to do.
In the meantime, Olivia is helping Fitz go over the donor list. Fitz wants to stop and work on it the next day. Liv starts to leave, but Fitz wants to talk. Olivia, who is unable to look at Fitz, tells him, “I can’t spend my time worrying about you . . . .It has to be about what I want, what I need.” Liv is claiming independence from the roller coaster of a relationship she has with Fitz. Fitz, clueless to what Liv is really doing, asks if she has feelings for Jake.
Tom, the secret service agent, brings a envelope to Jake at B6-13. Tom is the insider in the White House. Inside the envelope is a video from the center of the ceiling in the Oval. Jake watches as Fitz asks Liv is she has feelings for Jake. Liv’s answer is that she does not know.