Do you believe in second chances?

season-3-scandal-iamsupergorge-oliviaThat seems to be the theme of this week’s episode. At one point or another, almost every character tells someone that mistakes happen and that there are second chances.

One of these characters is the wife of the client-of-the-week, Senator Richard Meyers. Meyers, in an Anthony Weiner kind of way, sent explicit text messages of himself to a young woman named Desiree. The only difference here, is that Meyers is on trial for murdering Desiree. Pope and Associates takes the case to defend the senator because they need clients. While the family of the victim would be a better fit for Olivia, they need the cash.

After meeting with the Senator, his wife, and his lawyer, the wife tells Liv: “The man who sent those pictures was a different Richard. . . . He made one mistake.” Olivia, having made her share of mistakes in the last two seasons, tells her, “We all deserve a second chance.” The wife’s honesty makes it possible for Olivia to put her white hat on, even though the Senator’s behavior may not be worthy of that white hat.

And that is putting it mildly. While his wife continues to stand by the Senator, it comes out that during his trial the Senator had been sending more pictures. It is clear that his wife was not aware of this continued behavior when she disappears. The Gladiators spend all day trying to track her down. It is Olivia who figures out what hotel she is staying in and under what name. Olivia convinces her to take the stand by saying, “What if you did not have to lie?”

Olivia doesn’t realize until the next day when the Senator’s wife is testifying that she is not lying. The Senator did not kill the woman named Desiree. The Senator’s wife did!

Who deserves the second chance?

The episode continues to give us a glimpse into Olivia’s relationship with her father, Rowan, also known as Commander. As the episode begins, Jake wants to expose Rowan for who he is, but Olivia knows thats just not a good idea. Olivia tells Jake, “He’s in charge . . . . of everything. I need to be a good girl. I’ve never heard of you.”

Olivia is reverting to child-like instincts to survive. She knows that the best way to survive this chaos they all find themselves in is to play the “good girl” role by doing what Daddy Pope wants. Even though she has been given second chances with him, it is clear that her father is in charge. But, in this case, father does not always know best. Rowan is at the center of some deep, dark, secret that he controls. Will we ever figure out what Remington is?

Whatever it is, Fitz takes the time to arrange a funeral for Peter Foster at Arlington – giving Foster a second chance. He attends, and while he thinks no one but Foster’s limited family is aware of his attendance, someone Instrgrams a picture of him at the funeral. Cyrus gets a hold of it and strongly reminds the President that he must distance himself from anything that could connect him to Remington. But why Peter Foster?

Even though Liv told him to let it go, Jake Ballard looks into Rowan searching for something- anything – to bring him down. Jake brings to Olivia what he finds, including a recording of a conversation between Rowan and Cyrus. Liv doesn’t want anything to do with it. But Huck, who has been struggling with the fact that Rowan can still pull his strings, takes the file and the recording.

After listening and reading, and putting some pieces together, Huck joins Jake in going to Olivia. Pete Foster had the original flight plan for Remington. Pete Foster is the main key to the Remington secret. Fitz was part of that operation as the pilot. Somehow Olivia’s father and her boyfriend are connected to so huge cover-up. But what is it?

While Huck and Jake are talking to Liv, her phone rings. It’s Fitz. He is walking down a long hallway with the secret service behind him. He throws open a door at the end of the hallway, into Rowan’s office.

Rowan: What the hell is this?

The President: A reunion.

At the beginning of the episode, Quinn is quietly standing behind a pillar listening as Huck tells an AA group how he has recently slipped and fallen. He tells the group that he has been sober for so long, but recently he starting drinking “whiskey” again. Whiskey has been Huck’s code word for murder. “The decision,” Huck tells the group, “was taken away from me.” Huck is another character in this episode seeking a second chance.

Second chances is another way of talking about grace. We all make mistakes. The curse, so to speak, of free will is that it is free. We have been created with the ability and the freedom to make our own choices. The flip side of that, of course, is that we have to live with those choices and the aftermath of them. Too often we forget that our decisions not only affect us, they affect others around us. Senator Myers’ decision to shamelessly send pictures of himself to a young woman. While at the time such an action seemed harmless, it affected himself, the young woman, and his family. Thankfully, there is grace. While we welcome these second chances in our lives, let us not forget to extend it to others.