This week’s episode turns its focus onto Mellie. It starts off with a reporter and camera crew following Mellie around the White House for a tour and interview. Blended through this episode are more flashbacks, but this time of Mellie and when Fitz was beginning his campaign for Governor. The flashbacks take place at Fitz’ father’s house. Larry has gotten Cyrus Beane to come in to run the campaign. “It’s our first step,” Mellie tells Fitz, “to the White House.”
Flashback Cyrus coaches Fitz and Mellie, telling them that the voters can spot a phony. He highly recommends that Fitz, as does his father, he runs as a war hero. Fitz gets very upset about the idea, telling everyone he will not do it. Later, Larry makes a big deal that he had told Fitz not to go into the Navy. Its one of those “father-knows-best” talks. It turns out that Larry, who was serving in the Senate at the time Fitz shot the plane down, called in some favors to distance Fitz from the shooting. Larry demands that Fitz listens to him and does what he tells him to do. Mellie seems unsure what to do as she watches them fight.
Flashback Mellie thinks that she will continue to be a lawyer after the campaign. Cyrus corrects her and tells her that her job is Fitz. Because of all the fighting, Cyrus decides to not want to work on the campaign. Mellie decides to talk to Larry about the situation, trying to convince Larry to make amends with Fitz so they do not lose the chance they have to win the election. Larry, who is drunk, tells Mellie about the war hero that Fitz is, including that Fitz is the shooter of Flight 522. There was a dirty bomb on board, and the government authorized the shoot down to save the millions of more people than the 329 on board.
The scene ends disturbingly as Larry rapes Mellie. (This makes the scene where Mellie says, “If you knew the sacrifices I’ve made for you” to Fitz much more powerful.) The next morning, Mellie comes to breakfast and Larry tries to apologize. Mellie tells him he doesn’t need to say anything to her, but she needs to make things right with Fitz and support him. When Fitz comes down, he is ready to leave his father’s house. Larry does apologize and supports Fitz’ ideas for the campaign.
The flashbacks that focus on Mellie is helpful to understand Mellie better. We have a stronger appreciation for who she is and what she has gone through. The least of questioning if the child she becomes pregnant with in the flashback is Fitz’ or her father-in-law’s.
In the present day, the President continues to urge Olivia to stay away from Jake Ballard, which means, he wants her to stay away from Remington. Meanwhile, Cyrus and Mellie are working behind the scenes to trip up Sally’s secret campaign. They make arrangements for a hooker to come to a dinner party to flirt with Sally’s husband, Daniel.
Mellie makes a statement to Sally in the hallway about Daniel inappropriately touching women in her office. Mellie is setting up what she and Cyrus hopes will happen at the dinner party. Sally blows Mellie off. Later, Sally tells Daniel to remember that their biggest strength is their values. During the dinner party, Cyrus watches as the hooker has no luck with her flirting with Daniel. James comes by very upset because he has just lost his job. Later in the evening as Mellie and Cyrus are talking, Mellie draws to Cyrus’ attention that Daniel is actually flirting with James.
As Mellie apologizes to a reporter that Fitz will not be able to join them for an interview, Fitz walks in. Mellie is surprised, but grateful. As Mellie is grilled by the reporter about why she aired her the messiness of her relationship with her husband on national television, Fitz steps in to support his wife. “We are trying to move on,” he says. Later Mellie thanks Fitz for acting supportive. Fitz tells her that it was no act. This is a charming moment where we have a sense – a hope – that Fitz really may be walking away from Olivia.
Olivia pulls the Gladiators together to start working on their new client – her mother. She posts Maya’s picture up on the wall like they do with any other client. The crew is surprised. “I need your help,” Liv tells the group, “figuring out if my father killed my mother.” Hands down, the team agrees to help Olivia. They quickly find out that 330 tickers were sold, but only 329 bodies were reported. And that Fitz’ dad was the leader of the congressional investigation of the flight’s crash. When Abby tells Olivia this undated, she gives Olivia a hug. It is awkward for Olivia, but a tender moment.
They then learn that the flight was delayed before take off. They track down and interview the gate agent on the flight who tells them that a Federal Marshall took a passenger off the plane, someone named Omar.
Quinn continues to hang out with Charlie at the shooting range, becoming super interested in who and what Charlie is and is doing. She ends up hiding in some bushes watching Charlie at a stake-out. Charlie discovers her, pulls her out of the bushes and starts kissing her. “If you want to hang out tomorrow night,” he tells her, “give me a call.” Charlie is continuing to bait her. He will eventually ask her to go on a stake out with him. He gives her a syringe that when injected will be put a security guard to sleep. But, when Quinn injects the guard, he kills him. Unsure what to do, Quinn runs out of the building. Charlie tells Quinn: “You belong to B6-13 now. Welcome to Wonderland.” It turns out that the security guard was the only link to the identity of Omar.
As the episode ends two last very important things are revealed. The President is given a report regarding the victims of the plane crash and finally makes the connection that Olivia’s dad is Commander of B6-13. Rowan goes to see the inmate Omar who a super secret facility. As Rowan enters the cell, the prisoner sits up in the bed to reveal to us that Omar is Olivia’s mom!!!!
This episode had to be one of the best of the season. Some have called it stunning. Bellamy Young brings Mellie to a whole new level for the viewer. The range of emotions in this one episode shows not only her acting skills, but the complexity of Mellie. In addition, Khandi Alexander as Maya Pope is taking the show to a whole new level.