Olivia and Fitz are back together again and enjoying every scandalous moment together while Cyrus, Mellie and Huck are all still dealing with the aftermath of helping Command. Meanwhile, when a visit from the Queen of Caldonia and her family turns into a tragedy, Olivia is hired to make sure the royal family’s private life stays private, on the Season 5 premiere of “Scandal.” Here’s a recap of “Heavy is the Head.”
The wait is over! The new season kicks off with a quick recap of last season’s finale. Mellie leaked a list with deadly consequences, Fitz told Mellie to pack her bags, Cyrus was fired, Jake left Olivia, Olivia and Fitz said hi on the White House balcony. Got it? Let’s move on, shall we?
Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) can’t keep their hands off of each other — they get dressed for a formal state dinner, but get so hot and bothered they tear off their clothes for another romp in the hay. Finally they make their way to the dinner to honor a royal family from Made-Up-Landia – Queen Mummy, Prince Richard and his American wife Princess Emily.
In a storyline that echoes Princess Diana’s death, Princess Emily is killed in car crash and Queen Mummy hires Olivia to protect their privacy. Prince Richard insists on collecting the paparazzi shots of her dead body lying in the street so they are never published.
Olivia figures out that the car was hacked so that it would speed and crash, and that the princess was having an affair with her bodyguard. Turns out that Prince Richard wanted to get rid of the photos so no one would know the princess was riding with her lover.
It seems as if Prince Richard offed his wife, but whoa, Queen Mummy knew princess was pregnant and had her killed! Olivia’s hands are tied – or are they? Her non-disclosure agreement doesn’t prevent her from telling Prince Richard the truth. A shocked and disgusted Prince Richard sternly informs Queen Mummy that she’s abdicating when they get home.
Meanwhile, there’s a tug of war over whether Fitz will attend Mellie’s (Bellamy Young) swearing-in as senator. Fitz says hell no, he won’t go; Mellie needs to have him there to maintain the fiction of a happy family. Olivia presses Fitz to go because staying away will raise more questions. So he’s goes, and even holds the Bible during the ceremony.
When Fitz and Mellie get a few moments alone after her swearing-in, Mellie babbles that Team Mellie-N-Fitz is what’s best for the country and their family. “I’m divorcing you,” Fitz says calmly, pulling the legal papers out of his jacket pocket. Fitz doesn’t want to wait for his life with Olivia to start; he wants them to have the sun, in Vermont, with jam, right away.
The new White House chief of staff, Lizzie Bear (Portia de Rossi), notices that Fitz and Olivia are involved again when the undercover couple argues over the Princess Emily situation in the Oval. Lizzie Bear tips off Abby (Darby Stanchfield), who feels betrayed by Olivia. And the plotting begins . . . .
A doorbell chimes at a suburban home, and Cyrus opens the door to find Mellie. Fear, embarrassment, pleading and hopefulness are all writ large on her face. Mellie says Cyrus must get his job back as White House chief of staff. “If he divorces me, we are all finished — you, me and him,” Mellie says.
Cyrus won’t help Mellie because he’s holding out hope that Fitz will ask him to come back. “He doesn’t want you, Cy, any more than he wants me. He hates us,” Mellie says. She starts to cry as if the painful reality of losing Fitz is sinking in for the first time.
Huck reappears in Olivia’s apartment; he’s been staying there while she was in her White House love nest. Huck confesses that he and Quinn have hurt each other emotionally. (Last season ended with Quinn holding a gun to Huck’s head, and a damaged Huck begging her to pull the trigger.)
Huck wants Olivia to fix him, to help him control murderous impulses, but Olivia says she doesn’t know how. Huck reaches out to Jake for help, instead.
The episode ends with Fitz and Olivia on the White House balcony, but they are not snuggling. Their fight over Princess Emily and its foreign policy implications (Fitz didn’t want to pursue finding her killer because the United States needs a naval base in Made-Up-Landia) showed Olivia that they need to honor each other’s boundaries.
She’s also worried that, if they go public, the intense public scrutiny will destroy their relationship. She wants their relationship to be rock solid before they’re under so much pressure. Fitz reluctantly agrees to put the divorce on hold. Then Abby pops in and tells them to turn on the TV.
Former vice president Sally Langston is braying on her right-wing cable show about how Olivia is in the president’s bed, and it’s time for this godless administration to be brought low. She’s even got photos of Olivia and Fitz making out behind a potted palm.
“Before the high-minded liberal feminist elite media begins howling charges of slander, these are not merely rumors, these are facts!” Sally yells gleefully.
Lizzie Bear and Abby, watching the show in Abby’s office, exchange guilty but triumphant looks. They planted the story to undermine Olivia’s influence with the president.
“Fighting this — fighting me — will mean both of us deploy every weapon in our arsenals. Every lie, every secret, every juror on that bus. Mutually assured destruction.” Fitz explaining to Mellie why fighting the divorce is a bad idea.
“When I made my move up the ladder of political success all on my own, I wasn’t even thinking about you. Because you don’t matter to me. And now you also don’t matter to the most powerful man on the face of the earth. But guess who does? Me. I’m his chief of staff. So believe me when I say, hmm, the president regrets to inform you that he can’t attend your little swearing-in today, senator. He has better things to do.” Lizzie Bear explaining the new reality to Mellie.
“Is he hurting you on the inside?” Huck to Olivia, when he notices that she’s not spending the evening with Fitz.
“You were right, not all fairy tales have happy endings, but evil queens – they tend to go down.” Olivia to Queen Mummy.
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