Nov 8 2013 1:14pm

Scandal Season 3, Episode 6 Recap: Too Close to the Fire—You’re Gonna Get Burned

Olivia and Abby in Scandal Season 3 episode 6 IcarusCan't get enough Scandal? Join the club—really. Tune into H&H for weekly recaps from Kwana Minatee-Jackson and Nicole Leapheart. Need to catch up? Don't miss recaps of 3x01, 3x02, 3x03, 3x04, and 3x05. And now, let's dive into H&H's recap of Season 3, episode 6, “Icarus.”

NOTE: This post may contain spoilers for all aired episodes of Scandal.

Last week left us with another jaw unhinging cliffhanger—Liv’s mom was on the plane that Fitz maybe shot down?

When this episode opens, we see Olivia frozen at her desk, flashbacks popping in and out of a young Liv (cute with giant glasses) and her mother (played by the fierce Khandi Alexander. What a fantastic choice!) at breakfast. Maya was rushing out the door to the airport. It was the last time Liv saw her. Outside Liv’s door, Team Gladiator is having a pow-wow. Abby and Harrison need Liv to choose a team; either she is running Fitz’s campaign or she is running the Marcus campaign, because they keep calling. Huck and Jake know she is going to need a few minutes to digest what they told her about Operation Remington. Finally, she snaps out of it, gathers her things, and leaves. On the way out, she tells Team Hake (Team Juck? No, I like Hake better) that there are only two people who can answer her questions. One is her murderous father, the other is the she is on her way to the White House.

Sally Langston has invited Leo Bergen to her home to discuss campaign strategy. They come up with a cute plan—rile up the religious base, get them talking about Fitz’s penis problems. Who will they send out to calm those ruffled feathers? VP Sally Langston! But instead of ruffling those feathers, it’s her chance to spit some game in their ears about how awesome she is, and it's a pre-campaign trip that would be funded by the White House!

Meanwhile, at the White House, Fitz and Cyrus are in the Oval Office when Mellie comes bursting through the door, all in a tizzy. Olivia is coming! “You don’t come across town and go through White House security to turn down a job!” she gushes excitedly. Cyrus’s cynical spidey sense is tingling. It’s too weird to have Olivia back on the team. It’s like “winged mistresses flying too close to the sun.” Thanks for that poetry, Cy. Mellie pats Fitz on the shoulder. “You’re welcome,” she tells him. Oh. Boy.

When Liv gets to the office, she clears the room. Fitz starts talking about starting over, blah blah blah. Olivia asks what she really wants to know—where was he during Operation Remington? Fitz didn’t like that at all, and told her she needed to stop listening to her “boyfriend” Jake. Then he told her if she had questions about Operation Remington, she wasn’t talking to Fitz, she was talking to the Commander and Chief of the United States, and he doesn’t know what she is talking about. Boom!

Liv tells Fitz she can’t work for him. Pow!

Mellie was incensed. “I did everything but roll your whore up for you and unfurl her at your feet!” (Are they not killing the one liners this season?) In a huff, she leaves. Fitz confesses to Cy that Liv knows about OpRem.

Creepy Quinn has been taking her new toy to the firing range and practicing (badly) which makes her late for work. Liv walks in to the office and tells the Gladiators that they are representing the Marcus campaign. “White hat, people!” she declares. Well, alright, then.

On the Marcus campaign, Team Gladiator gives them some hard truths about what it takes to win a Presidential election. Cue “Give it to Me Baby” and the fat cats in charge of PAC money. Josie Marcus is charming, but they still won’t write a check until they think she is a sure thing.

Liv gets back to her office and Jake is waiting for her. She sends him on the hunt for more information. Jake is all, no biggie, just digging up dirt on the free leader of the world (Olivia Pope should teach a class on how to run powerful men).

Cyrus meets up with Rowan/Eli in the park and spills the beans that Liv knows about OpRem. Rowan tells Cy that Olivia only thinks she knows, and that it’s time up for Jake getting on his nerves. Cy needs to take care of Josie Marcus, he will take care of Jake Ballard.

Jake meets with a lusty chick named Kate who can get him the cockpit recording from the OpRem plane. Meanwhile, at the diner bar, there is some other superspy chilling and monitoring Jake. No spidey-spy sense tingling there, Jake? Okay.

Back at the Marcus campaign, Liv and Abby tell Josie to get a hard hitting interview under her belt to convince the money men she can win an election. Josie maintains she won’t go negative, but Liv just needs her to not look like Aunt May at the strawberry festival first.

Cyrus makes a call to Harrison, and tells him to get Olivia off of Josie’s team—but Harrison tells Cy that nobody tells Liv what to do. Then Cy throws out a grenade about someone named Adnan Salif coming back into the US. Since Harrison looked like he needed to change his pants, it’s safe to say he knows who that is. Might be time for some Harrison backstory!

Cy gets to the Oval, and Fitz asks him how he has managed to keep his cool despite Liv questioning a top secret military operation that he was a part of. Cyrus tells him that it’s being handled by B613. Fitz tells him to take a walk.

At home, Liv is downing the red wine and clutching the glass like a lifeline. She is watching archive footage of her mother’s downed plane, and flashes back to coming home and finding out from her father about her mother’s death. She decides to drunk-dial Rowan. She asks him what the last thing was he said to her mother and tells him that she has so many other questions she is afraid to ask because he might kill her friends. Rowan decides to throw her a bone and tells her she can ask one question about this situation—and there will be no repercussions to her or any of her friends.

She asks him if he gave the order to shoot down her mother’s plane. He tells her no, then reminds her she just gets the one question. Rowan tells her to leave the past in the past.

James scored the interview with Josie Marcus, and Cyrus tries to plant some talking points in his head. James calls him a shameless monster; Cy reminds James that he loves him very much! On the TV, Cy notices someone from the religious base attacking Fitz in an interview. He makes a call to Sally Langston and asks her to have dinner with Fitz to talk about how to calm the religious right down. Sally agrees and smirks at Leo Bergen,”Hook, line, and sinker.”

At Gladiator headquarters, Harrison is holed up in his office still silently freaking out about this Salif person. Abby tries to get him to help out with the Marcus campaign, but he tells her he is otherwise occupied.Harrison sidles up to Huck and asks for a favor-what can he do to keep Salif’s visa application from getting validated? Huck tells him he can just remove it from the system.

Josie in Scandal Season 3 episode 6Olivia and Abby grill Josie with questions and help guide her answers. Josie maintains that she won’t go negative and play into gender roles. Finally, she feels too pushed and lets her temper get away from her. Abby and Liv are impressed.

Fitz passes the bad news to Mellie that they are going to have to have dinner with Sally Langston and her husband. Mellie hates the idea of pandering to the “holy hillbillies.” Fitz reveals that they have their own problems—hubby has a wandering eye. Mellie quips that she actually has something in common with Sally. At dinner, Fitz and Sally talk shop while Daniel openly flirts with Mellie. Ew.

Charlie encounters Creepy Quinn at the firing range and offers her some shooting tips. She plays it guarded, but she is salivating for his knowledge. This can’t end well. Quinn tries to talk to Huck about B613—is he the only one messed up in the head, or is everyone? Huck tells her it’s not a good time to talk.

Sally and Leo meet with Reverend Big Mouth, who expects to be chastised. Imagine his surprise when Sally reveals her wish to run for election! Speaking of elections, Josie Marcus is prepping for her first big interview and notices Liv and Abby twittering about in front of a laptop. When she demands to know what’s going on, they show her a Reston campaign ad that basically depicts her as a scared little girl. Fired up, she shows James what she is made of and calls Reston out on his sexist code speak. It’s a fabulous interview; Abby is practically jumping up and down and even Liv lets out a smile.

Cy is growling at the TV when he gets a call from, what a minute, is that the same Rev? Yes it is. He tells all of Sally’s business to Cy, who then goes and talk strategy with Mellie. She passes on that Sally has a weakness. “Garlic? Silver bullets?” Cy asks hopefully. Nope, just a handsy, wandering eyed hubby.

Jake is at his house doing push ups. Guess Liv hasn’t really been in the mood, eh? He gets a call from lusty Kate to meet in a super secret dark alley to get the info. Jake is also being followed by the other spy at the diner, like thisclose. Captain Jake may need to change his name to Captain Oblivious. Kate goes in her purse to deliver the goods and the other spy shoots her in the head. Turns out all Kate had was a gun to deliver.

The Marcus campaign receives great news—PAC money has been committed! Everyone is happy except for Josie’s sister (daughter) who is skeptical about the Gladiators' morals. Doesn’t she know they wear the white hat?

At the White House, Harrison tells Cy to take a long walk on a short pier—he is a Gladiator, dammit. But because Cy is Cy, he works around pesky things like rules, and issues a whole new visa for this Salif person. Uh oh.

Quinn is at the firing range, and Charlie is back again, too. She lets him give her some lessons, the Charlie steps away to make a phone call to Rowan. “The seed is planted.” Is Quinn going to get first hand experience in B613?

Turns out Fitz is the one who saved Jake’s skin. He calls Jake to the White House just to tell him that he gets no more help. Then, Fitz takes a field trip to Liv’s apartment in the scene of the night. Cue The Chambers Brothers “Time Has Come Today” and we get a showdown.

Liv asks about OpRem, Fitz talks about her coming back to the campaign, trying to get back to who they were. Liv sees this is going nowhere fast and tells Fitz he shouldn’t have come. He tells her he would forgive her anything, why can’t she extend to him the same courtesy? Why is this so important? Liv leads him down the rabbit hole. 329 passengers were in a plane that crashed, except nope, it was shot down. “So where were you, Fitz, during Operation Remington? Because one of the dead bodies was my mother’s. Do you still not know what I’m talking about?” Fitz looks shocked, stricken, distressed, nauseated, but he still maintains he doesn’t know what Liv is talking about. Before showing Fitz the door, Liv said emotionally “I was twelve.” And the Chambers Brothers called time.

Do we think Liv’s mother is really dead? Khandi Alexander is too awesome to play a dead character, right? And do we believe that she wasn’t also some sort of superspy? And will we finally get some background on Harrison? As usual, more questions than answers!


Nicole Leapheart's alter ego is Miss Boxy Frown, and she posts book reviews and TV recaps at She reads and watches everything from romance to sci-fi, but enjoys it even more if some smut is involved. And tattoos.

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K.M. Jackson
1. kwanawrites
Great recap Nicole. I love that Harrison is finally getting
his storyline and I can’t wait to see more of Mama Pope (Nope, still don’t
think she’s dead) & I love the casting there. Mellie was hilarious as
usual. Liv annoyed me to no end last night, busting in like she did as if she
really expected Fitz to spill the T with cameras and recordings in the Oval
Office. Come on. Oh well, till next week.
Nicole Leapheart
2. BoxyFrown
Thanks Kwana! Mellie was on fire last night. I wonder how far she is going to go with Daniel the holy hillbilly. *gag*Speaking of, I also wonder how far Charlie is going to go with Quinn-we have seen that Charlie will get down and dirty with his work. Didn't Fitz look like he wanted to puke up everything he ever ate when Liv told him about her mother? I feel like nobody except Rowan knows the entirety of what happened in Operation Remington...4 different people were having 4 different conversations about it last night!
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