Mar 28 2014 10:27am

Scandal Season 3, Episode 15 Recap: You’re Either In or You’re Out

Quinn and Charlie in Scandal 3x15Can'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 3x07, 3x08, 3x09, 3x10, 3x11, 3x12, 3x13, and 3x14. And now, let's dive into H&H's recap of Season 3, episode 15, “Mama Said Knock You Out.”

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

Hey Gladiators, when we last left off we were beginning a period of deep mourning for our friend, the lovable, if not all that bright at times, James. Taken from us way too soon by a power drunk, high on his own self-importance, “I am in command!” scream it from the rooftops, Jake Ballard.

This week we’re picking up with the business of the government and the campaign trail with the show opening on a purposeful Liv stomping down a White House hallway, hair bouncing, and behaving as though she is on her way to stamp out an erupting fire.

It would seem the press is there to interview the Grant family and by family it’s the entire family. Fitz, Mellie, baby Teddy and, the only rumored, but never before seen older children, Jerry and Karen. Cut to Liv telling the reporter they need to push the interview. Whoops, seems there is a problem with the family. Quick cut flashback. Let’s break it all down.

24 hours earlier. So Jerry and Karen are coming for a visit and we see Mellie and Fitz in an intimate moment dressing and Mellie is giving Fitz the cliff notes on what the kids have been up to while they’ve been away at school.  Next they sit through an awkward dinner where Fitz is the only one making conversation and Mellie makes doe eyes while the kids look shifty. So normal family stuff.

Back at Pope and associates it’s late at night and all Gladiators are on deck with the add-on of David (side Gladiator) trying to find out all they can about B613. They are looking for a money trail to see how the organization is funded and hitting walls left and right. They are also looking for Adnan but no luck with her either. Liv calls it a night. When everyone leaves, Huck tells Liv they shouldn’t be digging into B613 then he mutter about, “You run, you hide or you die.”  Ok, Huck, we get it. But Huck then slips in that he wants to get Quinn out. After all that now Huck’s into showing his feelings. Too bad Liv’s not feeling the same way after Quinn pulled a gun on her.

Cut to Quinn and Charlie in their car coming from who knows where and Quinn is describing to Charlie ‘once again’ what happened with Huck when he was in her apartment? She’s sure to leave out the tongue-in-mouth action that went on, but tells him the rest of the odd interaction. Once out of the car, Charlie asks if she wants him to kill Huck. To that she replies no, and plants him a sweet kiss and then they pull a tied up guy out of their trunk.

Now we’re back in the White House and cut to Fitz getting briefed on a missing terrorist, the second in command who works for the mysterious Ivan that Mama/Maya pope is so keen to see. So that’s who was in the trunk of the car. 

Back in the Oval office, Liv tells Fitz she’d like more prep time with Jerry and Karen but Fitz wants more smooching time with her. At the same time we’ve got Mellie in another room having her own smooching time with Andrew. It’s quite a lot of infidelity going on with teens and reporters running around the house. Anything can happen.

Cut to later and as Liv is briefing Lil Jerry and Karen on the interview Jerry, like a normal teen, is spending all his time tapping away on his phone. But he’s a little shifty, asking things like how many people are going to be watching? Liv’s flags have gone up so she calls the Gladiators and has them dig on the kids.

As Liv is walking down the hall she sees Mellie leaving her tryst with Andrew and then Andrew leaving not two seconds later. Liv calls Andrew out and tells him to stay away from Mellie. Of course Andrew sweeps that dirt right back onto Liv’s shoes by saying “glass houses.” Yeah I wouldn’t have brought it up either.

Rowan Pope in Scandal Season 3 episode 15Back at Pope and assoc. Liv gets a call from Daddy Pope warning her to stop digging. She tries to deny it but he says he knows she’s digging into B613 and if he knows then they know and if they know it’s not good. Liv asks him how they are funded but he just says goodbye and hangs up.

Back at the White House, Mellie is trying to be sweet with Karen and pick out a dress for the interview, but Karen is feeling sulky. She doesn’t want to play nice for TV when she’s got a cheater for a father and she doesn’t know why or how her mother could stay with him. Mel tells her they are fine and nobody is perfect. Hmm ok Mel if you say so.

Cut to Mama Pope and Adnan. Mama is just hanging up on Ivan telling him not to get cold feet or “he’ll regret it” cause she's just gangsta like that. She mentions that Dimitri never showed up for the meeting (yeah Quinn and Charlie’s got him) and Adnan says maybe it’s time to pump the breaks. She’s a wee bit scared of Mama and with good reason. Mama just chuckles at her. Poor thing she’s playing with the big girls now.

Meanwhile Quinn and Charlie covered in blood are still going over the Huck in the apartment scenario. Quinn explains it to Charlie again leaving out the lip lock and then they go about finishing off with torturing the guy they had stashed in the trunk, Dimitri.

Cut to Huck beating up sure poor dude for what we don’t know then he whispers to him “Tell command to return my calls.” Aww he’s a Huck in love.

Back at the White House, Live gets the call from Abby with the findings on the kids. Turns out Jerry has an anti-his father twitter feed and some tee shirts that he planned to wear on the air to embarrass him. The jig is up. Fitz and Lil Jerry argue while Karen and Liv look on. Karen gets upset with her father and runs out to tell mom. Liv goes to catch up with her but too late because… wham! Cut to Karen running back out of the first ladies’ quarters with a half-dressed Mellie yelling after her and Andrew rushing to pull up his pants. The fan, it’s done been hit.

Liv tries to talk to Mellie and brings up Karen and being fine but Mellie rightfully shuts her down and tells her Karen is her daughter and she will take care of it. Liv then gets a call from Harrison to come into the office. When she gets there it would seem that Adnan has come in and she’s looking for sanctuary from scary Mama Pope and she’s not talking until she gets immunity. Time to call David again.

Back at the White House, Karen is packing and Mellie is trying to smooth things over with the old “what you think you saw” trick. But Karen’s not having it. She reminds Mellie that she was on her knees with “Uncle Andrew”. Alrighty then. I guess it was exactly what you think you saw. Now the accusations are flying out of Karen’s mouth because she thinks that she was wrong all along and it wasn’t her father who was the cheater but her mother.

We cut to Fitz who for some odd reason doesn’t know that any of this is going on. And Jake has come into his office. Fitz wants the missing Dimitri that Charlie and Quinn have, and tells Jake to give him up. Jake says no. Fitz stands and tells him he’s Commander and Chief and once again Jake comes out with the “I am Command!” speech adding in how he’s not Fitz’s bitch. Boy, talk about a title going to one’s head. Outside Cyrus passes and hears the raised voices when he asks Lauren who is in there and finds out it’s Jake he goes in and promptly tries to smash a vase over Jake’s head for murdering James. Sadly Cy doesn’t get far. That would have been fun to see. Jake almost crushes the poor man in a B613 Vulcan type grip before giving his condolences and leaving. Cyrus tells Fitz what happened with James and it’s sad. In the end, he comes to the conclusion that Jake was just doing his job serving at the pleasure of the president.

From there we cut to Liv at the outside guard station and she gets a call from her mother who is lounging in her suit on her posh hotel bed. She tells Liv that she wants Adnan back. Liv calls her a traitor and in response, her mother says she’s rather be a traitor than what Liv is, cleaning up all their messes. That she’s just “the help.” Ouch. One thing is for sure Liv’s parents can give a good smack down. Read you cover to cover in ten words or less.

Over at Pope and associates for some reason they have left Harrison alone with his Kryptonite, Adnan, and he tells her she’ll get her deal and then they argue a bit before she drops her extremely loose panties to the floor and they get busy on the office couch.

Next we see Mellie having a scotch because that’s what you do when you’ve just got caught by your teenage daughter while you were on your knees in front of a man who is not your current husband and you’re supposed to go on national TV in less than an hour as a family. Liv sees this and tell Mellie she needs to coffee it up to get camera ready. Mellie bites her head off. Because all episode it seems that Liv has been not getting that this is family business into which she is inserting herself.

Cut to us back to the beginning of the show and Liv tries to push the interview and she can. So she goes in to talk to the kids to try and persuade them to be nice for just an hour to get through being on live TV and you know, not say anything about their terrible cheating parents when in walks clueless Fitz asking what is no one ready for the interview but him? It’s all very wide-eyes and cute until Karen spills that they are not doing the interview because mom’s a big old cheater with “Uncle Andrew.” Watch out world because Fitz is about to blow!

Andrew and Fitz in Scandal 3x15And blow he does, straight out of the room and through the halls with Liv on his heels looking for some butt to kick. And he finds it in Andrew, who is in a meeting and courteous as ever stands when the president enters the room only to be knocked back down on his butt when Fitz plants a good one on him dead in his eye. That’s gonna need some cover-up.

Cut to Quinn and Charlie giving the intel they got out of Dimitri on Ivan to Jake. Charlie gushes about Quinn, and Jake asks Quinn to stay behind for a moment. Next we see Quinn meeting Huck in a park. Huck says he wants Jake to let her go. Quinn is talking tough, and accusing Huck of sending mixed messages. You know, with the teeth pulling vs. the kissing and all. She then licks Huck's face and he looks like he’s about to pass out from the pleasure of it. Huck turns to her and they kiss for a moment before she pushes him away. Huck is shaken, but so is she.

Meanwhile, we see Harrison post sex with Adnan and he’s all relaxed. She tells him she wouldn’t have turned on him, but then shoots him up in the back with a needle full of something. He passes out.

Next we see Rowan aha Papa Pope actually at the Smithsonian in a lab with bones and all working as if it’s a real job. In comes Jake with his cheeks puffed out ready to stir up a little trouble, but Rowan shuts him down like the little boy he is reminding him he’s alone. Then Jake still feeling himself makes a not so veiled threat about when he kills him and to that Rowan pretty much just nodded. Why do I have a feeling the season will end with a “who shot Jake?” theme since all he’s doing right now his lining up potential suspects. 

Back at the White House, Fitz and Mellie have it out in a terribly painful argument while Liv half listens outside the door. Fitz wants to know how long the affair with Andrew has been going on.  He brings up how she shut down after Teddy was born and how she told him she wasn’t a sexual person anymore and then he says that she ruined their marriage. Ouch! Talk about a smack in the face. But then he doubles down on that and says he would not have cheated but he spent ten years with a wife that wouldn’t let him touch her. This is a whammy. It’s not fair to Mellie because of what she’s been through but are we thinking here of what Fitz went through by not knowing.

So they argue and Fitz is awful and berates Mellie, saying she killed them and their family. And Mellie is so close to telling him the truth when Liv comes bursting in interrupting about the scheduled interview. Fitz turns to Liv and yells at her that he’s talking to his wife. Well, that brings Liv up short and reminds her of her place in the hierarchy of things. It also brings to the forefront what her mother said earlier about being ‘the help,’ mistress or not. This little interruption is just what Mellie needs to run out without telling Fitz the truth about the rape and Big Jerry. At the same time, Liv runs out too, leaving Fitz alone with nothing but his problems.

Liv is leaving, but Cyrus stops her and asks her to stay, saying if she goes home, then he has to stay and he can’t stay. He asks her to play through the pain. She wants him to tell her they’re not the help but he says he won’t lie to her. She goes back and tells Fitz she’s back and she’s at work and she has to do her job since it’s all she has. So it’s time for him to fix his family so she can do her job. Fitz goes to Mellie to make amends then they go to the kids. Liv peeks over as Fitz and Mellie go and talk to the kids but the door closes on them. This is family time.

Speaking of family, Quinn returns home ,and home Charlie is in her apartment with champagne announcing he’s moved in for her protection. Quinn doesn’t look very protected and this is not a happy new family.

Back at Pope and Associates David and Abby return to find a passed out Harrison and no Adnan. She’s back with Mama Pope and he’s got a snazzy little flash drive full of presidential routes and details straight off of Liv’s computer and they are ready to share it with Ivan. Oh boy. But from above Jake is watching and he gives the order to let him go. He wants to see how it plays out. Jake is playing with fire.

Then we get a glimpse of Cyrus’s house and Cy is on the floor watching TV waiting for the big interview while baby Ella runs around him playing ball. Aww, we finally see cute Ella again and she’s one daddy down.

It’s a minute to the live press conference, and they are still waiting for the First Family Liv tells the interviewer they will be there, but who knows when surprise they all file in led by Fitz. The four Grants make their way to the interview couch and with a final touch Liv hands baby Teddy to Mellie and the happy family picture is complete.

On the way out, Liv’s phone rings and it’s her dad; he tells her that B613 is not funded by one department, but all departments. He’s finally giving her information and when she asks why, he tells her it’s because they’re family and families stick together.

Whew. I’m tired. So much to go on and speculate about. Was Shonda giving us a glimpse of the very end of the series with this one? Will the Grant family ultimately stay together or will they come apart. Is there room for Liv in this world of Fitz’s? And what about Andrew? Mellie has shown that she would suffer anything for the good of holding her family together. How much longer can she last? Chime in, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Kwana Jackson—aka K.M. Jackson—is a writer of women’s fiction and contemporary romance. Her novel Bounce is one sale now. She can be found on most days at her blog and at any moment on Twitter talking about everything and nothing at all under the handle @kwanawrites.

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Melissa Blue
1. Melissa Blue
"Cyrus passes and hears the raised voices when he asks Lauren who is in there and finds out it’s Jake he goes in and promptly tries to smash a vase over Jake’s head for murdering James."

I know it was supposed to be an intense moment but I had to laugh at that Vulcan grip Jake had on Cy. I really enjoyed this episode. I wish the whole season had been this good.
K.M. Jackson
2. kwanawrites
Thanks for your comment Melissa. It was kind of a funny moment even in its sadness. Poor Cy was giving it all he's got and Jake wasn't even checking for him. Great episode.
Melissa Blue
3. CindyS
The actor who plays Cy should be up for an award with Papa Pope - I love when those guys get on screen.

I think I need to see Olivia back way the hell up after hearing what Fitz said through the door and then being yelled at. I guess as his 'mistress' I would wonder why he got so wildly upset. Then there is baby Teddy - Fitz had to be there for that, right? So even though he is yelling about Mellie not being touched I have to think it's not completely true. And it's wrong but I love the Vice President and Mellie together.

Also, I think Mellie and Fitz have made a bed that neither can ever leave - those two are growing old together in their horribly warped marriage.

And I'm sad that you are prediciting Jake's death but he doesn't seem to have the years or the experience to be Command - although he 'gets' it - he just needed to be older before taking it on.

Oh and Charlie is not stupid - I think he knows exactly what is happen with Quinn and Huck and someone is not going to make it.
4. Lizzie Dee
Am I the only one that is completely squicked out by Quinn and Huck together? Ick!
Also, while I liked the fast-paced nature of this episode - very reminiscent of the show in earlier times, flashing back and forth - I really miss the scandal of the week. I know the Pope crew has been hired by the campaign and so that's what they must focus on (with a side serving of B613), but they used to be able to manage the President stuff along with fixing a variety of other problems, too.
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