Oh em gee, baby Olivia! Well, okay, more like grade school Olivia, but still.
You read that right, folks, this episode opened up with a flashback to young Olivia saying what would end up being her last goodbye to her mother, before her mother left the house to board that doomed plane. Back in the present, Olivia is sitting motionless in her office as her team gathers outside worriedly.
Olivia eventually snaps out of her daze and rushes off to one of the only two people who can tell her the truth of what happened during Operation Remington: Fitz.
Elsewhere, VP Sally and Leo are plotting ways she can start her campaign, and one of them involves getting the religious right in a tizzy over Fitz’s Penis Problem. As Leo smugly states, it’ll be her “multi-state campaign swing endorsed by the President himself.”
At the White House, Mellie is rejoicing because she’s interpreted Olivia’s impending arrival to the White House to mean that she’s accepting the job. Cyrus is weirded out, Fitz is oddly stoic, and when Olivia finally shows up, the look on her face says shit is about to go DOWN.
Olivia asks him if he’s lying to her about his role in Remington, and Fitz throws Defiance back in her face. Really, dude? Really? I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that “possibly killed ex-mistress’ mother along with a shit ton of other people” trumps “was involved in an election rigging scandal.” Both are bad things, one involves shooting down an airplane. Let me think about this one.
Also, the fact that he got so defensive so quickly tells me he’s definitely got something to hide. Olivia suspects so as well, because she turns down the job. When she finds out, Mellie is furious and storms out of the room, leaving Fitz to tell Cyrus that Olivia knows about Operation Remington.
Quinn is continuing her possible mental breakdown in a shooting range, where she’s trying to hone her killing people skills. I mean, gun shooting skills. She then brings coffee and veiled insults back to HQ, where Olivia has decided to run Josie Marcus’ campaign instead of Fitz’s.
Olivia advises Josie on how to overcome Reston, her current biggest competition: get some big money donors on her side. Later, she asks Jake to dig up more about Fitz and Operation Remington, which becomes the perfect segue to Cyrus scurrying off to tell Papa Pope that Olivia knows everything.
Eli/Rowan’s response is “no, actually, she doesn’t know anything, and neither does Jake Ballard.” Looks like time’s up for Jakey, because Papa Pope’s about to “take care” of him. Jake, meanwhile, is meeting with a contact with CIA connections and being followed by a grumpy looking old man. Yikes.
Though Josie did well with the potential donors, Olivia knows they won’t support her unless there’s a good chance she’s going to win. Olivia tries to convince Josie to display her tough side, but Josie refuses to “go negative.”
Cyrus is off trying to “take care” of the Josie Problem by calling up Harrison and making some confusing threats involving Harrison’s background in selling cars and a man named Salif. It might be confusing to the viewers, but Harrison’s immediately skittish, which can’t mean anything good.
Later that night, Olivia’s trying her best to drink herself into oblivion as the flashbacks to the day she found out her mother died continue. She drunk dials her father and asks him what the last thing he said to her mother was. Hearing her distress, Eli/Rowan gives her the chance to ask him one question. She asks if he gave the order to kill her mother, and he says no. “One thing I’ve learned in life, Olivia, is that the past is the past. It’s best if you leave it… there.”
While trying to wheedle his husband into rigging an upcoming interview with Josie Marcus, Cyrus sees an interview with some religious guy planning a rally to protest Fitz’s Penis Problem. He plays right into Sally’s trap by asking her to join the President for supper to discuss re-election plans.
Olivia and Abby are trying to prep Josie for the interview with James, but she’s being remarkably stubborn about staying true to herself and not becoming one of those mud-slinging, sexism-pandering politicians. Olivia tells her to suck it up and show her claws. Josie loses her temper with them and stalks off.
Back at Gladiator HQ, Harrison is asking Huck for a favor: to make it absolutely impossible for Salif to get back into the country otherwise he’ll be a dead man. I’m intrigued now, Harrison. Tell me more about this Salif.
The Mellie/Sally/Fitz/Sally’s husband dinner party goes well, at least for Sally – Fitz does exactly as she and Leo planned and asks her to talk the religious right down from their rallying. Also, Sally’s husband flirts outrageously with Mellie.
Quinn continues her trips to the shooting range. This time, however, she’s interrupted by Charlie – remember him? B613 member, Huck tortured him once, possibly a little unhinged? – who gives her some shooting advice which helps. Quinn grins creepily. The next day, she approaches Huck to ask him if being in B613 means you’re messed up for life, or if there’s some hope that you could turn out normal afterward.
What are you thinking of doing, Quinn? Are you going to join up with B613? Are you going to try to bang Charlie? This state of confusion I’m in over the purpose of your story line is unpleasant.
Josie is about to start her interview with James Novak when Olivia and her team show her an ad that Reston aired implying that Josie is inexperienced and not right for the job. The tactic works, because Josie definitely gets her claws out during the interview, calling Reston and others out for his sexism. Daaamn that speech is awesome.
Later that night, Cyrus watches part of the interview on his television before shutting it off in fury. He picks up his ringing phone – it’s the Reverend that Sally was speaking to! Apparently Cyrus and the guy were in on it the entire time, trying to suss out if Sally was going to run for President under Fitz’s nose. Clever boy. He and Mellie talk, and Mellie suggests using Sally’s weakness: her jealousy over her husband’s wandering eye.
Jake’s CIA contact calls and leads him to a secluded area, where he’s again followed by the old dude. Just ask the CIA contact is about to hand Jake the files, old dude pulls out a gun and shoots… Jake’s contact! Yeah, I was not expecting that one. I seriously though Jake was gonna die for a second there.
We discover that Jake’s contact had been about to pull a gun on him, not files, and mysterious old dude saved Jake’s life.
Celebrations are in order at Josie Marcus’ campaign headquarters, because some big money donors have just signed on to support her. As Josie leaves, Josie’s daughter Candice swans up and points out that the political ad they showed Josie before the interview was a fake one.
Now that Huck has taken care of his problem, Harrison meets with Cyrus and tells him to go screw himself (only not in so many words). Cyrus wishes him luck with Josie Marcus, then gets on the phone and makes a call to issue Salif his visa. Oh, shit, Harrison.
Quinn is back at the range and somehow finds Charlie, asking him to help her out some more. While she’s practicing, Charlie makes a call to… yep, it’s Papa Pope. Apparently Quinn is a seed they planted, watered, and are waiting to bloom into a nice little B613 agent. Quinn is screwed. Harrison is screwed. Everyone is screwed.
After his close brush with death, Jake is brought to Fitz’s office, because the grumpy looking old man was actually Jake’s security. Fitz gave him his own protective detail after finding out B613 wanted him dead.
Jake asks Fitz what mission he was on while Jake was doing Operation Remington, telling him that finding that out might be his only chance of sleeping free of Command’s control. Fitz tells him he’s on his own, then skedaddles off to Olivia’s apartment. Seriously, man, don’t you have a country to run or something?
He tells her to leave it alone, asking her why it’s so important to her. And she tells him why. Fitz’s eyes well up, but he tells her over and over that he has no idea what she’s talking about. “I was twelve when she died,” Olivia says. “I was twelve.”
Harrison: Stupid super spies.
Olivia: There’s probably only two people in the world who can tell me if this really happened. One of those people is my father and I can’t ask him because he’d probably kill both of you, or maybe all three of us to teach me some kind of sick lesson.
Cyrus: This is… “weird” isn’t the right word. Strange? No… Greek. Mythic and disturbing. Winged horses. Wait, is it the horse who has wings? Almost melted… I don’t know, I can’t remember.
Huck: You’re late. Where’ve you been?
Quinn: Getting your coffee. Then there was traffic.
Huck: There’s an app for that.
Quinn: Oh, is there an app to help you get along with your coworker? There should be.
Olivia: I have so many questions I want to ask you, but I’m afraid you’ll kill my friends if I do, so. You know. Let’s just talk about the weather, or how I can’t form attachments to people because my mother is dead and my father is the thing that goes bump in the night. You pick a topic.
James: You’re a shameless monster.
Cyrus: Who loves you dearly!
Olivia: Nice doesn’t get you President, unless you want to be President of CandyLand.