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Scandal 3×16 “The Fluffer” Recap


Abby subs for Olivia at the White House. Meanwhile, the investigation into B613 continues and Reston’s presidential campaign hits a snag.

White House Drama: the Fitz/Mellie/Andrew Edition

Abby, or “Gabby,” as Cyrus calls her (anyone else reminded of Parks & Rec‘s Ron Swanson?) is moonlighting as this week’s Fixer, which doesn’t sit too well with Cyrus and Fitz – or with Mellie and Andrew, all of whom refuse to work with her or even sit in the same room as each other. When Olivia eventually does come back to the White House, it’s because of… a SCANDAL. Naturally. While she’s there, Olivia interrupts Fitz’s attempts at replacing Andrew as his VP candidate just in time. She asks Fitz what he needs to keep Andrew on the ticket, to which he eventually responds, “I need Andrew to stop screwing my wife.”

Even in her heartbreak, Olivia manages to spit out her catchphrase – “Consider it handled” – and rushes off to angrily tell Andrew he has 24 hours to choose between power or love, and if he chooses love she will destroy him so badly that Mellie won’t even want him afterwards. At this point I’m just like, is there anyone left on Scandal that’s loveable, or likeable, or root-for-able? WHY IS EVERYONE TERRIBLE.

Andrew chooses power (to the surprise of absolutely no one, cause we all saw that shit coming a mile away), and with both him and Fitz icing her out, poor Mellie is left hurt and alone. She storms into one of Fitz’s meetings and slaps him (deservedly so, but maybe not quite in that setting), screaming “You take everything from me!” Ouchity ouch ouch.


White House Drama: the Everything Else Edition

This week’s juicy scandal: Jeannine Locke, Fitz Grant’s faux mistress, has broken her contracted silence to write a tell-all book about her fake life. It’s called Taken For Granted, which is a fantastic pun. Seriously, I wish this were a real book, I would totally read it – especially if it were peppered with gems like “the President of the United States is a baguette.” I’m going to laugh about this for days.

Team Fitz discovers that Sally was behind Jeannine breaking the terms of her contract. Olivia advises against retaliating, but Cyrus doesn’t listen; he leaks info about Sally’s thirteen year old daughter’s abortion. However, instead of making Sally out to look like a hypocrite, it’s endeared her more to American mothers who sympathize with her situation.

Olivia calls Sally’s guy Leo and Cyrus into a meeting to work out a ceasefire, because their infighting is leaving Reston to rise in the polls, squeaky clean. By ganging up on Reston and telling the truth to Mrs. Reston about what happened with her lover, they can eliminate him as an opponent.

The next time Reston visits his wife, she confronts him. He mocks her by telling her there’s no way anyone would believe her, but it doesn’t matter because Abby recorded the whole thing and uploaded it online, where it’s getting tons and tons of hits. Buh-bye, Reston campaign.


B613’s continued craziness

Olivia pumps her dad for more info on B613’s secret accounts, but it turns out all the knowledge he had of B613’s inner workings has been rendered useless. Jake switched where the money was held because he anticipated Eli being a bitter bunny. (Is that a thing? I am so bad at alliteration.) Huck warns Olivia against trusting her father, saying that Eli is making her “a mark,” but Olivia doesn’t listen. “We all do things we don’t want to do, and THIS is what we’re doing,” she yells at him. Since when is Olivia the final word on everything? I distinctly remember the Gladiators being able to vote on whether or not they wanted to take a job (once upon a time), but now it seems like this is Olivia’s dictatorship.

Speaking of dictatorships, Jake’s over at B613 ordering Charlie and Quinn to keep an eye on Marie Wallace, AKA Mama Pope. Later, Jake arrives at Olivia’s door drunkenly singing “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” Okay, not really, but can you imagine how hilarious it would have been for him to belt out “WE USED TO BE BEST BUDDIES, BUT NOW WE’RE NOT, I WISH YOU WOULD TELL ME WHYY!” It would also have been way preferable to what actually goes down – namely, Jake asking to be let in, banging on the door when Olivia says no, and blaming her for not “saving” him from B613. Um, no. It is not her responsibility to save you. You can save your own damn self.

Later, Huck hands Olivia a device to hack into Jake’s phone. In order to get the device on there, she just needs to seduce Jake. After a sex scene that’s way, way, way too long, she succeeds.


Mama Pope’s continued craziness

As Charlie and Quinn spy on Mama Pope getting some fake passports, Harrison ends up being successful with his campaign against Mama Pope and Adnan as well; he works an old mutual contact named Claire, who hands him all of Mama Pope’s information in return for protection.

Marie crashes one of Eli and Olivia’s Sunday dinners with her usual flair, offers up some threats to Eli and a warning to Olivia: find another line of work, because what she does now is “too dangerous.” Hah, I’m pretty sure having you two for parents is what’s really dangerous to Olivia. Harrison calls Olivia to tell her that he found Claire dead, obviously at Mama Pope’s direction.

Much later, Charlie and Quinn watch in horror as Mama Pope purchases a bomb, described by Charlie as “the Mona Lisa of Boom.” Though Jake’s seeing the same thing they are, he holds back from stopping Mama Pope’s operation because he wants to “see where this goes.” Um, it’s obviously going to go towards a very big explosion, Jake.

In what’s probably the worst timed move ever, Olivia’s Gladiators decide to shut down B613 at exactly that minute, leaving a desperate Quinn to rush out and try to stop Mama Pope herself. So now Marie and Adnan are roaming out there with a bomb that, as Jake informs Olivia when he storms into her offices, will “kill the President.”

Memorable Quotes

Abby: I’m not to call her unless – and this is a direct quote so let me be exact, “Do not call me unless the White House is on fire, in flames, burning to the ground.” End quote.

Andrew: I can’t walk past you in the hallway and smile like nothing happened. This is real, Mellie. And after all these years, after everything you’ve done for him, you deserve something real. Someone who’s not just playing the part of the man who loves you, someone who actually does.

Jeannine: I don’t want to hurt the President. In fact, I want the world to know what a special man Fitz Grant is. A strong, satisfying, impressive man.

Reporter: At least tell us if the President is a breadstick or a baguette.
Jeannine: I’d have to say the President of the United States is definitely… a baguette.

Cyrus: Baguette!? This is how we go down, this is our legacy?

Olivia: What else do you need? What service can I render for you today? Am I here to stroke your ego, am I your cheerleader, am I here to wipe your tears? Am I your nanny? Am I here to fight the bullies? Am I your bodyguard today? Or maybe I’m here to make you feel good, maybe I’m your dealer. Or maybe, I am here to make you feel hot, and manly, and ready so you’re not jealous of your wife’s boyfriend. Is that it? Am I your fluffer today, Fitz, is that what I am? What service am I billing you for today?

Olivia: I lie in bed every night and I play our relationship over and over in my head like a movie. We meet, we fall in love, we can’t stop ourselves, we’re meant to be. I give up everything inside me, and then it stops. The movie just stops. I don’t know how it ends. It’s just me, waiting for a house in Vermont I can’t live in and a man who makes me promises he can’t keep.

Jake: I wish you’d just stood in the sun with me.
Olivia: Sometimes I wish that too.
Jake: …I asked you to save me, and you said no.

Andrew: What’s it like, being you? Cutting people’s throats and calling it politics. Appealing to the lowest, basest part of humanity, scraping the bottom of a person’s soul, carrying out these emotional assassinations. I’m in love with her. I love her.
Olivia: So choose Mellie. I wish you would, it would restore my faith in humanity. But if there’s one thing I know, it’s that given the choice between power and love, men like you will always, always choose power.

Cyrus: Oh, forgive me, no one told me you were bringing one of your degenerate chronic public masturbating clients.
Leo: No, that one lives right here in the White House. I’m the Awesome client from Awesome Town.
Cyrus: More like Suck It Town, you pompous jackass.

Leo: Do you have any advice that doesn’t involve insulting me?
Abby: No.

Charlie: Why did you and Jessie break up?
Quinn: He died. In an explosion. Then there was Gideon. Also dead, scissors.

Olivia: Go ahead, shoot me. It’d be the best thing to happen to me all day.