With only three episodes left until the Scandal series finale, will White Hat Olivia make her return, or does she have one more kill in her?
PEOPLE has the exclusive first look at Thursday’s Joe Morton-directed “People Like Me” episode, in which Pope is coerced into being Mellie Grant’s Command again during a conversation in the White House underground tunnels.
However, Olivia’s days of ruthless exterminations may be behind her. “Mellie, I’m not,” she says as Mellie interjects, “We have no choice.”
Mellie Grant and Olivia Pope
Last Gladiators saw, Mellie was served a subpoena because she is being accused of hiring Charlie (George Newbern) to hijack Air Force Two. However, she doesn’t know that Charlie already signed the confession in order to prevent Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) from killing his baby mama Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowes), leaving a framed Mellie at the mercy of the justice system.
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“I am the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. I kill every day. With drones in far-off villages, the choices I make about how many troops to keep the peace, which countries get aid from my government. People die on my watch every day, all of them more innocent than Cyrus Rutherford Beene,” Mellie reminds Olivia at a Scandal fast-talking pace.
“You’re under suspicion for attempted murder for taking Cyrus’ plane down, what do you think happens when you’re,” the former B613 leader says as Mellie interjects, “You are as precise and capable a killer as any and you know you can make Cyrus’ death look …”
But Olivia gets the last word: “I do not kill — not anymore.”
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In a rousing speech from past episode, VP Beene declared himself the mastermind behind the hijacked plane as he told Olivia that his plans have only just begun to steal Mellie’s presidency and push his political agenda.
“418,000 Americans died in World War II. Heroes. There is such a thing as a just war, and we are in the middle of one,” Mellie urges Olivia.
“This is not a war!” Pope retorts, as this time Mellie appears to get the last word: “This is war! And he is the architect of this war. He is the villain. Olivia, where is your patriotism?”
Scandal airs Thursdays (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.