A former regular saved Washington's most wanted fixer

By Michele Corriston
Updated February 19, 2015 11:45 PM
Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC

Washington’s best white hat wearer finally got a white knight to save her – but who?

Fitz (Tony Goldwyn)? Jake (Scott Foley)? Her gladiators: Huck (Guillermo Déaz), Abby (Darby Stanchfield) and Quinn (Katie Lowes)? A returned Papa Pope (Joe Morton)? Or even a resurrected Harrison (Columbus Short)?

Nope. In an unexpected but truly lovely twist, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) was rescued by Stephen (Henry Ian Cusick), who departed Scandal after season 1, apparently falling in with some resourceful Russian mobsters.

Most Scandalous Moments

• Olivia was about to be traded to Iran when she shrewdly sabotaged the exchange, using her knowledge of Farsi to convince each side that the other was planning to kill them. They backed out, she was put back on the market and Huck, Quinn and Jake came this close to winning after they tied with a group of Russians. But, once the kidnappers sense Olivia wanted “Marie Wallace” to claim her, they chose the Russians instead.

• The CIA told Fitz that trying to extract Olivia from the hostage exchange would only have a 30 percent chance of success – and that, because she had been given such high security clearance while working for the White House, she was a weapon that had to be destroyed rather than used by an enemy of the state. But he chose love over country – is anyone really surprised? – so Cyrus (Jeff Perry) hatched a treacherous scheme to go over Fitz’s head, conspiring with the CIA director to kill Liv anyway.

• Vice President Andrew Nichols (Jon Tenney) was granted amnesty for his treason but refused to go quietly, threatening to expose his “rough” sex with Southern belle Mellie (Bellamy Young) – by the way, you go girl – effectively foiling her plans to run for office. So she went to Elizabeth (Portia de Rossi), who went to Huck, who promised Quinn there would be “no more blood.” So he tied the VP up in Saran Wrap, injected him with poison and left him writhing on the floor in a stroke. He was hospitalized but not murdered, which Huck “doesn’t do anymore.” Hey, baby steps.

• After losing the auction, Jake went to Olivia’s mom Maya (Khandi Alexander) to ask for advice. She told him to go to a lake where Papa Pope, Rowan, was casually fishing. Was he surprised that Liv was taken after he cut her out of his life? Nope. Was he going to help his only child, who had tried to have him assassinated? Hell no. “She’s your daughter,” Jake implored. Replied Rowan: “I don’t have a daughter.” Ice cold.

• Cyrus watched the kidnappers transfer Olivia to the Russians. As the CIA director prepared to order the missile to “neutralize the asset,” he screamed at her to hold fire: “I know that man.” That’s right, the hot guy you drooled over for seven episodes, the OG gladiator, Stephen, was leading the Russian terrorists. He bought her! After a beautiful trip down memory lane (seriously, Stephen, come back to Pope & Associates!), he shipped her back to America in a helicopter, safe and sound.

• Olivia returned to her apartment, asking Huck, Quinn and Jake to leave so she could be alone. But Fitz appeared, their theme music swelled and Olivia … freaked out. She castigated him for going to war for her, saying it defeated the entire purpose of her years of sacrifice – to make him a good president. “I had to save you,” he insisted, sad puppy eyes watering. “You didn’t save me!” she yelled. “I’m on my own.”

Best Quotes

• “I’m gonna walk? You gotta love Washington.” –Andrew

• “I slept with that filthy animal to save your life.” –Mellie to Elizabeth

• “You may be Liv’s puppy, but I’m kind of yours.” –Quinn to Huck (Question: Is “puppy” now to Scandal what “lobster” was to Friends?)

• “Once a gladiator, always a gladiator.” –Abby

• “I wasn’t raped. Guess what I learned? There are things worse than rape.” –Olivia

Questions for Next Episode

• Is Andrew really brain-damaged?

• How will Olivia’s PTSD affect her job as a fixer?

• Will Fitz learn how close Cyrus came to killing Olivia?

• Is Olivia back with Jake, or will she break it off?

• How will Mellie kick-start her political future?

• Is Elizabeth really going to get off scot-free?

This Thursday, We’re Team …

Fitz. Sure, both he and Jake worked hard to get Liv home, and neither can truly be faulted for failing, but when Liv was reunited with Jake, she was cordial but distant, politely refusing his request to stay the night. She screamed at Fitz – not exactly a romantic return, to be sure – but their fights have always been where their chemistry comes alive. She’s angry now because she has been so traumatized, but odds are she winds up back in the president’s arms.