And he's working inside the White House


Think the vice president has no real power? Not in Shondaland.

On Thursday’s episode of Scandal, VP Andrew Nichols (Jon Tenney) was revealed to be the evil mastermind behind Olivia’s (Kerry Washington) kidnapping, and he quietly took over the White House in a coup that reduced President Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) to his puppet.

Most Scandalous Moments

• Well, that was fast! Just one episode after Liv was snatched, Andrew came forward as her kidnapper, demanding that Fitz declare war on West Angola – or else, Liv would die in 48 hours. Naturally, this was why he and Elizabeth (Portia de Rossi) had her followed this whole season: to advance the Republican agenda. Stay classy.

• Fitz was a prisoner in his own Oval Office, watched by staffers and the Secret Service somehow under Andrew’s control. To explain the situation to Mellie (Bellamy Young), he drew her close on the balcony, acting like they were having an intimate moment (which avid viewers know is virtually impossible). She confronted Andrew, but their feisty fight turned into hot sex. Sure, she’s a ruthless political animal, but Mellie’s compassion won this round – she seduced Andrew just to snap up his cell phone so Huck (Guillermo Déaz), Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Jake (Scott Foley) could try to find Liv.

• After a lot of soul-searching and pensive looks, Fitz decided to declare war, sending 15,000 troops into West Angola. But that wasn’t enough for Andrew, who intended to keep Olivia captive for Fitz’s entire term in order to manipulate the president into a more Conservative platform. Olivia realized this while talking to Ian (Jason Butler Harner) and demanded that she be given beef stew, an Orange Creamsicle and a bullet to the head.

• Huck went back to his roots, tormenting Elizabeth and her daughter to try to extract information. In one particularly creepy scene, she found him sitting on the little girl’s bed and watching her sleep with his red toolbox of torture handy. (Huck really is an evil Tooth Fairy). Later, Elizabeth showed Mellie some truly horrifying burns and lacerations on her back.

• The Gladiators caught a break when an elderly African American woman burst into Pope & Associates and asked, “Where’s the black lady?” As it turned out, her friend was Olivia’s dearly departed neighbor Lois, and Quinn, Huck and Jake broke into her apartment to find the ring Olivia dropped as a clue when she was taken. They used Lois’s Internet router to identify Ian. (Liv gave them a good look in her ransom tape by using a glass of water to show the camera the reflection of his face.)

• The Gladiators traced Ian to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and David Rosen (Joshua Malina) authorized a drug bust to try to save her, but by the time Jake arrived looking super fine in a bullet proof vest, she had gone off on a private jet with Ian, having brokered a deal to have him sell her to the highest bidder. Let’s just hope the U.S. Treasury has enough funds to buy Liv back.

Best Quotes

• “He was a nice boy, but he was a boy, and you are a man, a great man, and I had to choose between a nice boy and a great man.” –Secret Service agent Tom on why he killed little Jerry. RIP!

• “Will you launch a thousand ships to save Miss Pope?” –Tom

• “Do you want to be a babysitter, or do you want to be a boss?” –Olivia, laying down the law with Ian

• “Do you see this hat? Use your imagination. I’m wearing a 10-gallon white hat.” –David, ready to save Olivia

Questions for Next Week

• Who will be the highest bidder?

• Why is Mama Pope (Khandi Alexander) back in the preview?

This Thursday, We’re Team …

• Jake. Kudos to Fitz for clueing him and Cyrus (Jeff Perry) in, but at least Jake was actually working with the Gladiators, busting up that Harrisburg hideaway to try to get their girl home. Fitz just moped around and sent secret notes like this was a middle school classroom rather than an international crisis.