'Scandal' recap ('Inside the Bubble'): Season 4, episode 3

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

This episode was much stronger than episode two, which felt like a bit of a mess. This one featured some drama between Jake and Rowan, some romantic tension between Quinn and Charlie and Mellie breaking out of her funk.

And the case of the week involved a "Lost" actress (Penny!).

Case of the week: Liv's old law school friend Catherine (Penny!) can't find her daughter Caitlyn. She wants Liv to track her down. Huck finds video of Liv sleeping with Caitlyn's 17-year-old boyfriend. (Scandal!) But by then Caitlyn has been shot and killed in a hotel room. Who did it? We don't find out in this episode but Catherine swears to Liv it wasn't her.

Father knows... best? Liv, living blissfully unaware that her daddy killed Harrison and the president's son, visits Rowan just to see him. It's all oddly pleasant.

"Everything is different," he observed.

"Everything is colder," she said.

"At least I'm familiar," he said.

"I'm just adjusting," she said.

They decide to have dinner and Rowan even suggests bringing Jake along.

Jake breaks the case: He has figured out Charlie killed Harrison. Now he needs to know why. But Charlie isn't a man who can be tortured for info. He has a simple request: one night with his former beau Quinn! She is brought into a room on false pretenses. They then go back and forth:

Quinn: "You thought I'd want you back!"

Charlie: "You're damaged goods!"

Quinn: "You want me back! You thought I'd be dragged in here and I'd lay eyes on you. I'd tear off my clothes and crawl on my knees to you. I'd be some Charlie porn fantasy. I'm a real girl. Being summoned here like some ultimate prize for information. It doesn't make me want you. It makes me feel sorry for you."

She takes him down physically. Later, after he complains of loneliness, she ends up kissing him and probably would have done more but Jake steps in for his info. Charlie is surprisingly sated despite not even getting to second base.

Who's stalking who? Cyrus keeps seeing Mike. He teases that maybe Mike is "stalking him." Later, they meet up again and Mike convinces Cyrus to pay $2,500 for Mike's services but says it's for the "discretion." So much for discretion. Mike is doing this for Republican National Committee chair Lizzie Bear, who will soon have leverage over Cyrus.

Mellie has been watching a lot of Mentalist or Castle or Bones or something: Instead of obsessing over her son's death, the First Lady finds a new vocation: detective! She sees a woman who supposedly pushed her husband off a cliff in a viral video. She goes out to prove he slipped and she was just trying to catch him. She gets the head of NASA, the Surgeon General, the Agriculture Secretary and others involved to prove her case. Why? Because she's the First Lady! But then she's embarrassed when the FBI tells her two witnesses had confirmed it was an accident. Fitz enters the meeting late, appearing confused. But in the end, once he figures out what's going on, he gives Mellie a look of understanding.

Mr. Blackmail: David Rosen sure makes blackmail look easy. He takes a court of appeals judge who doesn't support the gun bill and has him reverse it thanks to an ancient hit-and-run case that the judge had covered up 22 years earlier. He gets champagne and huzzahs from "inside the bubble." The problem is: there are consequences. The judge, shamed by his own behavior, shoots himself - ironically, as his assistant notes. Welcome to the club, Rosen!

You didn't MISS me? Quinn is incensed when she discovers Huck and Liv were not remotely concerned by Quinn's 24-hour absence. "That's how Harrison got killed," she said. She leaves in a huff. Later, Huck apologizes in a sense by saying, "Next time, I'll look for you."

Respect me, sayeth Abby! Abby has been given short shrift by the First Lady and Fitz since she joined the White House. That's understandable. They've been grieving. Abby did gain the respect of Mellie last week with that annoying speech to convince her to come to the State of the Union address. This week, she helps Mellie get out of her depression and he thanks. She accepts his gratitude but just wants him to remember her name. Then in perfect high school fashion, he asks her about Liv. "How's she doing?" "She's good, really good," Abby said. "You know Olivia."

Guess who's coming to dinner? Jake resists, then relents in coming to dinner with Rowan and Liv. He has an ulterior motive since he has info from Charlie. When Liv steps away, Rowan thanks Jake for watching over his daughter. Jake is cold. "Why did you do it? he asks Rowan. "Kill Harrison. They figure out that you murdered the president's kid. Let me guess. You delivered the culprit's head on a silver platter and Fitz didn't have a clue. Now you're back wielding the underworld with the president in your pocket. Nicely done." He suggests Rowan leave forever or if he stays trying to ingratiate himself to his daughter, Jake will tell Liv everything. Rowan is unfazed. "Soak it up, revel in it. I'll be standing over you when you die." I'm afraid he's probably right - especially since the actor Scott Foley is joining some new ABC comedy Shonda Rhimes is cooking up.


"You're inside the bubble now. Feels good, doesn't it?" - Cyrus to Rosen.

"You owe me a buck 75 for that candy bar," - Charlie to Jake after Jake knocked Charlie out by smashing his head into the candy machine and then eating his candy bar. (That is one expensive candy bar!)

"I'm no longer a person. I'm a statue, a monument. If I don't get to be a soccer dad in Vermont, this has to have a point. I can't have a jerk buy an AK-47 and shoot up a school!" - Fitz in pontification mode.

"Being a super spy is freakin' lonely." - Woe-is-Charlie.

"I don't get lonely because I have people." - a stronger, sharper Quinn

"She was our friend. I'm not a gladiator anymore, doing your bidding like a mindless solder in the Olivia Pope army? I'll just call her myself." - Abby, petulant and grating as always.

"We're not in a relationship because you're in love with another man." - Jake to Olivia, stating the blatantly obvious

"It was wrong. It was dirty. And it felt freakin' great." - Catherine, Liv's old college buddy who slept with a 17 year old and can't use the really bad f-word since this is network television and not HBO.

"You can replace that dry lump in your throat with something much more satisfying." - gigolo/spy Michael to Cyrus, not referring to a drink.


Fitz's daughter gets in trouble and Liv returns to the White House.