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Scandal recap season 5 episode 11: Fitz has a crush

My new colleague Jewel Wicker has volunteered to do something I did last season: recap "Scandal."

By Jewel Wicker/jwicker@coxinc.com, originally filed Thursday, February 19, 2016

In last week’s episode of “Scandal,” Fitz was coping with the fact that he and Olivia had ended their relationship six months prior. He threw himself into his job and kept Abby up all night chatting about television shows because he needed a friend.

He doesn’t seem to be having such a hard time anymore.

In tonight's episode titled “The Candidate,” the president has a crush.

When Abby suggests that Fitz spend time with respected journalist Lillian Forrester for an in-depth profile, he agrees despite Cyrus’ protests. It doesn’t take long for the profile to be scrapped, however.

While conducting the first interview, Lillian reveals that she has a crush on Fitz. Fitz has never missed an opportunity to flirt and now that he’s single he’s certainly not going to let the opportunity get away. He calls off the interview and asks Lillian on a date.

Cyrus doesn’t know that Fitz has become romantically involved with Lillian. Still, it is clear that Fitz has mentally checked out of his role as president.

“Next November you’re going to get an eviction notice and by Jan. 20 they’re coming for your stuff,” Cyrus tells Fitz. “We can still set the world on fire or die trying. Let’s ride out of here with our guns empty, not in the damn holster.”

Fitz is uninterested.

In a creepy move, Cyrus enters Fitz’s bedroom late one night and stands over him as he sleeps before revealing that he has to leave because his cousin has died.

His cousin did not die. Cyrus Beene is scouting a new presidential candidate.

He’s not alone in his desire to regain control of the Oval Office, however.

Mellie and Olivia’s working relationship gets off to a rocky start after Liv asks the former first lady why she decided to stay with Fitz after learning of their affair. It’s a detail that Olivia insists must be included in Mellie’s tell-all book. She believes this will help Mellie become the first female president.

The meeting ends with Mellie storming out of the Olivia Pope and Associates office, refusing to answer such invasive questions from her ex-husband’s former mistress.

“You never had what we had, Olivia,” she says before leaving. “As far as actual real relationships go you were just a blimp on his radar.”

That night Mellie shows up to Olivia’s apartment (or “love shack,” as she calls it) and the two women get drunk on hooch.

“It was working. Fitz and I, and you,” Mellie confesses.

She and Olivia realize that their respective relationships with Fitz worked because the other was in the picture.

After Mellie tells Olivia that she was a “good mistress,” they get to work on finishing her book.

They embellish in the book, however. The American people probably wouldn’t like the real story of how the president’s mistress and wife depended on one another.

Mellie writes that she stayed with Fitz because she was scared to stand on her own two feet. She says the powerful filibuster she pulled off earlier in the season was the confidence boost that she needed in order to realize that she is powerful all on her own.

Summary: Mellie Grant does not need a man.

Olivia and Mellie leak several pages from the book to the press to gain publicity.

It’s a strong move, but Mellie is not the only woman running for president anymore.

Susan Ross, the Vice President that was originally hired to be nothing more than ornamental, has decided to run for president after going on a date with David Rosen.

Unbeknownst to Susan, David only took her out on a date (and kissed her) because Elizabeth North threatened to withhold sex if he didn’t talk her into running for president.

The presidential election is just getting started, but it looks like it is going to be full of entertaining drama for all of the main characters.

Scandal” airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC.

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Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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