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‘Scandal’ season 5 episode 17 recap: Olivia Pope proves she's just like her father

By JEWEL WICKER/, originally filed Thursday, April 7, 2016

Olivia Pope has been a ticking time bomb on “Scandal” for quite some time now.

The gladiator has come a long way since walking around her apartment with a bowl of popcorn and a handgun after being kidnapped in season four.

But time and snacks don’t magically cure PTSD.

Olivia’s resurfaces in a major way in this episode, titled “Thwack,” when Vice President Andrew Nichols returns.

The former vice president has been in in-patient treatment since Huck paralyzed him and caused him to have a stroke in season four.

Now, he’s well enough to seek revenge.

Contrary to what the sneak peek suggests, Lillian Forrester, the journalist that was briefly dating Fitz, isn’t pregnant. She’s working on a new story.

Andrew wants to tell the world that Fitz went to war with West Angola to save Olivia and tank the careers of everyone who has been involved in any way. He conveniently leaves out the fact that he is the one who had Olivia kidnapped to force Fitz into war.

Abby, Cyrus, Mellie, Fitz, Olivia, Elizabeth and David meet secretly to discuss what they should do. Not only are their careers on the line if this gets out, but Mellie and Susan Ross’ presidential campaigns would be ruined.

Cyrus, who is running the campaign of democrat Frankie Vargas, is not worried. It turns out he was granted immunity by the president a while back.

Elizabeth North is quite frazzled, however. She suggests they murder Andrew to keep him quiet.

Everyone else objects.

Still, Elizabeth pays a visit to Huck and asks him to make Andrew go away for good.

Mellie pays Andrew a visit and tries to keep him quiet with promises that they could rekindle their relationship. But, when Andrew makes a sexual advance, it is clear that Mellie is quite disgusted with Andrew now that he is ill.

“Do I disgust you,” he asks. “Don’t worry, the feeling is mutual.”

Eventually, Huck visits Andrew and stabs him in the neck with a needle, injecting him with something to knock him out. He then transports him to a secret room in the White House.

Olivia tells Andrew that she is protecting him from the others and agrees to pay him 10 million dollars if he will keep quiet.

But, it’s a trick. Andrew soon makes it clear that he doesn’t care about money. He just wants revenge.

Realizing this, Fitz agrees to “fall on his sword” and only implicate himself, saving the others.

Abby wants Olivia to talk Fitz out of this, but she refuses.

“A leader owns what happens on his watch,” she says. “That is not weak, that’s integrity. That’s presidential.”

When Abby says she’s concerned about her career if Fitz moves forward with his decision, Olivia tells her she can always come back to Olivia Pope and Associates.

The thought of this worries Abby, so she goes back to Andrew and makes a deal, convincing him to talk to Lillian about his affair with Mellie, not the West Angola war.

When Olivia discovers what Abby has done, she is appalled.

She has Jake grant her access into the White House and pays a visit to Andrew, hoping to persuade him to change his story.

Instead, Andrew calls Olivia a slut and asks her how much she thinks she’d be worth if he tried to auction her again.

Olivia’s PTSD episodes worsen and, eventually, she snaps.

In a very graphic scene, she takes a chair and bashes Andrew’s face in with it, killing him.

When Abby see what has happened, Olivia sends her a warning.

“Never cross me again,” she says.

She then pays a visit to her father.

The last few scenes in this episode are ironic, considering Olivia has spent most of the series hating her father for his murderous ways.

Elsewhere, Frankie’s brother, Alex, has discovered that Cyrus and Tom are having an affair.

How will this episode affect the presidential campaign?

“Scandal” won’t come on next week, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Scandal airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC. Click here to


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About the Author

Jewel Wicker is an Atlanta native, Georgia State University graduate and entertainment reporter. She typically covers local events.

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