It’s Republican debate time and Susan isn’t doing too well thus far. However, Mellie holds her own against Donald Trump Hollis Doyle. Eventually, Fitz gives Susan a pep talk that gets her going, and she seizes the right moment to step it up by telling an anecdotal story about the death of her husband, who was a military vet, which led to her becoming a senator. It was an impactful response to a question asked by Sally Langston, the moderator, and Susan a standing ovation and came out on top as the winner of the debate. Now it’s safe to say that Susan is shaping up to be a formidable contender.
Mellie was devastated after the debate, but Olivia ensured her that they will get the election “come hell or high water” (aka the Pope family mantra). This is the moment you realize that Olivia is literally mini Rowan.
“Come hell or high water” is the Pope family mantra. #Scandal
— Starr R. (@GangStarrGirl) April 1, 2016
That hell or high water that Olivia referenced was the dirt that she has on Susan, courtesy of Alex Vargas. Basically, Susan was never married to the army vet and her daughter, Casey, wasn’t his. Casey belonged to a man named Ronnie that Susan had an affair with while she was with the vet, but Susan’s fake husband raised Casey as his own and the jump off faded to black…and eventually ended up in prison. Olivia tracks down the real babydaddy and offers to get him out if he agrees to take a dna test and publicly announce that he is the father.
Ronnie declines since he’ll be up for parole in three years, and he doesn’t want to be that cold-blooded, but Olivia threatens to plant drugs in his bunker—Poppa Pope style—and he changes his tune. However, Huck is actually disturbed by this because he doesn’t like the idea of Liv “destroying a family.” He convinces Quinn how messed up this is and they both take the news to Abby.
When Huck — of all people — shakes his head at u w/ a look of shaming & moral judgement, you know you’ve hit rock bottom. #Scandal
— Chuck Badger (@CharlesBadger) April 1, 2016
Fitz gets word of Olivia’s ruthlessness and pays her a visit. He wants her to reconsider blowing up Susan’s spot and actually move forward with not playing dirty. He’s basically trying to get some good karma back by being honorable, for once, especially since he didn’t win the White House fairly. Olivia is resistant at first, which prompts Fitz to try to convince Susan to reveal the info on her own with the hope that telling the truth will ingratiate her to the American people. But there’s no need for that after they get news that Ronnie “hung himself” in his cell. This was most likely a murder set up by Cyrus just for the sake of being petty (because Liv’s lead about Edison checking into rehab years ago was debunked thanks to some Poppa Pope scheming).
In the end, Olivia called Fitz over to her office just to let him know that she’s going to play clean from now on.
That’s going to be extremely hard in this world, especially with this scandalous (no pun intended) bunch.