Scandal Season 3, Episode 10 Recap: “A Door Marked Exit”
Whelp, you can't say Scandal doesn't deliver drama and even, occasionally, some answers. Season 3, Episode 10: "A Door Marked Exit" hit the ground running with the mess the characters made of their lives last week (this is why "YOLO" is a bad life moto, kids), and it didn't let up until the credits rolled.
So let's jump right into the action and recap where each major plotline went in the midseason finale.
The Pope Family Fugitive
Olivia starts the episode in fixer mode, trying to fix the fact that she totally aided and abetted a terrorist last week. Her goal is to get to her dad, but Fitz gets there first, kidnapping Ronan off to a secure cell in the Pentagon because he's the President, damn it, he does have power, he does, he does!
Once in the Bunker of Feelings, Fitz tries to get a rise out of Rowan by describing screwing Liv (Ew, Fitz, why? You're the worst), and in response Rowan breaks into one of the most riveting monologous this show (or, let's be honest, TV) has ever produced. He accuses Fitz of being nothing but a boy scared of his father's shadow, who only loves Olivia because he thinks she's a way out of that life. Damn. Joe Morton kills this scene. Emmy nom, perhaps?
On the outside, Liv is busy trying to piece together the puzzle of her mother's betrayal. Abby gets David to send her the file on Liv's mom, and they learn that she was a spy for hire, who was stealing and selling secrets from Ronan. Not good, but, Abby points out, not totally evil, in the grand scheme of a universe where even the President has committed murder with his bare hands.
But then, Harrison (oh hi, you're totally a character who does things!) points out that it doesn't make sense for B613 to have killed 300 innocent people over a few files. Yeah, they're an evil, shadowy government organization, but they're not that evil, right? What gives?
Fortunately, right around this time Huck and Jake figure out Fitz has her dad, so Liv calls her boy toy and gets a face-to-face with daddy not-so-dearest, and though he doesn't say a word, Olivia works it all out just by sitting in a room with him. Her mother had claimed there was a bomb on the plane, forcing Ronan to shoot it down, killing 300 to save the thousands that would have died if the bomb went off over London. Only Olivia's mom wasn't a zealot willing to die for her cause, she was a spy who sold her skills to the highest bidder. The bomb was a lie: Ronan was tricked into murdering everyone on that plane. (Why would Olivia's mom do that? Still unclear.)
The upside is now Olivia realizes her mom is totally evil, and maybe her dad is not as bad as she though, though he still refuses to give her all the answers she wants (and did, like, throw people into holes for months on end and stuff. But hey, everyone has flaws). The downside? Mom escaped before she could be arrested, giving Olivia a call to tell her she'll see her soon.
Oh, and one more little twist: Fitz, presumably unamused by Ronan's lecture, somehow maneuvers to have Mr. Pope replaced as Command with someone he might actually be able to control, AKA Jake Ballard. Awww, snap.
The Murdering Veep
The episode opens with an explanation of what pushed Sally Langston off the deep end and caused her to kill her hubby: It wasn't the cheating, it was that he was going to leave her. Not that that makes it any less of a career killer. Or, you know, major felony and generally terrible thing to do.
Cyrus is shocked at what his manipulations hath wrought, but manages to fix it all up (with a little help from Charlie and Quinn, but more on Quinn later), making it look like it was a heart attack.
Cyrus fills Mellie in on the impact of their scheming, and rambles, wonderfully, about being the devil. Mellie, not so easily shaken by a little thing like murder, tells him to snap out of it. Later, she drops in on Sally to make sure the veep understands that the price she pays for Cyrus' help is staying on the Grant ticket. Sally gets the memo.
So, political crisis averted, Cyrus focuses on fixing his marriage, if you can call begging your husband to stay with you even though you confess to basically being the devil can be called "fixing" a marriage. James agrees to stay, on one condition: He gets to be press secretary. Well then. Does anyone involved with this White House have a shred of their soul left?
David Rosen, of course, actually does still have his white hat (OK, maybe light grey, but close enough), and in a last minute twist he's also handed a recording of Sally and Cyrus's murder coverup. Whelp, so much for that problem being solved.
As for Quinn? After her apparent attempt to kill Ronan goes south, she eventually tricks Charlie into thinking she's traumatized enough not to need constant supervision, and then runs home to Pope and Associates. She immediately goes to confront Huck, who, far from apologizing for torturing her, tells her that if it weren't for Olivia, he'd kill her right there, because she betrayed Liv, and that is Not OK in Huck's world.
Quinn, cut off from the one person she considers a friend, runs right back into the arms of the only person who's given her comfort recently: Charlie.
What did you think of this episode? Let us know in the comments below!
Rebecca Martin is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars, and genre TV expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!