On Thursday’s winter finale of “Scandal,” Olivia became more like the unofficial First Lady than ever before to the detriment of her relationship with Fitz, as Mellie made a huge Senate move and Huck dealt with Papa Pope. Here are the most important things to know about “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” the ninth episode of season 5.
The show began with Olivia engaging in White House Christmas activities amid newfound fame as Fitz’s official significant other. Liz declared her a “trophy wife,” and it was clear Liv wasn’t happy with her new Stepford lifestyle. Fitz, however, was happy that his polls were up and his spending bill was about to get passed, keeping the government from a shut down.
Mellie took issue with the spending bill as it had Planned Parenthood only getting discretionary funding, and took to the Senate floor to voice her objections. Though everyone was eager to break for the holiday, she began a filibuster to delay the vote and kill the bill. Cyrus was convinced Mellie wouldn’t be able to last the 16 hours, and wanted to let her “hang herself.”
Abby suggested getting Olivia to help do damage control on the outside, but Fitz said she was unavailable. Fitz was taking Mellie’s move personal, but Liv knew it wasn’t about him at all. In fact, she wanted to help Mellie successfully get through her filibuster, and got Susan to ask a question that would give Mellie the chance to take a break.
Meeting Olivia in the bathroom, Mellie thanked her and doubted whether she could continue. Calling her “the biggest bitch I know,” Liv encouraged her to stick it out. Mellie ended up pulling it off and was actually cheered by some of her fellow Senators. At the same time, Olivia watched the rest of it play out on television at a doctor’s office, missing Fitz’s fancy Cabinet dinner. Then came the shocker: Liv was getting an abortion.
Olivia returned home clearly agitated and drake Mellie’s old moonshine as Fitz questioned her absence from the dinner. She broke down in tears as Fitz accused her of “running.” Olivia admitted she didn’t want to be a “housewife” when she was a “big dog,” and called him out for moving her in as punishment for getting Papa Pope released from prison. She said she did that for him, but he shot back, “You did that so you didn’t have to marry me.” Liv said he wanted her in his “cage” as “property,” and he in turn accused her of wanting to steal his power, calling her “worse than Mellie.”
Amid flashbacks of their relationship, Olivia cried, “There’s no us. There’s no Vermont. There’s no future. Not anymore.” He thought she just needed “time” to adjust, but she argued that they needed “time” to stabilize before she moved in, and now that was too late. “You liked me unavailable,” he concluded, and Liv responded, “I didn’t know you available.” Mellie, on the other hand, experienced him every step of the way. In the end, he concluded she was right and they broke up for the seemingly millionth time.
In the winter finale’s second storyline, Quinn was concerned when Huck was MIA, unaware that he was holding Papa Pope hostage. Papa Pope tried to get under Huck’s skin by talking about fathers and sons, but rather than letting his temper get the better of him, Huck dished it right back by pointing out how Liv chose Fitz over him. And with Papa Pope just wanting his killing to be overwith, Huck tormented him by keeping him alive.
Meanwhile, Jake tracked down one of his former associates, who was responsible for Elise’s death and trying to wrestle control of Lazarus One from Papa Pope. Jake responded by putting a bullet in his head. And in the third storyline of the winter finale, after another hookup, Liz rejected a jewelry gift from David, leading him to give it to Susan, who was crushing harder than ever. Liz was later stunned to see the bracelet on Susan’s wrist.
In the episode’s final moments, Olivia left the White House with her bags packed and Huck brought Papa Pope home, where Jake essentially apologized to him. The winter finale ended with Olivia finally getting a new couch for her apartment while Fitz drank alone and Mellie celebrated Christmas with their kids. Now “Scandal” won’t return until February. TELL US: What do you think of tonight’s winter finale?