On Thursday’s “Scandal,” Olivia and Abby’s friendship further turned into a feud. Here are the most important things to know about “Buckle Up,” the 19th episode of season 5.
The show began with Susan and Mellie’s presidential campaigns neck and neck before a crucial trip to Florida for the governor’s endorsement and a sizable amount of delegates. Both, plus Hollis, would be dining with the governor, and risked the possibility of having to suspend their respective runs if they didn’t score the endorsement. That only added to the frenemy tension fueling Olivia and Abby.
Abby sabotaged Olivia and Mellie’s flight so they would miss the dinner, leading Liv to “shame” the rival campaign by exposing the “mechanical issues” grounding Fitz and Mellie’s planes as a hoax. Fitz was enraged, but Abby refused to back down. Quinn wanted to know why Liv wouldn’t back down either, with Huck implying she should be trying to save Jake from Papa Pope instead of engaging in this war. And that led her to flip out.
Marcus gave Mellie the idea of personally appealing to Fitz to end the stalemate, leading them to have a nice chat on the tarmac. The two disagreed, though, on whether Abby and Olivia were out of line. Mellie said Olivia would “kill” if she needed to, upsetting Fitz, who broke the news that Liv already did kill… Andrew. Now Mellie finally understood why Olivia was a “different person” now, and Fitz became more upset when he learned how poorly she was doing lately. “You need to move your plane, Fitz,” Mellie told him. “You need to move it now. And not just for me.”
With Susan already in Florida, the governor privately told David that she didn’t think the VP was fit to be president but Mellie was. She would, however, change her mind… if David dropped a case he was investigating before Tuesday’s primary. He informed Susan and Liz, but only the former was on board with him playing by the rules. Susan said she didn’t want the endorsement if the governor was going to play “dirty.”
At the dinner, Hollis and the governor were bonding when they were interrupted by Mellie arriving late, but with Fitz in tow, seemingly giving her an edge. That widened when Susan talked back to the governor. Later, she told David she forgot the kind of man he really was and still was, but he hurt her. He vowed never to again.
The next day, the governor surprisingly endorsed Susan, infuriating Olivia. Huck told Liv she came back to work too soon. “The first kill, it stays with you,” he said, just angering her more. She insisted she wasn’t dealing with guilt or regrets, and was actually feeling “great.” But she ended up in tears when she confessed Papa Pope’s threat to slit Jake’s throat. Huck then held her as she finally broke down.
Meanwhile, Alex pushed Michael to help him expose Cyrus as a liar and a cheat, and urged Frankie to use his cancer-stricken daughter Anna as a “wedge issue” to pull ahead of Edison, but the candidate was against it. Michael later asked Cyrus point-blank if he was cheating, and he begrudgingly admitted it. Michael urged him to “get help,” but Cyrus lashed out, saying he was working on electing the next president and needed him to play his role. He further warned Michael that he would “be forced to put you out” if he keeps going “down this path.”
Michael went on to give Alex a thumb drive that he said was filled with info from the week of the hostage situation in hopes the “bastard” would get what he deserves. But the files actually seemed to hack Alex’s computer and have him inadvertently send an email to a news outlet leaking Anna’s cancer battle. That led Frankie to fire his brother, and Cyrus then called Michael to thank him for joining the plot.
Towards the end of the episode, Fitz and Abby argued over the plane debacle and who was really in “control.” “I run you, you run the country, that is the job,” she shouted at him, accusing him of punishing her for Andrew’s death. “She’s a murderer all on her own,” Abby said of Olivia before breaking down over her own guilt. Fitz urged her to find a way to forgive herself and get out of the “darkness.”
It was revealed Hollis actually won the Florida primary, despite Susan scoring the governor’s endorsement. The loss was blamed on the “turbulence on the tarmac” scandal, with Hollis saying the women’s catfighting was letting him “run away” with the election. David later admitted to Liz that Susan only won the governor’s endorsement because he did end up agreeing to drop the case.
Abby confronted Olivia at OPA over why she’s been so mad at her and why she seemed “thrilled” when Abby faced losing her job a little ways back. Olivia smugly told Abby that she “raised” her and now Abby had Fitz and the Oval. “I want it back. I want my White House back,” Liv said. “I earned it. I’m rooting for you, but not if it means I lose. I’m done losing.”
In the final minutes, Cyrus went home to find Michael and his daughter gone, and Olivia and Abby vowed to unite to take Hollis down.