Scandal Season 5 Premiere Recap: Together at Lastby Clarissa / September 24, 2015
It’s a brand new day on Scandal and the White House is preparing for a party for the royal family of Caledonia. Fitz and Olivia, meanwhile, have been busy in bed while the staffers are setting the tables and lighting the candles. And as Sally waxes on about wasting taxpayer money on an expensive state dinner, Fitz and Olivia are dressing for the party. But their relationship is being kept under wraps and they’re acting proper in public. Meanwhile, Mellie is furious that Abby told the press she has the flu and can’t attend the party. And while the President chats up the Queen of Caledonia so they can build a naval base in her country, Olivia tries to deflect Abby’s questions about her relationship with the President.
Later that night, as Olivia and Fitz get ready for bed, Olivia gets a frantic call from the Queen, who summons her to the scene of a horrific accident. Dead on the street is the Princess Emily of Caledonia — a girl from Iowa who married the Prince. And this sets Olivia and Quinn on a quest to buy back the photos taken of Emily’s dead body in the tunnel. Back at Olivia Pope and Associates, Olivia is suggesting they bring Huck back in, but Quinn thinks he is a coward and isn’t needed. In fact, she discovered something interesting: one of the men they believed was a photographer may have been a hacker who caused the Princess’ car to crash. David is quickly roped in by Olivia and told to see what he can do.
As Olivia deals with the royal family, Mellie is trying to assert her authority over Liz and demands that Fitz show up for her swearing-in ceremony. When Mellie asks Liz why she betrayed her, Liz smacks her down and says that Fitz won’t be joining her that afternoon. As Sally questions Abby about the recent goings-on in the White House, Abby doesn’t know how to present the President’s recent choices in a good light to keep Sally off her back. Fortunately for Abby, Olivia advocates for Fitz to attend the ceremony in order to support his wife. But unfortunately for her, she makes a public statement to the press that he’s not attending before she knows the truth and looks like a fool.
As Mellie and Fitz finally have a private moment after the ceremony, she apologizes to him about her actions from season 4. She’s convinced that they can still remain a team and thinks his appearance at the ceremony confirmed that. At least until he drops a bomb: divorce papers. She refuses to sign, but he thinks she will in order to save her own reputation and political future. When Abby confronts Liz about looking like a fool, she learns that Liz didn’t know about Fitz’s change of plans either. In the West Wing, Olivia is trying to caution Fitz against divorce to help preserve the optics of the situation, but he’s insistent that they not waste any more time.
Back at the office, Olivia learns that someone definitely caused Emily’s car to crash. But who could have murdered the Princess? At the White House, Olivia is discussing the situation with David, Liz and the President. She believes that Emily was having an affair with her bodyguard and that Prince Richard may have hired someone to kill his wife. Unfortunately, the President disagrees with taking any legal action against the Prince because of the naval bases and a fight erupts between the new pair.
At Olivia’s apartment, Huck admits to her that Quinn hurt him. It’s clear he’s broken and feeling particularly dangerous and wants Olivia to “fix” him, but she doesn’t think there’s anything she can do. He needs a new plan that doesn’t rely on her.
In a reverse of an earlier scene, Liz tells Abby that Fitz and Olivia are back together, but Abby is genuinely shocked. And the next morning Mellie begs Cyrus to get his old job back so that he can talk some sense into Fitz. When he refuses to help her, she breaks down, declaring that Fitz hates them both.
As the royal family works to bury the truth about the accident, David tells Olivia that Emily was pregnant when she died. So Olivia delivers the news to the Queen, who wants her to remain quiet. As the Queen insists that her son is innocent, Olivia realizes that the Queen herself was responsible for the murder.
But Olivia refuses to accept this setback and tells Prince Richard the truth, who insists that his mother abdicate the throne and let him take it. He refuses to remain silent about what his mother did unless she accepts her terms. “Not all fairytales have happy endings. But evil queens? They tend to go down,” Olivia says smugly to the Queen.
Later we learn Huck head to Jake’s apartment to see his help and Olivia returns to the White House to see the President. She insists that she’s making her boundaries clear and she doesn’t believe them going public is the right thing to do. She wants their relationship, but she wants to slow it down so that they’re truly prepared when they go public. He seems hesitant, but he agrees with her plan.
As Abby interrupts a kiss between the pair (and throws a cold glare at Olivia), she brings them to see Sally, who is exposing their affair on television. And now they’re public.
The next new episode of Scandal airs on October 1 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.