'Scandal' recap: Is Operation Remington the mother of all cover-ups?

kerry-washington-scandal-recap-abc.jpgNo.

No, no, no.

What Huck ( Guillermo Diaz) and Jake ( Scott Foley) uncovered about Operation Remington on Thursday's (Oct. 31) episode of "Scandal" can't be true, can it? This is all a Halloween trick, right? Because there's no way that Olivia ( Kerry Washington) will be able to handle this betrayal.

Alright, so, let's just get it out in the open. Huck and Jake, the B613 Brothers, spent the episode trying to piece together just what Operation Remington was with all the spy tactics only two shadow government operatives would possess. And what do they discover? The day of Remington, Fitz ( Tony Goldwyn) wasn't in Iran. He was in Iceland. The same day a Boeing 747 went down -- a 747 with Maya Lewis on its passenger list. Who's Maya Lewis, you ask? A woman who never took her husband's name. What's her husband's name, you demand? Pope.

That's right. It's looking like Fitz was involved in the plane crash that took his dear ol' Olivia's mom's life.

Again: There's no way Olivia's going to be handle this. Especially just after hearing Fitz tell her he loves her, receiving a heartbreaking plea from Mellie ( Bellamy Young) to rejoin Team Fitz and pulling her Grant for President sweatshirt out of the closet. Oof.

With that out of the way, we've got to talk about the events that lead Liv back to Team Fitz in the first place. At the top of the episode, we picked up with She Who Wears the White Hat during a meeting with Lisa Kudrow's Josie Marcus, the Democratic Congresswoman we met last week, who's shaping up to be the star of her party's primary race. She's looking for a fixer to make sure the big secret Cyrus ( Jeff Perry) unearthed last week (the baby she abandoned at 15) stays buried. Hence, the meeting with Liv.

With Liv set to work for Josie, Cyrus and Mellie are scrambling to find someone to fill her shoes on Fitz's reelection campaign, so they meet with Leo Bergen ( Paul Adelstein), who acts like a kid in a candy shop in the Oval Office before breaking the news that he has no intention of working with them. "I won't work for losers...I care about optics...He looks like a loser. Your guys heart isn't in it. He's gonna lose," he says. "It smells like Nixon in '74 in here. We all know I'm here because you destroyed your relationship with Olivia Pope."

This leaves Cy and Mellie, that two-headed dragon, with more problems than they're equipped to handle. Not only is Josie quickly becoming America's Sweetheart, but no one up to the task will touch Fitz's campaign. And when the dragon gets desperate, the dragon gets nasty. Especially after they get "Pope'd" in Montana. (Seriously, that line out of Ethan's mouth when the plan to expose Josie when south was almost the show buying into its own hype a bit too much, but it was also amazing, so it gets a pass.)

So, they leak the scoop to returning annoyance Gov. Reston ( Tom Amandes), Josie's opponent in the primary. What they don't know, and what Liv finally figures out, is that the good Congresswoman didn't abandon her kid. Instead, the girl was raised by her mother. That's right, sweet sister Candy who we met earlier? Josie's daughter.

As she tells Liv, she has no intention of destroying her daughter/sister's life for political gain, but she's backed into a corner when Reston alludes to a possible skeleton in her closet during the primary debate. So, she spills that she had a kid, but she sticks to her adoption lie. She handles it well enough to earn herself even more public goodwill, but Candy puts two and two together. Livid that it came to this, Josie fires Liv, opening the door for Fitz to come crawling back.

And crawl back he does. He calls her to vet his Correspondent's Dinner jokes, a tradition from better days. "I feel ashamed. Like I don't have the right to make jokes because I am the joke," he says. Her advice to lean into the joke leads him to utter the words she'd missed so much: "I love you." It's the first time in a long while he's seemed even remotely excited about his reelection, something not lost on Mellie, who's (of course) listening right outside the door.

It's this that leads Mellie to summon Olivia during the dinner, making her believe it's Fitz doing the beckoning. The showdown is another standout moment for Bellamy Young. Seriously, this woman needs an Emmy nom, stat.

"He's not alive when you're not here. He can't breathe when you're not here. He doesn't have the will to run, much less win, when you're not here because you ... you're everything to him, Liv. He needs you. So I need you. Come back. Come back to us."

Has there ever been a sadder speech on TV?

Probably not until next week, when Liv's forced to face Fitz's possible (read: definite) hand in her mom's death. Until then, however, this was Mellie's week.

Spare Parts:

- "It's just astonishing is all. We're almost through dessert and you haven't accused me of crimes against humanity yet." Funny, my dad said the same thing to me at our last Sunday dinner.

- More Jake and Fitz basketball, please. If only for more deliciously catty dialogue like this exchange:

    "You know I have a phone. It works. You could use it sometime." - Jake
    "Maybe I want to get in your head." - Fitz

- And this: "You were supposed to watch her, remember? That's it." - Fitz

- "I don't play second fiddle to anyone, even the president. Good night, Olivia." Pope just got Pope'd!

- "Don't test me." - Fitz
"No, Mr. President, it is you who should not test me." - Rowan

- "What if I were to run for president of the U.S.? Hypothetically, of course." Sally Langston's ( Kate Burton) question to Leo in the men's room. She wants to run Independent and that excited Leo. This is going to get messy.

- Speaking of Langston, the introduction of "Heroes" alum Jack Coleman as her husband Daniel Douglas was curious. He didn't have much to do, but clearly he's going to be a wrench in someone's works in the weeks to come.

- Quinn's ( Katie Lowes) got a gun. Uh-oh.

- Abby ( Darby Stanchfield) and Rosen ( Josh Malina) are back to being cute. Again, how long until someone deviously destroys this?

- Harrison ( Columbus Short) continues to just exist to react to everyone else. Poor Harrison.

- "I like your new boyfriend. Is he married?" Again, Bellamy Young for Emmy. Bellamy Young for all the awards.

- "We got Pope'd!" Just perfect.
Photo/Video credit: ABC
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