'Scandal' recap: Olivia's past comes to light - and threatens to destroy her present

kerry-washington-scandal-abc.jpgHave you caught your breath yet, "Scandal" fans?

Thursday's (Oct. 10) episode of "Scandal," the second in Season 3, was laden with illuminating flashbacks, several twists and turns in the present and a shocking return of a familiar face. All in all, it was business as usual.

While the episode barreled right along from the premiere's end point last week, the most entertaining moments laid in the past. Serving as an origin story of sorts, the flashbacks took us back five years, to a time when Olivia ( Kerry Washington) was still spending Sunday nights at dinner with her dastardly dad Rowan ( Joe Morton) and developing her relationship with homeless Huck ( Guillermo Diaz).

Liv's connection with Huck, strengthened after he rescues her from muggers, leads She Who Wears The White Hat to learn just what he dad is up to. (Spoiler: He's not spending his days at the Smithsonian) While she brushes off Huck's story of being a trained assassin as the ramblings of an out-of-touch homeless man, she still asks Rowan to look into his past, while naively mentioning B613. Rowan, clearly shaken, offers Olivia a lie, telling her Huck was arrested. After learning that he hadn't been detained (Hi, past David Rosen!), she pieces together the truth and her father's involvement, thanks to a borrowed pen.

The scene where Rowan threatens his daughter after being confronted by her interpretation of the truth sent chills down my spine, as did his phone call detailing Edison's (not-so-accidental) accident. Rowan may be a father, but that's clearly not his primary concern. (If Morton doesn't earn an Emmy nom for Best Guest Actor this season, I might go nuts.)

Meanwhile, in present day, Liv is pursuing her defense of Jeanine Lock, the sacrificial lamb offered up by Mellie ( Bellamy Young) and Cyrus ( Jeff Perry) to keep the truth about Fitz's ( Tony Goldwyn) affair with Liv under wraps. Perhaps not too surprisingly, she has Fitz's support, as he's clearly on a mission to come clean, however delusional that is. Through many machinations, key among them Liv's quest to free Jake ( Scott Foley) from wherever he's being detained, Fitz goes public with the lie and Liv promises to start spending Sundays with her dad, in return for Jake's life and freedom.

Jake's appearance at Liv's door at the close (however expected, considering Foley was upped to series regular for Season 3) was both a shock and a treat. He looked terrible and Liv's forced into contact with her rotten dad, but it's a bit of happiness in return, right?

Spare Parts:

- Present-day Huck learns, thanks to an out-of-control Quinn ( Katie Lowes), that Liv did make a deal for his safety. His freak-out attack on her in the parking lot was, possibly, the most intense scene this show has ever presented. Where this will leave Olivia and Huck, I have no idea. And I'm more than a little worried.

- Mellie is devious as all get out, but she's smart as a whip. If she and Fitz ever do truly divorce, I'd love to see her enter the political realm. She'd be a force to be reckoned with.

- I can't stress this enough: Rowan is terrifying. Liv's deal with the devil for Jake's release spells nothing but juicy, delicious trouble.

- However, Liv's love of wine comes from her dear ol' dad. Seeing the origination of stand-out character traits is always fun.

- "Sunday, my house. I'll choose the wine." -Rowan. No sentence has ever sounded so menacing.

- Next Week on "Scandal": A lady with a bomb might blow up Olivia. Should be tense. Keep your wine close.
Photo/Video credit: ABC
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