‘Scandal’ Tweet-cap: Nasty Women

Kelly Woo
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Warning: This recap for “The Box” episode of Scandal contains spoilers.

Nasty women don’t back down — and Olivia Pope is the nastiest of them all.

Last week, the gladiators finally got one up on the Mystery Power People by taking Marjorie/Samantha into custody. But this week, they have to take down Peus, which they find is a much harder task, especially when he launches nine bomb-carrying drones over cities across America.

At one point, Jake points out Samantha doesn’t really exist — she has no background, no past. She’s a ghost. The same thing can be said of Peus: Where did this guy come from? He seems to have emerged — fully formed, fully funded, and fully in power — in just the last year.

He seems unbeatable, but Olivia isn’t ready to throw in the white hat just yet. Her biggest fix to date? Getting her dad to put the white hat on too.

Here’s a rundown of this week’s episode, including our live tweets:

The episode picks up right where last week’s left off, with Luna Vargas holding court at the press conference that announced her as Mellie’s VP pick.

Meanwhile, Fitz is summoned to the situation room, where his military commanders inform him of nine drones hovering over cities. Elsewhere in the White House, Olivia and Mellie are horrified watching the news. Peus calls Olivia and demands both Marjorie/Samantha and Mellie back. Olivia refuses. And then a drone bomb explodes over Dallas.

There are casualties, as we see on the news as Liv watches with her father. He doesn’t care; he’s enjoying a nice bottle of red wine. What he really wants, though, is freedom. She asks him when he became someone who runs away. He replies that he doesn’t want to die, nor watch her die. And with Peus so angry, people are definitely going to die.

Fitz orders David to investigate Peus’s super-PAC for leads, then has Jake interrogate Samantha. He asks her where Peus is, but she just makes some snarky comments. He notes that he’s looked into her background and found nothing. He used to be the same way — ”twinsies!” she exclaims.

He offers to free her and tuck her away in some hidden island, but Samantha says Peus will track her down if she squeals. And with that, Jake takes out his knife and cuts into the back of her neck… to reveal a tracking chip. No wonder Peus can always find her.

Huck will try to hack into the chip to reverse locate Peus. But the chip is disabled from the other end, and Peus calls Olivia. He tells her more people will die, but she says Fitz won’t bend to a terrorist. Another drone bomb goes off in Philadelphia.

Fitz is pissed. He is certain that Rowan has some info on these Mystery Power People — he was under their thumb for months! He barges into Rowan’s cell, but Rowan still won’t help. They’ve won, Fitz has lost. Fitz grabs him by the collar, while Olivia sobs for him to stop.

Fitz asks how he can call himself a patriot and also how many patriots have to die in the name of the Republic. Rowan scoffs — the Republic is dead.

Abby and Cyrus give an update on the drone situation to Luna when Fitz comes in. He wants to know why Abby hasn’t deployed FEMA in Dallas and Philadelphia. She nervously replies that she thought he’d done it from the situation room — but she wouldn’t know, since she wasn’t there. Cyrus pipes up that they should hold off on FEMA to see if more drone bombs go off. Fitz sees the wisdom in his advice and invites him to the next briefing, leaving Abby feeling very left out.

That’s not the end of Cyrus’s good advice. Jake has gotten nowhere with Samantha, and Cyrus suggests that Jake lie to her since she has no access to the news. Jake tells Samantha that they’ve taken Peus into custody, and are offering both of them the same deal. Whoever takes it first gets it: Reveal the location of the drone control center and be set free. Samantha finally takes the deal and also offers info on bank accounts, operatives, etc.

Olivia finds out that her father had been receiving packages every few days from Peus and has Huck look at the exhibit’s security footage. Each time Rowan looked into the delivered box, he looked frightened. And one bit of footage shows that the box contained a brick. WTF?

David takes the immunity deal to Samantha to sign. She reveals her real name is Grace and asks if she and David can start over. He is astonished — she murdered Lizzy. How can they “start over”? He hates her! His diatribe tips her off. He twitches when he lies, but he didn’t twitch at all when he said he despised her. So now she knows the deal was a lie and she refuses to help them.

Liv tells Fitz about the boxes, so Fitz goes to see Rowan again. He tries to bond with her father, saying they are a lot alike — neither had full control over their lives. Rowan brushes this off. “Nobody has systematically oppressed you,” Rowan sneers.

Then, Rowan reveals the truth behind the boxes. The human head weighs about as much as a brick. If he didn’t cooperate with Peus, they had threatened to send him Olivia’s head in a box.

“I am a father incapable of protecting my own daughter,” Rowan says bitterly. Fitz realizes Olivia is Rowan’s legacy… but how does he want her to be remembered?

Fitz and Olivia have a sad drink together in the Oval Office. This isn’t how they imagined the final two weeks of his presidency going down. Suddenly, Rowan comes in and asks to speak to Fitz alone. He’s ready to help.

He and Olivia go to Samantha’s cell, but Rowan uses the chance to grab a Secret Service guard’s gun. He offers to bust Samantha out in exchange for his freedom. Olivia is in shock that her father would turn on her like this. Rowan and Samantha flee through the tunnels.

Abby finds the hallways full of commotion and asks Cyrus what the hell is happening. He is on his way to meet with Fitz and she asks to come along. Hasn’t she been punished enough for betraying their trust? Cyrus tells her to grow up — nobody is taking her job. She’s just given up on doing it. Don’t ask to be let back in, he says, prove you’re worth it.

Olivia stares forlornly out a window when Mellie arrives. She’s decided to give herself over to Peus. All he wants is her as a puppet president. But Olivia refuses to let her go. Mellie will be the first female president in American history and she’ll be damned if she’s going to let her be turned into a powerless figurehead. “A woman in power is a nasty woman,” Olivia vows. They’ll fight Peus until he goes down.

At the exhibit, Peus finds Rowan and Samantha. Rowan asks for his freedom, and Peus grants it. “You’ve been emancipated,” Peus says, then turns to leave.

Rowan makes a call. Turns out, he didn’t betray Olivia. In flashbacks, we see his secret meeting with Fitz. He proposes this whole plan to gain Samantha’s trust and lure Peus to the exhibit. Then, they can track him back to the drone control center! Jake does that and shoots two operatives and Peus in the head! Goodbye, Mystery Power Guy, and good riddance.

As for Samantha, when she returns to the exhibit with Rowan’s new passport, he’s opening another box. It holds the last tooth for the exhibit’s dinosaur skeleton. And he uses it to stab her to death. Goodbye, Mystery Power Woman, and good riddance.

He places the tooth in the dinosaur’s jaw. “We survived,” he says with a smile. Survival of the fittest!

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

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