- Title: Scandal – It’s Handled / Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
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Picking up directly from last season’s finale, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) refuses her father’s insistence to help her disappear and returns to work despite being the head story in every news outlet in Washington thanks to someone outing her as President Grant‘s (Tony Goldwyn) mistress. Returning to work she finds a dwindling client list as well and a group of associates who have no plans on letting the White House bury their boss, despite Cyrus‘ (Jeff Perry)’ assurances that he will not let that happen, without doing what they can to save her.
In complete seclusion, which takes extraordinary measures by Ms. Pope, Olivia, the President, and Mellie (Bellamy Young) discuss how much of the truth to give the press in order to save any chance the President has at re-election and control the narrative. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. Despite agreeing, Mellie, who uses her undervalued intelligence to discover her husband had Olivia’s name leaked to the press, enlists Cyrus’ help to stop the press conference. Cyrus in turn calls on Harrison (Columbus Short) and the help of the associates to give the press a new suspect by throwing White House Press Secretary Jeannine Locke (Samantha Sloyan) to the wolves.
Taking Jeannine on as her latest client, to save the innocent woman Olivia has no choice but to take on the White House “for blood.” This includes Abby (Darby Stanchfield) blackmailing one of Jeannine’s co-workers (Vanya Asher) for evidence to exonerate her and planning a press conference, but once again Olivia’s carefully laid plans are thrown into disarray by both Mellie and the President who decide to go with the cover story (although for completely different reasons).
Both the first two episodes delve into the complex relationship between Olivia and her estranged father (Joe Morton). “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” also offers flashbacks to Olivia discovering who Huck was before she found him in the subway and her investigations into B613 and Wonderland that led her to discover what her father actually does for a living. That relationship, and the President blackmailing Cyrus get Jake (Scott Foley) eventually released, but Quinn‘s (Katie Lowes) probing into Olivia’s relationship with her father also makes Huck realize just who the man really is.
Two episodes in the show has successfully dodged an impressive bullet and managed to return everything back to the status quo, but not without some fallout. Huck’s knowledge of Olivia’s father may hold dire consequences for everyone involved and the introduction of Operation Remington, a classified operation in Iran that both the President and Jake to part in, only increases the uncertainty of just who Jake Ballard really is.