It seems even Shonda Rhimes knows what #ThrowbackThursday is. She went all out on this week's Scandal, which went heavy on the flashbacks. Turns out things weren't exactly so different five years ago (i.e. Jake Ballard was basically Noel Crane, j/k we mean Huck). So what did we did learn in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?"
- Bearded Huck NEVER gets old. The episode opens five years ago with a homeless Huck in Union Station, and Olivia is chatting with him like it's the norm. Apparently they are BFFs, and talk every Sunday when Liv's on her way to Sunday dinner with Daddy Pope, who agreed to pay off her law school loans in exchange for the weekly meeting. On her way home one night, two guys approach her and attempt to rob her except homeless Huck comes to her rescue and uses his super scary skillz to fight them off.
- Olivia didn't know Daddy Pope worked for the CIA back then since she's still under the assumption he works at the Smithsonian dealing with mammoths (a job, which, he would not be working right now since that government shutdown happened and all).
- Liv was also dating Senator Edison Davis back then, and they were super cute and he's ready to pop the question except she's not ready (obviously because she's still holding out for you-know-who).
- Cyrus turned down running Harvard. Actually this makes sense; it always seemed like he was destined for bigger things.
- In the present day, President Fitz and Olivia are still on a chit-chat basis. She's running in the park with the CIA (?) and takes a phone call from Fitz. Even their convos make me want to gag: "Something happens and you're the one I want to talk to," he tells her.
- Apparently the two already know what their alternate life together would have looked like. It involves marriage, four kids, and a life in Vermont where he's the mayor and she's making jam. Seriously.
- Olivia takes Janine Locke's case to prove she's innocent and not having an affair with the President, and Fitz tells Liv to "go for the jugular" (because at this point, he does not give a flying f*ck what happens).
- We're back in flashback territory. On the way to Sunday dinner, Liv asks Huck where he learned all those ninja skillz. He admits he was a trained assassin for the CIA in a project called B613. Right. At dinner, she mentions B613 and, of course, Daddy Pope knows what it is, but he acts like she and Huck are nuts.
- The next week, Huck has disappeared. She asks Daddy what happened, and he says that crazy homeless guy got arrested or something. And that's when Liv realizes what's really going on.
- Back in the present day, Mellie and Cyrus are figuring out a way to prove that Janine really is the one Fitz was having an affair with. Apparently there's plenty of nights she "worked late" when Mellie was out of town.
- Wait, Jake Ballard is back in the conversation. Daddy Pope threatens Liv and says if she ever wants to see him again then she better get Janine to admit the affair really happened (what game is Daddy Pope running right now?).
- FLASHBACK: Another week goes by and Liv asks fiancé Edison Davis to join her at Sunday dinner. She flaunts her relationship with Davis, who's a member of the Senate Intel Committee and "has a lot of influence in this town" (cough cough). Then she says to Daddy: "Give Huck back to me!"
- Which isn't too different than what happens five years later. Liv asks Huck what happens when agents disobey B613 and he says they stick you in a hole and "make you wish you were dead." Liv calls Fitz and asks him to rescue Jake. "YOU BRING HIM BACK," she screams. Then she calls Daddy and says she'll attend Sunday dinners again if he agrees to give Jake up.
- It's press conference time and Janine is about to admit she did have an affair with Fitz (they are giving her $2 million in a Cayman Islands account, after all). But Liv isn't okay with lies (see below for her epic monologue).
- Before she even has the chance, though, the President pre-empts the conversation with a speech of his own.
- Fitz gives Cy a choice: Either Pres. Fitz admits the truth about him and Olivia or he says he had an affair with Janine and Jake is released (since Liv begged and all...). WHAT WILL HE DO?!
- FLASHBACK: Homeless Huck is magically back in the underground station. Liv gets a call from Daddy (wait, there's underground phone service in D.C.?). Apparently Senator Davis got into a terrible accident, and Liv better "let the guy down gently." Wow, basically Daddy Pope has always been fu*king insane. Of course, Liv doesn't take it well and says she never wants to see him again. And that's apparently why they stopped talking all those years ago. "We are family, sweetie, we are never done," Daddy says.
- CURRENT DAY: Fitz admits he had an "inappropriate relationship" with Janine. Liv's team assures her she'll get tons of press coverage and a book deal that she'll be able to retire on.
- After the speech, Vice President Sally Langston catches up with Fitz to tell him she doesn't quite believe his little speech. But Fitz is on fire tonight and basically tells her to go f*ck herself.
- Apparently Quinn's been doing some e-mail digging and found out the last e-mail Liv and Daddy Pope exchanged was something about a homeless man in Union Station. She tells Huck, and he realizes who her dad is.
- Huck corners Liv in the parking garage and he is freaking scary. He grabs Liv by the throat and asks her how high up is her dad in B613. She finally admits that he's actually in charge of the whole thing.
- Liv's chillin at home when she gets a call from Daddy. He tells her to open the front door.
- Jake/Noel Crane is back! Looking adorable as ever with a beard (that's what happens when you're in that B613 hole, for, like, forever), he collapses in front of her.
- But if Jake's back, that means Liv has to attend Sunday dinners with evil Daddy. Looks like everything's come full circle.
- Next week: There's a bomb in the Oval Office and Scandal has basically become Grey's Anatomy. Also, ABC's PR team has come up with a genius marketing scheme using the hashtags #BadJake and #GoodJake, which is the best. We're going with #GoodJake, obviously!
Top 5 WTF Lines From "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?"
Fitz to Cy: "How presidential are my balls now?" (Wait, that's okay to say on network TV? Cool)
Fitz to Sally: I had Janine Locke six ways to Sunday all over this White House." (This is a phrase we're definitely going to start using)
Huck to Liv: "I can kill a man with very little effort and a lot of joy, but I try not to." (I mean, so can we...)
Liv to Fitz: "It makes you look like you unzip your pants for anything with a pulse." (To be fair, he does… anyone else remember Amanda Tanner?)
Liv to Janine: "You don't lie because every time you do, you sell a little bit of your soul, and then you have to live with those lies eating away at you, year after year, and you don't even recognize yourself, and you hate what you see." (F*ck you Emmy voters for not giving Kerry Washington that award she deserved)