Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) receives a text from a monster. CREDIT: ABC
WHO? GOT? SHOT? James did. Sorry, I mean: IT. WAS. JAMES.
Liv suspects foul play, and asks Capt. Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) to investigate. He says he will, but actually he won't because he's busy burying the other two people he killed with James Novak (Dan Bucatinsky). The fall guy is all set — Quinn and Charlie coerce a former criminal with cancer (it's complicated) into doing it — but David is reluctant to convict him because he actually witnessed the James-et-al massacre and has a conscience: partly because justice, and partly because he feels guilty over NOT. GETTING. SHOT.
Huck discovers that the Pope & Associates file on the Sally-killed-her-gay-husband affair is missing. He checks the camera he installed in the safe and sees Quinn stealing it. So now Liv knows that the James-et-al massacre was a B613 job, a coverup for crazy demon-possessed Vice President Sally. And Huck knows that it's time to get creepy.
When Quinn finds him in her apartment, he announces that he came to kill her, to "put her down" because only a terrible spy would get seen on that camera. But then he says that actually he thinks she meant to be seen, so Liv would figure out what B613 did. He then announces that, forthwith, by the laws of assassin thermodynamics, this means she's still a gladiator. She responds by spitting in his face. And then they make out. My husband and I had our first kiss on a moonlit sidewalk after a very lovely dinner at an Indian restaurant, but each to his own.
Do not infringe
Meanwhile, the President's new running mate gets really turned on by First Lady Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) discussing Second Amendment rights, and then they have sex without doing background checks or waiting the mandatory three days or anything. Mellie also gets the NRA to agree to throw its support behind President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) if he'll pull back on his gun-control legislation. He refuses, though. So they get in bed with Sally Langston; but the duo is unlikely to consummate, since she'd have to rip it from their cold, dead hands.
Also, scary Mama Pope and foxy Adnan Salif are up to no good. All they need now is a good old-fashioned terrorist. Hmm, maybe Craigslist? They meet with a couple of generic-accented foreign guys but Mama Pope is having none of it because she demands to speak to their boss, which is just like a mom. Then, when one of the henchmen gives her lip, she shoots him and sends the other one back to their boss with a message, and also to bed with no dinner.
Let it go
White House Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) isn't really dealing with James' death. His assistant Ethan, on the other hand, can't stop crying. But Cyrus throws himself into work, and throws us a few flashbacks. James courted Cy on the election trail, while the recently divorced Cyrus was still in the closet, but James knew Cy was gay because he shaved his beard, which is an aspect of gaydar I never knew.
We see a couple of cute origin moments, including the couple's first kiss, and no one spit on anyone's face or anything. Then we see Cyrus trying, but being unable, to come out to Fitz. Cyrus has a lot of blocks.
Liv, on the other hand, has a plan: She convinces David to convict the innocent man of James's murder, because if he loses this battle, they'll have a better chance of winning the war. Liv and David vow to take down B613. The white hat is back in the ring!
Liv tells Cyrus that James was killed in a carjacking, and he knows she's lying but accepts it anyway. He starts to make the announcement to the press room, and then remembers the State Dinner where he came out by pulling James onto the floor to dance. Then Cyrus breaks down at the podium, and Fitz shoulders him out of the room. And then my sister-and-law goes, "Are you crying?"