The name of this episode should be “Whiplash”.
I know, this show is infamous for see-sawing back and forth, from one season to the next. Then it began to be that way from one episode to the next, and now…well, now we’re jerking back and forth within the same episode. It often doesn’t matter what took place five minutes ago, as everything can reset at a moment’s notice. The whole thing can be rather whiplash-inducing. Just be sure to hold on, the ride can get a bit bumpy…
Jake drops in. The TV in David Rosen’s house is playing the news, which is reporting on the upcoming Electoral College vote. It’s a topic that should be of interest to the attorney general, but he isn’t watching, because he’s too busy having sex. With Natasha. Ick. I need some eye bleach. Not a good way to start things off. The AG and the princess of darkness have banged themselves into dehydration, so David goes to the refrigerator for some water. In the kitchen, he’s grabbed from behind, but it’s only Jake, who’s there to tell him that, basically, he’s been banging Satan’s daughter. Natasha helped get Vargas killed and framed Cyrus, Jake tells him. Now David has to make up some kind of excuse to get her to leave, but act natural, so she doesn’t suspect anything.
At OPA, Mellie looks over the wall that contains all of the photos and info they have on the Vargas conspiracy. She asks Liv what her options are, and Liv says there’s really only one: Mel must cede the presidency. Mel doesn’t like the sound of that and says she won’t give up. Frankie Vargas won, after all, not Cy, so why should she cede the presidency to him? Liv tells her that she won’t enjoy winning that way. She says Mel is too moral to take advantage of Cy’s bad fortune for her own gain. Mel doesn’t argue with that.
And Cy gets sprung at a dizzying pace. David makes a statement to the press about how it’s been discovered that Cy is innocent of all charges. A reporter asks who the next president will be, and David says it will be whoever the electors vote for. As for Mel, she seems to have taken Liv’s advice. Liv drops by the Oval Office to tell Fitz that Mel will give a statement tomorrow that she’s ceding. He asks how Mel is, and Liv says she’s devastated but knows she’s doing the right thing and will be okay.
Once Cy is sprung, Abby takes him to a hotel; she says it’s safer than his house, where the press is camped out. As someone who may shortly be president, shouldn’t he be getting Secret Service protection? But there’s no sign of any agents, just Abby and a bedraggled-looking Cy walking into the room. He doesn’t seem all that happy for someone who just got saved from death row. Abby chirpily tells him to get some rest and pull himself together, because he’s the next president. He still doesn’t look happy.
Liz returns. Abby is visited in her office by Liz North, who’s has been MIA for most of the season. Though she has been seen a couple of times, unlike Susan Ross, of whom there is yet to be a sighting. Whatever happened to Susan, anyway? Is she stuck under something heavy? Isn’t she still VP? I wonder of we’ll ever know. Mel tells Liz about how she’s ceding, because Cy is innocent. Liz says that hasn’t been proven, and he may not be. She says Mel belongs in the White House. Mel says it’s not that simple then asks why Liz is there, since “You don’t even like me.” Liz says she’s an equal-opportunity disliker and dislikes everybody, but she does respect Mel and what she’s accomplished and what she’s been through. She says Mel is a fighter and is giving up way too easily.
Huck is out of the hospital already? He’s is at Liv’s place, healing up after his near-death experience and is back to work already, though he’s working from bed. And he’s wearing Liv’s bathrobe. Liv doesn’t seem happy about that and just tells him to keep it clean. Come on, Liv, you know you’re going to have to burn that thing.
Mel knocks at the door, all keyed up after her talk with Liz. She says she thought of another option—let the electors decide. She was going to make a statement ceding, but she’s instead going to let the system work. Liv says it’s not a fair fight; the electors all saw Cy on TV getting arrested. Even if he’s cleared, the whole episode could affect their votes. Mel isn’t swayed. She says she’s going to do what she has to do, and Liv should do the same.
That makes Liv decide to take on Cy as a client to rehabilitate his image. There isn’t much time before the Electoral College vote, and she’ll use it to try to swing the narrative over to how badly Cy was wronged when he was arrested.
Cy gives the dis. Of course, Liv was representing a client who didn’t know he was one. Liv and Cy haven’t spoken since that day he called her from prison and she cruelly dismissed him in his time of need, telling him not to contact her again. Now she shows up at his hotel room door (which is, again, totally unencumbered by SS agents), ostensibly to bring him some of his clothes.
Cy isn’t happy to see her. He informs her the clothes will no longer fit, since he lost some significant weight on the yummy prison diet plan. She asks to come in, but he reminds her that she told him she never wanted to see him again. She apologizes, but he’s not interested. Then she tells him she’s hearing rumblings about certain electors who are sympathetic toward him and may vote for him over Mel, but it’s going to be tough. She says he needs to shave and shower and pull himself together and get out there and prove what a great president he’d make. Cy has apparently been wallowing in depression and self-pity since being suddenly sprung, shutting himself in a dark room and talking to no one. Liv says it’s time to clean up and act presidential.
But he has no intention of taking advice from her. He tells her she left him for dead. He reached out in desperation, and she left him to rot on death row. As for those electors, they’re not going to forget about that death row thing; it doesn’t matter if he was cleared of all charges or how much he tries to rehabilitate his image, they’ll never vote for him. Cy keeps trying to close the door, but Liv keeps propping it open. She says he has to fight, and this isn’t over. He finally gets her out of the way and slams the door.
Mind your own business, busybody. FBI Angela is hanging out with Fitz in the presidential bedroom. She’s complaining about how complex the Vargas case has become. I hear ya, babe. She knows Liv had stopped by to see Fitz earlier, and she wonders aloud about how strange it is that Liv once wanted Cy to rot in prison forever, and now she’s his biggest supporter. Angela’s been looking into it and she thinks there’s a Liv/Tom connection somewhere that will explain this whole thing. Ms. FBI should leave this alone, as no good can possibly come of it, and Fitz basically tells her that. He blows her off and refuses to discuss it. She’s playing with fire, threatening Liv right to Fitz’s face like this, but she seems blissfully clueless and unlikely to heed Fitz’s subtle warning to drop it.
Back at the lab… Liv gets summoned by Pa to that lab where he supposedly works. Or does he actually work there? If not, it’s certainly an elaborate cover. He wants to have a word with her, in a specific area of the room. Pa is under constant surveillance by the Boris and Natasha shadow organization and has figured out that there’s one ‘dead spot’ in a corner that their cameras can’t access. He and Liv have a chat there. He tells her to stop trying to make Cy president. The people watching him have a lot invested in Mellie becoming president, and if that doesn’t happen, Liv’s life is in danger. They’ll kill her if she’s no longer useful. Liv says she won’t stop what she’s doing. Pa says he’s useful right now, because they think he has influence over her; if it’s proved he doesn’t, he’s dead. But nothing is swaying Liv at this point. She steps out of ‘the box’, tells Pa it was nice to see him, and leaves.
Despite what Pa said, Liv plunges on enthusiastically trying to get Cy elected. She gets Frankie’s widow to go on record with a pro-Cy statement, saying he’s the one to carry on Frankie’s legacy. Shortly after, it looks like Mel is firing back when Michael, Cy’s estranged husband, comes forward. In an interview, he’s asked if he thinks Cy is guilty of killing Vargas. Mike says no, he doesn’t think so, but that’s not to say he thinks Cy is a good person, because he’s not. Then he talks about the loveless marriage he’s been forced to endure and how Cy is a cheater and a liar and a general scumbag. Since Mike knew exactly what he was getting into when he married Cy, and exactly what that marriage was about, it’s surprising to hear him go on like this. Perhaps he was threatened by Boris and Natasha, as well. But he does a lot of damage to Cy’s image. Then he sums up with, “He didn’t end Frankie’s life, but he ruined mine.”
Liv sees this interview and calls Mel to tell her what a low blow it was. But Mel says she didn’t do it. She also denies that Liz had anything to do with it.
So Liv takes her concerns to Fitz. He says Mel must be lying, and she has to be behind this. Then Liv tells him what Pa said. She thinks Pa arranged for the interview to smear Cy. Fitz says they should tell Angela all they know about Pa being Vargas’s shooter, but Liv vetoes that idea. She says Pa is an old man and right now, he’s being held a virtual prisoner. They should maintain their focus on clearing Cy.
So, huh? Liv, who earlier in the season made it her life’s mission to bring Pa, Frankie’s shooter, to justice, now is calling him a helpless old man and is trying to take the focus off him? And since Fitz still listens to her, she’s successful.
Pep talk. Cy is lying in bed in his dark hotel room trying to get some sleep, when there’s a knock at the door. He yells at them to go away, but they’re insistent, so he shuffles over to answer. He’s still an unshaven, unshowered mess, which is the sight greeting his visitor when he opens the door to…Fitz.
Yes, the POTUS has dropped by to give a little pep talk. He’s brought a nice bottle of scotch, even though Cy doesn’t exactly look like he needs a belt right now. He needs a razor, a bar of soap and a nice suit. Fitz gets right down to business and asks Cy what prison was like. Cy doesn’t hold back, telling all about the humiliations and the beat down and the broken bones. Fitz lets him vent then says he’s sorry for all Cy had to go through. He assures him it’s over and that he has the full support of Fitz and his administration. Then he reminds Cy of what he told him after Vargas’s assassination, which is that America was his and was there for the taking, and stll is.
It looks like that’s what Cy needed to hear. He cleans himself up and goes before the cameras to remind everyone what a great man Frankie Vargas was and what a great president he would have made. Cy still looks worn and tired as he says everyone in DC has skeletons in their closet, and he’s no exception. Prison was almost a relief, he says, because it kind of made sense that he was arrested and abandoned, even if he wasn’t guilty of this particular crime. Three days ago he was suddenly cleared, released, and told to tell everyone how he now deserves the presidency. Cy says he doesn’t, but most who seek the office don’t really ‘deserve’ it. Except for Frankie. He was different. He was the exception, which is why he won. Everyone knew how exceptional he was. Cy says he isn’t worthy of carrying on his legacy but that he will honor Frankie’s memory by trying his best to do so.
It’s a humble speech and one that’s well received. Pa watches on TV and looks worried.
They could have just told Liz they didn’t like her idea. Mel walks into her office to find Liz waiting for her. Also there are Boris and Natasha. Well, that explains a few things. Natasha is chipping golf balls, which is never good; anyone who chips golf balls indoors is always, necessarily, at least a jerk, so the fact that the extremely annoying and evil Natasha indulges is no surprise. Liz says it’s time everyone met. Mel looks at Boris and Natasha and seems to make the connection to the photos on the wall in Liv’s office and is immediately concerned. Liz tells Mel she’s going to be the next president, as the electors “have been taken care of.” Mel says she doesn’t want to win that way, and asks them to leave. If it were only that easy. Boris explains that she’s their Trojan horse; she’ll be the president, but it’s only to get them into the White House, where they’ll run things. She’ll be working for them.
Mel is all cocky at first, responding to this news by ordering them out of her office. She’s not scared of them, she says, and there’s no way she’s cooperating with this. She basically says, “I’m a senator, beeotches, and I have the weight of the federal government behind me. and I ain’t playin’ with you.” Then she says she’ll see to it that they’re tried and convicted of Vargas’s murder and orders them again to leave.
Boris and Natasha don’t respond to the furious Mel right away, so Liz steps in. She says everyone is upset and should just take a night to sleep on it and think things over. Before she can continue being the voice of reason, Natasha comes up behind her and smashes her head with the golf club. Then she does it again, and again, until Liz is a bloody heap on the floor. It’s reminiscent of last season’s “Thwack!”, except this time the inanimate object being wielded as a weapon is a golf club instead of a chair. Boris says now that she’s scared of them, maybe Mel will shut up and do what they say. Natasha says she’s just been promoted to chief of staff in Mellie’s administration, now that Liz is suddenly unavailable. She adds that if Mel tries to cede the presidency, they’ll kill her kids.
Mind your own business busybody, part II. There’s also trouble brewing in the White House. FBI Angela drops by to tell Fitz that Liv is going to be arrested. She’s uncovered that bogus bank account that Boris and Natasha set up as a cover to make it look like Liv made a big payment to Tom. Angela says it’s all pretty obvious: Tom has confessed to Vargas’s murder, and this is proof that Liv paid him. She’s having Liv arrested. Fitz suggests this is more personal than anything else and that Angela has always had it in for Liv, but Angie scoffs at that. Liv is going to be arrested and says this is just a courtesy call to let Fitz know.
But Liv must tend to other things first. She’s been called to Mel’s office where Mel sits, still in shock, wearing much of Liz’s blood. It seems unlikely that there would be that much blood spray, but I’ve come to expect nothing less than things like the sensationalism of a distraught Mel covered with the blood of someone who has just been unexpectedly clubbed to death in front of her from this show. Not only is Liv greeted by the sight of Mel, but Liz is also still there, still a bloody mess on the floor. I assumed that Boris and Natasha had cleaners on call who would have been summoned to make the room spotless, but it’s just as it was when we last saw it. Mel tells Liv about Boris and Natasha and the bribed electors and the clubbing of Liz. Liv says they can fight this and bring down the whole evil cabal, but Mel is hopeless after what she’s just seen. She says Boris and Natasha threatened her children and will kill anyone who gets in their way.
Jake walks in. I think the ‘cleaner’ has arrived. Liv says she has to go, but tells Mel they’re going to get her out of this. Mel is still distraught as Liv leaves, but Jake tries to calm her down. He tells her he’ll take care of her. He’s her VP and will always be around to look after her and take care of her messes. She looks very happy to have the support.
A questionable choice. After dealing with that, Liv goes to see Fitz. He tells her of Angela’s plans to have her arrested. He says he’ll ask for David’s help with the problem, and if he has to, will ask Angela to resign, but he hopes it doesn’t come to that. But Liv says it’s good there will be a warrant for her arrest; that’s how they’ll win. It’s how Cy will become president. The electors have been bought, and Liv says the only way to keep Mellie from winning is to remove her as an option. If Mel’s campaign manager is arrested, there’s no way the electors can vote for her. Fitz says he’s not going to let Liv take the rap for something Pa did. He says the FBI needs an arrest in this case, and it should be Pa. But Liv is sticking to her decision. Let Angela have her arrested. If Fitz steps in, he’ll lose her forever. He says it looks like he’s losing her forever, anyway, so this is goodbye. He asks her not to do it. She says she’s sorry and leaves.
So now Liv is willing to spend her life in prison, and maybe end up on death row, to save Pa? She’s basically okay with giving her life to save someone she’s often said she hated and tried to have killed more than once? Now she’s daddy’s little girl who will do anything for him? A few scenes ago she told Pa tough luck when he said his life was in danger, and now she’s willing to be locked up to save him? It all makes zero sense.
Cy thinks so, too, when he finally talks to her. He says she can’t so this. She says she has no choice.
You really should have minded your own business, part III. An angry Angela stalks into the Oval Office. She tells Fitz the borough chief told her Liv isn’t going to be arrested and that he’s taking over the case. Fitz says he knows all about it; Angela can either accept a transfer or resign. This case is out of her hands. She says he’s interfering in an assassination investigation, and he’s breaking the law, but he says the investigation is over, because there’s a suspect in custody. Oh, did he forget to mention that? Snap!
Heh, ‘bye Felicia Angela! She should have known better than to mess with the Olitz mojo. We all figured out early in Season 1 that Olitz is always just around the corner, despite anything that might happen between them. Doesn’t Angela know this? Hasn’t she bothered to watch the show? You decide to come between Liv and Fitz, you suffer the consequences. In any case, hon, time to pack your bags for Peoria or Oshkosh or Ishkabibble, or wherever it is you’re being banished to. Unless you decide to stick to your pride and turn in your resignation. That would be a mistake, though. I hear Ishkabibble is lovely this time of year.
The suspect. And who is that suspect who was arrested? Cut to that cool paleontologist’s lab where the cuffs are being slapped on Pa. Liv rushes in and tells everyone to stop what they’re doing, but they ignore her. She’s told these orders came from the White House. She rushes back out.
Meanwhile, the electors have begun voting. The early returns look good for Mel.
Liv storms into the White House. She tells Fitz she thought she told him to leave Pa alone. But Fitz says Pa is in Fitz’s custody, not federal custody. He shows Pa on a monitor, alive and well and sitting in the Oval Office. Fitz tells Liv that now the two of them can concentrate on taking down Boris and Natasha together. As the strains of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” swell, Liv sits on the couch next to Fitz. They kiss.
The Electoral College vote continues. It indeed appears the electors were bought off, as it’s a Mellie landslide. Cy and Abby watch the TV in dismay.
As the vote is declared official and Mel is announced as the next president, Liv and Fitz retire to the bedroom. The fate of the free world can wait a little while. Olitz does have its priorities.
So it looks like it’s Liv and Fitz, and everyone else, against Boris and Natasha and whatever organization is behind them. All of these people who have been sworn enemies of one another at one time or another are now going to team up to fight a common enemy of all of them. Liv and Fitz and Cy and Mellie and Jake and Pa, all on the same side? What could go wrong? Some info on next week’s 06.12, “Mercy” –
Just as Peus’ iron grip seems inescapable to Olivia and everyone she holds dear, a shocking threat to the White House turns everything on its head.
How many times in a single season can this show turn everything on its head? Can the cray get even crazier? I wouldn’t bet against it…