'Scandal' recap: Olivia Pope & her Gladiators are back to face the music!

The third season of Scandal kicked off tonight and it was pretty much just what we were all waiting for and answered some long-awaited questions: What's up with Olivia's dad and his super secret organization? How is Olivia going to deal with her name being leaked? What's going to happen with Fitz and Olivia? How in the world is she going to get out of this one? So much drama! I'm so glad it's back!


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After last season's finale, the one shocker was finding out the head of B6-13 is Olivia's dad--the mastermind behind the evil plan to have her sleep with Jake Ballard and to have her killed! Today's premiere opened just where last season left off. Daddy Pope came to Olivia's rescue, to keep her from being fodder for the press and make her disappear for eight months at a tropical island then relocate her to some foreign country. "Make no mistake, I am hell AND high water," he threatened. But after Olivia talks to Cyrus and realizes she needs to face the music, Olivia walks off the plane. It was the first time we had seen her be submissive to anyone, and I have to say it was quite a shock. But a few minutes in, our old Olivia was back and on her way to her office.

Back in D.C., though, things aren't any easier, but Olivia wants to face the scandal head on. Her Gladiators come to her rescue from assaulting papparazzi, but it turns out trying to bury herself in her work is not going to work because, well, all their clients have fired them after the scandal.

As the White House prepares an ominous-sounding "kill folder" for Olivia focusing on her "ambitious slutty" past, Olivia calls a mysterious emergency number which turns out to be a last-resort for emergencies ... and she's taken to a super safe bunker where she meets with--who else!?--Fitz! But a huge surprise is when Mellie walks in and joins them. Together they concoct the brilliant plan that will make the scandal blow over: "The truth works," they conclude. Well, not quite ... The partial truth, though, is what they go for: They'll tell the press that yes, the President and Olivia had an affair two times, once after the President's Inauguration and the second after the assassination attempt.

But before Mellie, President Grant, and Olivia have a chance to put into action their "partial truth" plan, the Gladiators put into action a plan of their own, which much of the team seemed hesitant act on. At which point Harrison had the BEST quote of the night: "Are we Gladiators or are we bitches?!"

The plan? Disseminate some old footage of press secretary Janine Locke gushing about how "hot" Fitz is and derail the attention to her by making it seem like she was the actual mistress. Then e-mails surfaced of Janine saying even more gushing, sexual statements about the president and it was over. Olivia was none too happy with her crew of Gladiators.

But of course in true Scandal fashion, not everything is resolved neatly. Who is Olivia's newest client? As the team walks out, wrongly accused mistress Janine Locke is in the conference room. Then, Mellie tells Fitz she's figured out that it was his plan to leak Olivia's name to the press, masked as a slip-up by one of his Secret Service agents. Why? Well, he felt like that was the first steps toward "freeing her" from Mellie's grasp. But now, what are they going to say at the press conference...?

And the cliffhanger of the night: When Cyrus's B6-13 cronie Charlie shows up at his house, drugs his husband James and maybe even his little daughter--a deeply sinister touch--to bring him to Papá Pope's secret location and see for the first time some super classified documents that show what actually happened on a military mission that President Fitzgerald Grant and his Olivia-spy Jake were in together. The gasp from Cyrus hints at something really, really bad. But we'll just have to wait until next week to find out what that was! So stay tuned!

Image via ABC

Topics: television  recaps  scandal