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“Heavy Is the Head” – Recapping ‘Scandal’ Season 5, Episode 1

"Heavy Is the Head" - Recapping 'Scandal' Season 5, Episode 1

Note: if you haven’t watched the episode, you may want to skip this recap.

In the beginning, I was a huge advocate for Fitz and Olivia’s tawdry affair on “Scandal”. I lived for the longing, the drama and the stolen moments. However, by the third season I’d had enough. Olitz had taken what it means to be on-again, off-again to a whole new level, which is why I rolled my eyes at the end of last season when Liv chose Fitz, over her sanity and well being.

The episode opens with former Vice President Sally Langston Donald Trumping on her “news show”, “The Liberty Report”. She’s terribly annoyed that the White House is hosting a state dinner for the royal family of Caledonia. She’s seems especially pressed about the number of wine options being offered. As irritating as Sally is, she throws epic shade. She called the dinner Fitz’s opportunity to “bathe in his filthy glory.” Sally may know more than she is letting on.

In the White House, Liv and Fitz are tearing up some sheets. It appears that the moment Fitz put Mellie out, Liv moved in. The duo are super cute and whatever, but I still can’t get past all that has happen. Anyway, they arise from their romp to get ready for the state dinner with the Royals.  Liv may be in Fitz’s bed, but their relationship is still on the down low.  Fitz is talking a big game about making their relationship public, but Liv is having none of it. (That would be a mess that even she couldn’t fix.) They make their way down to the dinner separately.

Meanwhile, it looks like Mellie’s invite for the state dinner was lost in the mail because Mama was not invited. Apparently the press and public are supposed to believe she has the flu.

At the state dinner, Abby is aware that Mellie has been officially barred from the White House. Therefore, she cozies up to her BFF to ask about the status of Olitz. Liv shrugs off Abby’s prying, claiming Fitz hasn’t called her. Um, ok girl. (Just so you know, it’s never a good sign when you can’t even tell your bestie about your relationship.)  A few tables over, Fitz is chatting with the Queen of Caledonia; he really wants a naval base in Caledonia.

Liv and Abby take a bathroom break to powder their noses. Abby asks about the Olitz situation again and Liv brushes her off. Abby confesses that she’s on edge at work because in Cyrus’ absence she feels she has no footing at the White House. It looks like she and Lizzie (Fitz’s new Chief of Staff) aren’t playing nice. The ladies get to gossiping about Civil Right Lawyer turned royalty, Princess Emily of Caledonia and her posh life. Turns out, Princess Em is in the bathroom listening to all of this.

Coming out of the stall, Princess Emily recognizes Liv for handling her engagement press. She remarks that she’s no longer a real person since she married Prince Richard…she’s become a spectacle. The ladies part amicably, but I’m certain something more will come of this.

While all of this is occurring Huck is despondently laying on Liv’s white couch at her apartment.

Post-dinner, Olitz is getting ready for bed; Liv even has on Fitz’s NAVY t-shirt. They’re about to get down to business until the Liv hears the inexplicable chimes of her phone ringing. It’s a call from the Royal family and its time for her to get in Gladiator mode. Things get really horrible really fast. Out in the D.C. streets, Liv comes upon a car horrendous accident involving Princess Emily. Everyone involved is dead including the Princess whose mangled body is being photographed repeatedly by a gang of paparazzi. Liv pushes through the crowd and scrambles to cover her up. It’s a horrendous scene and I was immediately reminded of Princess Diana’s death.

A few hours later, Princess Emily’s death is all over the news. The Royal family hasn’t made a statement, but they’ve hired Liv to deal with the media and the investigation. Liv lets them know that photos of the Princess’ body have been taken, and she vows to try and get them back. Queen Mother tries to brush it off, like these pictures wouldn’t be all that nightmarish, but Prince Richard is adamant. Something isn’t quite right with the Queen if you ask me.  

Liv rushes to Olivia Pope and Associates to team up with her sole Gladiator Quinn. The two bribe and swindle until they get nearly all the photographs back. Quinn is unable to find one of the cameramen, and the ladies also realize they need to fill the front page with something.

As Fitz issues a statement of condolences to the royal family, the press takes pictures of the Prince seeing his wife for the last time. It’s the picture that will fill the front page of the papers. Meanwhile, Quinn is still looking for the mysterious paparazzo.  She quickly realizes the missing guy isn’t a photog. Quinn discovers that instead of a camera he was carrying a high tech fancy device that allows him to hack into cars and control them. The crash was deliberate; someone was not feeling Princess Emily

Armed with this news, Liv takes off to go loop David Rosen in on what’s happening. I suppose they’re playing nice for the time being.  Rosen reluctantly tells Liv he’ll look into the situation. He’s not a fan of international diplomacy.

In her office, new Junior State Senator/First Lady Mellie is laying into Lizzie about not being invited to the state dinner with the royals. She demands that Lizzie makes sure Fitz attends her swearing in ceremony the next day. Lizzie owes her after all, Mellie has,” done voodoo to make her somebody again.” Lizzie tells her that since Fitz has no use for her anymore, she can’t be bothered. She promptly gathers her bag, and tells Mellie Fitz won’t be attending her “little swearing in.”

Back at the White House, Abbie and Liv nearly run into one another, but Liv bobs and weaves into a room to avoid her bestie. How long do you think you can keep this up girl? Apparently Fitz has summoned her for lunch. Why is he still acting like he’s not married and he isn’t POTUS. Olivia is trying to keep up appearances and she sends Fitz to Mellie’s swearing in. Of course, no on told Abby because she’s busy addressing the White House press about why he won’t be in attendance. A reporter shades Abby when she gets word that Fitz actually is in attendance. Abby looks like boo boo the fool.

Obviously, Mellie is under the assumption that Fitz showing up for her means something. She thinks this is another thing they can get through. Unfortunately, she’s wrong. Almost as quickly as the last camera flashes on their smiling faces, Fitz serves Mellie divorce papers. Stunned, she tries to claim she won’t sign them, but Fitz tells her, either you sign or we both go down; mutually assured destruction. He tells her that he’s done his bucket list but her biggest accomplishment thus far is “waving and smiling.” WHELP! Fitz can be a real bastard sometimes.

After being humiliated in the pressroom, Abby rushes into Lizzie’s office pissed. They both realize that they are out of the loop with the Grant Administration.

At the White House again, Fitz gleefully tells Liv that Mellie has been served.  She seems more horrified than happy. This goes against the plan they’d spoken about. It’s never a good thing when Fitz goes rouge. Where is Cyrus when we need him?

Back at OPA, David let’s Liv know that the Princess’ death was an assassination. She and Quinn do some digging, and figure out the Prince and Princess weren’t spending much time together in the months leading up to her death.  Apparently, the only man Princess Emily was spending time with her bodyguard, who also died in the crash.

Liv rushes to the White House with David Rosen to let Fitz know what she’s learned. I’m guessing she thinks he’s going to do something about it (Princess Emily is American after all), but Fitz is in no mood. He wants his Naval base, and he’s not going to let anyone get in the way of that. Olitz begins a shouting match in the Oval Office that becomes way too impassioned to be between work colleagues. Liv gathers her bag and tells Fitz it’s a good thing she doesn’t work for him. Fitz threatens to prosecute her if she says something to the royals. Um, ok sir.

Liv finally goes back to her apartment to find Huck still lying down in the dark. He’s still devastated over Quinn. He’s been waiting for Liv to come home to “fix” him. He’s still fighting the urge to kill and it’s tormenting him. Liv is horrified, and she tells him she doesn’t know how to fix him. Not even a fixer can fix people.

At the White House, Lizzie takes note of Olitz’s quarrel and tells Abby the duo are definitely on again. Abby is beyond irritated.

Meanwhile, having no one left to turn to, Mellie winds up on Cyrus’ doorstep. She tells him about the divorce papers and begs for his help. Cyrus is completely unbothered by the entire situation. He’s just waiting on Fitz to call.

At OPA, Liv is deep in thought until David Rosen bursts in with Princess Emily’s autopsy report. Apparently the Princess was pregnant. Liv takes her findings and her suspicions about Prince Richard’s involvement in the Princess death to the Queen, and Her Majesty tells Liv to keep her lips zipped. Queen Mother tells Liv that her son is innocent her daughter –in-law was simply a harlot that need to be disposed off. She says Princess Em had, “1 job” and she couldn’t do that. Well, dang! These older ladies on “Scandal” are RUTHLESS. Liv is horrified but her hands are pretty much tied, she’s signed a non-disclosure before taking the job.  Queen mother dismisses Olivia by telling her that, “not all fairytales have happy endings.”

Liv returns home to an empty apartment. Hopefully Huck isn’t out getting his Dexter on. After sitting momentarily, Liv realizes that she can still get the Queen another way. The non-disclosure agreement doesn’t involve Prince Richard. She finds the Prince and spills the beans about the Princess’ death. Prince Richard tells his mama to give up the crow. He also tells her that the next time he will see her, or even tolerate her will be at her funeral. Evil Queens really do tend to go down.

Meanwhile, poor despondent Huck is wondering about in some hallway. It turns out that he’s gone to Jake for help. If Liv can’t fix him maybe Jake can.

Liv returns to the White House later that evening. Since Prince Richard is taking the crown, Fitz’s naval base is dead so naturally the duo starts fussing again. Liv tires to get Fritz to understand they will become as spectacle if the world finds out them. She wants things to slow down. They need to fix their issues privately before they can go public. He begrudgingly agrees.

They are smooching it up when Abby walks in on the. They have a problem … and it’s not good.  After all her prodding and digging, Sally Langston has discovered Olitz’s affair, and the old bat has photographs to prove it.

I guess things really aren’t handled. Things are about to be very very bad.

The season premiere of “Scandal” didn’t knock me my off my feet, but I was fairly entertained. What did you all think? Were you impressed or nah?

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Aramide A Tinubu has her Master’s in Film Studies from Columbia University. She wrote her thesis on Black Girlhood and Parental Loss in Contemporary Black American Cinema. She’s a cinephile, bookworm, blogger, and NYU + Columbia University alum. You can read her blog at: www.chocolategirlinthecity.com or tweet her @midnightram

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