Scandal 4×07 ‘Baby Made a Mess’: How do you out-Pope a Pope?

Scandal 04x07.1

The sex scandal of a senator brings Abby’s abusive ex-husband vying for the vacant seat while Olivia tries to piece together the truth behind Jerry and Harrison’s murders. Meanwhile Quinn confronts their lead suspect in the Winslow case, Huck plans a hangout with his son and Cyrus plants some fake information to discover who the White House mole is. With haunted pasts, hidden facts and everything in between, Scandal sets us up with the best episode of the season (so far) and a jaw-dropping, fist-raising cliffhanger. Let’s get to it, onto “Baby Made a Mess!”


The case-of-the-week starts with the sudden resignation of Virginia state senator Lewis McDonnell after a lewd tape surfaces. This prompts a senatorial campaign for the now vacant seat with Fitz immediately endorsing Charles Putney (guest star Michael Trucco, Battlestar Galactica) for the chair, but it is soon realized that Charles is also Chip, the abusive ex-husband of Abby. It should be noted that the man running Chip’s campaign is Leo Bergen, the same man who ran Sally Langston’s campaign against Fitz. Abby breaks down with Olivia, believing that she must deal with it for the sake of the free world, but Olivia is having none of it. “I’ll handle it.” Olivia seeks out Chip’s opposition Susan Ross, a widowed mother of one, and offers to run her campaign free of charge. Almost immediately she changes Ross’s image and, with some help from her daughter, creates a viral TV commercial. Cyrus sees the surging ratings of Ross and advises Chip and Leo to work harder if they want to win.

Chip follows Abby into what appears to be the creepiest car garage in DC, showing us why we really should hate him. I mean he called his near death beatings of Abby ‘bursts of anger.’ Abby pulls a gun on him and threatens Chip to leave her alone, which he eventually does. Abby immediately goes to Olivia, admitting that she wanted to shoot him. Olivia suggests that Abby use her position as Press Secretary to reveal the skeletons in Chip’s closet, but Abby knows that will ruin her career. As the campaign continues, Leo comes to Abby ecstatic that he learns that Ross was never a widow, but had a child born out of wedlock which would not go over well with her Republican supporters. “Yahtzee.” This is when Abby reveals to Leo the abuse she endured at the hands of Chip, so not so much Yahtzee. In the empty Press Briefing room, Leo finds an upset Abby and tells her that he leaked information linking Chip to the McDonnell scandal causing Chip to resign. Abby is ecstatic and after the two share a drink they kiss. Romance brewing? Guessing Rosen may have something to say about that!

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

Onto the juicy storyline! Instantly we are thrown into the world of Olitz as they talk on the phone. We learn that Fitz has begun calling her every night again to chat. However when he tries to sweet talk her, Olivia shuts him down until she learns more about Jake’s condition. However, Olivia isn’t one to wait and decides to take matters into her own hands. She goes to the Supermax prison, not to visit Jake but Tom. Olivia hounds him to reveal who ordered the killing of Jerry, but Tom’s answer is the same: Jake Ballard. Olivia tells Tom that he is one of Rowan’s loose ends that needs to be tied.

Later Fitz calls Olivia to tell her Jake’s meal plan to appease her. Olivia reveals she met with Tom who told her about Fitz’s attempted suicide. He wants to talk about them, she wants to talk suicide so Fitz distracts her with some naughty talk. “And then what?,” she asks flustered. “That depends on how much hope there is.” Fitz you tease. Olivia comes home to find Rowan in her apartment furious that she disrespected him by visiting Tom in prison. He threatens her saying that he’d win in a battle between them. Meanwhile Tom is stabbed by a Command agent disguised as a guard.

This is where things escalate very quickly, prepare yourselves. Olivia comes to Fitz with new information on Jerry’s murder. After visiting Tom in the prison hospital, she plays a recording of Tom admitting that it was Rowan, not Jake, who ordered the killing of Jerry and Harrison. It is revealed that Olivia paid the guard to stab Tom as a scare tactic to coerce a confession out of him. She’s got a little Command in her after all. The episode ends with Jake being taken to the underground bunker where he meets with Olivia and Fitz. If that isn’t a good cliffhanger, then I don’t know what is.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

As for the rest of our beloved characters here is a quick summary of what happened with them:

  • The Winslow case doesn’t play a huge role in this episode, but it is still there filling in the cracks. Quinn visits Mr. Winslow to confront him about his alibi, asking about his meeting and why he has an Olivia Pope folder. Winslow gives very cryptic answers, saying “You can’t stop what’s happening,” before shooting himself. Quinn and Huck decide to hide the folder from Olivia until things settle down, but by the end of the episode enough time has passed for them to reveal this information to Olivia.
  • The ongoing story with Cyrus, Elizabeth and now Mellie revolves around a car bomb in West Angola. With the news of this car bombing, Fitz instructs that the USS Truman be sent in to help the situation. Cyrus is wary of Michael’s intentions after the confrontation with Abby last week. So Cyrus leaks to Michael that the USS Roosevelt will be the ship used in the West Angola situation. Cyrus then instructs his aides to watch all media outlets for Elizabeth North discussing the West Angola situation. Meanwhile Elizabeth comes to Mellie and suggests that talking foreign policy could help her feel like she matters more. In the next 24 hours Elizabeth doesn’t speak a word about West Angola, prompting Cyrus to feel relief that his boytoy Michael is clean. But he’s not out of the woods just yet. Mellie goes on the air to discuss her choices of China for the White House, but instead deviates to talk about the issue in West Angola noting the use of USS Roosevelt. Looks like Cyrus is back. Fitz confronts Mellie about her discussing Angola when she explains to him that she has dealt with his ‘mess’ for 20 years, but he yelled at her for having one breakdown in that time. Sounds like Mellie is back too.
  • Meanwhile Huck is still playing games with his son Javi and agrees to hang out with him, despite trying to hide his identity. However, Huck arrives at the arcade and watches Javi from outside before leaving, realizing he cannot just waltz in there and say, “Hey I’m the friend from online. PS I’m your father.” Looks like Javi takes after his dad though when he tracks down his IP address and confronts Huck. Wonder what his mom will think.
Source: ABC

Source: ABC

Three moments that really stood out to me this episode were the Olivia/Tom meeting, the Olitz phone conversations and the end cliffhanger:

  1. The Olivia/Tom meeting shed light as to the relationship of Olitz from an outside source. Tom never really got a chance to look at Olivia, constantly running security for the president, but he caught glimpses out of the corner of his eye. He didn’t understand why so many men were in love with her and under the Olivia Pope spell, but now that he looks at her he finally realizes what they saw. “The face that launched a thousand ships.” He brings up how hurt Fitz was and he doesn’t understand how she could just leave him after everything they had been through. Just a nice perspective to throw into the mix.
  2. The Olitz phone conversations show us one thing: their romance is not gone, no matter what they have been through. They are still very much into each other and it won’t be long before these two lovebirds are back to sneaky around to see each other.
  3. The cliffhanger was by far the best moment in season 4 so far. Between how Olivia got Tom’s confession to the reveal of Olivia, Fitz and Jake working together to take down Rowan. It escalated so quickly that it was hard to anticipate and left me wishing that I waited to watch it back-to-back with next week’s episode.

An honourable mention to Darby Stanchfield who gave a chilly performance as a woman experiencing PTSD from reliving an abusive relationship. It was so hard to watch because you could feel the terror. Bravo!

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

What questions did this episode answer:

  • Fitz and Olivia are back to their nightly sexy chats causing #TeamFitz to jump for joy.
  • Olivia discovered the truth behind the murders of Jerry and Harrison, prompting an alliance of Olivia, Fitz and Jake to form in order to take down Rowan.
  • The extent of Abby’s abusive ex-husband Chip is revealed.
  • Elizabeth’s plan is shown piece by piece as she aligns herself with Mellie, who is obviously just a pawn in whatever weird game Liz has going on.
  • Cyrus has discovered that Michael is the mole and that Mellie is somehow associated with Elizabeth.

What questions does this episode leave us with:

  • What will this alliance of Olivia, Fitz and Jake cook up for Rowan now that they have the upper hand?
  • What is Cyrus’s next move?
  • What are the next steps in the Winslow case?
  • Will a romance between Abby and Leo blossom? How will Rosen feel about this?

What did you think of “Baby Made a Mess”? Was it everything you wanted? Did it leave you yearning for more? Let me know in the comments below!

Dylan Phillips

Dylan Phillips

is a film fanatic and TV junkie from the mysterious land of Canada. He is an aspiring writer/director who hopes to make his mark on the industry one way or another, whether it be behind a camera or with a pen. When he isn’t watching hours upon hours of movies or writing scripts, Dylan can be found playing his guitar, avidly watching baseball or writing film reviews on his website and blog.

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