Warning: This recap contains spoilers.

Even on “Scandal,” it’s Throwback Thursday. We finally got to see flashbacks of Olivia’s mom, played by Khandi Alexander (were ya’ll surprised by that?). We also got to see flashbacks of Rowan rocking an epic mustache.

How weird was it to see a Froot Loops-eating, headphones-wearing Olivia? We catch a glimpse of Liv as a tween who barely looks up when her mother says she’s leaving for a business trip. It would be the last time she’d ever see her.

This was the first episode during which I wasn’t annoyed by Olivia’s quivering lip. She’s got a reason to cry right now, what with thinking that the love of her life probably killed her mother. Also, theres the sentiment behind one of the best lines of the night: “I have so many questions I want to ask you, but I’m afraid you’ll kill my friends if I do.”

So yeah, there’s that.

But Olivia’s not the only gladiator with problems.

I’m excited about Harrison’s burgeoning story line. He’s easily the most loyal to Olivia, but we see his resolve tested as he learns that he has bigger problems than “stupid super spies.” Huck and Jake are not to be messed with, but neither of them scare Harrison more than his former boss Adnan Salif. We know that Cyrus is really the one to be worried about.

Huck continued to freeze Quinn out and it made me sad. I genuinely feel sorry for Baby Huck. She’s officially on her way to Crazytown, and by that I mean, she’s done stepped foot on the tarmac. There to meet her is Charlie, who is working for the guy you don’t want to be working for ever (his last name rhymes with nope.)

Abby stayed relatively drama free (and sadly, there were no Dabby sightings), but maybe she should abandon her classic mani and go for one of fall’s bolder nail trends. As a side note, lots of people own Essie in Ballet Slippers, so not sure how realistic it was for Candance, Josie’s sister daughter to identify her as the person behind the “Reston ad” based on her nail color. And seriously, it only took one episode for Candace to get over the fact that she’s been raised as Josie’s sister when she’s really her daughter? And that no one one told her this for 30 years?

It’s about as realistic as James (who works for which network, exactly?) organizing an interview with Josie Marcus, who has been working the Fat Cat circuit with the gladiators help. It’s the latest in a string of high-profile interviews that seem to occur only whenever James wants them to. I feel like somewhere on James’s resume, there’s a sentence that says “I can do ‘Today Show.’ I can do ‘60 minutes.’ I can do ‘Oprah’.”

But let’s not forget the characters who never fake the funk. Staying true to form, Sally and Cyrus tried to outscheme each other, the latter winning the usual points for Most Outrageous Things Said This Episode with “winged mistresses flying too close to the sun.” (Yes, it’s true “the Lord speaks through you, Brother Beene.”) Mellie proved she’s willing to do anything to get Fitz reelected. To be fair, she’s probably lonely. And bored.

And Papa Pope played The Wizard again — orchestrating situations, relationships and kill orders (thwarted by Fitz) in the background. I loved the scene between him and Olivia, when she appeals to him as a daughter just wanting to understand why her mother died. Whatever Papa Pope lacked in sass this episode, actor Joe Morton made up for on Twitter, where he joined the rest of the cast in its obligatory live-tweeting.

“Why is Rowan/Eli always walking around in a suit & tie like he’s got legitimate business mtgs?,” one fan asked.

“Would u prefer a bathing suit?” Morton tweeted back.

The most emotional scene of the night came when Olivia finally told Fitz why she’s so curious about his whereabouts during Operation Remington. I swear if Fitz refers to himself one more time as “the leader of the free world,” I’ll vote for Josie Marcus. But I was pretty impressed with his thinly disguised cry-face as Olivia explained that her mother had been on the passenger plane Fitz allegedly shot down.

Fitz, not willing to compromise his presidency (for once?), plays dumb. Is it just me or is this the most mature Fitz has been, like, ever? And without Cyrus’s help even!

What do you think? Did Fitz really kill Olivia’s mom? And in other lingering questions: Is Jake a goner? Does Sally know who she’s dealing with? (Cyrus). Did anyone else hear Quinn totally call Olivia out on her “relationship” with the president?