Fitz wanted to “review the numbers” with whom? Oh, right.

(Warning: This recap contains spoilers.)

(ABC/Danny Feld)

Was it too much to expect that maybe Olivia would wisen up during “Scandal”‘s mid-season hiatus? Two minutes in and we’re subjected to Fitz and (his new campaign manager) Olivia making out like teenagers. Until Mellie (and all of Twitter) walked in on them. Mellie took it better than Twitter did.

Indeed, some things never change. I still feel like I’m watching an exorcism-themed horror film whenever Sally Langston speaks. Cyrus and Mellie still run the White House — now that’s a ticket I could support.  And Papa Pope still delivers lines that make Olivia’s (and our) bottom lip quiver. Just like Rowan said, Olivia: “If I were you, I would be terrified.”

Thursday’s episode, titled “Ride, Sally, Ride,” started off with a chaotic scene in the White House as everyone prepares for Sally’s resignation announcement, which never actually comes. News at 11: “Shocking move by the Vice President to leave the party, split the ticket and run against her boss. All while refusing to leave the West Wing.”

Less shocking is what happens next. Fitz throws a tantrum (and a whiskey glass — at Cyrus’s head). It’s like he knows there’s a very obvious drinking game to be played.  Cyrus to Olivia: “He listens to you!” Sip. Olivia: “Fitz, look at me.” Sip. Olivia acts shocked when Fitz doesn’t treat her with the respect she deserves. And now we’re drunk.

Rowan vs. Fitz. (AP Photo/ABC, Randy Holmes)

It’s a good thing because I, for one, wouldn’t want to be sober for the conversation that Olivia has with her father after Cyrus lets slip that Fitz ordered Jake to unseat Rowan as Command of B613. Papa Pope, still reeling from Fitz having held him hostage, pledges to get revenge and tells Olivia to run — easily the best advice of the night.

Some choice quotes:

“You’re skipping around in a field full of bombs and mistaking them for daisies.”
“What happened was the man who defiled you also defiled the organization that I gave my soul to build.”
“President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant has made an enemy of the worst kind because I know all his secrets. I know where every body is buried. And the best weapon I can use against him calls me Dad.”

Somehow, Liv is still able to work despite the threat promise made by her dad. The Gladiators (minus Quinn, who had her Gladiator card revoked by Huck) mobilize to help Fitz’s campaign. Against Olivia’s advice, Fitz insists on tapping fellow California playboy, Andrew Nichols for the VP slot.

Abby’s doing TV now! She and Leo Bergen exchange barbs on a political talk show and Leo resurrects the Olivia-as-Fitz’s-mistress rumor, which inspires Mellie to go all OKCupid! on her at a very awkward “public lunch.” On the menu? A list of of suitable bachelors for Olivia to play relationship with. “I’m making a respectable woman out of you, Olivia.” Zing!

As the political fight between Fitz and Sally intensifies, Olivia asks Abby and Huck to look into the lack of public information surrounding Daniel Douglas’s death.  They’re not the only ones looking into it. James and David Rosen already know quite a bit thanks to some good old-fashioned wiretapping.  A member of the White House press corps is getting anonymous texts (really, “Scandal?”) from someone calling themselves Publius. I guess we’re supposed to ignore the fact that no one, literally no one, would ever call themselves that. Except…*

Abby and Huck pose as Post reporters(!) and pay a visit to the coroner, who is forced to lie about what she knows regarding Daniel Douglas’s death.

Thank Quinn for that. She isn’t a Gladiator and, according to Jake, she isn’t — and won’t be — B613 either. But Creepy Charlie is taking her down a dark path. She says she wants to babysit and he enlists her to literally kidnap a child.

The biggest surprise of the night? Apparently, I’ve been using the wrong pronoun for Adnan Salif. I know I’m not the only one who assumed Adnan was a guy intent on murdering Harrison. Apparently, she is a love interest that makes Harrison do naughty things in the Pope & Associates headquarters. So what if she’s a little dangerous? I think Harrison deserves a little action (it’s been a while since Candace).

You know who else deserves some action? The first lady! Her prospects are good. It seems Andrew Nichols isn’t just a political ally to her husband —  he’s an old flame who considers Mellie the one who got away.

These two. (Danny Feld/ABC)

Olivia, unable (unwilling) to convince Fitz that she ought not to be working as his campaign manager as the rumor mill grinds steadily, reaches out to the one that got away from her: Jake. Why Jake allows her to use him is a mystery to me, but they make a really cute couple.

So, let’s review the numbers, shall we?

  • It took 31 years to find out who Deep Throat was. It took less than 60 minutes to find out that *James is Publius.
  • Papa Pope is right 100% of the time.

Those are the only numbers that matter, really. Because they set the tone for what’s to come. Papa Pope was right. I’m terrified.

Lingering questions: What does the coroner actually know about how Daniel Douglas died? Why is Quinn so good at kidnapping? Is Rowan trying to make Sally president? He knows that would be bad, right? Is Olivia really going to try to call Mellie out for having a little something on the side? Because I’m pretty sure I saw that in the preview for next week.