Tonight on ABC Scandal starring Kerry Washington continues with another exciting episode in an all new Thursday February 18, season 5 episode 11 called, “The Candidate,” and we have the recap for you below. On tonight’s episode, Abby (Darby Stanchfield) and Cyrus (Jeff Perry) clash over a profile piece on Fitz. (Tony Goldwyn) Meanwhile, Mellie (Bellamy Young) wants Olivia’s (Kerry Washington) help, but she doesn’t realize what that encompasses.
On the last episode, it’s been six months since Olivia and Fitz had broken up, and they were both handling their newfound freedom in very different ways. Meanwhile, the Pope and Associates team took on a case that could lead to a national crisis on the red-hot return. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it, we have a full and detailed recap right here for you.
On tonight’s episode as per the ABC synopsis, “Abby and Cyrus clash over a profile piece on Fitz. Meanwhile, Mellie wants Olivia’s help, but she doesn’t realize what that encompasses; and Liz tries to persuade Susan Ross to become a presidential candidate.”
Tonight’s episode of SCANDAL is going to be absolutely incredible and you won’t want to miss even a minute. We’ll be recapping it for you here live.
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#Scandal starts with Olivia at the office sitting at her table. She tells Mellie she’s ready and read the first half then tells her to cut chapter two. She tells her to pull off her mask and tell America why she stayed. Mellie is shocked.
Olivia says she stayed after knowing Fitz had a mistress. She says that’s the missing chapter is what the American people want to read and what she wants to read too. She says they want to know if it was for love or power.
Mellie tells Olivia she can compartmentalize like no one else and Liv reminds her she wanted Olivia Pope and that’s what she got. Marcus asks Quinn a question because he’s scared of Huck. He’s fact checking but Huck is watching soccer.
Marcus throws down the book as Huck cheers a goal. Liz shows Susan her approval rating. She says it’s a wake up call for Susan who is wowed that she has a 93% approval rating. Liz says she can’t turn her back on it and will regret it if she doesn’t at least consider it.
Susan says no. Abby tries to talk Fitz into meeting with Lillian Forrester for an interview. Cyrus criticizes and says she’s a loaded gun. Fitz calls down Cyrus and Abby says he can set the table for his successor. Cyrus says she will go for his head.
Fitz says they need to shape their legacy and tells Abby to set it up. Mellie argues with Olivia about the why she stayed chapter. Olivia says people will speculate and is the question everyone will ask her. She says leaving it out will lead to more questions.
Mellie says it’s no one’s business. Olivia says avoiding it isn’t help. Mellie asks for food and Olivia says she doesn’t know why she stayed. Mellie asks her why she left. Mellie says maybe her answer will spark something in her or maybe she’ll steal it.
Olivia says she’s not the one running for office. Mellie says Liv doesn’t know either. Then she asks what’s for lunch. Cyrus and Abby meet with Lillian for a pre-screening about the interview. Fitz comes in to introduce himself.
Lillian says she wants a conversation with the man, not a closely guarded talk. She says she wants to know if he’s tending the store or trying to make a difference in his last days. She says she has no ulterior motive and just wants to write a damned good article.
Fitz likes her and flirts a little then leaves. Mellie is on the sofa stretched out and talking to Olivia. She says she was devastated when she found out Fitz was having an affair with her. She says she fell into a deep depression and she hoped she was just a phase they could survive.
She says that’s why I stayed. Then she sighs and asks Olivia if that’s nice. Olivia says it’s untrue and they have to dig deeper. Liv says she’s trying to help her and Mellie snaps and yells at her. She says she doesn’t have to explain herself to her.
Mellie says they had 23 years and they never had what she and Fitz did. She says they had hotel rooms, closets and a secret Vermont house. She says she was a plaything that Fitz used. Olivia says that’s enough and Mellie asks if she didn’t want to go there.
Mellie says she’ll send her a check and storms out. Liz comes to see David Rosen and he thinks it’s for sex but she says it’s work not play. She asks him to get Susan to run for president. He says she doesn’t want to but Liz says she wants her to and says she’s her shot at the Oval.
He says he can’t convince her to and Liz says that muppet is in love with him and says ask her out, do some convincing, give her what she wants. Liz says if he doesn’t, he won’t get what he wants from her anytime.
David goes to see Susan and asks if she wants to go somewhere with him then clarifies he means on a date. She gets excited then asks where – he says they can see the sunset at Mt Vernon if they leave now. She’s been there before.
He offers a picnic in a park but she was just there with her kid. He mentions the Washington monument but she’s been there too. Then Susan says she’s ruining the vibe. He asks if she likes fries. They go to Gettysburger. Secret Service has it shut down.
David tells her to get union rings and freedom fries. She’s thrilled. Cyrus comes to see Fitz and he asks what it’s about. Cyrus says Reagan. Then he says it was his last term and he could have been wandering around in slippers and a robe watching daytime soaps.
Cyrus says instead he kicked down the Berlin Wall and Clinton reformed welfare in his last year. He tells Fitz he’s going to miss all this – the fight, the challenge. He gives Fitz a big inspirational talk. Fitz is dismissive and Cyrus is hurt. He leaves defeated.
Jake comes to see Olivia and she lets him in and he follows her back to her bedroom undressing as he goes. They don’t speak a word and neither looks happy but they get right to business like they’re being forced to copulate.
Jake gets dressed and she says it won’t happen again. He says yes it will and walks out on her. Mellie sits at a bar in a booth when Cyrus joins her. She says it’s the first bar she’s been in since college. He sits and she says she came there to be alone.
Cyrus laughs and goes to walk away but she starts talking to him so he comes back. He asks if she’s talking about Fitz or Olivia when she says you can’t get rid of them. She says both and says they are cinder blocks tied to their ankles.
She says they’re drowning and Cyrus says he doesn’t feel sorry for her. He says the country is ready for a woman president and her filibuster was the feminist moment of the decade. He says Susan is an unknown and she can tear her apart.
Mellie says she already has someone to run her campaign and he sips his drink and looks irritated. Mellie sighs and says they made Fitz, made him a president. He says we and then scoffs. He walks away annoyed and tells her to drink up.
Mellie goes to Olivia’s and asks if this is the love shack and comes inside. She says Liv has good taste and says she stayed because it worked – both of them and Fitz. She says she wondered if all men suck the life out of you and maybe it’s just powerful men.
She says Fitz had no fight in him but they all saw his potential. She says she held his hand, bluffed and bled. She says she wasn’t devastated about Liv and says she deserved her. She says she was someone’s wife and mother, not her own person and deserved her.
She says Liv is her retribution and it was humiliating. She says she hated herself, not Liv. Then she says she turned a corner and when he followed Olivia, she finally had space and air to breathe, time to think and plan. She says she liked herself again once she was alone.
She says freedom baby. Liv stares. She says again she allowed it to continue because it worked for all of them. She says Fitz was happy and Liv lit his fire and she knew one day it would be her turn and Fitz would make her president so she stayed.
She says the three of them worked. She asks if that’s deep enough and honest enough. Olivia says she can’t ever write that anywhere if she wants to be President. Mellie says she knows and that’s the problem. She has her jar of moonshine with her and offers some to Liv.
Olivia takes it and sips then shudders. Mellie sips some more. They sit together in silence for a bit. Back at Gettysburger, Susan and David finish their meal. She says it was incredible and he asks what the secret sauce is made from and she says crack.
She says they shut down a Gettysburger and it’s obnoxious. He says that’s power. She says imagine the press and he says people would love that she’s a regular person. She says he sounds like Liz and says she won’t let up.
He says he didn’t know but thinks she would be an amazing president. Susan says she’s VP not because she’s amazing but because Mellie lacks character and was trying to protect herself for a presidential run so she picked some unpolished, unthreatening and unelectable.
She says she can’t stand against Mellie in a primary so why would she do that. David kisses her and says don’t call herself names in his presence again. He tells her she’s a warrior and could win this. He says he believes it and kisses her again. She’s into it.
Olivia tells Mellie she was mean and she reminds her she’s the mistress. Liv says she was nasty and she took it. Mellie asks why she never fought and Liv says she was the mistress and in the wrong. Mellie says she was a good mistress, maybe even great.
Olivia says she’s an over-achiever when she puts her mind to something. Then she smiles and they both laugh. They finish the jar and Mellie pulls another jar out of her bag. Liv says she was happy that Mellie was around too.
Olivia says she was happy that Mellie was there so she had an out. She says Mellie was her out and kept him unavailable. Mellie says okay. Liv says she left for the same reason Mellie stayed – because she was scared. Mellie says okay again.
Olivia says that’s what she needs to write. She says write that she was scared and never could have imagined standing up in front of the Senate to filibuster to protect every woman’s right to choose. She says to say she never thought she could do it.
Then she says she had the power the whole time but it took her a while to realize it. She tells Mellie to get out her laptop and start writing and she does. At the White House, Cyrus stands watching Fitz sleep like a creep stalker. He whispers to him.
Fitz wakes and asks what’s wrong. He says he has to go because of a death in the family. He walks out. Lillian and Fitz meet for the interview. She asks if the country is better off today than when he walked into the room.
He flirts and she stops the recorder as he answers. She says she wasn’t listening and says she’s a respected journalist and has a Pulitzer but can’t focus because she has a huge crush on him. She says it’s awkward and he says they can skip the interview and have dinner together. It’s on.
Liz comes to see David and he says he’s done with this. He says Susan is a good person and people like her don’t exist. He says he won’t manipulate her into running. She slaps down a folder and says he did good, Susan is running.
Liz says whatever he did it worked then unbuttons her blouse and says Susan is lucky enough to have them. She tells him let’s make a president together and kisses him as they undress. Marcus comes to tell Huck he’s not going anywhere – he ignores him and watches soccer.
Marcus asks about the resolution of his TV and he says it’s his son Javi playing. He says he’s never been to one of his games. Marcus asks divorce and Huck says something like that. Marcus says sorry. Huck says they moved so he can’t see him.
Marcus says he should go see him. Liv reads the new chapter and edits it. She tells Mellie it’s really good. She says this is everything. Mellie thanks her. She points a passage and they chuckle. Liv says the book has to come out now but Mellie says it will take weeks to get it into bookstores.
Liv says they don’t need a bookstore and they leak some chapters. It’s called deep and explosive. Sally reads some on her show about her no longer being an accessory or an appendage to the most powerful man in the world. Sally says powerful words from a forceful candidate.
Susan does and interview and says she’s just testing the waters to see if America likes her and will call. Sally wonders what candidate the Dems will put up. Abby calls Cyrus then apologizes for calling him at his cousin’s funeral.
She apologizes for calling him there. Cyrus is at a governor’s press conference watching him. It’s a Democratic candidate that Cyrus has his eye on – a Hispanic guy with immigrant parents. He’s all about education and college being free.
He talks about his education bill and says the Pennsylvania constitution established a free education and that’s the PA his parents moved to and where he grew up. He turns the press conference from hostile to a win for his proposed bill.
Cyrus thinks about Fitz and telling him he has to go. Cyrus smiles as the governor finishes his speech. He’s found a brand new Fitz.