‘Scandal’ Recap: One More Casualty in Race for the White House

Peus and company prove they’ll do anything to get Mellie elected — even kill off a series regular


(Spoiler alert: Do not read on if you have not watched Thursday’s episode of “Scandal”)

There was yet another casualty in the race for the White House on Thursday’s episode of “Scandal.”

Portia De Rossi took a golf club to the head midway through this week’s episode, bringing the series regular’s run on the Shonda Rhimes drama to an abrupt end.

“I am incredibly grateful for my time here at Scandal!” De Rossi said in a statement. “I will miss playing Elizabeth North but I’ve made the decision to focus on a business opportunity. Shonda, Betsy and the cast have been incredibly supportive of my decision. I will always love my Scandal family. I’ll be watching!”

“I have been a fan of Portia’s for years and it was an honor to have her join our Scandal family.” added Rhimes. “Portia infused Liz North with a smart powerful vulnerable soul while also making the humor sing — and that brought all of us in the writers room a lot of joy. If I could keep her forever, I would — but kidnapping is illegal. Besides, I am incredibly impressed with the vision she has for her creative future. I wish her all the best.”

The episode began with Olivia telling Mellie that about Peus and his organization’s plan to get her into the White House, explaining that they’re only option is to concede to the newly exonerated Cyrus.

Though Mellie initially balks at the idea (“Like you never murdered anybody? Like you never stole an Oval or two?”), she eventually seems to accept that she’s lost. That is until she gets a visit from Liz, who says that Mellie “belongs” in the Oval Office.

“I don’t like people, but believe it or not, I respect you,” Liz says. And that little push is all it takes to put Mellie and Olivia at odds, with Olivia throwing her entire weight behind getting Cyrus elected and Mellie stubbornly refusing to concede the race.

But when Olivia shows up to Cyrus’ hotel room to help him get back into presidential shape, Cyrus turns her away, blaming her for his current state and refusing to forgive her for not believing his innocence all along.

Cyrus isn’t the only one who thinks Olivia should stop trying to help. After receiving a call from her father, she gets a stern warning that she needs to let Mellie win. “They’ve already won,” he warns her. “If Cyrus Bean becomes president, they will kill you.”

Meanwhile, Fitz visits Cyrus, and over a stiff drink convinces him to finally shave, put on a suit and face the public for the first time since his release. Cyrus gets up in front of the press and admits that even though he doesn’t “deserve to be president,” Frankie Vargas did. He gives a rousing speech promising to “strive to honor Frankie’s legacy to become worthy of the office that was rightfully his.”

When Mellie finds out that Liz had been working with Peus and Ms. Ruland all along, she tries to refuse to do their bidding. However, they send her a clear message when they bludgeon Liz to death in front of her face, getting blood all over her suit. Peus tells Mellie that he’s bought the Electoral College and will kill her kids if they don’t do whatever they say.

Olivia becomes the target of the FBI, and the payment she made to Tom Larsen certainly appears to be incriminating. Fitz refuses to let her take the fall, insisting that they arrest her father instead, but Olivia knows that would only result in his murder in prison.

After yet another screaming match in the Oval Office, Fitz goes behind her back and puts on a show of arresting Rowan and keeping Olivia from taking the fall. When she storms the White House to give him a piece of her mind, he reveals that Rowan was never actually taken to prison. He’s instead safe in the president’s custody.

And as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” triumphantly plays in the background, Olivia and Fitz finally reunite with yet another steamy kiss.