Tonight’s episode of Scandal begins on a seemingly innocuous note, but you know things always go left. It all starts when Cyrus learns that he has to go to Lisbon with Rosen to a digital piracy summit that he doesn’t want to go to. He’d rather be at the Al Smith dinner to roast people, but Jake will take his place there.
And this is where the problems begin. Next, we see Cyrus on Air Force 2 heading to Lisbon, but they don’t make it far before pilots inform him that they’ve lost control of the plane, as well as all communication to the ground. They’ve been hacked, and this is the definition of irony given where they’re headed.
Olivia decides to spend time with her mother on her birthday. They indulge in good food and you almost forget that they’re not a normal mother/daughter duo until it gets weird again when Maya demands to know why Olivia is even there in the first place. Olivia maintains that she’s there to celebrate her birthday but Maya reveals that it’s not even her birthday and starts antagonizing Oliva. She tells Live that she had so many aliases that it’s hard to keep up. And then Olivia’s phone rings.
News breaks about Air Force 2 so now Mellie, Jake, and all the rest of the national security goons need to figure out what’s going on, but not before things get worse. The plane gets redirected back to DC. This is an attack.
Back on the plane, a White House aide informs Cyrus that her laptop went missing not too long ago and she thinks that this is how this plane is being hijacked. Apparently, Jake was the last person who had access to Cyrus’ office so you know what that means. Cyrus tells Rosen that he thinks Jake is responsible because one, they hate each other, and two, Jake wants to be Vice President. Since it would be hard to remove Cyrus from office any other way, well the other surefire way out is…
Cyrus tells Rosen that they can’t trust anyone who receives a check from the federal government, which leaves one person on the plane that they turn to. It’s a woman in the control room who is trying to get a signal going. In the meantime, she does manage to crack through and get a signal enough to send the gladiators the virus for them to do what they do.
Mellie confronts Jake because she also thinks he’s guilty. Jake denies being responsible and brings up a good point, he could have killed Cyrus a long time ago and now they have bigger problems. Protocol means that Cyrus’ plane would have to be shot down if it gets too close to land, in order to prevent it from being used as a weapon.
At this point, fighter jets are surrounding the plane, so it’s looking like the worst might happen. There’s a reporter on board who manages to get the aforementioned woman in the control room to find wifi, which is a success. That’s when Cyrus gives a farewell speech to the passengers. It’s broadcasted to everyone on the ground (via the reporter’s phone), and it’s heartbreaking, but Cyrus is brave and very presidential.
Finally, Charlie comes through in the 11th hour. He manages to get into the system crisis is averted. Air Force 2 lands safely.
But there’s a nagging suspicion that Cyrus could have been behind this all along?
That’s what Olivia thinks. She goes to check on Cyrus and she also calls him out. He never outright admits to it, but we know how Cyrus talks when he has done something shady by now. This is part of a bigger plan that Cyrus has to get Mellie out of office in less than three years. The public really loves him now so they’d rally behind him. Olivia leaves on that note because she’s concerned and she recognizes the monster that he is, the one she almost became.
Next week she plans to do what she can to stop him.