S5 E13 The Fish Rots From the Head

03/10/16 | TV-14 | CC

Ladies love a guy with a steady job. Even though Fitz may be in the last leg of his presidency, he’s still making the most of his position by entertaining a revolving door of Washington women in that big white house where he currently resides. The Secret Service is hip to the presidential playboy’s ways and they are following his lead by having a few private parties of their own. One hotel room rendezvous gets out of hand. A prostitute named Megan Matthews ends up dead. Instead of phoning the police, the White House opts to call Olivia Pope.

The Pope & Associates cleaning service springs into action. All links between the Secret Service and the dead woman are washed away. Marcus later discovers that Megan’s death wasn’t an accident. It was murder. Nevertheless, Olivia orders the team to not pursue the matter any further.

Mellie brings her young son, Teddy, over to see his dad. Unfortunately, Fitz wasn’t expecting this visit as evidenced by the fact that Lisa from the Treasury Department pops out into the bedroom wearing nothing but a fluffy little White House robe. Mellie shuffles Teddy away. She tells Olivia what happened. A short time later, the Pope & Associates cleaning service shifts gears to look into Megan’s murder.

Cyrus Beene continues his efforts to get Francisco Vargas into the Oval Office. The only problem is that the guy is actually running for president…yet. He sets up a meeting between Fitz and Vargas. It’s a disaster. That’s because Cyrus planned it that way so that a now-angry Vargas would go on Sally Langston’s show for some much-needed exposure. Unfortunately, the Governor of Pennsylvania declares he has no intention of running for president. The question is… Why?

Thanks to some more master manipulation by Cyrus, Susan Ross soon finds herself on Sally Langston’s TV show defending the president’s education plan. She clearly doesn’t believe anything she’s saying. She’s actually a fan of the education plan Governor Vargas has been trying to push through.

When Olivia learns what really happened in Megan’s murder, she heads over to the White House. A meeting with Fitz is arranged. Small talk ensues. Then the subject of Megan Matthews is brought up. They also chat about the president’s recent transgressions as well as the fact that Olivia and Mellie are currently in cahoots. Things quickly deteriorate. Olivia knows it’s time to leave, but not before she lays out the truth. She lets Fitz know that he needs to ask himself if the person he’s become is really the person he wants to be.

Fitz invites Susan Ross in to see him. He wants to know what she really thinks of Governor Vargas’ education. She actually likes it. Fitz advises her to never lie to the American people again. He assures her that she has his endorsement to be president. She may not want it right now, but Fitz will earn her respect by being the president, and the man, who is worthy of it. A short time later, the president address the nation assuring them that he has zero tolerance for the behavior his Secret Service agents have recently engaged in.

The reason Governor Vargas doesn’t want to run for president is because his 5-year-old daughter is sick with cancer. Without revealing that he has knowledge of the governor’s private life, Cyrus tells the tale of how his paralyzed brother shaped the course of his life by answering a calling that goes beyond himself, beyond his family. It’s a truly moving story. It’s also enough to convince Vargas to run for president. Cyrus is asked to run his campaign. This would undoubtedly make his paralyzed brother proud—if only Cyrus actually had one.

Olivia spies on Jake and his new lady love. She wants to know what he’s up to. Jake breaks into Olivia’s place. He knows she’s been spying on him. He also knows no one will ever do for her what he can do for her. Jake begins an intense seduction, but it doesn’t last. Olivia tells him to stop. She doesn’t want this anymore. She only wants to know what he’s up to—especially now that he’s just become engaged to be married.

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