Let the debate begin! The politically correct Mellie Grant is poised. The politically incorrect Hollis Doyle is a crowd-pleaser. The politically inexperienced Susan Ross is a deer in headlights. Fitz calls his veep during a commercial break to let her know that she only needs one good punch to turn things around. Not only does she deliver a punch, but her story about how her military husband John Latner was killed in Afghanistan is a total knockout. Your new undisputed heavyweight debate Champion of the World—Susan Ross!
Mellie believes America loves Susan and hates her. Olivia assures her that she will get her the Oval Office come hell or high water. She plans to expose Susan as a liar. There’s no record that she was every actually married. The plan is to reveal that she’s illegally collecting veteran benefits. That doesn’t pan out. What the team does learn is that John Latner is not the father of Susan’s daughter, Casey. The real baby daddy, Ronnie, is locked up in prison. Olivia will get him out if he plays ball.
Frankie Vargas doesn’t want to use the rumors about Edison Davis being addicted to painkillers. Nevertheless, the news breaks. Edison orders Papa Pope to pull in the reins on his daughter. That was a mistake. Papa P makes it clear that he’s the only one who gives orders. He’s the boss. The most Edison can ever be is leader of the free world. Papa Pope handles the situation. The nurse who was the source of the leak publically declares that Edison never had treatment at her facility. Alex Vargas blames Olivia for this major setback to his brother’s campaign. He’s later told to relinquish some of his top duties to Cyrus.
Olivia is ticked that Ronnie won’t play ball with her. She threatens to set him up so that he’ll serve an even longer prison sentence. She tells Ronnie he has no idea what she’s capable of. Ronnie caves. Plans to leak the fact that he’s Casey Ross’s daddy are set in motion until Huck tells Quinn they can’t follow through. Destroying a little girl’s life is crossing a line. So Quinn chats with Abby and an intervention is put in play. Special guest at the proceedings: The President of the United States.
Fitz knows all about Ronnie’s DNA test. He doesn’t want what happened to him to happen to Susan. Lots of yelling ensues. When things quiet down, Fitz tells Olivia that neither of them has to be the people they were in the past. Back at the White House, Fitz tells Susan that he can make all this go away. Or she could just come clean. He wants her to earn the office of the president. That’s not something he ever did. Fitz shuts the door so the two of them can have some privacy. He has a little story to tell.
Susan has come to a decision as to what she wants to do. Before she can reveal what it is, she receives some difficult news. Olivia gets the same news at around the same time. Ronnie is dead. He hanged himself in his cell. In other news, Susan and David are living out a fake relationship. It’s all Elizabeth’s idea. David wishes that it could go back to being a real relationship. He loves her. Susan assures him that he’s nothing more than a prop to her though. Elsewhere, Olivia and Fitz share a drink. They both agree to run clean campaigns from here on out.
Marcus takes Mellie to Los Angeles so she can be perceived as likeable on Jimmy Kimmel Live! That means reading Mean Tweets about herself. Mellie whines about doing this. Marcus goes off on her. He lets her know that this is exactly why people don’t like her, himself included. He later reads her some Mean Tweets about himself to prove a point. He wants Mellie to show the world that she can laugh at herself. So she reads some Mean Tweets, and everyone has a good laugh.