Just as Olivia admitted that she was the President’s mistress, Fitz and Mellie were sitting down to tell the world how happy they were in their marriage and Abby had to ditch her heels to sprint across the White House to stop the debacle.
Below, TV Fanatics Whitney Evans, Jim Garner, Miranda Wicker and Christine Orlando debate who made the biggest mistake, whether Jake needs to block Olivia’s number and who they’d choose as a drinking buddy after Scandal Season 5 Episode 3...
Who made the biggest mistake in this episode?
Whitney: Fitz by underestimating Cyrus. It seemed to me like when he was lobbying for Mellie about how hurt and lonely she was, he was really talking about himself. And although Fitz doesn't really owe him anything, a little bit of compassion could have gone a long way. He knows Cyrus well enough to know that he wasn't going to take that final rejection well.
Jim: I agree with Whitney, Fitz knows that Cyrus is a bit like a rabid animal and should never have taken his eyes off of him. He would have been smarter to keep the man close where he could keep an eye on him.
Miranda: Fitz. Isn't he always the one who makes the biggest mistakes?
Christine: Let’s make it unanimous. Fitz. He could have turned Cyrus down but tried to play nice. Cyrus knows where all of the bodies are buried, both literal and figurative, and Fitz knows he has no problem playing dirty. Humiliating and dismissing him like that was really stupid.
Should Jake stop taking Olivia’s phone calls?
Whitney: Yes, but he's never going to stop. He's loyal to Olivia and that is never going to change.
Jim: We all know he won't even if he should. Hell, its about as likely as Olivia not taking Fitz's calls.
Miranda: Well, yes, he probably should. But what else is he going to do if he's not answering her calls and offering to whisk her away as soon as she gives the word?
Christine: Oh Jake, I wish there was a viable story for him if he did stop taking Olivia’s calls, but I don’t see one on the horizon.
Which character from the show would you choose as a drinking buddy?
Whitney: Olivia because I also love wine and dancing around my apartment to Stevie Wonder.
Jim: I'm going with Jake, the man has decent taste in alcohol and knows when its time to just stop, sit down, and get plowed.
Miranda: Jake, definitely. Quinn is probably a weird drunk who passes out awkwardly mid-sentence, and I'd be too afraid that Huck would be an angry drunk and kill me. Jake seems like the guy who knows how to handle his alcohol and have a good time.
Christine: I’m going with Jake. He seems like he could be a fun drunk where Quinn and Huck I can see getting weird and Olivia would just pout about Fitz.
Rowan’s back. Are you happy to see him or do you wish he were gone for good?
Whitney: I have been over Rowan for a long, long time. His reappearance means one thing and one thing only to me: B613 is back. That storyline has run its course and needs to be retired.
Jim: While I've loved Joe Morton since the first season of Eureka, I agree with Whitney that they really need to go ahead and retire the B613 story line and move on. How hard is it to write in another shadow organization for goodness sake (hehehe)?
Miranda: I love Joe Morton as much as the next fan, but I'm so, so done with Rowan Pope. No, I'm not excited he's back. At all. I'm curious about the code phrase and what it means, but I wish it were coming without Papa Pope.
Christine: Love the actor. Done with the character. The only upside is that he may give Jake something to do besides chase after Olivia like a kicked puppy.
Did anything in “Paris is Burning” disappoint you?
Whitney: I guess it was wishful thinking on my part, but I thought there might be some resolution to the Fitz/Olivia situation. Instead it looks like Olivia will be persecuted in the press, it'll probably drive a wedge between them, and we'll get another season of their tiresome back and forth.
Jim: I was a bit disappointed on how easily Cyrus was able to to play Mellie. He asked her if Fitz gave her more and HE DID, he gave her compassion and a heartfelt apology. She should have known Cyrus had an agenda.
Miranda: I thought Abby threw a bit of a snit when she said Olivia didn't think she was good at her job. She knew better and that little tantrum just weakened her to me.
Christine: I couldn’t believe it when Olivia called Jake to say she thought she made a mistake, then the second he offered to save her from herself once again, she hung up and went back to Fitz. The poor guy just can’t stay away.
What was your favorite quote or scene from this episode?
Whitney: I liked Abby standing up for herself. Olivia truly hurt her by lying, and she didn't let her get away with it.
Jim: I liked the interactions with Olivia and Abby. It showed how far Abby has come and how much Olivia needs to trust her friend. In the end, they were able to get past it!
Miranda: I really loved Cyrus begging for his spot back at the White House, not because he deserves it, but because I thought it was earnest. Up until that point, he was genuinely trying to work things out for Fitz by getting him to take Mellie back, believing, I think, that that's what Mellie really wanted. When he realized he'd lost, he pretty much tossed up a middle finger, and he has now (probably) destroyed Fitz. Don't mess with that Animal, guys.
Christine: Olivia and Mellie. I loved it when Mellie told Olivia how everything she’d worked so hard for would change what her life would be like at the White House, especially this quote…
Do you like to decorate, Olivia? Come winter time do you find little snowflake ornaments and golden pinecones just adorable? I hope you do because those 111 Christmas trees don't just design themselves.Mellie
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.