Sally Langston opens Scandal Season 5 Episode 1 by skewering Fitz for the ways he's mislead the American people in planning a dinner for an American citizen who has married into European royalty. Fitz and Olivia have been carrying on with their affair, but few outside Fitz' military detail know about their relationship. She's taken to spending the night in the White House with him.
Mellie is uninvited from the state dinner for Princess Emily and the Prince of Caledonia under the ruse that she has the flu. Fitz uses the opportunity to approach the Queen about a military base but she asks for more time. Later that night, Olivia gets a call from the Queen of Caledonia. The Princess is dead just hours after remarking to Olivia that the world no longer sees her as a person but instead as a spectacle.
Olivia goes to work for the Queen and Prince to manage the press surrounding. She and Quinn track down paparazzi who were on site to buy the photos of the dead princess. When one publication refuses to surrender their photos, Olivia turns the story into a human interest piece. After working all night, Quinn and Olivia discover that the princess was murdered and turn to David for help.
Mellie and Liz have words about Fitz's refusal to attend Mellie's swearing in. Liz informs Mellie she's officially on the outside and alone. Sally Langston calls Abby to ask about the happenings inside the White House. Sally knows there is trouble in paradise and thinks the government might be behind the princess' death to cover it all up.
In the hallway at the White House, Olivia dodges Abby so she won't get caught. Olivia tells Fitz he has to attend Mellie's swearing in ceremony. Abby gives a statement in the press room regarding Fitz' absence from the ceremony and a reporter lets her know that he is, in fact, in attendance. After the swearing in, Fitz asks Mellie for a divorce.
Fitz tells Olivia about his plan to divorce Mellie and she reacts with less enthusiasm than he expected. He doesn't want to wait until he's done being President to be with her. Later, David calls Olivia to tell her that someone did murder the princess. She and Quinn piece together that the princess and her bodyguard, who died in the accident with her, were having an affair. She and David go to Fitz with the information.
Olivia wants to prosecute the party responsible for murdering the princess and her lover but Fitz and Liz feel like it's too risky. Olivia and Fitz fight and Olivia returns to her apartment where Huck has been sleeping on her couch. He hopes Olivia can fix him. She doesn't believe she can.
After witnessing the fight between Olivia and Fitz, Liz goes to Abby to say that she can't keep the secret. Liz helps Abby realize that Olivia has been undermining her with the press corps, even if Olivia doesn't know she has been and didn't intend to do it.
Mellie visits Cyrus to ask him to beg for his job back so that Cyrus will prevent Fitz from divorcing her. He refuses and she lays out the truth of their relationship to Fitz. In short, Fitz hates them both.
David gives Olivia information about the princess, her autopsy report. She was pregnant with her lover's baby and Olivia learns that the Queen had her killed to cover it up. Olivia returns home to find that Huck has left, and we learn she still hasn't replaced her stained couch cushion. Olivia spies a newspaper and decides to tell the prince about his mother's indiscretion.
Huck visits Jake to ask for help putting his killer back inside.
Olivia convinces Fitz to hold off on his divorce from Mellie just as Sally Langston shows the world pictures of their affair.