11:10 pm EDT, March 20, 2014

‘Scandal’ season 3, episode 14 recap: Dirty little secret

Our recap of Scandal season 3, episode 14 “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” breaks down the events of a very busy storyline that began with a big surprise.

Last week’s episode ended with a big cliffhanger: Jake appeared to have shot James or David after killing other people around them point blank. Since promos for the episode said the shooting would alter Scandal history, it was assumed that one of the two men was going to die. However, we had to wait until episode 14 to find out who was hit and if the damage was life-threatening.

“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” began where we left off, though this time we see things from the perspective of Jake. It turns out that he shot James. The police are investigating the scene and brief David, who’s pretending he doesn’t know what happened and is also leading the investigation.

We cut to Olivia and Cyrus. The latter is naturally in shock, and Olivia swears they’re going to capture the person who did this. Her first step: She decides that Fitz has to suspend the re-election campaign for a few days out of respect to Cyrus. Mellie suggests that Fitz bring gun control into this for political purposes, but he’s not interested in politicizing this tragedy. He gets a call from Sally who says that she too will put her campaign on hold as well. But she and her campaign advisor will use the free time to plot an endorsement from gun lobbies.

Olivia realizes that James’ death was actually a hit when noticing that one of the reporters involved with the Publius case is missing from the press room, which suggests she’s dead (press don’t miss White House events!). Abby goes to David and senses he’s lying. Olivia calls Jake and asks if he can look into it too. He says he can’t right now because he’s in the middle of something at the moment… burying the two women he killed.

Despite his husband’s death, Cyrus doesn’t want to stop working because he’s afraid Sally is going to steal the gun lobbyists. He equates her plan to killing himself (and Fitz’s campaign, of course). Meanwhile, Huck notices that Daniel Douglas’ file has been messed with, and he learns it was Quinn. He presents this information to Olivia, who then goes to Jake over the problem of B613 knowing everything about the Daniel Douglas murder. The fake couple have an intense fight over Jake becoming just like Rowan in terms of B613 management. He tells her to accept that James died in a car-jacking, and told her there will be consequences if she continues snooping.

scandal-season-3-episode-14-recap

While Jake puts pressure on David to change the pace of the investigation, Rowan meets with Olivia in the park. The daughter wants her father to be a dad for once because she needs some friendly advice. Rowan argues that Jake had no choice but to kill James because he is command. “You are responsible. You become the hand of God.” He says that Jake doesn’t need to be punished by Olivia because he’s already been punished by being the hand of God. After Rowan tells her that everyone – everyone – is worth saving, she breaks down and the two hold hands like a good father and daughter would.

Cyrus suggests that Fitz start fighting against gun rights because of James’ death and the fact that Fitz was shot, all in the name of getting votes back from the left rather than going after Sally, who the gun lobbyists are already leaning towards supporting. They follow through with this plan and it bumps Fitz up a few points in the polls.

Quinn and Huck catch up with one another. Huck tells her he caught her in the act of stealing Daniel Douglas’ files and vows to kill her, but their fight turns into some fierce kissing. Quinn tells him to “get the hell out” if he’s not going to kill her. It was one heck of an awkward make out, and more weird than the time Huck licked her face.

After a day of trying to win the support of the gun lobbyists, Mellie and Andrew have a fun chat about gun control. It leads Andrew to hitting on Mellie, and the two begin stripping each other’s clothes off. So much for keeping the knees together, First Lady.

Olivia gets confronted by Huck, Abby, and Harrison with separate issues all at once (those issues are Quinn, Jake, and Adnan respectively). She sits in silence, but then heads to speak to David. Keeping in mind what Rowan told her, Olivia tells David that they need to take down B613. “Lose this battle,” referring to James, “before we can win the war,” Olivia says.

One of the most touching scenes of the season came at the end of this episode, when Cyrus tries to speak to the media but breaks down on the podium. Fitz takes him off stage and Olivia steps in to detail the car-jacking story that Jake has put in place.

We flashback to Jake over James’ body as he’s dying. He apologizes for the slow death, but he says he had to make it messy so it looked like an amateur killed him in a carjacking.

Scandal and Olivia’s focus is clearly headed towards taking down B613 because the problems it has caused have become way too huge.

Other notes

– Olivia’s mom, now in bad-ass mode, is working with Adnan. We see Marie is in control of Adnan and in a meeting with two men. She kills one of them point blank when he’s not cooperating. Adnan goes to Harrison for a brief moment to look for an escape from Marie, but then comes up with a different solution.

– Throughout the episode, as a tribute to James, we saw several flashbacks to the early days of his and Cyrus’ relationship. They include when James made Cyrus come out, when James asked Cyrus on a date, and their subsequent first kiss. We also see some of their darker times, like when James wanted Cyrus to come out to Fitz. While Cyrus can’t come out to Fitz in the privacy of the Oval Office, he does invite James for a dance at the ball, which confirms to everyone at once that he’s gay.

What did you think of ‘Scandal’ season 3, episode 14? And James’ death?

A preview for episode 15, airing Thursday, March 27, shows that we’ll be meeting Fitz’s two elder children:

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