Scandal (2012–2018): Season 5, Episode 15 - Pencils Down - full transcript

When Mellie makes a public faux pas, Olivia must decide how far she'll go to fix it. Meanwhile, the Gladiators learn valuable intel about Jake's new love interest, and David Rosen seeks advice about his love triangle with Liz North and Susan Ross.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
"The Liberty Report"
with Sally Langston.

Two gifts have arrived,

addressed to you,
Lovers of Liberty.

The first gift...
Hollis Doyle.

The Texas truth-teller is
throwing his hat into the ring.

To which I say... yee-haw!
Saddle up, little doggie.

The second gift?

Well, yours truly has agreed

to host
the first Republican debate...

a duty I take very seriously,

for debates mean setting aside

petty infighting
between the candidates

and putting the lofty concerns

of the voters and the republic
above all.

Come on.

You really think
it's okay for your network

to allow Hollis Doyle's
super PAC to advertise

during the debate?

We haven't decided
on super PACs.

The Supreme Court

- calls that free speech, Livvie.
- You may as well say,

"This debate sponsored
by Hollis Doyle Industries."

Fine by me.
I can afford it.

Are you sure
you don't want

your lawyer to represent you
in these negotiations,

Mr. Doyle?

Ain't nobody speaks better
for Hollis Doyle

than Hollis Doyle.

No siree Bob.

Okay, fine.

BNC will ban
all candidates' super PACs

from running ads.

let's discuss podiums.

- We want clear, Lucite.
- Oh, no way.

My candidate's
vertically challenged.

She needs a box to stand on.

And risk losing
that shorty vote?

She can't use a box
if the podium is clear.

That's all
people would talk about.

I'd kill
for some of that shorty vote.

The purpose
of this whole endeavor

is for the voters
to get a good, clear look

at all the candidates.

Oh, please. This is all about
showing off Mellie's legs.

Not at all.

Solid podium, 6-inch box.
Moving on.

Whatever candidate is ahead
in the BNC poll

released 24 hours ahead
of the debate

is declared
the front-runner

and gets the podium
at center stage.

Your poll?

You have a problem
with our polling?

Your samples are tiny.
Your questions are vague.

- Frankly, your polling sucks.
- She is right.

It isn't reliable enough
to determine a front-runner.

The stakes of who's at
the center podium are too high.

We stand by our poll.
This point is not negotiable.

We want a red light
indicating when time is up...

a light and a buzzer.

Y'all think
some little toy buzzer's

gonna keep the truth
from tumbling from these jaws?

I say,
good luck and Godspeed.

No light.
No buzzer.

Then no Mellie.

Next issue...
opening statements.

Did you hear me?

I'm pulling my candidate.

Whoa! That's some sore losin'
right there.

It's no secret that Sally
and Hollis are friends.

If there's no buzzer,
no blinking light,

she'll let him run wild,
fill all the air time.

I'm sorry...
no light, no buzzer.

Then this debate is biased
before it begins.

We're out.

Olivia, don't.

Save it, Richard.
She's just posturing.

I'm pulling Mellie,
and auctioning off

a one-hour exclusive interview
with her

to your competition.

And whichever network gives me
the most favorable terms

gets to air that interview

go head-to-head
with your debate

and spend the hour
slamming BNC's blatant bias

while sucking
half your ratings.

Good luck explaining that
to your advertisers.

Ms. Pope...

How'd it go?

Just wait.

I don't...

Why are you smiling?

Just wait.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Okay, Olivia.
Lights and buzzers.

Of my choosing.



Now, about those podiums.

What you're suggesting,
Mr. Doyle...

that's not
an immigration policy,

it's institutionalized

- Now, hold on a minute.
- If we close our borders...

Do you have any idea how much
of our economy depends

on the ideas and contributions
of non-citizens?

The best young minds
in the world,

they come here,
they enroll in our universities,

and once they graduate,
they stay.

And we want them to stay.

They become our engineers,
our doctors, our scientists.

Immigration isn't a curse,
Mr. Doyle.

It's the key
to staying competitive.

How was that?


Excellent, actually.

She's knocking it
out of the park.

Climate change, immigration,
reproductive rights.

You're trying
to psych me out.

I'm trying to recruit you.

Susan is the real deal, Liv...
smart, passionate.


You say that so longingly.

- Is Mellie...
- Being Mellie?

- Yes.
- I can't... I won't...

I guarantee you
there is no one on this planet

as stubborn and as arrogant
and as big a pain in the ass

as Mellie Grant.

And yet, somehow, I think
she'd make a great president.

Is that crazy?

Yes, it is, Liv.

Speaking of wannabe presidents,
you've heard the rumors?

I have.

- Well? Is it true?
- I don't know.

If anyone knew, it'd be you.
Aren't you curious?

I'm looking into it.

So, are you
running for President?

How'd you hear?

You should announce.

I'm announcing
in the morning.

Before I do,
I wanted to check in with you

- about Meridian Terrace
- About Meridian Terrace.

Don't worry about it.

It's just,
once I announce,

my enemies will dig deeper
than ever before.

don't worry about it.

You vouched for me
on national television.

I owe you.

Thank you, Liv.



You'll be
a great candidate.


I figure it's about time we had
our first black president.


It's about time we had
our first woman president.

Good luck
in the election.

You, too.

Help me.

Oh! David!
What the hell?

I'm sorry.
I needed someone to talk to,

and you're the only one
I can talk to about this.

"This" as in the two women
you're still seeing?

It's an addiction.

David, I don't have time.

With one woman...
the good woman...

the sex is
good, intimate.

Stop talking.

But with the other woman...
the nasty woman...

the sex is...

Well, it's still good,
but it's nasty.

Not listening.

The things she does,

the vile, awful things...
the biting...

This is harassment!

It's starting
to affect my work.

I'm zoning out
all the time.

I'm forgetting
important details.

How is the Attorney General
of the United States

supposed to do his job

when he's in some weird,
dirty sex trance?

You stop seeing her.

- Which her?
- I don't care.

I need your help.
Help me choose.

Get out!


In here... now.


Hi, Susan.


I asked David
to join us this morning

because there's something
we need to discuss.


People have started asking
questions about your personal life.

They're speculating
in an effort to relate to you,

identify with you.

They're wondering if
you've found someone special.


I think it's time
we tell the world that you have.

The two of you need to come out
as a public couple...

after the debate,

When the families come up
to hug their candidates,

David needs to come up
and hug you, Susan.


That is... That is a lot
to ask of a person.

do you have a problem

going up on-stage
after the debate?

you don't need to answer that.

I'll do it.

After the debates,

I'll come up on-stage
with you... For you.

I'll do it, Susan.
I want to do it.

I choose to do it.

Okay, then.

I'll let the press know
it's happening.

Name of the game
is messaging.

We're not just selling
Frankie Vargas.

We're offering a product.
We're offering belief.

We're offering
a chance for something better.

Connect with Frankie,
believe in Frankie.

And you get... better.

Now, we have the message.

Next question is, how do we
communicate it to the people?

Excuse me.

I like that logo.
It's nice, polished.

But, come November,
we're not counting the people

who like our artwork
or our slogan.

- We're counting votes.
- Yes. I'll get to that.

And we know
how to turn out votes,

don't we,
my Frankie Friends?

All right, to turn out votes,

we've got to take it
to the streets, right?

Win them one by one... just like
we did in Pittsburgh in 2010.

Don't forget Scranton.

How could I,

How could any of us,

It was 10 below,
sleet in our faces,

getting those buses
of elderly and disabled folks

- to their polling places.
- Yeah!

we got to take that spirit...

...and multiply it.

All right?
Share our commitment.

Share the love we have
for Frankie Vargas

with the good people
of Iowa.

And New Hampshire!

And every single state!

Until it's 10 below again,
sleet in our faces.

But this time?

This time,
we're in Washington, D.C.

On the steps of the Capitol,

watching my brother sworn in

as the next President
of the United States.

Hey. Alex Vargas.
And you are?

- He's my brother.
- Yes, I know that.

So, what's the problem?

The problem, Governor,

is that I'm running
your campaign for president,

and if your brother doesn't
respect that, or worse,

thinks he's in charge...

He knows
you're in charge.

Yes, but I'm not sure
he likes it.

He's my brother.

You really have a problem
with my brother?



Glad we're
on the same page.

I just don't like her.

Smug... that's the word.

Smug and arrogant.

And I hated
the way she said...

Divisive. It's such
an inside-the-Beltway term.

You know what I mean?

That hair...
makes me miss my soaps.

I liked her book,
but when she starts talking...

Yeah. She might be okay
if she didn't talk.

She seems, I don't know,
like, too smart or something.

"Too smart"?

don't take it literally.

Their feedback
all made the same point.

The point being
they're idiots.

We can't base
a national strategy off them.

They're not as stupid
as you think.

Maybe they sense
your... disdain.

- Shut up.
- Mellie.

My ideas are good.

I am addressing the issues
they say are important to them.

That's true, but you come off
as aloof, out-of-touch.

I'm neither of those things.

How much does a gallon of gas
cost... national average?


That's right.

Of course it's right.

I can give you the average price
in every state if you like...

regular or diesel.

I can also tell you
that if we keep the gas tax

at the absurdly low rate
of 18 cents a gallon,

the Highway Trust Fund
will run out of money

- by the middle of next year.
- And right there...

- that's the problem.
- What?

You're a know-it-all,


the people in that room

are the same people who are
gonna be watching the debate,

who are gonna
go to the polls,

who are gonna be electing
our next President.

And they aren't gonna
vote for you

if they get the feeling
that you think you're smarter

than everybody else.

I am fighting
their fight, Liv.

I'm just fighting it
as a Rhodes Scholar.

They are benefiting
from how smart I am.

And now I'm supposed
to... dumb it down?

Mellie Grant...
woman of the people.


I'm letting other people's
security cameras

- do the work for us.
- Any anomalies?

He heads to work at 7:00,
eats most of his lunches there,

goes to the White House,
sometimes Langley.

Then, around 7:30 or 8:00,
he's back in his car

and either joining your father
for a late dinner

or heading home
to blondie.

He's using her for something.
I just can't figure out what.

I can keep tracking him
like this, if you want.

It's perfectly untraceable...
that's the good news.

- The bad news is...
- It's not enough.


Plan "B"?

Plan "B."

So, the main point
of the article

is that women need
to stop apologizing for

well, basically,
just giving our opinions.

Vanessa Moss?


Uh, we went to college together
at Smith.

Jacqueline Horton.

Nice to meet you,

Wow, I can't believe
you recognized me.

God, are you kidding?

You were the star
of the English department.

Your poetry
was legendary.

That seems like
a lifetime ago.

I can't remember the last time
I wrote something.

Well, besides a briefing.

Oh, my God... that ring.

Your guy did good.

Jake's pretty amazing.

So, tell me everything.

Where and when, deejay or band,
casual or black tie?

Oh. Um, we haven't really nailed
down all the details yet.

Oh, if you want, I have tons of
wedding books I could give you.

and my photographer was a dream.

He even made my mother-in-law
look like an angel.

- Really?
- Mm-hmm.

I would love that.

That is so sweet of you,

Are you kidding?
It's my pleasure.

So, what does
your schedule look like

for the rest of the week?



Just wanted to thank you

for clearing
the President's schedule.

Oh, it was nothing.

What you should really
thank me for

is convincing him
not to do Hollis' accent.

I heard him practicing
in the Oval.

It was dreadful.

Is this...

- Does this belong to...
- Oh, it's David Rosen's.

He stops by,
complains about

the difficulties
of juggling his women.

At first I thought he was
trying to make me jealous...

I'm sorry.

Yeah. He's got a couple of them,
apparently... super annoying.

A couple of women?

I've gotten pretty good
at tuning him out.

Anyway, thanks.

I'm afraid he'll be back
all too soon to get this.

Madam Vice President?

Madam Vi... Susan!

I'm sorry.

Uh, what was
the question again?

Committing troops.

Right. Well,
the situation in Kashfar...


Bandar, right.

I always get
those two women confused.



You said, "I always get
those two women confused."


I meant countries.

Debate prep is for ninnies.

Only thing ol' Hollis needs

is eight hours of sleep
and a good, hearty breakfast.

Mr. Doyle has decided that
he doesn't want to pay taxes.

That's why he sets up
his companies overseas.

Lose the bitch face.

Mr. Doyle has decided
he doesn't...

Still bitch face.

I'm smiling.

Yeah. Like you're better
than everybody else.

I don't know
what you want.

I want Filibuster Mellie.
Where's that Mellie?

That's who America loves.

That's who
they want to vote for.

The Mellie who takes off her
shoes and eats a protein bar.

I had been on my feet
all day.

I was tired and hungry,
and I had to pee.

I was practically feral.

You were human.

you need to watch your arms.

I'm using less arms.

Use a little less
than that.

Come on.

Come on, don't be shy.




Senator Grant has missed
127 votes since being in office.

That's 24%.


24 is the number
of EPA sanctions

leveled against
Doyle Energy last year.

Let's start again.

Did you break Susan?

Because your girlfriend
is in a death spiral.

Just fix it, okay?

"Pencils down."

We all remember
those dreaded words from school.

When you heard them,
it meant you were out of time.

That's a feeling our
Republican presidential hopefuls

can relate to.

With only two days left
before their first debate,

they're cramming like crazy

in preparation for the most
important test of their lives...

a test,
my dear Lovers of Liberty,

that you will be grading.

Oh, and it will be tough one.

How do I know?

Because I'm writing it.

Wedding books?

you want to tell me?

They're for Vanessa.

I told her
I got married last month.

We're meeting
for drinks later

so I can share
my extensive bridal knowledge.

Good. The more
you get to know her,

the better our chances are

of finding out
what her value is to Jake.

Olivia Pope.

Can I help you?

Alejandro Vargas.


How can I help you,
Mr. Vargas?

Alex. I'm sure
you're pretty busy...

- I am pretty busy.
- No doubt.

I'm helping my brother,
Frankie, with his campaign.

I'm not here
to talk about him.

I'm here to help you
with Senator Grant.

I think I can handle that
on my own.

Thanks, though.

Well, this is dirt
on Susan Ross.


That look in your eye
is priceless.

You got to love politics.

Let me guess.

You scratch my back,
I scratch yours?

You give me that envelope if I
give you dirt on Edison Davis?

I love your shop.

Did you and Cyrus
cook that up?

I'm not your adversary.

We trade dirt,
I win the Democratic primary,

you win the Republican,

then we become

Hmm. Sorry, Mr. Vargas.
I don't play dirty.

Uh, should you
change your mind...

I just air dropped you
my contact info.

Alex Vargas... 42, single,

has run every one of
his older brother's campaigns

and won them all.

How does he do it?


By any means necessary.

They just win... dirt,
intimidation, connections.

Alex is wildly loyal
to his brother.

He cold-cocked a councilman
in city hall

when he called Frankie "Amigo"
in an interview.

I've been going over
this Mellie stuff we shot.

I know she's working hard at it,

She's still
no woman of the people?

I think we need to do
another focus group.

We don't have time.

Hollis is stealing
all the news cycles.

We've got to get Mellie out
in public before the debate,

or all Sally's questions
are gonna be

about why she's hiding
from the electorate.

The Gettysburger test?

The Gettysburger test.

- Welcome to Gettysbur...
- Thank you.

Oh, my God.

Hi, there.

Hello. Hi.

- Oh, oh. Hi, sir.
- Oh!

Oh, you can go on up front,

Oh, heavens, no.

I can wait my turn
like everybody else.

A hat? Really?

Really. We're beating Hollis
at his own game, Mellie...

offering up
the picture-perfect image

of a down-home, relatable,
approachable candidate

people will want
to vote for.

You go in there,
you stand in line,

and you place your order.

I'm thinking
a Double Lincoln with Cheese.

Double Lincoln with Cheese,

And don't forget about
the Little Round Topper.


After that, you find a booth on
the east side of the restaurant

by the windows... that's
the best spot for the cameras.

What if all the booths
are taken?

Even better.

You join
whoever's sitting there.

You keep
the conversation light,

and you enjoy the hell
out of your meal.

Just make sure you finish
the entire thing.

You skipped breakfast,

Senator, when's the last time
you ate at a Gettysburger?

Oh, I must admit,
it's been a little while.

Are you enjoying your Freedom
Fries as much as I am, Billy?

So you've been
to a Gettysburger before, then?

What kind of American would I be
if I hadn't, Jim?

Which location?


Which location
have you been to?


Federal Triangle, usually.

Or 21st and Q.
You know the one?

It's in the shopping mall
there on the third floor.

You have to really look
for that one, though.

It's right next
to the carousel.

Karen and I used to stop in
every Sunday.

It's the one
closest to our church.

Uh, I'm sorry, you said you
used to stop in every Sunday?

Like clockwork...
right after services.


Gettysburger's closed
on Sundays.

In honor of the first
major battle of the Civil War...

happened on a Sunday.

I thought everybody
knew that.

It's Burgergate!

Oh, come on.
She was mistaken.

She was lying!

That woman hasn't ever
stepped foot in a Gettysburger,

and she knows it.

Out of all the things
to lie about, Hank,

why would she lie
about eating a burger?

Because she knows she's got
to soften her image, Brooke.

Mellie Grant's an ice queen.

Susan Ross
is going to stomp her.

Susan Ross
is far too classy a lady

to make hay
over this non-scandal.

Hollis Doyle,
on the other hand...

Susan Ross,
Hollis Doyle, what...

I'm ruined.

It's over.
I can't come back from this.

How can I
come back from this?

What are we gonna do?

You shouldn't have lied,

Nobody told you to lie.

I was trying to improvise,
be folksy...

woman of the people!

That's what you wanted me
to do!

So, what now?

I don't know.

I'm thinking.

This entire mess
is your fault.

I did your ridiculous,
little Gettysburger plan,

and it blew up in my face.

Hollis is gonna go to town
on this.

Stop thinking
and start doing!

Fix it, Olivia!

- Big news.
- Cyrus.

I have a source.
Two sources.

What's going on?

Edison Davis...
He's running.

Well, he's going to.

His advance team is
scouting a location

for him to announce...
could be soon as today.

We know.
Alex heard last night.

Oh. Well...

We need to adjust our strategy,
get oppo research on this.

Alex is on it.

Alex is on it?

Does Alex specialize
in oppo research, too?

He's got some good ideas.


You all right?

I heard debate prep
was a bit of a bust today.

Are you cheating on me?

Of course not.
Why are you asking that?

You're sure?

You can tell me the truth.

I can take it.

I'm not cheating on you.
That's the truth.

So why did I hear a rumor

that you've been seeing
two women?

I'm a public figure.
You know how it is.

People say all sorts of things
about you that aren't true.

All those late nights
at the office

and last-minute
work obligations...

Are just that...
late nights at the office

and work obligations.

I don't want to be
with anyone else.

It's you... only you.

Besides, I barely had
enough game to seduce you.

I'm not smooth enough
to have an affair.


Do you still want me
to come up on-stage?

If there are rumors out there,
I'd understand...

No. Of course
I want you up there.

Thank you.

I must say, your, um...
Your voice-mail surprised me.

There was
a note of helplessness...

a daughter who needs her daddy
to make her boo-boo go away.

You gonna tell me
what's going on?

I got a visit yesterday

- from Frankie Vargas's brother.
- Mm-hmm.

He offered me
dirt on Susan Ross

if I gave him
dirt on Edison.

I didn't think I needed it,
so I sent him packing.

And then?

And then my candidate
announced to the world

in the middle of a Gettysburger
that she was a big phony,

so now, instead of being
neck-and-neck with Susan,

we're polling a distant third
behind her and Hollis.

I should take the dirt,
shouldn't I?

Of course I should.

It's stupid
I'm even asking.

I mean, let's be honest,

I could've invited a friend over
and sought their opinion,

but instead I asked you.

I brought you here because
I've already decided to do it,

and I want you
to give me permission.

So, go ahead.

Give me
your speech about power

and how the only person I need
to be loyal to is myself.

Tell me that friendship
is a hindrance to greatness

and that I should do
whatever has to be done

to get my candidate

Say those
things, please.

Tell me
what I need to hear

so that I can stop wasting time
and get back to work.

Let me
ask you something.

Back during
the impeachment hearings,

when the public
was asking for your head...

who came to your rescue and sang
your praises on national television?


Whose engagement ring
did you return

because he was the head
of the Senate Intel Committee

and your father
felt threatened by him?

This isn't the speech
I was asking for.

This man has been
nothing but nice to you.

I get that, but I...

But what?

You've played dirty before?
Poisoned a few arrows?

Of course you have.

But that was always at the
expense of someone you loathed.

You were Robin Hood,

stealing from the rich
and giving to the poor.

This would be different.

This would be hurting
someone you respect,

who is innocent,

someone who has never
done anything to harm you.

You'd no longer be Robin Hood,
Olivia, you'd be...


The reason
Mellie Grant imploded today

is because you were trying to
make her something she wasn't.

I'd hate to see you make
the same mistake with yourself.

after running into him again,

he asked me out,
and here we are.

That happened so fast?

Yeah. I don't know
if I believe in fate,

but if it wasn't fate,
it was pretty darn close.

Oh, God.
I envy that.

It's so romantic to just know
after only a few months.


I can tell you, he definitely
knows all my secrets.

That's the one drawback
to marrying the head of the NSA.

Those guys
dig pretty deep, huh?

Oh, yeah.

I had to submit
all my tax records,

bank statements...
what else?

Laptops and stuff?


They did
a full background check.

Okay, now,
that is not romantic.

No, not at all.
But it's his job.

Neither of us
really had a choice.


He really cares
about America.


Then I guess it's Susan Ross',

'cause Mellie...

What'd you find
on Edison Davis?

He's clean as a whistle.

That's impossible!

The man's from Florida,
for God's sake!

That's 65,000 square miles
of corruption.

- Nobody escapes that.
- He has.

Well, he's not our main concern,
but keep looking.

We have to cover our bases.

Do you need to get home?


Not yet.

what about Alex Vargas?

- What have you found on him?
- Still working on it.

Put your coat back on.


Put your coat back on,
and don't come back to me

until you have something
on Alex Vargas.

Alex Vargas is a hiccup.
You've dealt with far worse.

He's not just somebody
who wants my job.

He's family... blood.
Blood's different.

Blood gets rewarded for the
simple fact that they're blood.

Trust me.

I'm one brotherly heart-to-heart
away from being demoted

to Frankie Vargas'
body man.



Remove your pants,

I was about
to come see you.

Well, now you're gonna come over
to that couch,

and I'm gonna
sit on top of you.

And I'm gonna
move up and down

until your eyes roll back
in your head.

Is this because Susan's been
doing better in the debate prep

since I talked to her?

Yep. Whatever you said to her
worked like a charm.

She's back on her game

This is your reward.

Now, I can either pull
your pants down for you,

or you can do it yourself.

But they need
to come off.

I can't do it.

Well, it's really easy,
but, fine, I'll do it.

I mean I can't do this.

- Do what?
- This thing... us.

I can't do us.

Don't play
hard to get, David.

It might be a turn-on for you,
but it's not for me.

Now, heels or no heels?

I mean it, Liz.
We're done.

You're serious?

You are dumping me?


You're sure about that?



That's not
how this works.


I'm in love
with Susan Ross.

- She's a muppet!
- Elizabeth...

Not even
one of the main ones.

- Liz...
- She'd be way in the back.

They'd only let her
play tambourine

in their little
muppet band.


Do not talk about Susan
like that anymore.

I was nice to you.
I liked you.

I wasn't sleeping with
anyone else this entire time.


I'm sorry.

Enjoy the minor leagues.

They're using her
for her bank accounts.

She mentioned something

about Jake asking for all
of her bank-account numbers,

which I thought was weird,
because I was pretty sure

the NSA doesn't require
financial information

in their standard
spouse-registration form.

So I double-checked,
and I was right.

- Quinn, Slow down.
- Really?

- Yeah.
- You sure?

Because you usually
don't want me to...


So, uh, someone accessed
all of Vanessa's accounts

and cloned their reverse
promontory points,

which allowed them
to funnel money

through incremental
proxy withdrawals,

- and then...
- Sorry. You were right.

Get to the point.

Jake's using Vanessa's money
to fund a super PAC.

A super PAC?

Do you know
which candidate it's for?


Twice in one week.

I should run for President
more often.

I need to talk to you
about my father.

Okay, I'm listening.

You only know him

as the man who fell from grace
at the Smithsonian,

but he's actually
much more powerful than that

and much more dangerous.

How so?

I think he's secretly funding
your super PAC,

which means that,
at some point,

he's going to ask you
for a favor.

And, trust me, you do not want
to do any favors for that man.

Or what?
He'll do me terrible harm?

He's already reached out to you,
hasn't he?

When a man of his stature,
his accomplishments,

tells you that he can make you
the next president,

that's hard to turn down.

Do you know
what he's about?

The things he's done?

You forget
that I'm the head

of the Senate Intelligence
Committee, Olivia.

Edison, you don't want him
anywhere near you.

You know many things,

But here's something
that you may not know.

The Senate
is a gilded cage...

a place of great comfort
and wonderful perks,

where you think that
you're making a difference,

but you're not.

It's just you
and 99 others

grimly reminding yourselves
every day

that the only way out of this,
the only way to make your mark,

is to be President.

You're getting into bed
with a monster.

Correction... I'm getting into
bed with a monster's father.

Anyway, thanks so much
for coming by.

Hollis Doyle taking the lead
in the latest polls,

securing the center podium
for tomorrow's debate.

I'd say this is quite
a surprising turn of events.

You know, Brooke,
I'm gonna go on the record

and say that
I am not surprised.

Come on.

You're still here?

Oh, Mr. President.

You should go home, Susan...
get a good night's rest.

I don't think I'd be able to
sleep tonight if I tried, sir.

You know,
I'm sorry about today.

You don't need to be sorry
about anything.

No, I do.
I was off my game.

I disappointed you.
I could tell.

Because I was dealing with
a silly, little personal issue.

But I'm back now.
I am all good.

Glad to hear it.

So, go ahead.

Ask me something.

National security,
minimum wage, gun reform.

You got questions?
I got answers.

All right.

Let's see...

Vice President Ross,
as president,

how would you
work to solve

our nation's
looming federal deficit?


Why did you
cheat on your wife?


Do you know
why you cheated?

On someone
you supposedly loved.

Why do you ask?

I'm sorry for asking.
It's just...

Is this a part
of your debate prep?

Actually, yes,
Mr. President.

Why I cheated?

Why does anyone cheat?

I'm the expert now?

you're pretty good at it.

I don't want to be
one of those stupid women

who believes
whatever a guy says

just because her self-esteem
can't handle the truth.

But part of me...
I believe him.

I believe he really loves me,

People cheat
for different reasons.

So I can't tell you
exactly why people cheat.

But I can tell you this...

If you feel like he's cheating,
then he probably is.

The figures
speak for themselves.

When unemployment drops,
our deficit drops.

The key to reducing
our national debt isn't

about some shortsighted strategy
cooked up by Senator Grant,

or a useless, little Band-Aid
slapped on by Mr. Doyle.

It's about putting people
to work, plain and simple.

As your President,
that's exactly what I'll do.

Good night,
Mr. President.

I should probably
get some sleep.

I'm trying to tell you

about a potentially fundamental
human-rights case,

- and all you can say is...
- You're so beautiful,

I can hardly hear the words
coming out of your mouth.

- Work?
- Can't say.

Sorry to interrupt.

I doubt that.

What's up, Liv?
What do you want?

Vanessa's right outside.

Does she know how you're using
her brokerage accounts

to launder dirty money
into Edison's super PAC?

I didn't think so.

I don't know
what you think you know...

You know
exactly what I know.

But you love her, right?
That's what you told me.

You want normal.

You're choosing normal.

And me?
I'm just a twisted sociopath

who takes
whatever she wants,

no matter who gets bulldozed
along the way.

That doesn't feel at all
like the truth right now.

Does it?

You are the one
I like to ride,

but nobody will ever
ride you like I do.

You tell my father
that whatever game this is...

I... will... win.

Mrs. Langston,
we're 15 minutes away...

Go away!

Where are my questions
on national security?



This is live TV.

Get me my questions!

Oh, there you are.

What do you think
of this tie?

I wanted it
to match your outfit.

You're smoking.
You smoke?

I quit... the minute I found out
I was pregnant with Casey.

I didn't want to hurt her.

I also didn't want
to die of lung cancer

before meeting
my grandchildren.

I tell Casey every day

to never, ever even try it...
not once.

That every single cigarette robs
seven minutes from your life.

That all it takes

is one cute boy to offer you
a Virginia Slim

in the bleachers after the
homecoming game and... pouf.

You have emphysema.

That's good advice,
so why aren't you taking it?

Because I'm dumping
my boyfriend.


Come on, David.

Do I have to say it
out loud?

Are you gonna make me
ask you again?

For what it's worth,
it's over.

I didn't want to lie

I didn't want to cheat

The thought of losing you,
it made me sick to my stomach,

so I ended it.

I'm yours, Susan.

I love you.
I love only you.

Liz already
told the press

you'll be joining me on-stage

You still need
to do that.

Where have you been?

It's been 24 hours
of Burgergate, Liv.

Mellie, be still.
Take a breath

How the hell was I supposed
to know that place

is some sort of disgusting,
greasy national treasure?

- What if Sally asks me...
- Mellie.

It's too late to make a plan
or employ some strategy.

So you just go out there
and do your best,

and leave the rest to me.


Mellie, trust me.

I've got this.
Everything is going to be fine.

Good evening.

And welcome to the first
Republican presidential debate.

Before I invite the candidates
onto the stage,

I'd like to go over
some of the ground rules.

Have you seen David?

He needs to be in makeup

if he's going out on-stage
at the end...

I broke up with David.

You what?

I already told the press
that he would be our on-stage.

He was cheating on me.



I don't know who!

I... I'm sorry.

Who cares who?

I... I didn't mean to...
It's just a shock, is all.

David Rosen
is such an ass.


Sometimes you can seem
really mean,

but you care, don't you?


Each candidate will get
one minute to answer questions

and 30 seconds for follow-ups
and rebuttals.

I'll give candidates
time to respond

if they've been singled out
and criticized

by another candidate.

Somebody get me some water.

You'll hear this sound...

...and see this light when
a candidate's time has expired.

And if they ignore
those signals,

you'll hear my roar
at full volume.

Thanks for meeting me.


I hope what you're
giving me on Edison

is as good as what
I'm giving you on Susan.

Go ahead and open it.

Meridian Terrace?

The name of a rehab facility
in West Virginia.

Senator Davis
spent a month there in 2009,

kicking an addiction
to pain killers.

How do you know this?

I sent him there,
and then I made it disappear.

You're welcome, Alex.

And now,
without further ado,

let's welcome our candidates
to the stage.

Senator Mellie Grant.

Mr. Hollis Doyle.

And Vice President
Susan Ross.

All right, candidates.
Let's begin.