Of course, someone needed to be in the scary B613 hole this season, and turns out it’s Maya. Viewers are given about a second to process and get over the disappointment of not seeing Harrison pop out. In response, Liv tries really hard to prove she has no feelings for either of her parents and does a horrible job concealing the Popes’ desperate need for family therapy.

Liz is back at OPA, and she knows Cyrus bugged her phone. Apparently there’s “a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women,” which just seems unlikely. Liz and Olivia are hardly your average, supportive gal pals. She releases the sexy time photos of Cyrus and Michael, and in response, they get engaged. Things were slightly complicated, and it involved a confrontation with the term “bitch baby” used more than once, but that’s basically it. Turns out, America will forgive prostitution in favor of a mediocre love story.

There’s also a subplot about how all the B613 agents have to kill each other now that the organization has been compromised. There are roaming playing cards with the agents’ faces on them (from that one day where a B613 staffer had way too much time on his/her hands). Quinn and Charlie sleep together. Again. Yawn. He has her kill card, so they fight. But no one dies because he has all the secret missing files. Huck drops some of those off at Kim’s door to prove he’s slightly less crazy than she thinks.

Rowan shows up at Liv’s apartment because even though a huge deal was made about him leaving, he still loves breaking into her wine supply. She confronts him, and he whips out a gun. So, she takes it and shoots her dad—only there are no bullets. Needless to say, Mr. Pope’s not too pleased with his daughter, to whom he preaches even more about the meaning of family. For the second week in a row, Liv lets him leave like it’s no big deal.

For the first time in a while, “Scandal” gives us a very happy moment: Jake and Olivia have a ton of food and drinks and just dance around her living room to a record of “Don’t You Worry About a Thing.” Yes, you will be using gifs from this scene at least until the show comes back. He reminds her he loves her. She says she wants Vermont and the sun, but it’s cool because they’re going to have sex on the piano. Except, Liv disappears. She was stolen by the VP/Liz/Dead Kubiak/Dead Jeremy Winslow team, who planned the terrorist attack on Andrew’s life. Turns out, these Republicans really will do anything for a war.

Liv’s disappearance wasn’t built up enough to validate its intensity. It just felt very over–the–top. The whole half–season should have been leading to this, but “Scandal” writers seem more interested in random bursts of shock value than building plot episode by episode. For the first time since the show started, I’m actually happy to see it take a break. We all need to breathe a little after this one.

Missed our other recaps for "Scandal" Season 4? You'll want to read these...

"The Last Supper" aired on 11/13

"Baby Made a Mess" aired on 11/6

"An Innocent Man" aired on 10/30

"The Key" aired on 10/23

"Like Father, Like Daughter" aired on 10/16

"Inside the Bubble" aired on 10/9

"The State of the Union" aired on 10/2

"Randy, Red, Superfreak and Julia" aired on 9/25


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