When last we left Scandal, Olivia had finally taken a chance on Jake and ended up in bed with him. Things took a bad turn when she learned that he had been spying on her the whole time. After a struggle with Jake, she ended up in the hospital, mutely staring at Fitz, who had heard of her injuries and had rushed to be with her. Meanwhile, Huck had been kidnapped and tortured before being rescued by Quinn.
We begin with a brief flashback of Olivia and Huck in the subway five years ago, back when Huck was a panhandler. He surprises her with his precise predictions concerning the subway schedule. Olivia is clearly moved by this encounter.
Cut to the present day, where a doctor is examining Liv and telling her she should be able to leave shortly while Fitz watches from a corner of the room. The doctor is clearly star-struck because he seems to have forgotten about doctor-patient confidentiality, which I doubt Olivia would waive.
Once the doctor leaves, Fitz sits on her hospital bed. What planet is he from where that is acceptable? You don’t just sit on an estranged lover’s bed. It’s really intimate and presumptuous. It’s also a way for Fitz to demonstrate the power that comes with this office.
Olivia reproaches him for leaving her all alone, something I don’t quite understand. She’s leading with that? She rails at him for calling her a whore, but his apology doesn’t lead to a reconciliation. I’m proud of her because it could be really easy to succumb to Fitz’s charm in her weakened state. Instead she squares her jaw and tells him she doesn’t trust him anymore. That rattles Fitz, but he remains at the hospital, keeping vigil. He also orders Jake to find out who attacked Liv. It will be interesting to see how Jake spins this.
Olivia’s relieved staff learns her whereabouts, which means that they can concentrate on dealing with a traumatized Huck, who is curled into a fetal position and rocking back and forth while chanting 752.
We cut to 14 years ago, when a very normal Huck, a young Marine, is reuniting with his girlfriend, a sweet kindergarten teacher played by Astrid from Fringe. We don’t get her name, so I’m going to call her Astrid. This means I am automatically predisposed to like her, but even if I weren’t, it would be pretty hard to dislike this character. Huck is back from Kosovo for a meeting about some government aptitude test he took. His tour has been cut short for this, so clearly it’s important.
Present day again: Harrison arrives at the hospital and sees that Olivia’s floor is guarded by the Secret Service. Harrison presses the agents for access to Olivia, noting that unless he directly interferes with the safety of the president, legally he must be allowed past. He assumes that this will allow him access, but when the agents refuse to let him in, he realizes that Fitz is here for Olivia.
Back to Past Huck, who meets with two men: an unknown, sinister-looking bearded man and a familiar face, Charlie the killer. He recognizes that it’s an off-the-books operation right away, which just confirms that he is the right person for the job, which is as a stone-cold killer for the U.S. government. He’s told that he has no choice except to go back to Kosovo. He accepts the job. Charlie becomes his trainer, a job that seems to consist of pointing out how awesome it is to torture people and providing motivational gems like, “You snooze, you lose.” Huck really enjoys his new job.
Over to Cyrus, who is chiding the president for hanging out at the hospital while his former mistress recuperates. Fitz is unmoved. While he’s there, Cyrus gets an introduction to the man he’s been wondering about, Jake. Cyrus’s malice is palpable during this encounter. (I’m betting on Cy, BTW.) When he gets back to the office, he asks Charlie to find out the story on Jake. Jake, meanwhile, talks with the mysterious higher-up we saw in an earlier episode, who suggests using Olivia as bait to catch the Albatross. Jake wants out, but that’s not going to happen.
In a call to warn Olivia that he saw Charlie at the hospital, Harrison subtly lets her know that he knows about her and Fitz. She is dismayed, but he is quick to say that it is none of his business. If you had any doubt before about how much Harrison worships Olivia, look at his face. It’s like he wants to cry.
Fitz has one more conversation with Olivia in which he laments that Olivia didn’t believe him and felt that she had to fix him. He gives one of those eloquent Fitz speeches, telling her that he can’t live without her. She is everything, and he is nothing. He demands another chance. Damn, Fitz is great at those speeches, because by the end, even I’ve forgiven him. Olivia admits she still loves him and kisses him passionately, but ultimately breaks away from him, saying she can’t do it anymore.
At Olivia’s office, Huck’s colleagues attempt to shake him out of it by distracting him with their own monologues. Quinn starts by talking about her wedding dress and all that she has lost. She urges Huck to get past his loss. Abby pours out her heart about her past as an abused wife, her debt and loyalty to Olivia, and the devastating loss of David. Harrison talks about how Huck is a real-deal gladiator, whereas he is just words: “All I am, all I’ve ever been was talk.” None of them succeed.
Finally, it’s revealed what happened to Huck. When his colleagues in the covert killing business find out he is married and has a son, they tell him to abandon them. When that doesn’t happen, they put him in a cell underground and torture him for months until he no longer remembers he has a family. He’s ruined as an agent, which means the big sleep for Huck, but surprisingly, Charlie can’t pull the trigger and tells Huck to disappear.
Olivia returns to the office and has her heart-to-heart with Huck. She tells Huck that meeting him at the subway changed something for her and made her stop feeling alone. This does the trick, and Huck says he might have had a family, but he’s not sure whether they were real. Olivia reassures him that if he remembers them, they were real.
The episode closes with the explanation of 7:52, and it’s a doozy. It’s a flashback to Huck when he was a panhandler in the subway. He looks over and sees his ex-wife and a boy. The boy (who is radiantly angelic-looking, as you might imagine that the child of Huck and Astrid would be) runs over and gives Huck a dollar because Huck looks hungry. Their eyes meet, and he runs back to his mother and Huck’s life that should have been. Huck looks up and his eyes rest on a billboard with a clock on it. The time is 7:52.