Scandal Recap: Liv Solves A Decades-Old Presidential Assassination Case Using Twitter

A couple of hashtags go a long way.

A big focus for this week’s episode of Scandal was on her actual PR work, so yay! That’s interesting.

Unfortunately, she got duped into believing that her crazy ass client was wrongfully convicted of shooting a former president. Merp.

But hey, we got a mini-lesson in using Twitter to make stuff happen. Also, how about Huck actually smiling?!

Leonard Carnahan, the crazy ass client in question, is three years from parole. Still he wants the truth to come out. He’s been rotting in jail for about 30 years after an assassination attempt against President Edward Randolph Cooper, who has just died and is being prepped to lay in state in the Capitol before being buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

We’re all thinking that Carnahan is innocent, but he has to be charged with murder in order to get the bullet from the dead president’s body to prove he didn’t commit the crime. If things don’t pan out, that could mean facing the death penalty. More than anything, he says, he wants the truth to be revealed. He’s willing to run the risk to make that happen.

So Liv to the rescue. She uses the power of Twitter to get the conversation started. With hashtags like #Cooperwasmurdered and #justiceforcooper she gets people talking on social media. Then she starts ringing the media, planting the idea that performing an autopsy on the president’s body to possibly prove a man’s innocence is the right thing to do.

She also gets on the horn with Cyrus, convincing him that he should speak with the president about why this is a good idea. After all, he just wrapped a successful campaign to tighten up gun laws. So solving definitively a presidential assassination attempt case would be good for him as well.

To make this happen, Liv also has to go through David Rosen and the courts. And after all is said and done, this is a successful campaign. Just one thing: The bullet shows that Carnahan did shoot the president.

Turns out he wanted his name to appear in the annals of history alongside the other presidential assassination greats. And to do that, he needed the proof that the bullet he fired ultimately led to the death of the president, even if it was years later.

“You made sure that the whole world knew the truth. Thank you Olivia Pope for giving my life meaning.” Geez. So Olivia goes back to David who, for once in four seasons, gets to gloat about getting one over on Olivia.

Separately, the episode demonstrates with Shonda Rhimesian flair, what it’s like to take to the phones, call those media contacts and get an awareness campaign going quickly. Social media allows for that. Get enough people talking about something online and at the very least, you give the people in charge a reason to discuss the issue. A couple of good hashtags go a long way.

Aside from that, Mellie got to work with former President Cooper’s widow Bitsy to prepare the big funeral ceremony. And she learned a valuable lesson about being in the spotlight.

Where Mellie had been trying so hard before to get her place in the sun, inviting the whole administration in to hear her solve, again, the case of the “Killer Cliff Bride,” the opportunity arose on its own for her to take the mike and show how useful she is. When asked, while walking side-by-side with Bitsy, whether Fitz would be closing military bases, she answered an unequivocal no. Meaningful and important messages can get out, but sometimes you have to wait for the right time. Good lesson for the PRs.

Which bring us to the Portia di Rossi story line for the week. I finally learned her name is Lizzy Bear! Can’t believe I missed a name like that. She got some info from her pawn, sex worker Michael (via pillow talk with Cyrus), that Fitz was planning to shut down some military facilities. Mellie shut that down and foiled the plan. Lizzy Bear fail!

Abby nearly gets fired for confronting Fitz over the battered state of his knuckles and learning that it has something to do with the sorry state of Jake’s face. Ultimately, she gets out of trouble by revealing to Cyrus, who’s all to quick to try and diss her, that he better chill out because she knows all about Michael the sex worker. Boom.

Then we have a Liv and Fitz meeting. She’s still looking for Jake, who’s being holed up in some B613 torture death prison. She demands to see him, telling the president that the man she voted for wouldn’t do something so wrong. If he doesn’t let her see him there’s no hope for their relationship. Hold the phone, Fitz says, so there’s hope? While masterfully storming from the room, Liv says yes.

So fast forward and of course Liv gets to see Jake. Sitting on the floor, looking a hot mess, he’s resigned to dying in prison for something he didn’t do. Moreover, he knows Olivia will never be his.

“We both know in the end you’re not going to choose me. I need you to know that not choosing me is OK,” he says. Aww! Jake. I’ll choose you. I’ll be at a bar in Harlem tonight. I’m the woman who isn’t wearing a Halloween costume. Let me know if you want to swing on by.

One silver lining — Jake will not be dying in jail. Olivia has seen to that.

“You’re not going to kill me?” Jake asks upon hearing the news. “Consider it a gift to the woman we love,” replies Fitz.

Great news right? For everyone except Papa Pope.

He tried to manipulate Fitz into doing what he wants by basically massaging his ego, telling him how he’s in charge and a great president, yadda yadda, meanwhile just trying to get his hands around Jake’s throat.


Thwarted by Liv, he confronts her. Unfortunately for Rowan, his daughter wields a considerable amount of power as well.

“You may be command. But I have weapons. Weapons you can’t possibly possess,” she says. OKKKKKK.

Finally, while Quinn was out digging up evidence tied to the case of the dead lawyer’s daughter from a few weeks back, Huck is playing video games. Really Huck? Turns out he found his son online and the two of them are playing together, making Huck one very happy man, at least for this episode.

That’s a nice way to end a Halloween post.

Publish date: October 31, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT