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'Scandal' season 5 episode 20 recap: Hollis, Mellie and Susan fight for the Oval

By JEWEL WICKER/, originally filed Thursday, May 5, 2016


You might find it hard to believe that the current presidential election on "Scandal" was not created to mirror the one occurring in real life, but if the show's creator is to be believed, it wasn't.

The episodes title, "Trump Card," is certainly a nod to real life, however.

Before this episode there were two democratic candidates and three republican candidates. Going into next week's season six finale, the nominees for each party have been determined.

The episode begins with Hollis Doyle leading in the polls, and Abby and Olivia working together like back in the day.

The two women have agreed to stop fighting each other long enough to take Hollis Doyle down. 

They're employing every trick in the book, including exposing Hollis' sexist and racist remarks. Nothing works. Everything they expose only helps him become more popular.

Hollis eventually announces that he will choose either Mellie Grant or Susan Ross to be his running mate, depending on who drops out of the race first.

Olivia decides to concede. She tells Hollis that she wants Mellie to be on his ticket. They have a deal.

But, it's all a set up. This is "Scandal" and nothing is ever as it appears.

Olivia recorded the entire meeting and delivers footage of Hollis saying he doesn't believe the racist things he's been saying to the press. Hollis Doyle doesn't even like his country supporters.

He's out of the race.

The fight between Abby and Olivia resumes. Really, it's never really ended. During their cease fire, both women were collecting damaging information on the opposing candidate.

Olivia learns that David Rosen made a deal with the Florida governor to secure a primary win for Susan. 

Abby learns that Olivia aborted Fitz's child.

The two, along with the presidential candidates, their teams and Fitz, meet in the Oval Office to exchange information. Whoever has the biggest scandal will drop out of the race.

Olivia shares what she knows. Susan, who agreed to marry David earlier in the episode, is hurt to learn that he's lied to her once again.

When it comes time for Abby to share her dirt, she backs down. Instead, she shares that she knows Mellie saw a psychic several times after her son died.

Olivia knows Abby is holding back, but it doesn't matter.

Susan concedes. She then proceeds to deliver the most epic breakup rant to David, before having a breakdown in her office.

Mellie Grant is officially the republican nominee. She's also very clearly developing feelings for Marcus, stopping short of kissing the Gladiator in one scene.

Elsewhere, Edison learns that he won't have much power if he becomes president. 

When he refuses to put Jake on his ticket as Vice President, Jake threatens him.

A visit with Olivia gives Edison an idea, however.

Against Rowan's wishes, he publicly speaks out against Hollis Doyle.

"Nothing needs to be restored. Nothing needs to be made great again," Edison says, referencing Hollis' slogan, which is strikingly similar to real life presidential candidate Donald Trump's.

This goes against Rowan's request for Edison to make voters forget the fact that he's black.

Edison concedes.

Cyrus' candidate Frankie Vargas is officially the democratic candidate.

Abby eventually tells Olivia that she knows about the abortion, but Olivia's reaction isn't what you might expect.

"I'm not ashamed at all," she says.

Abby learns that Fitz doesn't know about Olivia's abortion and tells Olivia that it was her own father who made her aware of the secret.

"Liv, I don't think he's done with you," Abby warns.

Jake, however, wants to be done with Rowan. He secretly asks Edison to tell Olivia that he wants to "stand in the sun" again. He's crying out for help.

The season five finale airs next week.

Scandal airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC. Click here to

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About the Author

Jewel Wicker is an Atlanta native, Georgia State University graduate and entertainment reporter. She typically covers local events.