scandal season 3 flesh and blood 'Scandal' Season 3, episode 17: A bang up finale is in storeOn “Flesh and Blood,” “Scandal” lays the scene for a bang-up Season 3 finale, so to speak.

The Assassination Plot

It’s a race against time to find the bomb Maya and Adnan got their hands on. Olivia chooses her father’s help over Jake’s — but not before the president finds out she slept with Jake, of course — so Jake goes after Maya on his own with an assist from David Rosen.

Either way, everyone’s goal is to find the bomb before the president gets himself blown to smithereens. He’s staying in the White House to be safe, while Pope & Associates torture Maya’s boytoy Dominick Bell for information about the bomb.

It’s at this point, when Eli tells Olivia that Dominick is the only man Maya ever loved, that I type in my notes, “Dominick Bell is her bio dad!” It remains to be seen if that’s true. It probably isn’t, but don’t tell me I was the only person who thought that.

Anyway, Eli threatens to kill Dominick to get Maya to talk and she refuses, but he can’t not make good on his threat, so he shoots Dominick and Olivia freaks. She freaks out about the murder, but she also freaks out that her mother let the man she supposedly loves get shot.

Meanwhile, the president can’t take just sitting in the White House, so he leaves for a campaign event in — dun dun dun — Defiance, OH. Eli tells Olivia that her mother loves one person — Olivia. And if Olivia is with Fitz, Maya won’t blow-up the president and also risk killing her daughter.

After a whirlwind few minutes where Olivia seemingly teleports to Ohio and back, it turns out the bomb isn’t in Defiance.

Instead, Maya killed a senator so she could plant a bomb at the funeral, which the president would naturally attend. Cyrus gets word from Jake about the bomb and keeps the president away from the funeral, but that dastardly Cyrus doesn’t call the secret service about the bomb, which is armed to go off in an hour.

Cyrus lies to the president about why they can’t head out just yet and that’s where the episode leaves off. Oh, and Maya stabbed Eli, in between her bomb-planting and whatnot.

The previews for next week show both Eli in the hospital, so he’s not dead for sure just yet, but they also show an explosion, so … are Sally and Andrew Nichols toast? Perhaps.

A Family Affair

Turns out Mellie has decided to try to hurt the president the best way she knows how, so she asks the White House doctor about a paternity test for her son. Leo Bergen gets wind of this and pays a prep school girl to get some of lil’ Jerry’s DNA, who does not do so by stealing his toothbrush.

When Olivia confronts Mellie, the first lady has a can’t-look-away-car-crash of a meltdown (it’s really excellent work by Bellamy Young), which in the course of she lets it slip that she thinks her son might be Big Jerry’s (not Andrew’s, as Olivia was assuming). Of course, all Olivia thinks at this point is that Mellie slept with her father-in-law, not that she was raped by him. Either way, Mellie tells Olivia to clean it up.

So Pope & Associates bribe the DNA tester to make the test come back as a match for Fitz and Leo and Sally Langston are satisfied. But Mellie gets the real results. We don’t yet know what they are.

The Love Stuff

Both Jake and Fitz get to have their mushy moments with Olivia, who admits to loving Fitz but also having felt something when she slept with Jake. It’s perhaps getting slightly tiresome, because, what? Is Fitz not going to win the election and he and Olivia can run off to Vermont together? No way. So, she can’t be with him as long as he’s president and we’re looking at four more years of that.

But can she be with Jake as the shadow of Fitz looms over their relationship? Doubt it. What will the writers do?

However, forget Fitz-Olivia-Jake for a minute. The best love triangle of “Scandal” right now is Charlie-Quinn-Huck. Can those three have a torture-bad-guys spinoff where they just go around being crazy sociopath bad mofos? That would be amazing. But I digress.

After Quinn and Huck have some insanely hot sex on the hood of a car, it looks as though Charlie may be on his way out the door. We don’t suspect he’ll go quietly, though, so who do you think kills him, Huck or Quinn?

Best Lines:

Fitz: “Somebody out there wants me dead.”
Mellie: “[snort] You think it’s just out there.”

Huck: “What’s wrong with a construction site dumpster? Large debris, easy to hide, regular pick-ups.”
Charlie: “High chance of hobo with shopping carts.”
Huck: “Less risky than feeding him to pigs.”
Charlie: “It works. I have a guy.”

Are you ready for the Season 3 finale next week, Gladiators?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."