Sally Langston has decided to run despite murdering her husband, but she's not resigning her office. Olivia has decided to run Fitz's campaign (and continue making out with him) despite Fitz being a doofus who's day drinking again and refusing to take advice from anyone… including Olivia.
David Rosen has the spy tape of Sally telling Cyrus she killed her husband. He tries to get James to work with him to expose the truth, but now that James has his sweet press secretary job, he's not interested.
OPA gets on board vetting Fitz's choice for VP, Andrew Nichols. No one else wants him, because he's another straight white dude from California and does nothing for the ticket. Meanwhile, Liv finds out that Jake is now in charge of B613 so she hunts down her father and tries to tell him that she feels sorry for him. Rowan isn't having her sympathy or pity, and vows revenge on Fitz, intending to use Olivia to get it.
Someone is anonymously texting White House reporters asking why Daniel Douglas's autopsy report wasn't released. Meanwhile, Sally's campaign manager Leo Bergen is bringing up Fitz and Liv's affair again in the media. Mellie and Olivia have a very public lunch together to quash the mistress rumors (again). Mellie orders Liv to find and publicly date an eligible bachelor.
Hey, it's time for the melodramatic Liv and Fitz scene of the week! Liv goes into the Oval and says she should resign because she's a distraction from the campaign, but Fitz makes out with her and tells her that she can't leave him. Liv wants to know why he made Jake the head of B613 and Fitz says that he killed a lot of innocent people because of B613 and Jake is the only one he trusts to protect his interests. Liv says she's resigning, Fitz yells at her some more, and she agrees not to resign. Well, that was certainly needlessly dramatic.
Over at B613, Jake tells Charlie that there's no way that Quinn can ever be part of B613, but also nothing can happen to her. Charlie ignores that, and under Cyrus's orders, uses Quinn to kidnap the medical examiner's son to blackmail her into lying to Huck and Abby about what really killed Daniel Douglas, when Olivia sends them digging.
Harrison finds out Adnan Salif is in the country and David Rosen tells him that Salif has powerful friends. Harrison borrows Abby's gun for his own safety. That lady who helped Harrison from last season shows up and Harrison almost shoots her, but then he has sex with her. That seems to happen a lot on this show.
James changes his mind AGAIN about helping David Rosen, because now he hates Cyrus, so he takes Rosen a recording from Cyrus's office. Rosen needs more because the secret recording is inadmissible and he also finds out that James is the one who has been leaking the secret information to reporters.
Jake shows up at Liv's apartment. She's not happy to see him. But she does talk him into being her (fake?) boyfriend to throw the press off the scent of her affair with Fitz.
We close with two revelations: Leo Bergen is meeting with Rowan and Andrew Nichols is in love with Mellie.
We open with Mellie walk-running through the halls of the White House, trying to look like everything's cool. My favorite part is when she passes some underling and gives her the most fake smile of all time. I hope someone got a gif of that. Anyway, she finally reaches her destination, Cyrus's office, and she whisper-screams, "She's running."
This leads into a montage of Sally meeting with Leo, Cyrus barking orders at people, and an awesome shot of Mellie and Sally passing one another in the hall and giving serious side-eye. Throughout, we hear and see media reports about how they anticipate Sally's resignation and announcement of her campaign, and that Fitz's approval ratings are plummeting. Yeah, not just with the voters. Also with this recapper.
James, in his new position as Press Secretary, is badgering Cyrus to find out what their message should be. Cyrus wants to wait for polling numbers. Mellie strolls in and suggests that they paint Sally as crazy and delusional, and James adds that she's unstable too, since the death of her husband. Mellie quips, "Sexist. But effective. Leak that on deep background." Cyrus tells them to slow their roll until the polling numbers come in. Cyrus starts yelling at underlings to get him the polling numbers, and whipping boy Ethan steps up and stammers that the President wanted to review the numbers with "his new campaign manager."
Cut to Fitz and Liv having a full-on makeout sesh in the Oval. Ugh, these two. Get a room. That's not taxpayer funded. Mellie knocks and enters, stops short at what she sees, then steels herself and says that the rest of the team would like to see the campaign numbers. She exits. Fitz and Liv look not as guilty as they probably should.
Sally is about to go live with her announcement and Leo gives her some last-minute advice. He reminds her that, although Fitz's team will portray her as crazy, she's actually "standing up for the people against the tyranny of a decadent monarch." Monarch? Does he know what that word means? I mean, Fitz is hardly King George III. Leo reminds Sally that Jesus loves her and Sally agrees like an obedient child. I'm not real sure about Sally's mental state, you guys.
Meanwhile, Liv is prepping Fitz's rapid response team, explaining that the numbers do give them a fighting chance. Liv lays out the talking points: Sally is a selfish quitter, a loose cannon, and she's endangering their troops overseas. Everyone applauds Liv's speech, but they quickly hush up to listen to Sally's speech. As expected, Sally says that she can't stand by any longer and watch Fitz degrade her beloved country, so she'll be running as a third-party candidate. But she also can't abandon her post, so she's staying on as VP. Whoops. No one anticipated that second part. Cyrus and Mellie look like they might puke. Liv is calm, but upset. Fitz is useless, as usual.