Scandal Season 3 recap: Episode 3 – “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington”

Scandal Season 3 recap Episode 3 – “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington”

The episode picks up where the last one ended, with Olivia (Kerry Washington) searching for the now-missing Huck (Guillermo Diaz). She tried to call him, but he ignored her requests as he was focused on stalking her father and head of Operation Remington, Eli Pope (Joe Morton).

After failing to convince Huck to come back, she returned to Pope & Associates, where she met their new client, Mary Nesbitt (guest star Cynthia Stevenson). Nesbitt wanted more information on why her son and former military member, Chris Lawrence, was quietly assassinated in his apartment with the case file classified by the FBI.

scandal season 3 episode 3

After Mary left Pope & Associates, the team conducted the usual background check on their client and found that she had recently cleared her bank account, with Harrison (Columbus Short) adding that she was on her way to the White House.

The next scene is at the White House, where we are brought to the onset of a White House tour. A man (we later learn his name is Peter Foster) snuck away from the group, and was tackled by White House security as he pleaded to talk about Operation Remington with the president. Simultaneously, Olivia walked into the White House to talk with one of Mary’s political representatives, Congressman Struthers (guest star Mark Moses). She finds a bomb-strapped Mary threatening the senator for information on her son’s classified crime report.

Olivia rationalized with Mary that in order to get the crime report, she needed to show good faith, so Mary conceded and released six of the innocent nine hostages. However, instead of working with Mary, the FBI sent in a swat team with the president’s consent (who was in Camp David with the First Lady Grant (Bellamy Young) on business). This further aggravated Mary, who now was curious about the contingency of people outside, and walked up to the window with newsmedia documenting. Olivia, realizing this was a terrible idea, pushed Mary away from the window and pulled up the curtain, revealing sniper scopes all over her body.

As a result, President Grant (Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia tried to call each other with both being denied by Cyrus (Jeff Perry) and Commander Boles (Ernie Hudson) blocking contact between each other, and Olivia being called a “terrorist.” While contact was being denied, one of the other bodyguards had a call get through from Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) to the president. Jake pleaded to release the file with the president telling Jake that he “can’t save the day today.”

We are then taken to a trailer-home where Eli and a now released Peter Foster (guest star Patrick St. Espirit) discussed why Foster broke the “deal.” The scene flashes forward to Eli held at gunpoint by Huck. Eli calmly stated that Huck was rusty.

We are then brought to Harrison, who repeatedly failed at getting Commander Boles’s attention. He is then quietly approached by a supposed FBI agent, Laura Kenny (guest star Aarti Mann), who showed him video of Chris Lawrence in a recruitment video as an Islamic terrorist recruiter. As she was walking away, Harrison noticed that she got in the car with a peculiar individual, and immediately questioned her credibility. Abby Whelan (Darby Stanchfield) received the information from Harrison and went to David Rosen’s (Joshua Malina) office, verifying that Laura Kenny doesn’t exist.

Rosen then demanded the Remington file from Cyrus, who assumed that giving Rosen the job as United States Attorney would be sufficient to not supply information. Rosen responded by bringing up the Gordan Bates and Teresa Gomeny situation. Bates lost his government job because he supposedly leaked FBI information and Gomeny took his job and got a pay raise, all under Cyrus’s nose.

The next and most dramatic scene was Olivia receiving a call from the president surrounded by Rosen and Cryus. The president told Olivia that he would reveal information from Chris Lawrence’s case file and that she not speak at any point.

The information revealed was that Chris Lawrence was a CIA agent who infiltrated an Islamic terrorist group. He acted as a recruiter for the group to sneak 57 other CIA agents into the terrorist group to give insider intel to the United States government. As for why Chris Lawrence was killed, FBI agents, unaware of his identity, were secretly following him and struck at the chance in his apartment. The president gave his condolences by explaining that he was an American hero, but that Olivia not say anything to Mary as it would put the 57 agents’ lives at risk.

Olivia quickly hung up and told Mary that her son was indeed a terrorist. Mary, defeated, released Congressman Struthers and Olivia, then locked the door and set off the explosives.

After the explosion, Olivia returned to Pope & Associates, where she was surprised by Huck’s presence. She pleaded to Huck and asked if he had killed her father, but he didn’t. Huck explained that Eli’s presence kept him grounded and that he couldn’t kill Eli.

The last scene was a tired Olivia returning to her home where Jake was waiting. She stressed to Jake multiple times that he wasn’t released from the hole for no reason. As she was talking to him, the president and Eli tried to call the home on two different phones. Olivia then threw them on the ground, drank a glass of wine, and slumped into her couch.

Great Quotes


“I’m all killed out today.”

First Lady Grant:

“I’m spectacular, but I can’t compete with religious fervor.” (love for Olivia)


Scandal Season 3 Episode 3: “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington” photo: Ron Tom/ABC