"Heavy is the Head"
5x01 - Queen Isabel 04
Season Five
Season 05, Episode 01
Episode Information
Air Date: September 24, 2015
Viewers: 10.25 million
Written by: Shonda Rhimes
Directed by: Tom Verica
Character Information
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: "You Can't Take Command"
Next Episode: "Yes"

You were right, not all fairy tales have happy endings. But evil queens they tend to go down!

Olivia to Queen Isabel

Heavy is the Head is the first episode of the fifth season of Scandal, and is the seventieth overall.


Olivia and Fitz are back together again and enjoying every scandalous moment together while Cyrus, Mellie and Huck are all still dealing with the aftermath of helping Command. Meanwhile, when a visit from the Queen of Caldonia and her family turns into a tragedy, Olivia is hired to make sure the Royal family’s private life stays private.


The President is throwing a party. Prince Richard of Caledonia has married an American—Princess Emily of Iowa. Sally Langston lets her TV audience know that the bash may just be a way to get chummy with the Queen of Caledonia, Her Majesty Queen Isabel of Caledonia, in order to build a naval base on her home turf. Sally believes her former boss is hiding secrets. She has no idea how true that is especially when it comes to his hot White House sleepovers with Olivia Pope.

After Princess Emily of Caledonia catches Abby Whelan talking about her charmed life, she corners Olivia for a private chat. The topic of their brief conversation is about how people say hurtful things without taking into consideration that their target is a real person. A short time later, Olivia gets a call. She rushes away from the White House to the site of a horrible car accident. One of the casualties is Princess Emily. A horrified Olivia races to cover her bloodied body as the paparazzi photograph the dead princess.

Both Prince Richard and his queen mother ask Olivia to get back the pictures that were taken of the princess. The race is on to pay off every slimeball that snapped a shot of the dead body. Everyone is game for trading the pictures for large sums of cash except for one known person and one mystery man. Olivia has a plan. She has a photographer take shots of Prince Richard identifying the body in the morgue as part of a preemptive strike.

5x01 - Lizzie wins 011 (Edit)

Elizabeth North is summoned to Mellie Grant’s office. Her four-part response as to why she betrayed Virginia’s next senator is highlighted by the declaration that she’s now the one standing by the side of the most powerful man on the planet. Speaking of Fitz, he won’t be able to attend Mellie’s swearing in. The president is just way too busy to stand by his wife’s side.

Quinn Perkins realizes that the one mystery photographer may have actually been the person who caused the crash. Somebody wanted the princess dead. After checking on a housebound Huck, Olivia visits the Oval Office where she convinces Fitz to attend Mellie’s swearing in. Abby is blindsided by this in the White House pressroom. As for Mellie, she’s blindsided by the divorce papers Fitz hands her. She lets Cyrus know that Fitz doesn’t want them anymore. Later, Fitz lets Olivia know that he doesn’t want to wait any longer for them to be truly together.

David finds evidence that Princess Emily was, indeed, murdered. Olivia realizes the deceased wasn’t spending much time with her husband before she was killed. In fact, the princess spent most of her time with her bodyguard, who died in the car with her. Signs indicate that the prince may have been responsible for murder. Fitz doesn’t want to make waves. Olivia realizes it’s because of the naval base. Elizabeth witnesses their argument which seems a lot like a lovers’ quarrel.

Huck is slowly starting to come out of his funk. He’s been waiting for Olivia to fix him so he can go home to his family. Olivia doesn’t know how to fix him. Huck needs a new plan. A short time later, Huck moves out of Liv’s place. He seeks help from Jake. In other news, Elizabeth lets Abby know that Olivia is sleeping with Fitz. The mystery of who has been undermining her at the press podium lately is a mystery no more.

Princess Emily was pregnant. Olivia believes Prince Richard had his wife murdered once he learned of an affair with her bodyguard. That’s not what happened though. Prince Richard truly loved his wife. He couldn’t see what Princess Emily truly was. But his mother could. The queen had her daughter-in-law killed and there’s nothing Olivia can do about it. Then there is. Her nondisclosure agreement doesn’t apply to the prince, who informs his mom that she’s to abdicate her throne pronto.

5x01 - Leaked Photos 03

After taking down the evil queen, Olivia returns to the White House. Fitz wants to know why she’s so reluctant to go public. It’s because they’d become a spectacle once they do. Olivia admits that she wants them to be together, but they need to slow down first. They don’t want to go at all this broken. If they do, they’ll be destroyed. Fitz finally agrees to wait until they are both ready. Abby interrupts an intimate moment on a White House balcony to let Fitz know that there’s something he needs to see. Sally Langston is on TV declaring that Olivia Pope has found her way into the president’s bed. She has pictures to prove her claim. So much for waiting.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


"Your biggest achievement so far is smiling and waving."  

  Fitz Grant to Mellie Grant

Yes, Americas truth seeking freedom missiles are squarely locked on their target on you Mr. President, I see you sir.  

 Sally Langston on The Liberty Report

Long Speeches & Rants

“First let’s be clear you didn’t do anything for me you did that for you, you only ever do anything for your own benefit. Second you didn’t take me in I was your prisoner, I was your puppet, I was your bitch. Third your payment was that I got you elected, you are sat in that chair this office a united states senator because of me that is how I repaid you. Forth one can only be betrayed if there is loyalty first, I was never loyal to you and you were never loyal to me I don’t think you’ve ever been loyal to anyone. So, when I made my move up the ladder of political ladder of success all on my own I wasn’t even thinking of you because you don’t matter to me and now you also don’t matter to the most powerful man on the face of the earth, but guess who does, me".  

 Elizabeth North to Mellie Grant on Mellie "Saving her"

Notes & Trivia

  • The table read for this episode took place on on July 14, 2015.
  • Filming of the episode began on July 16, 2015 and wrapped on July 27, 2015.

Promotional Photos

→ See and enjoy 107 pictures from Heavy is the Head at Images from Heavy is the Head.


Behind the Scenes

Promotional Videos

Episode Clips