"It's Handled"
3x01 - Olivia Pope and Harrison Wright
Season Three
Season 03, Episode 01
Episode Information
Air Date: October 3, 2013
Viewers: 10.52 million
Written by: Shonda Rhimes
Directed by: Tom Verica
Character Information
Character Development:
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: "White Hat's Back On"
Next Episode: "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"


Olivia shouting to her gladiators

It's Handled is the first episode of the third season of Scandal, and is the thirtieth episode overall.


With Olivia’s name out there as the President’s mistress, both the White House and Pope & Associates face their biggest Scandal to date, and a surprise allegiance is formed in order to get things handled. Meanwhile, Olivia’s father, Rowan, will stop at nothing to carry out his orders and no one, including Olivia, can stand in his way.


Olivia Pope & Associates:
  • The team – without Olivia – works to fix the fixer.
White House:
  • Olivia calls Fitz & Mellie to a secret meeting to figure out how to attack the problem and the press
  • Cyrus and Mellie probe the secret service agents to find out who outed Olivia's name
  • Cyrus works on how to handle the affair situation
  • Sally must step in and go to events President Grant was scheduled to attend
  • Jeannine must scramble to handle the press
Rowan & B613:
  • Rowan tries to help get Olivia out of her bind
  • Rowan reveals some shocking info to Cyrus
  • Olivia probes Rowan about Jake


When we last left Olivia Pope, she was off on a leisurely drive with dear old dad. 22 minutes pass before she finally addresses the high-ranking, ever-scary government insider we’ve come to know as Rowan. She wants to know why he tried to have her killed. Rowan assures that he only tried to have Jake Ballard killed, not his little girl. Still, Father of the Year honors are probably off the table. Rowan gives Olivia a harsh verbal smackdown before shuffling her onto a plane so she can disappear. A preflight plea from Cyrus to not run has her canceling her trip. Needless to say, daddy isn’t pleased.

Huck shuffles Olivia into the office while protecting her from the throngs of press people trying to score a snapshot. The phone has been ringing off the hook all morning with press and clients looking to fire the firm. The big boss can’t stop the bleeding, so Harrison rallies the troops behind her back. Olivia sneaks away in the middle of the night to meet with her father. She wants to know Jake’s whereabouts. The only thing Rowan will tell her is that he refused an order, and no one refuses an order in his business. Rowan warns Olivia that she’s running out options. His daughter assures him that she is never out of options.

Cyrus presses James for info on how the media got wind of the affair. Mellie is also on the hunt for the source of the leak. Both learn that a reporter got wind of the news at a bar where the Secret Service drinks. Hal blabbed about the affair, but swears he didn’t give up a name. A video is leaked showing Fitz exiting into the back alley behind Olivia’s apartment. Cyrus begins damage control by ordering communications aide Jeannine Locke to dig up dirt on Olivia. He learns that his old friend never lived in her family home again after her mother’s death. As for Olivia, she accesses a secret cell phone. Her password is “Providence.” A short time later, she’s in a top secret meeting room standing across from the President of the United States.

Fitz admonishes Olivia for using the Providence key. It was supposed to be for extreme emergencies. Liv feels this qualifies. That’s why she needs Mellie to join the discussion on how to handle their current situation. Before they proceed, Olivia asks the first lady to refrain from referring to her as a "whore." Fair enough. Fitz suggests that they tell the truth. Olivia agrees, but it can’t be the whole truth. They’ll say they slept together twice. It’s a number Mellie can live with. They were together on inauguration night and once again after the assassination attempt. That’s their story and they’re sticking to it. Once Mellie leaves, Fitz tries to comfort Olivia with a hug. As usual, she finds it impossible to resist his embrace. She leaves the meeting in tears.

Vice President Sally Langston initially balks at the request that she be the one to take on all the president’s public appearances in the midst of this latest scandal. She’s surprised when Fitz admits to having an affair. The president then asks her to help him buy some time before he comes clean to the world. The vice president agrees to help. Sally is happy to hear that Mellie will be standing by Fitz’s side during the forthcoming press conference. She also reveals the challenges she faces in her own marriage. Fitz advises her to take advantage of his upcoming speech to rise up as the moral center of their party. That’s something she can do.

Mellie isn’t truly onboard with the strategy that was laid out during the secret meeting. She lets Cyrus know she has her own plan, but they’ll need outside help. A short time later, Harrison, Abby, Quinn and Huck recommit to being gladiators before delivering a DVD to Cyrus. It contains old video footage of a tipsy Jeanine Locke referring to Fitz as “freakin’ hot.” As spot-on as her assessment of the leader of the free world may be, it doesn’t mean she had an affair with the guy, right? Wrong! The press now believes that Jeanine Locke is the president’s mistress, not Olivia Pope. Cyrus assures the blindsided aide that The White House has her back. Yeah, right!

A furious Olivia knows her fellow gladiators are involved in the unsubstantiated takedown of Jeanine Locke. A furious Fitz knows Cyrus is behind it, too. He’s shocked to learn that his loving wife is truly the one who has been pulling all the strings. She leaked Jeanine’s name after she figured out her hubby is the one who leaked Olivia’s name. It’s all true. Fitz used his Secret Service agents, Tom & Hal, as part of his plan to neutralize the situation so he could one day fulfill his vow to bring Olivia into the White House. Mellie may have won this battle, but Fitz is comforted by the fact that Olivia is in the clear. She’s free to get back to work helping her newest client: Jeannine Locke.

Cyrus is stunned to find Charlie in bed with James. It’s just business. See, James has been rendered unconscious so Charlie can abduct Cy at gunpoint without issue. The baby is also sleeping soundly in the next room thanks to a sweet ride on the infant swing. Cyrus is brought to a room where Rowan raises his security clearance. The topic of their discussion is a classified mission Fitz ran with Jake Ballard in Iran known as "Operation Remington." Cyrus is allowed to flip through the formerly redacted file to learn what really happened on that mission. After a few moments of perusal, Cyrus looks up at Rowan with a horror-struck look on his face. What the heck is in that file?!

~ Recap for It's Handled[1] provided by ~


Main Cast

Recurring Cast


For a full list of cast/character credits in order as they appeared click here: It's Handled Credits


  • Jeannine pleading to Cyrus for help after a video of her has been publicly outed.
  • Jeannine: You have to believe me. People have to believe me. I never--none of this--any of it is true. I mean, yeah, I called him hot. (pause) My name, my picture--they're all over the TV. My private e-mails. Do I need a lawyer, Cy?
  • Cyrus: Guilty people need lawyers. The White House will handle this. I personally will handle this! (pause) You're not alone in this. We're all here for you. You're part of the family.

Long Speeches & Rants

Mellie & Fitz

  • Mellie and Fitz bickering back-and-forth about the war the two of them are in.
  • Mellie: Cyrus' plan. No. See, leaking Jeannine's name was my plan. It was this crazy idea I got from you.
  • Fitz: From me. What? (looking confused)
  • Mellie: After you leaked Olivia's name. (stunned pause) The upsetting thing about as educated as I am and as intelligent as I am is that being First Lady is profoundly boring. What did you call me? "Ornamental, not functional"? I am a rose dying on the vine, giving me a war run or a CIA or something, but... I used the copious amounts of free time I have to think. And I have been thinking-- Who could have possibly leaked that name, and why? And then I realized, who would have benefited the most? My idealistic, romantic, optimistic, idiotic husband. (scene playing out in-between dialogue) You thought if you leaked Olivia's name, and then I stood next to you and held your hand and smiled while you told the press everything you did, it would neutralize the situation. What did you say in the bunker? "Stop looking for a way out, look for a way through"? Get me to play the good wife, control me, and by extension, the nation. Because--and here's the best part--You still somehow believe the country will eventually embrace you bringing your whore into the White House as First Lady. And step one: leaking Liv's name. (scoffs)
  • Fitz: No. Step one... was me coming to Blair House and laying my head in your lap like I gave a damn about your forgiveness. This is a war, Mellie. You and I are at war. What happened today is just one battle of many. And let's be clear. The reason I leaked Liv's name is because as long as you had her name in your arsenal of weapons, Olivia was at your mercy. Now she's free.


  • A glimpse of Olivia's life before the Grant campaign, as well as her mother, are finally revealed.

Production Dates

These dates and information are courtesy of the actors and production team's Twitter posts.


Promotional Photos

→ See and enjoy 33 pictures from It’s Handled at Images from It’s Handled.

Behind the Scenes

These pictures are courtesy of the actors and production team's Twitter posts.


Promotional Videos