"Mama Said Knock You Out"
3x15 - OPA
Season Three
Season 03, Episode 15
Episode Information
Air Date: March 27, 2014
Viewers: 9.01 million
Written by: Zahir McGhee
Directed by: Tony Goldwyn
Character Information
  • The First Family
Character Development:
Relationship Stories:
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"
Next Episode: "The Fluffer"

You think you're family, but you're nothing but the help! And you don't even know it.

Maya to her daughter, Livvie

Mama Said Knock You Out is the fifteenth episode of the third season of Scandal, and is the forty-fourth overall.


The Grant children prepare for a live sit down television interview with Fitz and Mellie at the White House. Meanwhile, Adnan looks to Harrison for help and Rowan warns Olivia to stop investigating B613.


Olivia Pope & Associates:
  • The team plus David continue to work together to take down B613
  • Olivia and the gladiators look into the lives of the First Kids
White House:
  • The First Family comes together to do their first live TV interview
  • Olivia works with The First Kids to prep them for their interview
  • Mellie & Andrew continue to go on with their tryst
  • Karen catches her mom & "Uncle Andrew" in a comprising position
  • Cyrus attacks Jake for killing James
  • Fitz & Mellie talk about what happened to their relationship
Rowan & B613:
  • Charlie grills Quinn about why Huck visited her
  • Jake begins to step into the role of "Command"
  • Quinn meets up with Huck to send a message from the "new" Command
  • Jake pays Rowan a visit, threatening him
US Attorney's Office:
  • David helps Harrison & Abby by getting what Adnan wants... immunity


Jerry and Karen Grant are in the house! More accurately, Jerry and Karen Grant are in the White House! Fitz and Mellie’s kids have come home to take part in a live First Family TV interview - with journalist Noah Baker - that’s just 64 minutes short minutes away. There’s a problem with the children though. Fortunately, Olivia Pope is on the case.

We jump back 24 hours to see Fitz and Mellie prepping for the visit from the children. The family dinner conversation is awkward to say the least. Olivia senses something is up with the Grant kids. She asks Abby to dig in to their backgrounds. As it turns out, Jerry is running an anonymous anti-Fitz campaign online. He also purchased a snazzy new “Reston for President” t-shirt. There’s a big blowup between father and children in the Jerry's bedroom. An upset Karen rushes off only to find her mother in a compromising position with Andrew just down the hall. Olivia gets a firsthand look at this second First Family affair.

Papa Pope wants Olivia to stop digging into B613. He lets Jake know that he is all alone out there. In other news, Quinn and Charlie wrap up their sweet girlfriend-boyfriend chat about an abandoned notion of killing Huck because they have a job to do. A former Ukraine organized crime man named Dmitri is bound and gagged in their trunk. The White House says he’s an advance man for a bad guy named Ivan. This is the same Ivan that’s in cahoots with Maya Lewis (aka Mama Pope). This has Adnan scared. As for Quinn and Charlie, they continue their Huck discussion while literally drilling Dmitri for information.

Fitz knows B613 has Dmitri, but Jake isn’t about to give him away. Cyrus hears the two of them arguing. He steps into the Oval Office. He grabs a vase to attack Jake, who quickly neutralizes the threat. Cyrus knows he killed James. Jake robotically says he’s sorry for his loss. Cyrus later has a heart-to-heart chat with Fitz. If James had gone public, he would have brought down the entire administration. Cyrus figures that Jake was just doing his job. He was doing what they all do. He was serving at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

Adnan shows up at the office to spill what’s happening with Maya. Harrison owes her so he convinces Olivia to help. He initially resists Adnan’s jaw-dropping, not to mention panty-dropping, offer to start over. The two of them eventually make love. While basking in the afterglow, Adnan injects Harrison with a syringe. Everything is getting blurry. Soon, Adnan is gone. Elsewhere, Maya calls Olivia warning her to stay out of her business.

Jake sends Quinn to meet with Huck to find out what he wants with B613. That’s simple. He wants them to let her go. Quinn wants to know why. They’ve had a topsy-turvy relationship lately. Huck has gone from tonguing her face to tonguing her tongue. Quinn returns the favor at this meeting. First she licks then she kisses Huck. Then she pushes him away. She’s messing with him. One has to wonder if Charlie is messing with Quinn when he takes it upon himself to move into her place. Gotta keep her safe from Huck, right?

Catching up to where things started, Olivia attempts to reason with the Grant children. Fitz is blindsided by Karen’s claim that his wife is “doing it” with the man his daughter calls “Uncle Andrew.” This sends the president storming through the White House halls. He finds his old pal in the middle of a big meeting and proceeds to sucker punch him in the face. Olivia orders Andrew to go on his political trip pronto. As for Fitz and Mellie, they have an emotionally-draining conversation about how their marriage died. This is all while the clock is ticking toward TV interview time.

Olivia gets yelled at by Fitz while he’s yelling at Mellie. It has her fleeing the White House until Cyrus convinces her to head back inside. He says, “It’s not just that family you’re putting back together; it’s the whole damn country.” Liv does her thing and soon Fitz, Mellie and the kids are calmly talking things out. They go on television to show the world that they are one big happy First Family.

Adnan Salif meets up with terrorist Ivan and Mama Pope to turn over a flash drive filled with info she swiped from Olivia’s computer. It’s all about the president’s itinerary, Secret Service detail, contingency plans and more. The entire conversation is being watched by Jake. His charges are ready to take action against this little group. That won’t be necessary just yet. Jake wants to see how this all plays out. Elsewhere, Rowan lets Olivia know that she’s looking in the wrong places to find out how B613 is funded. He’s helping her because they are family, and families stick together. He says just as Olivia watches the First Family prove this point in front of the entire nation.

~ Recap for Mama Said Knock You Out [1] provided by ~


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


For a full list of cast/character credits in order as they appeared click here: Mama Said Knock You Out Credits


Jerry. Karen. We need to talk!  

 Olivia to Jerry & Karen Grant

Tell me we're not the help, Cyrus, that I am not some maid with a mop in my hands cleaning up messes whenever they ring the bell.  

 Olivia to Cyrus hoping they're not "The Help"

No. But thank you... for reminding me that when I decide to kill you, I need to do it all by myself.  

 Jake to Rowan

So you can cheat and I can't. Is that it? Well, that is one hell of a double standard.  

 Mellie to Fitz while Olivia ease drops

Believe me, Ivan. This is worth the wait. (Ivan: We'll see.) Fresh from Olivia Pope's computer. The president's campaign schedule, complete with a make-up of his security detail, secret service shift change, exit routes, contingency plans, and the contingencies to the contingencies. In a word, EVERYTHING!  

 Adnan to Maya and Ivan

We’re family, Olivia... despite everything. And… families, well, they, um... they stick together.  

 Rowan to Olivia (via a cell phone call)

Long Speeches, Rants & Conversations

"Fixer" Speeches

For another four years in this house, which is not going to happen if you don't put the scotch down right now and do something about your children, because believe me, it's going to be much worse for them if they don't do this interview. The media attention, the press speculation, Facebook, Twitter -- They won't get a moment's peace, and you know it! It's not four years ago. They're not children anymore, so the best thing for everyone would be if you -- (cut off my Mellie)  

 Olivia to Mellie about doing the interview

You need to leave. Your campaign trip -- it starts now. There's a plane waiting for you. I'll leak to the press you got that shiner playing tennis with the president. When a reporter asks, run with it. (Andrew: Olivia) GO!  

 Olivia to Andrew after Fitz clocks him

No. Listen to me. All of this -- your regret, your apologies -- you need to direct it towards your children, towards you wife. (Fitz: Livvie) We are 20 minutes away from a live interview with a very important journalist that will be seen by tens of millions of people around the world. So right now, you are going to fix your family because it is not my place. (voice breaks) I am at work! This is my job. If this interview turns into a disaster, then I will have failed at my job, and I cannot afford to fail at my job right now because it is all that I have left! Go.  

 Olivia to Fitz

Long Speech

What you need to do is stay out of my business. (Rowan: Your business?) Yes. You're not command anymore. That's my title. And when I find out that you've been in touch with my agents, that you met with some of my people at the D.O.D. and C.B.O. "A," it makes me curious about what you're up to and, "B," makes me wonder if the terms of your retirement need to be revisited. Do they need to be revisited?  

 Jake to Rowan, threatening him

No, No, No, you can’t! (Why?) Because if you go home, I can’t... I don’t mean to play the “dead husband” card, Liv, but I can’t see through the fog right now. And if I can’t see through the fog, I can’t do my job. The sky will fall. And I won’t be able to stop it, but you can. Like it or not, Olivia Pope can... play through the pain. (Olivia interrupts) You know the job, Olivia. You know what we do. (Olivia: Don’t you resent it?) Of course I resent it. But somewhere in this head of mine, behind the fog, behind the anger, is my faint recollection that what we do is important, that my husband died for a reason, that his death matters. So, instead of going home and crying about it like I’m going to do, I need you to get back in there, back in the little white building with all those miserable people inside of it... and do the job for both of us. Because it’s not just that family you’re putting back together. It’s the whole damn country.  

 Cyrus to Olivia trying to stop her from leaving


It's hard, isn't it, being the man who makes the decisions, having that burden bearing that cross? Most people have family and -- and loved ones to talk to. But people like us. We only have each other. Well, that's the reason you're here, yes? I-I mean, the real reason -- to look in my eyes and remind yourself that others have walked this path before you. Well, not that you ever admit it. God forbid we should show weakness. Better to say that you're here on business, to threaten me and flex your muscles. But all that's just pretense, isn't it? A way to feel less alone in the world, to see that I, too, have stood in your shoes? Well, guess what. (screams) YOU’RE ALONE! The path that you walk is not my path. The shoes that you stand in are not my shoes. We are not equals, nor will we ever be. You are A-LONE.  

 Rowan to Jake about the job Jake stole from him

I didn't say you could come in here. (Mellie: Karen, I don't know what you think you saw, but believe me, you are very much mistaken.) The only mistake, mom, was that I saw you. (Mellie: Karen --) What, mom?! You were on your knees with Uncle Andrew. I saw you. It was disgusting. And you know what the worst part about it is? This whole time, I've been blaming dad. When you were the liar, you were the cheater, you were the one doing everything. (Mellie: You are being dramatic) SHUT UP! (Mellie: KAREN!) Shut up and stop lying and get out of my room! I'm not staying here I'm going back to school. (Mellie: You can't) I said get out of my room!  

 Karen to Mellie after catching her with Andrew

You! You ruined our marriage. You shut me down. You locked the door. You killed us. I would never have cheated. I would never have gone looking elsewhere, but I’d spend 10 years with a wife who wouldn’t let me touch her. 10 years! And I never blamed you. It wasn't your fault you didn't want me. "Poor Mellie. My poor wife's dried up. She can't control her body or her libido." But it turns out that was lie. It wasn’t that you didn't want sex, it was that you didn't want me because you're all hot and bothered for Andrew. And I have spent all this time feeling guilty, feeling like a monster, feeling like I broke us! And it was you. You did this. You ruined our marriage. YOU KILLED US! You killed us, Mellie. Don't you see that? Don't you see what you did? [Mellie sighs] We never had a chance. Those kids never had a chance at growing up with two loving happy parents.  

 Mellie to Fitz after he sucker punched Andrew


Fitz: You don't want to do it for me, at least do it out of respect for your mother.

Karen: Respect for our mother? Why? She doesn't have any respect for you.

Fitz: What are you talking about?

Karen: She's doing it with Uncle Andrew, Dad! I saw her!  

 Fitz and Karen Grant about doing the interview and revealing the truth about Mellie

Quinn: What do you want, Huck?

Huck: I want him to let you go. To set you free. I want you out of B613. I want you safe (him refers to Jake aka Command)

Quinn: Oh so now you want to rescue me? Last week you wanted to kill me. What's changed? WHAT'S... CHANGED???

Huck: You know what's changed.

Quinn:No. See, I'm confused, Huck. How does this go? What are the rules? When you licked my face, when you put your tongue on my cheek, apparently that was just what you needed to get in the mood to rip out my molars, right? [breaths shakily] But your tongue in my mouth, that's different? You put your tongue in my mouth, and now I deserve to live? That’s a thing? That’s how it goes? [she licks his cheek as he breaths heavily] (after a heated kissing moment, Quinn pulls away) Yeah. That’s how it goes. (she walks away)  

 Quinn and Huck


Production Dates

  • (1/28) - First day of prep; director Tony Goldwyn was scouting with crew.[2]
  • (1/29) - Second day of prep.[3]
  • (2/04) - Tech scouting with director Tony and production team.[4]
  • (2/06) - Filming began.[5]
  • (2/06) - Double day of filming; while filming this episode Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was also being filmed.[6]
  • (2/07) - Kerry Washington was on set filming with director Tony in the Oval Office.[7] The First Family (Tony, Dylan Minnette, Madeline Carroll and Bellamy Young) were on set filming.[8] Also filming on set was Katie Lowes.
  • (2/10) - Jeff Perry was on The White House set filming.[9] Bellamy was also on set filming wearing a stunning dress.[10] And Scott Foley was on set as well.[11] Madeline Carroll was also on set.[12] Along with her on screen brother, Dylan Minette.[13]
  • (2/11) - Kerry Washington was on set.[14] Tony was on set doing double duty, directing & acting.[15] Also on set filming was Joshua Malina.[16]
  • (2/12) - Writer Zahir McGhee attempts being a cameraman for the day during an a.m. filming.[17] Scott was on set filming, but before he made it to set he in the makeup trailer tweeting.[18]
  • (2/12) - Katie was on set filming.[19] And Guillermo Díaz was on location filming.[20]
  • (2/13) - Filming continues.[21] Bellamy was on set filming a long day.[22] Also on set was Madeline Carroll (Karen Grant).[23]
  • (2/14) - Columbus Short was on set filming.[24] Guest actor Jon Tenney was on set filming with Tony.[25] Kerry was also on set and had a long day of shooting.[26] The first children (Madeline and Dylan) were on set filming at night.[27] Also on set with Tony was Bellamy.[28]
  • (2/18) - Filming continues.[29] Jon Tenney was on set filming.[30]
  • (2/19) - Cast & crew were busy filming on 4 different stages with two different units. Actors were also split between filming this episode and The Fluffer.[31]
  • (2/20) - Final night of shooting.[32]


Promotional Photos

→ See and enjoy 17 pictures from Mama Said Knock You Out at Images from Mama Said Knock You Out.

Behind the Scenes

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


Promotional Video

Scandal 3x15 Promo "Mama Said Knock You Out" (HD)

Scandal 3x15 Promo "Mama Said Knock You Out" (HD)