"More Cattle, Less Bull"
3x05 - Olivia Pope and Jake Ballard
Season Three
Season 03, Episode 05
Episode Information
Air Date: October 31, 2013
Viewers: 9.23 million
Written by: Jenna Bans
Directed by: Randy Zisk
Character Information
Character Development:
Relationship Stories:
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: "Say Hello to My Little Friend"
Next Episode: "Icarus"

Two things make a coincidence, three things
make a conspiracy.

Huck to Jake

More Cattle, Less Bull is the fifth episode of the third season of Scandal, and is the thirty-fourth overall.


The team investigates Democratic Congresswoman Josie Marcus, while Olivia and Mellie have a surprising run-in during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Meanwhile, Jake and Huck get closer to the truth about Operation Remington, which could lead to devastating results.


Olivia Pope & Associates:
  • OPA goes to Montana to buy silence from five people in Congresswoman Marcus' past
  • Quinn is grounded for the case after following Huck, but her transition to "Baby Spy" continues
White House:
  • Mellie and Cyrus go searching for a campaign manager for Fitz's reelection
  • Ethan gets "Poped" in Montna by OPA after Cyrus unknowingly feeds Olivia intel
  • Fitz calls Olivia – on the “Fitz phone” – to vet his jokes for the Correspondent's dinner
  • Sally is frustrated that she's being left out again on the reelection campaign meetings, so he takes her own action
Rowan & B613:
  • Jake & Huck hack Rowan's personal files to gain information on "Operation Remington"
  • Fitz surprised Rowan with a meeting
  • Fitz wants to find a way to shut down B613


Olivia shares an uncomfortable dinner with her dad. The subject of her mother comes up. Eli finds this surprising since he believes that everything she's become in life is because of him. Olivia argues that it's all "in spite" of him. Rowan lets his daughter know that as long as her friends leave him alone, he'll leave them alone. That’s not going to happen. Huck talks Jake through downloading some secret files. He narrowly escapes notice when Rowan comes home after his dinner with Olivia.

Leo Bergen is one of the top strategists in town – second rate to Olivia Pope. Cyrus and Mellie want him to run the president's reelection campaign. Sounds like a great gig. Too bad Leo doesn't want the job. He doesn't do losers. That's how the president looks to him. He doesn't think Fitz's heart is in the job. He's going to lose come election time. Leo thanks Cyrus and Mellie for the offer and the tour of the Oval office before heading off to another meeting with Congresswoman Josie Marcus. He has no idea that his services will no longer be needed. This is because Josie has already found her new campaign manager in Olivia Pope.

Josie tells Olivia about the baby she had back in Montana when she was 15 years old. Her mother helped her keep things a secret until she could put the child up for adoption. Not even her little sister, Candace, knows about this. But there are about five people in her small Montana hometown who do. They may talk as her political star rises. Josie believes her now-grown daughter deserves her privacy. No one can ever know about it. That's the congresswoman's problem. She orders Olivia to go ahead and fix it. A short time later, Harrison, Abby, Huck and Quinn are checking in to a not-so-luxurious suite in Red Springs, Montana.

Huck is freezing Quinn out of his daily hacker/spy activities. It's partly because he's ticked, but also because he doesn’t want anyone to know he's in cahoots with Jake as they investigate Command, aka Liv's dad. Huck taps into a surveillance video featuring Fitz and Rowan. The topic of conversation is Operation Remington. Jake believes Command is on to them when some men in dark suits shuffle him into a dark car. Turns out it's the president who wants to see him on the basketball court for a very physical one-on-one game. Fitz thinks their only issues are about Olivia. Jake assures him there's another problem.

Olivia nervously waits for the "Fitz Phone" to ring. The annual Correspondents' Dinner is coming up. David invites Abby to the shindig. Olivia is also on the guest list for this event for which she typically vets the president's jokes. RING! To the Fitz Phone! Actually, to the regular phone! Cyrus is calling to ask Olivia to dig up dirt on Congresswoman Josie Marcus. He reveals that he has a guy – Ethan – in Montana already. Olivia relays this info to her team, as they work to shut down all loose ends. They swing a deal with Josie's baby daddy moments before a local news team arrives. Cyrus's man in Montana, Ethan, declares that they’ve been Poped!

Fitz wants Rowan to lay off Jake Ballard. The two men exchange threats. Cyrus lets the president know there’s no way to get rid of B-613. It’s out of their control. Jake lets Huck know that Fitz wasn't flying cover on that secret mission in Iran. The president is hiding something. Huck talks Jake through a computer search at the office. Olivia surprises him, but doesn’t suspect anything is up. She has other things on her mind like the Correspondents Dinner. The Fitz Phone isn’t ringing though. So, Olivia tosses it in the trash.

Cyrus leaks Josie's baby secret to Governor Reston just before the Democratic presidential debate. Harrison and Abby learn that the infant stayed right there in Red Springs. Josie's mom raised the baby, Candace, as the Congresswoman's sister, not her daughter. Olivia wants Josie to address the issue head-on. That's still not an option as far as she's concerned. Olivia knows Reston is going to ambush Josie so she gives her advice on how to handle it. Much to everyone's surprise, the congresswoman takes it. Her explanation as to why she did what she did is perfect. It devastates Candace though, so Josie fires Olivia.

Olivia sits alone in her office drinking wine, red as usual. RING! It’s the "Fitz Phone." She stares at it in the trash bin before eventually digging it out. Olivia and Fitz chat. It’s just like old times. Liv gives advice on how to handle things at the big dinner. Fitz tells her that he loves her. The conversation shifts back to the dinner. Mellie overhears her husband talking. He's actually having fun. He's actually happy.

David catches Abby lying – again – to him about missing the Correspondents' Dinner. He heads off to the event stag. Huck is glad Jake is Olivia's date. He thinks she needs this night. Sally Langston, on the other hand, needs Leo Bergen if she’s to run for president as a third party candidate. That's why she corner’s him in the men's room to propose this "hypothetical" situation. Out at the dinner, Tom (Secret Service agent) indicates to Olivia that her presence is requested elsewhere. Jake tells her to go. Much to Olivia's surprise, it’s Mellie who is calling. She wants Liv to work the reelection campaign. She knows in her heart Fitz needs her.

Abby shows up at David's place in a beautiful dress. She wanted to surprise him, but couldn't get out of the car. Her ex-husband, the man who used to abuse her, was on the guest list at the dinner. David wants Abby to start telling him things. Speaking of expressing one’s thoughts, Jake lets Olivia know that he's done with her. He doesn't play second fiddle to anyone. Not even the president. Before Olivia can react, she gets a call from Harrison. Josie Marcus wants to rehire her. That offer is rejected, but Josie tells Olivia to sleep on it. Harrison wonders what Liv is doing. She doesn't answer. She exits the office right past Quinn, who is admiring the gun she bought in Montana.

Huck surprises Jake at his place. He has info as to why Fitz lied about being in Iran during Operation Remington when, in reality, he was in Iceland. There was a plane crash that day involving a jet with 329 passengers on-board. It was deemed an accident, but Huck believes Fitz shot it down on behalf of the U.S. government. He doesn't know why. He believes this is all part of a conspiracy because of one of the names on the passenger list. It's Maya Lewis, a woman who never took her husband's name...Pope! Olivia’s mom!

~ Special Thanks to for providing the recap for More Cattle, Less Bull [1] ~


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


For a full list of cast/character credits in order as they appeared click here: More Cattle, Less Bull Credits


Long Speeches & Rants


Production Dates

  • (8/14) - The writers began working on this episode. [2]
  • (8/26) - Episode prep began. [3]
  • (8/28) - Production team starting location scouting. [4]
  • (9/06) - Tony Goldwyn (POTUS) & Bellamy Young (FLOTUS) were on set filming scenes. [5]
  • (9/08) - Filming for this episode continues. [6]
  • (9/09) - Darby Stanchfield was on set filming a super secret scene, no spoilers were a loud to be outed on Twitter. [7]
  • (9/10) - Filming on location today. [8]
  • (9/10) - Kerry Washington was on set today filming, possibly with Tony. [9]
  • (9/11) - Shooting continues, with scenes at The White House. [10]
  • (9/11) - Kerry, Tony & Scott Foley was filming. [11][12]
  • (9/13) - Tony & Bellamy were taking a break from filming goofing around with one of the AD's. [13][14]
  • (9/13) - Scott was presumably on set filming. [15] Paul Adelstein had his first day of filming on the show. [16]
  • (9/13) - Kerry hinted that she might be filming a scene with Lisa Kudrow! [17]
  • (9/13) - Bellamy had a late night of filming. [18]
  • (9/14) - According to Transportation Coordinator, Michael Reese, Darby & Guillermo Díaz were on set filming as well. [19]
  • (9/18) - Cast & crew had a double episode day of filming; along with filming this episode they were filming Icarus and prepping for Everything's Coming Up Mellie. [20]


Promotional Photos

→ See and enjoy 30 pictures from More Cattle, Less Bull at Images from More Cattle, Less Bull.


Promotional Video

Scandal 3x05 Promo "More Cattle, Less Bull" (HD) ft

Scandal 3x05 Promo "More Cattle, Less Bull" (HD) ft. Lisa Kudrow

Episode Clips