"Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington"
3x03 - Olivia Pope and Jake Ballard
Season Three
Season 03, Episode 03
Episode Information
Air Date: October 17, 2013
Viewers: 9.51 million
Written by: Matt Byrne
Directed by: Jeannot Szwarc
Character Information
Character Development:
Relationship Stories:
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"
Next Episode: "Say Hello to My Little Friend"

Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington is the third episode of the third season of Scandal, and is the thirty-second overall.


A Midwestern mom hires Pope & Associates under mysterious conditions that lead to a very dangerous situation. Meanwhile, Fitz and Mellie admit their true feelings for each other.


Olivia Pope & Associates:
  • The team takes on a new client, a mother seeking justice for her murdered son
  • Olivia tries to patch things up with Huck
  • Quinn digs into Huck’s internet history and learns a shocking secret
White House:
  • Cyrus has big plans for Mellie & Fitz to go to Camp David and show the American people that their marriage is fine
  • Fitz leads point on the hostage negotiations on the Hill
  • Mellie & Fitz are still at war, looks like Mellie might be winning
  • Fitz continues to use Tom to communicate with Olivia
Rowan & B613:
  • Rowan is informed by Cyrus that they have an “Operation Remington” problem
  • Rowan visits someone from Jake & Fitz’s past and tries to pay him off
  • Rowan gives an old friend a job to “take care” of
US Attorney’s Office:
  • Abby comes to David to help Olivia out; so David goes to Cyrus to get that favor


Olivia watches as a beaten, bruised, bearded but not broken Jake recuperates in her bed. She refuses a call from Fitz who wants to discuss how Jake got there. Liv only wants to talk to Huck, but he still needs time away from her after learning that her father is Command. She has no idea that he’s using that time to trail Rowan, aka Eli Pope. Olivia returns to work to discover the team has taken on a new client. Her name is Mary Nesbitt. She forks over a $25,000 retainer for Pope and Associates to manage a private family matter. Mary doesn’t have time to go over the details because she has a meeting on Capitol Hill. When the team asks where Huck is Olivia tells them he's taking a personal day; they're all stunned that Huck of all people is taking a "personal day," and weren't aware they could take personal days. This leaves Quinn to be "Baby Hacker."

The team learns that Mary Nesbitt’s son is Chris Lawrence, a young man who was killed in an FBI raid 15 months ago. The apartment he was living in was linked to an alleged terrorist cell. Olivia makes her way to the U.S. Capitol where people are fleeing down the halls. The work area she enters is empty. No one is at their desks. Olivia opens the door to the main office which is home to Congressman Jim Struthers. He’s inside along with several other frightened members of his staff. Mary Nesbitt is there, too. When she turns around, Olivia can see that she wearing a vest filled with explosives. Mary’s finger is inches away from pressing a trigger.

The Secret Service springs into action when an intruder tries to make his way into the Oval Office. The man claims he needs to talk to the president about Operation Remington. The President and the First Lady are whisked away to the bunker – where they met with Olivia a few weeks ago – until it can be determined this wasn’t a coordinated attack with what’s happening at the Capitol where Mary wants to know why exactly her son was killed. Olivia sees how distraught this woman is. She’s been told her son was a terrorist. Mary knows in her gut this isn’t true. She went to see Olivia because she always trusts her gut, too. As for the White House intruder, Cyrus orders him to be released once he learns the man’s identity and his intentions to see the President.

Olivia speaks with FBI hostage negotiator Randolph Boles. If Chris Lawrence’s government file isn’t declassified ASAP, they will all be blown up. Olivia’s team springs into action to sort this out. Liv convinces Mary to release most of the hostages. Only she and the congressman remain behind. Mary lets them know that she made her explosives by following a recipe she got on the Internet. The president is shown the Chris Lawrence file. He gives the sniper team the go-ahead to take out the suspect. Olivia knows they are coming in. She steps in front of the window to let the world see her. Fitz gives the order for everyone to stand down.

The president gets a phone call. He thinks it’s Olivia. It’s not. Jake lets Fitz know that Olivia needs the Chris Lawrence file. That’s not going to happen. A worried Jake wants Liv to get out of there. Harrison does, too. That’s because an FBI agent shows him a video proving that Chris Lawrence was a terrorist recruiter. Of course, the woman who showed him the clip isn’t really FBI. Meanwhile, without Huck there to guide her, Quinn is struggling to hack into the FBI to declassify the file on Chris Lawrence's death. So Olivia asks Abby to use her contacts at justice to see what see can find out. So, Abby goes to US Attorney David Rosen for help, who is surprisingly efficient when it comes to holding his own when trading threats with Cyrus Beene. He actually gets access to the Chris Lawrence file.

RING! Olivia picks up the congressman’s phone to hear that the President of the United States is on the line. He’s in the room with Cyrus, David and the head of counterintelligence. Fitz asks Olivia to not react as he reveals that Chris Lawrence was a CIA spy who was posing as a terrorist recruiter to infiltrate their cells. He was killed by an FBI agent who didn’t know he was working undercover. Chris Lawrence wasn’t a traitor. He was an American hero. Unfortunately, his mother can never know this. If the truth is ever revealed, 57 other agents who are still undercover will be tortured until they die.

Olivia must decide if she will protect those brave patriots or let one heartbroken mother know that her gut was right about her son. It’s an impossible choice. Olivia lies. She says that Chris Lawrence was a terrorist. Mary breaks down. She’s devastated. Once Olivia and the congressman step out of the room, Mary barricades herself inside. BOOM! An explosion rocks the area. Fitz wants to know what happened. He wants an immediate update. Once the smoke clears, he’s told that all of the hostages are safe. Mary Nesbitt, however, is now with her son.

Earlier in the day – before the catastrophe on the hill – Fitz and Mellie are reluctant to be trapped with each other at Camp David to show the American people how committed they are to each other as a family. Cyrus almost bursts into a full-on rant when he declares they WILL be doing this, but stops short of completely blowing a gasket. Later that night, Fitz believes Mellie would have been happy if Olivia had been blown to bits. That’s not the case at all. She’d much rather have her alive because she’s her husband’s flaw. Olivia is the one thing she can use to pull Fitz’s strings to make him dance.

Huck follows Rowan down a city street with a gun in his hand. He looks as though he’s going to take him out until his target gets a phone call. It’s Cyrus. He lets Rowan know they have a Remington problem. Huck continues his surveillance. Rowan makes his way into the trailer of Peter Foster, aka the White House intruder. He wants the guy to adhere to the deal they had regarding keeping Remington under wraps. When Rowan leaves, Huck is waiting for him with a gun pointed at his head.

Olivia learns from Quinn that Huck is obsessed with her dad. She is startled to find him sitting alone in her office. She wants to know if he killed her father. He didn’t. Huck reveals that Rowan knew he was following him. He left him a present inside the trailer in the form of shackled Peter Foster. Huck proceeds to kill the guy while making it look like a suicide. He lets Olivia know that even after all this time her father still controls him. He owns him. Huck breaks down in Olivia’s arms.

Olivia returns home to find a clean-shaven Jake waiting for him. Gettysburgers are on the menu for dinner. Apparently, they deliver. Olivia doesn’t want to think about food right now. She wants to know how Jake is here. They don’t just let people like him out. Jake has no idea how he’s here. The only thing he does know is that picturing Olivia’s face is how he survived in “the hole.” He’s here because she saved him. The two of them realize that Rowan (aka: Eli Pope) still owns them as evidenced by the fact that he keeps repeatedly calling Olivia’s phone.

~ Special Thanks to for providing the recap for Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington [1] ~


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


For a full list of cast/character credits in order as they appeared click here: Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington Credits



  • When Kerry and Tony shot phone scenes, including the big monologue one by Fitz, Tony stood in the corner, off camera, reading his big monologue to Kerry. They did this scene at 1 AM. [2]

Production Dates


Promotional Photos

→ See and enjoy 26 pictures from Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington at Images from Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington.

Behind the Scenes

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


Promotional Video

Scandal 3x03 Promo "Mrs

Scandal 3x03 Promo "Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington" (HD)