"The State of the Union"
President Grant delivers first SOTU of second term
Season Four
Season 04, Episode 02
Episode Information
Air Date: October 2, 2014
Viewers: 10.34 million
Written by: Heather Mitchell
Directed by: Allison Liddi-Brown
Character Information
Character Development:
Relationship Stories:
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: "Randy, Red, Superfreak and Julia"
Next Episode: "Inside the Bubble"

If you don’t go. Your absence. Your “state of mind” will be all anyone will be talking about.

— Fitz to Mellie

The State of the Union is the second episode of the fourth season of Scandal, and is the forty-ninth episode overall.


In order for Fitz to make the biggest impact with his State of the Union address on gun control, Cyrus sets out to recruit a power couple who are influential on the issue. Meanwhile, Mellie’s personal struggle gets national attention.


Olivia Pope & Associates:
  • OPA is blackmailed by the White House to "fix" a problem
  • Huck continues to be distant and cold to Quinn
  • Huck and Quinn babysit the Elliot's
White House:
  • Elizabeth throws a fit about the main topic of the President"s state of the union address
  • Mellie makes news headlines about how she is grieving the loss of her son
  • Abby preps David for his senate confirmation hearing
  • David's senate confirmation hearing is threatened by a past false accusation
US Attorney's Office:
  • Jake goes to David for information on the murders of Harrison & Adnan
  • David goes in front of the senate to be approved as the new Attorney General
Other Scandals:
  • Jake digs into the deaths of Harrison Wright & Adnan Salif
  • Cyrus meets an attractive young man, who turns out to be a "sex worker"


Jake booked a hotel suite for booty calls. Olivia lets him know that she doesn't do booty calls. The two of them take a breather from their morning run. Jake points to Cyrus sitting on a bench in the distance. He clues in Liv to the fact that she’s about to engage in a political booty call. On the bright side, park benches are a lot cheaper than DC hotel suites.

Cyrus asks Olivia to do him a favor. Actually, he’s blackmailing her into assuring that a power couple, James and Lisa Elliot, show up at Fitz's State of the Union address. These two have dedicated their lives to getting guns off the streets. They are the perfect couple. Everybody loves them. Too bad they don't love each other at the moment. The wheelchair that confines Lisa is a big cause of the tension. Olivia lets the combustible couple know that they need to put their issues aside for the good of their country.

Mellie is caught on camera munching on potato chips in her bathrobe while seated on the ground at her son's gravesite. This has the press questioning her state of mind. Fitz's request for her to get it together to show up at the State of the Union doesn't go over well. So Cyrus joins Mellie for some fried chicken. They chat about the people they've lost. This conversation doesn't end well either.

Abby preps David for his confirmation hearing. He does well. Unfortunately, Lizzy lets Cyrus know that claims of domestic abuse may hurt the Attorney General candidate, as well as the man who nominated him. Lizzy wants David to decline his nomination. That's not something the candidate is willing to do. David wants to win. He uses info from all those big, bad B613 files to blackmail a hardnosed senator into giving him a ringing endorsement.

Olivia sits at home alone. A bowl of popcorn and a glass of wine rest nearby. She picks up the Jake Phone. Yes, the Jake Phone. It's not for a booty call. Liv asks him to come over. That's not going to happen. Jake will, however, meet her for a booty call whenever she wants in Room 207. At the moment, he has work to do. Jake pressed David for info on the murders of Harrison and Adnan Salif. He craves a deeper look into what went down after having caught sight of Rowan at the funeral. Surveillance footage indicates that Charlie may have been involved.

Things are still icy between Huck and Quinn. They are assigned to babysit the Elliots. Their quietly-heated conversation in the bathroom is cut short when Lisa stabs James in the thigh with a corkscrew. Tiffs like this happen when you’re married. Later, Huck fesses up to Olivia about his brief relationship with Quinn. Olivia later gives James and Lisa a tough love speech that's enough to get them to show up as a couple at the State of the Union.

Fitz asks for a moment alone with Olivia before his speech. He needs to know what she thinks. Olivia advises him to talk about the grieving that his family is still going through. Fitz goes off-prompter to pay tribute to his incredibly strong wife, who is seated in the gallery in a stunning dress. A tough love speech from Abby got her there. As for the president's speech, it's emotional, impassioned and stirring. It demands that they put a stop to gun violence. A rousing ovation follows.

After the speech, Mellie crumbles to the floor in tears. She held it together in public. Now Fitz needs to keep her going in private. Elsewhere, Olivia shows up at Jake's place with a bottle of wine. This is not a booty call, but she is summoning him to come to her. Jake obliges. Speaking of obliging, Cyrus initially declines the flirtations of a good-looking man who briefly shares a drink with him. He later gets naked with him in a hotel room, but Cyrus can't go through with the liaison at the end of the day. We later see that the man, Michael Ambruso, is in cahoots with Lizzy. He confirms her suspicions that Cyrus is very lonely.

~ Recap for The State of the Union [1] provided by ~


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast

For a full list of cast/character credits in order as they appeared click here: The State of the Union Credits


I need to hear what you think. Before I go out there and talk to the country. I need to know what you think.  

 Fitz to Olivia before the speech

I'm about to go through a senate confirmation hearing and I don’t think being a known associate of a prolific assassin is going to be good for my chances.  

 David Rosen to Jake Ballard

Fried chicken. The chef will make fried chicken. All you gotta do is pick up the phone and ask and BAM! Fried chicken. Southern fried. And real! You want some?  

 Mellie to Fitz

A man who would nominate an Attorney General who beats woman. Is either a monster or someone's attention isn't where it's suppose to be. Too busy caring for his wife perhaps. Have Rosen decline the nomination at tomorrow’s hearing. It's the only choice.  

 Elizabeth North threatening Cyrus about David's nomination.

But no I am not concerned that Olivia Pope will fail. I am never concerned that Olivia Pope will fail.  

 Cyrus to Abby

No one is going to care about James & Lisa Elliot if they're too busy wondering about Fitz & Mellie Grant. She's still grieving. The world knows she's still grieving. So be honest.  

 Olivia to Fitz about his speech.

Long Speeches & Rants

"Fixer" Speeches

Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait! I am the only one who talks.! Just about 30 hours from now the President of the United States of America is going to stand up and give the state of union address. He'll be discussing gun control. To do that he needs to point to the two of you. Because despite whatever is happening here you are the face of gun control to the American people. So the President needs your asses in those seats. The law depends on it. Lives depend on it. So let's knock off the bickering. Pack our bags. And go serve our country. Shall we?  

 Olivia Pope to the Elliot's about getting them to D.C.

James. Lisa. What you need is a divorce. (Lisa: We can't.) You can! Get a divorce. Get out before this kills you both. It'll be hard. You'll have to pay back the advance for your second book. Sell the house. Take the loss. But I will spin this for you. I will make sure that when it’s over you can still make a living off of individual speaking engagements. I will keep the public on your side. BOTH of your sides. I will give you a way out. I can do that. Unless you’re only staying together for the fame? In which case you deserve each other and I wish you both a long and miserable life.  

 Olivia to the Elliot's about all the arguing.

Children die, Mrs. Grant. I don't have children, so you may think it's horrible for to say that. Maybe it is. But it's also a fact. But of all the millions of American's who will be watching and listening to the State of Union address tonight, there are thousands of people out there whose children have died. Just like yours. But unlike you they didn’t get to spend three months flipping through trash and eating potatoe chips. They got three days to grieve. Three weeks if they were lucky. Or they would lose their jobs. And make no mistake Mrs. Grant you have a job. You're the First Lady of the United States. And it might not pay. But it is a job. And if Jackie Kennedy could be in car with her husbands brains splattered across her lap one minute and standing next to L.B.J. as he was sworn in to replace her dead husband just 99 minutes later. You can put on a dress. And stand in your private box. And show all the people in our nation who share in the horrible burden of losing a child with you that the First Family may be devastated but it has not forgotten the American people. Who voted for your husband, and who need to see you’re okay. Whether or not it's the truth.  

 Abby Whelan to Mellie Grant trying to encourage her to attend the State of the Union address.


(laughs) Oh honey baby! Do you actually think I give a damn what anyone thinks about me anymore? And for you to come here and pretend this is all about me. When really -- let’s face it baby -- this is all about you. This is the “The Fitzgerald Grant Show” starring Fitzgerald Grant. And you just want me to play my part. The co-star -- the dutiful wife. Who smiles and applauds and looks so proud of you. And doesn’t eat chicken or wear sweat pants or hang out on graves. (laughs)  

 Mellie to Fitz about her attending the State of the Union address.

Olivia Pope! For all her talk of white hat's and doing good, she just gets what she wants. And sometimes you're just collateral damage. Admit it! Come on you don’t work there anymore. She has no loyalty! She gets what she wants because she's a winner, and she doesn't sit around wondering whether or not she played the game the right way.  

 David to Abby after being asked to resign his nomination for Attorney General.

Quinn: I didn’t know what else to do Huck. I thought you’d want to know about your family. I was trying to help you. But I don’t know why I bothered. We were never a normal couple. You're always going to be the guy who pulled my teeth out.

Huck: I pulled your teeth out because you could never mind your own business. You could never mind your own business Quinn. If I had to do it all over again to teach you that one valuable lesson I would.  

 Quinn & Huck arguing in a heated moment.



→ See and enjoy 25 pictures from The State of the Union at Images from The State of the Union.



Promotional Video

Scandal 4x02 Promo "The State of the Union" (HD)

Scandal 4x02 Promo "The State of the Union" (HD)

Episode Clips