"White Hat’s Off"
~ Flashback Episode ~
2x01 - David Rosen 01
Season Two
Season 02, Episode 01
Episode Information
Air Date: September 27, 2012
Viewers: 6.74 million
Written by: Jenna Bans
Directed by: Tom Verica
Character Information
(present day)
Character Backstories:
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: "Grant: For the People"
Next Episode: "The Other Woman"

White Hat's Off is the first episode of the second season of Scandal, and is the eighth episode overall.


Quinn's true identity is revealed and as the team of Olivia Pope & Associates dig deeper into her past they find that she may be their biggest scandal yet. Meanwhile, Mellie and Cyrus put President Grant in a compromising position during a live television interview and a Congressman requires Olivia's help.


Olivia Pope & Associates:
  • The team digs into Quinn’s story and her former life as Lindsay Dwyer trying to help her defense attorney; now that Quinn’s real identity has been "outed" and she is on trial for murdering seven people, including her ex-boyfriend.
  • Congressman Shaw seeks their help after finding a video bug in his office; on the bug he is caught in a compromising position... with his pants down having "relations" with a female lawyer.
White House:
  • Fitz is being pressured by Mellie & Cyrus to invade East Sudan.
  • Kimberly Mitchell interviews Fitz & Mellie and reveals the sex of "America's Baby" to them and on national television.
  • Olivia recruits Huck for assistance
  • Huck relocates Lindsay Dwyer from California to D.C.


It’s been six months since everything went down in Grant: For the People. Mellie is showing big time as she picks out color patterns for the baby’s nursery in the Oval Office. Fitz is only half-listening as she prattles on about their upcoming interview with nationally-loved news reporter Kimberly Mitchell. They’ll be revealing the sex of their baby, “America’s Baby” according to Mellie, on national TV. Fitz has other things on his mind, like a possible attack on East Sudan to stop recent genocide atrocities. We’re guessing he’s also thinking of Olivia.

Speaking of Olivia, she’s on her way into court with defense attorney Moira O’Donnell. The throngs of reporters outside ask about their client, who has been branded with the colorful nickname of “The Molotov Mistress.” Her real name is Lindsay Dwyer, but we know her as Quinn Perkins. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Rosen plays an audiotape where Lindsay threatens to kill her cheating boyfriend, Jesse Tyler. Two days later, he and six of his co-workers were blown to bits after a bomb was delivered to his office. Lindsay Dwyer was the prime suspect.

A motion to dismiss the case due to the state’s circumstantial evidence is denied. The case is not going well. Part of the problem is that Lindsay Dwyer ran away. She later became Quinn Perkins, though this was not her idea. She claims to have been knocked unconscious by a mystery person. She woke up in a Washington DC hotel with everything she needed to begin a new life as Quinn. It’s a life that may be drawing to a close as David is asking for the death penalty. He believes the defendant is a cold-blooded killer. The jury is likely to agree.

Olivia has been discreetly meeting with Cyrus at a park for five minutes every other Monday. She lets him know that she’s moved on from Fitz. Speaking of moving on, Stephen quit the firm and moved to Boston. This new wrinkle only adds to a workplace that’s somewhat divided over Quinn’s case. Abby, for one, thinks she’s lying about everything. The team’s best bet is to find the mystery man who knocked out Quinn. Huck is on the move to check out any video cameras that were operating near the hotel where she woke up.

Quinn is scared. She consults with another attorney to take a plea deal. In other words, she fires Olivia. Quinn demands to know how her boss knew her true identity. Olivia's response that she does her homework doesn’t fly with Quinn. What does make an impact is Olivia’s vow that she will not let her down. Quinn is her client once again. There will be no plea agreement.

Fitz is trying his best to avoid going to war over the East Sudan situation even though, as Cyrus and Mellie know, such a decisive action would go a long way toward getting reelected. Energy tycoons like Hollis Doyle from Texas would also love the obscene profits companies like his would make if a war was in the future. Still, Fitz does not take the idea of sending soldiers into battle to possibly die lightly. He’s completely caught off guard when Mellie implies her hubby’s about to storm East Sudan during their joint TV interview with Kimberly Mitchell.

Fitz’s fury with Mellie comes to a boil when they return to Oval Office. He screams, “You’re not the President! You don’t weigh in on foreign policy. Your opinion doesn’t matter!” He says that, as the First Lady, she’s ornamental, not functional. This hits Mellie hard. She knows that he misses Olivia, but doesn’t want him to take it out on her. Fitz ultimately apologizes before placing his hand on his wife’s belly as the two of them wait for the baby to kick.

Congressman Jacob Shaw of the great state of Rhode Island has a problem. A secret video camera that was planted in his office captured him having sex with a law firm associate on his desk. Both of these consenting adults are single, but the congressman would still like to know who did this to him and what they plan to do with the video. Huck learns that a right wing website called Capitol Spill is about to spill the video all over the Internet. An attempt to get an injunction to stop the tape from going viral fails. They need a Plan B.

Fitz places a call to Olivia. The fact that it’s on a secure line doesn’t matter. They can’t do this. They can’t hang up on each other either. They chat like old friends about things like invading East Sudan. For such a serious subject, these two speak with a comfort level that is very rare indeed. Olivia advises Fitz to spin what Mellie did to make it seem like it was all his idea. This will scare the bad guys. He’s the leader of the armed forces and he’ll decide if and when they go to war. Fitz sternly lets Cyrus know this.

Olivia follows the advice she gave Fitz herself regarding the Congressman Shaw situation. Huck hacks into the Capitol Spill computers to get a copy of the sex tape. Abby’s been studying the impressive content repeatedly. The team does a preemptive strike by leaking the tape. Shaw then spins all the press questions into an opportunity to talk about the real issues. Before doing this, the standup congressman calls the woman on the tape to give her a heads up as to what’s coming. He also calls his mom. The plan works and Shaw even scores a guest appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Huck says there’s no sign of Quinn or her mystery kidnapper on any of the video footage he found. The jury is set to hang her. Olivia steps into her office and makes a mysterious phone call. Harrison makes a discouraged Quinn repeat the famed “gladiators in suits” line to give her some hope. As for Olivia, she makes a phone call to a mystery person to ask for help. In court, Moira makes another motion to dismiss the case due to circumstantial evidence. This time the motion is granted. Shockwaves rip through the courtroom. Everyone is stunned… everyone but Olivia.

David is furious. He knows Olivia is behind this and vows to prove it. Abby and Harrison also want to know what happened in that courtroom. Huck, however, remains ever-loyal to Olivia. He retreats to his workspace where he pulls up video from outside the DC hotel where Quinn was dumped. Surprisingly, we see Huck standing outside the place in footage he proceeds to erase forever. We jump back in time to see what wasn’t on the video from two years ago. Huck hops into the passenger’s side of a car parked down the street. In the driver’s seat is Olivia Pope, the person who changed Quinn’s identity.
~ Special Thanks to for providing the recap for White Hat's Off [1] ~


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Special Guest Cast

Guest Cast


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


Olivia: Are you hacking?
Huck: Would you like me to explain it?
OliviaThat would ruin it for both of us.

Fitz Grant: (to Mellie) No one elected you! You're not the President! You don't weigh in on foreign policy! Your opinion doesn't matter. You're the first lady, your job is to plant gardens and decorate rooms and let them blog about your clothes. You're ornamental. Not functional. So don't come into the oval and try to use your brain because no one cares.


Appearance Notes

  • Olivia, Huck and Quinn (as Lindsey) all appear in both the present and the brief flashback to two-years ago.
  • All other characters appear only in present day.

Continuity Error

  • Photo's of Elaine show that she is blonde, but in Truth or Consequences the actress playing Elaine is a brunette. Also, Jesse's photos are not Adam Shapiro who makes is debut as Jesse Tyler in Truth or Consequences as well.


Promotional Photos

→ See and enjoy 22 pictures from White Hat's Off at Images from White Hat's Off.


Promotional Videos