Scandal s05e11 Episode Script

The Candidate

1 Sir? I, Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me, God.
I have to go.
I'm ready.
Well? I'm done with the first half.
And? You can cut Chapter Two.
Chapter Two is important.
Fitz gets shot in Chapter Two.
I rewrote Chapter Two.
Chapter Two is where I relate to the American people through emotion and grief.
The American people don't care about your bromides and talking points, Mellie.
What they do care about is you, pulling back the mask and finally offering a real glimpse inside the deepest, darkest corners of your soul.
- That means you can cut Chapter Two - Olivia And replace it with the chapter on why you stayed.
What? When you discovered that Fitz had taken up with a mistress, you pretended not to know about it and you stayed.
Why? That chapter is missing, and that chapter is what the American people want to read.
It's what I want to read.
It's all anyone wants to read.
Why did you stay? Why did you lie? Was it 'cause of ambition, or was it for love? What exactly was it about Fitz or the White House or herself that made Mellie Grant turn a blind eye all those years? What was running through her head? Were you having an affair? Did you have a side piece of your very own? Because when Fitz was screwing another woman, you didn't seem to care, and we want to know why.
You really can compartmentalize like nobody's business.
You asked for Olivia Pope.
You got Olivia Pope.
MARTINA What year did Senator Grant graduate Yale? Huck's on college and law school.
Ask him.
He doesn't answer my questions.
He either pretends I'm invisible or growls like a dog.
That's just Huck.
He growls.
That's not comforting.
Hey, what year did Senator Grant graduate Yale? How should I know? We're supposed to be fact-checking this book, Huck.
I am fact-checking this book, Marcus.
That's funny.
'Cause it looks a lot like you're watching a soccer game.
It's called multitasking.
Whatever.
Here.
You might want to double-check your work.
Yes! Yes.
What is this? Your wake-up call.
"Do you consider Vice President Ross a viable Presidential candidate?" There's a number next to it.
93%.
54% of people think you'd be the immediate front runner for the Republican nomination, should you enter the race.
- This is a poll.
- It's a wake-up call.
Well, this is It's Wow, 93.
That's weird.
I already said I'm not running for President.
I don't want to talk about The number of people who've held the Oval, the one office in the world where you pick up the phone and 10 minutes later, a mountain shifts.
That paper says you're one of the handful of folks on Earth capable of doing that job.
Did you hear what I just said, Susan? If you turn your back on this, if you don't even explore the option, you will regret it every day for the rest of your life.
I have a lot to say.
Good.
But I'm gonna take your advice and try to be more concise.
No.
This is a fantastic opportunity.
If we change the definition of the words "fantastic" and "opportunity.
" - Lillian Forrester - Hack.
Is one of the most respected journalists in the game.
This will be big.
She did that piece on the Pope, the one you liked.
You said it was good.
It was smart, for Lillian Forrester.
The Vatican let her into its bedchamber and she screwed them sideways.
She pillaged, she plundered.
She was fair and balanced.
She's a loaded gun.
She wants to fire at us, fine.
But to press the barrel of a gun to our temple? My temple.
My temple.
Not ours mine.
The election is closing in.
We're six months out from Iowa.
Now is the time to set the table for your successor.
A profile like this? It's fine When you're out of office.
The only thing she wants, the only thing she's interested in, is fatally wounding you, stuffing you, and mounting your head above her editor's desk.
Whether you want to accept it or not, Cyrus, I am on my way out.
Let's let our guard down a little.
Start shaping our legacy.
Set it up.
None of this has anything to do with my abilities as President.
You don't think so? Why I stayed? I shouldn't be wasting precious space on that subject.
It's inappropriate.
It's irrelevant.
We need to find an answer, Mellie, and we need to put it in your book, because if we don't, people will speculate.
People can speculate all they want.
You realize this is the question you will get asked at every step on your book tour, every campaign function, every sit-down with Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters.
Trust me, you omit this part of your book, it will only lead to more questions.
This is what they want to know.
They don't get to know.
It's none of their business.
You can't say that.
I know these are incredibly difficult questions, but I wouldn't be helping you by avoiding them.
You got any actual food in this place? And I mean besides cereal.
You don't know, do you? You don't know why you stayed.
Well, do you know why you left? I'm just asking, 'cause maybe your answer will spark something in me.
At the very least, maybe I can steal it.
I don't need to answer that question.
I'm not the one writing a book.
I'm not the one running for President.
You are.
You don't know, either, do you? Tougher than you thought, right? What's for lunch? Ground rules If we choose to officially move forward with this article, your questions would need to pertain to previously agreed-upon topics only.
Those can be found on page two.
Lillian, think of these more as discussion points.
The President's past policies, his future plans, and everything in between.
Emphasis, of course, on the between.
What we're doing in the present, we're calling this our Year of Achievement.
Year of Achievement? Catchy.
This conversation is off the record.
I know.
You're noting.
There's no noting.
You don't even have the job yet.
Mr.
President.
How's it going in here? Very well, sir.
This is Lillian Forrester.
Mr.
President.
It is such an honor.
Let's hope you feel that way after these three days.
Sir, we were just going over some ground rules for Lillian's article, should we decide it's a go.
Cy, she spent a week with Putin.
I think Lillian knows the drill.
Mr.
President, did you just compare yourself to Putin? No.
Mr.
President did not.
I should write that down.
Do you know the meaning of "off the record"? Of course I do.
Which is why I'm only joking.
I get it.
It's your court, your advantage.
You set the rules, I follow them.
But, frankly, I'm not interested in a heavily regulated, closely guarded interview with the leader of the free world.
Nor is that what we want to give you.
I want a conversation with the man.
A meaningful one.
I want to know, is Fitzgerald Grant hell-bent on making a difference in the final days of his presidency, or is he happy just tending the store? I want to know if the man I voted for thinks he succeeded or failed.
I have no ulterior motive here, aside from wanting to write a damn good article.
Do you want me to write a damn good article? Of course we do.
Nice meeting you, Lillian.
Nice to meet you, as well, Mr.
President.
The pleasure's all mine.
I was devastated when I found out Fitz was having an affair with you.
I fell into a deep depression, and the only thing that got me through it was thinking that you were just a phase.
Fitz and I, we could survive a phase.
So I stayed.
That's nice, right? It's a narrative.
- That's a good thing.
- Absolutely.
- Then why does it feel - Artificial? Trite.
Untrue.
My head feels like it's about to explode.
You're gonna have to dig deep, Mellie.
Deeper than this.
You say that like I'm not even trying.
- Are you? - Of course I am.
You could have fooled me.
Is that some sort of reverse-psychology crap you learned from your therapist? I don't have a therapist.
Well, maybe you should get one.
Why are you - I'm trying to help you here.
- Please.
Mellie, if you can't tell me why you chose to st I don't have to tell you anything! Mellie.
You, of all people.
I don't have to have this conversation with you.
Answer these questions for you, explain myself to you! I'm not asking for my own.
You never had what we had, Olivia.
23 years.
You may have had your cheap hotel rooms and your White House closets and your secret homes in Vermont that you didn't think anybody else knew about.
But as far as actual real relationships go you were just a blip on his radar.
A plaything he used to pass his time with until trash day rolled around and you got boxed up and shipped off - That's enough, Mellie.
- Oh, I'm sorry.
Did you not want to go there today? This was I will send you a check for your time.
Thanks, Liv.
Thank you so much for your help.
Here he is.
Thank you, Amber.
So, what's on the agenda today? Down, boy.
Really? I mean, I suppose.
Get up.
This is work, not play.
I I need you to do something for me.
Okay, name it.
Get Susan Ross to run for President.
Oh, that is not going to happen.
Susan Ross doesn't want to run for President.
I don't care what she wants.
This isn't about her.
This is about me.
Being the Veep's Chief of Staff is not gonna be my legacy.
That woman is my shot at the Oval.
I cannot convince Susan Ross to do something she has no intention of doing.
I think you can.
I think you have certain gifts Okay, I gave her that bracelet only after you said you didn't want it, so you can't use it against me.
David, no one wants that bracelet.
That bracelet is hideous.
Susan likes it.
Because that Muppet is in love with you.
Use it.
Ask her out.
Do some convincing.
Give her what she wants.
Because if you don't, you won't be getting what you want anytime soon.
- David! - Is this a bad time? For you, never.
Please, come in.
What's up? I, uh Wanted to see if you'd like to get out of here.
I don't know what you mean.
I was thinking we could go somewhere.
Again, I don't know what you mean.
Would you like to go out with me, Susan.
Oh.
Oh! As in Just the two of us? That is how a date usually works, at least in my book.
Where?! I mean Where are you thinking we'd go, just the two of us.
If we leave now, we can still catch the sunset at Mount Vernon.
It sure is beautiful, isn't it? Oh, you've already been.
I chartered a boat there for Casey's 11th birthday.
It really was something, seeing the sun fade into the Potomac like that.
Scratch that idea.
How about a picnic in the park? There's this great spot I know along the Tidal Basin.
That is a great idea.
They shut down the Tidal Basin when I picnicked there with Casey just last Tuesday.
It was pretty spectacular.
I bet it was.
I bet everything you do is pretty spectacular.
You're the Vice President of the United States.
There are all kinds of things I haven't done.
Really.
Name something else.
Have you been to the top of the Washington Monument? No.
Yes.
I'm sorry.
Ah, you can change your mind and cancel.
I get it.
I ruined the vibe, and I feel awful, so just - Susan.
- Yeah? What are your feelings on french fries? Welcome to Gettysburger.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the people, of the people, and by the people.
May I take your order? You have got to be kidding me.
I can't believe you've never been here.
Ooh, is the Double Lincoln as good as it sounds? I want that.
Now, that comes with Freedom Fries.
You're also gonna want Union Rings.
But I thought I had to choose.
No, union and freedom go together.
Ah.
Got a minute, sir? Is this another warning about Lillian Forrester? It's about Reagan.
Reagan? Ronald.
Yes, I know.
It's 1988, late spring.
By most accounts, he's wandering around the residence during work hours in slippers and a terry cloth robe.
Six months left on his term, every excuse to just sit around, watch daytime soaps, eating ants on a log.
Reagan loved ants on a log.
Did you know that? It doesn't matter.
But instead, he strapped on his cleats, tightened his chinstrap one last time, and kicked down the Berlin Wall.
Simplifying history a bit, aren't you, Cy? For better or for worse, Clinton reformed welfare in his final year.
Is there a point here? You're gonna miss it.
The wars.
The fights.
Crafting an agenda and seeing it through, going toe-to-toe with Senate Dems, rallying Tea Party support for a judicial nominee.
Cramming a good bill like the Brandon Bill down the opposition's throat.
Then licking your wounds, knowing you did good for the American people.
Next November you're gonna get an eviction notice.
And by January 20th, they're coming for your stuff.
Do you know what today's date is, sir? Not January 20th.
We can still do something.
We can.
Still.
Set the world on fire or die trying.
Let's ride out of here with our guns empty, not in the damn holster.
This is about Lillian Forrester.
I can't be someone who will take your gun away and serve you ants on a log while you sit in your robe.
Are we done? I believe so, sir.
I'm glad you could get past your issues with me.
This isn't happening again.
Yes, it is.
This is my bar.
You're in my bar.
This is the first bar I've been in since college, I think.
I haven't paid for a drink in two decades.
I used to come here to feel better.
I came here to be alone.
You can divorce them, but you can't get rid of them.
Fitz or Olivia? Both.
We are married to them for the rest of our lives.
They are cinder blocks tied to our ankles, and we just keep fighting to keep from drowning, but what's the point? We're going down whether we fight or not.
I don't feel sorry for you.
Surprise.
You have the most recognizable name in politics.
You're a woman at a time the country is ready for a woman president.
Not to mention that filibuster of yours is the feminist moment of the decade.
It'll be in history books.
You have weaknesses, sure.
But they're well-documented.
Susan is an unknown.
You can tear her apart with every new I already have my eye on someone to run my campaign.
Right.
We made him.
We made Fitzgerald Grant III.
We made a president.
We? We? Drink up.
So, this is the love shack where all the magic happened? - Mellie, it's late.
You should - Mm.
It's nice.
You have good taste.
Mellie, are you It was working.
I'm sorry? It was working.
That's why I stayed.
It was working.
Fitz and I and you.
It was working.
You know what I mean? I'm not sure I do know what you Hold on a minute.
I used to wonder if it was all men or just Fitz that suck the life out of you.
Now I think it's all the powerful men.
They've been told their whole lives they deserve everything, they should have everything, and it makes them so weak.
They think that everything belongs to them by default.
And if they don't get it, well, they just fall apart.
Fitz didn't have any fight in him.
He didn't know how to stand on his own two feet.
I mean, I saw the potential.
We all saw it.
But I had to work at it.
I held his hand, I fluffed, I bled, and I got nothing in return.
Except for you.
You showed up.
I wasn't devastated, Olivia, or numb or empty.
I was deserving.
I deserved you.
I was a 37-year-old governor's wife with two kids, and that was all.
I was somebody's wife and somebody's mother.
Not my own anything.
I deserved you.
I warranted you.
I justified you.
I had lost myself, and in return, I got you.
You are my retribution.
And it was humiliating.
I couldn't even hate you.
I couldn't even pretend to.
I hated myself.
But then I turned a corner.
It was quick.
Effortless, really.
You had become the beautiful kept thing he lusted after.
Where you went, he went.
Which meant that I I suddenly had space.
I had air of my own that I could breathe.
Time to think and plan.
And I started liking myself again, because I was alone and I was relieved and I was free.
Freedom, baby.
Whew.
I stayed because it was working.
I stood by and I allowed the affair to continue because it was working for all of us.
He was occupied, thanks to you.
He was happy.
You lit his fire.
We made it all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
And one day, it was gonna be my turn.
Fitz would make me President of the United States, because he owed me at least that much.
And so I stayed.
Because the three of us, ugh.
We worked! So, what do you say, Olivia? That deep enough for you? Is that honest enough? Mellie, you can't actually write that anywhere.
If you want to be President, you can never, ever tell anyone any of that.
Oh, yeah, I know.
I know I can't.
That's the problem.
Hm.
That was incredible.
What do you think their secret sauce is made out of? Crack.
I think it's made out of crack.
What? We shut down a Gettysburger.
A Gettysburger.
That's power.
It's obnoxious.
Making these kids stay late, inconveniencing all these people, denying the neighborhood of Fourscores.
Can you imagine the story that would be written if the press got ahold of this? Actually, I imagine that would be a pretty great story.
Susan's just a regular American, very "woman of the people.
" That kind of story makes people think of you as Grade-A presidential material.
Now you're sounding like Liz.
Liz? No matter how many times I tell her "no," or "stop," or "I don't want to form an exploratory committee," she doesn't let up.
She wants you to make a run? I didn't know.
Well, I agree with her.
You would be an amazing president.
David Do you know why I was chosen to be VP? It wasn't because I am amazing.
It's because Mellie Grant lacks character.
She was picking her competition for the next Republican primary.
And instead of having the guts to go toe-to-toe with a worthy warrior for a true battle, she turned coward.
She picked me.
She picked someone useless, unthreatening, unpolished, unelectable.
She picked a bug she can crush in one blow.
I don't stand a chance in a primary against Mellie, so why would I put myself, my daughter, through the agony of a campaign? Why would I uproot us for months on end Don't you ever call yourself names in my presence again.
You are not a bug.
You are a warrior.
You could win this.
You could win, Susan.
I really believe that.
You were mean.
Of course I was.
You were my husband's mistress.
Was I supposed to be friendly? You were really awful.
I'm telling you, you were nasty.
And I took it.
Why? I wanted to fight.
You never fought.
I was your husband's mistress.
I was in the wrong.
Truth is, I was glad you were there.
You were a good mistress.
Probably a great one.
You know what I mean? Mm.
Well, I am an overachiever.
Once I put my mind to something, I commit.
Ohh.
Tell me you brought more.
Oh, damn straight I did.
I was happy you were around, too.
When I was with Fitz, I was happy you were around, too.
With you around, I didn't have to I had an out.
You You were my out, Mellie.
You kept him unavailable.
Okay.
And So I left for the same reason you stayed.
Because I was scared.
Okay.
Mellie.
That's what you write.
You write that you were scared.
You write that you never could have imagined standing up in front of the entire Senate for as long as you did, filibustering the hell out of that bill, protecting every woman's constitutional right to make her own decision about her own body because you never thought you would be able to do any of that on your own.
You write that you didn't need Fitz You didn't need some man to give you the power.
You had the power the whole time.
It just took you a little longer to realize.
That is what you write.
Get out your laptop.
Start writing.
Uh Sir.
Mr.
President.
What's wrong? It's my cousin, sir.
He died an hour ago.
Cyrus.
I have to go.
I'm so sorry.
Me, too.
Okay, um, I'll just start with the general, Mr.
President.
Mm-hmm.
Is the country better off today than it was seven years ago when a young governor from California waltzed into this very room and vowed to work tirelessly for his people? Well, first, thanks for calling me young.
And second, absolutely.
Unemployment's down.
The economy's up.
I think the world in general is I'm sorry.
Something I said.
I don't know.
I wasn't listening.
I'm a respected journalist.
I have a Pulitzer.
I spent a week with Putin, and yet I cannot focus.
Well, I know all this can be overwhelming.
I have an enormous crush on you.
Wow.
This really couldn't be any more awkward.
This is a clear conflict of interest.
I know.
I'm so sorry.
Not just on your account, Lillian.
How about We nix this whole interview and instead you have dinner with me? Sir, are you asking me out on a date? I am.
But only if you stop calling me "sir.
" Ordinarily, I don't come when called.
But Glad you did.
Game's over.
I'm out.
- David - No.
Susan Ross is a good person.
She's smart and compassionate and has the best interests of the country at heart.
People like that don't exist in this town.
She's a political unicorn.
And if she doesn't want to run for President, she shouldn't have to.
Is that so? I won't manipulate her.
And you won't manipulate me.
I'm done buying what you're selling.
She filed the paperwork.
She's running.
You did good, Rosen.
Whatever you said to her, it worked.
She doesn't want this.
Well, Little Bo Veep doesn't know what she wants.
Lucky for her, she has us.
Come on, Rosen.
Let's make a president together.
I already e-mailed you my corrections, Marcus.
I just got 'em.
I'm not going anywhere, Huck.
Nice picture quality.
QR18? I remotely inserted the program's facial filament into a couple of traffic cams.
It's like you're right there.
Whoa, who's that? He's a beast.
That's my son, Javi.
Your son? Skills.
You teach him how to dribble like that? I wish.
How often do you catch his games? I've never been to one of his games.
Divorce? Something like that.
That sucks, man.
I'm sorry.
They moved recently.
They moved.
So I haven't seen him.
You should.
You should go see him.
I bet Javi would love that.
Hm.
This is good.
This is really good.
- You think so? - I know so.
Hm.
This is everything.
Thanks.
Read this part.
You know it won't do you any good if this book comes out in a couple of months, right? It won't? Other people will be announcing sooner.
If you wait even a month, you're gonna be late to the party.
- It has to come out now.
- That's impossible.
The publisher says it will take at least six weeks to get it into bookstores Who says we need bookstores? Several pages of the former First Lady's upcoming memoir appear today on the D.
C.
Dish's website.
Both the publisher and Senator Grant herself denied being the source of the leak.
The book, however, is being described by those who have read it as explosive, revealing, and deeply personal.
"And during that filibuster," I found that I could stand as long as I needed.
Hours, days, whatever the Senate required.
Because for the first time in my adult life, I was no longer an accessory, an appendage to the most powerful man in the world.
That's when I discovered that I, too, was strong, that I, too, was powerful, that he hadn't taken everything from me, "that I could stand on my own.
" There you have it.
Powerful words from what will certainly be a forceful candidate in the form of Mellie Grant.
Watch your back, Vice President Ross.
Oh, Marianne, I'm just testing the waters.
It's like when you like someone.
You want to see if they like you back.
I like America, and now I'm hoping America will call me.
So that's who our Republican brethren can look forward to roasting on the spit.
But what of the Democrats? What lambs will they serve up for the slaughter? He's going on a date.
This is "50 Shades of Wrong" here, Cyrus.
I need you.
Oh, crap.
You're at your cousin's funeral right now, aren't you? Ah, yes.
Oh, I totally forgot.
I'm so sorry.
It's okay.
We weren't close.
Still, he's dead.
Well, it's for the best.
Well, can you talk to him? My dead cousin? The President! I'm out of my league here.
No can do.
I told you, Red, you're the work wife, not me.
This is not what being a work wife means.
Wake's starting.
I got to go.
Very sad.
I've paid my taxes in this county for 19 years.
I understand your concerns, your issues.
That is why I'm here.
It's why I'm visiting every county in the state to discuss the particulars I don't see why my tax dollars are helping other people go to college.
I didn't even go to college.
I'm sorry you didn't have that opportunity.
Under my plan, you would have What don't you get, Governor? We don't want your stinking education bill.
I know that this is personal for many of you.
It is personal for me, too.
My parents had very little education growing up in Mexico, and there was no chance of them going to college none.
And then they came here, to America, to Pennsylvania.
My mother went to nursing school.
My father, who came from nothing, earned his PhD at Penn State, and their two sons had access to the best public education system in the greatest country on Earth.
A college degree is as essential today as a high-school diploma was 100 years ago.
The world is changing, and we have got to change with it.
That means that our state colleges and universities should be free for every high-school graduate.
My education bill it's not revolutionary or radical.
It simply finishes what we've been working on in this great state for over 300 years The principle of free education was established in the Pennsylvania constitution of 1790, and in the 1830s, we were one of the first states in the country to actually establish a public-education system.
Now, that's the Pennsylvania my parents moved to.
That's the Pennsylvania I grew up in.
That is your Pennsylvania.
Smart, generous, civic-minded, forward-thinking right.
Sir.
We can still.
Set the world on fire or die trying.
We're done.
Betrayal's still there.
Well, he forgave you.
You're fired.
I have to go.
I'm so sorry.
Me, too.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.