The Trail - Recap

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The episode begins with the president telling Olivia that he was lonely after her leaving him, and hence he slept with Amanda just once. The president also clarifies to Olivia that Amanda was never his girlfriend, and Olivia was never his mistress. He then shows Olivia the sex tape Cyrus received a week ago. He wants Olivia to listen to it. The show then flashes back to two years ago, when Grant was campaigning to be the future president. Grant is asking his team what he should be doing to reach out to the people. Just then Olivia stands up and tells Grant that the problem is his marriage, “it seems like you aren’t screwing your wife” she says. She basically tells him that his marriage looks cold from the outside.

She also tells him that the voter should want to invite him for dinner; that is how appealing he has to be for the voter. She then gives the president her introduction. Grant then tells Cyrus to fire her. Cyrus meanwhile, likes her and wants to keep her. Cyrus tells Grant that he does the dirty job behind the scenes, where Grant gets to be the good guy. He thus needs people like Olivia Pope on his team. Grant then apologizes to Olivia for firing her. She tells Grant that he would be lucky to have her as a part of his team; he looks into her eyes longingly and concedes that he would actually be lucky to have her. It is then shown how Grant socialized as a part of his campaign. Meanwhile, at a social gathering Olivia tells Abby over the phone that Grant has got something that she can work with. Olivia and Cyrus then discuss their strategy for the campaign, just then Amanda comes in and hands them some flyers for the campaign.

Back to the present day, and David is staring at Amanda’s dead body in the morgue. Meanwhile, Quinn and Gideon are making love. After they are done, he tells her that he has work, but he wants her to stay. Gideon then comes out of the bedroom and stealthily watches the video of the president giving a speech. Meanwhile, David has called in his assistant Alissa to help him with the Amanda case. He then gives her a complete file on Amanda Tanner. She then poses the question “who in the White House would want her dead?” Meanwhile, flash back to 2 years ago, Olivia is telling Grant and his wife that they need to talk to each other, and begin behaving like a happily married couple. She wants them to be believable, loving and a dedicated couple. She and Cyrus then leave the room, so the couple could take some time to decide if, they can mange what Olivia has suggested. Later in private Grant’ wife reminds him of all the sacrifices she has made, so he can be president.

Grant then tells his wife that she needs to suck it up, if living in Pennsylvania Avenue is important to her. The two then act like a happy couple in front of the media, just as instructed by Olivia. They seem to be doing great be it TV interviews or social dos, Grant and his wife mange to look like the happiest couple. Meanwhile, Sally who is also running for the president is worried by Grant’s rising popularity. Meanwhile, Grant thanks Olivia and is amazed how she managed to turn his fortunes in the elections. Cyrus meanwhile comes in and tells Olivia and Grant that they won’t be winning New Hampshire. He then tells them that a story is coming out that Mellie; Grant’s wife is having an affair. Later, Olivia watches on TV that Sally has won in New Hampshire, just as Cyrus had predicted. Also being mentioned on TV is Mellie’s affair.

Billy just then comes in and rubs Sally’s victory into Olivia’s face. He has asked her to meet him. He tells Olivia to convey to Grant that if he concedes, he shall be given the VP slot. Olivia turns down the offer and tells Billy that, she yet has a few cards left to play. Later, it is shown that Olivia picks up Huck from the roadside. He looks like a hobo with long beard and shabby clothes, a look which doesn’t muster much confidence in Grant or his wife’s mind. Olivia on the other hand feels he is the man for the job. Huck then reveals to Mellie and Grant that, a hobo a bit cleaner than him has been following Mellie and Paul for the past 7 months, gathering photos and evidence to use against Grant. That is how the media got Mellie’s photograph with Paul. Huck then pulls up records which show Paul has been receiving payments from a company called Tiny Step Productions.

Abby lands up at the production company, and is informed that they make specialty films. Olivia then brings in Harrison to join the team. Harrison is in a leg brace, as he is a convicted felon. He is shown enjoying a beer sitting in Paul’s living room. Paul threatens to call the police on him. Harrison in turn tells Paul that if he doesn’t make a statement in the media denying any romantic involvement with Mellie, his secret life as an artist of Erotica, would be made public. Later at the Republican Presidential Debate, Grant wins over the audience with his confession that, he is a man in love with an incredible woman. Back in the present day, Gideon is shown researching about the president’s connection to Amanda Tanner. He then finds out that Amanda had a boyfriend. Meanwhile, Alissa and David zero in on the fact that, Amanda was probably sleeping with someone from the west wing of the White House; hence one of them working there must be her child’s father.

Back to 2 years ago, and Grant is shown telling Olivia that he has feelings for her. Later, at a campaign event in Georgia Mellie tells the media that, she had a failed pregnancy a few months ago, because her body couldn’t handle the rigors of a tiring presidential campaign. She blames the distance between her and Grant during the campaign, to this failed pregnancy. She tells the media that, Grant even wanted to quit to be with her, but she would hear none of it. On the bus heading to a campaign event in Georgia, Grant is told that Sally is holding onto the women's vote and it will be hard to change that because women have been waiting a long time for a viable female candidate. They can't use the fact that she used drugs in college because she has since found God and that means all is forgiven.

Back to the present Gideon is still busy making his inquiries. David and Alissa meanwhile, go through the photographs of all the men working in the West Wing, to zero in on their culprit. Back to 2 years ago, and Grant is on the bus with Olivia. Mellie has gone to other campaign stops. Olivia consoles Grant about the miscarriage but he reveals that Mellie made it up. Grant says he shouldn't have married Mellie. They hold hands.
The campaign gets to a hotel to stay overnight. Olivia goes to Grant's room and they end up making love. We see the room is wired.

Someone records their lovemaking noises and sends the file on a flash drive to someone. That drive is then given to Amanda, who is told to give it to her boss. Amanda is then shown giving the drive to Billy. Gideon back in the present also zeroes in on Billy. Back in the present Olivia too realizes whose voices are on the flash drive, and she is shocked to no end to hear it. Back to two years ago, it is shown that just as Billy is about to give Sally the drive, she shocks him by telling him that, she has agreed to accept the position of the VP. Meanwhile in the present, Grant and Olivia spend a few romantic moments in each other’s arms just like old times. Meanwhile, Gideon tells Billy that he thinks Billy had a relationship with Amanda, and that he was her boyfriend. Billy says he isn’t the one Amanda slept with, but the president.

Billy tells Gideon that, he is the one who provided him with all the evidence and photographs, so Gideon could implicate the president. He also tried to make Amanda implicate the president but she too according to him, couldn’t see the obvious. Gideon then figures out that, it was Billy who sent Amanda, to sleep with the president. Gideon then tells Billy that Amanda was pregnant and that, he thinks it was Billy’s baby. Billy is shocked to hear this, and just as Gideon bends down to pick up some paper, Billy stabs Gideon on the back of his neck with a pair of scissors. Back to two years ago, and Grant is shown securing the position of the Republican presidential candidate. The episode ends at this point.