Top of the Hour - Recap

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The episode begins with a seemingly normal family of a wife, husband and a couple of kids at home. They discuss the kind of pizza they want to order for dinner. The doorbell rings and one of kids opens the door. Standing in front of her she finds, a sea of reporters, who are falling over one other to ask questions. The reporters are there because Sarah Stanard, the wife, who is also the CEO of a company, allegedly had an affair with Murray Randall. Randall is Fitz’s Supreme Court nominee. The alleged affair happened 15 years ago, when he was a professor at Harvard Law.

Over the phone, Sarah’s lawyer tells her that she is sending Olivia to handle the situation. Olivia is waiting for Jake in his office. Jake comes in and she hands him an envelope. She says it contains some confidential information about the Kashfari hostage situation. He asks about its source, but she says she can’t tell him that. After she leaves, Jake goes through the documents in the envelope and looks worried. Olivia arrives outside Sarah’s house and before she can go in she gets a call from Cyrus. He tells Olivia that Randall really deserves to be in the Supreme Court, so Olivia should tell Sarah to deny the whole thing. She tells him that she will do whatever is in the best interests of her client.

Olivia tells Sarah and her husband that they should be prepared for the press to dig through everything that they consider personal. She says that in order for her to control the damage, Sarah has to be completely honest with her. She asks Sarah how much of what the press is claiming is true. Sarah with tears in her eyes admits that it’s all true, which shocks her husband. Huck and Quinn are keeping a watch on Osborne, the CIA director. They are waiting for him to make a drop, which Huck is sure Osborne will do in plain sight, somewhere in public. Cyrus meets Fitz at his office and tells him about the news of Randall’s affair. Fitz says he is too preoccupied with the hostage situation to worry about this and orders Cyrus to fix the issue.

At Sarah’s, Olivia tells her that she should publicly admit to the affair because that is the only way to make this whole thing go away. Sarah is reluctant, but her husband encourages her to do, saying it has been 15 years, so it isn’t a big deal anymore. The next day, Sarah publically admits to the affair and immediately Olivia gets a call from Cyrus. He is really mad, but Olivia tells him to calm down and reminds him that Randall isn’t her client Sarah is. Cyrus warns her that she will regret this and she challenges Cyrus to do his worst. Cyrus appoints his team to dig up dirt on Sarah, so she can be portrayed in bad light.

In Fitz’s office, Randall admits to him about the affair, apologizes to him and says it was a mistake. He tells Fitz that Sarah is a nice person and they should avoid trying to assassinate her character. Fitz makes it clear to Randall that he (Randall) doesn’t have a say, after what he has done. Cyrus’s team digs up all the dirt they can from her past and it’s all flashed in the news. It’s made to look as if Sarah was stalking Randall because she was a sexual predator and Randall simply wasn’t interested.

At home, both Sarah and her husband are really disturbed on seeing all this. Olivia tells them it will only get worse because there is a Supreme Court nomination at stake. Sarah’s company wants her to resign because of this scandal, saying she is in breach of the morality clause of her contract. Mellie finds out from looking at Fitz’s schedule that he has a secret phone meeting with someone every Wednesday. Cyrus and team have pushed through Randall’s nomination, by convincing the requisite number of senators. Mellie meets Cyrus and tells him about the secret meeting on Fitz’s schedule. She says Fitz has probably started seeing Olivia again, but Cyrus doesn’t care. He says he is back in Fitz’s good books, which is all that matters to him.

Jake meets Olivia outside Sarah’s house and asks her if what she has given him is credible. She assures her that it is and says he simply has to take her word for it. During their conversation, a reporter photographs them together and Jake looks worried. Harrison meets a board member of Sarah’s company and tells her to change the board’s mind about Sarah. The member is in no mood to so, but Harrison tells her how he will make it look that the company discriminated against Sarah because of her gender. The board member looks worried on hearing this.

At Sarah’s, while Harrison is giving her the good news that she will get to keep her job, they see on the news that a hotel security footage proves Sarah and Randall were seeing each other for nearly two years. Sarah’s husband is livid and even begins doubting whether the kids are his. Harrison calms him down, so things don’t get out of hand. Huck and Quinn are still waiting for Osborne to make the drop. Harrison is informed that Sarah won’t get to keep her job now that new information has come to light. In Fitz’s office, Cyrus and he are trying to think of a fitting replacement for Randall. Fitz is shocked when Cyrus tells him that all this happened because Olivia is representing Sarah.

While Sarah and her husband are busy fighting in the background, Olivia gets a call from Fitz. He tells her how hurt he still is about the election rigging and Olivia again tries to explain herself, but it doesn’t help. Sarah’s husband tells her that he wants a paternity test. After Fitz hangs up, Jake comes into his office and shows him the documents Olivia gave him, but doesn’t tell him their source. He says that the documents reveal where the hostages are being held and tells Fitz that a SEAL team is waiting for his go ahead. Mellie sees Jake leave Fitz’s office and looks surprised.

At Sarah’s, she and Olivia share a bottle of wine and have a heart-to-heart. Sarah says she isn’t sure if their elder daughter Annie is actually her husband’s, but she never had a heart to tell him that because it would hurt him. The next day, Quinn figures out that Osborne made the drop, when he visited the dry cleaners. Quinn manages to get Osborne’s suit from the cleaners and in its pocket finds $20k in cash. She returns the suit to the cleaners, so as to not arouse suspicion. Olivia has a chat with Annie, Sarah’s daughter, who says she knows everything that’s going on. Olivia tells her whatever the result of the test; she will always be her father’s daughter.

At Fitz’s office, he tells Cyrus about the team sent to rescue the hostages. Cyrus is shocked that he wasn’t kept in the loop. The information is credible and the hostages are found by the SEAL team. While the hostages are being rescued, somewhere else a masked man breaks into a house and begins looking for something. The photographer who clicked Jake and Olivia’s picture earlier enters the house and sees the masked man. They get into a fight and after he has beaten the photographer unconscious, the masked man steals the memory card from his camera. The man removes his mask and it’s revealed that the person is Jake.

Fitz officially declares to the nation that the hostages have been rescued. Abby and Harrison are discussing how they can stop Sarah losing her job and Abby has an idea. She and Harrison meet the board members of Sarah’s company and lie that they have dirt against all of them. They tell the board members that the dirt will be made public if they fire Sarah, and their bluff works. Olivia hands Phil, Sarah’s husband, the envelope with the paternity test. Before he opens the envelope, she reminds him how the results won’t wipe out the bond he shares with his family. Phil seems to agree with her and tears the result without looking at it.

Mellie meets Cyrus and tells him Fitz isn’t cheating on her, but is instead cheating on him. She hands him Jake’s photo. Jake arrives at Olivia’s house and tells her that her information helped free the hostages. The man at the dry cleaners sends Osborne, Quinn’s photos, which were taken by the store’s security camera. The episode ends at this point.