This week’s episode was the what if we hadn’t fixed the election one. It opened with Fitz, Olivia and Jake in the Oval discussing if they were agreed Cyrus should get a pardon and be reinstated as President, preventing Mellie from being elected in the do-over after Vargas’s assassination. Olivia chose the moment to zone out and imagine what life would have been like for everyone had they not rigged the election in 2010, making Fitz President.
It gave us the warts and all alternate reality that is Olivia married to Fitz, and their marriage struggling with the revelation that Olivia was the one who denied Fitz his Presidency by refusing to rig the Election in Defiance, in 2010. Fitz ends up as a political commentator on his own television show, much like Sally Langston’s Liberty Report.
We see Mellie and Cyrus marry, only for Mellie to overhear a pertinent conversation between Cyrus and James with Cyrus admitting how much he wants the Oval, rather than be with James.
In this alternate what-could-have-been we watch Olivia struggle to make headway politically, bringing a Bill to the floor alongside Marcus, but finding the President refuses to meet with her and Marcus to even discuss it. Quinn’s alternate reality involved her appearing on the Bachelor and being a social media celebrity. When she appears as a guest on Fitz’s show, they make out in the green room, but when Fitz catches his reflection in the mirror he doesn’t like what he sees, and throws her off him. When she calls him an old drunk, it really stings. He gets a reality check and goes home to Olivia, who presents him with a brochure with a beautiful house in Georgetown that she thinks they should buy. It might not fix their marriage though.
Huck’s reality was even more weird than the alternate. He had a massive afro! working as an assistant at Olivia and Marcus’s offices where they’re campaigning for Youth and equality judging by the posters on the wall, but it wasn’t absolutely clear to me what they were campaigning for, as I’d lost complete interest in the episode by this point.
The episode ended with Oliva’s decision to agree with Fitz to get Cyrus reinstated as President and overthrow Mellie.
The bit players in the ensemble, Abby, David Rosen, Rowan and Jake all popped up at intervals, but it wasn’t the show stopping episode with big reveals through flashbacks or alternate reality that I’d hoped for.